Welcome to BookerParadox.Com! My name is Brett Booker, and I am currently serving a 138 month sentence in Federal Prison for a non-violent drug offense. However, since walking into these prison gates, I have held on to a unique perspective. Something that guides me to fulfillment. That I will not only prevail over these unfavorable circumstances, but turn this experience into the defining moment of my life. Which in retrospect, I would not trade for anything else, as it has provided me the opportunity for deep reflection, and helped me understand the meaning and purpose for my time spent on this Earth.
I’ve come to understand the importance of having the discipline, strength and undaunting drive to always confront the most excruciating facts of my reality; rather than hiding from it, or conforming to the insanity all around me. I’m in a place of extreme violence and stupidity. A place where there are constant shenanigans lurking around every corner. Something I refuse to be a part of.
Which is a very difficult task. That is why I like to think of myself as a spy. 0047. A play on my United States Marshal Number, 26772-047. The number that signifies my existence, with the 047 only indicating the Federal District of Nebraska. Moreover, I am simply infiltrating the culture and inmate population of Federal Prison. Not assimilating to it, or letting it “harden” me. I do what I must to survive, but that is all. This is what Booker Paradox is all about.
The tool I use to share my experiences with the world and give people an inside look of prison from an inmate’s perspective. Bringing people on a journey behind the wall. Providing me with the opportunity to deal with my current reality, and in turn, I show everyone that despite your circumstances, you can always smile. As happiness is a choice. My favorite philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, affirmed this when he said, “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it’s all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
As humans, our perceptions are the only things we can truly control, and given that our perception is how we see and understand the world around us, it can either be a source of strength or of great weakness. For me, it is a source of strength. A process that slowly developed out of self-discipline and logic, allowing me to take control of my perceptions, limit my passions, and start seeing things as neither good or bad, just simple and straightforward. You’ll see these concepts in all of my posts here on Booker Paradox. I show the other side of prison that is rarely portrayed. The humorous yet sad, absurd but serious, and absolutely paradoxical side of prison I have come to know.
More importantly, I have made it my goal to not only deter others from making the same mistakes that I have, but expose the injustices and false logic behind our politician’s stance on getting “tough on crime.” Which does nothing more than put fear into their voters, and help them get reelected. In reality, there is an American epidemic of overly long prison sentences that often times hardens a criminal to the point of no return, and places our public safety at risk. At this vary moment, the United States leads the Western World at an average prison sentence length of 63 months. More than double than the closest contender.
Prisons have morphed into something they are not: human warehouses. You see, when Quakers invented prisons in the 1700s, they were designed to be a humane alternative to banishment or death, which was the punishment allocated to all serious crimes at the time. Therefore, criminals were sent to a penitentiary where they were expected to pray, work and reflect on their crimes. Feel penitence about them, and come out rehabilitated. However, over the past 150 years the U.S. has gone from being the most sensible punisher, to the most illogical and cruelest in the world.
The fact of the matter is crime rates become unresponsive to sentence length after a certain point. In fact, there is a pinnacle that is reached in which increased sentence length increases recidivism, and thus leads to more crime. As a society we have the duty to punish wrongdoers, yet at the same time, it comes with the responsibility of doing it within reason. Not giving them more time than they deserve. For instance, how in our society does the non-violent drug offender get life in prison, while the rapists, murderers and thieves often get far less?
We need a more sensible policy, as the system we have has run away from us and become a monster of its vary own. This will take time and awareness to fix. For when I break the problem all the way down, we find that much of it is rooted in bad marketing. The message is all wrong. My goal on Booker Paradox is to get the correct message across, and then let people decide for themselves. Look, we all know someone, either a friend, brother, cousin or co-worker who is in prison or has been to prison, yet cannot believe that it can happen to us. Well, I am here to tell you that the ways our laws are set up, this can happen to anyone.
The takeaway is this: things are not always the way they appear. The U.S. justice system is not so just. If you can learn one thing from my website, that is to question the things around you. Figure things out for yourself. I promise you will never regret it.