Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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.





Join the Discussion


This article has 227 comments. Post your own!

Tigermoonlight 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 »)
 
shinegirl24 replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm :
Oh my gosh.... I can't even imagine what you have to go through. Your writing was very powerful. Just know that you have me out there praying for you and your family.
 
Tigermoonlight This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm :
Thank you very much shinegirl24, but I believe that the one who wrote this article needs the prayer much more that I.
 
shinegirl24 replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm :
I'm praying for both of you, I mean. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
caprifox97 said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 11:39 am:
Wow, hon...I can't even begin to know how you feel, no matter how much I try. This story darn near brought tears to my eyes, esspecialy when you said "It is 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." Really, made me emotional. I have always known my father, but have never wanted to have a relationship with him for certain reasons, therefore he is no longer part of my life.... I made that choice and I am proud that I could... (more »)
 
Tigermoonlight This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm :
The same thing happened with me! It's so good to hear that people are going through the same thing.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Jacy-Lee said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 11:24 am:
you are a great writer. this piece is truly touching and it has wonderful detail. I am very sorry for you.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
kingtutThis 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 9:37 am:
I feel so sorry for you. I can now imagine what you are going through. My prayers, also, are for you, your family, and your father. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
gigglygillmore365 said...
May 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm:
honey, i love this writing. its perfectly descriptive, and is something i can definately relate to! a member of my family was imprisoned for a very long time, shortly after the birth of his first daughter. me and my family will keep you in our prayers. please know that god is looking out for you, and your father too. (:
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
$$GHANAIAN$$SWAGG$$ said...
May 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm:
I can tell this really hurts but the adice i got to give to you is just pray and hope for a miracle because the one up in heaven knows what you are going through. If i was in your shoes I don't think I could of handled it how you handled it. This proves that your are a very brave girl and my heart goes out to you.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Angelina C said...
May 1, 2011 at 11:58 am:
I would love to reach out to this writer please respond to warrant that and I will send you my info or vice versa.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
alyssabug97 said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm:
touching article. I could not live without my father. U and ur family are in my prayers Hope for a miracle. :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
fearless.girl said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm:
I think you're very brave to sit down and write this. I bet it was hard to post it to the world that your dad is in jail, and how it affects you. I think this piece was amazing.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
smith said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm:
I am so srry for u and your family. that remined me of my bestfriend mom being in jail. she was so upset and every night she cry and i allways had to be the one to confort her. so i know what u are going through its hard. especially when u didn't see him for 11 years. my friend  mother was in jail for 2years.  i hope that some miracle happen for your father. i am really srry for u truly.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
manda315 said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm:
Awww I feel really srry for u. MY dad left me when I was 5 yrs. old too. I couldn't understand then but now I do. I will never forget that day just you cant forget that day either.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
cheetoz45680 said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 11:24 am:
wow thats sad. I can understand you a little. My dad has never been with me in any occasion like christmas and family vacations either. He didnt even call on my birthday. I havn't seen him for months now. It hurts me to think that it'll be like that the rest of my life. So thats why I kind of understand. But my dad isnt in prison. He just chose girl over family. Im sorry for your dad. I really am.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Dye_Die said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm:
I can totally understand how you feel. My father is also in prison for life. I find it brave that you can go see him. Because i ont he contrary can't face him. Because your dad i innocent, and my father never was. I hope that a miracle happens and your dad gets released, and i really like your story, it makes me feel so many things, and it makes me realize so many things that may dad might be feeling. Keep up your good writing!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Aderes18 said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm:
This reminds me of this article that i heard on NPR about a innocent guy put in jail. The story was so weird. Anyway, I hope justice for your dad. That must be hard. I hope, anonymous, that justice comes to your dad. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
scamp24 said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm:
That must be terrible for a little girl to see her dad go to jail at such a young age! I am soo sorry for your loss. I could never imagine my dad not being here. Iwill pray for you and your dad's freedom. Good luck. Keep hope alive!  
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
dakotalynn said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 9:46 am:
i cant imagine what your going thorugh, im so sorry to hear about your dad and your situation. i hope things get better really soon, no one should have to go through what your going through. im really sorry :(
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
yoyoyoyoyiy said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm:
he totally did it
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback