Inside The First Prison Podcast

Sometimes it is hard to find positive things to write about that happen inside prison walls, so this was worth passing along to you.  I know two inmates in San Quentin.  One has become a better man and one hasn’t. That one keeps going back to his old neighborhood and friends. He never learns. Their experiences are much different then the men in this video. How they have been treated inside has also made it difficult to be part of something like this.  I believe if more prisons had constructive projects like this so people can learn how to be more than the neighborhoods they were raised in, those neighborhoods would gradually change. But the average prison doesn’t care if inmates learn a better way to live or to be better people.  They aren’t that altruistic. But to see these men learn a better way to live while inside shows me it can be done. When they get out they will have the knowledge, experience and self worth to keep on going.

Click here to play the video

Inside The First Prison Podcast

 

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Register for ITFO News. Ten signed copies of “Waiting on The Outside” by Sharron Grodzinsky will be shipped free, selected randomly by the author.  Read the summary at Amazon. This is available to any new sign-ups until ten days after the next issue of ITFO News is published this weekend. Next month’s issue will have something free for everyone. ( but it’s a secret right now!)

ITFO News helps people learn about the issues inmates face.  The information inside is usually not what is published on the blog, My Name is Jamie. Each issue focuses on a different topic each month, from children of inmates to the profit focused prison medical corporations. I do not inundate your email sending multiple posts a day like some do. Your privacy is always respected. You can also follow on Jamie’s twitter page.

The topic coming up is on “Incarcerating the Innocent.”  In addition to general information I will be focusing on the lives of two different men with very different circumstances. One is recently got out on bond after 23 years, waiting now for a new trial.  Despite having no evidence, the prosecution is fighting tooth and nail to make sure he is re-incarcerated.  The second man is still in prison, seventeen years and counting, with no evidence proving his guilt. He is still searching for an attorney to take his case.  There are many people inside who are searching for that same attorney.  He hasn’t given up hope. 

I recently had two replies to a post on Jamie’s Facebook page that showed me there are people who have no real idea what the underlying reason is for our prisons and think everyone inside is guilty.  That is very far from the truth.  Yes, there are serious criminals inside, and many with severe mental illness with nowhere else to be put, but there are also many who were forced to take a plea because they didn’t have an attorney to fight for them.  Even if guilty, the sentences are absurdly long and serve no purpose except to make money for the investors who count on the full prisons our government has promised them. The courts don’t have enough time on their calendars to give everyone a chance to plead their case.  They are forced to plead guilty through public defenders who work for the DA, or get threatened with increased charges.  You might not want to think  this would happen in a court of law, but it does.  ITFO NEWS is my way to help educate people and give them information that might help.  Every time you share this, it might help one more person who doesn’t know where to go for  help.

Waiting On The Outside – Win a Free Copy

I’m having a book give-away this month. Each new person who registers for ITFO NEWS can enter their name and email address to have a chance of winning a signed copy (or ebook if you prefer) of  Waiting on the Outside” by Sharron Grodzinsky If your name is randomly pulled by Sharron, you’ll receive one of ten free copies, shipped free. 

GRODZINSKY_Waiting 3D book_SMALL

ITFO NEWS  covers many issues about what happens to the people – the human beings incarcerated inside prison walls many with family and children. Some are dangerous criminals often with serious mental illness, and many are not. Some were incarcerated simply because they are undesired as citizens because they are Black, Hispanic, or any country that isn’t of European white descent. Many are locked up because they practice the “wrong” religion in a country that wants to be known as a Christian nation. Sadly it makes some of these people think they have the right to hurt people not like themselves which goes against the teachings of Christianity.

“Incarcerating the Innocent” is the focus for the next issue of ITFO NEWS.

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This book being given away is timely for the sad situation happening in America today, especially with so many young people jumping on the bandwagon proclaiming America needs to be white “again”. What happened to their education? Is it worse in the schools than I thought? Do these young people actually think America was EVER white? They don’t know the history of the country they were born in?

History can not be rewritten to suit some faction’s misguided agenda. European white settlers slaughtered many thousands of indigenous people in the attempt to make this country white – and failed. These young people today never learned this? They can’t change history, but they are doing a good job of ruining their lives by wanting to repeat the carnage.

What is truly scary is how easily young minds can be swayed to believe a fabricated history – and also come to think that a skin cold makes them a better person. Then they become parents and teach the same flawed theory to their children.

Yesterday I read about fourteen year old white teenagers, barely out of puberty, strung up an eight year black boy and hung him with a rope from a tree – and left him, not caring if they killed him. I was mortified that older children would do that to a young child. I sat stunned, tears running down my face. The damage done to all of them would affect the rest of their lives, and the lives of their families who have to endure the scrutiny of an unforgiving public who will likely blame the parents for the way their sons were raised, so cavalier about trying to take the life of a young black boy. 

The fact that one human being could do that to another shows that these 14 year old minds were already so warped that taking a young boy’s life was meaningless to them. They didn’t learn this on their own. I don’t know their consequences legally, but I do know they will never forget it; nor will the young boy with severe rope burns on his neck, the scars which will always be there. The friends and family of this boy are, most likely very angry – deservedly so. All this does is escalate a bad problem that won’t go away. They have a right to this anger.

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Young people, with no maturity, get swayed by the excitement of being part of a huge negative social issue. The man in the book “Waiting on the Outside” exhibited emotional problems since childhood. He, too, was swayed by others who took advantage of his immaturity.

He was adopted at a young age by a woman who sincerely loved him and did everything she could to create a positive life for him As he grew up he sabotaged every attempt. He got into drugs and pretty crime and fell under the influence of the local white supremacy gang. My impression from her story, it was the excitement of living life on the edge that attracted him, not the thought that he felt himself to be superior.

After being released from his first prison sentence he sincerely wanted to do better but was pulled back into it. His sense of right and wrong was distorted through drug use. Now he sits in prison again, with the look of being a white supremacist. Shaved head. Visible Aryan gang tattoos. But still inside is the young boy who loves his mother as she sits during visits with the broken heart a mother has for a child she could help change.

He now wants out of the Aryan Brotherhood, but the KKK retaliates against those who want out. Is he safest in a controlled environment? Can he make it on the outside? Can he control the mental impulses he hasn’t been able to control before? Can he be the man she envisioned when she adopted him? As a mother myself my heart breaks for her. This never affects one person. There may be 2.3 million people in prison, which is kept at that steady number. It affects many more millions of people on the outside.

