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Hey, Circle, how is everyone doing?  I am good, besides being in jail.  So, I’m single, have four kids; I only see my oldest son who is 15 now.  I love animals.  I am in jail because of my ex: he hit me, so I hit him back and now I have a domestic violence charge.  I don’t have any pictures of me in here but I would love some pictures of the members of Circle and the animals, if you guys don’t mind.  I am 29 years old.

Me and my family don’t really talk – they disowned me because of my ex – they said I could do better.

I like being outdoors and the water, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, cooking, reading and writing poetry.  When I get out I’ll be living at the Oxford Shelter, because I will be homeless again.  It sucks but it happens.  I don’t know how long I’m in for; I go to court at the end of the month, so I’m hopeful that I”ll know something.  I haven’t even been sentenced and I’ve been here for 101 days today!

Anyway, looking forward to hearing back from you guys and getting some pix.

Love and rockets,

Linda Knox

Hey old pals.  Hope that all is well with you guys.  Not sure if circle got my first letter, but now I have the correct address; this one will get to you guys.  Funny how life works that you meet people in not so nice places that know someone you know.  Anyway, I’m glad it was Circle, because honestly, I was just thinking about the Project.  So, I am on the vacation of a lifetime – lol – not as YCJ -York County Jail sucks.  Here until August 23rd, then out for a few months, then back for another 110 days.

Me and some men do not mix well with each other, so here I sit in time out in Pumpkin land.

How are Circles going?  Did Rage ever finish what he was writing when you guys were asking me about places in Biddeford to hold Circles at? [Dolphin refers to the historical narrative of the non-profit forms, the answer which is yes.]

I see on the news they want to close the overflow shelter at the Preb.  Makes me sad and sick at the same time that our damn governor wants to cut everything in Portland.  He is nothing but a damn bully and a disgrace.

I spend a lot of time reading in here and staying in my cell.  A lot of addicts in here hwho talk about using and it bothers me that there is no support for them in a damn county jail.  Heck, it bothers me that I am back here after doing so well on the outside.

Jail sucks.  Big time.  That, some of you know from your own experiences.

Any more front page stories for Rage?

Not much to write at this point; again, I leave her eon August 23rd, so, pretty excited about that.

Be well, be safe.  Peace and love,

Dolphin

As an amateur writer and storyteller I often start my writings with a cute, humorous or even dramatic beginning in the hopes it might catch the readers attention. This is commonly referred to as a “hook”. As an inmate at the Maine Correctional Center (MCC) in Windham, I will skip the fucking hook and get right to the point. The point is: that, in this day and age, inmates at MCC are regularly and openly abused! That’s right, I said abused.

On any given day in which the waters pour down from the heavens in buckets, inmates often have to choose between meals, medication, recreation and a host of other things and a “good-old fashion” soaking.

You see, inmates at MCC are not allowed any protective rain gear (not even an altered trash bag). This fact is not likely known by the general public (who wouldn’t give a shit anyway), but it is certainly known by the State of Maine Department of Corrections (DOC). Also not well known is this: the vast majority of inmates (700 or so) have to move from building to building for chow, meds, dental, rec, visits and more. In the case of meds inmates often have to stand in line outside in the driving rain. To make matters worse, inmates are not allowed to run, but must walk. HELLO! IT’S 2010 FOLKS!

It is simply not acceptable that in this day and age that even “low-life” criminals can be abused this way; and though most inmates have less than 600-800 feet between buildings, they can be outside a dozen or more times a day.

All across our nation people are in places like this (prison) for abuse of others, children, adults and the elderly.

Here at MCC, abuse is State Sanctioned and has been for years. No one should have to choose between a meal or getting drenched with no way to dry one’s clothes. No one should have to choose between getting their meds and standing in a  god-damned line in the driving rain or fucking snow storm.

Let me end with this: if this fucking place were a nursing home and the patients were treated like the inmates here are, the place would be shut down by the State in a heart-beat and the operators would be sitting in prison for abuse! It is a good thing for the State that this place is just filled with “low-life” criminals.

– Bob-Wire
MDOC# 04666

Hi. Yesterday me and a friend were talking about our relationship patterns. I know it sounds kind of femmy for guys talking about relationships, but here’s a guy writing about it. We started talking about how Phil Hartman from Saturday Night Live got killed by his wife, but no one called it anything. Then he brought up how Lionel Ritchies wife was kickin’ the shit out of him throughout the eighties.

