The awesome Justice system that wants to exploit you.
The date was april 19 2014. a day which I would rather forget, but unfortunately I am not allowed to forget. That day I was a heroin addict looking for his fix. and got his fix. but later woke up in a haze after overdosing . With about 8 people trespassing in my room . rummaging around in my drawers to find what that would later find out to be heroin bags and needles.
This is not an episode in my life that I am proud of. However a night after overdosing and almost dying on heroin I was determined to stop and I did for a time . Later that month I recieved a letter in the mail that I was being charged with 2 possessions of paraphernalia . This did two things . It surprised me and greatly upset me. The night of the incident my girlfriend asked the cop who would later charge me if I was going to be charged with a crime. and the officer explicitly said that she was not going to charge me with a crime. This is why I was rather surprised when I got this letter, and an instant feeling of dread and injustice washed over me instantly. I was wondering why the hell a month after the fact I was charged with a crime when the officer who would later charge me told my girlfriend that she would not be charging me.
SO basically I did not know what to do. I put it off and I admit it probably wasn’t the best action. However. I was and am still am rather poor. Struggling to get by now with 1 child. They went about dragging me to a magistrates office where I had to tell them I did not yet have proper legal representation. I would later contact a public defender, but in all truth the public defenders office in my area. and in a lot of areas is overwhelmed. and frankly did not care what happened to me. I was switched around 3 times without notification to a different lawyer. none of whom talked to me more then 5 minutes at a time.
So. the cop would later show her true motive to why she charged me when she called me down to the police station and asked me to be a confidential informant. This was 2 months after I had quit heroin and had gone out of the game so to speak. Something I would later regret was telling her that yes I could probably make 3 buys for them. THe circumstances in general made me nervous and my life long social anxiety kicked in when it came down to really doing it. I also felt regret over getting other people pulled into this system when it was my mistake and not their mistake .
They would later drag me into court. make me sit in a court room with literally 50 other people being charged with minor offenses, and then it really hit me. Because I saw that for the most part these were non violent offenses such as dui. or drug issues. The main point I am trying to make here is that people were being put through what seemed like a meat grinder process, and ultimately were going to have to deal with whatever fines or prison sentences that they handed out to these people being shoved into a courtroom. I myself had to wait almost the entire time. Wasting my entire day just to ask me if I wanted to fight the case or just take the year probation and thousand dollar fine . At first I decided that I was going to fight. I felt this was unjustified, they would rather put me through a meat grinder for almost dying and losing my own life. The judge even said to me I am glad you are alive. but it doesn’t mean I am going to rule in your favor. To me it told me what deep down I already knew inside. I was not wealthy. therefore I was going to be subject to whatever they felt like throwing down at me. How is this justice I asked myself? why are they punishing me for almost dying? I had by this point had my first child and cleaned up. It made me want to use again. So I did. I know it was a selfish decision. and at that point I had been doing so well that I was glad to finally have it out of my life. The stress brought on by the realization that I was not going to win anything brought this to the forefront of my mind. 3 months later and 2 court appearances later. after waiting for 3 hours each time just to be talked to by a public defender for 2 minutes and have nothing go in my favor . I became beaten down and finally just submitted to their redone deal of the plea agreement that said I would just be on probation for 6 months. but ultimately my social anxiety kicked in again. and the probation officer tracked me down and then threatened to just put me right in jail if I did not come see him immediately. He did not care about my intense anxiety of going or being in pubic places. I even tried to express this to him while almost breaking down in tears. and the reply I recieved was that he didn’t give a shit about the problems in my life. That I was struggling with intense feelings of anxiety. and not only that I had a newborn child who I was constantly scraping by to provide for. I for years had studied the injustice of mass incarceration of the justice system. Now though I was a cog in that machine.
Not as much as others may be in terms of the injustice slammed upon them by a system that treated them not as human beings but as animals to be locked away in cages. or someone that they wanted to just squeeze as much money as they could out of you for doing simple things that were a health issue and not a criminal issue. I did not once sell heroin. I did not once try and get anybody but myself hooked on this horrible drug that pervades our society. and has caused an epidemic. The problems in our society that these people are attacking through the court systems isn’t a need for justice on their end. Rather it is a need for money and the ability to keep filling their pockets with the money of poor people who can’t be insulated by the wealth that others can be.
