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  #76  
Old 09-06-2004, 03:05 PM
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I read your post and this is really a help to me, my son is turning 26 this month and has 13 years to go. Thank you, I really find alot to help me cope with at PTO.
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  #77  
Old 09-13-2004, 09:35 PM
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Nettie,

Thank you so much for this post as well as the other that you've actually re-posted several times. I have printed those out, and will be sending this one to my son. Now, my son is no stranger to prison, unfortunately - and is now in County awaiting sentencing where he will receive life (he already pled). He's 35 years old, and barring some miracle, I'll never see my son a free man.

I've told him much of what you put in your posts, and he's trying to remain positive, despite the circumstances. He's finally (two years ago) found his faith and that helps him a great deal. But it can't hurt to read what someone else has written, right?

I've said it before in other posts, but I'll say again that I am so grateful to have found this site!

Thank you for your posts - and thanks to everyone else for sharing - it sure makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nettie
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...
  #78  
Old 10-10-2004, 12:37 PM
capsmom capsmom is offline
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Default Thanks, I don't feel so alone anymore

I too, have an only child (son) in prison, this is his second bout and it's for 12 years now (he's 2 years in). Along with alot of your suggestions which I have been doing all along, I joined FAMM in NJ, it wouldn't help my son, but i do believe that non-violent drug charges shouldn't but people away for long times. The prison system is not interested in rehabilitation just keeping them off the streets. No one wants to support half-way houses in their area, that could properly introduce prisoners into daily life or drug treatment centers to keep them straight. I write my son often, print his favorite sports team standings and articles, see him every 6 weeks, he is 2 hrs away, and send him stamps so he can write, best of luck to you, thanks for the article----------capsmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by nettie
Helping Our Incarcerated Love One

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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
  #79  
Old 10-15-2004, 07:03 PM
lanamclain lanamclain is offline
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hello,
This is totally new for me. I still don't know what I'm doing. I wanted to ask if anyone knew anything about volunteers rights? My husband and i were volunteers for 2 years. We loved all of the guys in our class, and they loved us! We genuinely cared about the rehabilitation of these men. We were sent a letter in the mail stating that we had gotten too emotionally involved with the men and were suspended from going back inside the prison. We are absolutely brokenhearted! We are particularly close to one kid who has put us on his visitation list. Do ya'll think we will have a hard time getting approved to visit him? I am so anxious to hear from anyone who can shed a little light on this matter! Thanks! Lana
  #80  
Old 10-15-2004, 09:35 PM
ldysirois ldysirois is offline
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I would think this is your civil right, not sure though, if you want to visit and have no problems <record > etc you should be able to visit. You might post in the legal forum as well.
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  #81  
Old 10-24-2004, 01:01 AM
MarciaS MarciaS is offline
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HI
First I would like to say thank you for what you do. It's so important that those incarcerated have some positive influence from someone other than family. It's a way for them to know that society has not given up on them.

It seems silly that a positive influence such as yourselves would be told not to come back. I don't understand the reasons, but the only thing that comes to my mind is a letter to the govenor expressing what you have done and asking for his assistance in allowing to continue to see the inmates. The pressure is put upon the 'powers that be' to promote rehabilitation. It may just be that you need to hold up a mirror and let them see their own reflection, how they are being viewed by others. Unless they can give a specific reason why the visits are harmful, then I can't see why they would turn you away.

I think so much gets lost in the bureacracy of things, that simple things like what you are offering gets distorted somehow. I may be an idealistic but sometimes I think we only need to show the error in their thinking, let them reconsider their decision and hopefully they will allow the visits to continue.

Please let me know how this works out.
  #82  
Old 10-25-2004, 11:35 AM
Bluesky Bluesky is offline
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Hello Nettie.
I'm new to this site and already it has been a blessing for me.

