Letters to Mom by Justin A.


By Christopher

This is the first fictional work Lettersfromchristopher has ever posted and until it’s arrival into my hands I never really thought about it. About what you ask? About the fact that no one, not a single soul since I created this blog over 3 years ago, chose to take me up on submitting a fictional work. It’s not that those that are

incarcerated can’t or don’t like to write fiction, trust me they can and do, and I’ve read amazing works throughout my incarceration worthy of accolades. So what gives? Why then did so much time pass before someone chose to do so?

You know, there’s a lot that goes on here behind bars. There’s a lot to talk about, and there’s a lot that’s unjust. There’s struggles day in and day out, and each individual has his or her own. Hardships are easy to come by. Then it dawned on me why no one has ever written a fiction piece for this blog. Fiction is a luxury behind bars. Fiction is a gift that’s in short order here. There’s so much that’s wrong with the way incarceration is viewed and approached in the United States that the incarcerated souls who’ve written for this blog willingly set aside the luxury of fiction for the harsh reality of their own. They’ve chosen to use their opportunity on this blog to tell you about the truths however unpleasant. And that speaks volumes.

Although today’s post is fictional it’s no less true of a representation of the self–discovery that some who are incarcerated go through over a lengthy sentence.



Justin A.    Letters to Mom

This writing is hypothetical, but it does reflect my own personal thoughts and fears. I have had to deal with death and loss while incarcerated, as many of us have. Due to this, this writing is not necessarily a work of fiction for a lot of people. Being that this is from my imagination makes it no less hard.


Mom,  I can’t believe I am here! I just got to the Reception Center today and it is horrible! The food sucks so bad and they are waking us up at six in the morning to clean out cell. It is so stupid.

My roommate is gross. He sits on his bed all day while I keep getting called out for medical and some “classification” bullshit. They didn’t tell me what prison I am to go to. Some guys that have been here before said I get to pick where I go. I am going to try to get close to home so I can see the family every week.

Love you, X



I am still at the Reception Center. I’ve been here a month now. I don’t know when they are going to ride me out to my parent institution. They told me that I am going pretty far away from home; a couple of hours, at least.

I know I messed up, but why did I have to get so much time? I think if I was in a different county I would have gotten less time. Or, if you could have helped get a better lawyer I would have beat this case. Dad or my sister didn’t want to help me either. I don’t know.

There is this other guy that got here last week that did something way worse than me but he got, like, half of the time I did. His family probably helped him. Or, maybe his judge didn’t know his family like the judge from my case knows my uncles and cousins. Something should have went right for me, right?? Why did I get so much time for something so little. I mean, it’s not like I’m some career criminal.

Talk to you later, X


Hey Mom,

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I got locked up. I’m such a different person than I used to be. I got the clothes box that you sent. It took forever to get it!  I’m glad that we can get up to four boxes per year here. It’s only a few months away from the weather getting warmer and I want you to get me a pair of shoes so I can go to rec without messing these up that you sent earlier. I don’t know why you got me the white ones. I don’t really like the whte shoes because they get dirty so easily. I don’t want to wash them every day to keep them white and you know that I’m not going to wear some trashy pair of shoes. Can you make sure that I get a black pair next time? That way I don’t have to worry about getting them dirty or if I tear them up on the handball court.

Also, there’s these really cool new chips in the food box catalog that we can’t get in here. Guys are getting them sent in a lot! Make sure you remember them when you order my food box. Are you getting it for me by the end of the month? I told my bunky he could have a bag of them.

Love You! X



Hey Mom, how is everybody doing at home? A few of my friends from before I got here aren’t answering my emails or calls anymore. Who knew that it would only take two years to really see who your friends are. It’s not like I did anything to them to deserve this. I didn’t victimize any of them. Hell, my supposed “best friend” stood next to me at my wedding. Now I’m just some forgotten piece of trash to be throw away.

Whatever. I really don’t need anyone. I’ll just keep taking care of myself like I always do.


Holy cow! Five years of this already? I’ve been doing some programs during my down time. I try to keep myself occupied. Not only does it make my time feel like it’s moving a bit quicker, it is also pushing me to do more than sit on my butt and do nothing. I jog the track and eat healthier. I also gave up on a lot of the sweets.

I hope you don’t mind, but the cookies you sent me in the care package a few months ago were still in my locker, so I gave them to my neighbor who doesn’t get to have anything nice sent in. He doesn’t have any family. I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I really am to have your support.

These programs have really made me look at things differently. I don’t know if they will do any good; or if my judge will ever pay attention to them. I really don’t know how many other programs I can get in to. I’m so far away from my out date that I don’t qualify for to get into them. I have been hounding my case manager and messaging other departments to see if there is any room in any of the programs that they teach.

I’ve never said this, but, I’m sorry Mom. Thank you for supporting me and I can feel your unconditional love.

I love you, X.



I’m getting a little nervous. It’s been six years now and that means I am eligible for judicial release. It’s up to the judge, and I really think I have a shot. I’ve seen a lot of guys in here get their judicial. I’m kinda scared as to whether or not I get it. I don’t know what I’m gonna do first when I get out! I will just focus on getting a job and supporting you and my family. Everyone I have has been so amazing with supporting me through this. I can see the light at the end of he tunnel! I’m sure I’ll be home soon. I’m so glad you are there to see me though all this. You are a great mom and I love you. I know you will always be here for me.

Love You, X.


2 thoughts on “Letters to Mom by Justin A.

  1. T. Williams

    My son went through a similar thing that saved us our relationship. He was selfish and self centered but when he lost his Mum it changed him for the better, but it was hard for a long time.

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