Bradford Bleidt

“The love and acceptance these guys get is so critical, for them to know that there is somebody out there that cares for them, that wishes them well is more important.” 

 

Interviewee: Bradford Bleidt

Interviewer: Mary Rose D., Grade 11

Interview Date: March 2, 2015

Interview Location: St. Cecelia Parish, Boston, MA

Student Reflection:

After interviewing Mr. Bleidt I learned that you cannot judge people by appearance alone because there can be a wonderful story inside. You have to put aside all the prejudices that people think about those who go to prison because many of those assumptions are false. You have to focus on the positive qualities people can offer and give people a second chance because that is a form of acceptance. Once you give someone acceptance you can help someone grow and change for the better. I learned that everyone makes mistakes and everyone can go down the wrong path, but you need to give that person a second chance to grow from that mistake and become successful for themselves. Giving this love can make people feel that someone does care and wants them to grow and become a better person.

 

“It’s the feeling of acceptance, when you go to prison you don’t really expect what happens afterwards, you know you are going to be doing your time, but when you get out there are a lot of prejudiced people that judge you, people are afraid of you, they don’t understand nor do they care to understand and they feel that you made a mistake, that’s on you and there is very few people that give you a second chance.”

“The biggest challenge is the one of humility, one of vigilance, and the one of never losing track of where you come from.”

“In a moment one decision can start you down that path again.”

“One little lie, one little thing, it snowballed into a major case.”

“It’s hard to keep that vigilance of always being mindful that you can make a mistake.”

“It’s camaraderie, even if I come from a different background, I still feel kingship with these guys.”

“It’s not what other people think, it’s what you think about yourself.”

“I really began to see what the prison system does and I don’t care if it’s state or federal, they warehouse people. “

“Very little is being done, though they say it’s being done, that’s the irony.”

“If you don’t hope that there is an avenue of change that’s productive, that represents life, what are you going to do, you’re going to go back to the old way.”

“The biggest thing I think is education, let’s get their GED, let’s get them to a community college or do a trade vocation program, if you do that one thing, it would probably change half the lives of these guys.”

“The love and acceptance these guys get is so critical, for them to know that there is somebody out there that cares for them, that wishes them well is more important.”