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  #51  
Old 04-19-2004, 07:32 AM
nettie nettie is offline
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Hi,
You all probably are doing this, or thought about this... Just another Suggestion...
I have MCI as my inmate phone service... To avoid missing my son's call... I foward my home number to my cell phone... *72 to forward, *73 to Cancel forward... Depending on your local phone company there may/maynot be a small monthly fee for the service...

Also, I wish to share this information... MCI Inmate Calling Service, will allow up to 30 calls per month for your love one. However, I found out that your bill must be paid timely and you must initiate the increase. They will increase your loveone calls each month by 5 additional calls up to a total of 30. You don't have to put down any additional deposits for the monthly increase. However, if you are late your bill, you will drop back to 4 calls per month and have to work your way up again.

PS... I hope I don't appear that I "spoil" my son whom is incarcerated, for we don't...
He has worked his way to receiving 15 calls per month, however, we only allow for 6... We believe he must be held accountable for his mistakes, mis-deeds, crimes... But in a human way... with a little bit of normalcy...

Peace and Blessing
Nettie
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  #52  
Old 04-19-2004, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doeadearr
Barbara hey girl,
You can also send your son a subscription to a newspaper . My son gets USA TODAY from my sister and mother. It was a Chrismas gift and they renew the subscription every 6 months. That way he would have his updates on sports everyday and also the crosswords, comic, etc. I send my son the 2 books he is allowed every month plust 2 to his friend and that way they have 4 a month and can swap with others.
Warmly,
Sherry
Hi Sherry,
where have you been...long Time no see..
I try this to order the newspaper for him....but somehow it didn´t work.
i also ordert A magazine for him last year and he still did not recieve one yet...I´m still on that one .
but on the newspaper i have to check again
Big Hug
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  #53  
Old 04-19-2004, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nettie
Hi,
You all probably are doing this, or thought about this... Just another Suggestion...
I have MCI as my inmate phone service... To avoid missing my son's call... I foward my home number to my cell phone... *72 to forward, *73 to Cancel forward... Depending on your local phone company there may/maynot be a small monthly fee for the service...

Also, I wish to share this information... MCI Inmate Calling Service, will allow up to 30 calls per month for your love one. However, I found out that your bill must be paid timely and you must initiate the increase. They will increase your loveone calls each month by 5 additional calls up to a total of 30. You don't have to put down any additional deposits for the monthly increase. However, if you are late your bill, you will drop back to 4 calls per month and have to work your way up again.

PS... I hope I don't appear that I "spoil" my son whom is incarcerated, for we don't...
He has worked his way to receiving 15 calls per month, however, we only allow for 6... We believe he must be held accountable for his mistakes, mis-deeds, crimes... But in a human way... with a little bit of normalcy...

Peace and Blessing
Nettie
Hi Nettie,
I have to say you are Wonderfull...I love to read your Post´s over and over.
Thank you again for all your Help
God Bless you
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With it, nothing is impossible

~ If it weren´t for Hope, my Heart would break ~
  #54  
Old 04-19-2004, 12:21 PM
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Nattie ,I forgot ...my Son can´t call over here...he was calling one Time 3 way over his Grandma and they catched him.Then he wasen´t allowed to make Phonecalls for 6 weeks. i called all over Florida to find out over MCI who has an conract with Europe....but so far nothing ...
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  #55  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:34 AM
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Thank You Nettie, Your post is very helpful.
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  #56  
Old 04-20-2004, 06:50 AM
nettie nettie is offline
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Hi...
Regarding subscribing magazines, books and etc for our loveone... Each state and sometimes each state prison may differ in their policies... Check with the prison or your loveone to find out whether you can order these things for them... For example, the state my son is in... No books, magazines or packages allowed... However, if you send him a money order, he can order the books, magazines and if they approve packages on his own... Now with my son, they do allow newspapers to come in regardless whom ordered them. The state my son is incarcerated in, their order must go through a committee authorization. That's how strict some prison's can be. This is why I send to him and other inmates pages from the crossword, word find, comics and etc.... So, if you are having a problem, simply send them the money and let them do it...
All the Best
  #57  
Old 04-20-2004, 06:51 AM
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duplicate posting

