One Foot After The Other (and Don’t Look Back)

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The only legacy of real value you leave behind when you leave this earth is the effect you had on other people. It is powerful because you can change lives – for the better or for the worse. Affecting someone’s life means they will affect others. Lift them up or drag them down. In that way you live on through others long after you are gone.

What you do, say and think always has a consequence. We see that work in a negative way when parents, teachers and preachers teach children to be prejudiced and judgemental toward others in many ways. They grow up to be racist adults, or teens who bully classmates they think are inferior. They were taught to think like that.

Instead, think about how you want to affect the world around you. Take responsibility for all you do and don’t blame others for your life. This is what I have taught Jamie. He is responsible for his life as we all are. I have tried to show him through example. I’ve tried to teach him what he had no chance learn going through his youth. I’m sure his mother loved him. That love is unconditional, but we can only teach what we know.

The more you give the more you get. You reap what you sow – what goes around comes around, no matter what faith you practice. I practice Nichiren Buddhism. It has taught me more about myself than any other teaching. It taught me compassion for all people, not just people you decide is worthy based on your chosen faith. It taught me how to live and I’m still alive – so I can finish what I’ve started.

Life has been upside down the past few months. I didn’t have time to put out a newsletter  because there are only so many hours in a day. Many people have followed the blog at My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison and read blog posts about the reality of prison and how it affected his Jamie’s state of mind. I hope to think that being there for him and  knowing someone cared, helped him get through days when he felt like giving up. He couldn’t understand why his family wasn’t there to help him go through the extreme loneliness of a prison cell.

When I tried to encourage letters and explained to his family how lost Jamie felt I was told, “Just because he got hisself in trouble doesn’t mean my life stopped.”

I was then told, ” I’m not going to answer this because you’re really starting to piss me off.”

“My telling you the truth pisses you off?” I replied. “If I am wrong about any of this, please tell me where.”

“Really, it’s not your concern,” I was told. “Jamie lies a lot.”
That’s a good one. It’s hard to keep a lie going for ten years, especially when there is no reason.

“It is my concern,” I replied. “Tell me what the lie is.”

Silence

I couldn’t understand that attitude. This came from a blog post I wrote 3 1/2 years ago, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother” These excerpts were taken from that post. It still brings me to tears. I was helping his brother and for that I got slapped down. How dare I care. He’s the father of my grandson but his welfare was not my concern. 

I do not write about this in the book. I don’t say how I feel. The book isn’t about them. The most I say is how lonely he is not understanding why no one writes to him and I don’t mention any names.

Trying to finish the book and making the money to pay an editor has been a challenge. Opening an online store to make money has been fun – but more expensive than I thought. I didn’t know what I was doing. I paid marketing companies for guidance. I worked it and now I think I have a nice looking store with good products and I work on getting it in front of people every day. Slowly sales are picking up. Now I’m building a new website around the store that will have more to offer than just items to buy to give it value. I’ve learned, though, that making money the first year in business is difficult. Just staying afloat with enough sales to cover overhead eats up the most of the hours in my day and all of the profit. Most business apps have monthly fees. There are fees on top of fees.

My health is declining. I’ve been fighting for more life for 20 years when Hep C was diagnosed. Everything that could go wrong, has. I was stupid in my early 20’s and through a boyfriend I did IV drugs. It didn’t last long, but it was too late. But everything happens for a reason. What has it taught me about myself? So much. Symptoms started in my mid 30’s. I have fought hard to stay alive and today cancer is showing its head – again –

Radiation on my head after ear removal

The ugly scar you can see part of near the bottom of the photo toward the left is a botched skin graft that was supposed to heal into a thin line that eventually would fade. It is 6 months old and painful to touch because it cut into nerves. It’s more than 3″ long and still inflamed. The Dr wants to shoot a bunch of needles off cortisone into it. That will be painful. The red ball on top of my ear that looks like a wad of gum is where my ear was cut off. The skin graft was supposed be fashioned into a place my glasses arm could rest. A kinda sorta ear . There is nowhere now to put an arm from glasses. The bandaid is the biopsy site where the lump is. But hey! My hair color is real!

I’ve had several issues with cancer. Liver cancer and skin cancer – common with liver transplant patients. Which was in 2012. In Oct 2018  I had skin cancer and a pie wedge was cut out of one ear. It didn’t stop in January I ended up the top half of that ear cut off. “I am confident I got it all,” the Dr said. But he didn’t. I had radiation and it burnt off the hair on the side of the head. It didn’t stop it. Now it is spreading  internally and I have a lump on my neck. On July 15th I am having surgery – a neck dissection – to cut out all of the lymph nodes on the side and back of my neck and more radiation. If it spread further then it’s chemo time. My body can’t fight it because I’m on anti- rejection meds to suppress my immune system to keep the liver. I have lived so far for a reason.

My transplant doctor told me they lose more transplant patients because of squamous cell carcinoma than anything else. The fight is on.

I say this only because. . . I don’t know why I’m saying it other than it has complicated my life further and I’m trying to figure out where to put it in my head. I spent 12 years writing to him and 3.5 years writing this book and recording the music and videos to promote it. It’s given me a reason to keep going. I have to finish it.

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I wanted to write this book for the many people who have been through prison and understand the psychological effects of long term isolation. I want the profit from the sale of the book to help Jamie start his life again and be a father to his son, my grandson. Certain people have tried to turn this into something ugly. People enjoy negative gossip. They have no idea what this book is about. They have never read it or asked about it, but they’ve known I’ve been writing it.

Now Jamie is out, and the book isn’t complete yet. I need money and I’m stressing over the lack of it. I need to pay professional editors to work with me. This is why I started the store. Thank goodness he didn’t have to do the entire sentence and was paroled four years early. Now he can see his son, his only child.

I had just finished radiation from the last surgery and I couldn’t be there when he got out. No one was there. For thirteen years he was “Inside The Forbidden Outside. ” It was his first time being on the outside and he had to take a bus to his brother’s house. He had no way to call me even if he could. I was on a train headed back home because I found a lump on my neck.

A friend of 40 years, another musician, also a Nichiren Buddhist (and my 2nd ex-husband) suggested I start a gofundme campaign. It is really hard to ask for money. He told me there would be people who understood. I was amazed because I already have had a couple contributions. If you read the campaign you’ll see I will be sending them a free copy of the book and music when it’s published.

