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Monday, October 06, 2008

Prison Letters 2: Dorothy's Dilemma

Well, I tore the living room apart this afternoon looking for something I didn't find, at least not yet. I did find Dorothy's letter, so here it is for you all to see. I am doing my best to make it understandable without altering how she wrote it too much. The letter was postmarked September 30.

Dear Maritza, my god sister,

I have been locked up since 8-15-08. I just got a stamp-envelope from the case worker to write. This time I am hurting bad. Up in here I need some help. I won't be home until Feb. 23. They want me to do 120 days on Unit 17, the drug unit, and I can come home. But I will still be on probation for two years. Or do one year at Dwight [Correctional Center] which is 61 days and one year parole. I don't know which one to do. I go back to court on this [later in October] to find out which one I'm going to take. It's up to me. I will write you after and tell you what I decided to take.

Put my ID number, Quick-Collect. I need you to send me $40.00 so I can get myself. Really I have nothing. And ask [Ms. Ribs] to send me $20.00. I will work it off. She knows I will. You both have plenty of snow for me to shovel. Oh yeah, I need both of you to Quick-Collect it to me. [Quick-Collect is a money-wiring service; I had to look this up on the IDOC web site to figure out what the heck she was talking about.]

Tell every body else I said hi and I miss them. Tell [Yup-yup] I said to be good. I am taking care of my self and I am not going back. I'm going to be O.K. I am getting my medicine and my treatment for my drug habit and my mental health. Thanks a lot. I will write soon. Send me a letter, too, O.K.

Oh yeah. Hi, how are you doing? Please put your phone number on the letter you send me because they need to call you and let you know what to do if I leave. My doctors need to talk to you. [She explains which division she is in now and her visiting days.] This is my ID number. Make sure you write it down - put it on my Quick Collect. Please don't let me down now. Thank you Maritza.

Right now I'm pretty broke and Ms. Ribs is out on the east coast working for Obama, so that Quick Collect thing ain't happening any time soon. Basically, I'm happy Dorothy is someplace where somebody is at least halfway trying to get her medications and drug treatment, even if it is Cook County Jail, with their horrific track record.

The truth is, I'm not in any big hurry to respond to this in any way. I'm probably saving some serious money not having her at my door asking for diapers, and right now that matters. Besides, "oh yeah, how are you doing?" That pretty much says it all right there.

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