Criminals in a Police Uniform

When I started writing this, it was to foremost show appreciation to the people who have written responses appreciation, to posts that show compassion for Jamie. I am overwhelmed with these replies from people who read the letters I have posted from Jamie during the years his stay in in the US prison injustice system. Thank you for all of the caring words I’ve read. So many people have also had their eyes opened about different actions taking place inside the prisons. Your eyes have already been opened about the police. So often, the only information one gets is from movies and TV and now, fortunately more information is coming through the news.

Men and women are often guilty, but are also often innocent, as we have been reading often about people being released, sometimes after spending 20-30 years locked up in solitary confinement because of new evidence.  But even those who are guilty of all things, being locked away from society is their punishment. Inhumane treatment, beatings, not allowed phone calls to family, some get no visits of any kind, starvation and lack of medical care makes these legal torturers guilty as well of crimes against humanity.  I wouldn’t want to live with those causes, because we all get back what we give – legal or not.

It’s important for us, as humans to not perpetuate the inhumanity. I’ve put together an email for Jamie, copying the responses from all of you who took the time to express your humanity and have encouraged him that he will one day be reunited with his son and be able to be the dad he himself never had.

police state, racism in our police,injustice system
Boston Police State

The percentage of black men in prison is so high compared to other races that the number of children without a father is extremely high.  The percentage of black women in prison is much higher than white women as well shows that the vendetta against black people is real and deliberate.  The color of one’s skin does not make them more prone to crime, but racism in our police force and racism in our injustice system strikes a heavy blow to this one color – any color but white.  The police have too much arrogant power, and their bosses look the other way and make excuses for their inexcusable behavior.  Being a cop is the perfect job for people who enjoy having power over other people and don’t need any excuse at all to shoot and kill them.  This must be changed.  If criminals are made to be accountable for their actions, then the criminals in a police uniform must also be made accountable for theirs.

Thank you to all of those who follow this blog and those who have filled out the contact form below to be on the mailing list for the book that will be coming out most likely near the beginning of next year. Proceeds from this book will enable Jamie Cummings to survive as he gets his life together and begins an education, when they deem him eligible for parole. I am hoping he will also be able to speak at schools and at community events as a way to help change things.

It is the response from everyone here and at other social media sites that encourages me to press forward. Please … take a few of the posts you think would be best to share and post them to your own social media and help me make this a success story.

click on the picture and it will take you to all ten pieces of piano music I have recorded.

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If you would like to join the email list for the book I am writing about Jamie’s life and the prison system please add your name below. I promise you won’t get a zillion emails from me!

Thank you, Sonni

I want to Encourage you . . . To take the time . . . To Read

InsideOut, writing new book, JamieCummings,solitary confinement, prison industrial complex, Sonni Quick
We can dream great dreams. My book – InsideOut

This post is also the opening page to this blog for anyone who just uses the web address to come here. I decided today to also make it a post as there has been much more written that needed to be said. Thank you for your patience and interest to read What I have written.
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If you were to open a book – in the middle – and read a page or two and then closed it, would it be enough for you to know if you were interested in knowing the rest of the story? With many blogs you can do that because each post stands alone. You can flip through an archive and read bits and pieces, and that is okay.

This blog, though, is different. It has a story, like chapters in a book. To understand what happens to a life in prison you need to go to the beginning. If you don’t know the beginning then the end doesn’t mean as much. I have gotten so many thoughtful posts from people that brought a tear to my eye. They understood and they understood Jamie. Those people read more of the blog than one or two pages. If you read a page and press “like” Then I can see you were here. If you read and leave no foot print I won’t know you were there. Also, don’t forget to rate it by clicking on the yellow stars Then other people will be more encouraged to also leave their rating. Feedback and personal communication, that’s the fun part of writing a blog – meeting the people who read it.

