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

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Recent letter from Sonny

Posted by [email protected] on April 22, 2016 at 11:00 PM

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.”

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Reply Julie Falkengren
1:24 PM on July 21, 2016 
Hi Sonny!!! :) I hope you are doing well and staying strong!! Smile dude, someone is thinking about you!! Haha, take care
Reply Shanette Logan
4:25 AM on August 30, 2016 
It is a heavy burden being a predator but when circumstances cause you to make the decision to be either predator or prey; what do you chose?
If you chose predator, you spend your life not just proving yourself but also defending yourself. If you chose to be prey, many hurts are visited upon you and eventually the shame will kill you.
We don't always chose; sometimes we are chosen. Through surroundings and circumstances, we are forced to make a decision and far too many times your own family and friends will put you in a position to chose.
Membership in some families involves being prey from an early age. Too many times abuse is heaped onto children who eventually visit abuse on others. Who is at fault?
Where are they people who are obligated to help the prey? Our government allots over 1 billion dollars a year for "family preservation services." What are they doing with that money?
* the juvenile justice system is a farce. It only stands to educate future criminals and is a perfect set-up for this predator or prey decision.
* foster homes and group homes are a catalyst for abuse and neglect.
* the employees of child welfare are over worked, underpaid and not supported by their overburdened agencies.

When is enough going to be enough? When will someone ask the questions that start the ball rolling that finally end this terrible nightmare?
The juvenile justice and child welfare systems do not need an over haul; that eould be expensive and counterproductive. What needs to happen is a total restructuring of both systems.
America incarcerates more people than any country on Earth. That very fact should be cause for alarm amd quick action.