44 years is a hell of a long time. I mean it’s longer than I’ve been on the planet by quite some distance. I can’t imagine spending all of that time locked up in a prison and I seriously hope I never have to.
Unfortunately for him though, that’s not something that 69 year old Otis Johnson can say. He was convicted of the attempted murder of a policeman back in 1971 and has spent the last 44 years in jail. In the video below, he details his acclimatisation to the strange new world he has found himself in and how everything – literally everything – is different from when he entered the slammer all those years ago.
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Intense and powerful stuff. I love the way that even though he’s completely alone and everything is completely different to how he remembers, he still remains positive and upbeat about it and isn’t completely broken from spending 44 fucking years on the inside. Fair play to the guy.
It’s inspirational stuff although it does put perspective on whether we should really be incarcerating people for such long periods of time – when they do eventually leave prison it seems like they’re even more isolated than when they’re in their cells. Fortunately in the case of Johnson he seems to be battling through it, but not everyone is so lucky.
For more prison stories, check out 12 of the last meals of Death Row inmates.