This is the last letter in the series. I didn’t know I was going to get out until hours before it happened. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.
July 17, 2006
Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,
I hope this letter finds everyone doing well. As I have told Dad, the last week has been pretty rotten. We have been in constant lockdown since last week due to fights and various episodes of contraband usage.
We are simply too overcrowded and the fact that they use this place as a way station for prison inmates awaiting trail dates does not help. They are usually trouble. We have been searched about 5 times in the last week. This means the guards go through and throw away and tear up all your stuff including my pens and writing pad. They also threw away all my letters and several articles of my clothing just for good measure. Since then I have gotten back a pen and some paper but did not have anything to write on (a pad or a table) until today.
Although I still have whatever kind of infection (staph), it is much better. Since Amy and Noah told me to stop using the Neosporin type stuff the nurse gave me it has gotten much better. Thank goodness, it was really bothering me.
There have been several arrivals and departures to my cell since last week. None were welcome, all I was glad to see go. One was a thief (yes he stole from me… and others) another was a bully. One was a thief and a bully. I must say I like only about 1 percent of the people I have met in here. I can tolerate about 20 percent. I dislike 60 percent of them and downright hate about 19 percent. I absolutely believe in the death penalty now. I have met some people here that have no redeeming value; the world would absolutely be a better place without them.
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My court date is coming up on Thursday and I am nervous about it. I simply don’t know what’s going to happen, so I am worrying about all possibilities – staying here? work release? prison? I can tell you that I don’t have a lot of faith that my attorney is doing anything for me and the fact that I have only heard negative things about him in here does not help.
Well, I will end this letter on a positive note. I have not had any mind altering substances in 72 days now – not even tobacco and I have had access to that now. I feel confident I can stay clean when I get out. You can not imagine how badly I want to get out of here and stay out. I will talk to you soon.
A few days later, July 20th, 2006 was to be my court date. The appointed time came and went without any notification of it’s passing to the guards or to me. I assumed that my lawyer had forgotten me, as well as my family. Perhaps I would just rot in jail. But eventually the guards summoned me that day and said my lawyer was there to meet with me. He did and informed me he had met with the judge and that it would be several months if not more before this case could be resolved. I was to be released on bond (which was only $1000 dollars).
My father came and bailed me out and I was free.
It’s hard to describe that feeling and the next few hours as I experienced things like cushioned seats, real food, salt, cheese, coke and Wal-mart. Using the bathroom in private became a mystical experience. Staying up late that night and marveling over my control of the TV and the mysteries of over 100 channels I could hardly sleep in a bed that felt like it was made of clouds and a silence so pleasant that bad dreams were not possible.
Most of the people in jails and prisons are there because of alcohol and drugs. Building prisons to treat alcoholism and drug addiction is like building graveyards to treat cancer. You want to cut the crime rate? Don’t build more jails. Get people clean and sober. It’s that simple.