The Country Kitchen, Melvin Harris
Melvin Harris and his restaurant, The Country Kitchen in Onalaska, Tex

Melvin, the man in southern Texas who goes to visit Jamie every 4-6 weeks, tried to see him today and was turned away.  This has been the only man who committed himself to be there for him like a father figure. He has also been able to get information to me about things that are happening.  He told me today that Jamie was put back in solitary confinement and they also took away his visiting privileges. I doubt Jamie even knows he tried to see him.

The abuse never stops.  In my last letter he said the guards were harassing him so bad he stopped going to chow.  It was safer to take his meals in his cell.  So what happened?  I haven’t gotten a letter from him in two weeks and when that happens it always concerns me. Sometimes they even take away all of his possessions, including his mattress. The worst thing about all of this is that it will used against him when his next parole hearing comes up in Oct 2016.

The parole board will ask,”What have you done to improves yourself?” they will ask. “Nothing? And you think we should let you out?” or “Oh, you don’t even have a GED? You’ll never get a job. Request denied.” Chances for parole are very slim.

He has told me, “They don’t give black dudes parole. They keep them until they time out.” Inmates that stay until the last day of their sentence just get put out. They don’t get the counseling or therapy to help them integrate into society. But he has me, and will do everything I can for him to be okay.

This is why I’m writing the book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside”. I haven’t posted anything new lately. I’m doing a lot of editing and reorganizing and will then hire a real editor to make sure it is done right. I’d like to sell enough copies to give him a nest egg to help get him started. At least that is my dream and even inside prison what is life without a dream?

I talked to my grandson and asked him if there was anything I could tell his daddy for him. He said, “Just tell him I love him.” That will pick up his spirits and give him a reason to keep going. Keeping that connection alive is important. Someday, when his son gets older, if he has any doubt that his father has loved him this entire time, he can read this blog. He can get to know him here. It must be hard to have a father and know you can’t see him. For a variety of reasons no one takes him. I am too far away. His son could be 17 by the time he gets out and Jamie would be close to 40. If he makes it out.

I will just have to wait to hear from him. It’s so premature to even think about when he gets out. . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Sonni Quick piano music complete list

10 thoughts on “Inside Prison What Is Life Without A Dream?

    1. After I posted that there was a letter from him in the mail box.. The main reason the guards get on him is because he doesn’t let get away with the things they do. He’s vocal. He reports them. He stands up for mistreated inmates. Even when guards admit to him that he is in the right there is a rule among guards that they will always support each other no matter what the truth really is. It gives them a reason to take him down. Although we write a lot in our letters to stay in control of your emotions and not react if they are just trying to press your buttons, it’s also important to stand up for justice. He can’t win the battle against the guards from inside the prison but it does develope him as a person if he can learn to use that anger in a positive way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fear for him. It sounds like pure evil and I’m not talking about the convicts. This is the kind of environment that begs for strict government oversight which is another reason for all of us to do out best to toss the Republican Party out of our government.

        This is why we don’t want unregulated capitalism in chasrge of public services.

        In an environment like the one you are describing there are no checks; the prisoners lives are at the mercy of people who have dehumanized them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I couldn’t have said it better. The only problem with government oversight is that the problems we have today has been caused by the government and the powerful people who control it. Everything is based on money and profit. Wars are planned and executed for profit. We want their resources while they convince the people we are invaded countries to “save” them. Or we are protecting our democracy. That’s a load of BS. Prisons are just another money making machine. The people inside are expendable. The number of companies that need the prisons is astounding. If you haven’t yet, read a reblog from Moorbey’s blog a few posts back – the one where all s’s are replaced with z’s. There is the list of theses companies in the post.

          I fear for Jamie, too. and the rest of the inmates who are abused. Yes, there are some really bad people in prison, but a lot of them aren’t. They might have committed a crime. Maybe not. But destroying the rest of their lives because you make money off them and giving them sentences that are way out of line is evil.

          Yesterday, my mother asked, “But what will Jamie do when he gets out. How will he live?” That will be my responsibility -to make sure he won’t fall. He doesn’t deserve what they are doing to him. My next post explains why he is in solitary again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree with what you are saying because the government that we have now is shaped by the abdication of responsibility on the part of the voters.

            The founders of the U.S. were right when they observed that a democratic system of self government requires constant vigilance and active participation; there will also be a wealthy elite who will see themselves as entitled to everything, including the lives of their fellow citizens.

            A government that is held accountable by voters who understand that they are the government and are thus responsible for everything that it does in their name would work, It will not work perfectly but somehow we managed to muddle through the last half of the 20th Century without making the mess we have now.

            What you’re doing is important…Thank you.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. But the problem Rob, is that it doesn’t matter what the people want. We can’t hold them accountable even if we try. The taxes we pay? We have no say in what they do with it. We can’t actually vote on bills or laws. We don’t get to read the stuff that gets written them. We can’t buy politicians. We can’t make brings right. Even though it was well above 90% of the people who wanted GMO labeling we couldn’t make it happen. We were told we were too stupid. We’d get confused. Women were told they were too stupid to make decisions about their own bodies. If we can’t get those things done how could we get anything else done. We don’t have the money to buy it – like the Koch brothers or the 1%. It’s sad, but it’s what happens to empires like ours. One day this piece of land will be unrecognizable – a thing of the past. Thanks for the conversation today. Maybe it’s better to stay ignorant and just go about your day.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I know. It feels hopeless. But I have to believe that we can change this.

              I have to believe that we can survive this setback to our social evolution; or else I am lost to despair. Just as I had to believe that we could go from being a culture that saw being gay as a sexual deviance to one that accepts same sex marriage as a right.

              I don’t know how we can do it but I believe that just talking to each other about these things generates change.

              Your blog has changed me, it has helped me to understand the exploitation of our prison population in a way that is personal. Your focus on Jamie’s story changes the reader in very deep and hard to express ways.

              I often read your and am left without words.

              It looks very black for the United States.

              But we are all we have; we, those of us with a sense of right and wrong and the passion to express ourselves.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Yes, I know, without hope it would make us immobile. We have to keep trying. I know that the more other people become aware it does help change things. But the slide down we have all experienced in the last 50 years shows no sign of improving. Money creates more negative change than talking creates positive change. I will always keep trying, but the fear in my heart for my grandchildren and future generations is very real. The will never experience a time that stopped pretty much in the 50’s. children won’t experience the childhood I had – unless you have enough money to create that kind of bubble that children everywhere else can’t experience. Lack of money, lack of good food, lack of personal freedom and privacy, lack of fear. But . . . we have to keep trying. Stave it off for as long as possible. There are days I can’t read the news because it is too depressing. I too have to hope that somehow we will survive.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Thank you for your reply. I sometimes care so much that I am moved to despair. I wonder why there are people who believe that they have the right to take what they want, and take more, and then even more even as those around them whither and die from their greed. It is hard to have faith — I sense that hope and frustration in your writing; and I know that it 0ften feels as if we are sinking into the oblivion that the darkness inside of us craves….we must try even as we believe we are failing…perhaps especially then…

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Addiction comes in many forms. The crashing for power or money is as strong as an addiction to heroin. People with that don’t even consider how they affect others. We aren’t even worth considering in their eyes. It doesn’t matter if they have more than they could possibly use. Every empire that has fallen has been because of greed. But this time they stole from the earth to satisfy their greed. I don’t know if we can recover from this.


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