Recently, Peace of Hope, Inc. held a forum called “The Life or Death Matter of Prison Visits.” As the director of this organization, I was trying to really get under the skin of the community and hone in on the detrimental importance of visiting.
Our team sat around for hours before our very own deep thinker, V.P. Lawrence Johnson (a.k.a. Dr. Law), came through with the title. From the minute he said it, I knew that was it.
You see, as a person from the ‘less considered side of the wall,’ the visitor, my weekly prison visits to see my person were a matter of life or death for me. In the four years, six months, two weeks and five days that my loved one was a resident of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, I visited him every week, nearly religiously. I missed only two weeks during that whole time. It became my new normal and his new normal, too.
Part of Peace of Hope’s three-part program is service, and many of you have traveled with us over the years to see your loved ones incarcerated in the various Minnesota state prisons. Surely you can easily relate to me wanting to stay in contact with my loved one, but it was always more than that for me, always.
Up until now, which is a year after his release, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I stayed in constant contact like that until I received the information from this recent Peace of Hope, Inc. gathering. Our dynamic facilitator, V.P. Marquis Rollins (a.k.a. King Marco Rollins), explained in everyday terms that our families are actually corporate networks. Wow.
And while I’ll let him give you the in-depth explanation in his own words, should he decide to grace these pages again with his unique style, I will tell you that thinking of my family as a major corporate network, explains why I simply could not do without the connection during his imprisonment.
You see, his role in the family did not end with him being taken away; it simply spotlighted the reason why his role was so important in the first place. Yes, he was sincerely missed. Agencies, the church, nonprofits, the government, and even replacement people were inadequate to fill the void that he left when he was taken away.
My understanding grew, our trust thickened, and the strength I gained by these factors were also manifesting in him to deal with his new role in the prison institution, while maintaining his stable role back home in our corporation.
The network did not weaken, it did not falter, nor did it break. And now I know why.
Peace of Hope, Inc. and its awesome staff of V.P.’s bring intense experience, masterful education, and a big dose of sense to surviving and overcoming the obstacles of mass imprisonment. We welcome you to join us.
Sharon Brooks is the director of Peace of Hope, Inc. For more information, call 612-220-4678.