Letters From Prison: I am no longer intimidated

Letters From Prison: I am no longer intimidated

Support for people who have been convicted of a crime is not a popular cause – but only because we’re not looking at it from the proper perspective. Support does not mean providing cable tv, video games, and haute cuisine – it means humane treatment and care, mentorship, education, and outside support, so that each incarcerated person emerges whole, equipped to live a productive, crime-free life. The most common reason that people end up in prison is that they have no positive social networks. The inherent darkness and isolation of prison only exacerbates that – which in turn leads to high rates of recidivism. Ninety-five percent of incarcerated people will be released into our communities, so their success and well-being directly impacts all of us.

Suffering is the problem, not the solution.

Below is a note I received today from one of our adoptees, Josh.


My name is Josh and I have been in and out of lock up facilities since I was 12 years old. Throughout my life I have had little or no support from anyone in my family. Due to that I went in search for support from the wrong people such as drug dealers, gang bangers, and other kids like me.

At the age of seventeen I commited a robbery and was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department Of Corrections. At seventeen! I have been locked up for over five years and during that time I have had no support from my family. No visits, no phone calls, no letters, no love. In my five years I have seen so many people go home and come back to prison because they had no one to help them adjust to society.

After being locked up for so long, people forget how to function in the real world. MOST inmates are intimidated by the thought of going home. That is so sad and wrong. I used to feel the same way. Then I was introduced to a wonderful family called the Adopt an Inmate family. They introduced me to a loving, caring, and supportive mentor. Because of the support she has given me, I am no longer intimidated by the thought of getting out — because I know there is someone who will be with me and help me.

The saying goes, ‘Two wrongs dont make a right.” How is condeming someone to life behind a wall, alone, right?


Image credit Yoann Boyer

Announcement: Hiatus From New Requests

Announcement: Hiatus From New Requests

IMPORTANT NOTICE

We receive over 1,000 pieces of mail each month, and are currently overwhelmed with requests from inmates and their families. Everything we do is accomplished only with the help of volunteers, small donations, and money from our own pockets. As of September 2017, we are taking a six-month hiatus from NEW INMATE REQUESTS ONLY, so that we can respond to what is already in front of us.
We care, and are dedicated to getting everyone on our waiting list (now and in the future) adopted. This temporary break from new requests will help us do that.

This does NOT apply to new adopters or volunteers – only to inmates who are not currently on our waiting list.

For anyone who has already requested a survey, please be patient while we respond – it could take several months but we will answer everyone’s request. Requests that included a self-addressed stamped envelope will be responded to first.

For inmates who have already received a survey – please complete and return (kindly write “completed survey” on the outside of the envelope.)

Inmates — Do continue to submit:

Inmate change of address (please write “COA” on the envelope)

Art / Poetry / Book Reviews / Writing submissions (please indicate on outside of envelope)

Others — How you can help:

Adopt an Inmate!

Volunteer

Donate stamps, office supplies (or cash to purchase them), to help us catch up with the hundreds of existing requests. See our Amazon Wishlist.

We will begin accepting new requests again in February of 2018, or sooner if we’re able.

Thank you for understanding.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Leah and I are using the holiday to put in a solid four days of work to clear out some of the back log of mail.

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About 11:00, we had a surprise visitor bearing a holiday meal for each of us (provided by the local Elks Lodge:

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AND, a personal donation of $500 to go towards our website fundraiser!

We are so grateful.

A blessed Thanksgiving to our entire AI family.

Calling All Angels: Stamps, please!

Calling All Angels: Stamps, please!

We are working night and day on a few projects – one of which is catching up with a significant backlog of mail. We owe several hundred replies which must go out through regular USPS mail, and that means …. we need stamps. Lots of stamps.

This is an easy and painless way to give in support of the most fundamental part of our daily work. Everything we do revolves around the mail: collecting it daily from the post office, and carefully reading, logging, replying to, and filing each piece – as many as 300 each week. Each letter carries a message filled with both despair and hope. 

Please help us respond to these heartfelt letters. Our goal is 500+ stamps. 

Check out some of these groovy stamps available now at your local post office, or online through usps.com.

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Log on to usps.com and have some stamps sent directly to us (fill in our address below on the online order form), or buy from your local post office and drop them in the mail to us. Your generosity delivers hope, healing, and human connection.

** One book of twenty stamps means forty people will hear their name called out at mail call. **

Adopt an Inmate
Stamp Campaign
PO Box 1543
Veneta, OR 97487

Please share this post to help us reach our goal.

Lady Lifers Chorus

Here we highlight the Lady Lifers Chorus.
Pennsylvania leads the country in the number of lifers that were sentenced as juveniles – nearly 500 – who will never see the outside of a prison.

The nine women in this chorus have each served 27 to 40 years, for a combined total of  293 years. 

Beginning at 05:46, the ladies state their inmate number, time served to date, name, and place of birth, ending with the words, “this is not my home.”

Be an angel, send a letter.

To address the envelope: write the inmate’s name and number on the top line, followed by the name and address of the facility. Clearly write your name and address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. 

Inmate Name & Number
SCI Muncy
P.O. Box 180

Muncy, PA 17756

Brenda Watkins #OO8106 (29 years)
Thelma Nichols #OB2472 (27 years)
Danielle Hadley #OO8494 (27 years)
Theresa Battles #OO8309 (27 years)
Debra Brown #OO7080 (30 years)
Joanne Butler #OO5961 (37 years)
Diane Metzger #OO5634 (39 years)
Lena Brown #OO4867 (40 years)
Trina Garnett #OO5545 (37 years)