My Son is in Wabash facility, In. and has over 3 years to go. I want to help him and you said we could talk to his counselor? Or even to the Warren? I didn't know if that would help him or hurt him more!
My Son received another 5 months for talking smart to the guards whom left him in the shower for who knows how long? He is in the Shu and he is going on his third year in maximum lock down. I believe this time it's harder for him. I know it is for me too!
What can I do to help him? Any information would be helpful.
Thank-you and Gods blessings to all!
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  #83  
Old 10-25-2004, 04:00 PM
nettie nettie is offline
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Hi Bluesky,
First, I am sorry to hear all that has happened with your son.
When I mentioned about talking/contact with incarcerated person counselor, to give you some examples of my situation with my son. Two years ago when he first entered prison, and being new and our first time dealing with this situation, I made an businesslike introduction call with his counselor. Simply to make them aware that my son's family wish to take an active participation towards his rehabilitation while incarcerated to avoid recividism. Also, to ensure that correct emergency contact information was on file. It was simply to show concern and acquire information to assist the family and myself. Like how long he has to be at the supermax level prison, when would he be eligible to go to a lower level, evaluations and types of programs available at that prison facility. Two years later, I have had to speak with his counselor maybe three times, twice regarding him attending College and his evaluation. His counselor recently returned my called to tell me how well my son had been doing and he has met eligibility to transfer to a lower level upon a vacant cell/bed space. With my son, from the start of his incarceration, it has been a Earned endeavor. He got himself into this mess, he must make the first effort to pull himself from under it. The families love and devotion shall always be there unconditionally, however, things like college expenses, funds in his account, continuous visitations, expensive legal appeals are all conditional, based upon his actions towards rehabilitation and repentence.
Regarding your son's situation, he must learn that you can't win an argument with prison officials. That it doesn't mean he is a "punk" if he doesn't speak up or talk back. So long as his life wasn't threatened, learn to pick your fights and battles. My son says when he is asked a question, he answers...not nicely, not nastily...just politely and moves on. When they mess up and does something stupid, and it isn't life threatening for him, he simply adjust to the situation, make the best of the situation, cover his back, and move on...no big deal, until he later gets back into his cell and crack up in laughter about how dumb they was...and write us about the incident. Now, he has put in complaints/grievances...but in writing...only.
The best thing for your son is to try not get a trouble-maker reputation with the power in hand.
Our Lives are all about How WE React To Others Actions!!!
While he is in the situation he is in now, try to find out what he can receive from you, like books, cross-words, word find puzzles, etc things to occupy his mind...send him motivational cards... Like I sent my son a Halloween card, and it was a joke card... Laughter is so great. He needs to stop worrying about what he can't change... Prison... and start working on what he can by preparing himself for release, re-entry and being a productive citizen within society, so that things like being left in the shower for a long period of time, which is stupid and irresponsible by the CO's, but it wasn't life threatening and not worth getting another charge and thrown into max-security just for expressing his frustration... Not worth it!!!

Suggestion: Go to http://www.najor.com/resourcedirectory.htm
Read and print the "A Few Things To think About If You Are Incarcerated"
This is a truly good list of ways to minimize the negative impact of your experience and maximize the positive. If you agree, then send it to your son.
I've sent it to many through our volunteer group and they all found it great!
All the Best...
Nettie








Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesky
Hello Nettie.
I'm new to this site and already it has been a blessing for me.

My Son is in Wabash facility, In. and has over 3 years to go. I want to help him and you said we could talk to his counselor? Or even to the Warren? I didn't know if that would help him or hurt him more!
My Son received another 5 months for talking smart to the guards whom left him in the shower for who knows how long? He is in the Shu and he is going on his third year in maximum lock down. I believe this time it's harder for him. I know it is for me too!
What can I do to help him? Any information would be helpful.
Thank-you and Gods blessings to all!
  #84  
Old 11-11-2004, 08:26 PM
LA Mom LA Mom is offline
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Default Najor.com resource directory

Greetings! I was impressed with what you wrote. I tried the www.najor.com/resource directory link but it doesn't work. Do you have another web address for the information you suggested?

Thanks for any help
  #85  
Old 11-11-2004, 10:59 PM
nettie nettie is offline
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My MISTAKE....My Spelling was incorrect...

It's www.Naljor.com/resourcedirectory.htm




Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Mom
Greetings! I was impressed with what you wrote. I tried the www.najor.com/resource directory link but it doesn't work. Do you have another web address for the information you suggested?

Thanks for any help
  #86  
Old 11-11-2004, 11:03 PM
nettie nettie is offline
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http://www.naljor.com/resourcedirectory.htm
or simply go to Yahoo and type in Naljor.Com
Nettie
  #87  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:12 AM
MsTexasAngel MsTexasAngel is offline
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Nettie,
This is great advice and I do most of it. Unfortunately my son is now over 10 hours away and I am on disability and can't afford to go like I got to when he was in Garza West, we could make the trip in 1 day. He misses us so much and I haven't heard from him in 3 weeks now. He is 20 years old his 1st offense he got 25 years, his appeal is coming up soon but I am hiring a new lawyer because his court appointed attorney doesn't like his case, she will not even speak to me and filed a 13 page appeal for him. He has been gone since October 29th 2003. I miss him so. Thank You so much for all your advice. My son is and was a good Christian boy when he got with the wrong person, wrong place and wrong time, he had just turned 18, he is my baby! Does anyone in Houston Texas have anyone in the Roach Unit in Childress Texas? If so please contact me. Thanks again.
KasySMom
  #88  
Old 11-14-2004, 07:26 PM
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Marchio1948 Marchio1948 is offline
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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
  #89  
Old 11-14-2004, 07:39 PM
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Your letter made me cry,everything you said really sunk deep into me.I agree with all that you say and I am going to start doing all the extra things that I have learned from you.\