 

Many times people log into this site through an individual post, especially when a wordpress blogger sees it as a new post. But when you come here through another website, logging on for the first time then this is the page you will see. From there you should go to Jamie’s Prison and My Name is Jamie . You’ll understand more when you go back to the beginning by looking at the dropdown list called ‘earlier posts by the month. Also, near the top of the site is a little circle that says ‘menu’. This is where the ‘pages’ are. They are different than posts. Pages are not letters from Jamie nor are they part of the timeline. They are about issues relating to prisons. There are also writings in this section by Armando Macias who is on Death Row in San Quentin. You will also find different posts with piano music files. I write and record improvisational piano music. The most recent one can be found at Who Do You Have to Care about you day The title of the song is “Blindfolded Pain” played blindfolded. It has beautiful, dissonant notes.
After that, go the earliest post in ‘earlier posts by the month’. There is a history that progresses. 2010 is the earliest posted, but there will be more going back to 2006 as our relationship began. But if you read only one post, it is like opening up a book in the middle and then closing it. Jamie’s life is worth reading about as it will open your eyes to our prison injustice system, prison politics and the fact there really is no justice in prison, as well as the reasons why we have so many prisons stocked with so many black people. It is why we have the prison population we do. It isn’t that blacks commit more crimes, the reason is much more sinister than that, and walking while black is good enough to fill the demand for prisoners needed by the prison industrial complex. This labor force is needed and bid on.

solitary confinement, Jamie Cummings, ad seg, behind glass visitation
Jamie Cummings in Prison Whites

Think of this as a serial. You can also follow it through email if you aren’t on WordPress. This way each new post shows in your inbox.On the right hand side if you scroll down you will find links that will take you off this site. They are links to websites with specific information. It could be about the juvenile population that is locked up, or about the elderly, or solitary confinement. They give you more information on different topics.

snoopy afalling asleep at typewriter, InSide Out,Inside the forbidden outside,Jamie Cummings,Sonni quick, Jpay,write letters to Jamie
I’ve done this many times!

 

When I began the blog it was because I wanted to write a book based on Jamie’s life and the issues concerning our injustice system and the lack of humanity in our prisons. I wanted to find out why we only have 5% of the world’s population but imprison 25% of the world’s prisoners. Does our country have more criminals or do we make a strong effort to criminalize as many actions as we can, and give extremely long sentences for a reason? This process of hunting down blacks and minority’s while attempting to use the media to convince the public that blacks commit more crimes, and are people to be a afraid of, has worked very well. People are indeed afraid that black people intend to do them harm if they even see them walking toward them on the street. And those who seek power and money has turned our prisons into money making machines who exact cruel and unusual punishment on many of the slaves imprisoned. It has warped the way our country does business by letting businesses bid on contracts using inmates to manufacture items we use every day.

My intention with my writing is to open the eyes of people who think we only imprison bad people. Yes, we do lock up bad people but we also lock up many more for small things we never locked people up for in the past. Crimes, that when committed by white people, don’t have nearly the same consequence. Six times more blacks have their neighborhoods invaded by police than white neighborhoods. That is a fact. As you read this and read through the pages found at the menu at the top of this site, you will begin to understand what kind of country we have become. This has been evident through much of our history, but has reached epidemic proportions and it needs to be stopped. These American companies need to be made public so we can see who represents what the past plantations owners started. You would be shocked if you saw the list. Why pay someone even minimum wage when you can get it made practically for free. Slavery never stopped. It just changed it’s form. Jamie’s story is a personal account of a life destroyed by intentionally being sucked into the school to prison pipeline because his body count means money for the corporation that owns the prison.

Many people in the past few years have grudgingly been released after decades of being locked up. Even when in inmate has been determined not guilty because of new evidence, they still don’t want to let him go, and in many cases will not compensate him for the loss of his life. Even when it became law that you can’t give a juvenile life without the possibility of parole, they don’t want to release the adults who were handed that verdict when they were young and are now in their 30’s and 40’s. The prisons fight their release. Don’t their count, too? The decades they already have been imprisoned for an immature wrong doing – don’t they a deserve to have a chance at having at least some of their life back , too, since it is now law.

I sincerely hope you come back often and share this blog on your own social media. If you leave thoughtful responses to Jamie in the comment section I copy and paste them to into emails I send him. He has to answer by longhand. I write to him through the website http://jpay.com. If you would like to write to him personally it is very easy to do. He is in the state of Texas and his full name is James Cummings. His ID is 1368189. That’s all the info you need. The website explains the process. Writing an email costs the same as sending a letter, the cost of a stamp. I can imagine now the look on his face to receive a reply from you. There is so little happiness where he is, so if what you read touches you in anyway please let him know. He would write back to you if you wanted.

