kids in handcuff

(The source for this photo is ) This past week the facebook page for Jamie, “Jamie, Life In Prison” gained 45 new likes, the most it has grown in any one week period! It takes time to build readership just like it takes time here at WordPress. My last ITFO Newsletter didn’t post here to this blog. I am having difficulties doing some things right now since I broke my shoulder and arm a week a ago. I can only use Swype on my Nook which is slow and tedious. At least I damaged my left side and not my right side, as I try to find something positive in all this mess. If you aren’t on the mailing list yet for the newsletter, go to the link for the facebook page. Scroll down about a dozen.You’ll see a post “What About The Children?” sent out to over 6000 people. Clicking on that post will bring up the issue. There are about 7 articles you can read by clicking on the titles. Only a tiny portion is visible. Each one is a different aspect of the children. On the top are buttons to see past issues and also to subscribe. Please do that and also share it on your timeline if you think it is important. The next issue will be about the women, a quickly growing segment of the prison population. Why? Without mothers the children have no chance at all.

The issues about prison reform are so important because it affects so many people in addition to those incarcerated.  Wives and husbands. Sisters and brothers, grandparents and friends. If our justice system didn’t incarcerate so many innocent people to feed the corporations that don’t want to pay a living wage to the public who desperately needs to make a livable wage then just maybe things could change. If you break it completely down, it begins with the percentage of people who believe the corporations who bring you the news are also bringing you the truth. Sadly, the truth is hard to find. Versions of the truth, which are really only opinions are believed as truth. Only if you take the time to read outside the box and strive to understand why it is so important to “them” for you to believe what they say can you begin to understand what is true and what isn’t. Until you do that you are just a pawn in their game of control.

The incarceration of the black race was deliberate. We know it for sure with John Erlichman’s confession about Nixon’s War on Drugs. We also know for certain because it is mainly the black race being set free because of bogus charges – not the white race.  Sadly it often takes 20 – 40 years to get the conviction turned around and prisons often fight like hell to keep them and say it is up to them to figure out how to get released with no help from them. Is it because they don’t want to admit wrong doing because of the way they are mistreated?. I don’t know, but I think, as human beings, they would want to do no more harm. It is not the case, though. Because of racism, being born black is often the only “sin” committed.

In cases where crime was committed, the mandatory minimum sentencing laws often take the rest of that person’s life away from them. A gram of coke, an ounce of pot and a life is lost. Which is worse? Driving drunk that caused a death, but with a good attorney could set you free, but if you only had a public defender they’d force you to take a plea of many years. The public needs to do the right thing and force change.

In the meantime, the destruction of families, the destruction of a child’s education, children deprived of parents, black children overwhelmingly shoved through juveniles detention with very few people hearing their cries for help. Look at what the system did to Kalief Browder. Remember him? It took him committing suicide to stop the system from putting kids in solitary confinement. I wonder how many times he was raped by guards and predators. We should be ashamed that it was allowed to happen. I know other personal stories of ruined people. All I could do was apologize. I don’t know how to fix it. It makes me sick. I don’t know how the law works, but there are people who do, and we can help them by educating people.

Until the people, us ordinary people, throw our support behind the people who are fighting for change, then it will continue. Get away from TV news, bought and paid for, and use the power of the internet. That doesn’t mean to go to news sites that support what you think. Go to sites that don’t sing to the choir where you can actually learn something.

parents in prison

Take care of the children, especially the children of inmates. They are our future, too. We can change their future and also change the future of the world. So many people like to say we are a Christian nation. I don’t see it by looking at people’s actions. What I see is  hate and judgemental attitude… Is it you?  I don’t know, but you do… I see many harsh words for people who are pro choice. But those who are against abortion, you have the right to your feelings, but are you all talk? Do you do anything at all to help care for the children you say have a right to be born because life is a gift? If you don’t help the children your talk has no meaning. Do something. Be proactive. You reap what you sow.

