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 233 comments. Post your own now!

Madison C. said...
Feb. 13, 2010 at 1:05 am
This story is kind of similar to a movie called the Shawshank Redemption. I am so sorry about the false charges but just remember that life has a way of evening itself out.
legolas_elf said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm
You're really strong to be able to write about this, and I know it must feel terrible that you're being deprived of someone so important to you like you're dad all because of false evidence. Thankfully, I have never experienced something like this, but, I'll keep you in my thoughts.
grace2719 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm
praying for you! :)
crystal_lynn said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 10:39 am
I know how you feel my boyfriends been in jail for 6 months its hard knowing someone you love is locked up I'm only 17 so its hard being away from him but the wit will be worth it i tell myself that every morning and night when i go to bed
Emely J. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm
Remember that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And I think that you are VERY strong. And please remember that everything happens for a reason; the Lord knows what He's doing, so have faith!
XoLaUrEnOx7 said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 5:12 pm
i think tht ur rlly brave 2 write about this. i would never be able to. i rlly hope tht some1 realizes it wasn't him. praying 4 u <3
SmileySunnyD This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 1:39 pm
You really can write from the heart. I'm so sorry that that happened. Amazing story!
Dandelion said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 10:08 am
You ought to show this article to some judicial authority.
Leann13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm
really should!!! This article makes you feel inside that he is innocent! (I honestly believe he is, too, just by how you talk about him)
jake2011 said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 9:33 am
I'm sorry for what happened to your familiy. I hope justice will happen and your dad will be set free. My prayers are with your family.
serwaah said...
Dec. 23, 2009 at 10:46 am
nice story, and am so sorry for what had happen to your fam.
HauntedDancer123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 8:46 pm
Oh yes, I hope so too. This almost made me cry, by the way. I'm so sorry for you.
sunshine14 said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 7:47 pm
we be praying[:
Zoeee93 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm
Stay strong. <3
toxic.monkey said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm
i can't convey how much i understand you
the pain of waiting, waiting, waiting...
remembering suddenly that your dad is somwhere terrible, somewhere you can't help him much.
i haven't seen my dad in three years. he was taken away three days after new year. i never even said goodbye. i didn't see it happen.
let your dad know you love him... it's the least you can do...
Tamsyn R. said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 9:58 am
I hope you get your father back someday soon! If he is innocent- which i hope he is- then surely justice will be found
>!TheyBeShootin!< said...
Nov. 25, 2009 at 9:05 am
I am sorry but I am not religious but my mom always tells me, "Everything happens for a reason." Your dad may not have done anything but good will come from this event. I know how you feel though. I lost my father to a bottle of whiskey and a shotgun. Stay strong.
ilovetinkerbell said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm
You are in my prayers and I hope you have your dad back soon. I
screenname! said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm
Wow...it's hard to say much. It's pretty sad. i don't understand how the judicial system would put someone in life sentence for something they didn't commit. I don't get that. I am so sorry. And you know what, I'll pray for you. There is nothing God cannot do. Trust him.
And remember, "he'll replenish all that the canker warm, the canterpillar has eaten."
Love to you
Book Addict said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm
I will--as i'm sure many others--will pray for your family. I'm so sorry. This is such an example of how wrong the judicial system can be. I wish you and your family strength. Just hold on.
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