Great news! Marcus Bedford has been paroled!
On January 17, 2019 I paroled and would like to say that it was a smooth transition but it wasn’t. I would like to say I was happy but I can’t. I did 8,829 days in prison and as of April the 17th I would have 90 days under my belt in the free world. So, it’s not my desire to try and catch up with friends and family members that have never been to prison. However, I am on a mission to catch and surpass that 8,829 days in the free world while being productive and an asset to the community. When I walked out the office near the entrance of CMC-West I saw my parents waiting in the car, it was a gloomy morning, and the fog delayed count which in turn delayed my release time so I was already filled with anxiety and fear. As I approached my parents car my father stepped out to greet me, and at that moment I didn’t feel happiness...I Felt Love and Relief. It’s hard to feel happy when so much is at stake...and freedom is not a given commodity. When you have paid your debt to society, by during your time and having a full understanding of how past behavior effects others the slate should be wiped clean but in reality it’s not and in some instances it never will.
My first night out was spent at my parents house and the strangest thing was I felt like a stranger in the very house I called home. All those years spent in prison I could never bring myself to call a ‘cell’ home or my house, because it wasn’t...In my mind(I was just passing through) is what I would tell myself as a way to keep hope alive and fuel my motivation.
The next day my parole officer personally escorted me to the transitional housing where I would be staying for the next six months called the Canon Human Services Center. It was a rough few days because it was like I traded one form of incarceration for another. But as I began to adjust and listen to the message that the program has to offer I began to see the benefits of living in a transitional housing program after doing over twenty years in prison. The staff would always say use this time to get yourself together by building a solid foundation on positive behavioral change and sobriety, set goals and be active towards your steps of recovery.
One day while reading a prison newsletter I came across a cartoon comic about some sort of prison life antics created by an artist who had never been in prison and I could tell by the way it was worded he got his information from a one sided news source and that bothered me. Feeling the need to do something about it I began looking at the newspaper comic section daily and saw nothing positive or informative about the life I was living yet the prison industry is such a big part of the economy in California and across the world...(its being traded on Wall Street). However, prison has become a joke to the masses or a watered down punchline for comedians. My artistic career was born from a seed of misrepresentation, bringing life to Cali*Carceration. Seeing Calicarceration comics in different publications and art galleries sparked a hunger in me to do more, once I saw how my thoughts and imagination resonated with other people.
What is Calicarceration? It is the ‘Prison State’ known as California. “Everybody Knows Somebody” in prison, parole, probation, or on paperwork(immigrants). Don’t be fooled everyone eventually can be affected by this; one wrong move and it might be you. In Cali we are held in bondage to the ‘grind of getting it in’ no matter what. The lifestyle of a Californian is complicated to those on the outside, but it also intrigues and influences the ones that live it. From brothas in the trap house, to mothers committing money fraud just to get their children into college...that too is Calicarceration! I took my grind of bringing awareness about prison life on paper, to the streets, on T-shirts. Because of the confidence given to me by being in the Canon Human Services Center the opportunity was there to set goals and actively pursue them without stress or pressure. To be continued.....
To order CALI*CARCERATION T-Shirts and Comic Books:
Contact me at: Marcus.firstname.lastname@example.org.
T-SHIRTS are $18 plus $4.99 shipping and handling
COMIC BOOKS are $5 plus $1.99 shipping and handling
Mail Money Order payment to: M.A.QUESTINI TRUST
Artesia, California 90702