This is a blog I found today, or rather he found me. I read a few posts and checked out his story. If you want a little honesty about what happens when that door slams behind you and you are locked in jail, this is it. He describes it in a way that compels you to keep reading. Six chapters are posted so far but there are more. Read this and go on to chapter one.

For my son, Never Give UP! And for my mother, my TEMICOR, I’m proud to say, “That’s my mom.” 😊I can’t leave out my team, A-Team, thank you for all your help and efforts and fighting as hard as you have. For Simon, getting me started down the right path and then a roof over […]

via FORWARD — Survivngoutlawjustice

My Debt to Society By: Trevor Booth

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Those that work for the prison system and the politicians who do their bidding know the cost to house him exceeds any debt he owes, so “paying his debt to society” in this was is evidence that there are ulterior motives to his incarceration. There are other things he could do that would be a better help to him and others rather than putting him into a locked prison.

Strangely there are many people who don’t realize debtors prison had been revived some time ago, and honestly believe they can’t be incarcerated for debt. So people should take heed and read this carefully. There are many ways to land yourself inside cement walls. They are getting creative with assigned more and more ways to imprison people who are guilty of a crime that needs them separated from society to learn their lesson.

Inmate Blogger

Funny how that is worded huh? “My Debt to Society”… As tax payers lay to house me for my crime I am paying my debt to society with what is to be warehoused years of my life. There is absolutely no reason for my debt besides the seriousness of my crime, for I am not a threat to society, I am not a career criminal. I’d much rather pay my debt to society in a trail of redemption being a tax payer and being a part of life changing experiences for myself and others.

My debt to society will cost society approximately $500,080 to tax payers, and that’s if the parole board blesses me with release on what my judge set as my fixed. So to all of the tax payers out there I must apologize for making all of you victims of my crime. To think about such things…

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#SchoolofBadass | Mental Illness & Criminal Justice

So many youth with mental issues come from dysfunctional families, put in fostercare and ran away from that. Kids can’t deal with abuse stemming from that. And then later – adult prison 70-80% of inmates come from fostercare. And we know what happens to adults with mental issues in prison. They get locked in a box which puts the finishing touches on their lives, never having been given a chance. It’s sad. Everyone knows it’s wrong, but it doesn’t change. But I guess it makes the prison corporations happy because they get richer, and the government has to pay them less for not keeping to the contracts to keep the prisons full. It’s such a bad cycle, making profit off the backs of people who can’t fight back.

(please leave comments on original website)

International Badass Activists

Roughly one-third of inmates in California’s jails suffer from serious mental illness. (via www.namica.org)

  •  70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
  • Individuals living with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, which do not provide appropriate treatment or supports.
  • Law enforcement is often the first responder in situations that involve people living with a mental health condition.
  • California has made significant progress in recent years in training law enforcement to respond appropriately to situations that involve mental illness, including passage of SB 11 & SB 29 (Beall)
  • About 2 million American with mental health conditions are admitted to jails each year-most for
    non-violent crimes.

What Now?

  • We should expand on the success of proven diversion models, including mobile crisis teams and mental health courts.
  • It is important to encourage partnerships…

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Scrambled eggs, tortillas, and salsa

This is a new blog (for me) I found today so I wanted to give him some space. I have been writing about the medical issues in prison lately and this fits right in with it. But best of it brings out the human element of what it means to care about even when it puts your life at risk. When you make the right cause you get the right effect to go along with it. Unfortunately his Cellie was too sick. The prison or prison corporation that ran the medical unit, combined with apathy from the prison warden and staff allowed him to deteriorate to a point there was no possibility of quality of life.

Did it have to happen like this? No, it didn’t. It happened because there is no respect for the lives of people incarcerated. I mean everyone. From the falsely accused and those forced into plea deals, to pretty crimes, mentally ill, immigrants, murderers and everything in between. No one cares. People die with easily treatable illnesses, but because they are there their life has absolutely NO value. And that is a crime. It needs to be changed. Corporations should not be allowed to put their bottom line before human life. Period.

hahnscratch

Mike was sentenced to fifty years to life for stealing $200 from a convenience store.  Mike was a Jehovah’s witness.  Mike was my cellee.  And Mike was sick.

