It started as the famous Father’s Day weekends trip to Tampa; it was that time of the year when we had to visit my step father’s family. Little did I know that we went on that trip to visit my step father’s son at the Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper Florida, we currently live in Miami so after we flew into Tampa we had to drive three hours to Jasper with about seven people in the car. I never thought this trip was going to be so exhausting and such an emotional rollercoaster for me especially. Being my first time going it took me some time to get ready and go inside the jail through security, then the searching room and all the mixed up feelings I had at the moment it was finally time to go into the visitors area.
It took the guard about 35 minutes to bring my step brother to the visiting area, I guess where they usually are kept is somewhat far. I didn’t know what to think I saw so many fathers standing against a wall waiting for their families to come and find them, to actually look to my left and see my step brother standing there running to my step father’s arms and to his daughter that it made realize how hard it was for them. I will never see a jail like they show it in movies, this was the real thing; grown men crying and trying to enjoy those few hours they had to touch and speak to their loved ones, knowing that they will soon have to leave and they will once again stand alone.
I went in with fear, doubt, and resent towards my step brother for putting me through that visit. Freedom is a precious thing that now I cherish a lot more. It was a truly tough trip that caught me off guard , and taught me so much about other people’s live and feelings, I actually stood in someone else’s shoes and understood their pain. Overall it was a great experience, and now I am looking forward into doing community service in a correctional institution. I will just want to know more about the normal activities they do, how live is, and how hard it can be for the people that work there as well.
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