Last edited by nettie; 04-20-2004 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: duplicate posting
  #58  
Old 04-20-2004, 08:07 AM
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Nettie,
Thankyou for reposting your letter. I have a son 24, who has been sentenced to 17 years. He has been in Beaumont Med FCI now since February. It has been a loooooooooong year. On May 8, praise God, he will have one year down!
I got on PTO today to get ideas on educational programs for my son. He is getting frustrated on finding the right program. We will look again into the Ohio University program.
I visited my son yesterday. He looks pale and the spark seems to be gone from his eyes. He has been so brave and positive through his whole ordeal that I guess reality is just setting in. HE is bored! He has been taking a few classes in prison but they are taught by inmates and the prisoners do not really want to learn (most of them) they just want the certificate of completion. He is discouraged with them also.
My 15 year old told me this morning that I am making it worse on my incarcerated son by visiting him....it just makes him more depressed when I have to leave. I was thinking the opposite ... at least he has something to look forward to!!! I didn't realize that some inmates do not want visitations until I read your letter. That is sooo sad! I hope my son never gets to that point!
Thanks again for the valuable information.
God bless you and your family.
Marla
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  #59  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:34 AM
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Most inmates do like visit's my son looks forward to them for we can bring in money and he can get things from the vending!! Real foods as he calls it!! sending newspapers and books and self taught things help a bunch,I'm always in book stores looking for such things to help him learn and hopefully help other inmates who don't have. As my son shares alot of his things to the ones who have nothing!! And being a penpal helps as well......
  #60  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:18 PM
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Nettie, I've read. re-read and printed off so many of your posts! You are one wise woman! lol Thanks so much for taking the time to help some of the rest of us. I feel so lost much of the time, but thanks to people like you (and soooo many more people here at PTO) I'm learning more and feeling better equipped to help my son. Thanks!
  #61  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:24 PM
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Nettie,
That was well put. Although Idon't have a child in prison, the love of my life is and I can learn from your words too. Thanks.
  #62  
Old 04-25-2004, 03:40 PM
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Smile Hi Again

Hi Again...

I feel your anquish as a Mother, as a Parent... My son has done 2 of his 30 years. During our Monthly visit, we looked at one another and we smiled. He said to me "Mom, when you left at the end our last visit, I went back to my cell and cried...not of saddness, but of joy. He said, that was the first time in over 2 years that we talked, smiled and laughed so much...And to see you Mom laughing hard that tears strolled down your face (talking about me)...I (my son) felt nothing less than Joy that he and I could share this together... I thought to myself, what's the big deal about me laughing til I cried!!! But for him, because he has so much guilt of disappointment of himself, that my tears of laughter gave him some forgiveness and repentness.
There were times he asked that is was difficult to part from our visits...but he backed it up by saying, I won't say not to come...and every month regardless of whom else might visit, I make the 8-9 hour trip to visit with my son. He is only allowed visits on the weekend and holidays. I try to plan it that I go when the holiday is attached to get 3 days. Most of the time I have been blessed to have company, other inmate families, or friends and my own family to accompany me on the trip. But, I am determined to be there every month. For me, I haven't allowed him to increase his collect call numbers per month, because I can't afford it all. Plus, this isn't a camp for pleasure, he is there because he committed a crime and made bad judgement and must be held accountable. My believe is that they, our love one's should not be treated as "cage animals"... No inmate should. They should be treated as human being for which they are. They should be given some since of normalcy in their daily lives, to enable them to survive not returning back to prison (recidivisim) because they are lost in the caged animal mentality and told that they are worthless. Because society doesn't think highly of contributing funds towards rehabilation of incarcerated persons and because our politicans look the other way to this subject matter...yet, everyone wants to stop crime, want crime to stop... We as a whole...we as people...we as the human race, we as Mothers, Fathers, Parents, siblings, friends and loveone, can start by giving and supporting ones you know that incarcerated and will someday be released back in Society, back into your neighborhood, back in your house. So, I say, don't ever stop showing Love, showing Care and compassion for another human being. Even if they say they don't want you to come and visit... In time such feeling shall pass... The inmate is afraid that if you start coming... that someday you will simply stop and self hate has always been the number one contributor towards criminal behavior...