This is devastating story was written by a mother who, for decades has lived with a fear for her son and for people in his life he was hurt – including his own children.

If you don’t want to see if you can win a free copy of this book you can go to Amazon and purchase it. The winners will be contacted at the close of the sweepstakes, ten days after the publication of the next issue.

This book was first published before Trump riled up racism in America. This book shows you that although white supremacy is making huge headlines today, it has always been lurking in the shadows waiting – as if it a pimple waiting for more infection to burst and leave a scar. All they needed was someone like Trump to give them the freedom to come out of hiding. America had ignored them until now not wanting to face the ugly truth of their existence. They aren’t hiding anymore and some of them are your neighbors. Will history repeat itself even more? Did this country not learn from the past? 

These new recruits don’t hide beneath hoods anymore. They are showing their faces taunting us to do something about so they feel justified hurting people. This will negatively affect the rest of their lives and warp the minds of their children.

 

Jamie’s Facebook page

Jamie’s Twitter page

 

Prison Torture Never Ends

Heat in Texas prisons, no AC in prison in the summer
Wynne Unit, the prison Jamie is in. These fans are the only cooling system even when it is over 100 degrees. Since there are no open windows all it does is blow hot air around. Credit source: beaumontenterprises.compip

Jamie has been at the Allred unit in Texas for nearly three years. Before that, Wynne Unit. How much is an inmate supposed to tolerate from staff and guards? They can do anything they want to them and there is nothing an inmate can do. Why is that? Everyone knows it. Anyone with the power to stop it – doesn’t. They can file a grievance but the system is not set up where the inmate wins. When the medical unit and staff knowing screw around with someone’s health, aware of the consequences to the inmate, I wonder if they stand around and laugh about it in the break room? They push inmates to break them and so often succeed. Here is what is happening . . .

I received a letter from Jamie yesterday. He is close to getting out of adseg – administrative segregation – a fancy word for solitary. Locked up in a cell 23/7, except for Jamie it’s 24/7 because he’s trying to stay away from the guards by refusing showers and rec. He bathes using the sink. He knew they’d try to press his buttons to keep him down. He’s had no write ups in a long time.

He wrote to me that the nurse is refusing to give him his seizure medication for epilepsy. At his point of writing it had been three days. He keeps asking her for it and she refuses to bring it. Have you ever watched someone have a grand mal seizure? The prison won’t give him the medication that works best for him. I already went rounds with the medical unit over that and they wouldn’t budge. So he still has more seizures than he should. But not taking anything, and as any protection leaves his body it will induce more. Add to that the terrible heart in a closed cell with no ventilation makes me angry.

Guards work three 12 hour shifts. One of the guards put his hands in his food just to try to make Jamie angry so he could retaliate and write him up. He won’t eat now if this guard is on shift. He only eats breakfast, which is pitiful, but not lunch or dinner when this guard works. He’s close to losing it. I could feel it. I wrote to him today to turn away. Don’t let them take away your chance of getting out of adseg. He can’t study for his GED until he is classified G2. First he has to get to G4. This process could easily take another 1-2 years. At G4 he can leave his cell for chow and limited time in TV rec room. He’s been this route before. They can, and do, take it away in a heart beat and it takes years to climb back out. He’s had 11 years of this. If seems deliberate. The guards get a perverse pleasure from abusing people with permission. Jamie has been in adseg this time for almost 3 years because he needed to move prisons because of physical abuse that included beatings by guards at the Wynne Unit. They moved him – and gave him 3 years of adseg to go with it.

I also bought him food today. It’s like gas station convenience food. Not even one can of vegetables on the list. Snacks. But also tuna, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sardines, coffee, Raman noodles and such. They only allow someone on the outside to purchase $20 a month or $60 a quarter. But I wasn’t due to buy him more until Oct. I sent it to another man, probably next to him, who doesn’t have anyone helping him. He’ll probably pay him in food. They go on lockdown soon – for 30 days – every 90 days. They cut food rations so without extra food and that guard who’s messing with his food he’d get hungry. There are so many inmates with no one on the outside. It’s easy to see why so many don’t make it when they get out

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Most of you who follow this blog know I put out a monthly newsletter called  ITFO NEWS. Each month I focus on a different prison issue. The one being published at the end of the week is on Incarcerating The Innocent. It’s an important topic because many lives are ruined even when there is no solid evidence to convict them. I’m having a book give-away this month. Each new person who wants to try ITFO NEWS can enter their name and email address HERE and have a chance of winning a signed copy (or ebook if you prefer) of “Waiting on the Outside” by Sharron Grodzinsky. If your name is randomly pulled by Sharron, you’ll receive one of ten free copies, shipped free. 

GRODZINSKY_Waiting 3D book_SMALL

This book is timely for what is happening today. It is a true story of a young man still in prison today who got involved in the KKK as a teenager, attracted to craziness, violence a drugs and couldn’t find away out. Young people are easily swayed. You need only to look at pictures in our media to see who the recruits are. Any mother who has lived with the fear of raising an out of control teenager will find this book hard to put down. Did it start when he was a child? This story shows you what unconditional love is. Will he make it now when he gets out? Will the KKK let him go? 

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Jamie’s Facebook page   – current events in the world of injustice

Jamie’s twitter page 

Are You New To Jamie’s Story?

j and jWhen I started writing this blog for Jamie over three years ago it was because I thought people needed to hear his story. It wasn’t because his story was exceptionally different from other people in prison. It was because his story is too damned common. A large percentage of people live their lives oblivious to the pain and suffering inflicted on many people who are locked up in all kinds of detention centers – not because they are dangerous people, although there are many in prison who are – but because they are a source of profit for prison corporations and shareholders who have stock in the growing number of prisons. It is also a source of campaign donations for politicians who then bide by what the prison corporations want – more people to profit from and little oversight about the way they are treated and cared for. We know what the problems are but we can’t make them change.

I don’t blame people for not knowing. I didn’t know anything, either, before Jamie came into my life. All I knew was what I learned in TV series like Prison Break. I didn’t know it didn’t tell the whole story. I thought people were in prison because they deserved to be there. I didn’t spend any time thinking about whether the amount of years they were sentenced was fair. I didn’t know blacks and minorities were targeted. It didn’t affect my life – I thought. Then I met Jamie.

