Poem: These Walls

“Why can’t inmates break the cycle of recidivism?” asks a veteran correctional officer

Calling all poets! CorrectionsOne’s new poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

This month’s poem was written by Sgt. Taylor, who has been a deputy sheriff for 11 years. During that time, he has worked many assignments including classification gangs and as a maximum security jail admin supervisor. Sgt. Taylor wrote the poem in response to the high rates of recidivism he sees on a daily basis.  

“I've had fathers, sons and grandchildren in jail all at the same time. I'm an inquisitive person and will try to understand why folks are constantly returning. I try to give them a spark of an idea of ways out of returning to jail. How many people will not be victimized if you can change one career criminal?” asks Taylor.  


Email your submissions for consideration to editor@correctionsone.com.

These Walls

Caught inside these walls of concrete and steel

The keeper of the broken

Whom care not whom they hurt

Nor how other feel


I walk the blue line 

And take the lawlessness to task

I carry out the judgment 

That the judge does now pass


Presiding over criminals 

Takes its own cruel toll

It hardens your heart 

And scares your very soul


Ignorance reigns 

And denial does to

As none can admit 

To what they did do


They accused me of this

They say I did that 

Just cut to the chase 

And admit to the fact


Nothing ever changes

Till you admit to the truth

And return you shall 

Till you lose all your youth 


Broken and old do you have to finally be 

Till you see you hurt others

The ones you love

With your lawlessness and hypocrisy. 

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