Twenty years later, I'm still in contact with my father. I get at least a couple of envelopes in the mail each week with a bright red stamp warning me that the enclosed letter is from an inmate currently incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. A few times a week, I also get a phone call that begins with a recording stating that the call is from an inmate currently incarcerated, please press 1 to accept, otherwise hang up.
Denied parole a number of times, my father is coming close to the end of his sentence, scheduled to be released in 2023. When he is released, I know that the outside world will be a shock to him. He no longer has his wife, his job, his home. He has no idea what a smart phone is, or high speed internet, or any of the technology that has developed in the last 20 years. Compact disks were just starting to become popular and most cars still had cassette decks when he went in.
The Restoration Series: Jonathan's Walk
Because of my own personal experiences with my father, I really am honored to be able to share with you a new series entitled The Restoration Series: Jonathan's Walk. This series follows the story of Jonathan, an inmate in the Texas prison system who made a horrible decision at the age of 18 that resulted in being sentenced to 25 years behind bars. After serving 15 years, Jonathan was granted parole. However, for those 15 years he was behind the walls, life continued for his family - both the one he had before he was incarcerated and the one he made while in.
About the Series:
For years, Jonathan has been in prison. As a result, he has missed milestone moments with his family. He wasn’t there for his daughter’s first day of school or a thousand little experiences with his wife and as a father, he is devastated to be separated from those he loves most.
Jonathan has been looking forward to his release from prison for over a decade. So many life events have been missed and he is now ready to be with his wife and kids again. Of course, this transition isn't going to be easy. The odds are against him: with over half of prisoners returning to prison within two years, Jonathan is aware of the challenge set before him.
Still, he is determined to take the skills he has learned into the world outside of incarceration and stay there, helping build the community that he is part of for years to come.
Prison Fellowship presents The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk, a 5-part documentary film series following one man as he re-enters his community after 15 years in prison. It demonstrates in imagery, powerful storytelling and social interaction what it means to be human and the shared need of all people to see communities restored.
Though America is home to only 4% of the world's population, we house more than 20% of its prisoners. Recidivism–the tendency of a criminal to reoffend—is out of control. The Restoration Series tells the story of men and women who have experienced The Academy, a revolutionary in-prison program that is combatting incarceration and recidivism head on.
I hope that you will take the time to watch the series. You can view each of the 5 episodes for free at the following link:
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.