Disappearing Contacts – The Inmate Epidemic      by     Ruth Utnage

Not much is more exciting for an inmate to see a new name appear in their contacts on Jpay. We cannot solicit for community contacts so the few contacts we get are precious. It’s even more exciting when that new name sends you a message.

What usually happens, however, is I get a few messages and then they simply stop writing. Sometimes it’s because the system is so slow to approve messages that it frustrates the person, unaccustomed to such frequent scrutiny. Other times its because they grow bored with us or fail to remember that some of us are so socially distant that it takes us a while to adapt to language norms or topic norms or taboo’s. Sometimes its because our criminal charges or who knows.

The truth is we have no idea why someone disappears from our contact list or stops writing. We can only speculate, imagine.

It happens, it happens so much I’m used to it. In fact, I have a very good estimate of how many emails a person sends before they’re gone forever, 5. It’s usually about 5.

5 WONDERFUL pieces of connection that make me feel human again. I used to take things personally, but like I said, this happens a lot. No harm done, I am well versed in tacit goodbyes.

This is what I know for sure, everyone who stopped writing are great people. Huge hearts that helped me through some seriously dark times, ANGELS really. I appreciate every email, every picture, every hello.

It’s kinda like passing people on the way to work or a walk, they’ve gone my way a few times, we said hello and spoke about our dramas or successes to one another then moved on with life. That’s okay. We are all gonna be alright.

People come, people go. I still got love for everyone of them.

Be kind, love recklessly and never lose your HumanMe.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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To contact me you must be a humanist…

“A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, then by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” (“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire )