Prison Art – Hand Drawn Cards


Prison Art is special. Anytime someone can create any kind of beauty in a world inside a prison it brings hope that that person will make it through okay. I often don’t look very close when someone sends me a store bought card, especially when it is signed with only a name. Why keep it? I know this took time and caring.

I had been sick with an irritating flu bug for several weeks that was hard to shake. Not enough to dive under the covers, but enough to have you dragging through your day.

Jamie has wanted to learn how to make cards for some time. His hand shakes so it is hard to draw a straight line. This is one of talent that can make money inside. Men often want cards made that fit in a long envelope sold in the prison commissary. I don’t know if he is making them for anyone else. A friend who is the support for another man who makes wonderful cards and happens to be in the same prison, sent him drawing books that show you how to make the drawings. Often the drawings that are copied come from children’s coloring books. They have characters that are good to use for birthdays and holidays. I was glad to see him use a creative way to pass time. 



Writing Prison Grievances For Medical Negligence

Sept 1, 2015

Hello mom, I’ve been waiting to hear back from you. (Hopefully it just crossed in the mail) I was letting you know about me being in the hospital. I received the books and puzzles you sent. Thank you.

How is the new medication working of for you? (Sonni’s note: I started the new treatment for Hep C, which has me feeling pretty yucky this past month. Two months to go. It’s been hard to write from a fetal position between naps. I haven’t felt like doing much of anything except marathon TV episodes on Netflix where I don’t have to think.) You be careful and take it easy. 96% chance of getting rid of it? That’s a good thing. I hope it helps a lot. You sure don’t want to go through another liver transplant. Rest. It will be over soon.

I’m glad you talked to little Jamie for me. I have to wait till next week to write to him. This is my last stamp until I can get some from the commissary. I want to check up on him and see how his first week of school went. I don’t care what Megan says. She’s not talking about bringing my son to see me so I don’t care what she says. She didn’t have our son without me. I wish she would think of me and what I’m going through. WE have a beautiful son. I wish I could be part of at least a small part of his life. I will be getting out of here someday. She’s going to have to face me sooner or later. I WILL be part of our son’s life.

Don’t worry about my cut foot. Everything is fine. It is finally healing. I’ve been reading the Rubin Carter book -the story about his life in prison. There is so much that went on in prison in the 1950’s with inmates and officers that is still happening today. Is that crazy of what? Why do they let them get away with it? While I’ve been reading the book I’m marking some things he did to help himself. One of the things he did was write a book. I understand now why you want to write a book my experiences with the justice system from a kid on up. I found the notes you sent me and questions I didn’t yet. I have to go over them and put them in order and send it to you. I will work on it today. This book is going to help me in so many ways.

inside the forbidden outside
Inside the Forbidden Outside

(Sonni’s note: I have written quite a bit for “Inside The Forbidden Outside” although I haven’t posted anymore chapters than the ones that are at and those chapters have had additional editing done since they were posted. As this is my first serious attempt at writing a book I do a lot of research learning how to do it right. This book is about Jamie’s life inside. I want to write a sequel about what it takes for an inmate to get his life together when he gets out. I have my work cut out for me, but it’s nothing close to what Jamie will have to do to survive.)

I will write again when I get more stamps. We go to commissary this Thursday. Hygiene products and some food. Since I’m still on restriction they stop me from going to commissary every week. Only once a month. And I now get no fresh air. They did this to keep a lot of the inmates in their cells to drive them crazy or have them want to get sent to another unit.
Health care in prison

They keep me on restriction because they don’t want to let me out of my cell. They don’t want nothing to do with me at all. Yesterday I said my chest was hurting. They told me they were going to take me to medical but they never came to get me. They get away with so much medical negligence. I’m writing them up. I’m going to try to use the system on them the right way. It’s time to stop all foolishness. I will protest and write up them up every time they do me wrong. You have to write 2 grievances for every issue because the first one is always denied. It takes months to do this. Usually nothing is done. It seems pointless to file them. They count on the inmates not doing anything. I know now that I have to voice my opinions about what they are doing because it is something blacks have had to do all their lives. I’m not going to go deep into that right now. I will later, for the posts.

I have to get this into the mail box. I love you mom. Always, son

Get you some rest, okay? . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Sonni Quick piano music complete list

There is Much We Take For Granted, Being Free

Sonni’s note: So often when I reread his letters it is like I’m reading them for the first time. Never in my life have exchanged hundreds of letters with one person continually over a span of years. Reading about his sorrows and the things that would make him happy. Knowing when he is depressed. Reading about his hopes and dreams, being afraid to think about life out here, being free, too much. He doesn’t have much to compare it too. He doesn’t know what he will do, except that he has a yearning to be free.  But what happens after he is free, when he has no idea what to do? How does one walk down the sidewalk, free to go where they want after so many years of having to ask to do anything, and always there is someone waiting to do him harm.  Always having to be on guard.  I imagine it would be frightening. In this letter he talks about his heart. It is his heart I saw long ago. You would think someone would automatically know the right things to do, but it doesn’t always work that way. There is much we take for granted, being free. If you had been as extremely ill as he was from the moment he came out of the womb, experiencing back to back brain seizures from his first breath, never being allowed to go out and play being protected by his mother, all he wanted was the feeling of belonging. Of being accepted by people. I understand that. It’s easy to be swayed by people you think are your friends and all you know is that they accept you, so you want to be like them. Finding yourself in that school to prison pipeline with the cops hell bent on finding a way to put you there and not let you go.