When I first moved into the cell with Mike, I wasn’t sure what to think.  He was old, at least he looked it.  He walked with a cane and slept with a CPAP strapped to his face.  Other than his apnea, Mike didn’t really know what was wrong with him and the prison doctors certainly didn’t know either.  What he did know was that it was getting progressively harder for him to walk each day.

When I moved in, Mike had already been waiting six months for the “emergency” transfer he so desperately needed which would house him in a medical facility where he might get better treatment. A bed had been made available at a medical prison a few months earlier…

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Life, Love and Letters to Zoey #30

The writings of another inmate. Many people have written harsh things about inmates. “They got what they deserve,”even when they don’t know it is they got or what he got or why he was there. All inmates are not monsters or murderers or child molesters. Many sentences are long to the point of absurdity and the only benefit goes to the prison industrial complex who gets paid for every full bed. Our prisons are so corrupt it is shameful. Screw inmates up. Make sure they are unable to survive. Get them back. The revolving door is cheaper than the first time around.

Chad Eric Hollamon

Dearest Zoey,

It’s actually a few minutes since I wrote the last letter. I reread it and thought it sounded too negative. It wasn’t supposed to come out like that but it did. That’s the beauty about writing – I’m able to see how I think, no matter if it was meant to be negative or positive. I’m also able to learn more about myself from writing. I reflect back on my words and see my feelings in back and white.

An inmate passed me right before I began this second letter. While he was walking he commented, “Chad. You writing Zoey?” I talk to him on occasions and he’s aware of me having a blog and me dedicating Life, Love and Letters to Zoey on it. Guess he noticed our routine. After he got a few dozen feet away, I wondered if he had a special Zoey in his…

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“Palpable Irony” Written by Inmate, Martin Lockett

palpable irony

Several months ago I read a book by Martin Lockett, “Palpable Irony: Losing My Freedom To Find My Purpose”  You can purchase it here

While I was reading the book I thought so much of Jamie.  Everything happens for a reason.  I think I was meant to know this young man. There are things about their lives that seem to run parallel.  They are within a year of the same age and they received the same sentence, seventeen years.  They went in almost at the same time and both still inside.

Where Jamie has used Buddhist study to learn about life and change the things that have caused him unhappiness, Martin turned to Christianity.  But instead of just saying he is a Christian but not applying what he learned to his life, he worked hard to be the man he knew he could be.  It was his second time in prison.  When he got out the first time he couldn’t maintain his Christian beliefs and within a year, his old life sucked him back in and smacked him across the face. It wasn’t being a criminal that landed him back in prison, it was poor judgement and a lack of being honest with himself.  As with Jamie, a year after he was released from Juvenile detention he went out to party one night with a cousin who had recently gotten out of prison, again.  Hindsight is 20/20. Being with him at all was a lapse in judgement and it cost him seventeen years of his life and being able to raise his son.

Sometimes though, when it looks like everything has gone wrong; you lose the woman you love and you lose years of your life you aren’t able to get back, you aren’t yet able to see what you have gained because you aren’t far enough to look back with that 20/20 hindsight.

I think Martin has gained much more than he lost and it will bring more to his life than if he had never gone in.  So which way would have been better?  Not go in, and continue to scam your way through life feeling lucky if don’t get caught, and maybe never have anything to be proud of?  Maybe never going to school or finding the right woman to love? Or is it better being forced to take the time to evaluate your life, change it, and then be a good influence on the people around you and help them change their life, too?  Read the book and decide for yourself.

