Another beautiful piece by Cassy Bustos from our, “Life after prison” blog series:

“While helping a fellow resident to deescalate from a typical & unfair halfway house/DOC scenario, it occurred to me that some of the strongest advice I can give to someone reentering into society from prison is to learn how you take your crow.

According to World Wide Words:
“The best-known traditional expression of this type in the US is to eat crow. The origin seems fairly obvious: the meat of thecrow, being a carnivore, is presumably rank and extremely distasteful, and the experience is easily equated to the mental anguish of being forced to admit one’s fallibility.” Jul 25, 1996

How completely fitting. A distasteful experience brought forth through admitting one’s fallibility. It’s the very scenario faced daily for “clients” of DOC. Our choices in life have brought us to a place where some basic human rights and dignities must be placed on the back burner in order to survive. We are often mistreated or discarded when it comes to interaction with staff throughout the system (from security to judges to parole liaisons).

However, the process in place to assist with mistreatment (grievance) really only makes things worse for the offender when utilized. So my advice to my dear friend… “Sometimes in this situation we just gotta eat crow”. And we’ve done it (plenty of times)! However, with full freedom just within reach I’ve decided I’ll take my crow with liberty, gratitude, and a little salt and pepper.”