"No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child." Abraham Lincoln

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"Bad Boy"

Posted by Dwight Abbott on February 11, 2017 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a new Video cronical of Sonny's life: I often muse; what is it about a "Bad Boy" serving four consecutive Life terms in prison; that makes many a women 'swoon'; and more than many men; 'Envious'..? This pictorial is about my infamous brother's life and him getting ready to exit Prison; and finally touch; once again: the Green Grass of Home.

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Recent letter from Sonny

Posted by [email protected] on April 22, 2016 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (2)

During wartime; it has been suggested: “There are no atheists in foxholes”. I wonder if a “prison” is like a “foxhole”…. and furthermore; I wonder if the entire world is ‘Purposed’ to be like a “foxhole”?

Following is an un-touched true excerpt from a letter addressed to Skippy and Terry Abbott; received on April 11, 2016; written by Dwight Abbott [Sonny], T-88033 ; California Prison Health Care Facility; P.O. Box 32200/C-3A-101, Stockton, Ca. 95213-2200.

“My goal, as you know, has always; through my ‘works’; [I hesitate here to write “my” works, as they have become as much yours, as mine] been to ‘open the doors and windows’ of juvenile institutions and adult prisons, that wayward youth; both boys and girls; might see what lay ahead for them who “play the game”.

A great many young people are with gang mentality, seeking attention and acceptance; posting on street corners protecting their turf, only to end dead or incarcerated.

If they live long enough, one morning inside a prison cell, they will awaken to look into a scratched metal mirror to find looking back at them; no longer the smooth face of a young man or woman, but an old wrinkled face. In a poorly lit shower, as they towel dry their body, they will discover; no longer is it just their pants sagging.

"I Cried You Didn't Listen" begins this journey for those yet to have lost their freedom, and is what I hope to be their eye-opener. Then there is CONSEQUENCE the aftermath; making it very clear, to them, their end, when the juvenile justice system tires of them.

On far too many prison yards I have watched these boys cutting, stabbing and killing one another because of the neighborhood they came from; their tattoos; dress or how they talk. This not much different from the streets they refused to get off of, until the cops snatched them up and gave them over to an uncaring justice system for what likely would be the rest of their young lives. There they will find they are no longer given a choice; home & school or the streets - their “Shot Callers” are going to do that for them.

It is here I tend to ask myself, as well as others from time-to time; “If you would not listen to your mother before being incarcerated, why would you come to prison and follow orders given by a complete stranger?” Don’t figure.

Through the past years, in one prison or another, after having read "I Cried You Didn't Listen", there have been young and old men reaching out to me, in confidence, sharing their stories with me, wishing they “had known the consequences,” now that, for most of them, there is no way out; forced by their circumstances to keep digging that proverbial hole, deeper & deeper. Teenagers whose eyes are those of old men; packing knives – waiting… waiting. They know it will come sooner or later. Some will die, as the four who were murdered at Kern, California State prison in the past six months. Where will it happen next?

Each time I have watched one of these kids lay bleeding to death, carried from their cell after having committed suicide, I ask God: “Why?” Every time no matter how much I doubt [confusing you may find this?] I believe He answers: “Stop questioning me! Keep doing what you are doing in my name.” Huh? I had no idea what I have been doing is being done in His name? I am not the sort who tends to hear voices, unless, of course, I sit in a dark solitary confinement cell for years. “In His name?” Has prison finally beat me down; or is it what I want to hear or what I need to hear in this seemingly God forsaken world in which you & I exist? Should I request I be interviewed by one of the psychiatrists sucking your tax money off the State of California? Or maybe I need to wake up and ‘hear’ what He has been trying to tell me for a very long time - what you have been telling me? I don’t know, little brother; It’s all so confusing to me.

As so often I do, I’ll continue to procrastinate day after day, and end mailing this out next week, if I do not close now. ALWAYS MUCH LOVE & RESPECT I send to you, ending this meandering of mine.

Sonny

PS: I think I just figured out the problem I’ve been having with the font. I now bow my head and pray I’ve not spoken too soon. 

Romans 14:11

“For it is written “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

 

 

 

Improvements at VSP

Posted by Dwight Abbott on January 29, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Some of the ADA/DPW issues at VSP are being worked on and corrected, and hopefully the remainder will soon be corrected as well.

When he first arrived there, the top bunks were too low. If Sonny wanted to get out of his wheelchair his only option was to lay in bed - there was not enough room for him to sit, and many times when getting in and out of bed he would hit his head on the upper bunk.

Also, there were no "grab bars" that he could use to help move himself around once he was in bed.

Those 2 issues have been corrected, at least in the dorm area that Sonny is in - I don't know about the rest of the prison.

