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Old 10-03-2012, 03:53 PM
surelyuknowamy's Avatar
surelyuknowamy surelyuknowamy is offline
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Originally Posted by nettie View Post
I posted the below with "Worried Mom" at PTO with Great Responses...So I am Sharing it Again... Hope You Find My Story and Suggestions Helpful...
All the Best

Hi, I my only child, age 26 is incarcerated for a first time multiple robbery offense for 30 years. From jail to prison, he has been away for only 2 of the 30 years remaining. In the beginning, my son said to me, "Mom, I have died, I have no life anymore"... Through the wonders of God, prayer, family and friends, today, my son is attending acquiring his degree in Business at Ohio University through the College program for incarcerated persons. He has a relationship with God. He and his father have reunited. He and I, other family members have grown closer. He finally realized that those whom he thought was his friends, were just as much lost souls as he was. The blind leading the blind straight to the "hells" of prison. My son will be the first to tell you today " I may be in prison, but Prison is NOT in me"...

Here are a few things I wish to share to assist your child(s)....

1. Write your child often...Even just to say "I was thinking of You", "I Love You and Support You"...Don't depend on anyone else to do this. Nothing like a mothers Love.

2. Clip out the newspaper, or buy the book of crosswords/ word finds and etc and take pages from it and mail it to them. If they are allow books or magazines...Subscribe to at least one, preferable their newspaper. Go on the internet and copy, paste and print spiritual, reglious, comic, jokes, and etc and mail in an envelope. You don't even have to write a note with it... I've found appeal information off the internet and printed it off and dropped in the mail... My son loves sports, music... I send him clippings of whatever interest him off the internet... Little things go a long way...

3. Put something Special in their accounts for birthdays or to reward them when they accomplish something while in prison.

4. Under that only through Education shall "Recidivism" stop. If your child needs their GED, make it your business to write the prison or go online and look up that prison information towards acquiring an education. Don't stop at a GED for education, Just because there are no federal funding to allow for college of incarcerated persons, doesn't mean they can't register and take college course with their state local or out of state college. It is much cheaper in state tuition. Stop looking for a program for incarcerated persons. Ohio University happens to have one for that if you can afford it and it is a good program...BUT almost all local colleges have "DISTANT EDUCATION COLLEGE PROGRAM"...and all inmates are entitled to attend with the approval of their Warden. Instate Tuition at a local college cost an estimate of $130- $150 for 3 credit (1) course. Get a fund raising going, ask for donations, with-in your family, friends, church and etc to help pay for one or two courses each semester. When my family ask about gift for my birthday, christmas, etc...I simply tell family and friends...a contribution to my son college education and/or his appeal...My point to you, if you want to put an end to our children coming out of prison to not being able to get a decent job, having a home and being independent, then, what can we expect but for them to do crimes and return back... This is called "Recidivism" Read up on this matter! Support your child towards rehabilation. If you need assistance in this area...write me anytime.

5. Tell Your Love One NOT to BORROW, EVER from anyone while incarcerated. Go Without!!! Not even a cigarette, for the interest on the loan WILL BE higher than the loan. This is why it is important to put something on your loveones account. $2.00 is better than Nothing. They will appreciate it. Tell them not to join any gangs. Mind their own business... "Do You"... Gossip will get you hurt and/or killed. Keep Busy. Have a schedule that includes exercising, mediation, reading, job and/or school. Make the Best of the Situation. Again, I can't stress the issue of NOT BORROWING...from anyone. You never want to owe a favor. Don't Loan Out Either, or Your may be the Bank for everyone and having trouble getting them repay their debts to you. Simply Again... Tell them to do themselves...or go without.

6. My son's deadbeat child support father, today, 20 Something years later, maturer, has promised our son to financially support his account until he is released. Our son has a budget for general expenses and basic needs. He can pay the MCI collect calls, newpaper, magazines and etc from that monthly allottment his dad now provide. This enables me and others to contribute to his college education and appeals. GOD IS GOOD!!! GOD IS ALWAYS ON TIME!!!

7. If your loveone is incarcerated out of state and it is hurting you not seeing him, and it cost to much to fly. Greyhound Bus service have all types of special programs and rates. Amtrak does too. My son is in state, but is over 9 hours away from me. I have met others that live in my area and have to travel that far, we now group together and even stay over night and bunk together in a hotel to save money. If there is a will, there is a way. If you have to stay overnight, book your room on the internet, it is much cheaper... Due to the distance, we are overnighters, The room cost $79 per night, we pay $43 with taxes...off the internet...for the same room... The hotel has offered us the 2 room Suite at a discounted rate. Weekend rental car service is much cheaper. You can rent a car/suv and buddy travel to visit your loveones. There are so many things to do, to get you where you want to go... It's call "If there's A Will there's A Way"... For God Is Good!