In the pages at the top of the blog is a page that was written at the beginning of my writing the blog. “My Name is Jamie”. If you don’t know his story that is a good place to start because it tells some of the reasons why he is there and what his life was like. There have been many changes since that was written. If you read through all 300 plus blog posts for the ones that include his letters you would be able to follow his life, but that would take a lot of dedication. Instead I thought I’d give you a synopsis of where he is now and what is going on.

Inside The Forbidden Outside, writing new book, JamieCummings,solitary confinement, prison industrial complex, Sonni Quick
We can dream great dreams. “Inside The Forbidden Outside”

In addition to this blog I am also writing a book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”, which is in the second draft. It has taken me longer than I expected to write because I can only write one thing at a time. Two blogs, A newletter “ITFO News” and a book take time and I work on them in a cycle. Add to the mix all the required social media promotion to build a network. When I work on one I can’t work on another. I often work until the sun comes up.

In addition, I am an improv piano composer and I’m working on an album of music for the book. Much of the music was originally written for different blog posts you could find scattered throughout the blog. The music is sometimes painful and melancholy, relaxing and peaceful, best listened to with your eyes closed in the dark. Music promotion takes up another huge chunk of time. You can find my music at these two websites. Skunk Radio Live and ReverbNation. (the links are below the post) Share it if you like it. For anything on line – stats matter.

The reason for all of this is to create a place mentally for Jamie to go when he gets out in 2023. He needs something to work on that has meaning. A book to use to talk to people – help young people stay out of prison and give meaning to his 17 years inside. Turn a negative into a positive.

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Jamie has been inside for 12 1/2 years. He has 4 1/2 years to go. He did 4 years in juvenile detention right before this on a charge he wasn’t guilty of. He took the fall for his younger brother and was told if he did the time for him he would only do nine months. There should have been no charge period. A cop illegally came into their home with no warrant and no cause for entry. His mother got hurt and his little brother hit the cop with a broom in defense. But Jamie was lied to. They didn’t let him go until he was twenty-one. This is in a chapter early in the book. With no education, no life experience, no job history and no counseling, what was he supposed to do?

I think the last 4 years of his sentence are going to be harder than the first four because he is tired. Burnt out. He will be 35 in January 2018. In the beginning he had no idea what to expect, he only knew it is going to be a long time. He hoped his family will be there to support him. He lost raising his only child, a boy, my grandson, who was born after he was arrested. He turned 11 this past July.

He waited and waited for his family to be there for him, giving them excuses of being busy and they will probably write later, which they never did. He asked for a little money to buy hygiene products and nothing was ever sent. He suffered from depression – and epilepsy. No one asked him how he was or if he needed anything. My daughter, his son’s mother went on with her life. He never blamed her for this. They hadn’t been together very long.

How would you feel if this was you and no one gave a damn how you were? The largest percentage of inmates come from the fostercare system, but he had a family and that family acted as though he didn’t exist. Letters weren’t answered. They still aren’t answered. The only person he has had through this is me – and through me, some of you who have written and encouraged him.

Jamie wasn’t guilt free but when you are black or a minority and have no money for an attorney they force you to take a plea deal with threats of a longer sentence if you don’t. If he had an attorney he would have never gotten 17 years. Only 3% of those arrested actual go to court to have their case heard. 97% only go to court to plead guilty – in and out of court in ten minutes. There are so many people arrested there is no time for anything more. this is also why there are so many, often after decades get their cases overturned. But nothing can back the years of suffering inside.

He has been moved around to eight prisons so far. He isn’t in gen pop where there is an opportunity to take classes or go to the library. Even so, gen pop is a dangerous place because there is a mix of inmates with nothing to lose. A lot of bad stuff happens, not only with the inmates with drugs and sex and fights with weapons, it also often includes participation with the guards. Jamie has been beaten, sprayed with gas and false cases have been filed against him he can do nothing about. At the last prison, in retribution for filing grievances against guards for their treatment they filed thirteen sexual harassment cases against him. He can’t fight that. It’s on his prison record.

Guards are always right and inmates are always wrong. It’s the same thing out here in the “free world” when it comes to cops and taking responsibility for the people they murder for no reason.

Today he still sits in adseg – administrative segregation – another name for solitary. When he was moved from the last prison 2 1/2 years ago because he was no longer safe there, he was given one year in adseg. Once he was moved they added two more years. Why? Because they can. He has a meeting this month to see if they will let him out. He has a 50/50 chance. If not, then the next meeting is in six months. Is this serving any purpose? Or does it make the guard’s job easier?

I’m worried about him. It is too much time alone. He turns down going to the shower and does a bird bath in the sink – to stay away from guards. He turns down his hour of rec for the same reason. He doesn’t want anything to get in the way of getting out of adseg. How will this affect him when he gets out? it isn’t a matter of, will it affect him? It is only a matter of how much. Reintegration will be hard.

This Fall I am making another trip to Texas for a few weeks. I went a year ago, too. I want to finish up on some details I need for the book. I can take his son to see him. I can encourage him to hang in there. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the things I am trying to do to create a life for him, which also has a benefit for me with my music and gives me a reason to keep on writing. There has to be a sequel about what happens next.

It’s important to focus on the positive. See yourself being successful with whatever you want to do. If your life is full of, “I can’t . . .” or “It won’t . . .” or “I could never . . .” then you won’t do anything. All you will do is sit back and feel sorry for yourself and the bad hand of cards you were dealt. It is up to each of us to make our lives work. But if no one teaches you how to do that, what can you do?

I have spent years teaching Jamie the law of life – the law of cause and effect. Some call it “You reap what you sow,” but many don’t take it seriously. Where we end up is the result of the things we have done, so it is up to us to do things to undo what we don’t like and get our life going in a positive direction.

I want to thank all the people who have encouraged me. It has kept me going when i doubt myself. It has helped give me the strength to not give up. Who am I to think I can accomplish these things? If I lose confidence I remember why I’m doing it and what the stakes are. My actions affect other people. Everyone else abandoned Jamie. It happens to most who spend a long time inside. I promised him I would be there and he is counting on that.