Community Colleges in the state where your loveone resided are far less expensive than Ohio University or other Universities. I have yet to find any college in/out of state that will not work with an incarcerated person through the Distance Education Program. They could care less that your love one is incarcerated, for they are about acquiring an education and they tend to think outside the box. Again, feel free to write me privately if you wish, if you or anyone else on this site desire assistance regarding your love one attending college, technical school and etc. I and a few friends have started a not for profit RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE DISADVANTAGE...

Peace and Blessings To Every One
Nettie



Quote:
Originally Posted by TxYellowRose
Nettie,
Thankyou for reposting your letter. I have a son 24, who has been sentenced to 17 years. He has been in Beaumont Med FCI now since February. It has been a loooooooooong year. On May 8, praise God, he will have one year down!
I got on PTO today to get ideas on educational programs for my son. He is getting frustrated on finding the right program. We will look again into the Ohio University program.
I visited my son yesterday. He looks pale and the spark seems to be gone from his eyes. He has been so brave and positive through his whole ordeal that I guess reality is just setting in. HE is bored! He has been taking a few classes in prison but they are taught by inmates and the prisoners do not really want to learn (most of them) they just want the certificate of completion. He is discouraged with them also.
My 15 year old told me this morning that I am making it worse on my incarcerated son by visiting him....it just makes him more depressed when I have to leave. I was thinking the opposite ... at least he has something to look forward to!!! I didn't realize that some inmates do not want visitations until I read your letter. That is sooo sad! I hope my son never gets to that point!
Thanks again for the valuable information.
God bless you and your family.
Marla
  #63  
Old 04-26-2004, 04:58 PM
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Nettie....Once again you hit the nail on the head....You are a one in a million and I once again want to say thank you for you inspiriation to us all...even us old hats at this...You take care and God Bless you...Pam...Matt & Shanes Mom
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  #64  
Old 04-26-2004, 06:35 PM
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Nettie,
We seem to be having problems finding a college like Ohio University. Alot of schools will not allow all correspondence courses for a BA/BS degree....or the courses are online now or by videoteleconferencing. OR only some credits will transfer for a degree at a different university. Have you located any schools in Texas that have a program like Ohio. I have contacted alot of state schools and am not having much luck. We wanted to at least have another couple colleges or universities to compare to OHIO but so far its like comparing oranges to apples ... lol. THanks for any help you might have for us out here!! God bless you all.
Marla
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  #65  
Old 04-29-2004, 03:26 AM
nettie nettie is offline
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Default Finding A College

Hi,
I don't reside in Texas. I will be happy to make some inquiries through my small Resource Organization for the Disadvantage and get back to you in 2 days.

Here is what I did for my son.

1. First, find out from the Prison your loveone is housed their policy regarding acquiring a degree through Distant Education/Distant Learning. They will tell you whether internet, video conferencing are allowed. If not that is fine. Some prison allow just the books and syllabus received by the inmate and a Proctor (DCE's educational department assigned instructor whom will administer the test for the College and mail them back). The prison may allow for the Proctor to receive the video tapes to administer them to your incarcerated love one. The two person's at the Prison you need to speak with is the Warden's office for policy and DCE (Department of Corrections Education) which is located on the premise of the Prison. They will guide you about the policies and the Proctor.

2. Once you know the policies of the Prison you can move forward. Now Universities (4 year Colleges are far more expensive to start off unless your loveone has previous college of 63 credits (AA, AS). Now if they don't, I suggest you begin at the Community College Level and after they have completed all the courses required, then transfer to the University (4 year). It is a lot less expensive and in the state of Virginia where my son is housed, we found more Community College willing to work with us and having the course he needed.

3. You need to look at the curriculm your loveone wishes to take. For example, Business Administration, Management, Law are much simplier courses to find, because most of the classes are book material courses, not needing labs, internet and outside materials not allowed by the prison. It also depends on the length of time your loveone will be incarcerated to decide the curriculm (study choice). For example, if they only have 4 years left, then the field of choice is much greater and wider. Reason being they can start now and finish upon release. Now with my son, he has a 30 year prison bid, if he doesn't win his appeals. But, God is Good and On Time!!! but still, his choices are limited, he wants to finish while incarcerated. Not start now and say he can't finish due to the prison won't allow the materials, which could mean waiting another 20 some years for his release... when he could have chosen something else to his likeing and then went on for his Masters degree or even PHD... So he chose Business Administration at a Community College, even though he has prior college credits, which were obtained at a University (4 year college) and all of his credits were transferred to the Community College and towards his Business curriculm and Business was not his curriculm at the university... The credits/courses having nothing to do with Business became his electives.

