Author Archives: Deb

Sucker for a Tomato!

“Sucker for a tomato!” I can’t tell you how many times I repeated that line over and over from 2003 to 2006. I guess I better explain a little. I spent 12 years at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California, where every morning, rain or shine, most of the girls would line up outside of their housing unit, make a single-file line and walk to the chow hall. The walk there was usually pretty quiet. Most women weren’t very talkative after sleeping on a one-inch plastic mattress, sharing a 16×16 foot cell which included 4 sets of bunk beds, two sinks, a shower, and eight lockers, with seven other women and a whole lot of interesting noises during the night…

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I have often said that spending time in prison is like a soldier going off to war with a few major differences. As a felon there is no pride like going off to war to serve your country. No integrity for the person you are, only shame for the person you have become, followed by the gripping fear knowing you have hurt someone somehow and not knowing how to make that right.

Many people have asked me why then I say it’s like going off to war, and this is my answer…

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