photo-61
Hiraeth by Sonni Quick copyright 2014

(Sonni’s note: I am reposting part of this from a post July 2012. Nothing has changed from then except that two more years have gone by, so there is at least that. October 2016 he comes up for parole again and I want things to be different this time around. They never give parole the first time around and they have made it very difficult for him this time coming up by not letting him have any education. He has to be so careful now. But even being careful doesn’t help when they use any excuse to file a case against you, real or false. The picture of his son is two years old, so I am adding one that is newer. His son is his reason for being. The one thing that gives value to his life. His one accomplishment. At least 3 months before a parole hearing, a parole packet should be sent to the parole board to read. It’s important because it tells them what kind of support an inamte has. The chances of going back in, recidivism, is higher for those who don’t have family support. They want to see  there is a system in place to help him get back on his feet. The adjustment back into society is no always possible. When an inmate has no one, he has to figure out himself how to get his life together. He may not have those life skills. So many inmates don’t. Jamie has never had the opportunity to live on his own to gain the experiences needed to live. There is much we take for granted; how to turn on utilities, how to open a bank account, how to do laundry. These are things we find easy. He doesn’t know how. He is going to need help and guidance to figure out all he’ll need to do to survive. One of the reasons I am writing his story as a book is to have it ready before his parole hearing.  I don’t know if is a good idea to present it to the parole board so that will take some thought first)

Jamie and his little brother Ben
Jamie with his little half brother Benjamin

I’m just lonely and it hurts. I miss everyone so much. It seems as if no one cares at all how I’m doing. And it bothers me that the woman I care so much for isn’t worried about my health or well being. No one stays in touch with me at all. It hurts that Megan is treating me as if I’m not Jamie’s dad. What I mean is, she don’t tell me nothing about how he’s doing. Everything I know comes from you. I’m very thankful for that. I would love to hear from Megan once or twice a month. What’s so hard about that? I get mad and try to write her to let her know I’m mad but I end up throwing the letter away. I tell myself it’s all my fault I’m here. Then again, it’s no reason for her to not stay in touch. If not for her then for the kids. I do love them and miss them so much.

It hurts so much not being there for Jamie. I’ve missed out on so much. I’m trying. I’m staying clear of trouble. I come up for parole on July 27, 2014. That’s one reason why I try to stay in touch with everyone. If these people decided to give me parole and they can’t get in touch with nobody I will have to wait for them to find me a half way house. I’m being treated like an unknown person by them.

So, if it stays like this, why should I try? My son is young and he has dyslexia. It’s hard for him to write. But still, Megan could give him some paper and let him color a picture for me. EVERY little thing touches my heart. I miss him so much. I sit here trying to read and my mind wanders thinking of everyone, from the night me and Megan met, even to the day I met Megan’s dad, to the day I first met my son. That was the most wonderful moment in my life. Please talk to Megan for me. Ask her what’s wrong. Why don’t she write to me? Tell her all she has to do is let me know. I can’t put up too much of an argument here. I just want the truth, that’s all. I’m going to close this letter. Take it easy, okay? Take one day at a time. The pain will be over soon and things will be just as beautiful as before. I love you mom

(Sonni’s note: Jamie’s  heart is big. He wrote this six weeks after I had a liver transplant. The healing had been very painful. He has always shown concern for me. He has kept my spirit up while I try to keep him going, too. Two wounded people living through the consequences of our own making. Cause and effect is very strict. Long ago I began calling him son, and he began calling me mom. He needed someone to hold him up during the times he couldn’t do it himself. I felt honored.)

Reading this letter again brings tears to my eyes. His pain pours out through his words. He has always expressed so much caring to me about these things that are important to him. There are so many children of inmates who are separated by at least one of their parents.  They accept it.  It is common.  Most all their friends only have a mom, or they are raised by their grandmothers, like Jamies neices and nephews have been raised by his mom.  How do they grow up and understand what a family should be? Knowing how many dad’s are in prison, what do these little boys think about themselves when they grow up?  That is an interesting angle to pursue.

5 thoughts on “Prison Sentences Are Just As Long For The Children

    1. I can’t express how much I appreciate your reblog. I spend my day working in ways to improve things in the prisons. Many people don’t think that for every inmate inside, man or woman, there are many more lives affected on the outside. The children, so young, aren’t able to really process it. I’m hoping in September to go to Texas and take my grandson to see his father. My daughter won’t do it, and it’s been two years since I’ve been there last. Children get caught in the middle. I want to tell you a little something about his father. He never knew him. Didn’t know who he was. He has 3 siblings all with different dad’s but they knew their father. Jamie is 32 now. His real mom came to see him on his birthday and told him who his father is – a retired cop. She didn’t know he was married when she became pregnant. She ended the relationship. She told Jamie that day she almost aborted him. ( great thing to find out on your birthday from your mother who never writes to you and maybe comes to see you every few years. No help. No money to buy hygiene products or pay his medical fee each year. I do that. The man wanted nothing to do with his son. But now his mother and father have gotten married. Jamie tried to reach out to him and even sent him a birthday card. No response. How screwed up is that. He wants to be a father. His son is all he has, and since my daughter moved on she doesn’t want to be bothered and hates it that it is me who is doing what she and his mother should have been doing the last ten years. All of this is in the letters I post from Jamie a long with quite a bit of music I have composed for the blog.

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