4. Go to Yahoo and request the following "State of Texas Community Colleges". You should find a listing of all the colleges. go to each college and look for Distant Education, or Distant Learning Programs. Inquiry on line by email to that department or call them directly. Tell them simply, that your loveone is currently incarcerated and wishes to acquire a college eduction with that state. Explain to them what is not allowed by the prison. Usually they know already... Ask them do they offer distant learning/educational courses that are not internet. There response is usually some but not a lot. This is fine. Then go to a few more colleges. What we did, we found 5 community colleges that offered some distant learning courses that you don't need a computer.

5. From there, we applied to each college. I did the application and faxed them to the school ASAP... We faxed to 5 schools and none charged us a fee. I used our home address on the application. Because unless the Warden has given your loveone permission to receive information from the college he may not get it... So to avoid that, we used his original home address... My address. All 5 schools accepted my son and sent us a confirmation letter.

6. I took all 5 letters, typed a cover letter. Addressed it to the Warden of the Prison, listing all 5 colleges where in the near future my son will be taking courses from and whom accepted him. Towards my son's rehabiliation, I requested that he be allowed to take Business Administration courses at all 5 listed colleges through the Distant Learning/Education Department.

7. The warden sent me a copy of the written approval sent to my son directly. He approved all 5 colleges then. However, he made note that it was a semester to semester approval and that a list of courses must be submitted each semester for approval and at which college.

8. Now you are wondering about the 5 colleges. Community College come under one umbrella. You can take courses at many colleges under one umbrella "Community College System"... Each Community College in Virginia states that my son must complete 16 credits at their college. For example... Last semester one college offered History and Sociology there. My son took the two courses equalling 6 credits. Now next semester he will look for 10 credits to finish his responsibility to the school, now if they don't offer any book courses for him, he can go to another Community College on his list of 5 and take them there. Between those 5 colleges, which change courses each year, he will be able to finish up his degree. They only ask that he give them at least 16 credits. He may not even use the 5, he may do it in 2 or 3. Where ever the last credits are taken at will be the school issuing the degree. From there, he will then move on back to a University.

9. Universities work about the same. But they are such a large institution and if you are new to this, then you can get lost. At least with a smaller institution like Community College the experience works for when your loveone goes there. Plus, it is so much cheaper to attend Community College, get the same credits and then move forward... Here in Virginia, the in state community college credit is $156 (3credits) which isn't bad. Now Ohio has a good program where you can do it all there, without using multiple colleges...but it cost a little more...At Ohio 6-8 credits cost $885, all the way to 18-20 courses at Ohio University is $2,200. If you can afford it, then I say Ohio would be the Best Choice. Less Work to do. Ohio University College Program has a program called Ohio University College for the Incarcerated opposed to the Community Colleges and other University, they are designed just for incarcerated person, they are Independent Home Study Courses or now called Distant Education/Learning, which can be used by incarcerated persons and non-incarcerated person, such as me or yourself. So please don't get the two confused.
I also understand that Texas A&M University have a good Independent Home Study Course prepared for Incarcerated Person.

10. Once you have gotten accepted at the colleges you want and have the approval by the Warden. When registration start, call the Distant Education/Learning Department have them send you and your loveone a list of all that semester courses. You both look them over. They usually will annotate which one is internet or not. Like, with my son, his History was both internet and not... Of course he chose the not...
Also note, if a course may require you to look at a tape and the prison doesn't allow it. And the tape is only a small part of the course. You can write the teacher at the school that is giving that course and inform them that your loveone is incarcerated and won't be allowed to use the tape. If the tape isn't that important, they will say okay or they will give him/her another assignment in place. I have found that all of the teachers at the colleges that my son has attended have been simply the Best. They are professionals and could care less that your loveone is incarcerated. They are about acquiring and education. I receive one to one emails continuously from my son's teachers. They have called me long distance. They have initiated calls with the Proctor at the prison. They are very cooperative. I keep it professional and business like. Never discussing my son's crime or sentence...only his need to acquire his degree.