The meat grinder that I witnessed in my course of being in this circus has absolutely wrecked my life. I am still paying for those crimes 3 years later. and they will not stop hounding me despite the fact that i scraped together over 800 dollars to pay off these debt merchants. I am still recieving certified letters in the mail now making me go into court again because I did not call the probation officer. frankly I did not want to talk this person ever again. He made me feel like garbage and only cared about me carrying out the court order. In fact in our last encounter he had the wrong court order in hand. and didn’t even know my name, he was just worried about covering his own ass with his approval rating of getting his court orders done. These people care nothing about the ones that they victimize. instead they turn real health issues into criminal issues and make it so they can squeeze you out of every last dollar and every last hour of community service. which I did not do at all. I know i could have went about doing this a better way, but the probation officer as a human being disgusts me. He called my mothers house where I had been staying and said “ where is you damn son and when did his ass get out of rehab?”. again this was nothing he cared about despite the fact that at the time my family was going through a lot because my step-father had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his lungs. Yet these sort of things do not matter to these people. They squeezed me like a piece of meat and approached my health issue like I was a criminal that had done so much wrong. It was my fault for ever having overbearing social anxiety and falling into the vicious drug cycle of heroin. I regret ever doing heroin.
However, this experience in my life has awoken me even more. I am just a cog in a wheel for these people. Instead of offering me help they offered me fines and penalties and long pointless hours in these courts making me waste my time and having 2 minutes to talk to a public defender who didn’t even give a shit what happened to me in the long run. This system is a fraud and frankly these people should be charged with a crime themselves because they exploit the most vulnerable and weak in our society. If I had been wealthy and had a REAL lawyer who had my best interests in mind I probably wouldn’t be dealing with these debt merchants 3 years and almost a 1000 dollars later. They only want me to pay more for not complying properly with their pseudo fascist archaic system that helps no one and just makes sure that you are out to fill their coffers. Believe me I know I shouldn’t be really complaining, after all there are millions of people locked up unjustly over stupid non-violent crimes and others who are put away for crimes they didn’t commit whatsoever sometimes losing decades of their lives within the maelstrom of the criminal justice system. It pains me to think of all the victims of this justice system, but it also pains me to think about how many others are just put in a court room with 70 other people so that the county of Greene in Pennsylvania can fill its coffers and charge with us with stupid bullshit that frankly should be dealt with in a health way not in a criminal way.
We wonder why our criminal justice system is so fucked up. and its things like mass incarceration of whole populations of african-americans. and on the other hand you have others who are just put in a court room and pressured by the local justice system even if you almost died. They could give a fuck. Sitting up there in their benches ruling on matters they really don’t understand. and not caring about the effect it might have on people and their lives. Why should I pay for something that happened 3 years ago and whose only victim of the so called crime was myself? its because you have a justice system that’s fucked and eager rookie cops like the one who charged me trying to get their stats up. and regardless to them it doesn’t matter because ill pay them one way or the other. I say deep down to myself “fuck these people they are the real animals. they are the ones who should be put in front of a court room and made to answer not me! “ i have not even had a traffic ticket since that night. and I am mostly an upstanding citizen who likes to try and help others when I can, but to them I am nothing, but a case number who needs to do community service or pay an outrageous fine.
Its fucking ridiculous. I do not see how anyone can stand in front of me and say I deserve to be punished for something that happened so long ago I can barely remember who that version of me was. I honestly just want to move the fuck on with my life, but no. today I received another certified letter in the mail from the awesome clerk of courts who are probably going to drag me through another mess, but this time my resolve is to just get my story out there on screen. so that at least the masses can know whats going on in this little piece of shit county that puts people through the grinder until they are hamburgers, in their never ending goals to fuck with peoples lives whenever they do not fully comply. Like I stated earlier though. I am well aware of the fact that I am nothing. and that others have way worse justice system stories with me. My overall goal is to hit these debt merchants who hide behind the rule of law and self -righteous behavior to bring their bullshit out in the open just a little bit more. I do not expect that this article will change any of that, but maybe little by little if more of us speak up, they won’t be able to get away with their egregious behavior.