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pssst . . .tap this button

Next issue coming soon. The topic this month – Incarcerating The Innocent  . . . AND . . . beginning today, until ten days after the next issue is published, anyone not currently receiving the issue in their email can tap the above button and enter a sweepstakes to win a signed copy of Sharron Grodzinsky’s “Waiting on the Outside.” Ten copies will be given away.  No shipping fee. Absolutely free.

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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Face book . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present

ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.

SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London playing music composed for  the book being written for Jamie.  If you can, help support. It will all help Jamie in the end.

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Protect yourself by having an attorney on call with an app on your phone. Stopped and given a ticket? harassed? Get screwed by a landlord? Customer not refund your money? Need a FREE will done? (normally about $300) Click on the link below and see why you need this. A friend has a brand new problem with a landlord. She had just signed up for the service. She didn’t even think about Legal Shield until I reminded her. All for much less than a trip through Kentucky Fried Chicken. Call me, email me, msg me here or at FB. It’s that easy.

No one can make you do this, but it is why you have car insurance even though you are a good driver – the other person who hit you, isn’t. Then you call your insurance company. That is why you NEED Legal Shield.

You can also contact me here: Legal Shield

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Children and Families of the Incarcerated Fact Sheet

family visitation in prison
This information came from the recent newsletter put out by Kate Boccia of the NIA – The NATIONAL INCARCERATION ASSOCIATION.  It was compiled by Rutgers University – National Resource Center on Children & Families of the Incarcerated
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Many people do not have a clear understanding of how children have been affected by our government’s “War of Drugs” and how they are beholden to the contracts the US government has with the Prison Industrial Complex. They hold the government responsible for keeping our prisons filled to the max. Since the government is required to pay the PIC for empty beds, they are more than willing to lock up people by any means whether they are guilty or not. And if they are guilty, the sentences far exceed anything that would help with rehabilitation. If they ruin the people locked up, so much the better. That means they will probably get locked up again because they lost the ability to function in society because of the abuse they received while inside.
Why should they care? Because it is the right thing to do? The prisons are stocked with predominantly Blacks, Hispanics and poor minorities who don’t have the resources too fight back. I use the word “stocked” because that is exactly what they do.  It doesn’t matter if they are people. They believe these people exist for them to use for profit. Unfortunately, too many people don’t care because they have been slammed with propaganda telling them these people have criminal tendencies, lower intelligence and are not safe to be around. Lock them up. Most people are out for themselves. Unless it affects their family they don’t have time to care.
But the children who are affected do care. Their lives are also chewed up by the system.  it is not just their parents who are locked up. It affects their lives. What do they learn? How does it affect their adulthood. Is our government, along with the prison system intending on grooming the next generation of adult inmates? When does the government become responsible for the damage they do to the families? So many of these children end up is fostercare. 70% of those locked up right now went through the fostercare system, having no reliable adult in their lives who genuinely cared about them.
Below are some statistics you should read through very carefully. With the new crimes the Trump administration is dreaming up because crime is down, and they can no longer lock someone up for decades for smoking a little pot, much to Jeff Sessions disappointment, they will have to find new prisoners somehow.  We’ve already been reading about some of these new crimes. Do you think you are safe?  Are your children safe? Think again.
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j and j
Jamie and his son. Last picture taken, behind glass, 4 years ago

The growing number of children with an incarcerated parent represents one of the most significant collateral consequences of the record prison population in the U.S.

Children with Parents in Prison Demographics
More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. That is 1 in 28
children.
Approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives.
One in 9 African American children (11.4%), 1 in 28 Hispanic children (3.5%), and 1 in 57
white children (1.8%) in the United States have an incarcerated parent.
Approximately half of children with incarcerated parents are under ten years old.
Impact
While many of the risk factors children of incarcerated parents experience may be related to parental substance abuse, mental health, inadequate education, or other
challenges, parental incarceration increases the risk of children living in poverty or
experiencing household instability independent of these other problems.
A misperception exists that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to be
incarcerated than their peers, and are predisposed to criminal activity. There is no basis
for this in existing research.
Parental incarceration is now recognized as an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE); it
is distinguished from other adverse childhood experiences by the unique combination of
trauma, shame, and stigma.
Child Welfare
2% of incarcerated fathers and 8 ‐ 10% of mothers have children in foster care
(these data do not include at least some persons in prison with children in kinship foster
care placements)
Information from one study on children in Foster Care with incarcerated parents provides the following data
25% of children live with their fathers when a mother goes to prison.
90% of children remain with their mothers when the father is incarcerated
50% of children with an incarcerated mother live with their grandmothers
In the child welfare system, 1 in 10 children in in – home settings is living with someone who is on probation.
About 15 ‐ 20% of children entering the child welfare system have an incarcerated parent
About 1 in every 5 African American children who come to the attention of child welfare agencies have a recently arrested parent compared to only 1 in 10 White children and only 1 in 20 Hispanic children.
Incarcerated parents lose their parental rights at a disproportionate rate due to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) which set strict timelines for initiating Termination of Parental Rights (placement cannot exceed 15 of previous 22 months)
 