I estimate I have about 6 chapters to rewrite. This is the 2nd draft. With a story editor to guide me I’m sure there will be revisions. I can’t put out a book that is less than professional. There is also sequel planned, because this book only goes in time from 2006 to 2016. The sequel picks up there and goes through getting out and re-entry. Cancer isn’t going to stop me from finishing. But maybe, because of what is happening I should extend the chapters beyond 2016.

A BIT OF JAMIE’S EARLY LIFE, BEFORE PRISON.

To understand Jamie’s story a little more if you haven’t been to the blog and read the pages at the top ot any early affiliates

Jamie  spent so much of his life removed from society, never learning how life works. Four years in juvenile detention starting late in his 16th year, to keep his little brother from being sentenced after hitting a cop with a broom when he forced his way into their home. The cop knocked down their mother and broke her wrist. They wanted to send a little boy to juvenile detention for defending his mother because someone needed to be responsible and it just wasn’t going to be the cop. There have been many articles in the media showing cops doing the exact same thing to other families, but back then in the late ’90s the internet wasn’t what it is today.

The attorney convinced Jamie to do his brother’s nine month sentence, except they had no intention of letting him leave until he was 21. By then he was so depressed he was kept in a different facility far from home for incarcerated youth with mental issues. Epileptic seizures and having no family near was wrong.  He lost the rest of his youth and high school years. When was he supposed to develope the wisdom and social skills he needed to understand to get through life. Who were the right people to be friends with? So he picked the wrong people to be friends with. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong friends put him in prison before his son was born. I took care of my daughter until my grandson was a year old when she left to go back to Texas.

I helped Jamie through his prison sentence because everyone in his life who should have been there for him – wasn’t. No one helped him after the first year.  Letters and visits were as rare as snowstorms are in Texas. Money for things he needed, such as stamps and hygiene products or paying his medical fees were paid by me as well as books to read, extra food, ( he’s a big man) and even candy to bribe the guards.

Our letters are a journey through what went on his head. The emotional toll. He suffered through the heat with no air conditioning – summers when he passed out from the heat, and when guards cuffed his wrists and legs during a seizure, or when 5 guards picked him up and rammed his head into a wall or wouldn’t let him see a dentist when his impacted wisdom teeth got infected.

I will be there for him to lean on until his knowledge and experiencecatches up with his 36 years and he is a confident, strong man with a life of purpose.

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Looking Into The Crystal Ball

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Looking into the crystal ball. Don’t we wish we had one? When you listen to this music hear it through to the end. Listen to the story. There may be no words but the emotion will create it. There is a big difference in the tone quality if you listen to it with the speakers on your device or with good speakers or headphones, if you want to enjoy the music.

Two nights ago, long after I went to bed and after a long day working on many aspects of my writing and other projects that keep my life going in a forward motion. I sat up in bed thinking, ” I need to go play my piano.” I got out of bed and went into the living room and turned on my piano. It was late so I couldn’t turn the volume up out of respect for my neighbors so I plugged in headphones.  There was so much going on in my head.

I cleared a track so I could record. This music is what came out. It is the only thing I played.  I was feeling sad and overwhelmed. I don’t think about what I’m playing. My fingers transform the feelings running through me and turn it into music. When I was done playing I turned off my piano and went back to bed. The next day I played it back, and I played it again.  It was as if a knife sliced me open and a hand reached inside and grabbed hold of my heart and I cried. Tears rolled down my cheeks.  There is so much emotion wrapped up in all of this – “the projects” I call them, between writing the book, my blogs, newsletter and all of the social media and other connections, along with the music and promoting all of it.

So much depends on me doing a good job. This piece of music is just one example of tying my music and a chapter of the book together with the same title as I work on an album to promote as a soundtrack for the book. Jamie’s future, as well as mine are being be shaped by the things I do today.  If only I had a crystal ball.  I believe in the law of cause and effect.  The law of karma. Some call it, you reap what you sow. I take that very seriously.

I have also just begun making a video series based on the titles of the chapters in the book – one more project added to the mix. I hope to upload a new video each month.  I’d like to do more each month but there is a time factor and there is a cost.  The first one was uploaded to Jamie’s facebook page (link below) while I develop a YouTube artist channel.  When it is ready you will be the first to know.

I hope you enjoy.

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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present

ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.

SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London

Soundcloud – album – Stories without Words

It will soon be listed at CDbaby, itunes, spotify, amazon and others

album cover

 

 

Chapter – The Last Freedom Day

INSIDE THE FORBIDDEN OUTSIDE

CHAPTER

THE LAST FREEDOM DAY

       I have had so many hours to sit and think; my life playing over and over in my head like a loop that doesn’t know how to stop. I keep trying to make sense of what happened. It’s easy to look back and think; What if I did things differently? I know I can’t go back and do that, but I hope I’ve learned I can do things different in the future.  I need to remember to think things through.  How do I want this to turn out?  Do people do that? How often do people take responsibility for their actions or do they blame others for  what happens?  Do they cry,  “I’m just a victim!  It’s not my fault.” I only know, If I don’t learn to think before I act, then life will keep slapping me in the face.  Hopefully I have learned that lesson.

       I don’t think I could have kept this from happening.  Maybe I could have escaped this exact thing by not going out that night, but the cause had already been made for something like this to happen and there was no escaping it. My karma would it have caught up with me one way or another. Karma is karma and it is what it is. If a cause is made there will be an effect. I didn’t know about any of this back then. It is like gravity. There is no escaping it. If I jump off a cliff, I’m going splat on the ground. This is what happened here. My life went splat and I landed in a prison cell. I have to go through this to learn what I need to learn about life.

       What would have happened if I didn’t go out that night? Four years in juvenile detention should have taught me more than it did. I knew my friend was bad news. He had been in and out of trouble his whole life. Just being around him was taking a chance. I knew that; of course I did, but I never really thought about it because some things you can’t know without being taught. I had no one to teach me. I don’t know if I would have listened if someone tried. The young think they already know enough.

       I didn’t know what it meant to have priorities. I didn’t know how to set goals. Who did I know who had goals? I lived my life day by day and hoped the future would work itself out. I’m a good person. What did I do to have such a screwed up life? I began to feel trapped and up against a wall. I had to make some money. Morgan kept telling me I had to find a way to bring money home. But how was I supposed to do that? I didn’t even have a high school diploma. How was I supposed to support a family with five people? It was a lot of pressure knowing I was going to be a dad and needed to do things things I didn’t have a clue how I to do.

