A Letter from Lockdown

5/6/2011

Dear Blog Readers,

Its been over three weeks locked down in this cell 24 hours a day. The prison personal moved me today to a place they call enclosed. This part of the prison holds inmates with years and years of time. These people are the more severe inmates that commit murder and aggravated assaults. I understand there are less punks over here and there is more respect for one another as the inmates live together for longer periods of time.
Nothing has changed from the 24 hour lock down status. I do have a chair now to write my letters, there are people walking outside of my cell, playing cards, and talking about working out. There is different scenery outside my small window. I now look down upon the front entrance of this building. The ground is dug up as some inmates will be planted flowers.
I feel nervous and uncomfortable about this change. Often dwelling in the same cell for weeks without any communication at all makes it hard to break out of my quietness that has consumed my being. My eating, sleeping, reading, and writing schedule has been changed, and there are new guards to learn about as there are good and bad ones; ones that want to help and ones that don’t care.
Institutionalization becomes very easy to step into as there is very little self responsibility to make money, eat, work, etc. Everything is done for you. I need to be careful not to fall into such destitude [sic]. I will remain locked down until classification deems me okay to interact with others. It should be in the next two or three weeks.
My grandfather past away around midnight last night. My mother called my case manager up about an hour ago to inform him, to inform me. Its hard to deal with in here. I have not talked with him sense last year at this time. We lived together when I was released from prison 3-30-10, my grandmother died the day before on 3-29-10. It was hard living with him and I moved. Last week my mother told me he didn’t have much longer to live, I wrote him a letter saying he is a wonderful person and a great grandfather. I wrote maybe one day I could be the man he taught me to be. I was hoping to receive a letter back before he died, but none came. I’ve been asking the prison personal for a phone call to my family, they say maybe in a while.
There is a part of me that wants to call, but another that doesn’t. I know my son will be there that I have not talked to for months, last time I heard from him was on my face book [sic] page where he left a comment saying his mother got my police record and he never wants to talk with me again. So if I call the family it will be hard dealing with my grandfathers death plus the possibility of talking with him. Its overwhelming and sad.
I have a lot on my mind today as I’m dealing with personal emotions that I’m not sure how to handle, this new move, legal issues that may help on releasing me sooner then the 5 year sentence, and the gut twisting feeling of where my life is at 36 years of age. The positive side of all this, is it can only go up from here.
Anybody is welcome to respond and/or write me at the Maine State Prison I will respond back by letter or blog.
Henry Jacques
807 Cushing Road
Warren, Maine 04864-4600
(The original letter has an RIP to Henry’s grandfather whose name has been removed by typist.)

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