Parents in Prison
In 2010 1.5 million people were in State or Federal prison in the U.S, and 750,000 in jails.
This is a 10% decline from 2009 but still significantly higher than 1980 when “mass incarceration” began.
92% of people in prison are male, 8% female.
The number of women in prison increased by 587% between 1980 and 2011, rising from 15,118 to 111,387
Including women in local jails, more than 200,000 women are now incarcerated in the US
Nationally, there are more than 120,000 incarcerated mothers and 1 million incarcerated fathers who are parents of minor children (ages 0 – 17).
44 – 55% Percent of fathers had at least one minor child living with them before incarceration
64 – 84% Percent of mothers had at least one minor child living with them before incarceration
59 percent of fathers and 58 percent of mothers had no personal visits from any of their children.
62% of parents in state prisons and 84% of parents in federal prisons are held over 100 miles away from their residence. 43% of parents in federal prisons are held over 500 miles away from their last residence.
The uneven geographic distribution of incarceration in poor communities and communities of color means that the effects radiate beyond the individual to the
broader community, presenting profound long ‐ term consequences for family
integrity, public health and general quality of life.
54 % of men and 73% of women have a history of mental health “problems” as opposed to 25% entering prison with a mental health diagnosis.
In 2010, 93% of Federal Prisoners were convicted of non ‐ violent crimes, including 48% for drug offenses, and 11% for immigration offenses.
In 2010, 47% of State Prisoners were convicted of non ‐ violent crimes, including 17% for drug offenses, and 18% for property offenses and 13% for Public Order offenses.
More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities.
These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the “war on drugs,” in which two – thirds of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color.
Roughly two ‐ thirds of women in prison are women of color, representing the fastest growing prison population
Blacks make up 12.3 percent of US population and 43.9% of the state and federal prison population. Latinos constitute 12.6% of the country’s population, but make up 18.3% of the prison population. Whites are 69% of the general population with only 34.7% of those
incarcerated.
If these trends continue, one in every 3 Black males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime.
Care must be taken with these data on disproportionate representation of children of color so as not to interpret them as an indictment of specific groups of people but rather as a reflection of the long ‐ term impact of poverty, segregation, discrimination and urbanization.
Caregivers
Caregivers of children with parents in prison bear numerous burdens, including stigma and shame associated with having a family member in prison, increased financial strain,
physical and emotional stress, and lack of external resources.
Public assistance programs, including TANF were not designed with relative caregivers in mind. Grandparents especially are reluctant to seek support for fear of losing the children to the child welfare system.
Caregivers struggle with multiple challenges in fostering continued relationships between children and their parents in prison.
Most prisons are not accessible by any form of public transportation, restricting child
‐ parent visits. In some cases this means children will never visit their parents.
Collect phone calls from prisoners are subject to excessive surcharges, an economic
burden most caregivers cannot manage. Familial incarceration can be characterized as an “ambiguous loss” leading to “disenfranchised grief.”
Caring for children who are experiencing the stigma and blame associated with parental incarceration is particularly difficult for caregivers and may be taxing emotionally and physically.
Arrests
One study conducted in 1998 estimated that of the parents arrested: 67% were handcuffed in front of their children
27% reported weapons drawn in front of their children 4.3% reported a physical struggle
3.2% reported the use of pepper spray.
Children who witnessed an arrest of household member were 57% more likely to have elevated post traumatic stress symptoms compared to children who did not witness an arrest.
 
405-7 Cooper Street Camden, New Jersey 08102
Tel: 856 225 2718 Fax: 856 225 6435
E-mail: nrccfi@camden.rutgers.edu
Fact Sheet Resources
1 Bernstein, N., All Alone in the World, Children of the Incarcerate, 2005
The Pew Charitable Trusts: Pew Center on the States.
Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC. 2010
Mauer, M., Nellis, A., Schirmir, S.; Incarcerated Parents and Their Children – Trends 1991-2007, The Sentencing Project, Feb. 2009 – http://www.sentencingproject.org.
The Pew Charitable Trusts: Pew Center on the States.
Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC. 2010
Mauer, M., Nellis, A., Schirmir, S.; Incarcerated Parents and Their Children – Trends 1991-2007, The
Sentencing Project, Feb. 2009
Phillips, S.D., Errantly, A., Keeler, G.P., Costello, J.E., An gold, A., Johnston, D., et al. (2006).
Disentangling the risks: Parent criminal justice involvement and children’s exposure to family risks. Criminology and Public Policy, 5, 677–702
Raimon, M., Lee, A., & Genty, P. (2009). Sometimes Good Intentions Yield Bad Results: ASFA’s Effect on Incarcerated Parents and Their Children.
Hairston, C.F. (2007). Focus on the children with incarcerated parents: A overview of the research literature. Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Mumola, C.J.-Incarcerated Parents and Their Children (NCJ-182335). Washington, D.C.
US Department of Justice, BOJS, 2000
Philips Ph.D., Susan D., Gleeson, Ph.D., James P., Children, Families and the Criminal
Justice System, A Research Brief, Center for Social Policy and Research. University of
Illinois, Chicago 2007.
Johnson-Peterkin,Yolanda Children of Incarcerated Parents Information Packet. National
Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning, 2003
http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/ Ibid
Raimon, M., Lee, A., & Genty, P. (2009). Sometimes Good Intentions Yield Bad Results
: ASFA’s Effect on Incarcerated Parents and Their Children.
Glaze, L. Correctional Populations in the U.S. 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, DC. 2011
Conway, J .M. , Jones, E. Seven Out of Ten? Not Even Close.A Review of Research on
the Likelihood of Children of Incarcerated Parents Becoming Justice – Involved (Working title). In Press
Glaze, L. Correctional Populutions in the U.S. 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, DC. 2011
The Sentencing Project
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications cc_Incarcerated_Women_Factsheet_Dec 2012final.pdf
Glaze,L. and Maruschak, L. Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children.
Bureau of Justice Statistics Washington, D.C. 2011
Mumola, C.J. – Incarcerated Parents and Their Children (NCJ-182335).
Washington, D.C. US Department of Justice, BOJS, 2000
Human Rights Watch. World Report 2011:United States http://www.hrw.org/world
– report – 2011/united-states
Carson, E. A., and Sabol, W. J., Prisoners in 2011
Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.2012
Mauer and King; Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity;
The Sentencing Project, 2007 The Sentencing Project
http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=122
Fact Sheet,
Women In Prison Project, Correctional Association of New York.
http://www.correctionalassociation.org/pp/about-women-in-prison-project
Mauer and King; Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity;
The Sentencing Project, 2007 The Sentencing Project
http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=122
Mauer, M. Addressing Racial Racial Disparities in Incarceration.Sage Publications 2011
Tavis, Jeremy, Solomon, Amy, 2003, Families Left Behind, Urban Institute, Justice Policy
Center
Vigne, N., Davies, E., Brazzell, D, Feb. 2008Broken Bonds, Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Children with Incarceraetd Parents.
Margolies, J.K., Kraft-Stolar, T, Feb. 2006, When “Free” Means Losing Your Mother, A Report of The Women in Prison Project of Correctional Association of New York
Hairston, C.R., 2007, Focus on Children of Incarcerated Parents, An Overview of the Research Literature, A Report for the Annie E. Casey Foundation Arditti, J.2012,
Parental Incarceration and the Family ( Pages 103-105) New York University Press
Phillips, S., Gates, T.2010, A conceptual framework for understanding
the stigmatization of children of incarcerated parents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20,286-294. 8 Phillips, S. D. (1998). Programming for children of female offenders. Proceedings from 4th National Head Start Research Conference. Washington, D.C.
Phillips, S.D., & Zhao, J. (2010). The relationship between witnessing arrests and elevated
symptoms of post traumatic stress: Findings from a national study of children involved in the child welfare system.
Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 1246 – 1254
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itfo newsletter

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Next issue coming soon. The topic this month – Incarcerating The Innocent  . . . AND . . . beginning today, until ten days after the next issue is published, anyone not currently receiving the issue in their email can tap the above button and enter a sweepstakes to win a signed copy of Sharron Grodzinsky’s “Waiting on the Outside.” Ten copies will be given away.  No shipping fee. Absolutely free.

