Newsletter #1, 4/6/2016
Inside The Forbidden Outside
Hi There! I have been asking people for addresses for my mailing list for quite awhile now, but this is the first time I have sent anything out. I decided to also make this a blog post for those not only the mailing list yet. a My goal is to create a monthly newsletter. Nothing overly long and probably only once a month, so you will not get a bunch of emails in your inbox. I’ve been testing different newsletter templates to find one that I like.
There are a few things going on I wanted to tell you about. If you visit my blog regularly you may already know of some of this, but I know how it is – if you are a blogger – it is hard to get back to all the blogs you like because you are busy writing one yourself.
I did an internet radio show on the David Shape Show which was broadcast on April 4th. Because it is on the internet it can be listened to at any time. There are other shows you can tap into on his blog or Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/davidsnapeshow
The interview we did was is about the US prison system. Most of you know I write about Jamie Cummings, the father of one of my grandsons. During the interview we talked about how the prisons take care of inmates with medical conditions, and the care they don’t get that is often urgently needed. His main issue is with epilepsy, but he was recently diagnosed with a problem with his heart at a hospital, Pericarditis, yet the prison doctor told him there was nothing wrong with him and wouldn’t provide the medication the cardiologist said he needed. So many inmates have chronic conditions, often caused by the lack of nutrition in their diet that effects them over time, especially the elderly. If the prisons provided adequate care of medical problems it would cut to deeply into their profit margin. The prison system doesn’t care about medical care for the inmates.
When you go to the radio show it is a little over two hours. It’s a great show with music, and interview with a musician releasing new music. David talks about different topics in the news. My interview starts about one hour and twenty minutes into the show.
We also talked about the youth in juvenile detention and how children are treated in schools, using cops for discipline instead of detention; putting handcuffs on them and seating them in the rear seat of a patrol car. This action sucks kids into the school to prison pipeline that primes the next generation of prisoners. Their education has been disturbed and it ruins their chances of higher education. This has far reaching effects on the rest of their lives. It affects foster children the most. Over 70% of those incarcerated come from the foster system earlier in life.
We also talked about the book I’m writing about Jamie’s life, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. You can find chapters on the blog at http://mynameisjamie.net. You can also find them on Jamie’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison. The book is more than half done and the editing process has begun. I’ve talked with several publishers and have gotten good feedback from them. I’ve started with a content editor whose job is to go over story content and make sure it is pulled together right and makes sense. I’ve had great help from a few bloggers who have gone over grammar and punctuation. I found you can’t edit your own work because the eye skips over errors. I could also spend all day editing one chapter and never get anything else written. I’ve been excited about the progress I’ve made so far.. It’s real now, not just an idea I’m working on.
David and I also discussed the piano music I’m writing for the book which hopefully will be included inside the back cover of the book. It depends on if it is too cost prohibitive or if I have to initially get too many books printed up front instead of them being printed as they are ordered. At the end of the show he played one of my more recent pieces with the title “From the Bottom of My Heart.” All of the pieces can be heard at http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick.
This is the first of hopefully more media I will be doing over time to advertise the book. I hope will lead to being able to lecture on the prison industry. When Jamie is finally released he will be able to join me. He wants to work with the youth using his life as an example, in hopes of being able to turn their lives around before they, too, end up in the system. One in three black males end up incarcerated. Contrary to racist belief it is not because crime is in their genes. It is because of the government pushing the War of Drugs on to the black man’s shoulders, making you believe through the media that they are dangerous.
Kids don’t understand the ramifications of their choices until it’s too late. When someone has been incarcerated for a long time, and Jamie has been locked up for 14 years counting time in juvenile detention. Unfortunately, the four years in juvy was not because he committed a crime. He should not have been locked up. The same thing happens to more black kids than any other race, but it was planned to be that way, as John Erlichman, one of Nixon’s staff explained after he got out of prison. The war on Drugs was meant to target pot which was classified as one of the most dangerous drugs, like heroin, and it was meant to target blacks and the media was to portray them as dangerous heroin addicts people were supposed to fear. It worked. You need only look at our prison system and percentages of who is locked up.. It is time now to undo the damage we have done to people’s lives, and it is time to change the brainwashing the people were put to through to increase the racism going on. It is a tough thing to undo.
This story needs to be shared. I am asking for you to please share this on your own social media. The success of my hard work will be determined by how well this info gets pushed through sites on the web. Share the web interview. When you pull it up there will be links. The only way to have a successful book is if the people who know about it – share it – and earlier I start, the better it will be. Follow the blog, follow facebook.
This brings so much encouragement to Jamie as he sits in his cell 23-24 hours a day, working his way up through the levels once again. He has received letters from some of you. Knowing someone cares enough to write matters more than you know. Thank you for tuning in to the show. Let me know what you think.
IN THE FUTURE
In later newsletters I will also be talking about other inmates I write to who would like to have their stories told. Think of them as people, not just as felons. Some are guilty, and some are not. Even those who are guilty, I believe deserve a second change when they are actively trying hard to have a better life. None of us are completely guilt free. We should all know by now that our prisons have been filled by anyone and everyone our justice system could fill them with. Unfortunately most of them have been the black population. If the ratio were reversed and there were more whites than blacks it would have never happened. It’s been proven that crimes are not separated by race. That is what the war of Drugs wanted to make you believe. If the prisons housed only the ones that needed to be kept from society, and those who paid a reasonable price for a crime they committed, half the inmates that deserved it would be home with their families.
There are other inmates, or x-felons who have written books, or who blogs. Also parents and spouses have helped tell their stories. I want to share other books that have been written to help promote their hard work as well.
I read something today on a website written by an attorney. I was researching the legalities of writing someone’s life story. She mentioned inmates in particular and said, I’m paraphrasing, “You know you can’t trust felons to tell you the truth.” I was insulted by that, because she was lumping all inmates into one giant ball like their makeup of being liars comes with the package of being incarcerated. It took some self control not to write to her. She obviously thinks the worst of anyone locked up and being an attorney, she should know it doesn’t take a felon to be a liar. The ones I have gotten to know had nothing to gain by lying. They needed someone to listen because people like this attorney always assumes they are lying.
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