Monday, April 26, 2010

from a friend, wrongly accused

he sent this to me yesterday... and gave me permission to share on this blog.  
what an intense story.  what a challenging reality.  
how is jail different for those who actually committed a crime, and those who definitely did not? 

(transcribed from original scraps of paper)

A true test of my nerve and my strength of will. I thought I would be tough if I ever came into danger; but I am not as tough as I thought. I am terrified. My pulse races with the constant thought of my peril.

I cannot be humbled, because I am innocent. The crime I have been charged with deeply offends me. This charge of kidnapping is ridiculous, born out of someone's paranoia and profiling. I was only trying to help the child. He bumped his head, and wandered forward into the parking lot, looking at the ground, quietly saying "mommy". I walked with him, trying to ask him if he was alright, what was his name, where did he last see his mother, can he show me... when a woman hurries up, identifies him, takes his hand and hurries him off to reunite him with his mother. Confident that the matter was resolved, I continued on to my car and left, as I had intended to do before my concern for the boy. Next thing I know, I get pulled over and arrested under suspicion of child abduction! The cops don't believe my story. They think I "fled the scene". I am being kept in maximum security. I'm on the news! My photo and name on television and in the sunday paper! They say I kidnapped that child! I've been demonized; they've turned it into a witch hunt. Now I am surrounded by violent criminals... who all think that I kidnap little boys.

I have asked for protective custody, and I am confined to my cell. I have broken NO laws; I have been arrested and imprisoned merely because of someone's false interpretation of what they saw. In my hat and trench coat, I had been stereotyped as a villain.

Room is six sided polygon. Stainless steel sink and toilet. Mirror and small stainless steel shelf. Wooden shelf and large wooden shelf/desk below the first. One buzzing tube light. Two ventilation ducts, in and out. Cement base bed and padding, with a pillow and 2 blankets. Two narrow barred windows near ceiling which look out to a red brick wall.
145 and 5 thirds tiles on floor (deep red)
46 tiles on wall base perimeter, covering half of 24 wall bricks.
460 bricks and 45 half-bricks (excluding the 24 above mentioned bricks) on walls (white paint)
2 tiny spiders about 2 millimeters squared.
Cell paced 2,600 times.

Why do I fear death? Because I have barely begun my life of service to the future generations; I have barely done anything to leave this world better than I found it. Only when I am satisfied with my works, will I be able to die in peace, and not fear and regret, which is the worst kind of death.

Justice must be done, or I shall wither away in here, a punching bag for the resident monsters. All I can do for now is watch the shadows move on the brick wall outside as the Earth turns.

When my innocence is proven, I will demand the media run a story to clear my good name. This absurd misunderstanding has slandered me; I am disgraced in the public eye.

Some of these inmates... they are so filled with hot hate and anger; unstable; irrational. This place is a mad house. I don't belong here. My rights, my freedom, taken away so easily.

Another paper to write on. I've thoroughly brushed my hair, washed my face, my armpits, brushed my teeth twice since dinner, and done more sit-ups and push-ups than I ever have in one day before. I think, I hope, that I'll be seen in court tomorrow, and they will set my bail. I just want this ugly mess to be over and get on with my life.

I have a feeling that the boy scout troop won't want me teaching the kids. From now on, everyone in town is going to treat me like I'm the scum of the Earth.

I'm not allowed to exercise during lights-out, and all I have to read is the Inmate Information Manual Rules and Regulations, which I have read. I'm tired but I can't sleep.

Dawn. My arraignment is today, at 13:30. My charge will be read (kidnapping 2), and they may set my bail amount; they might not. I hope it won't be over 10 grand.

This is infuriating! I only wanted to make sure the boy was okay, but who will believe me? At least those who know me will know I tell the truth.

I am a sheep amidst wolves. In this place, I have seen the dark side of humanity. I've come face-to-face with a murderer who has gotten the death penalty. He seemed proud. These monsters, they pray on the weak, and judge everybody. They assume everyone (me) is guilty. It was by sheer luck that I avoided getting attacked in the waiting room before court; the man who wanted too didn't only because he has a child on the way on the outside and want's out, which means not starting any fights. I'm going to get eaten alive if I stay here. I can't be in my cell all the time. All I can do is keep my mouth shut.

Another night in this cell; this uncomfortable bed. At least I have a book to read now; I was able to get it from the common room. A Traitor to Memory, by Elizabeth George. A British mystery. It seemed all that they had in that cupboard were mysteries and thrillers.

One of the inmates down the hall has been cussing, shouting, and singing (badly) for hours on end. If someone tells him to shut up, it starts him into a fit of insults. Gods, I hope they set my bail tomorrow. I thought they would do it today after my court appearance. I need to get out of this accursed place. There is nothing here but hate, vanity, insanity, and indifference in the absence of the former.

I can't stop thinking about how badly this can go. This is crazy. If I get out of this jam, I will be content to just plant trees for the rest of my life.

A terrible encircling darkness of anxiety curses me.

Bad things happen to good people.
There is no justice in it;
It is just the world that we have made for ourselves.

After my release:
Bail security deposit paid - $35,000
Under house arrest. Cannot leave house unless authorized.
Shackled with electronic surveillance tracking devices.
Attorney working very hard to find facts.
Witnesses may not wish to come forward out of fear.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poetic Justice link

Deborah Tobola
is creating theater with formerly incarcerated people. Visit:

This video is quite poignant, a short documentary about how having a family member in prison affects the lives on the outside.