<<< >>>

If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Face book . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present

ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.

http://www.reverbnation.com/open_graph/song/28462119?pwc%5Bbranded%5D=1

SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London playing music composed for  the book being written for Jamie.  If you can, help support. It will all help Jamie in the end.

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Protect yourself by having an attorney on call with an app on your phone. Stopped and given a ticket? harassed? Get screwed by a landlord? Customer not refund your money? Need a FREE will done? (normally about $300) Click on the link below and see why you need this. A friend has a brand new problem with a landlord. She had just signed up for the service. She didn’t even think about Legal Shield until I reminded her. All for much less than a trip through Kentucky Fried Chicken. Call me, email me, msg me here or at FB. It’s that easy.

No one can make you do this, but it is why you have car insurance even though you are a good driver – the other person who hit you, isn’t. Then you call your insurance company. That is why you NEED Legal Shield.

You can also contact me here: Legal Shield

ls101_Reasons_to_Use_LegalShield

Can I  Finally Get Out of Ad Seg? Maybe?

Before I share part of Jamie’s last letter . . .

(note from Sonni: I’ve been running myself crazy taking care of details for the book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.” When I began writing, I didn’t know putting out a book involved more than writing it and finding someone to edit it. I knew there were self publishing businesses that helped, but I didn’t know most of them preyed on people who didn’t know they were being scammed into paying for services they didn’t need. That subject should be another post.

After writing this blog for a year or so, I knew Jamie’s story needed to be told. I began the first draft. To understand who Jamie is you should go to archive below the post where you can pull up the posts by the month. Also, some of earliest one are found at the top of the page in the white area.

It was important to find the right artist to create the book cover art, which will also be the digital album cover. Learning how to mark a product has been a challenge. Sometimes, at the spur of the moment I’ll feel a need to play my piano.  It is a release for me when I am on emotional overload.  It is why so many of my recording have an air of melancholy. There is sadness when I feel there is nothing I can do. The music is like a diary of these years. Certain music reminds me of a particular letter of something important that happened. Recording music for the book as the soundtrack is best played while reading. I’m also being promoted on several websites that carry the music. Before the book is published I am releasing another album of improv music titled, “Stories Without Words”

piano-guitar
1976 Early (young) Sonni. The gold bangle on wrist is still there today

I’m having new promo pictures taken with my white piano, outside in summer greenery, by a photographer who specializes in photographing musicians. My promo pictures during my earlier years of playing would only work if I was never seen in public! ( I think I’ve aged just a touch! ) I knew if I was going to resurrect my music career, I couldn’t do it halfway. The difference today is I would not want to travel and tour again.  I want a more intimate setting in a nice restaurant (where I can sell books, too!)

I am also planning to go to Texas for a few weeks during October to visit Jamie at the prison. We need to talk about any changes and additions. Asking him to dig into a painful part of his past and ask him to relive it and write about it has been hard for him. I’m trying to keep him as involved as I can. No one is meant to live through being locked up by themselves for this long.  It’s been almost three years – this time. He has 4 1/2 years left on a 17 year sentence.

Part of the reason it has taken this long to finish the book is having to communicate through  letters, and then waiting for the answer. If the prison puts the inmates on an unexpected lockdown – more than the standard 30 days out of every 90 days then he might not be able to go to commissary and run out of stamps. That happened last time and he couldn’t write for weeks. The prison also screwed up the food box I sent. They marked it ordered, but didn’t deliver it. The online site showed it was ordered. It wouldn’t let me order again until after they were put on lockdown. No food boxes are delivered during that month. Add over 100 degree temperature to the mix doesn’t help anyone’s temperament.

A fight broke out in another building. It was used as an excuse to toss the cells and lock everyone down. He was out of stamps and had nothing to trade with. The guards love candy sticks and will sometimes trade a stamp for one. The cost for one is fifteen cents so it’s a good trade. I try to order 30 and add a variety of gas station quality, convenience store delicacies. Raman noodles, chips, cookies, mackerel, tuna and more – all processed crap, but often better than what they serve for meals. I can purchase $20 a month or $60 for three months. Not much, but it helps – in more ways than one. I can tell by his handwriting when he is depressed. Contact from the outside is like gold.  So many have no one. So . . . on to his letter)

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Good morning to you,                                                                                                        8/18/17

It’s early 5:47 but I could not sleep. I’ve been up since about 9:00 last night. I have not been feeling well. Anyway, I’m writing to tell you something. I really don’t like speaking about it because, to me it seems like when I do something bad always happens. Before I tell you I want you to know I was pulled out of my cell to make a phone call. I give up. I’m not putting in for no more phone calls. Nobody answers the phone at my mom or for my son. I have been doing good and staying away from trouble to make these phone calls only to not reach no one. “F**k that.” I have not had no write ups in over a year. This means I get a line class which goes toward my parole and getting out of ad seg (administrative segregation – a fancy word for being locked up by yourself for 23-24 hours a I don’t know when I’ll get out of seg. It might be Sept or January or March. Hopefully Sept so we can have our first visit that won’t be behind glass. That would be nice being able to hold your hand. I’m a line two right now. I need to be a line one in order to see parole. So in another 6 months, as long as I don’t get any write ups. I’m trying hard. I really am. It will be twelve years by then. I’m trying to make it home. I’m trying hard to get out of this place. I wasn’t to be there for my son. I want to hear you play the piano. 

I want to be there for Jamie while he’s still young. He and I have so much to talk about. Him reading my letter is not the same as him looking me in my eyes and talking to me face to face. That is what I want. So I’m focused on staying out of trouble.

