2017 UFAM Rally Speakers visited the G. Robert Cotton Facility at the Jackson State Prison on May 17th.
Three National Speakers were fortunate to speak to over 400 prisoners at the G. Robert Cotton Facility at the Jackson State Prison, a part of the Michigan Department of Corrections and over 100 prisoners at the Ingham County Jail.
The reception by staff and inmates for Matt Butler, John Shinholser and Scott Masi, was overwhelming. Brighton Center for Recovery is in it’s 6th year of doing this, including a visit to the Oakland County Children’s Village.
Below are a few poignant, supportive and hopeful kites (letters), that Warden Shawn Brewer, of the G. Robert Correctional Facility, shared with UFAM organizers:
“Thank you for allowing the Unite to Face Addiction presentation. I lost my mate to an overdose; I’m here for purchasing drugs for her. She did not have to die. I hope I can become peer support through an organization like this. Thank you for all that your staff has done to help me – to help myself.”
“I hope my letter finds you well, and those you love. Sir, it’s my deepest desire to reach out and help others whom may have experienced addiction, family members that suffer from addictions, losses from addiction, and recovery. In addition, someone may have experienced the loss of child/children to state/count due to active addiction. Sir I have a testimony to share, hopes, strengths, the arrest of my addictions in prison where substances can be abundant, behaviors that dictate returning to active addiction if not addressed presently. I have a background that inside the walls dictates respect – however for I may be from old behaviors, it’s the new lease on life, and the freedom from active addiction that gives me my spiritual awakenings. This may sound crazy to some; I am right where I’m supposed to be, at this time in life. There is but one thing that can change the very essence of man. That is time. It does not occur instantly, so, for my time I am blessed. If at any time before I am released I may be of assistance to one’s recovery, both inside or out – I would be honored to do all I can via my story. I’ve tried several things in life to maintain my recovery – all what I am supposed to do – give back. Thank you for your willingness for progress and events.”
“Hello and God Bless. I am writing today to thank you for helping to set up the meeting today. It was very helpful to my recovery to know I can and will make it and to know there are people within the MDOC and here at JCF/Cotton who care about the prisoners. And about how we will do once we are returned back into the community. I thank you for this and everything else you do here at JCF/Cotton. NA-AA meetings are big for me and helping in my recovery and to be able to help others with the same issue I have had but also to hear success stories of coming back from the dark and into the light. I am a success story in the making. I believe in myself. Thank you from me, my son and my family. Thank you so much for your help in becoming the person, daddy and hero I know and will be for my son and myself. God Bless.”
“Thank you for bringing in the Unite to Face Addiction Program today.”
“Hello and God Bless. I am writing today to thank you for helping in making the meeting happen today. That is what we need in here. Real people who have been through it as we have. That has come from the dark side and went to the light and has stayed there. I know it will not be all fun and games once I am released and this today helped me. I will be paroling very soon so I needed this. I am a recovering addict and I am and will be a success story because I am really wanting my recovery for me not anyone else. If I cannot do it for me or love myself how can I love or do it for anyone else. I cannot wait to get back home to my son. I will be there to be his daddy, father, and hero once again. All of these resources will help once I am released so I think you again. And so does my family and my son in helping in my recovery and not hindering it. Thank you so much for your help. At least there are people here that care and are willing to help us become a better part of our community. God Bless”