Monthly Archives: November 2011
Since the mid 90’s the state of PA has only commuted the life sentences of 5 people, the following clips are from 3 of the most recent. Dubbed “The Three Wise Men” this group met with us for a conversation in a diner about their experiences facing life with no parole, and the effect its had on their loved ones. The exponential growth of family 37 Nieces and Nephews, one for every year Getting commuted The night I left Criminalization of Family Using your family as your motivation Being socially inept
The following clips were recorded during an inspirational visit to the men from M.I.M.I.C. one night in August. The talk was held in Congresso in North Philadelphia. The following is a bio excerpt from M.I.M.I.C.’s website http://mimicphilly.org/ MIMICs mission is, “To build bridges of community support and social bonds for Philadelphia’s high risk youth, young adults and previously incarcerated men, through mentoring, community engagement and educational enrichment.” MIMIC is primarily based in the Kensington/Fairhill area of Philadelphia, is a community based and youth development organization that is uniquely prepared to engage the hardest to reach young males. The members of MIMIC are members of the same communities they serve, sharing similarities in culture, language and background. Additionally, some members of MIMIC are ex-offenders that have returned to their community as productive, upstanding citizens, modeling for young people the steps necessary to create profound change and the value of second chances. Instilling in them what I know now The institutionalized family Everyone is lying
The following audio clips were taken during a PA Prison Society peer group meeting. This group of ex offenders regularly meet once a month. On this particular night, Family Interrupted was the main topic. A big thank you to everyone who came out, and shared their experiences. What family really means They were the strong ones It was harder on my family You have the power Feeling Shame Incarcerated women get very few visits Changing perspectives The choices we made We’re serving time with you Speaking the same language Loss while incarcerated
My father has been incarcerated since I can’t even remember. Out of my 21 years going on 22 years of living, I have seen my father once while he was in court when I was 12 years old. I have a strong mother and since I too am a female I could better relate. But without a father I tried to replace him with different males, because I never had love for my father. So I tried to find it in other men. I don’t visit him and I feel a need not to.
I enjoy spending time with my nephew, he’s 9 years old now, but there’s always this distant look he gets in his eyes as if he’s lacking a very important figure in his life. His father won’t be out until he turns 12. Just at the end of his true childhood. I just feel really bad for him, his father, and my sister. I visited once, he could not take his eyes off his son. I think he was trying to soak as much of him up in what little time we had. I know he can’t wait to be a father again.
There is no rehabilitation when these men are sent to jail. I understand they are being punished for disobeying the law, but if they have more positive resources available while incarcerated, maybe they would learn something good. Especially for young offenders, with the right help, their whole lives can change. Also, there should be resources available for when they come home. To help them find a job or learn a trade. Some of these men, just need to feel like they have a purpose and that they are useful… worthy of having a life. Personally I think employment and education would be a huge positive influence in most of these men’s lives. It could truly change the path that they are on. I visit to spend time with my loved one. It helps him to get through the months of being here and makes me happy just to see his face and be able to touch him.
My sons are incarcerated. I’m worried, sometimes anxious, having to help provide for their children and find ways to keep them connected.
If you are parents you cannot afford to go to jail. I work two jobs to support my family and put myself through grad school to give my kids a better life. Why can’t these men make better choices?
Most of them were on drugs or alcohol. They should have thought first. They knew it was wrong.
I have a son who is incarcerated, a wonderful son, the son of my later years who grew up with two brothers (who had little time for him) and he found his own rather questionable friends. I visit him once or twice a month, write, and talk on the phone. Why? Because he’s my son, whom I love always.
The help needed is not there. It leaves me to figure out what to do next alone. I could never let him sit without seeing me or his child no matter what he did or did not do.
Incarcerated family members are still family. Why would one stop visiting the family member because of his or her misfortune?
It really upsets me, I feel that our black men are set up for failure. More money is invested in jails than our children’s education. At the time of my husband’s arrest, he was the only one working. I was laid off from my job. I had to relocate my family and move back in with my mother. My daughter had to change schools in her last year of high school. I visit my husband every chance I get. It is very important to keep our family together.
I love my brother and I visit him to keep his mind off of the prison for a little while, and to keep him updated on his baby girl. I am unable to fully provide the love and care to my children that they need from their father. I believe in the family unit. We are family, and together we will overcome any and all struggles.