ITFO Newsletter . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

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3 thoughts on “The Children of Inmates, Where Do You Stand?

  1. Hello, I’m currently writing a book on Celtic paganism for people in prison and I also provide pagan prison support , especially working through my contacts and friends who are political prisoners and with a LGBT prison abolitionist group with a traffic penpal program. I don’t know if Jamie knows that the Unitarian Universalist Church has a penpal program and members also get a free copy of the monthly magazine with topics like “justice” and “healing.” They are nondenominational, including Buddhism, humanists, Pagans etc. what I don’t think most people understand is 1% of the American population is in prison. Or how expensive it is in prison with everything marked up 35% and the most expensive female in the United States and how little people make such as $0.12 an hour sewing for the US military. One in 27 children have a parent in prison. 40% of women in prison are disabled . However you have to keep working so you can buy shampoo, snacks because there is so little food really provided , pay someone to clean your cell, etc. PM press and AK press both offer large discounts on books being sent to prison – I think 30%. The book I am writing as the second in a series for pagans and like the first one will be 400 pages available for eight dollars to people in prison. I have lime disease and babesiosis (malaria) along with severe multiple chemical sensitivity so I cannot leave my room because the world is too toxic. And being so sick means I am bedridden. It’s similar to house arrest for life with no visitors. Every human being is to chemical even after showering for me to be near without having a seizure. That was caused by sick building syndrome – something we are seeing in person a lot along with autoimmune illnesses. Prison systematically destroys communities of color by removing the fathers and then making sure they will not be able to get work. The way that the welfare system is arranged having the father in the family will harm the children financially. It is systematically racist. 80% of people are there for drug related crimes and we say addiction is an illness but we don’t put people with cancer into prison. One in eight people are there because of cannabis. 8 to 12% of people say that they’re pagan. Recently the number of people in nontraditional religions has gone up by 71% including Buddhism. Yet very few people go into the prisons as a religious volunteer. I sent handouts on meditation and living our values no matter what based on experiences from people from the Nazi concentration camps showing that we can live our values no matter what. I’m incredibly ill and trapped for the rest of my life and have to use crappy dictation and yet I still manage to send postcards to political prisoners on birthdays and pay out-of-pocket even though I’m on SSI to make copies of spirituality handouts for pagans in prison. People can easily make a difference , they just choose not to. Being Caucasian I know it’s “if not for the grace of my skin color, there go I.” Like a friend was told by the warden ” the only difference between you in here and people on the outside is you were caught.” In loving solidarity, Heather Awen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi heather. I actually write an email to you 3 days ago and before I could send it, it disappeared! I’ve had a bit on my plate and didn’t have time to rewrite it yet. I will get back in touch with you to tell you what I’m doing and see where we can help each other. I realize you don’t know me or what I do, but in the future I don’t need numbers and percentages. I’m pretty knowledgeable about our prison system. I’ve been researching about ten years. I recently finished the first draft of a book on Jamie’s life. I write two blogs and a newsletter. I will tell you, though, I don’t mix religions or life philosophies. I also would have nothing to do with the Unitarian church which takes what they think is the best of different faiths. I have nothing to do with anything involved in any sect of Christianity. I don’t believe in God in any way. But I do respect anyone else’s choice of faith. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. Like Christianity there are many different sects. I don’t follow the teachings of Zen of the Dalai lama, Shinto or any other. I follow the lotus sutra which is based on the law of cause and effect. Mixing up different faiths only causes your head to be confused trying this and that instead of simply taking responsibility for all aspects of your life. I do not mediate nor do I teach it. I chant. Mediation is only in the head. Causes are made by thought, words and actions. I’ve been a Nichiren Buddhist for 30 years. So you and I are far apart in what we believe. Simplify what you are trying to tell me. You bounced around through quite a few topics in just a few sentences from paganism to Nazis and I’m not sure what the bottom line is of what you do. Hope to hear from you soon. Sonni


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