       Who was going to give me a job? I can’t even get a drivers license because I have epilepsy. I have no job resume or references. I’ve been locked up since I was in the tenth grade. I would have to tell an employer I had epilepsy. The chances of having a seizure on the job would always be a possibility. I couldn’t work at a fast food place. If I had a seizure I could really get hurt in a kitchen or cause others to get hurt.  No, there would be all kinds of excuses why they wouldn’t hire me. They weren’t supposed to discriminate, but they would anyway, knowing you weren’t going to file charges against a job that was only going to minimum wage. It’s not worth the trouble.  I didn’t have many options except maybe manual labor.  Stress and heat bring on seizures.  Besides I wanted to do more with my life.

       The night this went down, I went out to party with a friend; shoot some pool and have fun. I had lost my teen years from late sixteen to twenty-one to juvy.  I met Morgan a few months before, soon after I got out. I fell in love with her the first time I laid eyes on her. I didn’t have a chance to get an education so I could at make decent money. Looking back, it was easy to see we should have put more thought into having a baby until we had better plans in place. Having a baby and figure out later how to make it work was not a good plan. But it is what it is.

        I knew it was stupid going out that night. This dude was bad news. He was fun to hang out with, but he had been and out of trouble since he was a kid. It was only a matter of time before he got locked up for good. I was no angel growing up.  I got in some trouble as a kid. A lot of boys do. But I was no criminal. Not like what you see on TV.

       If I hadn’t locked me up for four years before this in juvy, maybe things would be different. All because a cop was determined to get me. I was only supposed to be there for nine months but they lied.  If he hadn’t illegally shoved his way into our house and made my mama fall and break her wrist, I would have gone on to finish high school. I had problems with this cop before. Racism in the police is a common thing in Texas.  They harass the blacks a lot.  I’m not stupid. I know what it feels like to have racism directed at my face.  Living in the south, black is not the right color to be, and I know I’m not the first person to say this.

       I hold myself up and remember there are things I can do with my life when I get out and have another chance. I want to travel and see more of the country. I’ve never traveled outside of Texas. There is a whole world out there to see. I used to want to be a long distance truck driver so I could travel around and see it. That’s probably not possible because of my epilepsy, but I think about it a lot. I also want to help other kids; teach them not to ruin their lives and use my own life as an example. I want to do good with my life and I want my son to be proud of his dad.

       Now it is 2016.  I’ve been locked up in prison for more than ten years and my son is almost ten.  These are years I can’t get back, so I have to believe I can change my life for the better so it isn’t wasted time.  I am going to have a good life.  I know I will do things better when I get out.  Most dudes say that, but they get sucked back in.  They don’t know how to do things any different.  Not me; life is going to get better for me.  I can feel it. I have to keep the big picture in my head.  I have a son to take care of, and he is not going to end up in this place, even though the odds are against him and the cops are still racist when they see the color black. Has that changed since he was arrested?  No, but I will make sure my son will not become part of the system.

        It is not any of the guard’s fault I am in here.  It was my own actions that put me here. But even though it is my fault, it doesn’t mean we have to live the way they make us live.  There are things that need to change.  Too many people are getting physically and mentally hurt because no one cares what happens to us.  They think we deserve being treated like animals.  The law wouldn’t like people treat animals the way they treat us.  We are human beings. Our sentences do not include abuse. These guards, who treat us badly, will have consequences in their own lives for what they do to us. They think they are getting away with it, but they aren’t.

       If I only ever learned one thing from my study of Buddhism, it is this: What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. The law of cause end effect. You get back what you dish out. It is all the same thing. No one gets away with anything. I’m paying for what I did and they will pay for what they do, too. I am learning how to change the negative things in my life to positive things. It’s hard, but I’m learning. The positive side of this lesson is it applies to all the good things you do, too. So the more positive things I do, the better my life will be.

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       I want to go back to that night, the one that set this all in motion. On January 26, 2006, around 9:30-10:00 at night, a friend came over and suggested we go out and party at a club in a nearby town. That night was not supposed to turn into anything illegal in any way, except that gaming halls themselves are illegal because gambling was still illegal in Texas. I don’t know if it still is. We were only going to do a little gambling and that’s it. We were smoking a little weed and jammin’ to the music. He made a statement about robbing the place but I didn’t take it seriously. He was always saying crazy things like that. Well, he ended up doing it. It shocked me.  He had a gun in his backpack.  I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t do it.  He was my friend.  Friends don’t leave each other.

        It didn’t work out for him.  He didn’t rob the place but he did take out the gun.  That is when I knew I needed to get out of there.  He ran after me and jumped in the car as I tried to leave.  As we left the place it was really crazy.  It was dark and we were on a back road. I was driving like a bat out of hell to get away. As I passed a road he yelled at me to turn around because I missed a turn.  I didn’t care about no turn. I was trying to get as far away as I could.  He kept yelling so I turned around.

       As I made it back to the turn, POW! The Sheriff was stopped at the stop sign. I looked in the rear view mirror and sure enough, he was doing a U-turn. He followed us as I drove. The next thing I knew there were cop cars everywhere.

       So I told my “then” friend, “I’m fixing to pull over.” He was pissed, telling me not to.

       I told him, “Fuck that, I’m not going to have a wreck.” The Sheriff was behind us. I pulled over. We sat there for about two long minutes.

       The Sheriff called out to me. “Stick both hands out the window.” They all had their guns pointed at the car. I did what I was told.

       “Take your left hand and turn off the car.”  I did. 

       “Take your right hand and open the door.”  After I opened the door he said,  “Hold both hands out and keep them out in the air.” I did everything he said to do exactly as he said it.

       “Stretch out in the road and if you move I will shoot you.” He was serious. I believed every word he said. We were on a back road.  He could have done anything he wanted and no one would know anything different.

       They did the same thing to my friend. We were searched and taken to the county. When we got to the jail they asked us why we did it.

       I said, “Man, I was just gambling.” He asked me again. I gave him the same answer.

       “All I was doing was gambling. Nothing else.”  I was placed in a holding cell and I could see out the window. The next morning I saw Morgan. Another time I saw my mama. I was told nothing. Then they placed me in another cell for a few days and fed me TV dinners. Then they sent me to Newton, Tx to a holdover jail. When I got there it was a lot different from where I was before. They had tanks instead of cells. A tank is a big area with a lot of bunks. The biggest tanks hold almost sixty people. The one I was in had twenty-five to thirty people. There were a few tables, a TV, two shower stalls and two toilets. They kept a broom and mops in the tank for us to clean with. My bunk was all the way in the back by the toilets.

