This is the first post in an ongoing series, “Letters From Prison.” These are real letters, from real human beings. Please read and share widely, so the outside world will know the truth about what really happens inside of a prison. Brace yourself for this first one.
Please Adopt Me, Someone
Who I Am
I am a 26 year old white male and I’m serving the remaining 19 years of a 25 year sentence. I am doing everything in my power to become a better person. I still have a good chance at re-entering society and being a productive part of a community. I want to be someone who has the wisdom, patience, and understanding that it takes to be a positive influence in lives of people around me. I want to donate the rest of my life to making the world a better and safer place.
These are the things that I want most, but my facility (Louisiana State Prison) is making this very hard. For the last five years I have been confined to a cell for 23 hours a day. The physical, emotional, and mental toll that solitary confinement takes on an inmate, after being subjected to it for any prolonged period of time is very damaging.
A majority of the correction officers come to work with nothing better to do than mentally abuse inmates. (Example: Just five minutes ago a C.O. slammed the shower door right next to my cell, the sole purpose being to damage my hearing.) For what reason, I will never understand. It’s so hard to stay positive with the everyday struggles brought on by the C.O.’s and also by my fellow inmates.
I am a kind person who is subject to tears. My heart is full of love and compassion. I want to keep it like that. This is supposed to be a safe and positive environment where inmates can learn from their mistakes, but everywhere that I look I see negativity and hate. This place promotes and and makes people more capable of violence.
My sentence only started out as a three year stint. There was a C.O. in the parish jail where I was serving the three years who used to abuse me and two other inmates. We couldn’t get any help from the warden to solve the problem even after five attempts, so we took matters into our own hands. We held the C.O. hostage in a cell for five hours and demanded to see someone, anyone who could help stop the cruel punishment that we were being subjected to at the hands of the correction officer.
That’s what cost me 25 years of my life. The C.O. didn’t get hurt in any way at all. That still doesn’t make what I did ok. I am very ashamed to have been a part of something like that.
I am trying to make as many positive resources that I can. My family is no longer a part of my life. Being a support system for an inmate is difficult and not for the faint of heart. I need guidance in my life. I am not being offered any kind of rehabilitation and this is a point in a young adult’s life when they (we) are most receptive to teaching.
I grew up in [deleted], Louisiana, but at the age of 12 I moved to a small town in Indiana. It is a truly beautiful place. The people are kind and understanding. The experience softened by heart. I miss that little town dearly. I love uplifting, positive music. I would enjoy having a few people to write and receive mail from.
I would like to write this person from Louisiana (Letters from prison series). Can you please send me his address etc?
Thank you, Erika. Please email me at email@example.com.
This is a great and wonderful program to be a part of. That 20 minutes of your free time, will make a person that is incarsarated so happy for hours, possibly days, just knowing someone was thinking about them and that they are worth that 20 minutes it took for you to write it. Something so small to someone living a free life, is so much bigger and important for our fellow human beings that are required to get rehabilitated, but no one is there to help rehabilitate them. Won’t you be a bigger person and receive a gift of an inmate to guide, while in return giving a much larger gift to another?
Thank you Frank, you’re so right on.
I have been writing inmates since 2008 and I’ve found it to be beneficial for me as well as helping the inmate. There are so many inmates who have no one on the outside. I highly recommend writing an inmate, it’s a win-win!
Bless you, Kendra!
Hi Kendra, Great to hear you’ve been befriending prisoners. You’re right about them helping you as much as you help them. Nice to meet you.