by Amber Jackson
Greetings to all of my fellow Bay View readers and supporters. Some of you may remember me, while others of you are now meeting me for the first time. I’m pleased to reconnect with you all out there and give you an update on how I’m doing and feeling as I face each day behind these walls wondering how many more will be enough to satisfy the Board of Prison Terms that I am no longer a threat to society. That I can be a law abiding and productive member of society. And most of all, that I understand how I was led to commit my crime. So, knowing that, I can avoid repeating it.
I’m working hard in here every day using my time to better myself through self-help and restorative justice. I’m going to college. I’m going to have my AA and business certificate when I face the Board for the first time, God willing.
I’m serving a life sentence for aggravated mayhem (Penal Code 205). This charge involved my seriously injuring and disfiguring my victim. No loss of life occurred. I made a terrible split-second decision at 20 years old. I’m 35 now. I can honestly tell you, I am a totally different and new woman. I am not my crime!
Being in prison has been an experience that definitely made me look inside myself and change for the better. I blame no one else for my mistakes. I’m only grateful that I’ve been given new eyes to look to see and understand myself and my life.
Now I’m almost ready to re-enter society and return knowing my place in the world. And that place will be to walk with at-risk female youth from foster care and juvenile justice systems. I was one of them. And I know what they need because I never found it.
Just one adult taking time to care about me would have changed my future. Instead I was released to the care of the heartless streets. Nobody I could trust. No safe place to retreat to. Sexually victimized more than once!
Violence was all I knew! One of my self-help classes called Beyond Violence has helped me to fully understand my exposure to toxic environments and their role in my beliefs and habits about crime and violence.
Celebrating my favorite holiday, Easter, this year, I was filled with appreciation to God for using all of my experiences to shape me to do His work when I am released.
I want to invite anyone reading this to write me or email me here at the prison. I have no family and I need to establish real friendships in the community so that I have some roots out there. I’ve faced all this alone and on my own. I don’t want to go on alone anymore.
I am hoping someone out there will help sponsor me. I need funds for my art supplies, which are not cheap, as well as my other needs. I discovered my talent for painting while in prison. Now it is my new passion! I paint in watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil. I am looking to find a way to sell my artwork. Please, if it speaks to your heart, help me to help myself!
Donations are needed in any amount. You could send a money order for $5, $10, $20 etc. It all helps and will be appreciated! You can send me books of stamps too. Anything you take time to send, big or small, will help. Because I have no family, I am reaching out in hopes of finding genuine people. I have no expectations.
I would also like to have a decent man in my life. I’ve never been in love! And I wonder if I’ll ever be lucky enough to experience that feeling. Please pray for God to place the right man in my path. Someone who brings out the best in me and fills me with passion and romance. Someone who will show me what love is all about!
All of your letters I will respond to. If you send stamps, that will help. If not, I will respond to ALL letters. It just may take me longer. I need and welcome all of your prayers and well wishes more than anything!
My art work is my passion and brings me so much joy! Something powerful yet innocent I can do to maintain my sanity.
As I bring this to a close, I am filled with excitement as I know God is going to direct many great people to write and become my family. You can send your phone number. You must call Global Tel Link to set up a pre-paid calling account at 1-800-483-8314 so that we can talk (no collect calls). Enjoy my poem.
A Never-Ending Sentence
by Amber Jackson
God if you can hear me
This is my last prayer
I’m searching for an answer
I wondered if you cared
I need a lot of help
As I think you know
I’m trying to get my life back
I need to free my soul
God I need your help
So I can make it happen
It’s more than just prison
It’s emotional entrapment
The harder I hold on
The more I slip away
Every morning I wake up
And hope it’s my last day
I know that I’ve been bad
How can I deny that?
When I think of what I did
Where was my mind at?
I pray that you can hear me
As I look up at the moon
And hope that you’ll forgive me
And that I’ll get out soon
God, this is MY LAST PRAYER
Please come through in time!
Give me one last chance
And let freedom be mine
Send our sister some love and light: Amber S. Jackson, X15530, CIW HB-722L, 16750 Chino-Corona Road, Corona, CA 92880. Books of stamps, money orders, letters can be sent by mail to that address, and electronic funds and email can be sent via JPay.com online or by calling 1-800-574-5729.