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A voice from within

June 21, 2012

by Sonny Trujillo

Tiny 8-foot by 10-foot cells – or tombs – like this are home to thousands of California prisoners, and the state is scheming to place many more prisoners in these Security Housing Units, or SHUs, where costs are almost double that of ordinary prison housing, so as to increase the budget and staffing for the prison system. – Drawing: F. Alejandrez (Click to enlarge.)
The SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison, also known as the bay, is the end of the line for those viewed or considered to be the worst of the worst, too violent to interact with others. I think family and friends of many here would surely disagree.

It’s a desolate and dreary place, where one is locked in a windowless cell, or better yet a “TOMB,” 24/7 for years on end. This type of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation can and does weigh heavily on a person’s mind, body and soul. And if allowed to, it will cripple you mentally, physically and emotionally.

Locked in a windowless cell, or better yet a “TOMB,” 24/7 for years on end, this type of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation can and does weigh heavily on a person’s mind, body and soul.

In this graveyard of broken lives and rusting dreams, many have opted out by simply giving up and allowing bitterness to consume them, while others battle constantly to maintain a little sanity and struggle daily to better themselves in any way possible – with no outside assistance or support.

One learns to look within himself for the strength and means to survive and push forward. Reaching out to assist and support others in need whenever possible, in turn, helps me by giving me a sense of purpose and that all these years locked away were not a complete waste.

Reaching out to assist and support others in need helps me by giving me a sense of purpose and that all these years locked away were not a complete waste.

If our art can capture and hold someone’s attention for only moments, maybe then you will be able to hear our voice. There is nothing to admire nor glorify in having to spend your life in a cage. Believe that!

Send our brother some love and light: Sonny Trujillo, D-98275, Pelican Bay SHU D10-120, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532.

 

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