1st Letter from Prison

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PonyGirl65, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    A letter from my son arrived today, written the day he arrived at prison. He gives a very detailed step-by-step narrative of his journey. I had a tough time reading parts of it out loud to my husband, but also there were parts that made us both laugh:

    "I got a glimpse of XYZ-Prison as we drove by (not the place where he is, but a different facility they drove past) It is the oldest prison in the state. It looks like a castle!! It's not massive or anything but the architecture is very....dark ages"

    And then, describing the "perp walk" into the cell block after booking:
    "We are led into a hallway - the biggest hallway I have ever seen! I cannot see either end! We walk into this huge area. Before I decide yonder end will never appear, we are told to turn left."

    He has a "cellie" who is also at prison for the first time ever, and he is grateful for that. I can understand the comfort there, both of them are experiencing the same kind of thing.

    I was grateful for his precise detail in his letter. It was a comfort to me, somehow. The way he wrote it, I felt like I was right beside him!

  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    PonyGirl, that letter must have been bittersweet for you. I am glad he has a cellmate who understands his challenges.

    And it sounds like he has an eye for writing! How expressive, and how courageous to find humor at that moment. And I don't know how else to say this, but it was very kind of him to share that with you, in that way.

    I am glad you heard from him. I can see how you found comfort in it. Much peace to you too, PonyGirl.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe he can journal his experience, deleting what he doesnt wish to share but I like reading true books about our criminal system. I know im not alone. He can put it on amazon and get readers who can learn the truth of our penal system. I've bought several inmate books written by amateurs because im interested. Many are so informative.
    Hey, hes a good writer. He could maybe turn his experience into a for profit book.
    Hope this wasnt offensive. I love to writing and think having a goal could hurry the time. Of course he can change names, locations, certain detais etc.
    Amazon lets anyone publish a book.
    Im glad he kept his humor too!
    Now time to care about YOU. He's in a safe place now and could turn it all around. I hope, I hope.
  4. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Hi Ponygirl,

    I'm glad your son's letter brought you a sense of peace. When my son was in prison I also felt a bit of comfort when I received his letter and made sure I too wrote many letters in return.I learned that in prison letters are extremely important - contact with the outside world and a sense that someone still cares about them. One thing that can be said about letters is that you are able to converse in a way that may have been impossible for some time face to face. I'll be thinking of you.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing that with us Ponygirl.

    One thing about letters is we can take our time with them whether reading one or writing one.

    ((HUGS)) to you.................
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I think writing what we are seeing and experiencing to someone else is a very specific kind of reaching out for connection and intimacy. I think this is a very good sign, that he chose to do this and then wrote in a very thoughtful way to you.

    You just never know how and when the turnaround will come. It's too bad that for many of us, it had to be jail or prison that was part of the turnaround but I guess that's just the way it is.

    Maybe you will find a new closeness with him during this time and he will have time to reflect and mature.
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  7. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Not that this is the same thing, but his letter to you reminds me of when I went to Navy boot camp and wrote letters to my mother and father. Mom saved all the letters I sent to her. I remember being completely miserable the whole time I was there. Years later I read some of the letters...they were all as positive as could be. I guess I didn't want her to suffer along with me. I'm glad I had the mind way back then to be mindful of that.

    I'm glad your son is writing to you and trying to keep that connect. I think it's important for his future.
  8. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    He called me this morning - we only had 1 minute - good to hear his voice! He reports all is well so far. He said his cellmate has a 25 YEAR sentence!!! I asked what he was convicted of: Delivery of heroin.


    NOT a coincidence that he is cellmates with this person. My GFG31 was deep into that drug, heading for an overdose any day.

  9. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Wow! 25 years for delivery. That's a lot of time. Heroin kills and ruins lives. I suppose it's deserved. But wow! I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to risk throwing 25 years of their life away.
  10. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    This is the exact reason our judicial system is broken. Most addicts don't have a concept of 25 years, thus these extremely long sentences have no deterrent status for the people that really need it. What we need are ways to engage people beyond the addiction such as treatment, jobs, etc. and a life that involves other choices. Interesting work done in Portugal on addiction that I saw in a TED talk recently.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    25 years for delivery, not for using. Dealing is different...delivering.
  12. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I agree to a point, but I believe it's bigger than just some dude trying to earn an extra buck. Dealers are users themselves. It's a case of what came first? The user or the dealer. They may be out there, but I have never known or heard of anyone who got started into dealing without being a user first.

    Addiction is a disease, and should be treated like any other disease. Instead, it's treated as a crime, where the addict goes to jail and gets little, if any, treatment in fixing the disease. I agree dealers should serve some sort of punishment, but I don't think locking them up for 25 years is where the focus and resources needs to be placed. I'd rather they use those resources in providing real treatment and accountability. Maybe then we would see some change. Maybe I'm thinking too positively, but what we've been doing doesn't work.
  13. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    You're right Roxana. I put my son in treatment at 14. Didn't work. I would have liked him to get more treatment as he grew older, but who knows. I completely agree we could change our response to addiction from criminal to social/health, but I do believe there does need to be some kind of incarceration involved as well. I think you have to be "locked up" to "get treatment" for addiction. At least to a certain degree. Making treatment voluntary isn't the best route either. I don't know. It's such a complex problem. And everyone responds differently.

    But bottom line, YES, the focus needs to shift.
  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    That's where the accountability comes in. There needs to be RTCs out there and while they are in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), they need to work to help pay their way...thereby learning skills they can use in the future. Farming...manufacturing...I'm sure there are other trades people could learn while in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Yeah, I know...we don't manufacture much anymore and farming is slowly going away as well. (But that's a whole other story of what I think has gone wrong in the USA!) Certainly more money would have to be put into a system like this, but I think it would be worth it to help get our youth and our country back on track.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am fine with putting them in treatment to get clean and if they do, drop the jail sentence but have then drug tested weekly for ten years. If they fail, they fail.
    Although addiction is an illness, they know what they are doing. If they deliver heroin, who is to say a child won't become hooked because of it? And, I, in a personal way, don't want some twenty year old druggie selling heroin that may end up in the hands of my fourteen year old grandson. Or yours.
    I don't think anyone should not be offered rehab first. I don't think 25 years is appropriate for just catching somebody with drugs. Again I favor rehab first.
    If your son or even my son sells the drug knowing they could be harming a minor, I don't care if they fail their one rehab chance and then spend years in jail.
    Mentally Ill people hurt others and go to jail unless they are legally insane. Most of our kids have had chances some poorer kids wouldn't get.
    I draw my compassion line with dealing. They are sick but not insane and don't care who gets hurt as long as they get their fix. Yes, my daughter did this. She was a minor though and lucky not to get caught. She is appalled now that she once was a speed connection for druggie at her high school. And she should be.
    Dealing is a personal Russian Roulette. It is a crime that hurts other people. A 35 year old man started my daughter on meth. She was fifteen and had a crush on him. I wouldn't have cried if he'd gotten jail for life, but my daughter was too afraid of him to turn him in.
    He is still doing his drug bit. He never got clean. Been in/out jail. Got off easy. Sick? Yes and unwilling to get well and probably still dealing. I have no pity.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016