Before I print Jamie’s letter I want to give you a new piece of music I recorded called “Finding Me again” which you will see here on Sound Cloud. Beneath it is another new piece called “Graduation Day” and is up there as one of my favorites, with the mixing of highs and lows of emotion. I hope to include a disc of some of the music I have written on the inside of the back of the book when it’s done. Please fill out the form at the bottom to be included on the mailing list.
I have been writing for the book like you asked me to. I started where it began ten years ago, when I was at the county jail in 2006. I tried to explain about each prison I’ve been to and some of what I did in each place. I’ll send it soon. Right now I’m writing about the Smith Unit. I’m writing more about this unit because this is where most of my troubles started.
I’m missing not having my photos. I had a lot. Ones from when Jamie was born and everything you and Megan sent, but I also had family photos my cousin sent here and there. I got the first box of books you ordered while I was still in Wynne unit, but I didn’t get the rest of my property. I never did hear from my family for my birthday. I really don’t much care, either. You asked me what it was like growing up. I never had a birthday party but I had a cake here and there. Nothing special. Just another day to me.
I know this is a difficult subject to talk about. Thank you for understanding. Being a man who has gone a long period of time without a woman is hard on any man unless he desires another man. I will never do that. Disease in prison is everywhere. No way would I have sex even with a female guard. If she has sex with dudes in here a lot of them have sex with men and they could be infected. So I practice safe sex with myself. What we have here is a lot of people who aren’t supposed to want sex. If they are caught, even taking care of their own needs they are punished, which is what they did to me. We have no privacy. If we put up a sheet if our cell has bars they rip it down. On the other hand, officers force themselves on weaker dudes. It is all about power. Maybe the officers weren’t like this before. Maybe working in this hell turned them to be like this or it brought something out in them. I guess its the same or worse with the females. I bet they have a really hard time.
In this new unit I am learning to keep my mouth shut and not draw attention to myself. Anyway, they don’t mess with me for sex. I haven’t been here long enough to know if it is any different. Believe it or not a lot of the officers like it better with same sex couples because then they feel they can make them give them up information about things. However, if they don’t it give up, they are blackmailed. They do the same thing to others with some changes. They feed them to the sharks by saying things that puts them in danger with other inmates if they don’t tell them what they know. They turn dudes against each other.
Thank you mom, for being there for me. You are a very loving and caring. Your encouragement keeps me focused so I can learn not to lose it. I love you for this. It’s what I really need to stay on my toes and in the right frame of mind. There are lots of times I get very depressed, really. I just try to block it out. I will seek help for this. Right now you are all I have. Families are hard to understand. I don’t think I can understand why mine doesn’t think I need them. I guess it’s because we think we know them when we really don’t. How can you and I think we know them? We both have families who don’t care about what happens to us but there is nothing we can do about it. But I have spent enough time thinking about this. I have to work on myself. I get so angry sometimes. But I have a right to get angry don’t I? Am I not supposed to let this make me angry because my family is never there for me? Should I not get angry because I can’t see, ever, my only son, my flesh and blood? It hurts me so much I sit here and cry. It builds up in me and I want to explode. It is a punishment that is hard to bear. But it is my karma, right? I don’t know what I did but it is up to me to change me. It’s inside me. My lesson to learn. I want to be happy. You have not seen me snap. My anger takes control. But this is something I am personally working on.
The thing I want most in my life I am denied – my son. I have missed so much of his life. Even though this unit is closer to him I am still going to miss being part of his life, but I guess that’s family for you. Why do I deserve the punishment of not being able to see my son? Am I such a bad person that my love for my son doesn’t matter? I think about how my son feels. Does it hurt him to not be able to see me? It must make him feel bad too. Won’t this hurt him as he grows up? This punishment is for both of us. When I think about it I look at it as Megan don’t want Jamie to think it is good to see my son in a way. I look at it like that but I feel something else.
I’m more focused than I have ever been. So far everything in here is going well with me. I stay to myself and read. I work out here and here and get the rest I need. I chant and focus on what I need to do. As for respect, I give it and don’t look for it back. I don’t really talk to the officers believe it or not. I know these officers hold grudges – bad. Anyone who gets on their bad side, let’s just say, they won’t eat during the four days the officers are working. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and they get away with it. So with that said, I don’t say nothing to them but thank you when they bring me my food, or yes and no if I want to go to the shower or go to rec. Other than that, I might speak to my neighbor here and there. No, this is a different one, not the crazy one I had before. I was moved. I’m a level 2 now. I have to do 60 days more to get level one. So about March if I don’t get any major cases.
I want to say thank you to the people who wrote to me. I don’t have any addresses to write back because I don’t have my property. Tell everyone hi for me. It was really good to hear from them. It helps me a lot. More than they know.
I love you, Love always, Jamie.
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