Posted by: addictionstinks | May 18, 2010

Why I’m Freaking So Bad

After years of dealing with J’s addiction, incarcerations, relapses, and everything else that goes along with it, why am I freaking out so badly right now?

I’m in Illinois. That means J is at Stateville Prison right now in holding. He’ll be there for a couple of weeks. Perhaps you’ve all heard the stories of Stateville? The killings in there? The inmates rule the roost? It is “Hell on Earth”?

I believe its much better now, but back in the 90’s the inmates ruled Stateville. There was absolutely NOTHING the wardens could do to get that place under control at the time. Since then they’ve really cracked down, and I’m hoping its much better now. But Stateville has a reputation – and its a REALLY BAD reputation. At this point, there are guards armed with huge shotguns that constantly pace every cell block, just trying to keep things under control.

60% of the inmates are there on murder charges. Another 20% are there on rape charges. In other words, MY SON is 80% surrounded by extremely violent criminals right now.

I told my husband yesterday where J was, and his response was, “OH MY GOD, THEY SENT HIM TO STATEVILLE??” Yep.

Now, in the past I’ve been confident that while he is incarcerated, he is safe. But NOT in Stateville. Do a little research on this prison, and you’ll see what I mean. Its most certainly not the cute little county jail that he’s in anymore.

Please pray that my kid, all 5 foot 10 of him, survives these big mean badasses that he’s locked up with right now. Seriously, this is NOT good!!


Trying Not To Freak Too Much But Failing



  1. I truly hope that he will be okay. But there isn’t anything that you can do about it today. I have found that worry over things out of my control was pointless and left me in a bad state of mind. I had to open my hands and let go of those things I am powerless over.

  2. firstly, I love you.
    and as hard as it is to imagine your baby in a

    P R I S O N

    that is where he is.

    he is a criminal under the laws of the United States of America and the State in which you reside.

    that is a consequence.

    they aren’t supposed to be fun, or pretty, or safe.

    consequences hurt, and when our children are constantly saved from the consequences of their actions, they become socially retarded and cannot deal with life.

    it may not be fair that drug abusers are put in the same prisons that child molesters, rapists, murderers and thieves are, however, since they are also criminals under our laws, they go where and when the state says.

    and the worst thing is, every single one of our children KNEW this risk and used anyway.

    i’m very sorry that you are going through this but I have to honestly say that I am not sorry that your son is going through this.

    It may just save his life.

    • I’m not sorry that he’s going through this either, and I agree, he deserves every minute he spends in that place. But it doesn’t make me any less scared for him. They are two completely different issues. He is right now housed with Chicago’s worst of the worst, and that’s very scary for me! I don’t think he will be put into general population there – we’re still waiting to see where he will end up. But, the guys that are there in reception with him are CONVICTED murderers, rapists, molesters, monsters! Its scary to think of your kid in with these types of people. But they are there, in reception, just like J, waiting to see where they will be sentenced to. Some will go into population in Stateville, others will move on to different prisons.

      And Dawn – I respectfully disagree with this statement – “they aren’t supposed to be fun, or pretty, or safe.” No, they aren’t supposed to be fun or pretty, but safe? How can you even insinuate that any human being – criminal or not – one of God’s creatures, should be put purposely into an unsafe situation? Of course prisons are “supposed” to be safe. Otherwise mass chaos would ensue, just like what happened at Stateville in the ’90s. You’ll NEVER convince me that MY son doesn’t deserve to be safe! Punished, yes. Uncomfortable, yes. Lonely, scared, yes. He deserves all of that. But he also deserves to be safe.

      • You are right. I should not have used the word safe. It was wrong. He does, in fact, deserve to be safe.

        I think what I meant to convey was the reality of prison life. It is not pretty, and usually not a safe environment.

        The part I and you and a host of others do NOT get is why our children don’t realize that when they break the law, they are putting themselves up for one hell of a lot of risk, and one hell of a lot of consequences. I simply don’t get it and never will.

        I too experimented with drugs as a young adult. A lot of drug use was common when I was a teen and almost acceptable by the authorities. They didn’t bother us much.

