What it takes to visit an inmate Part 2

 

All right, so right after I finished live streaming, I got in my car to put in my GPS as to where to go. They came up to me and said that I can’t stay on the premises since my clothing’s not appropriate. I’ve taken off my jacket because now I’m on the fairground so I’m showing my shoulders. This is… it’s a beautiful area, by the way.

When you make visitation so difficult that it takes two hours to get there, you’re already making it onerous for family to be able to come and visit their loved ones. In addition to that, when you require women to cut their wires out of bras and you don’t put that in the instructions, that’s also a little bit demeaning. And then, three, when you’re so not clear on the instructions that you’re denied on multiple outfits that are things that I’m able to wear to work every single day. Things there are allowed to be in our city hall departments, at the city council, things are allowed to be, that are considered professional if you go to the [inaudible 00:01:28], things that are considered professional really in any business environment, I think that you are really trying to put roadblocks in the way of visitation.

When loved ones stay in prison, no matter what their crime is, I’m not just talking about nonviolent crime, but just in general. The thing is is that they need to be able to keep an attachment to society to be able to fully rehabilitate. My friend has only been in here for a little over a year in this facility, he’s just been in there for a few months…

And initially, by the way, I was denied visitation. They said that my background wouldn’t allow me to see him. My background is that I was arrested for standing in a road because when I was protesting the media not reporting on DCS, the police were ordered to shut down the road and shut down our protest. So with that background, I was able to pass the city council background check, I was able to pass the FBI background check to be part of the civilian academy, I was able to pass the police background check to be part of that civilian academy, and I was able to pass background checks for some corporations that have very high security procedures. But I was not allowed to come and visit for an entire year.

So I look at it and I say I’m someone that has been involved with politics for quite some time. I have some considerable contacts, and if it is so hard for me to visit someone that’s technically just someone I was advocating for, not even a loved one. I’ve now grown very fond of this person and have a great amount of respect for them. Then what is it like for people that have family members that are here? And this is a low security prison, so many of the people in here are in here for no victim crimes and nonviolent no victim crimes essentially also.

It becomes demoralizing for people if they can’t receive visitation on a regular basis, because if they lose touch, then when they come out, they have… Their mental state is pushed into a position of depression, really of loneliness and depression, because no one from the outside is coming to visit them. In the first couple of visits I was able to make, it was really heartwarming to see some parents that were able to bring their kids and see them connecting with their dads that were here. And that helped really to change my perspective a lot on how we look at visitation and what it means, not just for the people that are in prison, but for the casualties of the process, such as children.

So yeah, I hope Miranda, that they’d rather not people be visited at all, because that is the… Like I said, I did an entire year project on this and the number one anti-recidivism program is visitation. And so we should be doing everything we can to make visitation as often as possible, as often as possible. Because, sorry for the wind… Because that’s going to be what… I may move to the other side.

Because that’s going to be what… I guess we’re going to have a… We have a no win situation with the wind. That’s going to be what reduces the amount of people that re-offend and go back to jail. If they are able to have a solid structure when they come out, either from the community services or from family, they’re going to have a successful reentry and be likely to not recommit, re-offend.

Okay. I’m going to just read through your comments. Gary said, “Thanks for this information and story. Very thought-provoking and continues to make me realize our prison systems need change and whenever we actually are releasing prisoners back into society, rehabilitation for any released prisoner’s future for theirs and ours benefit.” Yeah, absolutely. We don’t actually have rehabilitation in prison. That’s my friend. So I’m going to let you go and let him know the bad news. Talk to you guys later.

 

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