My shoes clicked and clanked as I walked across the cement floors. Even with the building heated there was still a damp chill everywhere. The walls were painted gray; the floors were painted the same blah shade of gray. Color had gone on vacation leaving behind all the drab morbid colors left out of the rainbow. It was clearly a place no one wanted to stay, or even come for visits for a long period of time.
After giving my driver’s license to the lady at the desk and receiving a small piece of paper with a number stamped on it I proceeded to sit in one of the gray chairs lined against the gray wall.
I watched as people came in and did the same thing I had done. They gave the name of the person they wished to see, got their number and sat down in a vacant chair. It wasn’t long until my number was called and I was told to put my keys in the plastic box and walk through a metal detector. If it made a beeping sound, I had to take off anything I had on that was metal. No handbags or cell phones were allowed. The officer dressed in beige pointed to the steel gray door through which I had to go to visit my friend. I heard him click a button and the door unlocked.
I held onto the metal rail as I stepped down the 15 wide concrete steps leading downward into a dungeon like area. The steps had not been cleaned for months. I noticed from my first visit the large drops of blood. It had been 8 months later and the drops were still there. This told me that no one had cleaned the steps in months. I wondered if all the places had not been cleaned. My gut instinct told me nothing I had seen had a spit-polished look. I opened a heavy steel door and walked through into another gray room. It was very small and only four chairs were placed facing four glass windows for one to look into. A beige phone was attached to the wall. It was standard procedure to speak through the phone to the person on the other side of the glass window. This way there could be no contact what so ever. There was no chance of giving an apple to your friend, or anything else for that matter. Even the windows were smeared. This told me they had not been cleaned either. Picking up the phone I told my friend I was glad to see her. She looked pale and her eyes had an empty look about them. She finally smiled a short smile and told me she was so glad I had come to see her. It appeared she did not get but a few visitors in a month and they were two family members. Her parents had divorced years before and her father came on Sundays to visit after some months had passed. The grandmother was the one who visited weekly and the one who put money into her commissary account.
It was strange because when she began talking almost everything she talked about was food. She talked about not having anything to eat but starches. There was no fruit, veggies or foods filled with vitamins. She asked me if I had ever gone to bed at night hungry. Before I could respond she said the thing about going to bed hungry was that there was no place to go to even get a cracker. The hunger pains gripped her small frame all night long. I could tell that she was in constant hunger mode from our conversation. I thought to myself how blessed I had been for I had never suffered from hunger because the refrigerator was just a short distance from my bedroom. It was a nightly habit for me to raid it.
When fifteen minutes had passed she was told by a guard dressed in tan that her time was up. She smiled and hung up the phone. I just sat there for a moment trying to process all of this. I had never been into a jail in my life before and I really didn’t want to come back. It was like monsters of doom where attached to the walls and spirits from hell lurked around every corner. It was no wonder my friend was unhappy. She was locked away in a hell hole and there was no way out. She could not even get a hug or a kiss.
I turned to leave the small room and noticed a container of Clorox wipes or some off the wall generic disinfecting wipes attached to the wall. I pulled a couple out and wiped my hands with them. I carried them with me all the way back to my car. I felt like I needed a bath after this ordeal. Had I not known better I would have thought my friend was in jail for murder or some heinous crime? As it turned out she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knew her and her family well. There was no way this girl would have ever been guilty of anything but trying to befriend another person. I had known her all of her life. She was far too timid to harm anyone. She was the one who rescued dogs and cats. She was the one who went without food to buy a Christmas present. She had been raised much of the time by her grandparents and for that I was so thankful. No! There would be no judge anywhere that could ever convince me she was guilty of robbery. She had no money so she was given a court appointed attorney and we all know how much time is spent on a case by a court appointed attorney.
I felt a lump rise in my throat as I walked along that long walkway to my car. I wanted to cry but then the guards would see so I just wiped my eyes quickly and drove from the detention center. It was located just past the animal control facility where little dogs and cats are killed on a daily basis. Of course all of this was far away from the eyes of the people who traveled up and down that highway day after day.
My thoughts went back to my friend. How my heart hurt for her. I had spent many summers with her and her family. They were all good people even the grandparents were exceptionally good people. How could a good person raised by good people get into such a horrible situation? They were not rich but neither was I. I recalled some of the parties we all went to some years prior. Sure people drank and smoked weed but that was all there was. There were no horrible crimes. I remember reading that my friend had befriended a fellow who got her addicted to drugs. She was a beautiful girl who made a wrong choice. Now look where she was. She was in a dungeon with devils climbing on the walls and making horrible faces in the glass windows. The dank smell clung to my clothes like a sewer and she had to stay there for months until the court system had time to try her case. I wondered if prison could be any worse.
My friend is still in jail and it will be over a year before her case will be heard. I’ve prayed to the God of mercy to redeem her from this hell hole and others who have innocently found themselves in such situations. I used to think prisoners were all guilty. Now I know they are not all guilty. Some good people slip through the system and their lives are daily destroyed.
My words to you would be to be very careful whom you choose to spend your time with. Be very careful of the choices you make each and every day. THINK! The problem is, even if you are with someone who commits a crime, you will be guilty as well in the eyes of the law. Yes my friend there are many good people sitting behind gray walls made of concrete who had no money to pay a good attorney. Had my friend had money to hire a good attorney she would not be where she is today?
I just pray daily her life will not be ruined by the wicked guilty ones she is imprisoned with. Put an innocent child in a society of Satanist and see what happens to the innocent one. Pray for God’s mercy! If you can do nothing more, pray for God’s deliverance.
Written By Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Praying for God’s Hand of Redemption