• HumanKind: A Voice for the Inside


Greetings again from inmate #82698, Allison West. Its Friday night and like every night, I am missing my kids and family so bad. I am trying to figure out how I could have screwed things up so bad that I am in PRISON!! It is a soul crushing constant battle in my mind and I try to remind myself that I am a good person. I am a good person. I am a good person. If I don't block out how much I miss my 3 daughters and how hard it must be for them, I won't make it. I cant get out of my head. There is no program that keeps mothers and children in contact and so there is a healing process we all need for the damage that has taken place. Being in prison, passed by board, ( for no reason besides we need more prison time) the constant trauma and stress, the never ending yelling over the PA system, sitting on our butts eating spreads with no nutritious options, this place is the most counter therapeutic thing you can do! The judges and probation tell us we are going to go to prison and have classes and help if we want it. That is false. There is nothing here, oh wait, they do offer a Microsoft 13 program for the women. Ummmmm....really???!!! I am a mom and I find myself holding some of these little girls while they sob because they miss their parents or siblings and they messed around with drugs or alcohol, made bad choices and are now doing years of time. We work hard in here for .30 cents an hour which if we really budget, we can buy a bag of coffee and make a phone call to our kids. Doing time is so hard when you know you are ready to go but you can't leave. The majority of us are in here for a relapse, not new crimes but we can't get out of Idaho's system. The feeling I have in the pit of my stomach is helplessness. I want prison reform. I am proud to be a member of HUMAN KIND, I want to raise awareness to the public that just because they see or hear the word, "drunk", "junkie" or "felon" it doesn't mean we aren't human. We are women struggling with addiction and we need more options besides prison. ALLISON WEST

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