       I went to court and they start talking about giving me forty-five years.  forty-five years?  Keep me looked up until I was sixty seven years for this? I don’t even have a record.  I’ve never been arrested for a crime and they want to take away my life?  Because I’m black and I don’t have a real attorney? I got angry. I turned them down. I didn’t do anything. I’m guilty of running because I was scared of what my friend did, but I never pulled a gun on anyone. I didn’t try to rob anyone of money. I’m only guilty of having a poor judgment of friends. I am NOT going to agree to forty-five years for that!

       A few days pass by and they take me back to court.  For the very first time I met the public defender who was supposed to be defending me, not railroading me.  But he wasn’t  interested in hearing what happened.  His only job is to scare me into taking a plea.  he didn’t care if I was guilty or not.  This attorney, whose name I can’t remember told the district attorney they had enhanced my case from 5 to 99 years, to 15 to 99.  

       “Who? I asked him. “Who enhanced it?  Are they charging me with things that didn’t happen?” All these thoughts are running around in my brain.

     So I asked him, “What are you talking about?”

       He looked at me with a bored expression on his face like I was taking up too much of his precious time.  “It’s because of your juvenile record.”

       I got confused.  What did my juvenile record have to do with anything?  Looking back, I know now that had to be a lie.  A juvenile record is closed  There is a reason for that and it’s so they can’t use something against someone for whatever happened while they were a kid.  They can’t just go and look at it without a court order.  They would be told it was inadmissible.  Besides, I wasn’t there because I committed a crime.  I hit a cop with a broom because he hurt my mother.  No judge would let them use that and give me forty seven or ninety nine years.  But I didn’t know then it was just a scare tactic. 

       Then he said, “The DA is offering 17 years and would go no lower.” They said if I didn’t take it they would take me to trial. It was a scare tactic. They were never going to let me go to trial, and they knew it.  But I had no one to talk to about this. By now I was ready to give up.  I couldn’t deal with it anymore and i didn’t know what to do.

       Believe it or not, I even told the PD I wanted to go to court, but he backtracked real quick and said the DA wouldn’t talk to me. The DA probably didn’t even know who I was, and they were just trying to make me believe he had said all this stuff. I wasn’t important enough for him to want to spend any time with. But what was I supposed to do when I didn’t have anyone on my side?  My life was a game to them. I think of these things later, but it’s too late.  They didn’t give me time to think.  They knew what they were doing.  It wasn’t until much later when I learned about the corporations, and how they have a deal with the government to keep the prisons full, that this all started to make sense.

       Since I didn’t have a real attorney, I knew I didn’t have anyone who would go to bat for me. I was screwed.  Public defenders get paid by the hour so all they want is for you to get scared and agree to everything.  That way they can get on to their next client they need to screw for a paycheck.  Most of these dudes couldn’t make it as a real attorney so $75 an hour sounds pretty good to them. How many people can they screw in one day?

       So  I said to myself, “Fuck it. Let me get this over with.”  I signed for the seventeen years and went back to the county jail in Newton.

       I called Morgan for the first time. How was i supposed to tell her this? I explained the situation as best I could.  I told her I understood she will want to get on with her life.  I asked her to make sure our baby knows me and my family.  That is all I asked of her. She went crazy on the phone and said she’s not going anywhere, and so on. We talked, but after our call I was still in a real fucked up mood.  I went to my bunk, sat down, and just went into space not thinking about anything. I zoned out.

       As I was sitting on my bunk, a white dude in his thirties came over to take a shit on the toilet beside my bunk.  He didn’t flush. I asked him to flush. He didn’t say anything. When he comes from behind the stall, he goes to get the push broom, takes the stick out and threatens me – over flushing the damn toilet! I’m tired. It’s 1 am.  I need sleep.  I am in no mood for this. He threatens me that he’ll have me eating through a straw. Long story short, I lost it and took everything out on him.  From the back of the tank to the front. He was no match for me at my age. The dude fell over a trash can, then shoved himself into it. Next thing I know he was ratting on me and ended up going to the hospital. It didn’t matter that he caused it and threatened me; I beat him up.  I ended up in lock up for two weeks. Then I was transferred to tdcj – Texas Department of Criminal Justice – to the Holiday Unit.  Now I was officially in my first prison unit instead of jail.  Anger is going to be one of my biggest challenges to overcome.

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Sonni’s Side of The Story – part two

INSIDE THE FORBIDDEN OUTSIDE

SONNI’S SIDE OF THE STORY – part two

 

     One day I asked Morgan for Jamie’s address. I wanted to send him a card. I don’t remember if it was a holiday or even why I wanted to do it.  He popped into my mind one day and hoped he was doing okay.

     Prisons were in a different world than anything I had experienced. I thought prisons were supposed to provide the essential things the prisoners needed. I was totally clueless about the US prison system. It didn’t take much research to find out how wrong I was.

     Not long after I sent the card I got an answer back. He was surprised to hear from me, but it was a welcome surprise. It started a relationship through letters that became much more than I thought it would when we started. For the most part, the art of letter writing all but died when sending emails became easier than finding an envelope and stamp. Reading a letter by hand says much more than just what the words say. Jamie has many different styles of handwriting and I can immediately sends his mood by the way he writes. My handwriting is the same as it was when I was twenty and is quite illegible, so I type and print out about half the letters I send.

      There is nothing interesting in the mail these days. It is all junk mail or bills. When I see I have a letter to read, I dump everything on the table and go get comfortable to read his letter, or other letters from other inmates I write to. When Jamie’s son gets older, if he wants his son to read the letters, he will get to know his father in ways he would never otherwise understand.  Over the years these letters made me realize he had a story that should be told.
      I not only learned about what kind of man he was, but I learned the true story about what happens in the prison system. When I have other inmates telling me the same thing it makes it hard to have respect for the system.  Finding out about how inmates are treated – abused- made me angry. I became frustrated because I wanted to do something to help him. 

