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The author, D.J. Vodicka, mainly focuses on a man’s extra ordinary show of courage to the level of endangering his own life. The man is determined to do the right thing against the prison system of California State. In normal circumstances, it is unimaginable to think of what can happen when only one person is wiling to come out and speak for what is right while the rest are afraid. Vodicka speaks out the truth against all odds. In a televised senate testimony, he exposes scandals that lead to transfers, resignations, and sudden retirements. These revelations also lead to implementing of certain reforms that are still underway.
cording to the author, he first became aware of the Green Wall in 1998.During this time; he had been strongly advised to quit his job as an evidence collector at the prison .This was immediately after a riot had broken out between the warders and the inmates. Many prisoners were seriously wounded and a few guards were handpicked to instill fear and intimidation to the inmates. The few guards who were chosen then called themselves “The Green wall”. This was done to make sure that the inmates did not dare to riot again (Vodicka 2009). It was then that the Green Wall continued to grow bigger and even tougher. The group also came up with the intention of planting false evidence on the inmates so that they would be found guilty. In some cases, they received bribes to implicate innocent people in cases that they were not even aware of.
The prisons are described as among the most corrupt and dishonest places in the state of California. The author is one of the prison warders and he keenly monitors and observes what the prisoners undergo behind the bars. The prisoners are mistreated, whipped and even tortured while the prison warders keep it as a secret. The prisoners are not given a chance to express their grievances and complain to the higher authority. The inmates thus suffer in agony without even the public knowing. No one can fight for their rights and when they attempt they are whipped mercilessly. The Green Wall had taken advantage of this situation and continued to oppress and mistreat the prisoners each day getting worse.
The incidence at Salinas Valley state prison in Californian nearly made Vodicka to lose his life. It was one of the many incidences that the prisoners had attempted to fight for justice and fairness in the prisons. The rooms were overcrowded, food was little and poorly cooked. The environment was very dirty and thus was a health hazard. The conditions got worse by day as they were constantly abused and beaten. These were some of the reasons that had made them to go on rampage before they were brutally attacked by the warders (Vodicka 2009). The state has laws that protect prisoners from such treatment and in this case the law was not followed. The law makers were actually the law breakers in this case. Instead of beating the inmates, they should have listened to their grievances and helped them. According to the law, the prisoner had a right to those facilities that they were demanding for.
The author portrays the inhuman nature of the prison warders who also had a secrete code of “GW”, which meant Green wall. He also reveals how corrupt they are when states he how they receive bribes to provide false evidence to implicate innocent people in crimes they have not committed. Donald Vodicka comes out as an exemption of the group when he breaks the code of silence of the Green Wall (Vodicka 2009). This was because he spoke the truth and revealed to the rest of the public of what was happening inside the prison walls. He first of all wrote a report to his superiors concerning the issue. The senior officers promised to take immediate action which it didn’t. They did this intentionally because they were also involved in the inhuman activities and took part in the corrupt deals. Prisoners thus continued to stay under the horrible conditions since the senior officers did not want to implicate themselves.
When Vodicka stood out and said the truth, he did not intend to betray anyone or make anyone to lose his job. But after releasing his report, they called him rat while others even called him a snitch. Others went to an extend of guaranteeing him a death sentence in the prison. This is because they all knew what was happening and were afraid of the consequences if found guilty. The author describes him as different from others and having some sympathy and humanity in him. He was also very courageous for standing out against all odds and saying that all he wanted was the situation to be corrected and move forward (Vodicka 2009). He faced the authorities and told them to correct the situation.
But harmony and peace did not follow the man who spoke out and did the right thing. Vodicka had taken a step forward, raised his voice and said that what was happening was not right. He stood alone while others kept silent. His friends even abandoned him and left him to fend for himself. All the others were afraid especially in a prison full of robbers and murderers. These prison warders demonstrate irresponsibility at work since they knew what was being done was wrong but they kept quite. It is shocking that The Green Wall continued to mistreat the inmates while the authorities did nothing. The author describes the authorities as people who are self centered and heartless (Vodicka 2009). They just watch as the warders oppress prisoners and take no action but instead they support them. Outside the prison gates, the authorities together with The Green Wall enjoy some good time together. They attend Green wall parties which are organized outside prison grounds and even serve themselves with green beer (Vodicka 2009).
The families of the inmates were always complaining of the situation but no action was taken. On one such incidence, Vodicka was asked not to take pictures of the inmates involved in a riot. This was because the inmates were to undergo further interviews. He disobeyed this and later on the same inmates came with very severe bruises and cuts, all of which never appeared in the photos. The families of the inmates had really cried foul. It was because of the complaints that immediate investigations were ordered. Just as it was ordered, the matter was investigated and there was no culprit. No one was found guilty and for this reason no one was reprimanded.
Vodicka remains to be an example of an honest police officer fighting against the rest single handedly. He is being pursued by his fellow workmates in revenge of what his report did to them. His revelations made many to lose their jobs, transferred and some were forced to resign. To date, Vodicka is not safe even at his own home. He walks on the streets armed and wears a bullet proof vest for self defence. The security officer had given the best years of his entire life living up to high values and conduct expected of him. He was totally devoted to his work which he did without fear and fevour.The author portrays himself as the most courageous the warders.
This is shown by the fact that while others kept quite, he was bold enough to speak the truth while he knew the consequences very well. He knew how his colleagues would react but still went on with his revelations. This matter has gone too far to the extend that his family members are also being targeted. To my view Vodicka is a hero and a role model to many. His courage, honest and conduct in general is commendable. He and his family should be given state protection as a reward for his good job.