I'm a Prison Mom - Part 2 - page 2
I was browsing the blue side of AN recently and came upon my article from a couple of years ago when this was so raw and open. Thought I would give an update. Did you know that the US has the most... Read More
Aug 24, '16@CBLover - thanks
@CryssyD - you are right on so many accts. My son is one of the very lucky ones - he has a family that loves him, is able to put money on his books, visits and writes often. He is very aware of how lucky he is too. And yes, because he is convicted of a violent felony, he will have a very difficult time getting a job, housing will be next to impossible, etc.. Again, though he is very lucky because of the Second Chance Pell Grant - he might have a chance for some type of education while incarcerated. My husband and I are very worried about his survival after he gets out - it will be a huge adjustment. Thanks for your comments.
Oct 12, '16After working in criminal court for six years as a court reporter, I can say I'm not a big fan of the criminal justice system. I've heard just about everything one person can do to another, sat dutifully at my station in front of TV cameras and reporters on big cases, and witnessed cases that the media nor anyone else care about (including homicides) but still involve real people and real pain. I can also say, as you have now learned for yourself, it's not what the public at large thinks it is. Many people are under the impression that the criminal justice system is just a bunch of bad people doing bad things. I would say the "truly bad" ones are in the minority. Most don't know any better. Some just made a really big mistake. Some are getting a really raw deal. There was even times when I saw someone and thought, my God, that could be me!
I also always felt terrible for the parents of offenders, especially when the offender had a victim. Everyone naturally sympathizes with the victim and their family, as well they should, and I certainly did, too. But oftentimes it seemed the offender's parents had to suffer in silence and shame. Not only are they dealing with the shock of their child's actions, but also losing them as well... after a long, expensive, and arduous process. They are often treated as though they shouldn't even have the nerve to hurt for their child, that the slightest hint of pain for their child somehow means they condone their actions. But how does one erase a lifetime of them being your baby?
I wish you all the best through this. Sitting in criminal court day after day, so many people doing the "jailhouse shuffle" in and out of the room in shackles, and 90+% of them have zero family sitting in the gallery for support. Being supportive is the best thing you can possibly do.
Jan 23, '17@traumaRUS and cardiacfreak - at one of my jobs I prescribe medications for the mental health needs of your children or those lost ones like your children as well as the severely chronically mentally ill and intellectually disabled who are locked in this vortex. It is both heartbreaking and in a few rare instances very rewarding. Since I cut my psychRN teeth in adolescent RTCs most of these inmates are my former kids, some quite literally.
Know that I am also furious there is no therapy and should your child cross my path I offer whatever little I can in the way of handouts, DBT references and what I hope to be good old fashion Mom-type advice. I nip in the bud the beloved self serving theory that people suffering from SUD all have "my bipolar" and need a handful of psych medications to numb themselves through their lives when in fact coping skills and learning to tolerate discomfort are a necessary protective mechanism and a part of growing up. It seems most actually do appreciate my time although some hate me initially and yet I won't back down from an uncomfortable conversation or stop pointing out flawed logic that likely contributed to their current situation. I encourage everyone to think about future goals. Please know that your babies are treated with respect if they are in my office.
Feb 3, '17Thanks Jules for your compassion. My son is now almost 32, on no meds and actually is in school and doing very well. He is in minimum security prison which is STG-free - another words, no gangs. It is actually (and I never thought I would say this) one of the best prisons I've been in and I've been in many in my state.
He was diagnosed with depression as a teen and had been on/off meds for many years. However, now, when he should be very depressed, he seems to be able to handle the situation.
Feb 12My husband and I are supporters of The Equal Justice Initiative and Bryan Stevenson. Skin color and bank accounts have a direct impart on arrests and convictions. For profit prisons and the incarceration of immigrants facing deportation have also been brought to our attention at religious workshops. Jesus said, "I was in prison and you visited me." When we reach out to the least of them, we reach out to him.