      Because of propaganda, many people have the attitude of, “If you do the crime, you gotta do the time.” It’s not that easy to use that phrase in a general sense about all inmates. It’s not just about doing the time. It isn’t that cut and dried. Although there are many people locked up who should never be let out on the street, there are even more people being given sentences that don’t fit their crime, if they are even guilty in the first place. These people are valuable to the Prison Industrial Complex. They have a contract that stipulates their prison will be kept full, whether the people in it are guilty or not.
      Much of what is written about prisons in the media only tell a partial story. It doesn’t say enough about the extreme abuse prisoners have to endure, the same way it is hard to convict a cop. There is an image the system wants to preserve as cops and guards being people who uphold the law are in the right and have reasons to abuse people. If people believed otherwise they would lose control. Stories get twisted about how people were hurt to make people believe they only hurt people when it is justified. We know that isn’t true, but how many murder convictions have their been of cops and guards? Almost none. They are more likely to only get a short suspension, if even that, but they don’t end up in solitary confinement being treated the way they have treated others.
      There has been a lot of inhumane treatment and torture inside those walls for hundreds of years. The pain of knowing that, and personally knowing someone who was experiencing it started ripping me up inside, telling me I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. If you realize evil is taking place and you look in the other direction, you are condoning what is happening and that makes you guilty, too. From the warden on down, everyone who works in the prison knows what is happening, but there are seldom repercussions.

     Inmates can’t fight back against what is done to them. It took until mid 2013, after receiving hundreds of letters, to realize this was a story that needed to be told. Not just for Jamie’s sake, but for all people, men and women, who were given unjust sentences so the prison corporations could fill beds at ‘for profit’ prisons. I watched a video* of an auction of a new prison to the highest bidder when the auctioneer, as a selling point, explained there would be a never ending supply of inmates to fill it. This was a prison built to hold illegal immigrants coming over the border. Instead of deporting them, it was financially in their favor to lock them up, even though they had committed no crime other than trying to find a better life. They didn’t deserve prison if the only motivation was profit. The bidding started at five million. These were men who were in the business of buying people for profit, and then denying them medicine and medical for even now profit.

      Prisoners are a commodity; and they are expendable. They are just criminals, lower than the lowest. Drug companies us them to test new drugs, without their knowledge. Manufacturing companies bid on them as nearly free labor to make their products. Inmates purchase commissary items from companies who make a step profit selling to inmates. Prisons do not want to pay for medical tests and costly drugs unless they absolutely have no choice. There are different laws for inmates than there are for free people. I want to think the public wouldn’t tolerate it if they knew, but I’m not so sure anymore. But I do know there is an outrage if animals kept in cages are treated inhumanely so I have to have hope they would also be outraged if they knew what did to people.

     There seems to be an abundance of hate in the world in the world. The call for justice is dim in the background of the noise of people screaming about the injustice done to them. How are they supposed to care about injustice done to people they loathe; convicted criminals. There are fights against this injustice but it isn’t loud enough. It may never be loud enough. Corporations have the money resources to fight change and they won’t give up their profit easily.

