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A Letter From a Mom

From Someone Who Cares

I last wrote a letter to CURE in my son’s 2nd year of a 90 month sentence. At that time he was at SRCI, and 20 years old. His future looked very bleak. Eleven years have passed. My son has been out of prison for 4 years and 1 month. The best example of how things are going is that, his release date went by this year without fanfare. We’re actually recovering from the unimaginable. I’m sorry to say our family has never had connections that helped him get ajob. We were able to offer him a home, food & rides. So he did have our love. Today he’s employed, married and has bought a house, all on his own. His future looks bright. If there is anything that threatens his freedom it’s his underlying anger.

Anyone serving a measure 11 sentence will be changed by it. The constant loss of control. The daily indignities, waiting for everything and on occasion experiencing true fear. Even loved ones can add to the frustration. For most, this results in pent up anger. My son came out and wanted to forget he’d ever been in prison. That makes sense, but it doesn’t help. If you’ve survived a measure 11 sentence you’ve endured a traumatic event. No less so than if you were a returning war vet. It’s less admirable and society doesn’t want to see it that way, but it is. I wrote this letter to ask inmates to please look for counseling. While you’re in prison and then once you’re released. Even consider self- help books, you don’t know where you might find something that clicks for you. My hope for my son is he will be able to find his way through this. I wish he had been willing to try counseling once he was released, perhaps he will in the future. I have faith in him, but I’m afraid he’s chosen a difficult path. Counseling may have made it an easier journey.

With all my best for your future,

A mom

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