Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I was in prison ...

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Is Jesus saying that those whose visit the folks in these get in, and the folks who don't don't? Nah. Couldn't be that simple. Must be something more complex and easier than that.

Apparently it's a lot easier to find one to visit in the U.S. than in Australia. (Hey check it out--the U.S. has it's very own private color on that map. I wonder if "defense" spending is correlated with incarceration rate? I hypothesize that it is.)

If I were in prison, I'd want people to visit. Lots of people. I'd want to know they were coming back regularly. But I've never once visited anyone in prison. You?


  1. who'd ya visit? yes, isn't it disturbing that this country of mine (and partially still yours.. i assume you are still carrying that american passport, right?) claims to be a 'christian nation' and still incarcerates as it does. an eye for an eye, that's what that scripture is all about. can't ever forget that. *serious sarcasm*

    on a different note.. would it bee to much to ask to be able to comment as "name/url" on your site? if it is, i understand. i just hate using my google account and don't have AIM, wordpress, live journal, & i don't want *another* id as in the "openid"


  2. Well I worked in prison once if that counts. I'm coming to the conclusion that one can only really do things if you're totally passionate about it. If you're not, you don't survive the lightest of problems, but if you are nothing stops you.

    I'm simply not passionate enough about visiting people in prison. Will Jesus judge me on that? I doubt it comes as high up the list as not doing the things (for others) I am actually passionate about.

  3. i worked in a teen prison giving presentations about relationships, and visited a chap in maximum security whom I was writing a feature article about. inside is a weird world. very clear lines and edges. not a world i would like to inhabit m'self. but justice and injustice are so very socioeconomically delineated. it just seemed so unfair that people's family lifestyles led them to be incarcerated. no fair.

  4. (Welcome to Melbourne.)
    Discovered your blog randomly.
    I have a friend who has been in maximum security prison for 10 months and gets out in 11 days. I might just note here that my friend was only sentenced to minimum security imprisonment, for a traffic offense, but chose to stay at this max security one as it is the closest prison to where his friends and family live. I visited him three times, early on. I found it a rather confronting and sobering experience. The most difficult part was seeing how many kids were there to visit their Dads, as well as realising that 'criminals' look like normal people, and in a sense they are normal people. They are people's husbands, children, parents and friends. Seeing my friend was practically the same as seeing him socially outside, except that we were surrounded by other prisoners with their 1-3 visitors, kids, lovers, family, friends... and he wasn't allowed to stand up, and we had a time limit, so conversation flow was purposely maintained, rather than naturally fluctuating. The visiting room itself felt like a school hall to me, and was full of vending machines. Security once inside the visiting hall appeared to be relaxed, although the security process of getting in was very thorough and a little scary.
    I stopped visiting my friend because I found the overall experience to be too emotionally stressful for me, and when I realised I was making more of an effort to see my friend in jail than to see my own family. I wrote him letters but he didn't bother to reply, so I figured he couldn't care too much that I wasn't visiting. I also knew that closer friends of his were still visiting and his girlfriend was visiting weekly. It's surreal to think I have a friend in jail. I'm a little scared of the 'friends' he will have made, what he would have learnt, and who he will be when all our friends catch up once he is out.
    I hope I haven't written too much, just thought I'd share my experience.