      I began to put my thoughts on paper, writing and rewriting, encouraging Jamie to write to me about what happened earlier in his life. I needed to see if there was something I could do to make a difference. First I started a blog and began publishing some of his letters. I wanted to do more and began writing this book.
      Our letter writing began in 2008 when little Jamie was about between 1 1/2. My only intention was to hopefully brighten his day and let him know someone was thinking about him. I knew letters were often the only communication an inmate has with the outside. What I didn’t know then – I was the only person writing to Jamie, except for an occasional letter and pictures from my daughter that soon slowed from a trickle to a barely existent drop.
      Morgan soon met another man, got married, and had another baby boy. After that she turned off the baby making machine. She didn’t stay with the fourth baby’s father, either, and life was hard. She was working two jobs was so tired all the time. I wished I was closer to her so I could help more and even though she rarely asked me for money, I sent it to her anyway because I knew she needed it.
    Jamie was hurt because no one in his family answered his letters. I couldn’t stop writing to him. He needed me. I told him I adopted him so should call me mom. He needed someone to know what was happening to him and he needed someone to write to he could encourage, too. The letters weren’t just about him, they were also about me when I needed to talk about my day. He wanted to hear about my life. We needed each other to talk to. I can’t understand how a mother could not want to know how her son is, knowing how hard it was for him. How can you go for years and not want to see how your son was? I could understand if he was far away, but he wasn’t. I think I was more upset about that than he was. He had already given up.
      He spent years in ad seg – which is short for administrative segregation – which means you were locked up in a cell 23 hours a day. If you were lucky and were taken for a shower or in the cage to exercise. The human mind can’t take that kind of deprivation and stay sane. I knew he was desperately unhappy. Right before this he spent four years in juvenile detention on a charge that should not have happened. He had spent very little time on the outside since he was sixteen years old.
      A few years after he went inside they started charging inmates $100 a year if they wanted to be able to call for medical help, even if it was only one time in the year. Inmates went without help when they needed it and infections spread easily. Many couldn’t afford it. They could still ask for medical help but they would often be ignored. I started paying his fee every year because some of his epileptic seizures were pretty bad. There were times he needed to be taken to the hospital. No one was going to help me pay it even though I asked his family for help. The question was ignored.
      When I realized there was no one else but me to keep him going, I mentally reached inside his cell, grabbed hold of him. He became my son. I would joke and say he took after his father because he is as black as I am white. On prison forums on the internet, like M.I.S.S. – Mom’s With Incarcerated Sons Society, it is a place for moms to talk with each other and get support. There were a few with daughters. Men in prison have mothers, wives, girlfriends and children and many of them stick by their loved one and want to talk to other women who are going through the same thing.  I told them he was my “adopted” son, but also told the truth and said he is the father of one of my grandsons.  Jamie desperately needed someone to care about him. I could have never stopped writing to him. It was too important. I wasn’t going to be another person who made him think he didn’t matter, because he did matter. He needed someone he talk to about Morgan and his son until he could find the right place to put it. He was grieving.
      Through the years I connected him with his son through pictures and stories Morgan would tell me. Morgan started resenting me because I would ask her to write to him. She didn’t want me to talk about him anymore. She had let him go and didn’t want me telling her she should write. She couldn’t understand why he was so important to me. I could understand that, but I wasn’t going to stop writing.
Jamie and I had each had each been given a prison sentence. We held each other up with encouragement and caring. I slowly began teaching him the life philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. I knew how much benefit I gained from what I had learn over the years, and the wisdom I gained from many hours of chanting daimoku, which is the chantin of nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It got me through many crisis points in my life. I don’t think I would be alive today had I not made the continued effort to change the negative parts of my life.
      He needed to understand why his life was happening the way it was. Why him? What did he need to learn? Learning about the law of cause and effect and how the decisions we make in our lives affects our future, doesn’t allow us to stay in the victim mentality and think what happens to us is not our fault. We make the causes for our life to go in the direction it does. We can learn how to make different causes and gradually pull our life out of the tailspin we sometimes find ourselves in.
      Having so much alone time, sitting in a prison cell, is the perfect time to reflect about those causes we made in our life that put us where we are. We are the only ones who can change our destiny by making better causes and getting better effects. In Buddhism, prayers are not answered by someone or something outside yourself who has personal plans laid out for you. Only when you look inside yourself and change will it reflect in the outside world around you. Each person has the freedom to decide for themselves what they want to believe in. Does your faith show proof in your life, or is it blind faith with no results?
      I have tried to keep Jamie centered on being positive. Trying to stay on an even keel when there are other people trying to make him lose control of his anger isn’t easy. At times he has been ready to give up. I try to keep him thinking about his future. It wasn’t going to be successful unless he made the effort – the causes – for it to be that way. He needed know how to respond in a different way to his environment than with anger.
      Trying to keep his head together, while living in a single cell with no one to talk to, separated from humanity, is probably the hardest thing anyone could be expected to do. People are not meant for such solitude. It is why the percentage of inmates going insane and committing suicide is so high. It is living in hell. The fact that he has done as well as he has is incredible. It is not the same as telling some they need to have better behavior and expecting them to do it. There are so many other influences that make it hard to do. I try to keep him supplied with books and magazines, so he can imagine another world. It is the only way to escape reality.
      These years in prison he has endured so far is only the first half of his experience. Getting out and staying out is the second half. The recidivism percentage, the rate people end up back in prison is in the high 70%, so the chance of staying free is against you and not in your favor – especially if you don’t have emotional support. Almost every inmate wants to do better when he is free, but staying free does not happen by accident. He needs a plan and he has to have discipline. When he gets out and enters a society he doesn’t recognize, the going gets tough. This society won’t care if he makes it or not. Racism didn’t end while he’s been inside.
      Because we are human, we usually take two steps forward and one and a half steps back That makes it hard to see our progress. It’s been very hard, for both of us. It’s easy to get your legs yanked out from beneath you and react to things that cause even more negativity in your life, but if you learn how to get back up again and redetermine, there is hope. He is not a victim. He can change his life into a positive one. It can and will be a benefit to his life and will strengthen him as a human being, even if it is hard for him to see that right this minute.
      Everything happens for a reason. There is no such thing as luck and there are no miracles. There are only affects of causes, even if you don’t understand what they are. The phrases, “You reap what you sow”, “What goes around comes around.”, “You get back what you dish out”, holds true in all circumstances, not just once in awhile. Teaching someone in prison to understand this is difficult, but he has come a long way. Without understanding this he doesn’t have a chance of ever getting out of there and have his mind in one piece. If he understands this and puts it into practice he will turn this experience around to have a positive meaning in his life. There are those who think they can, and those who think they can’t, and they are both right. This will affect my grandson and what he teaches him about his life when he gets out. Black men have a one in three chance of ending up in prison because that is the way our justice system, through racism, has forced it to go. I have two half black grandsons and I fear for the racism that will come their way after they are not under the total control of the mother. White men don’t have to worry about prison the way black men does. White men aren’t accosted and harassed on the street just for being white.
      There are many people who live his story. There are many family members who are faced with this same thing when the men in their lives are locked up. Yes, some of it justified. Some of it is because neighborhoods have been so ground down they lost hope a long time ago. A prison sentence for one person is a prison sentence for the entire family and everyone suffers. Families don’t know how to help someone in prison and because most are low income they don’t have the money to visit, accept phone calls or hire attorneys who aren’t only trying to force a plea deal.
      Toward the end of 2013 I started his blog, mynameisjamie.net and began posting his letters. Slowly his story emerged. I also have copies of my letters to him. The responses I received kept me writing, and kept Jamie encouraged. today there are other people who write to him that let him know his life is important. There were even men who wrote to me and said his story made them cry. He began touching people’s hearts. I began searching for other blogs about people in prison, like I was doing, because I wanted to learn what was happening in other prisons.
      I started reading and learning. I began researching all aspects of the prison industry, from the juveniles to the elderly. What I learned was often shocking. I was appalled and angry. Some blogs or books published were about ex-gang members who turned their lives around. Other inmates were never going to get out and were trying to make sense of how they were going to survive a life sentence. Many went through years of searching, looking for answers. Some found God, some turned to the Muslim faith and some turned to Buddhism. And there are those who turned to negative ways of dealing with life such as white supremacy and other gangs to give them a sense of brotherhood.
      All Buddhism is not the same just like there are many sects of Christian religions, from Pentecostal to Jehovah Witness. Jamie is learning about Nichiren Buddhism. Most inmates join some kind of group, often for protection, and most stay within their own race. But Jamie has spent little time in the general population. He has spent years of his time in the lower levels * of prison, often in a cell by himself, locked up 23 hours a day. He is only let out to shower a few times a week and maybe to go to chow – maybe. No programs – no education – nothing in ten years. How would you be doing if you had to live like that?
      In 2015 I began to write this book with the hope of not only validating his life, but to also help people understand what this country has done to millions of people; how the combination of racism and greed flourished in the prisons. Nothing is going to change until people force it to change. We can’t continue to ignore what is happening. In order for anyone to say America is a great nation, it has to be earned. We have to care about the people, not just ‘say’ we care.
    I hope you learn something from this writing you can pass it on to someone else. This story is about creating an indomitable spirit that learns to never give up, no matter how bad it gets. You need to have no doubt you will get to the other side of whatever problem you face. There is something to learn from everything we go through. Jamie, today, at this moment is still sitting in a cell by himself, hopefully studying and planning for his future. Will he make parole someday? What will it take? It will depend on his determination. The parole board is not going to want to parole him, so it will be a fight. They do not like to parole black people. They usually get turned down, no matter what is recommended.
      Maybe, by the time I get to the end there will be better answers. Politicians are now saying they want to change the system and also release more people, but then why are they still building more prisons? The numbers don’t add up. It never will. It’s politics.

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

When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight.

— Daisaku Ikeda

I want to thank everyone who has been following this blog and those who have been reading the chapters of the book as I write and rewrite, finding my way.  Every time you share something on your own SM, you help me tremendously. Every new address on the mailing list gives me more credibility for publishing. I hope you continue to give me pushes in the right direction.

