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

By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

Female Prisoner is Racing the Clock to Have a Baby

I take no chances. Any delay in parole could eliminate me from getting out in time to have a baby

 

March 10, 2021

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Mother and baby otter

Stresses and pressures from all directions. Different prisoners have different worries. Mine have shifted over the years. Yet, relief of one is replaced by another immediately. As soon as we eliminate all Covid-19 cases, the prison immediately institutes harassing us with searches. The entire prison stay is like this. One thing after another. Now, our population is so low it's easy to harass the fewer numbers we have.

The food. Arriving on a weirdly shaped plastic brownish tray. With food on the top and bottom of it! The trays stack on tip of each other. So food is slopped on top and bottom. So, be careful where you put it down!!

Oh, don't worry. Most prisoners eat little of the food served up by the state. If we can, we purchase our own food. Not out of luxury but NECESSITY! The state food is garbage!! The fruit, maybe a banana is the main thing I eat!! No lie! The other night they served canned ravioli, 2 1/2 ravioli per tray. Ask anyone!. All the trays were the same!! I thought mine was faulty and then I looked and they were all the same!! The truth is much worse than anything I could dream up! The meat often looks under cooked. I refuse my trays daily.

So, you have the stress of making sure you have your own food. That is real. Both male and female prisoners of all institutions buy their own food anytime they can! The only places fed well are the state's prisoner fire camps. They eat GOOD! Their food is legendary. Camp prisoners make the state tons of money! So, most state prisoners will never see that type of state cuisine.

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Photo unrelated to the author of the first baby born in Memphis in 2017

As a lifer up for parole very soon, I impose pressure on myself daily to have self control when it comes to all things. As a lifer I get no mistakes. No chances. Any delay in parole could eliminate me from getting out in time to have a baby!! I'm racing the clock!! I want to be a mother. The dream of being a mother is so important to me that I dare not think about it daily or it would depress me. So I focus to get parole first and then I'll worry about getting pregnant. My mind is on daily bettering myself and at this point my behavior is under control. Even my verbal habits area under control. I used to love talking smack and making people mad. Now, I'm beyond that. I know the discipline I have developed takes daily work and I can't allow anything negative into my life.

I have never really spoken publicly about my deep desire to be a mom. But, it drives me. I know it's up to God. So, I seek to please him and the parole board. God sees my heart. The parole board sees my lengthy good behavior and rehabilitative activities. I'll need both God and the parole board to make my dreams come true...

 

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