There is another very serious issue that I will continue to try and have corrected - the men having to go outside for medications every morning at approxmately 6:30, no matter the weather.

While the guards are standing there with warm waterproof clothing, the sick, elderly and handicapped inmates are forced to stand/sit there, getting drenched or freezing, for up to an hour and half getting their medication - some of them life saving medications.

I'm sure there are other issues, and more will crop up as the days go on - and I will continue to do all I can to help bring attention to, and reform where we can, on any issues that need it.

 

 

 

 

Hello

Posted by Dwight Abbott on January 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm hoping everybody is all healthy and happy now that the new year is well underway.

I know the flu is kicking some serious butt across the country and I hope that you have all had your flu shots and are not among the huddled masses in Emergency Rooms.

Me and mom both got really bad colds a couple weeks ago, but luckily it didn't develop into full blown flu for either of us. (As bad as we both felt I can't imagine feeling any worse but talking to people with the flu I am very happy we never got it).

I stil do not have my voice back - which make some people very happy :-) but I'm trying to refrain from talking as much as I normally do, so I should be back to normal soon (well, as normal as I can be).

I want to take a moment to welcome our new members, Grace, Ted and Margo. Thank you for joining us and  I hope you become active on the site by leaving comments, questions and/or suggestions (being new at web page management I am always looking for ways to impove the site so feel free to give me you input on things).

Also, a very special THANK YOU to Margo. I won't go into detail here, but I wanted to let you know once again that all you do is very much appreciated.

I have added a couple pages to the site. One is going to be filled with "Sonny stories" - things that he writes and tells me about of some of his experiences when not behind prison walls. I hope you find them all as fascinating as I do. (Now I have to go back through the hundreds of letters for him and find all of his stories - that could take awhile, so bear with me. I will get them in there eventually).

The other page is pictures of Sonny and his former cellie, Raymond. This is a "don't ask, don't tell" page. Just enjoy the pictures but don't ask where I got them :-)

Thanks to a wonderful friend (MK, you know who you are) I was able to contact a lawyer on Sonny's behalf so that some of the violations against ADA/DPW inmates are now being looked into at Valley State Prison. Hopefully Sonny, and other ADA/DPW inmates, will see some positive changes soon in the conditions they are now living in.

As updates become available to me I will post them on here for all to read - for those of you who are not aware of and are curious about the issue going on, please feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) and I will fill you in on things.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Karren

CDCR is at it again

Posted by Dwight Abbott on December 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Sonny called me tonight and told me that one of the C/O's there stated that Valley State Prison is in the Valley Fever Belt. (But said there were "only 3 or 4 cases of it this year")

Sonny cannot be in a prison that is located in that belt - he's had Valley Fever once already, if he gets it again it is pretty much a death sentence.

It is even noted in his medical file that he cannot go to a prison that is affected by Valley Fever, so I'm wondering why he was transferred to VSP.

He also said there are a whole lot of other issues, and it's making him miserable. (He said he would rather be back at SVSP - even without Raymond).

This morning it was 31 degree and they had to go outside to get their medications. If they refused to go get meds then they would not be allowed to go to breakfast.

He said they were all glad when it started to rain because it warmed things up a bit, but then of course he, and everybody else but the guards, was soaked.

The dorm he is in has 3 men who are in wheelchairs and 3 who are not. It's overcrowded with 3 wheelchairs in there and moving around is difficult.

At SVSP there was a bar welded to the underside of Raymonds bunk so that Sonny could grab onto it to assist him in changing position in bed. There is non where he is at now. And, there is not enough room between the top and bottom bunk to sit on his bed. If he wants to get out of the wheelchair he has no choice but to lay on his bunk.

He has a locker where all his belongings are. It's a tall, school-type locker and he cannot reach the top of it.

On a good note, he did say the food was better, and the nurse that he spoke with yesterday said she was going to get his meds straightened out (but we have heard plenty of empty promises before so I won't believe it until he tells me that his meds have been adjusted back to where they belong).

From what I have read, the new medical facility in Stockton should be open in July, and it is my hope that Sonny can be moved there (I think they are actually going to start moving men in before July - that is the expected date of total occupation). I'm sure with his medical issues he will be more than qualified to move to Stockton, and with any luck it will be all they say it will as far as being medically and handicap equiped.

For now, I plan on getting in touch with a few people who may be able to get him moved out of VSP (because of the Valley Fever). I just don't know where they will move him - but I also don't want him staying there at the risk of getting sick.

I will keep updates coming as I get them.

Happy Holidays everybody.

Karren

Sonny was moved today

Posted by Dwight Abbott on December 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I just got a call from Raymond a little while ago. Sonny was notified at 6:30 this morning to pack up because he would be moving today.:(

At about 8:30/8:45 they came and got him and headed out for Chowchilla:(

He will be able to write to us, but will not be able to make phone calls until he is off orientation.:(

I will keep people posted on things as I hear them.