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

Chapter List:
A Message From Someone Who Cares (forward)
Everyday Dreams
I Love You Always, Daddy
Jamie’s Story
The Nightmare
A Roof Over My Head, Three Squares a Day and Free Medical
Sometimes They’ll Give You Candy
There Is No Place Like Home – part one
There Is No Place Like Home – part two
Sonni’s Side of The Story – part one

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Tears For All The Years That Passed

Tears For All The Years  by Sonni Quick copyright 2016

I wrote this poem in 2012 and the music recently.  It was published on my other blog about and month and a half ago. Today I decided to re-blog it. During this time period in 2012, when I wrote this poem, there were many letters between Jamie and I. I had to type with one finger because I lost the ability to hold a pen. I had trouble holding a fork, too. With liver failure protein builds in the brain and motor skills don’t work and confusion sets in. I knew he was having trouble with me being so sick and not being able to do anything.

He and I have things in common and one of those things is a family who doesn’t know how to care. I had moved to Pa to have a liver transplant and I was close to losing the battle. I also had liver cancer and more infections than I thought possible for one person to have, but that is what happens when your body starts shutting down. I have a lot of family that live close but not one person ever called to even see if I was dead. As you can probably tell, I still have trouble dealing with it, because in the years since then nothing changed. I have better friends all over the world that I met through blogging and I am so grateful for that. I never could understand my family.

In a letter I got from Jamie yesterday he talks about the same thing – a family who never cared about him the past ten years who can’t bother to even send a birthday card, let alone send a book to read or money to buy a bar of soap. He writes about how hard it is, and that he tries to keep it out of his head because it brings him down. He loves his mother. He can’t bring himself to say anything bad about her, and I hope he finds a way some day to tell her how much she has hurt him. He says it’s hard to know he doesn’t have her support in any way. That is heartbreaking, too. It is one reason why I tried to fill the void. After ten years of filling that void it is much more than that, but I just don’t understand why people, who say they love you don’t ever do anything to actually show it. I had my transplant in 2012 soon after I wrote this poem. It really explains how I felt about my life because I thought I was losing it.

As a Nichiren Buddhist, I look at life different that most of you. I don’t think life begins when we are born or ends when we die and I don’t think we go to some magical place called heaven where all are problems are gone and all we do is worship a god. I believe the people in our lives we have been with before. Sometimes we feel a connection with people and sometimes we don’t, and those people you do, you’ve been with before, although not in the same context. How many times in our lives have we said to someone, “I feel like I’ve known you forever,” and you become instant friends?

We work through our problems in life, and we do it over and over until we get it right. We live in heaven on earth and we live in hell on earth. It isn’t somewhere we go when we die. Jamie is in my life for a reason and I am in his life for a reason. I wouldn’t want to imagine his life now had I NOT been in his life these past ten years. That was my purpose. He fell in love with my daughter and had a son he can’t be with, but that happened because he needed to meet me, because he needed me to teach him the things he needed to learn to get through these years. I may not be making much sense to some people, but when you learn what the meaning of cause and effect is, you gradually learn what the meaning of your life is. It learning the entire meaning of “You reap what you sow” instead of it just being a phrase you were taught.  You have to actually live it to understand it.  Why do you reap what you sow?  What happens when you don’t like what you reap?  What do you do about it?  Your faith should enable you to have a happy life, no matter where you are – in a prison cell or a hospital room. If you aren’t, then you have to examine what it is you actually believe.

Jamie is reaping what he sowed and so am I.  Different religion say the exact same thing but we don’t take it seriously.  We have to take responsibility to change what we sow because we are to blame for every single thing that happens to us – good and bad. No one is testing us. It is no one else’s will that we suffer or be happy.  Everything is our own fault.  We have to change things, not think something outside ourselves will change it, no matter what you were taught.  We have to take control of our lives.  When you understand that, your life opens to greater possibilities.

Please make sure you follow this to the other blog and finish reading the poem.

http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick

Sonni Quick

im crying, sonni quick. karma, liver transplant photo source: crazy4images.com

I’m crying
Why can’t the world hear my crying?
Tears for all the years that passed
seeing dreams that never last.
beyond the time you can see
and when you open up your eyes
the dream has passed
It’s now too late
to dream that dream again
my heart is torn it can not mend.
My dreams are dying
and I’m crying
for all I have that’s left is pain
I lost it all with none to gain
I look in the mirror, I see myself
hoping to see where the years have gone
I made the cause, I was so young
Sharp turns to the left
that way was wrong.
tears fall, say please
as they stream down your face.
a longing look at the piano keys
I wrap my arms around my knees,
Crying tears of loss
Crying tears of pain
No one takes a…

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Unanswered Questions of Right and Wrong – What Do You Say?

black prisoners at San Quentin
photo source: http://www.nytimes.com

So many unanswered questions of right and wrong. Ten years ago, before I met Jamie, I was totally clueless about how the prison system worked and how it connects to our past history of slavery.  I didn’t know anyone in prison.  My knowledge came from the same place everyone gets their information – TV and movies – and slanted propaganda the media is paid to report, depending on which political party that particular news organization is affiliated with.

There is a need to justify to American citizens why there has been such an enormous need to lock up a high percentage of our “lesser than us” citizens – more than almost all other countries combined.  This is the mass incarceration of blacks. The people needed to fill the prisons were expendable. They were, and still are, the blacks, and then minorities, and now foreign citizens, AKA illegal aliens. It is so important to keep us afraid of them, even though we created the need to be afraid in the first place. Why?

white power, racism
photo source: wbez.org

Why has it been so important for white people to believe black people have a higher propensity to be criminals than white people?  Has it been our ego? Could we not stand the thought that black people are just as good as we are?  No, we had to keep them down – keep them in their place.  Why do black people have to be so much more afraid of police than white people? We know that is a fact.  All of us know it, yet it continues to happen.  Why do my half-black grandchildren have to be afraid that a cop will shoot them in the back?  Because that is what cops do, and get away with, because black people are so dangerous, so they tell us.

