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

By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

Even Vocational Training is Shut Down During Prison Lockdown in California During Covid Surge

The diary of a quarantined lady prisoner at the California Institution for Women continues

 

December 27, 2020

Jasmine Becket-Griffith via Facebook

Adult coloring books were a trend a few years ago, expected to bring relaxation

I want to first give you a quick update. It seems that I spoke too soon about the man in my life. Dom. He was not my long-awaited love after all. No matter. I'll be free soon! All that glitters is not gold. Yes, I was saddened and disappointed. I've simply erased his pictures and I'm movimg. After all the pain I've overcome, nothing will stop Amber. The best is yet to come.

So, there's quarantine, then there's quarantine (lockdown). This is the latter. The head of the Department Of Corrections and Rehabilitation has officially extended this quarantine, of all state prisons in California, until December 30th. Of course, we prisoners are reminded this is not a ''punishment." That info will help me greatly as I hand wash my clothes in my tiny sink, inside of my cell, daily, for 2 additional weeks...

I'm always mindful of the many blessings in my life. I always focus on something positive to do: my 10 - yes, 10 - self help classes by mail. Someone to love (Jesus). And, something to hope for, my freedom. These are the keys to not going crazy during lockdowns like this.

I've got no problem serving my time until my time is served. This is not serving time. I don't know what to call this. I'm unable to attend my weekly NA/AA meetings. No church. No ability to finish my vocational training. Still, I'm holding on. On day at a time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Easy does it. So many things are out of my control. Just breathe.

Vincent Gordon via Facebook

Vincent Gordon advertising his Sesame Street Coloring books, these clearly for children and not adults

You know what's funny to me? People outside of prison assume that a prisoner, such as myself, has little or no idea what's going on out there in the free world. Wow. I'm actually amused by this. Really?? I'm in prison, I'm not dead. I, personally, make a point to keep my ear to ground of what's happening locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. To keep these things in perspective, I also keep my finger on the pulse of how segments of the population feel about these events. While Twitter, instraGram didn't exist when I was free, I know exactly what they are. I know how much they've changed this world. And, I know I'll have no choice but to set up a

Facebook and Twitter account, as well as others, to be taken seriously in the business world, which I plan to enter.

I'm surrounded by many prisoners who spend time watching cartoons and coloring in children's coloring books!! I'm surrounds by women who are in their 40's, 50's, 60's and unable to read or do basic math. I see adult crack babies all grown up and in prison. I'm not kidding. So, I do understand why people might assume average prisoners could be dumb.

Amber's not average...

 

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