I let myself down without a doubt drinking and drugging like a waterspout.

I couldn’t see where my life was going, but my pain and fear was steadily growing.

I will get to the point I did not care! All of my money went up in the air.  There were many a days I thought I would die living my life lie after lie.  To be an addict there is no fun, being chased by a drug, always on the run.  There is no place to go when the devil is your ride.  When you are with your “friends” and getting high you will awake one day and these “friends” will be gone but the devils hook will still hang on.  I have learned something being in Jail looking at my life from this little cell.  What the devil gives me he always takes back, and thank God we have Jesus!  He takes up our slack.  I called on him to set me free.  He gave me salvation, promised eternity.  He told me every promise I will keep if you follow me your path would not be so steep.  He cleansed my soul from all unclean.  He gave me love I have never seen.  If you are out there just call out his name because there is no future in Satan’s game….





Hold my beautiful heart

Do with it what you will

But please remember I gave it to you

While my life was standing still


I’ve had so much lonely time

To give thought to loving you

There is a fair amount of risk involved

To believe your love is true


But still I think

I’ll take the chance

To see what we can do

Just please remember

That in your hands

My heart is still black and blue


It has been driven over

Kicked and stomped

And pierced deep through and through

Balled up and thrown back at me

Never returning now


But this time I feel

It’s worth the risk

To start a life with you

With hope and faith and love involved

It could heal the black and blue


I am so fearful of this great big world

And trying to do things all alone

God tells me to team up with you

Let’s make ourselves a home



Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Who is the fairest of them all?

Mirror Mirror on the wall

Darkest of shadows on the wall


Mirror Mirror on the wall

Who is the spunkiest of them all?

Mirror Mirror on the wall I see

Shadows up on the wall


Mirror Mirror on the wall

Who is the scariest one of all?

Mirror Mirror on the wall

The silliest of shadows up on the wall


Camille Edwards




I ‘ve come to realize that the part of my life

that needs healing is myself.

I have found enough pain inside myself to

break my heart, facing the fact that I’m broken

can be very crushing.

As I dissect my life I arrive to the conclusion that

I need change.

This change starting within myself, to be able

and allow myself to change my outer world.

Being inside these walls has given me the time

to give my life a good look and a second chance

I need to work on a lot and make serious changes

in my life before all I need to heal myself.

The battle is hard so I will heal myself.


Naivis Meulener


“I count him braver who overcomes his desires

than him who overcomes his enemies.  For the hardest

victory is victory over self.”   -Aristotle-


What if you cannot find the forest if you have gone

The direction of where the tree is.

So I should bet if I really wanted to I could although

It may be you may never ever know about that tree deep

In the forest you may never know


Camille Edwards

Walking Across The Stage

As I wait for the perfect opportunity of stepping

Onto that stage shinning like the star that I am!

It is a wonderful feeling

Soon I am going to shine as mighty as the moon in the sky.

I feel the energy of beautiful feeling of love and happiness all

Around me.

Best for now as I close my eyes imagine that I am on that stage

Shining like a diamond in the sky


Camille Edwards

Ruth Takes a Ride by Kristina Neihouse, volunteer

Ruth Takes a Ride


Candace and I were chatting as we approached the elevators.  I was showing her my new Ruth Bader Ginsberg Notorious RBG tote bag with the words I DISSENT across the top.  I had decided it would be my new “jail bag.”

Candace and I run a volunteer program called Write On.  We visit female inmates at the Monroe County Detention Center every Monday night with composition notebooks, writing ideas and paperbacks (from inspirational to trashy.)  We try to bring encouragement and distraction from the pink cinder block walls and florescent lights that stay on all day and only dim slightly at night.  As the women write and share we hear stories of neglect, abuse and dark humor; the woman who killed her abusive husband but could not claim self-defense because she did not notify the police for two days, or the young woman who said she had moved to Texas because the heroine was cheaper but got picked up and sent back to Key West on a VOP (Violation of Parole.)  Each Monday is different.

That night with a jail bag slung on each shoulder I pressed the button for the elevator and we waited.  (My other jail bag, a green messenger bag declares me as an “Intellectual Freedom Fighter.)  We were ready with our long pants, close toed shoes and IDs in our back pockets to leave at Main Control.  After hours the guards at the Main Control desk controlled the comings and goings of the two elevators.  At that point Candace realized she had forgotten her own jail bag in the car.  She ran back to the car.

“We were so excited by your new jail bag, I forgot mine!”

Then the number 2 elevator door opened.  Most nights someone in Main Control gets on the intercom and asked who we are.  That night they must have recognized us from the camera in a black dome on the ceiling just outside the two elevator doors.

“Hold the door,” Candace yelled back.

Full of books, notebooks, paper, pencils, and erasers jail bags are heavy on the shoulders, so I tossed the Notorious RBG into the elevator and put my hand near the open door to hold it.  There Ruth sat leaning in the corner of the elevator as if waiting for her first visit to the MCDC.  The elevator door started to close.

“Are you coming up?”  A scratchy voice asked over the intercom.

“Yes, Candace forgot her bag.  She’ll be right back.”  The door was still closing.

“You can’t hold the elevator door open,” was the reply as I pulled my hand out and the number 2 door closed.

No big deal, I thought, picturing Ruth in the corner of the empty elevator.  When Candace got back I would hit the button again and we would go up, RBG and all.

A moment later Candace returned and I hit the elevator button.  The number 1 elevator door opened.

“I threw my Ruth bag in this elevator,” I said indicating the number 2 door in front of us.  I waited for the number 1 door to close and hit the button again.  Again the number 1 door opened.

Candace started to laugh as we got in the number 1 elevator.

“Of all the bags to be stuck in a jail elevator alone,” I said.

Upstairs we got out of the elevator.  When the door shut Candace hit the button and again the number 1 elevator door opened.  We were both laughing now.  I ran to the highly secure opaque window of Main Control, and bent to speak into the slot at waist height.

“We’re trying to get my bag out of the other elevator,” I told them.  Not knowing, never knowing, who “them” are.  I went back to the two elevators.  Candace hit the button.  The number 1 door opened.  Bent over with laughter now I went back to Main Control.

“Can you open the other elevator?  My tote bag is in there.”  Should I tell them it was Ruth Bader Ginsberg?  Is that why she was stuck in the elevator?  Just as my wide eyed owl pencil sharpener had been declared contraband the week before and had to be left behind, was the Notorious RBG considered contraband?

“Try going back down,” a woman’s voice said from behind the slot.

They had control over all the locked doors we passed through each Monday night.  I figured they had control of the elevator doors as well.  Maybe not, or maybe they were having fun as well?  Maybe not.

By this time Candace was leaning against a wall by the elevators laughing.

I hit the button hoping…but the number 1 door opened and I got in.

“Am I on Candid Camera?”  I asked.  “Is this being filmed” just as I noticed the small black dome on the elevator ceiling.

“Oh yeah,” I said.  “It is.”

The door closed on Candace’s laughter.

Back at ground level I got out of the number 1 elevator and waited for the door to close.  I waited a few seconds before hitting the button.  The number 2 elevator door opened but there was no Ruth.  I took that elevator back up.

“Do you have Ruth?”  I asked as soon as the door opened onto the waiting area.

“Got her,” Candace exclaimed.  She was heading towards the metal detector where a guard waited.

With an odd sense of relief I went to Main Control and slide my ID in the slot, went through the metal detector and waited while a guard searched our bags, probably not even noticing the messages of dissention and freedom they quietly proclaimed.

Monday nights can be funny, they can be intense, heartwarming, or heart breaking, but never boring.


Intellectual Freedom