I want to thank everyone so much for taking the time to leave the responses they have. It encourages me to keep writing.

Jamie’s story has been read in 120 countries so far and that just astounds me. There might only be one or two in some countries, and I haven’t even heard of some of them before, but it has truly made all of us one globe community. When Jamie gets out, sometime between 2016 and 2023, he will be seeing a world greatly changed, with people who care about him and many who don’t. I believe something very positive will come of this and you will know you helped to do something that affected the life of another human being who will go on to affect many more. Thank You !

“The only legacy anyone can really leave behind when they leave this earth, is the effect they had on other people’s lives. That is what lives on. The making of that cause will have an effect on your own life.” A way of ‘paying it forward.’

Thank you, Sonni

A Prison Cell, The Loneliest Place

prison cell, solitary confinement,mass incarceration
The loneliest place

All music is copyrighted and improvised and recorded on first take.

************

Hello Mom,
It’s ok. Don’t worry about me. I tell myself, don’t be discouraged. That is only downing myself. Always keep your confidence and you will succeed. Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I don’t want anyone to feel as though I’m begging or even asking too much. I’m sorry. Please, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. This is what I get for breaking the law. Please, I just need help seeing my son. That’s all. I want nothing else. And I will chant for you, too, I promise I will.

I ask myself over and over, why won’t Megan come and bring my son? I do deserve to see my son. He is all I have. However, Megan, I guess, feels different. Maybe I should try to get moved to another unit. I would probably have to get in trouble, though, to do that. That wouldn’t be good. But if I was moved father away from home then everyone would be able to use excuses like, “It’s too far away” or “I can’t afford the gas”. Then it would be easier for them to let themselves off the hook. Maybe Megan just wants to keep me from him. I hate to think that but it’s hard not to.

If I knew people cared as they say they do, it would be a lot easier on me. Without you I would know nothing. Megan has kept me blind for so long on how little Jamie is doing. That hurts like hell! Why? Why would she want to hurt me like that? Oh, forget I asked that question. There have been many times I have wanted to give up. There are lots of people with lots on their plate and they still manage to find the time and come to see the person they say they love. Life is full of unanswered questions.

Sitting here in my prison cell I’ve written a lot of letters. I’ve written letters to my mother. A lot of the time I get them back. She moves around a lot. The last address I got was my grandmother’s. My (biological) mom came to visited me last year. First time in at least 6 years. It’s not her fault, though. I was in a couple units that were far away. Clear across Texas. Too far to make it there and back in a day. A few days maybe. I’m closer now so maybe I’ll get to see her more often. She said she was going to come visit me more often. I told her twice a month would be great. I waited and waited, hoping each weekend that she’d come. Five months went by. She never came back until a couple weeks ago. I was really glad to see her.

It would be good if I could get Megan to take Jamie to my mom’s house and then she could bring Jamie. Then we could take some pictures together. But they aren’t getting along too good right now. The person who misses out the most is Jamie. He needs all of his family. I’m just asking a favor for me and my son. I wish I could see my grandmother, too. Maybe she could come with my mom sometime if she’s well enough. Oh, I guess that’s enough about all of this. It gets me depressed just thinking about. This prison cell, it’s the loneliest place to be.

************

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Black Lives Matter

This is important enough to put out as a post on Jamie’s website.  Black lives matter, as does every one else, but there are many people, political entities and other organizations who not only do not see it that way, they also try to make you believe they don’t think they way they do.  It is up to us to change things;  to change the way our children and grandchildren see the world.  We will never convince an adult to not harbor racist feelings.  It is too engrained in their hearts, but we can raise the children better, because they are the future leaders of tomorrow.  This fight became personal for me with the birth of my two grandsons with a black father and one granddaughter with a black mother. All white people can “say” they aren’t racists, and may honestly not be, but until the fight comes into your living room and you understand how your own family can and will be affected, then not being a racist becomes a completely different thing.