There’s lots of days I don’t go to the shower. I stay in my cell and use the sink and do a bird bath. There’s also days I do go to rec or eat because I try so hard to avoid B/S with the officers. Please know that I’m trying. Sorry I have gotten tired. I will pick this back up later today.

Sorry for the long wait. Things are getting real testy around me. I have been getting into it with the inmates. I feel I’m being tested and this is some kind of karma. It’s stressing me out because I see SCC next month (state classification). I don’t know what they are going to do.

I got everything you sent me. Thank you so much. When you come to visit in October be sure to put in for a special visit ( 2 days, 4 hrs each day. A regular visit is one day, 2 hrs). Being in a place like this really will let you know how much you miss being around regular people. You want to know what I have to listen to? I’m tired of hearing these dudes talking about other dudes. Nasty.

You liked your birthday card? I had it made. I’m learning to make them. I’m working on my coloring and everything. I think it’s wonderful you are doing what you love. There’s a station on the radio that plays instrumental only. I haven’t listened to it in awhile. I have to get me another radio. Mine got broke. Move your fingers over the ivory keys of your piano and enjoy the sound.

We’re going on lockdown again the last week of this month or the first week of next month. If I get out of ad seg it won’t be so much. Gotta go. They’re picking up mail on the other side and I want to send this off.

Till next time, love Jamie

<<< >>>

pssst . . .tap this button

itfo newsletter

Next issue coming soon. The topic this month – Incarcerating The Innocent  . . . AND . . . beginning today, until ten days after the next issue is published, anyone not currently receiving the issue in their email can tap the above button and enter a sweepstakes to win a signed copy of Sharron Grodzinsky’s “Waiting on the Outside.” Ten copies will be given away.  No shipping fee. Absolutely free.

I have read the book.  It is a gripping and heartbreaking true story of a mother who did everything she could to understand and save her adopted son from destructive behavior, choosing to become a skin head, joining the the local white nationalist movement at a very young age. He ended up in prison, where trying to leave the gang could have deadly consequences. Nothing she tried to do to help him had any positive effect.  He seemed determined to make every bad choice that came his way.

Will he be able to survive prison?  Will he survive when he gets out? There is no answer to that question because he is still locked up. This is every mother’s nightmare who watches her child grow up and become someone who is feared by the public.

you can email me at: infonews@gmail.com if you have any questions

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Face book . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world.  All blog posts on this blog post at this site.

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick. at Facebook. My music info with links to new music as well as digging into the past.  I came across a poster of a major music event for me when one of my songs was performed with an orchestra and I flew out to San Francisco to hear it.  My life has been crazy and full of risks and challenges, but I’m still here. I will continue living until the last minute!

ReverbNation . . . Lots of great indie music at this site.  I was impressed. I’ve become a “Fan” of ones I like to help support them and I can share their music if I like. The have many neat services that help musicians put a good package together to promote their music. Tapping on the link will take you to my “work in progress” profile page.  check it out. Tell me what you think. I would appreciate any and all feedback of what you really think.

SkunkRadioLive . . . Thank you to those who tweeted my name at the SKL twitter page. Until i get back out and playing the only people who find me is online.  Many of you I’ve known quite a while and some are knew. But anyone who has a business or does anything online, even Facebook, knows how important to to have your page liked and shared. Right now I have to depend on the people I reach through my computer.  it is hard with new pages.  Some people might think what you do isn’t good if your numbers are low.  They can’t get higher until you start with the first one.  Booking agents and club owners might only have my profile page to go by so I am in constant building mode. On the right side of this page  you will see another twitter symbol asking you to tweet your favorite song.  When you click on it you go to a half filled tweet where you only need to add the name of a song and the artist name

Amerika Was Never White

Excellent article. We’ve had so much white nationalist stupidity in the news lately. I shake my head when I hear them yell with their and stretched out Hitler style, “Make America White Again!” Again?? When was America ever white? Or are they just ignorant about our history. Many of these new Nazis are young – 20’s – and education has fallen so far down the ranks. They can’t write their signatures, so maybe they really are ignorant.

Please go to the original article to leave comments. There are many posts on this site that most people could learn from. There is way too much black history not being taught as well as American Indian history, to all people. If we want to change and become better people in a better country, it starts with better education.

Moorbey'z Blog

Radical rightists purposefully mix “heritage” with “history,” rhetorically pining for a once proud “white” America. But history proves that America was never white.
Joe Krulder

Events in Charlottesville recently cascaded into domestic terrorism. Three dead and dozens wounded as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other “alt-right” members descended upon the university that Thomas Jefferson built; their purpose, it is alleged, to defend a statue – a monument – to the Confederate Civil War soldier, General Robert E. Lee. These radical rightists arrived from all across the United States upon the college town of Charlottesville to protect, in their words, their “white” heritage. Among the many problems I have with so-called “white supremacists” is their purposeful mixing of “heritage” with “history,” rhetorically pining for a once proud “white” America.

But history proves that America was never white.

That I need to make this statement, and worse, that some may…

View original post 1,067 more words

#SchoolofBadass | Mental Illness & Criminal Justice

So many youth with mental issues come from dysfunctional families, put in fostercare and ran away from that. Kids can’t deal with abuse stemming from that. And then later – adult prison 70-80% of inmates come from fostercare. And we know what happens to adults with mental issues in prison. They get locked in a box which puts the finishing touches on their lives, never having been given a chance. It’s sad. Everyone knows it’s wrong, but it doesn’t change. But I guess it makes the prison corporations happy because they get richer, and the government has to pay them less for not keeping to the contracts to keep the prisons full. It’s such a bad cycle, making profit off the backs of people who can’t fight back.

(please leave comments on original website)

American Badass Activists

Roughly one-third of inmates in California’s jails suffer from serious mental illness. (via www.namica.org)

  •  70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
  • Individuals living with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, which do not provide appropriate treatment or supports.
  • Law enforcement is often the first responder in situations that involve people living with a mental health condition.
  • California has made significant progress in recent years in training law enforcement to respond appropriately to situations that involve mental illness, including passage of SB 11 &amp; SB 29 (Beall)
  • About 2 million American with mental health conditions are admitted to jails each year-most for
    non-violent crimes.

What Now?

