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Christine D Patterson

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Jeffrey Green - The Quest To Be Loved From Behind Steel Bars
By Christine D Patterson   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, March 05, 2009
Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2003

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In the coming months I will be writing the true stories of inmates who have falling victim to the Three Strikes Law. I believe in justice, but has justice gone to far? You be the judge. This is story # 1

As parents we raise our children the best way that we know how,but what about the children who grow up not knowing the meaning of neither affection nor love from his parents? This is a story of a man who is serving 25 years to life because he never had the chance to be loved. In this story, you will learn why society has locked him away and made him look like an animal. Nevertheless, there are two sides to every story. After you have read this story, only you will be able to judge what society has done. Jeffrey Green was born on June 28, 1960. He grew up in a home with five brothers and two lovely sisters who today still do not know who their fathers were. His mother, holding down three jobs, did not have time to show love nor affection. All her spare time went on the different boyfriends who came and left. I guess she had her hands full. So she would tell Jeffery, his brothers and sisters, “that in between three jobs she would go to the hospital and “sh_t” one of us out”! It was not long when his mother would go to work that one of her “temporary boyfriends” would show Jeffrey what to do with the money he made from cutting lawns and cleaning flower beds. Now in the sixty’s, one hundred dollars was a lot of money in any little boy’s eyes. Yes Jeffery had found a new way to make money by the roll of the dice and gambling. Soon, the temporary boyfriends showed him how to smoke and do other thing that boys his age should not had done. Through all of this, Jeffery did stay in School. Jeffery majored in accounting and finance. He was even elected class treasurer in his senior year. His best friend was class president, and behind this new found friend there seem to be no limit. His friend had a car and was popular. Soon Jeffery found out why his friend was so popular. Jeffery would be introduced to drugs and a new kind of independence. With no real family bonding at his own home, Jeffery found a new kind of home. This is where he thought he was finally being loved. With his friend’s mom being a stripper and his friend’s dad in and out of prison for counterfeiting, Jeffery did not know that this life he thought he loved would in the future bring him pain. Jeffery did try. He graduated from high school with honors at the age of sixteen. He had his mind set on being a C.P.A., but soon after graduation, Jeffery’s friend could no longer have him come over. The family he thought he trusted soon threw him out on the streets. Jeffery found himself homeless. He found himself with no other options, but to join the United States Navy. During this period, he found himself exposed to more drugs. On his leaves from the base, he was arrested in Los Angeles twice for being under the influence of P.C.P.. Jeffery was developing mental illness, depression and paranoia from his drug use. Instead of the Navy helping him with this problem, they discharged him with an “other than “honorable” discharge due to his mental illness. He went back to school at Cal State Long Beach, but the cost of books and sleeping on his brother’s couch proved too much to bare. Jeffery’s brother was a tech in a pharmacy and more drugs were introduced. Jeffery was twenty years old in 1980, when he robbed three convenience stores just to support his drug and alcohol habit. He was never caught, but time has a way of catching up to a person. God gave him another chance to get his life straight. He stop the drugs and started working for Mc Donnell Douglas Aircraft Corp. Nevertheless at his sister’s wedding reception, the sheriffs came and took him away. Time had caught up with Jeffery. After doing four years in prison, he was diagnosed with mental illness by the California Mental Health Department and placed on medications. Jeffery tried to get his life together. He even got another job when he was released, but the ghost of his illness and drugs kept hunting his mind. So he went back to alcohol. At lease he thought in his mind that since it was legal what would go wrong? He found himself wondering in a local mall one day, drunk out of his mind. He had lost his job and worst no place to call home. So Jeffery went shoplifting. He was so drunk that he went back to the mall and tried to pay for the items that he stole. The sales lady tried to tell the police that he was drunk and that he was trying to return the items. Anyway, the police gave him a misdemeanor ticket to appear in court. In court, Jeffery had priors in 1980 and the shoplifting charge made his new petty crime a “wobbler” under the Three Strikes Law. Jeffery is now doing 25 years to life in prison. In this story what went wrong? Yes, we can sit here and say Jeffery was just plan stupid for what he did. Yet, there is more to this story. What would have happened if as a child, Jeffery got the help that he needed? Where was society then? The State of California had proven Jeffery had a mental illness, but by putting him on more drugs and just let him roam the streets did not help him. The prison for four years let him sit there with no help. It was a known fact that he had a drug history, but again no kind of help was offered to him. Where did things go wrong to lock up a man who has a history of mental illness and drug abuse for 25 years to life? Do we as a society think that we have solved a problem? NO! We are still paying for this problem every year in taxes. If Mr. Green was a well known son of person of power do you actually think that he would be doing 25 years to life on a petty Crime? Before you answer look at some of the Hollywood stars. How does Jeffery being mentally handicap gives us that right either? This is why the Three Strikes law needs to be amended. We are putting persons away that should have gotten help long ago. Although I guess we don’t have to deal with it. Why should you? it’s not your child right? Who cares about the addict, the mentally ill, and the homeless? One thing that bothers me in this world today, we are so quick to help others in another country when we can’t take care of our own anymore. We have a new law that says we can lock them away for the rest of their lives. We hide from the real problems that face us each and every day.What happened to compassion? What happened with helping your fellow man?  

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Reviewed by ISAAC 5/21/2003
Christine,this is just one of many heart breaking situations of those incarserated under this law,petty theft with prior's is a law that mandates a life sentence a very grave sentence for such a petty crime.For Jeffrey Justice did not prevail,not only was he wrongfully sentenced but he suffered the effect's of greater mental abuse by the prison life style that he faces.That just seems short of a death sentence,I know people who have commited manslauter who are doning less time then Jeffrey,This law must be re-written....And we will show that it's better to reform then put away,a person for life for such petty crimes.
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 5/21/2003
Christine, I know too many like this, who, the three strike law don't apply to, because of time spent inside already, and their still is no justice for them. What fools this justice system makes and thinks we are! Thank you, Christine, for this! I hope the message gets heard. -Bear
Reviewed by J Michael Kearney 5/21/2003
Very well written. The three strikes law should apply only to violent felonies. A three time violent offender, I have no sympathy for, but people arrested for lesser crimes should not have those count as one of the three strikes.

Fine writing!
Reviewed by lashanda 5/21/2003
this article shows how are justice systems is really messed up. now a days we don't care about are fellow man, because we are to caught up with money and power. its good to see that someone is trying to get a handel on our backwards society. good job
Reviewed by Angela 5/21/2003
Very compelling story, i love the way you word things, it draws your readers in! This story makes me rethink if our system is really about true justice?

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