Jamie’s Backstory For New Readers

Lately I have been getting questions about why Jamie is in prison and what happened. There are so many posts on this site it is hard to find the ones that explain his story. I fyou read the earliest posts by going to the archive you will find more of his early letters as he is trying to figure out how he is going to  make it through 17 years. So I thought I would write a synopsis that tells his story n a nutshell.  Thank you for reading. I have been writing this blog for him for nearly 4 years.

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Last moments of being free

I met Jamie Cummings in November 2005 when I went to Texas to visit my daughter and her two children. She brought Jamie to meet me. We talked that evening and again the following morning when I took everyone to breakfast. A quiet, shy man who was very polite. The following month he was arrested and that started the incarceration he is completing now. He has been inside so far for 12 1/2  very hard years. Most of it has been spent in adseg, which is another name for solitary confinement. It has been over 5 years since I received a phone call.  I try to see him every year now, but it isn’t always possible because of the expense.

Jamie is the stereotype of a majority of those incarcerated. Black, no father – might be in prison himself. No communication with him. He lived in the lower income section of town in East Texas with a hardworking mother raising four children. No woman can be a mother and a father. I know that from raising my own children who had a deadbeat dad.

Black children and teenagers are harassed by the police just about everywhere in this country. Black children are more often suspended from school and have teachers who treat them differently than white kids.  More black kids than white kids are sent to juvenile detention for the same offenses in schoool. Jamie went through a typical time of many teenagers getting into minor trouble and pushing the limits. He also had to deal with having epilepsy. In 9th grade he spent a year living with an uncle because he was given probation for something – I don’t know what. He went back home to start 10th grade.

That year he and his older brother got into a fight outside his home which their mother broke up and made them go inside. Someone called the police and they ended up on their doorstep. When their mother answered the door she told the police (2) everything was under control and he could see the boys sitting on the couch. He insisted on going into the house. There was no probably cause. The boys had done nothing wrong. There was no crime. When she said again that everything was under control he pushed his way into the house, knocked her down and her wrist broke when she fell. The oldest boy made a move toward the police and got pepper sprayed. Jamie and his sister went to aid their mother. The little brother, a child, picked up a broom and swung it at one of the cops on the arm with the straw end and scratched it. The only thing he know was this cop had hurt his mother and he was going to defend her. Now, there was no longer an issue of illegal entry and causing a broken bone – it was now assaulting an officer of the law. Now the cops had a reason to arrest someone.

Jamie was the only one who went to jail. His older brother was over 18 and no crime was committed to charge him with. The little boy was too young and his sister was pregnant. Jamie was the only one left they could pin anything on, even though he had not done anything. In court the attorney asked Jamie to do his brothers time in juvenile detention. He could take care of himself. It was a 9 month sentence and the attorney promised him he’d be out and could go back to school. Jamie agreed to do it. But after nine months they wouldn’t let him go – for four years. Jamie became a very angry young man. When he was finally released, he was only home for a few hours and when returning home from a cousins house, he was arrested for walking and because he looked suspicious. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Three days later he was taken in front of the judge – who was the attorney who had told him he only had to do 9 months. He had been given a judgeship. He didn’t know Jamie had never been let out.  He dismissed the current charges.

A few months later he met my daughter. She became pregnant. One night he went out with friends to party, normal for a 21 year old man. He didn’t choose his friends wisely. One of them had a gun in his backpack and robbed the club they had gone to.  Jamie ran, but not fast enough.  He said, “Friends don’t leave friends,” although I’m sure he feels differently today. There is much wisdom he didn’t learn being locked up during his teen years.                                                                                                                                                                      It doesn’t matter if you are the one who commits the crime.  If you are there then you are associated with it and will get the same charges. He never saw these friends again.

My daughter went on with her life raising their son. For a variety of reasons she didn’t take their son to see his father except in the beginning. No one else took his son in to see him, either. It’s been years since anyone in his family has gone to see him   except when I fly to Texas. On a rare occasion he’ll get a letter from someone, but no one answers the letters he sends.

This is not uncommon.  Just like someone who is housebound dude to illness or disability, people don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. Although he has no way of getting any money to buy what he needs at the commissary – hygiene products, stamps, underwear or shoes or even paying the yearly medical fee of $100 that Texas demands. Because of his medical issues he needs to be under a dr’s care but the care he gets is a joke. They often withhold his seizure medication.

I can’t begin to explain in a paragraph the treatment he has gotten and the abuse he has taken. Being kept in adseg means she can’t go to school or use the library. He is in cell 23/7 and often 24/7.

I am the only person who has consistently been there for him trying to provide the necessary things he needed along with books. I have paid legal fees to have papers drawn up to get them to stop messing with his medication by getting a medical POA designed for the prisons. Here is where it gets tricky. I have only a disability check of $1009 a month because of a series of difficult medical issues.  I have worked hard in my life and working harder to get my life back.

This is why I am writing a book about Jamie’s life and his growth as a human being. It is why I write the music I do to go with the book, determined to make this successful. He is worth the effort.  Unfortunately I don’t have the money to take care of somethings that could make his life better.  50% of the profit will go to help him build his life – and to help mine as well. Jamie gave me a reason to fight for my life. Now he gives me a reason to write music. I get up every day thinking of what I will do to affect the lives around me in a better way.



I had T-shirts made hoping that sales would help me provide for him. Thank you to those who have purchased. I need help to help him from people who are able to, who have followed Jamie’s story, or maybe read some of the chapters I’ve posted or listened to the music. I know how much this has encouraged him – and I know how much it has encouraged me to continue on.