11. It might all seem like a lot. It isn't. After the first semester, it's much easier. Now, I will warn you about the books. My son had a very hard time receiving his books from property. They claim that they didn't receive the Warden's approval memo. So, I faxed them a copy. Make sure that when your love one register for his courses he sent Property a copy of the List and the Warden's approval letter. My understanding is the Warden approves the school, but property must approve the books. Certain books are not allowed... I think they are talking about books like "How to make a gun" "Smile" stupid things like that. Also, to avoid what we had to go through, inmates accounts. because you have to send the money to the your loveone accounts for college and they pay their own tuition from their accounts. You need to make sure a copy of the Warden's approval for school letter is faxed to them, for they won't allow the payment to the school without it. Make a lot of copies of the Warden's Approval Letter. Keep in contact with DCE and the Proctor. Get everyone Fax number, you will need it. But, once the ball get's rolling then it runs really smooth. I understand if your child is transfer to another prison, it usually runs smooth for all this is in their records...

12. I hope this has been of some assistance. I will check Texas for you and get back to you in a private email of the list of schools I found.

13.. Also, the state laws vary regarding financial aid. The only true thing about financial aid in every state is "If you are convicted, incarcerated for "drug" related crimes, you cannot recieve for Federal aid, grants and loans. Remember "drug" offenses. If yours is not, the apply for everything and let the state and school make the determinations. You never know and you have nothing to lose!
Also for drug offenses/crime, if you attend a drug rehab, or pass drug testing for one year you can receive federal aid, grants and loans upon release from prison. Or if you have been released from prison and have not further drug related crimes, for 2 years, then you can receive financial aid, grants and loans. So, there are many parollee out there that can go to college and receive federal grants, aid and loans. Call the federal FAFSA. Or go online tod FAFSA.com

Okay, I hope I have been able to assist you. I hope my rambling hasn't left you or anyone else with a head-ache... "Smile"... I am very passionate about "Recidvism" and putting a stop through it by any/all means. Getting a College education isn't the Answer to all...but it can help some those whom are college bound...

All the Best
  #66  
Old 05-01-2004, 01:47 PM
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Hello Nettie, Thanks again for your Post...
You are a big Help
God Bless You
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:05 PM
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My son is in prison for trafficing in stolen property-he stole a car and went with "the ring leader" to deliver the car and was caught. He too had never been in trouble before. Thankfully he has gotten his GED since being incarserated. I want him to go to college so he'll be prepared to come home to a better life. Yes, he too worries about me, at our last visit he asked me when I had seen the doctor last?, I thought tht was strange & asked him why, do I look sick?, he said "no, I just want to be sure you're going to be around for my kids and my kids kids, ya know, like Gram was." Makes me cry.
I miss him terribly, thanks for all your advice and God bless you.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by nettie
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
  #68  
Old 06-12-2004, 10:48 PM
nettie nettie is offline
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Default A Few Things To Think About If You Are Incarcerated

A Few Things To Think About If Your Are Incarcerated

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Hi There...

A dear friend directed me to a site called, "Resource Directory for Prisoners"
http://www.naljor.com/resourcedirectory.htm
It has some really great information for incarcerated persons, families, ex-offenders, re-entry... Listed below are excerpts from their directory. If you like it and agree...Copy it and send it to your incarcerated loveone and others... Just wanted to share

A Few Things To Think About If You Are Incarcerated

Despite difficult obstacles, there is much you can do, while incarcerated. The following is a list
of ways to minimize the negative impact of your experience and maximize the positive.

The recidivism (backsliding/relapse) rate for prisoners across the nation is approximately 80%. This rate drops to about 20% when prisoners attend any type of educational program. Our experience has been that the recidivism rate is even lower when prisoners attend spiritual programs such as ours.

- The Gangaji Foundation Prison Program

Since more than 90% of the nation's prisoners are eventually released, it is important that you work toward the following goals:

Choose your battles (your primary focus):

1) Your personal growth should be the focus of your efforts. Don't dwell on issues of your status in prison, the staff at the institution, or your fellow prisoners. You can't control your environment, but you can control what you do with your own life.

