As Christmas day approaches, I can’t help but think of all those behind bars who won’t be sharing the joy of Christmas or other spiritual holidays with their families. They won’t be having home cooked turkey, or decorating a Christmas tree, or throwing a snowball, or sharing a hot chocolate with their children and family.
So, I am praying that they each know that someone out here is thinking of them and sends them hope for a better future. I hold out hope that they will see their way to turning their life around and living life to the fullest when they are released. When they have served their time and paid their debt, I sincerely hope that they will not give up and return to old ways, friends and habits. I hope they will take their second chance to live with society, not against it.
For those who are in solitary, I hope you keep faith that things will get better. Look into your self for strength and you will find it. Look to your family for the strength to help you maintain in these dark days.
As sad as I am today for my son, I know there is always hope and that with a positive attitude and the help of their loved ones, they can make the transition from felon to free person.
My thoughts are also with those millions of loved ones and family members who are sharing my sadness for their loved one who is incarcerated. You are not alone.
This is re-blogged from Prison Policy Initiative. With 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. that makes us the biggest mass incarcerator in the world!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 8, 2015
Contact: Bernadette Rabuy
brabuy [at] prisonpolicy.org
Easthampton, MA — With 2.3 million people locked up in more than 7,000 correctional facilities operated by thousands of agencies, getting the big picture is anything but easy. Today, with the publication of Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015, the Prison Policy Initiative provides the answer to how many people are locked up in the U.S., where, and why. Building upon our groundbreaking 2014 report that, for the first time, aggregated the disparate systems of confinement, this updated version contains further detail on why people are locked up.
As we discuss in our report, looking at the “whole pie” allows us to cut through the fog to answer key questions such as:
- After state prisons, what is the next biggest slice of confinement?
- How does the number of people that cycle through correctional facilities in a year differ from the number of people locked up on a particular day?
- How important is it to ending mass incarceration that we reform the policies that increasingly detain people pretrial?
- How many people nationwide are imprisoned because their most serious offense was a drug offense?
- How does the number of people in correctional facilities compare to the even larger number of people on probation and parole?
Armed with the big picture, Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015, gives the public and policymakers the foundation to now consider the types of changes that would end the country’s reign as the number one incarcerator in the world.
The report is available at: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2015.html
Unfortunately my son, like so many others in prison gets depressed over the holiday season. This is the time they really feel left out and wish things were different.
Today I got a call from him because his counselor allowed him to use his phone and call me and even let him talk as long as he liked. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me and to him. He has been in solitary confinement for several months now, due to disciplinary action for having contraband. That contraband was a knife. You see he has been trying to get out of the gang he has been in for years and they weren’t having any of it, so they put a target on his back and he needed to protect himself.
As usual he accepts responsibility for his actions and will take his punishment. He continues to pay for things that add up one block upon another. I am not saying he shouldn’t be punished, but it seems that once you turn down a path, it follows you. If he hadn’t joined a gang, if he hadn’t been active in the gang, if he hadn’t decided that he wanted out, if he hadn’t been sent to one of the worst prisons in the system…and on and on.
Today, mostly I want to commend his counselor for being a person who at least sees him as a human being with a family who still cares about him.