Being locked up means being closed off from the World physically...It's a hard Life to adjust to...Not just for the incarcerated, but their families as well. The emotional toll it takes on a family can be devastating and when that happens Life on the inside can take a whole new meaning...Voices from The Inside Out is written to shed life on these harsh realities of prison and to give a glimpse into what's it's like for the both the incarcerated and their loved ones who pray for their return home.
I must admit that everyone locked up is not innocent, but that doesn't mean that someone shouldn't love them... People should know the truths and myths about the penal system and about the people connected to that life...Hopefully everyone will get a better understanding of the difference between an animal and a human being.
The POSITIVE MAP:
Back in 1993 after the judge handed me my 12yr sentence...the first person I called was my Mother…She done Time a few years earlier so she knew what to expect. I had just turned 18yrs old...I was young, confused, and scared. My mom and I cried on the phone that day.
What we began to do was "Map Out" how I was going to do my Time. She said, “Since they didn’t let you finish your last year of high school, IMMEDIATELY enroll into the GED program and take care of that...You might not walk the stage, but at least you got THAT".
I got my GED...(check)! Then right before I caught chain to prison, she said, “As soon as you get settled on a prison unit, go enroll into a vocational trade...not just ANY trade...a trade you can bring back out into the world and help you prosper”.
" After a few years in the system, I made trustee and was placed on a "Trustee Camp". A "Trustee" is someone who reaches a level in prison where they can roam more freely in and away from the prison unit with minimum or no security. It's like they "Trust" you to come back on your own.
So, when I made trustee, I was place on another unit where college AND truck driving was being offered! Since I already had a GED I was placed in the school faster than people who didn’t. Everything my Mother and I laid was being accomplished (along with a few more inspiring feats).
My oldest brother brought my sons to come visit me and we regularly wrote to keep in contact. He even paid for the permit to get my CDL trucking license! Many people one the inside was not as fortunate. Some will falsely brag about fighting and other crazy stuff but, won’t admit to crying to themselves at night from loneliness or no family support from the outside.
The support I received from the outside helped me establish a “map of success” for my survival and prosperity today...I found a Faith that works for ME and although I’m not perfect, I'm STILL on the Path. I still have my CDL after 20yrs...and by 2018 I’ll have my business degree.
Just know, I’m DOING IT! But it may have not been possible if I didn’t have my family’s support. I not only conquered my fears but built my confidence, my faith, and become wise enough to apply them.... Love and appreciate your Family. Follow your Map...The scenery may change, but the Path will always Be there.
It’s not easy dealing with loved ones incarcerated and it’s not easy being locked up. It’s important to keep healthy lines of communication open and positive. The person on the inside has a responsibility to turn themselves around and avoid taking his loved ones through that experience again.
Doing time behind bars is mentally and emotionally tough for the person inside as well as the people outside helping to support them. Take time to reflect on the small blessings of PHYSICAL FREEDOM & FAMILY. Please don’t them it for granted because they can be taken away from you!
If you know someone incarcerated here are a few tips to ease their Time:
1.)Write them letters of encouragement and spiritual support
2.)Send Books, Magazine subscriptions, newspapers, etc.
3.) Visit as often as possible