2) Grievances and litigation are expensive, time-consuming, generally unsuccessful, and frustrating. Concentrate on bettering yourself. There are self-help and religious materials available which can assist you.

3) There is no significant merit to being the center of attention or a staunch defender of what's right. It is counter-productive to cultivating serenity.

4) Prepare mentally and emotionally for your eventual freedom. If you are a lifer, or even if you are in for a specific term, your "freedom" increases as your own inner attitudes and perceptions change for the better. If you are looking at getting out at some point, then practice visualizing and feeling those positive activities and interactions you will have with people when you get out. This type of visualization is helpful for creating your future.

Nurture relationships:

1) Understand that others on the streets do have a life and many responsibilities (especially in view of your absence), and may not be home whenever you call.

2) Correspond with those who are positive, supportive, and helpful in terms of a positive future.

3) Do not abuse telephone privileges. It is expensive.

4) Letters, calls, and visits should focus on positive issues and free world events, and not be a gripe session regarding prison policies. Ask your loved ones to focus on the positive as well.

5) Be supportive of others on the street. The inmate is not the only one who has problems. Be sensitive to your family's difficulties. They may experience changes in income, responsibilities, residence, etc., possibly because of your absence.

6) Because life in the free world may be hectic, you may have to do more than 50% of the work to maintain the relationship. Remember, your close friends and family are "doing time" with you. Be grateful for those who remain loyal and supportive. Don't waste time and energy being angry with those who cannot be supportive.

7) It takes time to build on relationships, to get to an intimate level. Be sensitive to opportunities to discuss your background, offense patterns, etc. Learn to listen.

Contribute to your environment in a positive way:

1) Contribute your gifts and talents to help individuals and organizations in and out of the prison environment.

2) Your offending behavior was a part of your life, not the whole thing. Certainly there is a need to take responsibility for your past actions and address psychological issues with honesty and without denial. However you must also learn to build on the positive aspects of who you are. Build on positive personality traits and qualities and stop playing the old negative self-talk tapes.

3) Be aware of all possibilities for participation at your facility in positive, self-enhancing activities. Learn what is available. Like any new living experience, you must seek ways to participate. Check with staff or fellow inmates to learn what activities are available and how to go about getting involved. You will have to take the initiative to find these. Read bulletin boards, talk to counselors and chaplains for suggestions.

4) Find a suitable job and work hard at it. It may differ from your free world profession, but make the best of it.

Find ways to grow: Nurture your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health:

1) Learn a creative hobby.

2) Read the classics of spiritual and world literature. Read something besides novels. Consider reading the Bible, Koran, Talmud, Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada, Upanishads, and so forth. Study self-help, metaphysical, or ageless wisdom literature. In this way, you can learn to understand yourself better, understand the larger view of human evolution and the universe in which we live, understand the deeper psychological and spiritual aspects of personal transformation, and learn to train yourself to be of service to others.

3) Educate yourself. Consider psychological, self-help, spiritual, or vocational correspondence courses. Earn a GED or other educational diploma or certificate. If you have a degree, take courses, if available.

4) Attend church services and Bible studies. You will find that the Christian path is deep, profound, and capable of bringing total renewal and transformation to your heart and mind. However, this requires that you really understand the teachings, understand who Christ truly is, and that you let both the Christ and his teachings deeply into your heart.

5) Attend groups who are studying Buddhist teachings such as Tibetan Buddhism or Zen. The Buddhist teachings of all lineages offer the most profound path to transformation and awakening. If you are diligent in studying and practice you will gain deep insight into the exact causes of unhappiness and suffering, you will learn how to transform your perception of reality so as to end your confusion and suffering, and ultimately you will awaken your heart and mind with wisdom and compassion, bringing benefit to all beings.

6) Attend meditation groups. The practice of meditation is by far one of the single most powerful practices you can do for personal transformation and awakening. Meditation helps you to know yourself at the deepest levels of your being. It has also been proven to be an excellent practice for emotional and mental stability and reducing stress.

7) Join civic clubs (e.g. Jaycees, NAACP, etc.), if available.

8) Learn to play a musical instrument.

