The End Of A Beginning by Cara Bailey

Forward By Christopher

Every so often I receive stories written by people who were recently released and are now back home. They’re stories about events of mistreatment endured at the hands of other inmates or even the very staff tasked to protect them. I’ve noticed that these stories always seem to find my hands after the author is safe at home. I can only speculate, of course, as to why, but I’ll leave you to decide.

I think, however, it’s important to note that while the author of this post encountered unprofessional staff, they are not representative of the majority. At least, that’s my experience. We have a director in Ohio that will not tolerate unprofessionalism.

This is a two part essay. The second part titled “My Residential Treatment Unit Experience” will post shortly following this part one.

—-Christopher—-

The End Of A Beginning

By Cara Bailey   May 2022

Everyone has a story to tell. Some are good, some are bad. But what is a story if they all read the same?

 

 

My journey here at Ohio Reformatory for Women began in 2017. Hurdle after hurdle, becoming angrier by the day. Feelings of being lost. Not sure how or if I was going to be able to survive 8 years of incarceration.

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Second Chance by Felicia

Sentenced to17 years in Prison to be served at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

It’s a day I will never forget. The first year Iived in misery. Full of anger, self hatred and shame. Then the old saying, ‘misery loves company’ echoed into my mind, causing me to stop and think, “There has to be a reason why I am here?”

I was with my ex-husband 17 years. Spent many of those years on the bathroom floor praying for a way out. Praying for strength to leave. And now I am here sentenced to 17 years. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

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Indicted by Tara Snyder

I stand frozen in the dark. I’m mesmerized and taken back by the beauty of the soft, white snow falling around me. I can feel the bitter cold through my state issued blue scrubs. The delicate snowflakes vanish against my bare hands just as quickly as they land. When was the last time I noticed the intricate detail of each snowflake so unique? Or felt the cold winter air rooting deep into my lungs? The correctional officer’s voice echoing out

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To My Incarcerated Child

By Anonymous Mom

This is how incarceration affects your family.

Losing a child to incarceration feels like we are serving time on the inside. Life as we know it has forever changed from one WRONG decision and you can’t take it back.

It’s a grieving process which includes denial, anger, sadness, and at some point we just have to accept it. To add to this, we are humiliated, isolated, and abandoned by choice, your choice. Then there is guilt which gives us a poor self concept.

All of these stages of the grieving process can overlap and cause a state of anxiety and depression.

Denial

How can you do this? How does your family feel?

You’ve robbed your family from having you in their life and you’ve robbed yourself from your family and friends.

Sadness

I am sad for all those that don’t see themselves or their families as better than this.

We don’t get to see you go through high school, go watch you play your favorite sport, teach you to drive a car, or get your DL.

Years of a life have been wiped away. Your family is more important than that.

Isolation

We have lost friends over this; either they don’t know what to say or they just associate me as a prison mom.

Humiliation

We suffer humiliation from public stigmatism and media bashing. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or heard Where’s the parents? Charge them too! What?? People, we were sleeping just like you!

Guilt

As a mom I wonder what did I not do right? I must have failed as a parent. If only I had not gone to bed that night.

How this affects YOU

In prison, you no longer get to be a teen.

There’s no DL, dating, school dances, prom, graduation, school football games, things you should enjoy as a teen.

Life on the outs goes on and life freezes on the in.

Time flies but stands still at the same time.

“The Possibilities”

I remember when you were a baby and I held you in my arms and dreamed of all the possibilities. This is not how I’d ever dreamed it would be, but it is what it is.

I cry more than you know. I sleep less than you think and I pray as much as I can. I’m still dreaming of all the possibilities.

Don’t ever give up. I haven’t I’ve loved you before you were born.

Love,

Mom

 

We love you, too Anonymous Mom. And we won’t give up.

Christopher

 

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