Talked to Sonny today

Posted by Dwight Abbott on December 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Sonny called a little while ago, it was so good to hear from him

He still sounds a little down, but it's mosly the not knowing of when he will be moving. It must be hard for him, waking up every morning wondering if they are going to come tell him to pack it up and move him.

He said a few guys were moved over the weekend, supposedly to Chowchilla. While we thought that at least part of VSP was going to be for inmates with medical issues like Sonny's, he said some of the guys who left were not wheelchair depedant.

I did talk to his Counselor on Wednesday. He at least was upfront and honest with me and wasn't just telling me what he thought I wanted to hear.

Because Sonny's security level is now at 2 he will be in a minimum security facility. Raymond is still level 3 and cannot yet go to minimum. However, going by the number of points Raymond has right now it will be 2 years (dropping 8 points maximum each year) before he reaches level 2.

So, I told Ray to behave himself, and Sonny to stay healthy and we will continue to work on getting them back together. I'm sure you will all be willing to work with me when the time comes.:)

As soon as I hear any more information on the move I will share it with everybody here.

 

Seeing more visitors

Posted by Dwight Abbott on November 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Every day when I check I am seeing that we have had more visitors, but alas none are becoming members.

Oh well, maybe some day our hard work will pay off and we will all of a sudden go viral.

I know an inmate in a maximum security prison is not a person that most people will automatically bond with and want to take up the cause with us, but I'm hoping that even just one out of every 10 people who check out the site will decide to join us - maybe they have done prison time (as a juvenile or adult) or have a loved one who has been/is in prison and knows that what Sonny says is all too true.

I got a letter from Sonny today (and a drawing from Raymond, which I will add to the site as soon as I get it scanned into my computer). Sonny sent along some more letters he found that he had received from young people that he had spoken with about a life of crime, so I will be adding them to the "Letters to Sonny" section when they are scanned in.

You can't even imagine how much I miss him, and how worried I am about all the possible things going on with the transfers.

I am working once again to try and see what I can do to get Sonny and Ray moved together - and will keep everybody informed when I have any news to share.

I hope everybody is having a great day, and has a safe and happy weekend.

Karren

Move to Chowchilla

Posted by Dwight Abbott on November 25, 2012 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I heard from Sonny again last night. He will definately be moving to Chowchila, possibly in the next couple of weeks.

It sucks for him, and Ray, to know that at any minute they could walk in and tell him to "pack it up" and ship him out.

I haven't given up trying to keep them together. While they may be going in separate directions for now, I will continue to fight to have them placed together again if at all possible.

I am trying to stay upbeat about the move to Chowchilla. From what I hear it will be a positive move for Sonny both because of his level upgrade and being more of medical facility for him. The one thing I'm not so sure about is dorm style living. If they are all wheelchair dependent then they will have each other to watch their backs - safety in numbers I guess. And if one has a medical issue there will be more men around to allert the staff of any problems, whereas in a 2 person cell the cellie could just ignore any requests for help, or even worse, abuse a helpless inmate where nobody can see to help.

I know I probably shouldn't be so negative about things, that no matter his restrictions and limitations, Sonny is a survivor and this is just one more bump on his long road through the California prison system. But it's hard not to worry about him.

I still don't understand why they don't just wait until the new facility in Stockton opens up and just send him there - I guess it makes too much sense and we know we can't have the CDCR doing anything that makes sense :D

Let's just all keep our fingers crossed that this will be a positive move for him and that he will get better medical care at the new place, and that we can somehow keep working to get Ray and him back together.

I will keep updates going here as they arise.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend and are all happy and healthy.

Karren

Sonny moving

Posted by Dwight Abbott on November 21, 2012 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I got a call from Sonny this evening. He went before transfer committee again and is now being endorsed for Valley State Prison in Chowchilla (it used to be a female facility but they are being moved out to the other female facility across the street. He was told he would be leaving in the next couple of weeks.

It is a medium security prison, so that is good - it means he has been upgraded from Level 3 to Level 2.

What isn't so good is that nothing was said about Ray going with him.

Last week a lawyer from Prison Law Offices went to talk to Sonny, in regards to letters recieved on Sonny and Ray's behalf (thank you everybody who sent them in). She told him that she was going to be attending a meeting in which she would bring this issue to their attention and see what could be done about keeping them together.

While she may not have made any headway with it yet, I'm not giving up hope that she will be able to work some magic and Ray will be able to join him (or both moved to someplace else together). Ray needs Sonny as much as Sonny needs Ray and I will continue to fight for them to be back together - and I hope that you will all join in again when I need help.

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Karren


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