My name is Philip Wilson. I am serving a ninety-nine-year sentence for a murder I committed in 1994.
As a juvenile, I am not the person I was twenty-six years ago. It has been a long and difficult path of growth, to change from the dysfunctional youth who committed the atrocity that brought about my incarceration. This Bill (SB114) would validate all of the positive changes I've made, and the resulting maturity I have gained.
After adjusting to the prison environment, I chose to be a better human being. I didn't like who I had become but didn't know how or what to do about it. So, my first step in my path to rehabilitation was asking for help. That was twenty-two years ago. Since that day, my focus has been on programming. The personal growth needed to become the healthy human being that I wanted to be; and helping other like-minded inmates achieve the same personal growth and self-actualization.
The path of growth and attempt to rehabilitate myself has been incredibly challenging in this environment. Choosing to go against the grain has brought a lot of strife and conflict from other inmates. This Bill would acknowledge this and send the message that you validate healthy change and growth.
While nothing in this Bill would in of itself release me or any other affected inmates, it would give me the opportunity to apply to the parole board for review, and just the opportunity alone brings hope, and reinforces the positive changes I've made in my life, as well as strengthening my resolve to maintain this path of rehabilitation when challenged by the overwhelming negativity of this environment.
I recognize this Bill as a constructive way to empower the parole board, enabling them to be more active in my rehabilitation and reducing the disconnect between them and the individuals they are responsible for releasing into the public. As such, this Bill serves to the betterment of public safety. Enabling the parole board to review my application for parole and the ensuing feedback would be an invaluable tool for both my efforts of rehabilitation, and their ability to make an informed decision towards my prospects of reintegration into society.