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Hopes and Dreams from Prison

 

In January, I asked each of the horticulture students at Burruss Correctional Training Center to write down their hopes and dreams.

 

One of the students finally turned in his list last week.

 

His paper contained the usual items: release, early parole, re-sentencing to adjust for time served. As I approached the bottom of his list, I nearly came to tears.

 

“I dream that I will get to go swimming this year.”

 

The student that wrote this is 18, but if you looked at him you’d probably guess he isn’t a day past fifteen. I coach middle school baseball and he looks like he belongs on our eighth-grade team. He’s been incarcerated since Valentine’s Day 2023 and his max release date is sometime in 2040. That means he might not walk out the doors of Burruss for another 16 years. He’ll be 34 then.

 

Barring a miracle, he's not going to go swimming this year. Last I checked, there aren’t any swimming pools in any of Georgia’s 33 prisons.

 

His last goal was just as lofty: “I dream that I will get to climb a mountain this year.” 

 

Again, I haven’t seen any mountains within the razor wire.

 

He added, “I dream that I will get the chance to climb a mountain this year, whether metaphorically or physically, because I feel like that would make me a better person.”

 

The men and women in prison are like you and me. They’ve made horrible mistakes, done horrible things, but as I hope you see, they have hopes and dreams just like we do. They want to feel free. They want to challenge themselves. They want to go swimming. They need our help. And HeartBound needs your help. We have ambitious goals for 2024. We’d like to expand our counseling services to more incarcerated men and women serving time in the Metro Atlanta area.

 

To do that, we need two things: 1) funds to pay for counselors/therapists, and 2) counselors/therapists that specialize in grief, trauma, family, and addiction treatment and are willing to work with the incarcerated.

 

If you know of anyone that might be interested, please introduce us.

 

As always, thanks for your support and for supporting our dreams and the dreams of those in prison.

 

Spencer

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