In addition to the merchandise there is a donation button where you can donate from $1 and can change the donation to anything with the up and down arrows next to it. I don’t know how I can say thank you enough for any help you can give.



itfo newsletter



Tote Bag

Yellow cotton 14″ x17″


T-Shirt – LG

T-Shirt adult Lg


T-Shirt – XL

T-Shirt Adult XL



Any donation from $1 up is welcome.


White t- shirt proof


T-Shirt adult Sm


White t- shirt proof

T-shirt – Adult Med

T-Shirt Adult Med


White t- shirt proof


Adult XX light weight cotton


Good Wouldn’t Exist Without Bad

. . . I have written about Alonza before. I don’t want him to disappear. The abuse he suffered in prison should have never happened. The justice system used him as a poster boy. Google him and hear his story on Nightline.

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world
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Sonni’s Piano Music

Sonni Quick

Alonza Thomas

Alonza Thomas

It was a stormy winter night on the streets of New Orleans

A fortune teller told me that she could see me in her dreams

She said, there’s a part of me that evil overtook

Plus the devil has my heart, and my name is in his book.

I cried, i cried.

I’m a mixed drink, combined with good and bad.

The image I’ve portrayed became my truth, I chose my path.

I look myself in the mirror and i wish that I would die. Then I heard the Lord whisper, he said, believe that your mine. Believe that your mine!

My mind beats my heart, my emotions are second nature.

The result of realizing my mind was never basic.

My heart tells lies. My heart is self destructive.

I do right for the good, and well being of the structure.

Trust is not the issue, really it…

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Would You Do Me A Big Favor? I Need Your Help

Do me a favor please
Do me a favor, please? source credit: sodahead.com

Most of you who come to this blog are not WordPress bloggers. You come from internet searches or other social media sites. It’s not as easy to like a post or leave a comment unless you register. Those who find an article from a search don’t see future posts and can’t follow the main reason for this blog, which is Jamie Cummings. Nor can you find out about the progress of the book I’m writing, which is tell all on the Prison Industrial Complex and how it has impacted Jamie’s life.

If you found this blog through a search on an issue concerning prisons you can follow this blog by email when you click on the link you will find at the bottom of the site below the post.

You will also find links there that will take you offsite for articles on issues concerning juvenile incarceration and the elderly in prison, plus more. There are also links to previous postings, searching by category, other blogs I follow, and also the last ten posts on my other blog http://watchandwhirl.com, which is mishmosh of other writings that wouldn’t work on a prison blog.

Inside The Forbidden Outside, writing new book, JamieCummings,solitary confinement, prison industrial complex, Sonni Quick
We can dream great dreams. “Inside The Forbidden Outside”

I will soon be posting edited chapters and new chapters for the book I’m writing, “Inside the Forbidden Outside”. I have found that writing a book, (and rewriting a book) takes a lot of time, so it better be a labor of love! I was quite sick for three months this year and it put me behind my target date.

I’d like feedback on the chapters you read. I need readers who can give me constructive criticism. After this, the chapters will go to an editor and the process of publishing will begin. That process could take up to a year depending on rewrites.

I want to include some of the music I’ve written that you can find on individual posts of some of Jamie’s letters, or you can find a list of all of them at the link below, our at the top of the site in the white area where pages (not posts) are listed.

If you would like to receive info about the book OR you would like to be a reader and give me your 10 cents worth, (inflation), then fill out the contact form below. Don’t forget to put youwant to be a reader so I don’t just put you on the email list for info. Those that help me with the book will get a free copy when it comes out, e-book or hard copy. Your preference. (I’ll even autograph it! Lol. Ya gotta think big!)

I chose to write this book because it has been a desire for many years to write a book. I wrote half a book about fifteen years ago and stopped. Nothing gets done when you quit halfway. I think many people have that same dream but somehow it doesn’t happen. Life gets in the way. But this time, after hundreds of letters from Jamie, I realized his story needed to be told and no one else was going to do it. So first I started this blog. But unless you go back to the beginning of the blog you don’t understand the story. So the book needs to be written.

If – no, when – because it’s important to visualize your success or it will never happen. You have to have faith in your dream. So when the book is successful, Jamie will have money to help get an attorney or have money to help him get his life together. 50% of all profit from the book goes to him. It is his story. It is many of his words. It is his pain and his heart. When he gets out of prison the book can continue to be used to speak to kids, schools and communities. It will give him a tool to work with. One of his ideas is to start a YouTube channel where he can talk about issues. Young people use YouTube. It is a good way to reach out.

A second book is planned which will be about integrating back into society after prison, and what an ex-inmate has to do to survive in an environment where most people won’t want him living next them.

Source credit: cqinsulting.co.za
Source credit: cqinsulting.co.za

Any negative experience has a positive side. There is always something that can be learned and you can use that to encourage someone else who may be going through something similar. It doesn’t negate the pain and anger you experienced, but you can make a better cause for your life by being a better influence on other people. That makes you a winner instead of a loser.

Jamie is the father of one of my grandsons. Knowing he has a son has been his main reason for living. The success of his life will impact his son’s life. He was born after Jamie was incarcerated. His son will be 17 when he gets out, if he does all his time. Since Texas doesn’t like to parole black men, that will likely happen without the effort of a good parole attorney.  It could be his chance for parole. That takes money.

Jamie jr. has a good mom. My daughter has worked hard to care for him and teach him right from wrong. He and his siblings are a close family. Someday, he will finally get his father back.

Jamie Cummings
Jamie Jr. with his father’s face in the background.

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

Sonni Quick piano music complete list