There’s this myth that women aren’t abusers and this myth that guys don’t have feelings or that we’re tough or should be tough & don’t get hurt. And this big myth that abuse has to be physical or it doesn’t count. Women are abusers too, and guys just don’t talk about it. ‘Cause it makes us weak. Or it makes us seem weak. I’m not anonymous. I’m Todd Gack and my MDOC# is 04347.

Thanks.

– Todd Gack
MDOC# 04347

Joe Vereen, again, MDOC# 111925.

I forgot some things last time & we have to change things, right? I went to jail in 9/09 on a domestic. It was just an argument & we would have been fine, but, since OJ Simpson, the State of Maine won’t let women drop domestic charges. So here I am. Anyway. I have 3 children, 2 girls & a son (born this February!) On Christmas Eve, the COs told me to call my sister. (I can’t call my kid’s mom, still, cause of my charges.) So I called my sister: my 3 year old daughter, Mackenzie, was diagnosed with cancer. It was in 90% of her spleen. What a mess. She’s okay now, but it was touch & go for a while. I went to court in Bath, my lawyer swore I’d be granted bail (wasn’t). My lawyer urged me to accept a deal, help for me to work things out so that I could contact my kid’s mom – didn’t happen.

The worse piece – I begged my court-appointed lawyer, John Handleman, to help me. My daughter could die! I said. He replied, “If she dies, she dies. You’ll just have to deal with it.” (Remember that, and him, whoever reads this!)

So I took a deal this March: I’m out in 9 months, with 3 years probation. Mackenzie will be getting treatment for the next 2 1/2 years. If my wife is okay with me, loves me, &c? Does anyone know how we can be allowed contact again? Please pray for my daughter & my wife.

Thanks.

– Joe
MDOC# 111925.

Dear Amber,

Hey girl, what’s going on? How have you been doing lately? It’s been a long time since I talked to you. As you can probably figure, I fucked up pretty good. I am just finishing up a 2-year prison sentence. I got 36 days left. I spanked my stepdaughter a little too hard one day. I left a dark red handprint on her butt. So I got charged with assault. Me, Cyndy and the girls left the state. We went to North Carolina and tried to start over. Cyndy was pregnant with my daughter Cyara May Wood. What a beautiful little girl, Amber. Well, the police issued a warrant. They tracked us to our place in NC. Well, I got extradited back to Maine. They gave me 2 years for the charge. Well, I lost Cyndy, the state made us go our own ways! So here I am. I come out yesterday and I see Robin. We were talking and your name came up. Only in a good way though! So I decided to write a letter to you. I am having him send the letter because I don’t know your address. I have thought about you from time to time. I really enjoyed chillin’ together. And that’s not all I enjoyed. But I won’t go there, I’ll be good! :) I guess I’ll let you go. I would love to hear from you if you want to write back. Let me know how Sassy and Saber are doing? And of course, let me know how you are. All right girl, I hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,

– Ryan Wood,  L. L. :)
MDOC# 13511

Derrick Gerrish, again!

Why are females rarely even arrested for domestic abuse?

I was a victim of domestic abuse:

I woke up one morning to my girlfriend breaking my glass entertainment center and TV. I tried to get her to leave, and she wouldn’t: she started attacking me with a hot hair straightening iron, clawing and kicking me. She kicked me in my groin and bit me in the face! I called the police and reported a domestic. I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror and when I came out, she had left.

So I started walking to my dad’s, the police pulled over and started questioning me. I told them, they seen the marks and the blood on my face. They took pictures and another officer went to get her side of the story. She admitted to badgering me, but said it was self-defense, because I was choking her in a  snow bank. The officer that stayed with me let me go on account I was the victim.

I was eating breakfast at a diner with my father when they barged in and arrested me in front of a dozen people. They said I was the “perp” in the domestic. She had no marks, I had tons and I was the one who called 911.

I spent 2 months in YCJ, come to find out the officer advised her if she didn’t want to go to jail, she would have to write a statement saying exactly what he told her to say.

If that’s not a problem with our system, then what is?

Or maybe it was the DA’s negligence to hear my defense.

My defense is simple: How could I choke her in a snow bank when it happened inside my house? Also, if I did choke her why was there no marks? And how could I have so many marks and blood if it was self-defense? And how did she bite me if I was choking her? The DA didn’t want to hear it and gave me the ultimatum of taking 60 day or risk getting 6 months taking it to trial.

Wow, what a “system.”

– Derrick Gerrish

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

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