children bearing children

Credit: harrisonstainlesssteelrat

One of the pathways to crime and eventual incarceration for women includes growing up in a family that has been impoverished for generations.

It’s not surprising that as the woman’s teen years approach, she experiences a deep desire to leave this environment, particularly if it has been chaotic or dysfunctional.

Then as so many ‘inside’ women write about, along comes “baby” a short time later, providing a great blessing to her, but also a supreme financial burden for a young mother with an incomplete education, undeveloped job skills, and a fractured family system.

Here’s a piece scribed by CS this week that details this pattern:

In nine months my adult self would be born…

When born, you cannot determine
how you will be raised.
For me, it was within a carnival scene,
so alive and adventurous,
it would leave you amazed.

I had to grow up fast till the age of 16.
I left my home a long time ago,
tears running down my face as I ran out the door,
and all I wanted was for you to follow me,
‘cause without you felt so empty.

Brought up by a man of alcoholism and abuse,
he brought me down so far,
I thought, “what’s the use?”
So I thought if I could change, I would.
I searched in all the wrong places,
at parties and bars, and all the wrong faces.  Continue reading

handwriting..a window into soul

Cursive by J.T. Ratcliff

What does handwriting reveal about the unique twists and turns of one’s own personality or emerging sense of self?

This week the ‘inside’ writers at Chittenden Correctional Facility utilized Katrina Vandenberg’s poem Handwriting Analysis to ponder this, as well as to reflect upon “writing ourselves into the future,” one of the lines from the poem.

I’ve included the creative insights of three writers here:

My writing is curvy and slanted, almost unreadable to everyone else’s eyes.  But to my eyes, I can read it just fine.  My kids say it’s worse.  My boyfriend just guesses, and my mom, not so proud of my penmanship.  But I’ve had it my whole life.  It’s the one thing that I know won’t change in my life, and I wouldn’t want it to.  It’s what defines me.  It’s mine.  -MG

Handwriting: a window into a part of a person that they don’t always reveal.  Who they are, what they think, why they think.  The swoop of an “L” or “W.”  The feeling attached to a letter, the emotion in the words.  The “y” in “why” that tells you why.  The smiley face “i” that says “I am happy” or the scribble of “I was busy today.”  The large letters of fast or young.  The eloquence of days gone by when writing was the measure of a person.  Handwriting – communication when the voice doesn’t tell all.  -LS Continue reading