It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. -Nelson Mandela
In one of Frank Baum's Oz books, Dorothy winds up in prison in Oz and is treated to luxury, kindness and warm cookies. When she asks why, the guard says, "Why would we treat people meanly when we want them to be kind?" The prison system in the U.S. often runs counter to this notion of kindness and rehabilitation.
I have been corresponding with women being held in the Ohio Reformatory for Women since July 2009. I traveled to Maryville, Ohio, to interview some of the women there who had participated in a special quilt exhibit, Beyond the Barrier, at Sacred Threads. I have watched as these women have grown and made life changes. Many of the women, including Michelle, made bad choices especially with the men they married which is why they are incarcerated. Michelle is going through an especially tough time right now. I am hoping that you will take a moment and send her a store bought card or even one of your holiday cards. Don't include anything handmade. If you want to include something, include a postage paid envelope and no, you can't send an envelope with a stamp on it. If you do, it will get thrown away and possibly get her in trouble. I think knowing that people care makes a huge difference. Don't expect that you will hear back from her unless you send an envelope. She is paid less than a dollar an hour, must pay for her own medications (she has several health issues) and things like socks, winter coats, etc. Thanks.
Michelle Owens 57937
Ohio Reformatory for Women Rgl 209T
1479 Collins Ave
Marysville, OH 43040-8808