        Then, the laws started getting stricter, and ENFORCED. I, along with hundreds of thousands of others, QUIT using any and all illegal drugs. We just stopped. We didn’t WANT to go to prison. We didn’t WANT to lose our children.

        I don’t get it at all.

        And I am very sorry for the ‘safe’ word and comment. I hope your son is okay through processing.


      • Dawn – apology accepted. ((((HUGS))))

  3. I understand and I feel for you…it just sucks!! Surely, J won’t be put into general pop? Isn’t he just getting processed at this prison and then sent somewhere else to serve his time? I am praying that this is just a weigh station on his way to a lower security facility for non violent offenders.

    I realize that these are consequences for the actions of our addict children which they bring on totally by themselves. But, this fact doesn’t make it any easier for me, as a parent, when it happens. These are our children and it’s agonizing for many of us, to watch our own child suffer in any way, even if it is the best thing for them in the long run. They hurt, we hurt….I don’t know how to disconnect from that. I know it’s something that has to happen and that we have to endure regardless, but it still sucks! Hang in there, I really think a period of adjustment is expected. Continuing to pray for you and J.

  4. I believe they keep them in seclusion during the processing period. My brother has been in and out of the system too many times to count. Each time he goes in initially, he is placed in a cell by himself and on lockdown for 23 hours out of the day. He is allowed out but in seclusion for one hour. I do think prisons are suppose to be safe, the aren’t always, but they are suppose to be. He is young and they will watch over him, I believe this in my heart. They are not going to let him hang around the murderers and rapists. It is the rapists and child molesters that have to be very worried for their safety. Your son is in there for a pretty minor offense in comparrison. He will only be there shortly and we will all be praying for him right along side you. Take it one minute at a time right now and try and stay present. It is out of your hands so give it to God. ((((HUGS))))

  5. I have no idea how it is at that prison, but I know that the processing situation for my daughter and her boyfriend here in California, was a 2 man cell, 23 hours a day, and one hour out in the yard…. she was not out with the bad ass women, he was not turned out with the bad ass guys. there was some sorting that took place even as they were being placed into the sorting area….. I hope and pray that is the situation for your son!

    I felt better (and so did she) when she was in the sorting area. 23 hour lockdown was just like the Poop Tank at our local jail. She called it the poop tank because it was the mental health unit she was sentenced too, and she had a 2 man cell and 23 hour lockdown…. and a few of the ladies in that section were so removed from reality they painted their walls with feces… ick. but I digress. At this point, she’s been sorted, and now she is with other drug offenders and theft offenders – 8 women to a cell. And they are all mental health cases too, so it should be a trip to be in there! But she isn’t with murderers.

    Same thing for LeBoyfriend. He was in a 2 man with another drug offender, and now he’s in a larger room with more drug offenders and theft offenders… Even when he works in the kitchen, its with others with more minor convictions….

    Again, there is no guarantee that’s how your son’s situation is, just saying I hope and pray that he is safe, but suitably miserable to learn his lesson (same thing I pray for my daughter!) Hot, sweaty, stinky, dirty, crowded, noisy, cranky, sick of peanutbutter and balogna, etc….. I’m all for that. But I am praying for all of that in a SAFE environment.

    Prayers and hugs for you and your son!

  6. Hi Sweetie. I didn’t read any of the comments so maybe I am repeating what someone else has already said. I understand your fears. Anthony is in Chino State Prison and it sounds like it could be a “cousin” of Statesville, there were riots there a year ago and a prison guard was killed….maybe inmates too….they set fire to the place. It was bad.

    I think it wrong to put drug offenders in with murderers and rapists. Kev had those types in his six man cell and he’s got a hardened attitude about him now that I hate.

    I am praying that J is safe. I am praying that there is a way for you to feel some peace.

    I’m not sure why you are having such a hard time at this particular time, I am too and its been hard to shake. You’re not alone.

    I wish I could be more encouraging. Anthony has been in Chino three times and was never hurt in any way. He’s only 5’10” too.

  7. P.S. I just read a few of the comments and they are right – J will not be in the general pop. he will most likely be in a two man cell. I hope that helps you feel better.

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