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Black Hole. What is Solitary Confinement?

solitary

This post is not a letter from Jamie. I’ve written about ad seg or solitary confinement in many of these posts. I think many people have a vague overall idea of what solitary confinement means, but not really. So when I came across this I decided to post it here as well as inserting the link on the left side of the page where there are other links you can tap into. When you realize how awful it would seem if you tried to visualize yourself in this situation, think of how it would be if you were left there for months, years or decades. Most likely you would go insane, and if you had any problems dealing with things before you went in, your time there would be even harder. Some inmates have done violent things and if they were put into gen pop ( general population ) they may still hurt people. But, if they’re isolated, and out of harms way, why do they have to also have to tolerate torture? They may be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, but did the sentence also include a clause that allows their jailers to make sure they’re as miserable as possible and make humiliation part of their sentence? In addition to these dangerous people there is also a large percentage of people who aren’t dangerous and are being held there simply because of the color of their skin. Some are imprisoned as a way to shut them up. Freedom of speech isn’t always free. There are many reasons why people could find themselves locked up in solitary.

There are many inmates, if they were allowed to do their sentence in a constructive atmosphere, even if they were sentenced to life without parole, and be able to do it in such a way that they can still develop a life inside, wouldn’t it benefit everyone? By allowing them the use of a library, correspondence classes or other means of rehabilitation they may not go insane from the deprivation of anything related to life. If recidivism is lowered then every cost goes down. Does a gang member, who was raised in the gang culture from childhood, who decides to join a gang because it seemed the only one way to go, and was then incarcerated for whatever reason, does that mean he doesn’t deserve a chance to help himself rise up from that and then maybe help others to not follow that path? Maybe then the return rate to prison would go down. If the prison system doesn’t change the way they do things might, there be another reason they want to keep the prisons full? Could it be the Prison Industrial Complex, which makes a ton of money from keeping the prisons full? There’s a website in my links list called Solitary Watch. They’re letting the voices of the inmates be heard. It’s a site well worth going to.

All of us are a product of our childhood. How we were raised, our influences, our family, or lack of family, determined how we started out in life. Many of these men and women, after understanding it was their life choices that brought them to where they are; shouldn’t there be a way for them to make amends if they can, or at least be able to make better causes that will in turn have better effects, even if the rest of their life takes place inside a prison? They are still human, and none of us are perfect. Every single one of us has done something that would qualify as a crime. We just didn’t caught. We get outraged when animals, even chickens are raised inhumanely. Can’t we have that same rage for humans?

At the top of the website are two links (soon to be three links). He was a gang member and he’s Hispanic. They have a special place for them in the SHU (special housing unit) at San Quentin. He was in and out of jail and prison most of his life and is now inside for a contract killing. He’s on death row, but that issue is now, hopefully, being taken off the table very soon. If they aren’t going to kill him, will he still have to spend his entire life completely unable to ever feel the touch of another human being, and never be allowed to hear the voice of a loved one on a phone call? They say phone calls are a privilege, but it’s a privilege that can never be earned. He’s only 34. He has a lot of life left. In the SHU they’re allowed even less than other people in solitary confinement. Before this, even other times he was locked up, he had never really thought about his life. He never wondered why he chose to do the things he did. He was told to kidnap and kill a man, so he did, never really thinking about the consequences of what he was about to do. He didn’t wonder why he was going to kill this man, he only knew it was for money. If you’re told to do something and you don’t do it, you could be punished by your gang in severe ways. It’s easy to see that the concept of right and wrong was never instilled in him growing up. Something was missing. We can’t know and understand these things if we haven’t been exposed to that teaching by the adults in our lives. He told me he had a violent upbringing and was beat every day. What does that teach you? Does it teach you value for human life?

This time in prison Armando found Buddhism which concentrates on our human nature and the law of cause and effect. Through years of meditation and seeking answers to understand why he is the was he is, he realized what he had done and chose to rehabilitate himself even though the prison system was trying so hard to destroy him. He found a way to structure a life inside his tiny cell. My letters from him are sincere and honest. His connection to me is one I know he cherishes. I help give him a connection to life. He has an outlet to express himself and someone who listens. I,too, have learned many things from him. I know I have taken on a lifetime commitment and it would be a blow if I ever severed that communication. I would never be afraid to be alone with him in his cell. He is not a danger to anyone. My commitment to Jamie is also lifetime, but he’s family and we’re connected by the blood of my grandson.

