49 Voices: Antonio Prescott of Wasilla

This week we’re hearing from Antonio Prescott and inmate at Mackenzie Correctional Farm outside Wasilla. Antonio manages the chicken house, which supplies eggs for Alaska’s correctional system.

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Antonio Prescott of the Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm outside of Wasilla. (Screenshot from a video by John Norris, Alaska Public Media)
Antonio Prescott of the Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm outside of Wasilla. (Screenshot from a video by John Norris, Alaska Public Media)

PRESCOTT: I had a lot of shame. I had a son that passed away, so my life was really messed up at that point. So, I was drinking a lot of alcohol and just getting in a lot of trouble so I definitely don’t want to get out and go back into that direction. So I’m thankful for the opportunity of coming out here and learning all these things, so now I really can get out and rebuild my life.

This actually shows you, gives you, more skills – prepares you to get out on the street. It’s consistency and everyday work. Other prisons don’t show you that, it’s more like you’re mostly on lock-down, go outside a couple hours a day. It’s totally not like that. It’s, as soon as you wake up after the first count, 6 a.m., it’s time to go to work.

I’ve been back doin’ the chickens for about 8 months. Every morning I come in here, about 7:00. I’ll feed. I’ll water. I’ll do a health check. In the morning, I collect eggs, and at about 4:30, 5:00, I’ll collect more eggs. This morning I got 95 and out back they did 13, and then I should end up with around 140,150.

I was never like that. I was more, always doing something else. I’d get bored real easy. So this type of environment actually is grounding me. So, I like, you know, doing this type of thing. I’m more of a worker type. I’m more of a stay on the back side.

I just wanna get out, get a job, take everything one step at a time. I wanna see my son and my daughter, so I just want to take everything slow and rebuild my life and make sure I don’t come back to prison and lead down the path that I was on before I came to jail.