9) Learn to exercise regularly. Your institutional meals may not be satisfying, so you may want to balance that factor in positive and healthy ways. Discipline yourself to not overeat; not eating too much is a major factor in creating and maintaining good health. If it is available, eat as much raw, uncooked foods as you can (salads, vegetables, etc.). Cut down on your intake of meat and eat more vegetables or grains. Take care of your health, medical facilities will not be extensive. Get your sleep and rest.

Take charge of your recovery:

1) Request therapy, if available. Most programs have waiting lists based on parole eligibility. Show significant interest in participation. Sometimes it can help in getting enrolled.

2) Study self-help literature. It is available by mail.

3) Join a self-help group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Sexaholics Anonymous, or start one if none are available.

4) Perform an honest evaluation of your psychological (emotional and mental) maturity. Your psychological identity may have been very difficult to discuss in your regular life setting. But you must look at this seriously as you study your offending behavior. Be honest with yourself; you will be happier.

Plan for your release:

1) Begin planning as soon as possible, but no later than six months before your release date.

2) Line up treatment, therapy, a support group, and/or a place where you gather with others for your spiritual practice.

3) Locate potential housing.

4) Make plans for transportation which may include obtaining a driver's license.

5) Locate employment or employment services.

6) Be realistic about employment possibilities. Consider your energy levels as you make these plans. You have not been accustomed to a real world work place. Know your emotional limitations; know your physical limitations. You may have many parts of your life you are putting back together besides work. Don't overwhelm yourself with a heavy work load at first.

7) Plan to take care of yourself first. Once that is done, you will be in better position to help others.

