Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Ms. Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

California Prisoners FaceAnother Holiday In Prison, But This Time Under the Specter of Covid-19

Prison is not a place to make friends or build trust.

 

November 23, 2020

Prisoner greets child on visiting day

I'm not a fan of holidays while in prison. No mail. Nothing on TV. Time seems to slow down. The state of California usually opens up visiting for the specific holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, and on July 4th.

Obviously that's not happening this year. I did not get visits before the pandemic began. But on days when visiting was going on, there was much more positive energy and excitement. So, time did not feel so empty.

Aside from that, any holiday is just a regular day. Unless you have family to call. That's the big difference for me. Few outside connections in my life. With that said, I'm counting my blessings this Thanksgiving!! We must always do that.

I'm deeply appreciative that I'm currently in 10+ self-help classes by mail. This is a big step towards being able to qualify for my parole! I've been blessed with meeting several Christians over the years. If not for them, I may have lost my mind behind these walls!! I'm grateful for my ability to go to college while in prison. I just signed up and I'm ready to further my education!! Wish me luck!! I'm one year closer to parole. As I get closer, my path seems to become more clear!!

mmmmm I am especially grateful to the Santa Monica Observer Newspaper! They chose to afford me this chance and this platform!! This helped me discover another facet of myself! Thanks to him, I'm able to add this to my resume, from Prison! I'm able to get to know my future neighbors and my community!! Something I never would have thought I could make a reality until now. I'm humbled by people taking time to stop and read my words each week.

I do not talk to or vent to my fellow inmates. Too risky. Prison is not a place to make friends or build trust. This is the underbelly of society. Some make mistakes. Others belong here. So, with no AA/NA meetings, due to Covid, I share my thoughts with you. I gain my sanity.

One of the biggest gifts I've been given is my rehabilitation!! I was monster full of anger when I came to prison. An anger I did not understand, so I could not express!! So, I hurt people. I hurt my victim. My sister. I pray I'll get to make amends with her and maybe help her heal too!! I thought I was broken beyond repair!! Now I know I'm not. When I learned to forgive, the anger was released. I'm now a new person. I have not been in a fight in 14 years! I'm a new person. I've healed. What you do not heal, you will repeat! I mentor younger women, other lifers. I want them to experience this freedom too.

So, this year, this is what I'm thankful for and what I'll meditate on this Thanksgiving Day. I may be in prison but I'm rehabilitated and getting stronger everyday!!

**Holiday Invitation: Anyone/Everyone!!

Email me @ jpay.com now!! (I'll email back!!)

**Or Write m a letter - Amber S. Jackson #X15530

16756 Chino-Corona Road California Inst. For Women

Corona, Ca 92880

 

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