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A Family in Prison This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


I was five when I watched my dad get led out of a courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. There were so many people moving around, I wasn’t sure what was really happening. One thing I did see very clearly and will never forget was the tear rolling down his cheek. That was the first time I had ever seen him cry. Almost 11 years have passed and I still remember that day perfectly. That was the last time I saw my dad outside prison.

Being young, only in kindergarten, I was frightened by this terrifying place. Surrounded by barbed wire and razor fences, I thought it was a horror house. That first visit was just the first of many times I’d go through the process of being frisked and walking through metal detectors.

That first time my family and I stepped into a large room filled with dozens of men wearing blue uniforms, I wondered if the other inmates’ loved ones felt the way we did. The convicts looked almost like clones – until I saw my dad. He looked much thinner and really frail. My mom started crying, and he came over and hugged her.

It felt so surreal, like I was dreaming. Now I can hardly remember my dad without his uniform. Some mornings I wake up and, for a split second, forget he’s not home anymore. Then it hurts even worse when I remember where he is and that my mom and I will never have him back.

It hurts to think of all the special memories my dad didn’t share with us. All the birthday parties and family vacations he missed. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world for a girl to know that her father won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.

While my sisters, mom, and I are out living life, Dad is in that horrific place every minute of his life, only getting to see his family one day a week. My mother and I feel so much pain not having him with us, but I can’t begin to imagine his pain and suffering every day in there.

We continue to hope for a miracle. My dad will be eligible for parole in 2023. We continue to pray that an innocent man will be freed from his life sentence for a murder he did not commit.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 227 comments. Post your own!

mightierthanthesword said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm:
Well written! Such a sad story. I will keep you in my prayers!
 
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Laura_Oliver said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm:
When you grow up, write a memoir and then mail it to me. No questions asked.
 
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Lexie96 said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 10:33 am:
This is pretty good, and you are very strong to be able to hold your belief of your dad's innocence even through all these years. Good work and good luck, check out my work sometime?
 
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jasont727 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm:
This is incredible. You are so strong for writing this and for living the life that you lead. It will get better one day.
 
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MMorton said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm:
My father should be in prison, but he is not. I know the unjustust you feel from another angle.
 
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Liv297 said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm:
Wow I know exactly how you feel. I have an uncle who I haven't seen since I was eight, six years. He is in for the same reason, but was under influence. Having him in jail really changed my opinion about drunk driving and such things because of what happened to him.
 
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Victoria.S said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 9:52 am:
Wow this is heartbreaking... Yet so strong. I didnt want it to end... keep writing! Your very talented.
 
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WriterGeek<3 said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm:
Heartbreaking but hopeful. Good luck. I admire your strength.
 
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chiron96 said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 4:47 am:
count me in
 
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Bambi67 said...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm:
love it keept writing and good luck.. check out my work!! thank
 
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writinglikecrazy said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm:
This article is so amazing. It has a lot of emotion to it. The way you say you know your father is inicent shows a father child bond. You really love him despite he is in prison and you only shared four or five years with him. It just dosn't feel right without him just like it dosn't feel right without my dad's presence since my parents are in a divorce. I know how you feel only you feel much worse.
 
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SmileyFace13 said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm:
This article is so amazing. Not only is it wonderfully written but also truely touching. I'm so glad that you realize your fathers innocence and only pray that our justice system will realize it too.
 
freeflow23 replied...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:50 am :
I totally agree.
 
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lovetildeath said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm:
I will pray that your father will get out.Our justice system is really messed up.
 
Regs_the_Shorty replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm :
Agree'd and she did a great job of writing it too
 
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Alon_Freevoice said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 3:40 am:
Your story's so touching. I wish no one who deserves to be in prison would be there...
 
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WishfulDoerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 2:26 am:
I don't feel sorry for you. I admire you. To be able to tell a story that probably sticks in your mind and composes your nightmares...There really aren't words to describe my admiration for your courage. I know you'll get through this, and I know your father is proud of each and every thing you do. 
 
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CrazyBeautifulLifee said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm:
Wow. I am so sorry:( I sincerely hope your dad will get out of prison. I can't imagine life without my daddy</3
 
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JoPepperThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm:
That was so sad!  I nearly cried!!!!!!!
 
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TigermoonlightThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm:
You are amazing. My own father went to jail when I was in 1st grade and didn't get out until 3 years later. I can't even count the number of nights I spent lying awake thinking of him. I didn't even recognize him when he came out. After that my parents got divorced and my dad moved to this ratty house. It wasn't until 6th grade when I realized he started drinking. It got so bad that when I tried to hep him he disowned me. I left him in the beginning of 8th grade. I am almost a freshman now, and ... (more »)
 
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