posted on May, 19 2017 @ 08:25 PM
I will say first I haven't read everyone's posts so far, but this is a subject I have very recently dealt with personally.
First - the prison system in the US is simply a way to fleece money from people and leave them indebted to the system. Court fees, fees for being
incarcerated, fees for phone calls, fees for everything. Fees fees fees. It targets those of us who are not so well to do and makes you a debt slave.
Get probation? Well unless you can pay the thousands of dollars that it will eventually cost you, you're right back where you started; incarcerated
and accruing more debt.
That said, a public defender deals with so many cases they cannot possibly be expected to care about yours over anyone else's. Are they objectively
just bad people? Of course not, but their caseload makes them apathetic and the day to day dealing with case after case where they have no vested
interest in a 'victory' leads to apathy. That's just what happens to people.
At the risk of being labelled a 'bad element,' I recently had to deal with all of this; the incarceration, complete cutoff from information so that I
could actually make an informed decision (another devious contrivance to keep you in the system and accruing debt), being treated like a degenerate
zoo animal by the guards, being screamed at by inmates (who admittedly all have their own personal issues they are having to deal with regarding the
system), and just general apathy on the part of the system. They are not interested in rehabilitation, nor are they interested in your well-being -
unless they face a lawsuit due to negligence.
Day one I had no clue what was going to happen, nor if we could even afford a lawyer - I was cutoff from the outside until someone could pay 15
dollars so I could use the phone for a few minutes. At first, when I declared I needed a public defender as I was unsure if I could afford an
attorney, it was in so many words "Ok, mister, well you're going back to the pod until we can schedule another hearing. In the future." No timetable,
no information I could actually work with, just 'You're here now, get used to it."
Once I was finally able to speak to my family and we made arrangements to have a lawyer, the entire attitude of the judge presiding over my case
changed. They couldn't get me out fast enough. Granted, I had no felonies or anything egregious on my record, but it was like night and day the way I
was spoken to, treated by, and even looked at by the judge. I wasn't just another no-good low-life who made a mistake and deserved to rot for it.
Suddenly I was a guy who had someone with a vested interest (monetary compensation) in seeing me free and with the least prohibitive restrictions on
said freedom as possible.
My final advice is this: Lawyer up. Pronto. The system wants the poor to run the treadmill of debt, they want them to be so degraded and enraged at
their treatment that they re-offend (or, as I witnessed firsthand, guards will provoke you just to get you to offend while incarcerated.) Once the
judge sees you have a lawyer who actually cares about winning your case, it is no longer worth their time to keep piling on the punishment. You aren't
their prime demographic any longer.
This is entirely anecdotal, and the OPs situation could vary in so many ways, but I felt compelled to respond.