Between the years of letters from Jamie, who will be able to get out someday, and Armando, who will never get out, it has given me a deeper insight to what being isolated really means. In the beginning I didn’t really understand, even though I knew what the words meant. Now, having two half black grandsons, ages 6 and 8 and living in Texas, which is very racist, it scares me to know this racism will follow them throughout their lives. I know people will look at them and judge them by the color of their skin. They will be looked at as criminals if they are dressed the wrong way or have an expression on their face that someone thinks has criminal intent behind it and call the police because they suspect, wrongly, they may be a criminals. They’ll have to go through their life knowing that at anytime a cop could slam them up against a wall or shoot them for no just reason and get away with it. It scares me. It scares me so much. Our injustice system doesn’t need a reason to put a black man in prison, or a child in juvenile detention.

On this chart below, it shows the recidivism rate for people getting out of prison and going back in. When someone don’t have a way to learn and when he hasn’t had a way to relearn his value system, get the help he needs to acquire an education so he can make a living, what happens when he gets out? He goes back to where he is from. He may even have the resolve to do things differently this time around. He finds his friends again, possibly the only ones who showed him any caring in his life. He gets sucked back into the only life he knows and understands.

The states complain about all the money spent to support inmates. They don’t like to pay for good medical care, so inmates often go for long periods of time before any issue is resolved. Every type of service is skimped on. They don’t do what is needed so these people can lift themselves up so they don’t end up going right back inside. It gives meaning to the phrase: If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.

 

Courtesy of: Infographic World

Lost inside of Me

thYE9M4M12

(Sonni’s note: Jamie and I have written many letters to each other about our families and the hurt they can cause.  I think most people don’t really think about how their actions, or lack of actions, affect the people they say they love.  They love you as long as you don’t ask anything of them that takes them out of their comfort zone.  It hurts when people are selfish and don’t think about how their actions affect you.  Most of the time they don’t even realize they hurt you.  Jamie has been so supportive of me during the bad times I’ve gone through with my liver transplant, and lack of interest of my own family about how I was doing.  It breaks my heart knowing the pain he has gone through waiting for family, and waiting for Megan, who don’t answer letters or visit. Megan went on with her life.  Jamie couldn’t go on with his, and his family, I guess, had their own busy lives.  I understand that.  Each person has their own priority list and sometimes we’re at the bottom of that list.  Maybe it’s ‘out of sight out of mind’.  I waited for the mail each day hoping there was a letter from him. Sometimes all it takes to get through something unpleasant is knowing that someone, out there, cares about you.  I speak for myself, as well, when I write that.

This letter was written a couple years ago. The time frame doesn’t matter.  Not a lot has changed.  But through the effort of reaching out to people, I know he has had more people lately to hold him up.  Other people have written to him.

This is the main reason why I reached out to him.  I wanted him to know that someone cared.  In the early years of writing I believe I got to know a man that few people took the time to know.  You can know your family for decades but that doesn’t mean you really know each other. In my opinion, he was “written off”.  But he had also spent the ages of 17-21 in juvy, so he had left them long ago.  I became someone he could write to.  He could dump the feelings of loneliness and despair on me. I listened.

There is no physical contact when you are locked away in a box. It strangles the heart.  The craving to touch another human being is overwelming.  I became his family.  This is why I became “Mom”.  How can I adequately explain the desire in me to wrap myself around him and keep him safe, relieve the feeling of being so alone, if even for a little while?  He IS family.  He is my grandson’s father.  We are connected by blood.  So many of his family gave up on him the same way my family in my home state gave up on me when I moved to Pa for my transplant, and except for my husband, I had no one. No one who knew me growing up cared enough to send a get well card. They were too busy resenting me for coming home  That was a real eye opener. Jamie and I were both wounded people. I understand the need to keep trying to belong to the family who looked like caring people on the outside but were selfish and judgmental on the inside. We had each other.)

So how are things with you, mom? Are you feeling any better? I sure hope so. I know you can’t wait to get things on the road. Well that makes two of us. The times you aren’t feeling well, I’m not either. I sit and worry and stress when I don’t hear from you. I got a letter from my older brother. I was saving my last stamp to write a letter to Megan, but I wrote him back instead. I wrote to him about what was happening with me and about how I feel. I told him not to worry about nothing because I was going to give everyone their space and not write again.

