The fork in the road: Letter to a young offender

“If you put nothing but shit into your life, then all your life is going to be is a big pile of shit.”

Being brought up in the age of entitlement means you have never really had to struggle to get through daily life. Everything you need has been provided for you and you think it is your right to have anything you want and do anything you please and you will be continued to be looked after. As a child you are somewhat correct in that assumption. But once you become an adult, things change very drastically, very quickly.

I know at the moment you are out there having fun with your mates trying to outdo each other, trying to prove who is the coolest by stealing cars and invading people’s privacy, rejoicing in the fact that the cops can’t really do much about it. Let me tell you now, you need to stop. Not just stop so other people aren’t harmed by your actions, but stop for the sake of your own future. Your friends aren’t really your friends. One day when you’re in serious trouble I can guarantee you that they will only be interested in helping themselves. That’s not a friend.

Real friends are supposed to support and help each other, working on making each other better people. I’m going to tell you some rules to live your life by that I hope you take seriously and start practicing from this moment on.

  • Respect other people, respect their right to privacy, respect their property and respect their right to be an individual.
  • Treat others the way that you would like to be treated; don’t do anything to someone else that you wouldn’t like done to you.
  • Take pride in yourself. Care what other people think of you, because what you do is how you are judged.
  • Don’t be afraid of trying. Learn new things and ask for help when you need it. People don’t judge you by how many times you fail; they judge you by how many times you get up and try again.
  • Family is the most important thing in the world; without family, you are no-one. Never do anything to make your family give up on you, and never do anything to cause them pain.

By now you are probably thinking that I’m a Minister or a Social Worker or some ‘do-gooder’ trying to save the world. Well, I’m not. I’m a murderer sitting in prison doing a life sentence for killing two people, and I’m trying to stop you from coming here and meeting me.

If what I have told you hasn’t sunk in yet, let me tell you what prison is really like. Sure, you might have been to juvie. Who gives a shit? It’s a fucking kindergarten. You’re not the big boy when you get to an adult prison. You go straight to the bottom of the pecking order. You’re locked up with men who have been here for 10, 20, or 30 years straight. They’re the ones in charge. Do you want to be in a cell with someone who despises you, just because you are intruding on his personal space? Someone who has rules in his cell that you now have to live by? Someone who takes your stuff just because he can? Someone who you’re not really sure whether or not will kill you in your sleep? Or maybe worse, rape you before killing you?

You don’t think it can happen. Well, I’ve seen it all and I can assure you, it does happen. I’ve seen people bludgeoned to death with hair clippers, raped and strangled to death with a sheet, suffocated with a garbage bag, stabbed with a rusty shiv, and bashed until they are unrecognisable, spending the rest of their lives retarded. People like you.

After seeing all this – and you will – you will probably want to ring your parents to get you out. Well, you can’t. Calls to mobile phones cost nearly $10 and you only get paid $15 a week to live on. You’re probably also being forced to buy stuff for your cellmate, so you don’t have any money anyway. Welcome to the reality of prison.

“Personally, I don’t care if you don’t sort your shit out, but in years to come, you certainly will.”

There’s an old saying: You reap what you sow. This means you get out of life what you put into it. So, if you put nothing but shit into your life, then all your life is going to be is a big pile of shit. How fantastic would it be to be 70 years old and have nothing because you’ve never done anything with your life? You’re now living in a park eating out of rubbish bins because you can’t even get Centrelink as you don’t have an address. That’s right, the Government don’t pay Centrelink to someone with no address. Now you wish you could go back and change your life, but it’s too late – it’s all over.

The cherry on top of the shit cake of a life you’ve made for yourself is that some of the people I know in prison are here for killing homeless people for no reason, other than it seemed like a good idea at the time. So, it seems to me if you keep doing what you are doing, you have a very high chance of being killed, or spending the rest of your life in this shit hole with no chance of a normal life, even if you are released one day. That’s the path you’re on, and I’m only telling you this because I don’t want to be the one to have some little asshole like you in my cell invading my privacy.

Stop being a dickhead, go home to your parents and family, and apologise to them. Go back to school. Stay away from your old mates and be a good kid with a good future and a happy life. Personally, I don’t care if you don’t sort your shit out, but in years to come, you certainly will.

I do know you’ll remember this talk in years to come, and you’ll either be thankful you took my advice, or you’ll be regretful you didn’t. It’s your call.