Years later he is still working to clean up the residue of the chaos, but we have more cause to rejoice with him than cry with him. Someday maybe he will agree to share part of the journey from his side.
But this blog has been created in the hope we can build what I so longed to have during those days…a community where I could ask for information and coaching on interacting with the justice system; share with others who had or were finding their own way as a family member of an incarcerated person, whose own pain and fears were heart stopping; a place where shame would be put in its place and hope would make the mornings less dreaded--a place for the family to deal.
Let me be clear, as a law-enforcement wife, I was stunned by the mess that is our criminal justice system. It is inconsistent, amazingly destructive towards the prisons’ staff from COs to Wardens as well as the incarcerated, and generally illogical and so frustrating that a sane person can become wholly frustrated on this side of the journey. And for anyone who works to make that a better system, God bless and keep you. But for most of us, at least until we deal with two others issues, that is best left in the column marked “Things About Which I Can Do Nothing”. AFTER you deal with the other two, if you want to address the many, many problems within the USA criminal justice system, I thank God for you.
What is the 1st thing to be dealt with? What do I need to know to make things better for my loved one in jail? Maybe more important is this: what do I need to AVOID doing to make things less destructive to my incarcerated family member? (Maybe this is a good place to state this: family is not limited by blood or law, although some of the challenges faced may be a bit different.)
What is the 2nd thing to be dealt with? How do I survive this! Although the first thing seems the most urgent, this is actually both the most important area and the one where you have the most control. How you deal with all this will make a huge difference in the quality of your own life, but also that of your extended family both inside and outside of prisons. If this seems outrageous to you today, keep checking back to explore this idea.