Why do so many white people think they are better than blacks?  Do they think they are good Christians?  They say they are good Christians.  Some racist people will even tell you they aren’t racist because they don’t want other people to know.  I’m not lumping all Christians into that mix, because even black people are Christians, even though they aren’t supposed to be. “Dirty niggers”, we have called them so many times.  It’s hard to even type the letters it is so disgusting.  But not printing them doesn’t make it go away. I could type half the word and put ** in the middle for the missing letters, but that doesn’t change the word, either.  Since the time black people have been slaves, we – the white people couldn’t picture black people being equal to us. The white race did a horrible things to this race of people with beautiful colored skin of many shades.  White people have tried for a hundred years to acquire their beautiful brown tones of skin.  Because of the law of cause and effect or, you reap what you sow, is strict, a price will be paid for what was done.  Even though the current generation of people were not alive while slavery was being enacted there is something drastically wrong because some kids are still being raised with the same hate their parents were probably raised.

Now, with everything going on today in the world with terrorism in the middle east, that we created, children are now being taught to hate Muslims, as if Christianity was such a loving religion. So much blood has been shed in the name of Christianity.  The degree of hate I hear from those who say they are Christians is sickening. Any child now who is racist learned it from the adults in his life – and that is inexcusable.   Again I say, not all Christians fall into this group, but it is enough of them that it stands out.

There is something massively wrong with America, starting with the people who govern it.   What we were never told, as the prisons swelled with people, was the real reason why we had to lock up so many people.  Sure, there was the war of drugs, but that wasn’t the real reason.  That was just the easiest reason for the public to swallow.  Our government knew all along  this was never going to get rid of drugs or crime.  What it did was allow certain corporations to make a heck of a lot of money, and those corporations gave politicians a lot of campaign money.  now they have to support what these corporations want.   The people in power had to prey on the minds of people who were susceptible to believing black people were dangerous.  They needed a reason to destroy black families.  It was the only way to legally continue to enslave them. Take away the fathers, and make sure they were kept poor. Lock up their kids in juvenile detention for poor or nonexistent excuses. Treat black kids differently than white kids.  Make sure they have a hard time getting an education.  Show society that black people are beneath white people.  If you are ignorant and think being white makes you smarter, or you deserve more, then there is no hope for you.  Because, no matter what you believe, it doesn’t make it true.

Cops have killed too many people with the stupid excuse they were afraid for their lives as they shot the person as he was walking away from them.  That excuse won’t work any more.  People are angry.

While locking up so many people, no one put enough thought into how much it was going to cost to keep them locked up. They also didn’t think about how much money it would take to care for them medically.  And what about the elderly? Who pays for them? Everyone – we all pay – it comes out of every taxpayer’s pocket. But who cares?  Not the corporations with the contracts.

cca. prison corporations, prison industrial complex
photo source:
correctionsproject.com

So much money is being made by the prison industrial complex – fine upstanding American corporations who want their products to be made by incarcerated slaves for free or close to it. Do you boycott these companies?  No – you don’t – because you have no idea which companies I’m talking about.  Have you even thought to find out who these corporations are?  No, and they count on that.

You get angry when animals are hurt.  You get angry over the vets who are mistreated.  You get upset about the homeless, but you think the inmates in prison deserve what they get.  In the prisons there are corporations who bid on the commissary products they sell, and corporations who are supposed to supply the food, and corporations who are supposed to take care of medical needs, and corporations who are supposed to supply educational needs.   But they can only make the big bucks by denying these things to the inmates as often as possible. Do you think they are going to give up their profit when they have more money than anyone to fight it?

In prison, Jamie is being denied medications for his heart.  Just this week I have called 4 days in a row trying to reach someone in the medical unit to ask why.  I can never reach the right person, or they are out of the office and they won’t return my calls.  Is there an attorney reading this who can help me?   The prison doesn’t care if they kill him. Would you stand for that if it was YOUR family?  Is anyone angry for the inmates who aren’t receiving care, or do you fall for the propaganda that they deserve it? Do you believe they get three squares a day and free medical?  Are you the kind of person who believes what you read and doesn’t look at the other side of the story?

These things make me angry.  I know there are really bad people in prison, but every single one of them is a human being.  The percentage of the really bad is small compared to the rest of the prison population who got a sentence that did not fit the crime, or is innocent.  Add to that the ones who are mentally ill and have no way to get the help they need.  I’m not trying to say that everyone imprisoned should be let go.  I’m talking about the ones imprisoned who are there to fill a bed so more profit can be made. These are the ones given extraordinarily long sentences that serve no purpose beyond financial gain.  The parole board won’t parole them even though they have numerous letters of recommendation that they be given their life back.  These are the people inside who help fill the percentage dictated in the contracts the corporations have with the prisons.  These contracts say  the prisons have to be kept full or the government has to pay them for empty beds.  Do you know about this? It doesn’t matter that these are real people whose lives have been destroyed to fill a quota.

Our injustice system is sick.  It is the same system that will arrest a young girl for using the camera on her phone to document a cop abusing his role and hurt a student and then arrested the girl who took pictures of the abuse.  We protect the criminals with a badge and instead lock of the citizens who are whistleblowing the cops.  How long can this country function with these corrupt standards?  How many people have to have their lives destroyed for the sake of the profit for someone else?  Why is this allowed? I know there are people and organizations who are trying to stop it. Why isn’t it working?  Who is pulling the strings?  Not one of us is safe.

I have read monstrously stupid comments that people leave on the internet when they have been sucked into the propaganda and lies.  You would think by now they’d be tired of being sheep, led around by their noses. Even so, many of those who do know the truth do nothing.  They read – they sing to the choir – but when it comes right down to helping any of the people who have been destroyed by this system it is too much for them. How can people not want to help?  If each person reached out to even one person, what a difference it would make. So many people are fanatical about saving unborn children but they do NOTHING to help a living human being who needs to know that he matters. No, that is too much to ask.  What has anyone done for one of these babies, born into an abusive home who ends up in a foster home and then over 70% of them end up in prison because of that abuse?  What have you done for these people?  The people who want to control other people’s pregnancies are a bunch of hypocrites.  You climb onto a cause and shoot off your mouth but really have no concern for people. If you did, you’d do something for someone already living.

This election cycle there is a lot of talk for the first time about changing our prison system but there has been no talk about the contracts the prison corporations have.  So, to me, it sounds like a farce.  Tell the people what they want to hear, knowing it will just be another thing that will never happen, just like all the promises were got in the past that never happened.  But people will vote based on the promises that mean nothing. Then, when it is too late to do anything, they will get angry when the promises aren’t fulfilled.  Then they will call their elected leaders names.  Big deal, what will that accomplish? People need to do something now, not when it is too late.

Are you beginning to understand?

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

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