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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


3 thoughts on “A Letter From a Mom

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. It’s a good proactive gesture to share your Insight. My son entered the system on a different mandatory sentencing at age 22 and was given 15 years. He is halfway through his sentence. It has impacted us as well. We can only pray that he would come out of this as a 38 year old man that will be able to be employed, start a new life with a family and be a happy individual.
    I wish you, your son, and your family well.

    Posted by Mele | November 20, 2016, 2:45 pm
    • My son has spent 3 yr sentences 4 different times. He is now doing a measure 11 sentence and woll now be 49 whrn he is released without work history and over 100k behind in child support. He has 4 children. Divorced and each time he was released he did find work at minimal wages. However that meant the child spport was taking over 60%. He has spent most of his adult life in prison. I teally thought the last time he would do better. I was wrong and dosapointed. So is he. I totally hate the measure 11 day for dsy and pray it changes. Good luck all.

      Posted by kathleen DiGiacomo | November 28, 2016, 6:50 pm
  2. I am also a mother with a son in prison for Measure 11 crimes. It is unreal how your life crumbles when this happens to your family. Nothing is ever the same…all that you said is exactly how life is in Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute in Pendleton… Five hours away from us. It hurts to visit him and it is agony not to see him. There is little comfort, except for God’s constant blessings and reassurance that as my son says to me, “They can’t take my next life away”. He is in prison until 2037…..

    Posted by Anne SMITH | July 11, 2019, 9:47 am
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