We are everywhere--
For those who forget that the incarcerated humans in this country are indeed just that - HUMAN - I would like you to think on this the next time you talk about "inmates, criminals, convicts, etc...".
These humans have families and those who love them despite whatever they did. Look around you and wonder, because this is who we are....
We take care of your children and grandchildren in nursery schools, we give them shots in the doctor's office.
We are dental assistants, we are school teachers and Sunday school teachers, we stand behind you in the grocery store, we prepare your medicine in the drug store.
We work in banks, we approve your loans, we service your insurance claims, we work for newspapers, TV stations and radio stations, we read your electric meters and water meters.
We are your landlords, your neighbors, we take care of your elderly parents in nursing homes, we are nurses, lab technicians, X-ray technicians, we own beauty shops, flower shops, printing shops, we are welders, plumbers, tree trimmers.
We work for the IRS, the State Dept., in the courthouse, schools, churches, drug stores and toy stores, we are legal secretaries, lawyers, school board members.
We are bus drivers, we prepare meals for your kids in school, we are city council members, bank tellers, we process your checking account, your saving account, we work at your Social Security office, your insurance company, we take care of your IRA, stocks, bonds.
We sell your kids bikes, school supplies, clothes, shoes, eyeglasses, we repair your cars, we are real estate agents, car dealers, college professors, psychologists, administrative assistants, safety engineers and ranchers.
We work at Ralphs, Albertsons, Trader Joe's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Macy's, Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue.
We sell Avon and Tupperware. We are not all "on welfare", no matter what the government would like you to think.
There are two million people in prison in America and twice that many on parole and probation.
Add in mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends and about sixteen million people are personally affected by the prison system in the United States.
We are tired of letting ourselves feel humiliated or embarrassed because our loved one is in prison. WE did nothing wrong, and they are paying for their crime!
We are tired of fearing the loss of our jobs or evictions from our housing should anyone find out we have a loved one in prison.
We are tired of being made to feel inferior or unwelcome in churches, clubs, organizations or society in general simply because we refuse to abandon our loved ones.
We are ready to unite, to come out of hiding and openly support each other and our loved ones. It's a new day, America and we're here to prove it!
We are ready to speak out against the "they deserve what they get" attitude we hear you talk about in stores, theaters and restaurants.
We number in the millions, we are everywhere, every state, county, city and town. We may even live next door to you. Sixteen million & counting. We are everywhere.