All the Best,
Nettie...
  #69  
Old 07-15-2004, 07:28 AM
cis cis is offline
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Nettie Thank you so much for your post. My Son is just beginning a 53 yr sentence, he turns 30 tommorow and I haven't heard from him since he left county jail but I do know where he is now thanks to the doc website. I am waiting for his call. You gave some very good advice. I am very close to my Son as it sounds like you are as well. I am going to stay strong for him and write everyday or as you said send him cards, newspaper clippings, etc. Cis
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Old 07-15-2004, 12:14 PM
nettie nettie is offline
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Dear Cis,
I begin each and every letter to my son "Pray you are in the Best of Health, Best of Spirits and Safe" This is all I can truly ask for at this point of his Life. God has been answering this prayer daily. We don't have to know one another, or know what crime our love one has been convicted of, but we share a common bond...Our child, regardless of age, is our child has lost their way and ended up in the next to last place we ever thought would be...incarcerated... However, there is one other place no parent should have to be in, that is we could all be mourning the lost/death of our child and we are not. Therefore, I know I am Blessed. My son knows he is Blessed. Still it is difficult on us as parents but, I say this from my limited experience. I have come to sleep at night and have pleasant dreams, for life goes on regardless... I visit with my son once a month or rotate with other family members. My son is in Virginia and he is so Blessed to have family as far away as Boston and New York fly down just to visit with him for a couple of hours. This has shown me true love of family and made me feel even better about my son, that family members have not turned their backs on him...Why because they all say, they see hope and rehabilitation of my son... And it wasn't easy, but today, almost 3years later, I can tell you, as I have told so many, that if God decided to take me home, I can leave knowing that my son, has repented, rehabilitated himself and I can almost guaranteed he will never return back to prison, for his Soul as a human being has been Saved... I believe Society will never have to worry about my child being a Liability for he surely an Asset to himself, to his family and Society. I can now safely say "I can rest in peace"...
I don't know whether my son will do 30 years or not...in Prison...But as he tells everyone... I may be locked in a prison, but prison is not locked inside of me... True, I would love to be there when he is release. I may not due to my age. With all the new laws it is possible he may be released earlier than anticipated. He may also win his appeals. Only God knows. We don't stress ourselves about the number of days that lie ahead of him, instead he and I pray every night, thanking God for the day that just ended, for the day is over, one less day to do and he survived with his Health being His Wealth...physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally... For as he says to me "Mom I am Sane"... I share my stories openly for I have lived what you are living today... It isn't that we are deeply religious, nor are we wealthy, we a a very spiritual and yes we believe in God, working middle class family surviving like everyone else trying to get by and doing the best we can to raise my only child, whom is no longer a child but an adult. Just so long as you have done all that you can with what you had to do it with, being the best you could as a parent, you were a good parent. And if God whom is the Father of all Fathers didn't stop them, what makes us able to do so? So, love them from afar, visit them as you can, write them often, encourgage them to make the Best of their Situation. Also, stay in contact with support groups such as this Prison Talks and get involve with your state legislator. Please get involve by signing the Federal Law Petition for Reduction in Sentence ....called L.E.R.A. you can find the petition at Prison Talk or by contacting the national organization C.U.R.E. This thing is Bigger than our children, it may be our calling in life to get involve to maybe save not our child but anothers.
All the Best
  #71  
Old 08-03-2004, 06:21 PM
Buccaneer Buccaneer is offline
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Thank You For The Time It Must Have Taken You To Write All The Things You Wrote. You Are 100% Right My Son Has Been In For 12 Yrs And We Have Gotten Closer. He Is Only 40 Minutes Away Sence 3 Month Ago. So, I Visit Him Every Weekend And Right To Him Sent Articles From The Internet. Sence He Is Closer The Phone Calls For 15 Min. Are Only 1,75 Before They Were 3.75 A Big Difference. His Brother Has Even Gone To See Him After 8 Yrs. It All Make A Difference In Thier Lives And Ours. If My Son Had Not Been Locked Up I Would Be Visiting Him In A Cematary Not A Prison. Thank You Again Anyone Feel Free To Pm Me Anytime I Am On Everyday! Unless Something Comes Up. God Bless All!
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Old 08-03-2004, 06:49 PM
georgelee georgelee is offline
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How wonderful of you to share your wisdom. Your kindness shines through. Thank you, georgelee
  #73  
Old 08-04-2004, 07:42 AM
teempaddy teempaddy is offline
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I have just read your letter and it is truly inspiring, my son is 20 yrs old and has been sentenced to five to life for a first time drug offense in New York, when he went in front of the judge he admitted guilt and asked to be sent to a facility where he could be close to family and friends, we had a letter campaign with 40 letters sent to the judge. He was sent 4 hrs away which could have been much longer. Greene Faciltiy has not been that helpful to us. I have tried to get in touch with his counsler to no avail. While awaiting sentencing my Son took and passed GED with 100% his whole family is involved with my Son, what I do not understand is the prison system, for five months he has been trying to get into any program with no luck, will not even give him a envelope to write the court of appeals this is one item we cannot send to him yet they will not give him even that. I have asked about college courses to be laughed at, i am really getting depressed and losing hope that my son will give up and just waste away, he is young and the CO's make it worse. They now called him CASPER or white boy to intimadate him. He does not associate with any other prisoners for fear of getting in trouble, he wants to do his time and get out in one piece. I will keep plugging away with the School but if anyone knows this facility and the people I should be talking with please let me know. Thanks for listening, Pad's Mom
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Old 08-04-2004, 02:14 PM
grammyC grammyC is offline
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For those of you with a loved one in California, Coastline Community College Distance Learning (714) 241-6216 or http://coastline.edu offers classes for the incarcerated. The fee is the same as all other students pay (I think the cost per unit in now $26.00). An incarcerated student may take only the Telecourses listed (they offer this without the usual video required). Out of state is higher, of course (around $500 for a three unit course). The deadline for registration is August 25th. Tam
  #75  
Old 08-05-2004, 12:19 AM
MarciaS MarciaS is offline
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Hi

Your suggestions are very helpful. And while I do most of what you had suggested already, it was nice to get a confirmation that these things really do help.

I did not know about the educational information. Thank you for posting.

My son is 24, and it hurts because I can't see him. He is in Georgia and I live out of the country. I visit once or twice a year but have not seen him as he is in another state. I write him one or twice a week, and send him articles, talk about family, philosophy, everything. His letters are always very long, very passionate. I think writing is the most effective way to keep things in perspective. There is so much to think and feel that it is important to think and feel. Prison need not take away their souls nor dampen them, if anything, perhaps this is a time that can be used best to nurture the soul, reflect, put things in perspective and come out anew.

Anyway, thanks for writing. I will refer back to your post often
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