Home - About Us - Newsletter - Legal Corner - Learning - Resources - Commentary - Film - Lucasville

Karon EastAm I Forgotten?
By Karon East,
Oct. 10, 2005

I have been in prison since 1991 and this is my first time. Being in prison can become a very, very lonely existence for a person with a definite or an indefinite sentence, if it's for many years. It's an existence that you must accept and deal with the best way you can.

Being in prison can also chip away at all of your relationships with family, friends and loved ones, especially your relationship with your children. Not necessarily because the prisoner has done anything wrong, but sometimes solely due to the amount of time a prisoner is doing.

It's easier for the loved one and friend to disconnect with you until there is a sure sign that you're being released. This disconnection can last for many years--5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years to life--because they don't want to deal with the pain of you being away for so long, so they block you out. And as a prisoner, you find yourself without any stimulation, and your world becomes smaller and smaller.

After a while you start to wonder if you are worthy of love, if you are thought of by anyone, if anyone is wondering about you, your health and your well-being. Moreover, you start to wonder if people remember your birthday, if they remember you on holidays and family gatherings, or if they pause for a minute to remember something good you did or something funny you said. This wondering process happens every day for years.

When the officer passes out mail, you wonder if someone who knows you thought about you enough to write you. However, the officer passes by you once again without delivering you any mail. On Mother's Day you wonder, will you get a card or will your children remember the nurturing love and attention you sheltered them with until the day you were unlawfully taken to prison. You wonder will the memories of a mother's love and guidance be enough to hold your children together until you return to them.

You wonder and you wonder if you're erased from the minds and hearts of the ones you once knew and who used to love you. So much so, that after awhile you forget how to smile or how to return an embrace - "a hug." You start not to acknowledge your birthdays, not to get excited about holidays, simply because no one has thought about you.

In all your attempts to stay connected with family, friends and loved ones, you come to the realization they have fallen on deaf ears. Your letters are returned because the people no longer live at their previous address. Additionally, their phone numbers have either changed, or they're no longer able to accept "collect calls" from you. At the same time, you cling to a thin thread of hope that one day somebody is going to wonder about you.

Just wondering,

Karon East, #28041
P.O. Box 640
Leavittsburg, OH 44430

Karon East aspires to be a friend, counselor and motivator to people who have disadvantageously found themselves a victim of crime and the criminal justice system. She wants to be an unresting voice advocating on their behalf, in order to try to right some of the wrongs they've suffered. And now that she has evolved and knows the true meaning of life, love and happiness, she also aspires to be the best mother and grandmother a child could have.
When writing to Karon, please send her a pre-embossed stamped envelope so she can promptly answer your letter. She is not permitted adhesive stamps, that is, regular stamps.
The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners:

If you'd like to contribute letters, articles, artwork, or educational materials to this website, please contact us at:
P.O. Box 422
The Plains, OH 45780
OR submit your guest column to:

You may contact Karon East directly by writing to her at the address listed above.