Dorothy, 45

Meet Dorothy…

Sometimes I feel like people don’t care what an inmate has to say, so this is a good organization to let us be heard by the free world. Because there are people out there who care about us. I walked into prison at 18 years old. I was told by the courts that I wouldn’t make it out of here. Man, I try so hard to do the right thing. The parole board asks a lot out of a person, always looking at the bad things you’ve done, but they don’t look at the things you go through mentally. I’ve been down 19 years and I lost all the important people in my world, including the love of my life, my mother. All together I have lost over 21 people, I fight hard to stay sane in here. I keep losing all the women in my life that mean everything to me. I have lost my mother while in prison. I feel me being in prison makes me really appreciate women and my family more than ever. Nowadays, my life consists of building a foundation and fighting for my freedom. I always remember: your present situation is not your final destination, the best is yet to come!! Through the years I have leaned on my best friend Tia, Here’s a picture of us spending some time together before the “hard times”.

All my choices for the baby and myself were gone as soon as the cuffs clicked around my wrist.

My baby’s birth date, circumstances, and what was to follow was all up to the sheriff’s department. My daughter’s family would not be allowed to greet her. As she entered this world, there would be minimal staff and two deputies in my hospital room. My pleas to be allowed my mom in the delivery room were all denied. “Please” I begged “I don’t want to be alone”. I wanted someone who loved me and knew me to greet my daughter. If anything went wrong or if it went perfectly, I would have no one to share it with me. “You’re an inmate” or “policy” were the reasons for the denials. The day arrived for my C-section and I was still begging to no avail. I was to be in surgery all alone. I was shackled and driven to the hospital. I signed a paper to allow my baby’s guardian to take my daughter to my home where the nursery we had decorated and prepared awaited her. My mind created images of her in her crib with the sock monkey doll I bought her. She would sleep in the nursery with curtains made out of her daddy’s military uniforms. The walls were the perfect shade of butterscotch and the floor was a painted wooden floor that a loved one had painted for me. My little girl would sleep in clothes that people closest to us had given as gifts. I did not want her to go into the foster system or to stay with strangers. The baby’s guardian had been staying in my home and I had no one else to turn to. All those beautiful thoughts were just an illusion of things that would never happen.