What hurts the most is my husband and other son don't agree that I should send him 20.00 a week nor should I go see him twice week.Their reasoning is he has been in out of trouble since he was a teenager,he is now 32,we have alwasy bailed him out,and got him started each time.He alsway ended up quiting his job and up stealing.The crime he is waiting to be sentenced for he is big TIME jail.My husband says I let him maniulate me and I beleive all that he says.I told him and my oldest son that I know he lies,Iknow he is a theif,but he still is my SON and I love him.Yes it is true the boy has stole from us over and over even from our bussiness,but what am I suppose to do,I pray,thats all I know to do,because family say let him hit rock bottom,excuse me isn't he there?
I am so alone in this,my husband and I were suppose to retire to Myrtle Beach this year,truthfully I don't want to leave because I feel so guilty.My husaband says we have to go on with our life,he made his choices not us.Well I am just a wreck,but thankyou for your letter,I am going to start tearimg things out that he is innterested in and send them.May God Bless Us ALL
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:28 AM
nettie nettie is offline
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Dear Marchio1948,
May God Bless Us All. Bless us Mothers and Fathers too for we become partners of our childrens prison sentences. True they made their own mistakes and must be held accountable, but when does a Mother's stop being a mother. I would never baby my son, or relieve him from his responsibility of repenting, rehabilitating himself, however, I will never abandon him either. Almost 99% of crimes committed drugs, alcohol and mental illness are related. That being part of the problem, makes for illness, makes for humane compassion to rectify the problem - rehabilitation. Do we leave it up to the Laws, to the Prisons, to others to help rehabilitate our lost souls? I think not. I believe it should be a combined effort with family, Prison Professionals,Legislators and the communities. If we the people of the United States of America can go off into other people countries to solve their problems, we can solve the problem of why is "Recidivism" so high with ex-felons. The answer is simply. We the people of the United States of American have failed to demand that our tax dollars be used appropriately towards increased in rehabilitation and releases productive ex-felons and demand decrease in "Recidivism" through fair, adequate and humane rehabilitation starting day one of incarceration regardless of what Level they are institutionalized. Until such change occurs situations such as what has happened with your son criminal past and future shall continued.
A Mother's work is never done, however, I don't believe we should give up our lives for our children. Our Health is Our Wealth...physically,mentally, spiritually and emotionally...What good are we to them if we don't have our health. Therefore, your husband is right that you must live your life first, but incorporate your son's situation into your life by doing what you can. Visiting him when you can. The one thing my son has told me since his ordeal started 3 years ago, is how "Blessed" he is to have me as his Mother, to belong to two wonderful and careing family (his fathers and my family). He see's the Blessings through love. Just to be able to call any of his family, where no one has a "block" on their phone. Even though he knows not to take advantage. Just to receive their cards and he communicating back with them. Just being able to go back to college... Just knowing that I, his mother is living her life, by finally going on vacations, and doitng other things, he feels so Blessed. He is relieved that his prison sentence hasn't become a prison sentence for me... And the bond between us is forever founded. So, do what you feel within your heart is best. Not what your son or your husband. Respect their wishes, but do what you feel is best and always take it to the heavenly father above.
All the Best to you and every parent in our situation.
  #91  
Old 11-17-2004, 12:57 PM
LisaL LisaL is offline
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Wow, you are truely a wise and strong person. Thanks for all the info. Take Care and God Bless!
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Old 03-05-2005, 04:07 PM
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When my son was stealing from me the hardest thing I ever had to do in my whole life was to lock him out of my home. But, because I set that boundary I was blessed by him turning his life around. There was no gaurantee that he would, but at least I would always know that I didn't make his bottom deeper by protecting him from the consequences of his behavior. He knew I wouldn't bail him out. It was a much harder choice than it would have been to bail him.

Not bailing and abandoning are two different things ... and they are tough distinctions to make and a protective mom is highly tempted to rationalize, justify and excuse how the behavior is not abandoning rather than bailing. But, it is critical to our lives and theirs that we make the distinction.

So far your son has chosen to destroy his life. You didn't cause it, you cannot control it, and you can't cure it. God can, if your son let's him. But, The rest of your story speaks to how your bailing of the one son so ineffectually is now at risk of destroying your relationships with your husband and other son.

Before you get locked on opposite sides of an emotional wall ... negotiate with them a way that you can have a non-enabling but non-abandoning relationship with your incarcerated son while still having a healthy relationship with the father and other son.

