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Old 07-09-2017, 07:13 PM
Calist Calist is offline
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Default How do you deal with anger toward 'the system'?

Hi everyone, I was recently introduced to this website and thought I'd start a thread. Like the title says, how do you deal with anger (or other similar emotions) that come up when dealing with law enforcement, court systems, etc?

For context, my older brother has been in and out of jails, rehab facilities, and prison since he was 15. He was briefly incarcerated from ages 19-21, was out for 2 years on a DOSA program which he completed, and was arrested again earlier this year. He originally only had state charges against him but when he refused to name any names (knowing that doing so would bring danger to our family) the charges were increased from state to federal. He's currently weighing the option to take a plea deal for 10 years since he could face up to 40 if he went to trial - when they were state charges he was looking at something like 5 years max. For additional context, (just something I think about a lot) when he was younger and had warrants out for his arrest law enforcement literally waited until his 18th birthday to arrest him so that he'd face the charges as an adult. I could go on and on about other experiences but I'll try to keep this concise.

After hearing/witnessing all of this I've found it hard have any trust whatsoever when it comes to law enforcement or the legal system. I also recognize that these emotions are fairly raw right now because I only recently found out about why his sentence was so high.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:22 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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"Anger is a fuel", says my favorite activist.

You can put your anger to work motivating you to lobby Cantwell and Murray and your Congressperson to pass Federal sentencing reform.

To keep your anger from eating holes in your soul in the meantime, search the forum for yourself's post about "ugly dish therapy".
I'm collecting Best of PTO posts and quotes in my blog here.

Last edited by Minor activist; 07-09-2017 at 07:23 PM.. Reason: Restore paragraph breaks
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:22 AM
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GingerM GingerM is offline
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Or ...

You can find a way to accept that this is the world you live in and that the idealized lady justice is only a statue, not reality.

Anger is a secondary emotion, which means there must be some other emotion that is felt first before one feels anger. You can identify what those emotions are and deal with them.

I found that there was a breach of trust (primary emotion) that I experienced, as well as a lack of meeting my expectations (primary emotion similar to breach of trust). So I examined those.

I believed the myth that we have a justice system. We do not. There is nothing just about our system. It is a legal system. The laws are what is used, and often tweaked (just like the IRS tax laws) to be used in favor of one side as much as possible, to the detriment of the other side. Sadly, peoples' lives are what's being bandied about, not just money. This is reality. It is not as pleasant as my fantasy. But I learned to accept the reality and that made the anger go away.

I trusted the justice system, and discovered it was a myth. I adjusted my view of the world accordingly. That got rid of some of the anger. My expectations that prisons were there to provide some form of reform/re-education and that they would not condone or allow illegal behavior amongst their staff were also adjusted as time went by and my experience grew.

Now I accept that the prison system is an autocracy, and that whatever they say goes. There is no point in arguing or even trying. The best I can do is make as few waves as possible, hope to be as invisible as possible, and work with what I have to work with.

That doesn't mean that the INjustice of it all doesn't bother me. It only means that in the immediate, close-to-me dealings of the system, I don't get eaten alive by the anger. From the larger perspective, it pisses me off no end that our system is set up this way and that politicians use peoples' lives as leverage to get elected/re-elected - but then politicians do that with peoples' lives all the time - whether we're talking access to medical care, access across our borders, or even something so fundamental as access to potable drinking water. It is the nature of politics. Sure, it pisses me off, but by seeing that it's not just inmates/prisons/legal systems that are there, it allows me to be pissed off in the right direction - at the politicians who would write/support such laws. And then, as MinorActivist said, that allows me to direct the anger where it's deserved - at the people who could but don't change the system, at the people who make the system worse, at the people who don't seem to care how many other human lives they destroy.

But first one must find the source of the anger and pin point the root cause of the problem once the source has been identified. Then one must accept that this is our current system as it currently exists. THEN, if one chooses, one can work towards changing said system. Acceptance is the hardest of those three.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:04 AM
Charlesdavenpor Charlesdavenpor is offline
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I am new to this forum but have found that it contains endless avenues to convert anger into a feeling that is no longer self destructive. My brother has been in prison since 2000 and in ad-seg since 2003. My feelings towards the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) were based on anger, frustration and disgust. Personally, I have discovered that being an activist is highly effective in dealing with these feelings. Contributing to an effort that may diminish my brother's suffering and possibly others like him has been the best approach in dealing with anger towards the criminal justice system.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:49 PM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Start working with your legislators. They need educated, calm, rational people explaining to them the experiences families go through. They are the only ones to effect change. We know that until you are in it, you don't see it or think something totally different.
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