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In the past 3 years and 9 months I have literally saved lives. Now maybe you aren’t caught up in the system, but I promise you if it happens to you or your family you will wish you had a Kate!

3 years and 9 months today. 7 days today.

On October 24, 2012 Daniel was whisked off to serve his 15-year mandatory minimum sentence. He used heroin the night before he went in. I’ve told that story often.

You know what scares me the most about my son’s incarceration? The fact that Daniel’s sentence for his crime was not meant to help him, only to destroy him. What you think you know about prison life, double that and add one. It is much worse than you can imagine.

The day Daniel was convicted of armed robbery was one of the worst days of our lives. But even at that moment, I had no idea what I was really in for. I was scared of course, but that fear turned into a beast that lives deep within me every day. All 1,306 of them. But who’s counting….

The new language that I speak is only understood by those who live, work or visit behind the razor wire. The free world doesn’t use such words, thank God!

Camp = prison

Chow = food

Count = 1,2,3,4 how many men are in the dorm

Yard call = fresh air

Shakedown = tear up your things

Shipped = moved in the middle of the night

Shackled = not able to scratch your nose

Do-whop = 2nd time through the chow line

Not fit for human consumption = words labeled on the sack of corn in the kitchen

CERT Team = SWAT Team

Today I thought about choices and the consequences of those choices. The word consequences make people think about the negative impact that one might have when making a poor choice, but in fact the consequences of a good choice are equally profound.

And I am living proof of both outcomes.

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