For any of us, being away from home for the holidays can be difficult. Military personnel overseas, families on opposite coasts, and other situations that make it impossible to see family over the holidays is a reality for millions of Americans. Though, being away from home for the holidays can be disheartening, what is it like to spend Christmas behind bars? In anAnniston Star feature, reporters when behind the scenes of a prison to talk to those inmates forced to spend Christmas behind bars.
Spending any time behind bars can be a harrowing experience. Inmates are locked away from family and loved ones, detached from their communities and the world. OurBirmingham criminal defense attorneysunderstand how difficult it is for inmates to spend time behind bars especially during the holidays. We are committed to working for the freedom of our clients, even through the busy holiday period. And we are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients to reduce prison sentences and ensure that our clients are not overcharged for their crimes.
In the Anniston Star report, one female inmate with three children under the age of 15 was released into a community corrections program. The woman, who had spent Christmas behind bars before, explained how life was taken for granted. Christmas time is not the same when you cannot buy presents for children or prepare a meal for your family. For many inmates behind bars, Christmas passes like any other day of the year, without church services, presents under the tree, or celebrations with family and friends. She was arrested for violating her parole for an original charge involving forged checks. After she lost a job and could not take care of her family, she started to use the fake checks again.
Local sheriff’s explained that for some inmates, it was unknown whether they would be released before Christmas day. Like in any case, the duration of the stay depended on the crime and whether it is possible for them to be released on bond. In general, the week before Christmas, inmates who were still behind bars are likely to stay there.
Another one of the inmates was driving a friend from Georgia to Alabama, when she was pulled over after picking up another person in possession of drugs. She was arrested for trafficking even though she had no drugs on her and no knowledge that another passenger was taking drugs across state lines. As we have discussed in previous posts, the consequences for a drug crime can be severe. For this inmate, the trafficking charges has kept her away from her children since she land in jail. Of course, during the holidays, being behind bars can be even more challenging.
One volunteer at the jail believed that the inmates have a more difficult time because they know what the cheerful Christmas season can be like, but they cannot take a part in it. Being left behind bars means dreaming of the outside world, but knowing that you will not have your family or the traditions that you are accustomed to. For those behind bars, Christmas time is always difficult and a reminder of what is lost after a conviction.