It was his heart that got to me. Jamie isn’t cut out to be a criminal, but he has been forced to learn how to protect himself, and when backed into a corner he will come out swinging. You cannot let people in prison see you as being weak or they will run over you. Everyone of us has parts of our nature we wish we could change. This time inside has been a time of learning for him – about who he is and about what he wants. Because there is NO ONE who is there for him the way it’s needed is why I am there. i get something out of this, too.  it isn’t a one way street.  I’m glad our paths crossed.  It is why I am here, telling his story . . .
June 3, 2013

Hello Mom,

So far all is well thanks.  I’ve been trying to stay focused.  I have ten days till I get my G4, hopefully. ( Sonni’s note:  one step out of ad seg, which means he will be able to go to chow instead of getting it served through the slot in the prison cell door, and he will have some time in the rec to watch TV) You know there’s always a few that want to hold you back when you are improving.  They want you to stay a step behind them.  Yes, I will be my goal and accomplish more.  That will make me feel better as well as my family.  I’ve been proud of myself because of getting out of ad seg, but I sometimes let my emotions  get the best of me.  I then start to lose guidance and down myself.  however, I’m okay.  I’m focusing on trying my best.  It’s all I can do.  I already have plans on what I’m going to do. When I get my G2. I’m gonna go to school – get a job as well. You know, they don’t pay us to work like they do in other states. Oh well, I’ll take the education and run with it. They have college and trade also.

( Sonni’s note: It was another year and a half before he made it to G2, was able to make phone calls for a few weeks and had a job for a few weeks until they found a way to knock him back to the beginning.  No school, no trades, no nothing but to start all over again.  How will that look when he goes up for parole again Oct 2016 if he hasn’t been able to show he has done anything to improve himself – because they made sure he couldn’t . ) 

You know, mom, you’re right, the heart is most important, just like the brain. It’s just like I told my cellie yesterday. I know who I am and what kind of heart I have. All I want is to be happy. I want to be loved. But things in life are just a part of life for some people. Me, I want a family. What I mean by family is to be together. Not father here and mother there. But life doesn’t work that way for everyone. It’s what I want in order to be happy. It’s what would make me happy. Spending together there for each other. Please chant for me.

I asked the mail room lady how much mail I could get. She says there’s no limit as long as it fits in my trunk. The 12 pack is fine, and you can send me envelops, too. (Sonni’s note: I sent the 12 pack and he was moved soon after to another prison.  The guards stole it.  Now the rules are changed and now they won’t let anyone send paper or envelops. An outside company contracted to supply it to the commissary, so they jacked up the prices and inmates can only buy it at the commissary now.) But it’s okay mom, if you’re not able to do it, I understand. You don’t have to explain it to me.  I know your situation. We go to the commissary on the 10th, but please, if you have things to take care of, don’t worry about it okay?

Sadness  by Sonni Quick   copyright 2015

sonni quick piano music
Sonni’s piano and the last of summers flowers.

I might want to take piano lessons when I get home. I want to be as good as you. lol. Classical music is the best for piano. Every instrument is made for a different kind of music. I would love to just sit and listen to you play the piano. I know it would relax me and help me think. I like music that was made in the 70’s – late 70’s, and the 80’s. That’s all good music. I like older music. It’s a good mind relaxer. I also like rap but I listened to is different from the rap now. A lot different. Today’s rap is bad for all ears. The lyrics are hard on women and everything is about drugs, money and cars. Everyone uses each others lyrics. I like smooth R&B and if I find some blues I’ll listen to it.

Sonni Quick piano music
Sonni Quick 1980
Hyatt Regency Houston,Tx

I would love to see those photos, if you don’t mind. I can see it now. You on stage, with the piano, a bottle of water and a mic. What are some songs you would sing? I’m sorry you hurt your vocal cords. Don’t worry, I’ll sing to you, okay? I’m not that good, but good enough to make you smile. {{smile}}

Mom, I sent in the visitors list. They sent it back. I had to take off someone.  I did, but they wrote some numbers by the name. I think Megan’s current boyfriend has been in prison before because they asked if he was an ex-offender. I checked ‘no’ but somethings not right. I have to know, because if they check and he is, I can get in trouble, so please find out. Then I’ll  send in the list again.

Well, it’s late. I’m tired. Until next time
Love always, Son W/B/S write back soon,  Love you