Letter: Inmate dismayed by sequence of events

To the editor:

I just thought I would write you to explain my situation and the widely dysfunctional attitude the Indiana Department of Correction maintains.

Let me begin by saying I’m a far cry from being a bleeding heart crybaby. I’ve taken my just punishment for what I’m convicted of and have done so without contesting the mannerism or method of exacting punishment. I moved forward with my life and believe I have accomplished what was set out for me to do.

I know that you don’t know me, but I’m not the man I was 20 to 30 years ago. I have made some dreadful decisions in my life. The one thing I can say in my defense is that although I’ve made some terrible decisions and done some dastardly deeds, I have learned from each of them and overcome the effects of my inactions and actions.

I do realize how harmful my lifestyle was to my family, friends, community and most of all my Lord and Savior. Thanks to the Lord’s unselfish love for me and him pouring his grace upon me, I’ve become the man my Lord wanted me to be and that son my mother and father wanted.

You know, sometimes I wish I just had that one person that I could just sit down and open my heart to. It is hell to be in a place where you have nothing in common except wearing the same clothes and number instead of name. Yes, it is true I made my bed and I have to sleep in it. Nevertheless, we (I) have continued to seek a better way daily because of the stigma of life chosen years ago. Not complaining, only explaining. This being said, I want to relate to you what has transpired and see where your thoughts are on this situation.

I went back before the parole board on Aug. 3, 2016, and because I’ve met and/or exceeded the criteria for reinstatement of parole after four long, lengthy years over a technical violation of changing my address, a charge that I’ve never contested, of course I never thought it would drag out like it has, but it did and I’m OK with it until now.

I only have approximately 13 months left on my completive set for the violation, and I’m a Level 1, work release-eligible, very low-minimum custody level with no needs and no services. I’ve never had anything more than an informal conduct report and that is a very minor infraction. I’m not a problematic person and I’m very much involved in mentoring and teaching other offenders a better way to live their life, rather to make the continued errors that I’ve made and oh so many others.

Back to the issue, I was reinstated and we had intentions of my staying with my nephew there in Brown County. That did not work out since my nephew has some issues in his own family that needed attending to, so logistically, it is not feasible.

I had a secondary location in Indianapolis at the Wheeler Mission, which has a discipleship program in Monroe County that I could be an active part of, “Camp Hunt.”

The parole board was not inclined to allow me to go to the secondary location because of my age. Imagine that! I never recalled reading or hearing of an age limitation for a person in need of assistance. Continuing with the fact that I’m also a veteran who is eligible for veterans’ assistance under HVAF and other assistance including Social Security benefits. So, needless to say, I’m still sitting in this place, being reinstated back to parole, but can’t go because I’m too old.

Oh, it does get better. If they don’t release me, I will have to sit it out for the balance of time, 13 months, and at the end of the 13 months I still do not have adequate housing to go to. So where is the justice in this?

According to the Indiana Constitution, and IC Code 11-13-2-4B, the parole board is not allowed to exact any undue restrictions that would hinder or enjoin the normal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, a right and privilege that we are all assured under the constitution.

I am an aged person, but not without faculties and the presence of mind to guide and help myself. I find it a travesty of justice to see the wise tax dollars being wasted on things like this. I’m not speaking just of myself, but of many others being done the same way.

There is much more to this story and I would love to share it with the good people of Indiana. This is where I’m at in a nutshell.

I would also like to submit my latest writing for the Poets Corner. I do pray that you or someone else will receive a blessing from it. I write from my heart of hearts and do enjoy that aspect of my life. Being able to share is important to me and my recovery in life.

Thanks for listening to me and pray the grace, love and peace of our Lord be with you.

J.R. Childs, Plainfield