Unacknowledged Victims of the DOC
FAMILIES AND SOCIETY
I Just Want To Know Why?
I have no one in prison...Well, I have nearly two thousand, but no family or personal friends.
Even before reading the following post, I've long realized that the loved ones of inmates are suffering abuse from the prison system and it's employees, as well as being ostracized in the community as if they, too, had committed a crime.
I guess caring about someone society has deemed unacceptable is politically incorrect, an unwritten crime in America.
I've had eggs thrown at me in Starke, had 'the bird' shot at me, and been called "street walkin' convict lovin' whore" (among a variety of other colorful epitaphs). So, you don't have to be married to or give birth to or even be distantly related to a prisoner to have society shun you for caring. I never knew this, nor had I even thought about it until I began this work. So, now I want to know why.
The way the laws are written today (to throw as wide a net as possible) anyone could end up caring about someone in prison or even being a prisoner themselves.
The cost of justice is so high, that even innocent people don't have much of a chance anymore. Non-violent people, the mentally ill, downtrodden groups of all kinds give up their innocents - right along with the poor, the off-race, and the guilty. Anyone could end up loving a prisoner or being one themselves.
Motivation? The forfeiture laws make the cops rich; and profit margins of the prison industry make a lot of manufacturers, suppliers, and investors rich; probation fees feed a lot of fat-cats and their servants; Children services get paid per snatched child; How could any citizen think they won't end up in prison or see someone they care about end up in prison (unless they have a big savings to finance the best justice money can buy?
Then there's that 'Christian' thing that confuses me: "What you do unto the least of them, you do unto me..." Forgiveness, compassion, mercy and Love are all things that Christians profess to want from their creator, So, I want to know why society shuns people paying for their crime and ostracizes their families too?
It's no wonder that so many families lose it before the second year is up. They are trying to support the healing of people society won't, and society won't even support them in the effort, even though society benefits from the healing. I don't know, seems awfully self-destructive to me.
Visualizing Real Love,
"I went out into the community ...was looking for a new chair.. went to a couple of stores... I ran into an old friend from high school...He told me he heard about my son having gone to prison... I managed to have this conversation with him about it... Standing in a store talking to an old friend about your kid going to prison is why I don't leave my house... I looked thru the store real quickly...made a friendly last comment as I headed for the door and drove myself straight home. I may never go out again"
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 23:36:20 -0000
I think every one of us here knows exactly what you are feeling when you run into people like that. This may not be an option for you, but I live near enough to another town that I just stopped shopping in my home town and went to the other town. That way, I didn't run into the people with all the questions very often. And some of them don't just want to be nosey. Some of them are genuinely concerned and just want to give a hug in support. But it still hurts, and you don't want to deal with it, especially in a public place. We all understand that. But life must go on for us, and it's not fair for you to go into hiding over what your son did.
When you run into someone who wants to talk about it, you can keep it short, say something like "He's doing fine. Thank you for asking." Then tell them "Sorry, but I'm in a hurry." and scurry on your merry way. But don't hide. OK? And always remember that you have all of us here to comfort you and understand what you're going through.
We visited our 21 yr old daughter this past weekend. Jo is in Oregon. She is being moved around but she is a slave of the Oregon DOC. Subject to whatever cruel whim the current officer in charge comes up with. It is pathetic that we call this a Good country when we allow such atrocious abuse to continue. She is miserable and has been through hell. We wanted to add our insight about public concerns...
When we go out we always see someone who asks about her and we tell them.... "She's in Hell! It is a terrible place and we should do everything in our power to see that no one else from this community should be forced to go there. It is the most corrupt, inhuman system of injustice this country has ever created and citizens better wake up! Cause their children are next."
Thanks again for fighting for them. You are a blessing.
If you have had an experience of rejection
directly related to your concern for a prisoner,
Contact me, Kay Lee,