Journey of Faith

The moment of freedom

The time had finally come to walk out the front door. I had to figure out how to move my boxes outside the door by myself. No one was allowed to come in to help me. Odd, since they could see that I was struggling with a cane. Heh, that’s the DOC for you. I managed to drag my footlocker out and came back in for my tv. I saw my husband and my younger son walking towards me from the car. I didn’t know how to act. The first person to approach was my son. He is now 19. It didn’t matter how young or old any of us were because we just grabbed each other and hugged like a hug neither of us ever had before. It was a hug and a sigh of relief at the same time that it was finally over. I was coming home and never had to face court again. I checked in via phone call with my parole officer immediately. They assigned me to check in at the York office and I had already seen this prior to leaving the facility. We arranged for me to go to Harrisburg instead for my initial visit. That worked fine for me! We stopped on the way home at IHOP for breakfast. It seems like everyone wants breakfast when the first leave. I was half afraid to eat because I knew that after leaving jail or prison any REAL food normally causes stomach issues. The food in jail/prison is ok. There were actually some things that were some of our favorites if you can believe that. Most of the meat was very processed and soy based. So, when you ate actual real meat or real food it causes some digestive issues for the first few days. The ride from Cambridge Springs to my new temporary home was about 6 hours. Since we planned on stopping off in Harrisburg for me to check in, my older son picked a really nice place by the water for all of us to eat dinner. I didn’t know what to expect for my first check in at parole. It honestly, didn’t take long at all. I walked in and explained to them who I was. I had to explain why I was checking in there so that they could confirm everything with whoever they needed to confirm it with. I went back and they took some photos, had me pee in a cup, and gave me some paperwork on rules, etc. The officer that checked me in asked me what happened, and I told him my story. When we were finished, the supervisor came in and they both looked me dead serious and said they were both sorry that I this happened to me. They said that unfortunately my case couldn’t have had the worse timing. I got caught up in a political agenda. During this time a lot of crack downs were occurring because it was an election year. Everyone that was somebody or wanted to be somebody was running for an office. Therefore, it was important that they look good in the eyes of the voters who would be considering casting their vote for them. This included the DA involved in my case that was running for judge. He ended up losing the election, as his reputation proceeds him. You can’t treat people like crap then expect them or their family/friends to vote for you later. It doesn’t work that way. Not everyone is a zealot for throwing anyone and everyone you encounter in jail. They both had explained to me that unfortunate for me, I got caught up in this crap storm. I also, should have never received the sentence that I did. It’s nice hearing all of this, however it doesn’t give me the time back that I had to serve. It doesn’t erase anything that happened that caused it, or how it affected everyone involved. I get frustrated sometimes when people tell me how sorry they are, or that they didn’t agree with what happened. I want to scream, “where were you when it was happening and why didn’t you speak up. Why didn’t my 12 peers feel the same way?” I don’t get mad when people say it, it just reminds me of how bad things got screwed up during my defense. One of the partners of the firm that represented me initially sees my sister often. She said he asked about me a lot and how I was doing. I’m doing as well as someone could be that was sentenced to 3.5-8 years in prison. Especially after initially being sentenced 2.5-5 years and then had time added on out of vengeance by the DA’s office for exercising my right to an appeal. I was guaranteed to win my appeal because so much was wrong in my case. Yep, that didn’t happen either. I was later told that certain evidence wasn’t properly preserved and therefore I would have to file motions to have them preserved and then refile for another appeal. Yes, Ms. Attorney that sounds like a great plan! Except that I’m fresh out of cash and I’m not listening to any of you anymore. All it got me was more time. Yes, my original attorney tried to warn me. He actually received it in writing and verbal that if I filed for an appeal and lost, that the DA’s office would request me to be resentenced. His wish came true somewhat. The judge didn’t listen to him totally and split the difference. I just think it’s wrong that they can do such a thing and it proves again how the system is NOT set up for the defendant. You are and always will be “guilty before proven innocent” and not the other way around. After, hearing how much I got the screws to me, I left the parole office and called my PO one more time. He would come to physically see me with in that week for our first visit. It felt odd sitting in a restaurant, by the water, enjoying what everyone else takes for granted. It was such a nice day. No expense was spared to the meal and the laughter. I looked terrible, my hair needed cut, styled and dyed. I had on clothing that was hanging on me after losing over 100lbs. No one who was with me though cared. The important thing was, I was home, and I was free!!