Dislodged from our brethren in society, deficient of togetherness, devoid of love, our hearts call us to dream bold. Our collective soul cries out for more. We yearn to feel fully human again, if only for a day. We choose to commemorate these sentiments on Thanksgiving.
Where do I work? Where do I live? How can I give and contribute? How can I soar above the ever-prevailing stigma of being a formerly incarcerated person?
Many inmates across the country were released early due to COVID-19, but many remained incarcerated. Prison programs are currently short-staffed or even closed because of the coronavirus, and it has been this way in New York since early March 2020. Many of these programs are necessary to qualify for early release, either for good behavior or because the parole board wants proof that inmates are improving themselves.
Tears begin to well up in my eyes. I can’t help it; the weight of the moment gets to me. This is my chance to speak with someone from the outside: This man who came in on his day off to visit someone he’s never met on their birthday in prison in the middle of a pandemic.
I have noticed throughout my time in prison that whenever there is even the slightest possibility of something good happening to incarcerated people, we don’t even want to entertain the thought.