Wednesday, March 3, 2010

#79 If your son is in prison

If your son is in prison

Well, a slow day, after the promise of snow that we barely got. It’s kinda interesting because yesterday I had a friend tell me that we were expecting about 2-3 inches of snow, but the sources I was checking said that it would snow, but there would be more rain… meaning that the snow would not accumulate.

But one friend told me that he heard that we might get as much as 6 inches. It was important because he had to go to work early tomorrow, and didn’t know if he could. I told him that it could do that, but for it to snow and accumulate, it would have to be a very heavy snowstorm, because we had rain half the day.

Anyway, just before 1am, we were getting snow, so I went to bed thinking we will see a few inches in the morning… I woke up, looked outside and saw that there was evidence that it did indeed snow…but not much else. I think this is what the weather people would call a “trace”.

Anyway, checking my emails today, I had 2 emails from people who had been following my blogs lately, one asked me about inspirational things to say to an inmate, another had thanked me for some of the blogs I had written. I say again, if you are interested in contacting me, feel free to do so. It is always nice to get an email from a reader, and the more the better.

The topic today I won’t spend a lot of time on, because this could get really deep. I was reading some of the searches on my blog and one mentioned that they had a son in prison. What do you do, as a mom, if your son is in prison?

Folks, I can talk for 50 pages on this alone…but what I share I will leave to you to ask. There are just too many angles to talk about. People email me asking many things like”

“How can I help my son in prison?”

“How did you make it through your prison time?”

“What if my son gets in a fight while in prison?”

“What does the grievance procedure mean and how can it help my son?”

“My son is sick and they are not taking care of him, what do I do?”

“The prison terminated my visitation rights, what can I do?”

“What is prison food like?”

“How can my son get a transfer?”

“How can my son get to a prison closer to home?”

“How can my son get a classification change?”

“My son is in isolation, what can I do?”

“I am so worried for my son, what can I tell him to keep him encouraged?”

“How can my son get early parole?”

“How can my son get out by the minimum release date?”

“Does my son have to stay in prison for the maximum time?”

“How much does my son really need for canteen?”

“My son has not written to me in weeks, what can I do?”

“How can I prepare my son for life after prison?”

All these and many other question I get asked by people running across my blogs. People are worried for a loved one in prison, and in most cases, there are very few venues to find answers. It amazes me how, even in this Information Age that we live in, so little is known about prison life except the extremes. Its like society thinks that every prison in the country is some supermax prison where everybody is either stabbing, raping or fighting everybody else…where every inmate has 20 tattoos, and knows somebody named “Bubba”, and some guy named “Cookie” dishes out slop during the meals.

Come on, you can’t be THAT ignorant!

“Well, that’s all I have heard and seen on tv.”

If you feel that way, then you need to break that stigma. I am not here to tell you that prison is a great place to vacation, not at all. But what I am here to tell you is that if you have a loved one in prison, there are things you can do to help him and you. One of the first things you need to do is establish some contact with somebody who can talk to you.

Or, in case of the internet, somebody who can email you.

What’s interesting is that if there are 100 people reading this blog right now, and reading through crying eyes, at best ONE PERCENT of those people will actually get the nerve and courage to try to DO something. The other 99% will sit there, crying their eyes out while reading my blogs, hoping that maybe I’ll say something that hits close to home.

But the whole while….completely ignoring the fact that if they took the effort to email me and say, “Nolaw, can you talk about…”, then I would write a blog to help them personally.

Some of you think I am pulling your leg, because many of you see me as some ex-con out to get something from you. But yet…you keep reading because I am sharing something of value. What is interesting is that when I get an email, and blog out my thoughts to help that person on their question, I get an email from them saying, “I never thought you would take that much time to answer my question”.

If you have son in prison… talk to somebody about it.

If not me, then somebody.

Several years ago, there used to be tons of prison support sites out there… I oughta know, I wrote for many of them. Now there are just a few, and some of them aren’t more than a prison gossip column. If you are reading this blog, and have a loved one in prison, take a few minutes to email me and ask me something that bothers you about his incarceration… something that has to do with prison that you need to know.

Do it right now, email me and ask. Don’t keep reading my blogs, HOPING I write the blog you were thinking about. There are thousands of prison issues, I can’t read your mind to know what you want me to talk about. You can sit there and cry another 24 hours about your son, or you can do something to get some peace of mind.

“What are you talking about…if my son is in prison there IS no peace of mind!”

I disagree…and if you feel that way, you are in a state of panic… which helps NOBODY.

Consider folks, there are hundreds of thousands of men in prison as we speak, and most of them have a mom that is worried about them. But where do they go to get help, or some answers? There aren’t many places, but there are some…my blog is one of them.

If you have a son in prison, there are lots and lots of things we can talk about, but you need to step up to the starting line and get ready for the race instead of sitting out in the stands. If you have a son in prison, you are not a spectator…you’re in this race. You have an invested emotion to that person you care about. If so, why not take some effort to get involved. This does NOT mean you have to read all the horror stories about prison, or get deluged with negative links about prison stories or things like that. That is what a lot of prison support sites do because they don’t have people that can TALK about prison, not from a first-person standpoint. So they load it up with cheap gossip or rip off links from other sites to share a prison story, thinking they are helping.

If you want a person that has been there to talk about prison…ask one.

My blogs are based on trying to do two things…ONE, to try to give you a constructive perspective of prison issues, and TWO, to generate an income by doing number one. If you have a problem with me trying to earn a living…get OFF my blog!

I am not here to kiss butt for any prison support site, nor listen to jerks who think that ex felons who did their time don’t deserve to make a dime, but expect them to work miracles for society. I say again, if you have a problem with this ex felon trying to create an income by helping others…get OFF my blog.

But if you have nowhere else to go, and need somebody to talk you through this, I have an ear to listen, and a heart to understand. You need only email me and ask. I can usually get a blog out inside of a day or two, depending on what I have going on. I can usually return an email almost immediately.

It’s your choice…continue looking for answers about prison issues, or get started in fighting for peace of mind. Until then…

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