My brother sent me back a letter and said, they didn’t put me in here so stop trying to make everyone feel bad. All I wanted was to hear from my family. I wrote and told him that I know nobody else put me here in prison. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad. I speak what I feel. Most of the stuff I feel, mom, I don’t speak about. You see, being on lockdown 23-24 hours a day will make you want to harm yourself. I’ve written plenty of letters wanting to tell everyone how I feel. However, I don’t want to hurt the ones I love. So many say they love me but really they don’t care. So, I will write the letters and get it off my chest and then flush them down the toilet. I guess you can say it’s a stress reliever. I have sat and thought about how I’ve messed up. I’ve even cried about it. I know I’ve let my families down. My mom, brothers and sister, my neices and nephew as well as Megan and the kids. I know how to accept that, but not my family. I know it’s hard for them to accept it. However, life goes on and if they can’t accept it there is nothing I can do about it as of now. I’ve accepted it. I have no other choice. But when I get out of here I’m going to have another choice. I don’t know where I’m going to go but it will be the hell away from my home town.

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

Sonni Quick piano music complete list

The Celly and The Dude

cell mates2

(Sonni’s note: See if you can figure this out! This is another letter from earlier that I’m posting today but putting it in the correct time it was written. To give you a heads up, last year Jamie requested a dictionary and thesaurus and book on grammer and a World Almanac. He’s been doing some self education because at today’s real date of Nov 30, 2014 he should be moving up to G2 very soon. Then he will be allowed to go to the library and also to take classes. he’s been studying to take his GED. I asked him recently what he enjoyed the most and he said math. I said, “hmmm”.

I try my best to stay away from trouble. But I guess it’s my karma. I’m here in lockdown again and I don’t know why. All I know is my celly threatened me in front of an officer. They locked him up and come and got me the next day. My celly was trying to get away from another dude. He sold the dude his fan for 6 pictures of women and toothpaste!! However, he later tried to back out of the deal and the dude told him he was going to beat him up. So my celly did what we call ‘catch out’ cause he didn’t want to fight. But these people are now saying that I’m under investigation. I think my celly done lied on me about something. I don’t know what’s going on. The Security Threat Group Officer come and ask me if I was ok. However he said I have to be placed in tranzed (?) til I see UCC. ( Sonni’s note: Best I can guess is that they are the law and settle cases. He’s talked about that group of letters before. I looked it up but nothing quite filled the definition.)

I seen my celly. He said the officer wrote him a case for a shank. He got G5 today. Could you call and see what’s going on please? I haven’t been given a case yet. There’s no telling what my celly done lied about. I tried to help him by talking to the dude but the dude didn’t want to hear it. So I left it alone and told my celly the dude didn’t want to hear it. So I left it alone and told my celly the dude said to sit the fan out. Like I said, it’s my karma for trouble. If you call just ask them, why am I being locked up? They won’t tell me nothing. Don’t say nothing bout my celly. Well, you know what? Just don’t say anything bout him getting G5. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen. I don’t think I’m in any trouble. Then again I’m looking at where I’m at. In lock down. I think they’re trying to make sure I’m safe. I hope that’s what it is. Cause I ain’t did nothing. But if they try anything I’ll be going back to seg. I’d rather be by myself. Then I don’t have to worry about no inmates. Who am I kidding? Trouble is everywhere.

I don’t know why I’m worried. I’m fixing to get up and dance and sing! For awhile, and then chant. That’s what’s wrong with me. I worry too much.  But you know what? I don’t forget anything! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Cause I would like to see just how good at dancing you are! ( drew a smiley face) I don’t know you just might win. Naw, I’m just playing. We’ll see one day.

Love Always, Son

(Sonni’s note: For those of you who are tuning in for the first time, I’m not his real mom, but I guess you could tell that by the pictures. If you’d like to continue reading and find out who Jamie is, which I hope you do, go to; My Name is Jamie, and then to Jamie’s Prison, and The Meaning of It All. This are pages at the top. It will give you his story. Then start at the beginning of the posts, the oldest ones, as there is a story that unfolds through the years. Follow me as I continue to write and reshare on your social media. I am sorting through older letters until I reach all the way back to 2006. I have a lot of letters to go through! They are sometimes funny, but mostly sad because he missed the birth of his only child, now 8 1/2. He’s never touched him or talked to him on the phone, but hopefully he will be able to do that real soon!