It was the extreme pleasure of the Criminal Justice Caucus to welcome Eugene Bishop Tannehill, who served 52 years at Angola Farm Prison in Louisiana and was featured in the award-winning documentary film The Farm, to speak at CUSSW. He shared his passionate spirituality and many personal experiences ‘growing up’ on the Farm with an audience of nearly 50 social work students. His wife and one of the members of his church, Angel Zapata, joined him and also inspired us to love those with whom we work. We closed the event chanting, “BRICK BY BRICK, WALL BY WALL! WE WILL, WE WILL FREE THEM ALL!”
See The Farm by clicking here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/a-decade-behind-bars-return-to-the-farm-4329/Overview42#tab-Videos/06700_00.
Below find some powerful quotations from the event, noted by one of the social workers students in attendance.
“How do you explain me spending 50 years in prison and not having psychological problems or being institutionalized? Prison doesn’t bring people up, it pushes people down!”
“Crime can not be solve, it can only be fought.”
“95% of people don’t want to see prisoners released back into society.”
“How do you influence a person’s belief system if you yourself don’t have a belief system.”
“Serving God is serving is serving people; loving God is loving people.”
“Changing prisons requires a change of nature.”
“No man wants to commit a crime. There is a motivation behind it. Nothing can be done about it until the system changes.”
“Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. If you don’t love your work, you are in the wrong profession.”
“Prison can be emotional, spiritual, mental, it can even educational. Which prison are you in?”