Tuesday, 27 September 2011

After 28 years in prison, man emerges into a terrifying alien world of cellphones and computers

After 28 years in prison, man emerges into a terrifying alien world of cellphones and computers.



Randall Lee Church didn't believe his fellow inmates when they warned him about culture shock after he got out of prison — he thought they were just jealous. But then Church, who'd been locked up since 1983, emerged into a world that made no sense.

When Church got out of prison, he tells the Houston Chronicle, "I didn't know how to use computers or cell phones or the Internet... It was so overwhelming. I was constantly embarrassed by simple things I didn't know."
As the Chronicle says, "Prices were higher and scanned with bar codes. Video games were more realistic. People were always on their cell phones. Cars had childproof locks."

If you want to understand just how much the world has changed in the past few decades, imagine being Randall Lee Church, who went to prison at age 18, at a time when almost nobody had a mobile phone and the internet was in its infancy. Of course, it wasn't just culture shock that faced Church — like most newly released prisoners, he also had few job skills and no support system to help him find a job and affordable housing. It's hard to reenter society in any case, but it's much harder during an apocalyptically bad economy.

In the end, faced with a world that made no sense to him, Church burned down an abandoned house, in order to get sent back to prison.


32 comments:

  1. American prison system is messed up. But I am pretty sure the guy could have gotten the education if hee wanted.

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  2. @Mo no way, shit isn't as easy as that, wanting something is worth precisely shit without the means to get it.

    Poor fucker.

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  3. I bet he shit himself when he went to the supermarket and the doors opened automatically.

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  4. I feel for that guy, institutionalized much?

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  5. He must felt that prison is very safe place after he came back to our world. TwentyFUCKINGeight years in prison is a long time!

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  6. Wow, thats incredible. What the hell did he do to get 28 years? at 18?!

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  7. Poor dude. It is rather cool to think of it though - it's like he emerged into a different era.

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  8. Damn, that sucks...what was he sentenced for?

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  9. I would like to know why he was in for 29 years! Education is accessible in prison, sorry, don't buy it. Probably best place for him.

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  10. I bought a memoir by a guy who was born blind...and after 30 years or so...the technology was available to give him sight. The book lays out his struggle to decide whether or not to have the surgery, and what it was like to see after never having any notion of what the world looked like, what his wife looked like. Sadly, I haven't read it yet, and I've had it for about 5 years! Hey but ya know what? Your post kinda inspired me to pull it off the shelf. It sure as hell interested me at the time I bought it...kinda like all those shirts with the tags still hanging on them in my closet! Sheesh!

    Thanks for stopping by my music blog. Yeah...quite eclectic.

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  11. We come here to learn our lessons. Maybe Mr. Church's lesson is living in prison. Who knows? He could be helping the other prisoners in his own way. Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  12. He is like a new born baby, who spent such a long time in the WOMB of prison.

    He desrves to start all over from the scratch.

    You are never too old when it comes to get education.
    Just good mental and physical health are pre requisites of course.

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  13. Burning down buildings? Isn't there an ap for that?

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  14. institutionalized. shawshank redemption style right here

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  15. Great story, really neat stuff.

    ^Exactly what I was thinking

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  16. Wow, I almost feel sorry for him.

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  17. He probably did the right thing getting into jail again. He had no chance to make a decent living out there.

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  18. I think he may end up killing himself when he sees the dinos in Jurassic Park. The awe. The spectacle. The realism.

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  19. Institutionalisation of prisoners is a serious obstacle to successful reintegration into society. Prison isn't much of a deterrent and a wholly ineffective punishment if it leaves people devoid of the skills necessary to survive once they have served their time. The tax payer ultimately picks up the bill for the prison systems inability to prepare inmates for freedom and that's bad news for everybody.

    Great post and definitely made me think. Loved the blog and I'm signed up as a follower.

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  20. Its the only recourse for prisoners around the world with no skills who don't want to help them selves and make an effort to reajust :-).

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  21. This is very intersting. Its like old people and new age technology. Back in the day we would use an axe, wood and fire to keep the house warm. Well thats nice grandpa but we burn fossil fuels now. If its foreign to you then culture shock will happen. Mo is right in stating that he could have kept up on reading(depending on where he was placed). But its a sad day when someone puts themselves back into prison to run from the torment of the World Wide Web. "+1"

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  22. ya well.....dont go to jail! next time you get out there will be nothing but atomic debris

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  23. Makes me think of American Gangster when Denzel Washington gets out of prison and sees the new "gangsters".

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  24. Got to be hard to adapt to the changes.

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  25. fuck i hear this from my parents all the time.

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  26. wow thats sad...
    I have no idea what id do on his place
    followed

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  27. I guess all the changes in the society wasn't his cup of tea.

    Thanks for following my blog, following you as well.

    Cheers,

    Wi
    A Single Girl's Musings

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  28. Wow! That's horrible! I feel so sorry for him...

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  29. great post. we warehouse people. there aren't the jobs. we have been warehousing poor people in prison like crazy since reagan. no one in the world competes with the u.s.'s prison rate. keeping the underclass in prison, even for non-violent offenses, is a requirement of an economy that works for fewer and fewer people as we go along.

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  30. Fuck that, I'd figure out someway to get by

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  31. seriously though, what's a computer?

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