womans timberland boots Anthony Johnson released after four decades in prison
Bear told News 10 he still felt no one was on his side. He said, “you lose contact with the outside world, prison is a world all to itself. And there is it not a lot to look forward to when you see the visiting days come and you don’t get a lot of visits, you just feel inside that people don’t know you exist.”
But friends, like Doug, with the humanity of prisoners knew bear existed. “After 10 15 and 20 years friends and family peel off and pretty soon they have nobody. And to have somebody like us who are right there and do it right now, who always promptly respond. I think it means the world to them and I think as you are seeing we mean the world to us,” said Doug Tjapkes, President of Humanity of Prisoners and friend of Johnson. “The real help that we do is that we care, we respond and we do it immediately, and we’re always there for them,” he added.
“They didn’t just help get me out, they’re here for me today and that means a lot to me,” said Bear. Leaving prison was a culture shock. “The whole world has passed me by. I see everywhere I go people have phones, they didn’t have that before, the bus rides were different. My whole life is going to change right now.”
He said he will start with learning technology. But his main goal is to get a job in either healthcare where he worked as a therapeutic died clerk in prison since 1980. He said he is a certified dietary aid. Or as a baker, where he worked in the prisons food system. “It actually started out as something to do something to keep me busy, as it’s something that I love to do now. One of those two fields I intended to do” said Johnson.
Bear said his time in prison did teach him the most important life lesson. “I’ve grown up, I’ve become a man in prison. Even though I was married and had children, I was not a grown man. I grew up in prison,” said Bear.
Tjapkes said that moving forward he is seeking parole reform. He said that he would like to see “model prisoners” released as soon as they are eligible or parole.
The family of Sam Baum did not want Bear released. His wife, Rose Baum, attended several hearings to ask that he be kept in prison for the rest of his life. She died in 2015.
Tuesday Letang spoke to the son, Howard Baum, who described the system as “tainted.” Howard was 12 years old when his father was killed, and after attending multiple hearings where he heard Johnson claim it was an accident, he said he’s “not buying it.”