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MARK H.

In adult jail I felt unemotional because showing any feelings would show signs of weakness to other inmates housed with me. Inmates will stare you down with an evil look in their eyes hoping to intimidate you. No matter what, you can never show fear because people smell it.

Once my background is exposed, I have to deal with different people judging me negatively almost every day because of my past mistake and that’s so unfair. People will say things like ‘oh you’re a thug or a hoodlum’, when I was only a child and children make mistakes frequently.

I am not the angry thug or hoodlum that people perceive me to be. Nevertheless, I have to settle for minimum wage employment because of my past offense. This is prejudice because people can change. I am a member of society who wants to progress in life. I have ambitions and dreams that I strongly believe in which is to become truck driver and owner of my own store.

The mask I created represents the mindset I had while I was incarcerated:

  • The eyes are stoned, representing my emotionless stare towards other inmates.
  • The stone mouth represents the silence I had to maintain to keep other inmates unaware of what I was thinking.
  • The sky represents the clear head I had to keep to deal with imprisonment.
  • The pitch black paint represents the reality of darkness that I couldn’t escape.