Meanwhile, find a 12 step program that helps you deal with your drive to enable. Any of the anon side programs will do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchio1948
Your letter made me cry,everything you said really sunk deep into me.I agree with all that you say and I am going to start doing all the extra things that I have learned from you.\

What hurts the most is my husband and other son don't agree that I should send him 20.00 a week nor should I go see him twice week.Their reasoning is he has been in out of trouble since he was a teenager,he is now 32,we have alwasy bailed him out,and got him started each time.He alsway ended up quiting his job and up stealing.The crime he is waiting to be sentenced for he is big TIME jail.My husband says I let him maniulate me and I beleive all that he says.I told him and my oldest son that I know he lies,Iknow he is a theif,but he still is my SON and I love him.Yes it is true the boy has stole from us over and over even from our bussiness,but what am I suppose to do,I pray,thats all I know to do,because family say let him hit rock bottom,excuse me isn't he there?
I am so alone in this,my husband and I were suppose to retire to Myrtle Beach this year,truthfully I don't want to leave because I feel so guilty.My husaband says we have to go on with our life,he made his choices not us.Well I am just a wreck,but thankyou for your letter,I am going to start tearimg things out that he is innterested in and send them.May God Bless Us ALL
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Old 04-03-2005, 04:48 PM
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Nettie,
Thanks so much for that posting. It made me cry. My son was just sentenced last week to 10 years. I have wondered how we would make it through this. My whole family has been praying so much about this for about the past year but now we are really praying. My Son told me that when the judge sentenced him to 10 years his first thought was that his life was over. I have been told that he would be eligible for parole in 3.5 years. We were also told that there is a possibility of Shock Probation. I am not getting my hopes up but that would be nice.
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:27 PM
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:31 PM
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Nettie, your suggestions are great. One thing I noticed, you didn't say send money, except for birthdays, etc. i've been sending my son a little money every now and then for canteen. i also sent him a box of bedding and clothes when he first went in. i don't mind helping make things a little easier but i can't help feeling a bit like he's taking advantage of me when he asked me recently if i would send him money for a tv. apparently they've cut the television off in his dorm for disciplinary reasons, at least temporarily. plus he says the tv room is full of noisy guys trying to bait other inmates. am i being too stingy to refuse?
  #96  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:34 PM
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Nettie, God Bless you for sharing these wonderful suggestions. Not only can they be used for parents with incarcerated children, but it could be used for any loved one who is behind prison bars. Once again THANKS!
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:41 PM
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My son was raised around a 12 step program. I erred when I moved in the middle of his high school years. He erred when he started doing drugs to compensate for life changes. He is now in prison and serving 80% for an 8 yr sentence because he took meth, evaded arrest in a vehicle - they double struck him in california. I have since moved back to Houston because the system in california was so different, I couldn't even help him help himself. I couldn't even lock him out of the house w/o a court order after he turned 18. The good news is, he called me after the trial and told me that it wasn't my fault. That he is accountable for his actions. That's our story- my son and mine.

Now I am trying to learn how to be a parent long distance and while he is in prison. After 3 years, I met a friend who suggested this site and how to send him gift packages - I never knew you could do this. I am certain there are other things I can do to make his life a little more tollerable, but I am not knowledgeable in this area. I just sent him his first 1/4 package - I was thrilled there was something I could do to give. I also sent him 2 of 3 magazine subscription. I just found out I need a Purchase Order to get him a pair of shoes - does anyone know how to get one ? Thanks
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:16 AM
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Nettie.. Ihave a son in prison and he is my only child. I agree with your advice, I am there for him as much as possible. I send cards and visit every 2 weeks.I am along for the entire bid! Whatever it takes, I'm behind him all the way
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Old 06-07-2005, 06:48 PM
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Hi Thanks for this information. You're lists of things to do helps so to keep me focused in this emotional and scary time. My 23 yr Son , after just doing a yr .8 months later is in for a parole violation,but has a DUI case in AUG. So who knows how much time he'll end up doing !! It has to be the hardest thing I've ever gone thru- with the exception of watching him waste away from drugs.Bad place to have to go to for withdrawal. I pray lots for all of our Sons & Daughters...May they Be Safe.
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:41 PM
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Default Canteen Money

I have been reading the post everyday and my heart goes out to all the mothers with their children incarcerated. I have finally come down with my answers after reading Nettie's post. I have been writing my son everyday, including jokes in each of the letter (he seems to enjoy very much). I have came up with a routine to send 10 sheets of paper twice a week, 20 stamps every two weeks, and money for the canteen every two weeks. I am making this a routine for my son so he will know what to expect on a weekly basis. A little consistency does help. Now my question is to other moms out there.....How much is too much money for canteen?

JG's mom
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