Below is a letter I just received from Martin

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 Dear SonniQ,

Thank you very much for your interest, thoughts, and response to my book. It always humbles me to hear how people I’ve never met read my story and was moved in some way. It’s encouraging to hear you say, “He was a success story when it could have easily gone the other way.” I attribute that to God and a lot of people who love and support me and what I aspire to do. Thank you for recommending the book on your blog as well — I appreciate that very much.

It sounds like you are Jamie’s primary support system. I commend you for that as I know it is not easy on you to do that. I pray that he is released soon. I think it’s tragic that he is not able to have any type of relationship with his son, especially since I have no doubt that his son is yearning for a relationship with his daddy. Unfortunately prison robs countless children of the opportunity to have meaningful relationships with their fathers. Obviously I don’t know the circumstances of your daughter and Jamie’s relationship, but my heart goes out to your grandson who is being deprived of bonding with his father. It nearly brought a tear to my eye hearing how his son wanted to give his daddy $2 to buy a soda. Kids are always the innocent bystanders harmed through this situation. I pray he and his son are able to reconcile when this is over. But in the meantime you are his angel, keeping him going in every way. I’m sure he tells you often as possible how much he appreciates you.

To personally answer your question, yes, I DO know how fortunate and “lucky” I am to be where I am, receiving the kind of services I am while incarcerated. Indeed, medium security and maximum security are worlds apart, and many inmates in maximum security prisons are treated worse than even unruly animals. It’s a disgrace that we allow such inhumane treatment of humans in our penal system, but we do. People are not outraged enough because it hasn’t happened to their family members directly. It’s a shame and my heart goes out to you, Jamie, and his son who has no idea how his father is being treated in that cold, dark place. Where is he? Texas? Yeah, I’m not surprised. I’ve heard enough horror stories about Texas prisons to last two lifetimes. How come Jamie can’t apply for medium custody? Is he in trouble a lot? That tends to happen more in prisons that lack any type of rehabilitative opportunities — not that I’m making excuses for misconduct because it still comes down to an individual choice. But certainly there’s more understanding in those horrid conditions why someone may act out.

You asked if I’m writing another book — yes. Actually, Adopt an Inmate will be helping me with the publishing process. I’m extremely grateful for their care, compassion, and willingness to help make prisoners’ lives more meaningful and manageable. My second book is actually a collection of a year’s worth of blogs that I wrote in 2014 that were dedicated to the important topics of how prison affects inmates and our families and loved ones. I wholeheartedly believe Jamie (and you) would enjoy it and find it worth your while. Oh, and we’ll see to it that the editing in this one is more consistent. 😉

It sounds like you are currently working on a book of Jamie’s life? Is Jamie contributing to it too? How far along are you? I hope you’re enjoying the process — I certainly did! It was cathartic in many ways. I assume you’ll be looking to publish it, no? When do you project it will be available for purchase? Keep Adopt an Inmate informed because I’d like to buy one of the first copies.

Thank you again for taking an interest in the things I write, SonniQ. You sound like a great person with a big heart and Jamie is fortunate to have someone like you in his corner. It’s unfortunate I can’t follow your blog and comment the way you do on mine, but I will someday! 🙂 In the meantime, continue to do the good work you’re doing and making a difference in the lives of people who need it the most. Take care, SonniQ.

Sincerely,

Martin Lockett

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http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

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Soon I will have a button that will take you to my newsletter sign up but until then I am using the one from WordPress. The next newsletter will be out in about two weeks.  I will have progress about the book which is about 4 weeks shy of being written and the first chapters are off an editor I really like.  ( I’ll see if she likes me, too!)  But I want to write about topics of our justice system that isn’t here at my blog.  It won’t be repetitious. Many of my readers are not bloggers here at WP. To be able to reach them it is very important for you to share what I do with your own social media. It is harder to sell a book if you don’t have anyone to tell.  I want sales to be put to good use for Jamie.  Just like Martin, when they get out they need to be able to start a new life.

You can use the form below, or you can send your email address to my new address at sonni@mynameisjamie.net