8. My son says to me too, that it is hard for him to have to leave us, he wants to go home with us. Yet, he also says, I will never tell you to stop. Some inmates have chosen not to receive visitors until they are moved closer to home, which is understandable. Bottom line, unless they refuse visitation...Go see them. Also, while visiting my son, we witness family members of another inmate, arguing during the visit...If you could see the expression the saddness on the face of the inmate having to sit and watch his two siblings argue on his time...Please, come at looking and acting your best. Leave all the negativity at home. Visits should be pleasant, loving and to put a tiny bit of normalcy in that loveones life. For, tomorrow is not promised.

9. Don't baby them. Don't condone, but don't condemn them either. If you see or hear them changing for the better, let them know. If they are not, let them know.

10. Do not become friendly with the prison personnel, however, call or write your childs counselor, let them know that you are supportive to your child rehabilation and the family is available to assist with this. Find out what programs are being offered at the prison. Know the prison rules and regulations. When ever requesting for, e.g. that your child be allowed to attend college, which must be approval by the Warden, let them know, that education is a preventive measure to prevent relapses nto criminal behavior which is commonly referred to as "Recidivism". This will go a long way. Most prison officials think that the families have thrown away the key on the inmate. Be professional and pleasant at all times. Make sure that the counselor, the Warden have updated emergency contact information. Your child won't be treated any different the other inmates, but you have put them on notice that you hold the prison and warden accountable for your childs health and safety.

11. Don't assume anything about prison life, the prison your child is incarcerated at, and don't depend on your child letting you know, they sometimes don't know themselves. Call the prison and ask. If you don't know who to ask, ask your childs counselor.

12. Stay in touch with web sites such as this one. Don't be afraid or ashame to come out about your child, your loveone, your friend being incarcerated. I know, for my son is the first person ever in my entire family to be incarcerated and to be incarcerated in a max prison for 30 years. It was truly difficult for me to come out about this. It happens to the Best of Families... We are all in this together.

13. If you want your child to have the faith, you must have it, show it, and convey it. Regardless, of how much they may not be ready for it, send them spiritualand religious information. I simply tear pages from old books, magazines and send it. One day when they are bored and feeling hopeless, trust me... God is always On Time...

14. Send them photos of family, friends, of the house and etc. Never enough photos.

15. When writing them, tell them about your day. No need to discuss prison, they know, they are living it. Be honest about your day and things that happen. My son often tells me, "Mom, I can hear you actually talking in your letters"... I keep it real.

16. Take Care Of Yourself. You can be no good to your loveone if you aren't good to yourself. Your Health Is Your Wealth...Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually. Incarcerated persons worry about their families and close friends. My son, worries about me constantly, Just as I worry about him. So for me, I make it my business through visitations to see for my own eyes that my son is in good health, spirits and safe...vice versa. I have made a promise to my son and self, God willing, I will be at the Gate when he is Released, whether it is 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years... I don't talk about taking care of myself, I do it, by any means necessary. So, please take care of yourself. Be Good to yourself. Live your Life to the fullest... Simply incorporate your love ones situation into it....

17. When Praying For Your Child to be in the Best of Health, Spirits and Safe, Pray for their Cell Mate, for a Healthy and Good Spirit cellmate makes for a Safe environment for Your Child and Vice Versa... I pray for all the inmates, the warden, counselors, and even the C.O.'s... Like one CO told me, We are no different than your son, we just didn't get caught... We are all human beings and God's children

I hope these suggestions are helpful and know that I am with all the Mothers. Fathers, Family and Friends with a Child or Children in Prison... It's truly difficult, but it's a Blessing each day that they are still with us. I know some Families that visit a cold grave.

All the Best

Please note that Nettie originally posted this in 2004 and she is no longer active on the website. We liked her message so much that we have chosen to keep it here as a "sticky" to help the new members but she is not going to respond to any messages you might leave for her.
Thank you soo much for keeping this posted...it really did help me alot!! My son is 25 and just got 54 months, his youngest son was born the day before his sentancing and his oldest son is now 8yrs old...NO ONE is writing to him and I have been going through a hard time along with working part-time and going to school, the mother to his children is posting on facebook about drinking all the time so it's hard. I need to keep the peace for my grandsons sake incase she starts using heroin again I'd like to be there if she wants to give me her sons for awhile. anyhow thank you for reposting it was very helpful and encouraging.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to surelyuknowamy For This Useful Post:
countryblocks (10-29-2013), Noeleen (10-04-2012)
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:42 PM
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Disher.family Disher.family is offline
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thank you for sharing your story and the information. This is very helpful with me, we just started our prison journey.
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beachmomma (03-30-2013)
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