Children of Alabama's Incarcerated
Seasons Greetings to All,
The Alabama Marijuana Party has teamed up with the DPA to help bring smiles to the faces of Alabama children whose parents are serving time for non-violent drug offenses.
According to the Michael Blain of the Drug Policy Alliance 75% of all Alabama prisoners are serving time for nonviolent drug-related offenses. At 185% overcapacity, Alabama’s largest prisons are holding up to three times their capacity. In 2004, Alabama’s state jails and prisons held more than 29,000 prisoners, forcing the Department of Corrections to send men and women out of state to private prisons in Louisiana and Mississippi, away from their families, communities, and most importantly, their children.
This year, the Drug Policy Alliance, as part of their effort to transform Alabama’s failed drug war policies, is partnering with Prison Fellowship Ministries, The Ordinary People Society, Head Start and Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents (SKIP) to bring gifts and donations to the children of prisoners and provide these kids with the opportunity to send holiday greetings to their loved ones behind bars.
I have also volunteered my time and money to help this most worth cause.
With your generous support, we are committed to creating one day out of the year when these kids are no longer the forgotten ones, but the center of a community who remembers them and cares.
The time these families have lost cannot be recovered, but on December 12th, 2004, these are all our children and this will be their day.
We will host over 1,000 kids of incarcerated parents in the Carmichael Center auditorium in Montgomery, Alabama. With plenty of food, decorations, Christmas trees and gifts (two per child), the auditorium will be filled with the holiday spirit for these children. Additionally, we are working with state legislators to give these kids the greatest gift of all: bringing their incarcerated parents home. These legislators will be on hand at the event, dressed as Santa, to sit with the kids and give them their gifts.
This is a very personal matter to me.
A little over two years ago my family’s personal life was turned upside-down due to Alabama’s drug laws. Department of Human Resources workers, or as I lovingly refer to them, government sanctioned kidnappers, were dispatched to my home to try and find a reason to remove my children. It is one of the most horrific things in the world to experience.
Imagine…..you are leading a normal, quiet life in the country. You are friends with your neighbors, you have no police record, and you work and provide for your family.
Your kids are clean, well dressed, loved, cared for and have a nice stable life in a rare two parent home. They go to school every day and like to watch cartoons on Saturday. You are a regular American family just trying to get by.
All is well.
Or so you think.
Then the police get word that you might smoke a joint once in a while and proceed to violate the sanctity of your home. In the process they call the Department of Human Resources and ask for workers to be sent to the home to try and remove your children. These workers, total strangers whom you have never seen before in your life, show up and proceed to ask all kinds of personal questions in rapid-fire style about your kids and how you parent them. Then they start asking the kids questions.
My son who was 9 at the time my family experienced this was asked;
“Do you play on the computer?”
“Do you have an email account?”
“Do you ever get pornographic stuff in your email?”
“Yes…but who doesn’t?”
My daughter who was 5 at the time was told;
“You have such pretty hair…who brushes your hair?”
“Does it ever hurt?”
“Are you sure?”
“You mean it never hurts when mommy brushes you hair?”
“What about when there is a knot in it?”
“Well, sometimes I guess it hurts a little.”
Luckily, I was able to retain custody of my precious, innocent children that day. Others are not so lucky. Many times this situation ends with the kids being whisked away by total strangers to a foster home.
You are not told where they are.
You cannot see or speak to them unless the government worker says so.
You cannot be there to hug them and tell them everything is ok or that you love them.
And while that is awful enough think for a moment about what the kids go through.
Ripped from the only home they have ever known, for reasons they cannot understand, cut off from any communication with their mom or dad, and placed in the care of complete strangers they must feel unloved, isolated, terrified and alone.
Imagine what that is like.
As a community of cannabis smokers, many of you parents, you face this unfathomable consequence as a result of your association with a plant.
This year I am asking you to please consider making a donation so that as a community we can support the children that this nightmare has become a reality for. These are OUR kids. Let’s show them how much we love them.
Governor Bob Riley is scheduled to attend this event, as are many state legislators and other lawmakers. Let’s show them just how much we care about these kids. Help the Alabama Marijuana Party make this a memorable event, not only for the kids but also for the lawmakers who are watching.
There are a couple of ways that you can donate.
Click here to use Pay Pal
Click here to Donate to the DPA
Or mail your donations/gifts to:
4633 Pearson Chapel Rd
Alexander City AL 35010
I have been asked to purchase gifts for kids in the 14 -16-age group. If you would rather send a gift then please send something in that age range.
Very Truly Yours,
Contributions so far:
Marc Emery $300
Loretta Nall $100