• John & Vivett Dukes

I'm Fearful of the Damage Reduced Visits Might Have on Our Marriage...

Although they are incarcerated, inmates still possess a God-ordained, inalienable right to love, be loved, and have human contact visits while in prison. This seems like a no-brainer, yet there is such a visceral societal push to punish incarcerated individuals and those that love and support them repeatedly. My husband and I continue to feel the reverberation of this backlash. It hurts.

I'm grateful that the prison where John resides is only about 45 minutes to an hour away. That's really close considering there are men, women, and children who travel upwards of eight hours to maximum security prisons in Upstate, NY to visit their loved ones who are incarcerated. The time John and I spend together on a visit is precious. To look into each other's eyes, pray together, laugh together, hug each other, hold hands, share tender kisses, eat meals together -- all of these moments coupled with daily half an hour phone calls literally sustain the bond of our marriage. Some of the fondest memories of my life have been with John in Sing Sing's visiting room. To find the liberating freedom that Love and Truth inherently entail in a maximum security State prison is a paradox many can't quite wrap their minds around -- not even me, at times.

The threat of not being able to visit my husband freely between 8:30am - 3:00pm, Monday through Friday and one day on the weekend each week is becoming more eminent. I'm fearful of the damage limited visits would do to our relationship. I'm scared that we won't be able to make it through these last couple years of his bid unscathed with reduced visits or worse, with video-conferencing visits in lieu of visits that allow for physical contact looming over us. Our weekly (sometimes more) visits are the air our marriage breathes. Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced a bill that is trying to choke our marriage out. And like any perceived threat to my marriage, I will not stand idly by while it is attacked.

Join www.speakyatruth.org and a partnership of advocates to support and strengthen inmate visiting by joining a Thunderclap campaign to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo not to reduce the visiting days for people incarcerated at maximum security prisons in New York State. Thunderclap will send out tweets and Facebook messages on the same day, March 28, to draw attention on social media to the need to support visiting and encourage people to take action. Join the Thunderclap here: http://thndr.me/zW0zAJ

If you prefer, please contact Gov. Andrew Cuomo and tell him "No!" to cuts in visitation schedules at max. security prisons in NY! #Speak Ya Truth

His info is as follows:

(518) 474-8390

Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York State Capitol

Albany, NY 12224

John and I sincerely appreciate your support.



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