Inmate Profile: Terry Campbell, 44 Years And Counting
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December 18, 2009 – KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon interviews 65-year-old inmate Terry Campbell. His profile is part of an ongoing look at the aging prison population.
Related story: Life In Prison: Terry Campbell, 44 Years And Counting
TERRY CAMPBELL: My name is Terry Campbell. I'm in prison for murder, first-degree murder, and I've been in prison for 44 years. JOANNE FARYON: And how old are you now? CAMPBELL: Sixty-five. When I came to prison there was a lot of violence. There was a lot of gang violence, racial violence. So, I became affiliated with a prison gang and got in quite a bit of trouble. FARYON: How old were you in prison when you got away from the gang violence? CAMPBELL: Thirty-four. FARYON: And what made you decide to do that? CAMPBELL: A correctional staff member. He gave me my first break in prison. Up until that time, nobody had really taken an interest in me as a person. I was just a number. And so he took an interest, and ever since then I haven't been involved in any violence at all. FARYON: You told me earlier you think you're going to spend your whole life here. CAMPBELL: Yes. I just got a five year denial at the parole board. So that will make me seventy when I go back. FARYON: And how do you see your life playing out here then as you age? CAMPBELL: Um, I'll just grow old and eventually I'll die. I don't see it as - you know I'm well adapted. Institutionalized, if you will. So, I don't see a problem just existing. Eventually I won't be able to function anymore and eventually I'll end up in a hospital and eventually I'll die.