  • We should expand on the success of proven diversion models, including mobile crisis teams and mental health courts.
  • It is important to encourage partnerships…

View original post 91 more words

How Beautiful is Your Jigsaw Puzzle of Life?

I Do So Love Living, Don’t You?

How beautiful is your jigsaw puzzle of life? I have been thinking about my life and everything I’ve done. Hopefully I have gained wisdom through the years to use for my future. Being young is wonderful. There is so much life ahead.

Young people are full of energy, and hopefully have the desire to “be” someone, whatever theit talents are. From the age of seven I knew I wanted to make music, and the piano was going to be a major part of my life. When I was ten, I knew I was going to teach music. There was no doubt. I also wanted to play the most beautiful music in the world. I’m not finished striving for that. There is still a lot to learn and a lot of life to live.

I have recently been spending my time connecting my piano music to my writing. Both evolved together and much of the music is tied to not only book chapters but to poetry. They will be promoted together. I have searched to find ways to do that. I have different ways than the average author because I am a musician. piano-1015371__340

Many people get depressed when they age. The decade markers of 30-40-50-60 and up, can be hard because it’s easy to dwell on losing youth – on the outside. But it’s up to you if you lose the ability to be young on the inside. I have never tried to “pass” for someone younger. I have never shaved years. I have earned every single year, I’m not going to pretend I haven’t lived them.

For so long everything has been focused on the youth generation, but all youth gets older. They disappear into the AARP magazine pages. Old musicians are called dinosaurs, but this one isn’t going quietly into the sunset.

Being older, I have wisdom and life experiences youth don’t have. Twenty years from now will I look back on all of this and have good memories. Will I be successful? Will this help Jamie when he gets of  prison.

I look at my life like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The border is together. It took a long time to begin to understand myself. Now I’m connecting the pieces inside and fitting them together. It’s up to me how beautiful it is. Every year of life has meaning. Some years are harder than others, but all the puzzles pieces affect how you fit future pieces together.

We all need to live as though today is the last day of our life and begin something we have wanted to do, or finish something already started. This is why I’m working so hard. I do it because I love it and I’m having fun. I love living. You don’t need to be pushed or develope discipline when you have a passion for living.

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I have a new page at a website you can go to directly called ReverbNation. Click become a fan. You can also go there through the link at Skunk Radio. I have had so much fun taking this to the next level. I’ve been blogging for three years and adding music to many posts but this month is the first time online that I have attempted to cross over onto the commercial side. My earlier years as a professional player these options weren’t there. If you didn’t have a record deal it didn’t matter how good you were. I was still singing then but my vocals can’t survive a couple hours of singing anymore.

I will be connected to other sites in the near future. It’s a big market out there. This will also help me get an agent for the right gigs which will create book sales through live gigs. A girl’s gotta eat and pay for travel. Okay, so I’m not exactly a “girl” but musicians get better with age! It has been exciting putting this together. I had retired. I thought live gigs were in my past. When my pages are complete with a new head shot and video I’ll be contacting agents. Life has a way of kicking us in the pants when we aren’t looking, but it’s up to us if we grab the brass ring and run with it. 

I absolutely love finding new people who like the music I record. I think it’s important to never stop dreaming. If we reach an age where we stop ourselves from believing we can live life like we’re young, our brain dries up and blows away.

It isn’t easy to write, research, promote, compose and record, handle 4 facebook pages, 2 blogs, a newsletter and also help your mother pack up her house and not drop a plate you’re spinning in the air. My entire body hurts from packing, because although I’m young inside, my body is 63 and has been battered around by life.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those who have gone to my sites, played my music, shared it and also went to SRL twitter page and simply tweeted my name to them. You still can. They have additional ways they help those who have a following. I’m trying to build one. Online stats will make or break me.

I will soon be putting out a digital album (before the one coming out when the book is ready.) My music is a soundtrack. (Sound Cloud) We have them for movies. Why not a book? Ideally play it when you read the book and feel the emotion, or play it when you want to relax or go to sleep. The music below was supposed to go with the book chapter by the same name, The Waking Hour, that was posted last month. I recorded the music after I wrote the chapter, but they have the same picture of the sleeping baby.

I’m also thinking of putting my music into music boxes to sell that look like a baby grand piano. I have a few that would be nice for children. It’s just an idea right now. When ideas come in your head it is for a reason. We have to see, and visualize where we want to go or our brain can’t figure out how to make it happen. I do so love living, don’t you?

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My new featured page at Skunk Radio Live has been a big boost. I found out recently they can also promote my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside” when Its done. That will reach people my mailing list doesn’t. I hope you will join my mailing list to find out how this is coming together.

I made many changes from the first draft of the book. (earlier chapters were posted last year) Hopefully good changes. I’m not trying to write it fast just to get it out there, but rather – write the best I can. It’s a craft, like learning to play the piano. I created a different twist to the second half of the story. It’s still non-fiction; just presented differently. I’m also planning to spend a few weeks of October in Texas and go to Allred Unit, the prison Jamie is housed so we can talk through several visits and clear up details I need.

pssst . . .tap this button

 

you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Face book . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick. at Facebook. My music info with links to new music.

100 Years of Solitary

……This is such a familiar story I feel like it is a letter from Jamie. There are so many names for solitary. There was a time Jamie was acused of winking at a very large unattractive woman and put in 23 hr lockup. This woman had wishful thinking he had winked at her. He has been in lockdown almost 3 years this time. It worried me how he will be in 2023, when he he gets out after 17 years. Your description of the squat and cough – is in a chapter in my book. I think the guards enjoy humiliating people and getting away with it. Kick the dog syndrome.

Soul On Rice

There were two points during my prison stint when I was subjected to extreme and extended periods of confinement. They called it CM, Close Management. Six DR’s, Disciplinary Reports, in 6 months would earn you an express ticket to “The Red Roof Inn,” the CM building. It was designed for the most dangerous and belligerent inmates. I never considered myself to be amongst the most dangerous and belligerent, not even close, but I do believe there was something about my indifference towards “The Box” that may have irked some of the guards.

One time, as punishment for “looking at” a female officer, I was given a 5-gallon bucket by another officer, a skinny dude with a big mustache, and led to a desolate area behind the medical building, in sight of a Guard Tower.

“Fill it to the top with those rocks,” he said.

I’d heard stories of officers handing…

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