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Mama Zee

Is someone you love behind bars?

 

I want to hear your story

“…so common is the prison experience that the federal government predicts that one in eleven men will be incarcerated in his lifetime, one in four if he is black.” 

Quotation by Joseph T. Hallinan from his book entitled

Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation

 

 

        America presently incarcerates more than 2 million men and women.  There’s little doubt in my mind that many of us may know someone who is behind bars.  This statement is not written to judge whether the incarcerated persons are guilty or not.  It is being written because of my new awareness regarding how many lives are impacted by these incarcerations. 

 

        Let’s look at my personal story as a demonstration of what I mean.  My son is presently incarcerated at Holmes Correctional Institute in Bonifay, Florida.  His incarceration touches the lives of his mother, his two sisters, his wife and his four children.  That’s eight lives that have feelings, thoughts and reactions regarding this particular young man and I’ve only scratched the surface.  I wrote several letters to my son soon after his incarceration began only to have them returned to me unopened.  There was no explanation regarding why those letters were returned to me so I became frustrated and confused.  I thought that my son didn’t want to communicate with me.  But, that wasn’t the case at all.  After a month or two passed, I learned from his wife that he’d been moved to another facility.  When I wrote to the new location, my letters were welcomed by my son.  Now we communicate regularly.

 

        I began to think more about people who are locked-up as my conversations with my girlfriends and associates revealed that they too knew someone who was incarcerated.  One of my dearest friends visits her fiancé weekly in a local jail.  She was quick to tell me how important it is for the inmates to receive mail and to have visitors during their incarceration.  According to my friend, if these simple things don’t go on, then the authorities at these facilities assume that no one cares about the inmate and then the inmates may be treated poorly.  Isn’t that amazing?

 

        So, now you’ve heard my story and I’d like to hear yours.  Perhaps you’ve experienced some problems with a visit or with your mail to an inmate.  Perhaps your loved one is locked-up and you don’t know how to contact them.  I’d like to help you find a solution to that problem.  In the short space of time that I’ve become serious about this subject, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of resources that could be helpful.  I’ve also researched some impressive facts which appear below:

 

·         1,483,896 men are incarcerated

·         114,420 women are incarcerated

·         For every 100,000 black males in America, 3,138 are incarcerated

·         For every 100,000 Hispanics in America, 1,259 are incarcerated

·         For every 100,000 white males in America, 481 are incarcerated

 

        There’s an old saying that states, “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.”  So let’s talk about it and perhaps together we can find ways to change some things. 

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