"How did the visit go?" I was anticipating positive information when I asked the question of a good friend and wonderful attorney. Mr. T. had volunteered to visit a juvenile in one of the prisons in Adrian, Michigan, after we shared a story with him. Randy is 16, and he spends 23 hours of each day in a cell, alone. HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS wants to do something about this situation. Step one was to have an attorney verify what's going on.
"I came home very depressed."
Just what I didn't want to hear.
"He's in segregation for his own safety, so that he won't get hurt, either by adult prisoners or by prison guards. For his one hour of recreation each day, he's allowed to go out into the yard, but because he's a juvenile he must be alone. Day after day, he see's no one.
"I asked him if he gets visitors. He looked up. I was his first visitor since he was incarcerated last October!
"I said, 'Doesn't your mom come to see you?'
"I've never seen such a sad face. 'She has transportation issues.'"
I can add a footnote to that, because I spoke with her. Life hasn't been pleasant for her. She has two other sons in prison, and she has some difficulty regulating her medication. Not only has she never visited Randy...she's not even on his visitor list!
Bits and pieces from Matthew 26:
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."
...he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Couldn't you keep watch with me for just one hour?"
Randy is not the only child in prison who seems abandoned by those closest to him at a critical time in his life. Pray for Randy and remember all such youngsters today. Sure they're in prison. Sure they made a mistake. They're still kids who enjoy playing, enjoy Payday candy bars, enjoy root beer, and love visits!
And please stick with us as we do our best to help them, and try to help establish a new path for their future. Randy could be in prison until 2024 on a simple charge of home invasion. I can guarantee that, after years of imprisonment, Randy will no longer be a simple child. He'll be a different person when he gets released!
These kids need HFP, they need special care, and they need you.
May your weekend be special.