Writing an Inmate

As prisoners are often moved, you should look up their address with the Department of Corrections' Offender Locator, before mailing them
Please email or call with any questions and we do offer forwarding service, (where you use Forum for Understanding Prisons' address as your return address) if you do no want to give out your address.

contact: Peg Swan 608-536-3993 or pgswan3@aol.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

Vonell Shaw, 22 and truly needing a friend

22, Stranded and Innocent

Vonell Shaw :
 #605592;CCI; PO Box 900; 
Portage, WI 53901

Pen-pal Introduction:
My name is Vonell Shaw. I am a 22 year old man from Kenosha, WI born and raised .Growing up I had a very rough life.  I went from home to home and I was never stable ever! It hurt a lot. When I was a child my Mom went to prison for accessory to murder! She left me all alone. She was never in my life until later. I never knew who my Father was. I was raised by my grandmother until she passed away in 2005! I was homeless. I had nowhere to go at age 10. And no one to care or love me. Ate out of garbage cans, slept on park benches and during the winter slept in abandoned houses. I was lost and alone. Growing up I was abuse a lot by my caregiver. I was beat with belts, cords , sticks and whatever was around for no apparent reasons-just because my caregiver was unhappy. I moved back with my mom after her prison stay. She became addicted to drugs and left me on the streets after all that pain I endured before that. I cried every day, asking why? I forgave her! My mom recently passed away! I do not have any family members at all anymore! I’ve lost all contact with everyone I ever know. It hurts a lot. I have a lot of tattoos to cover up that scars and marks I endured during my painful life and abuse! I hurt deep inside everyday! I don’t show on the 0utside. I’m a kind person. I make sure to put others before myself! I love to help people,
I was wrongly convicted of crimes I d od not commit. I am a young Black man and the judicial system used that in consideration to convict me. I don’t personally judge anyone! I treat everyone the same and I seek help from anyone. I am begging, please? No one understands the pain I go through now everyday. I need someone who can write to me and hear my story. Someone who’s willing to help> I beg with all my heart. Please. I have no outside support.
Affidavit of innocence:4 26 18
I was charged with crimes I did not commit,  I sold drugs in exchange for stolen property. The man that sold me drugs assaulted the victim. Because I was in possession of the stolen property I was charged with his crimes. I’m 100% innocent .I was excluded by the Wisconsin State Crimes Lab as to my DNA being found. However, they found unknown male DNA at the victim’s residence. My attorney NEVER submitted the DNA results into evidence. I was on surveillance camera at another location , once the crime occurred. My attorney NEVER obtained the surveillance video. The victim pointed me out in trial as the Black man she remember but she sated the man DID NOT have any tattoos!  I’ve had my neck, arms, hands tattoos years before this crime occurred. I’m 100% innocent, I was wrongfully convicted. I received 30 years in prisoner for crimes I’m innocent of . The police lied. The prosecutor hid evidence. My attorney purposely sold me out. DNA does not lie. There’s innocent people in prison, where DNA exonerated them , In my case, DNA was another Man’s DNA. The police know but I still was found guilty. I’m innocent. Can someone please help me? Please? I’m innocent and had nothing to do with this crime.

Joy and Pain
My joy is laced with sorrows
On the underside of pain
And even though I wear a smile
It’s tainted by disdain.

This pain I taste is better-sweet
Like dreams of love that’s passed
And shedding tears of ecstasy
That never seem to last

Like a flower that grew from concrete
That blossomed in the city; nurtured by the hatred of
Violent streets;  AND poisoned by its mask of love or pity;
In cement he spread his roots; no stranger to Hunger, Thirst
And lack; survival of the fittest , and he followed suit.
NO hope of escape nor will to turn back; like a flower that grew from cement. He was adorned with the tines and turns of the street and nothing could move his soul to repent; though many things pushed him to scorn; 
Now soon the flower caught society’s eye; when he began to stand in their way; so they yanked him up-quick-left him to die, and demanded the price he should pay; 
Broke, damaged and wounded, he began to wilt, and what remained of him was run by pain; but yet and still he felt free of all guilt; with no feelings or sorrow or shame; 
Until knowledge and truth rained down on this flower; and filled him with a life- giving stream; releasing him at last from the street’s dark power; and from all of its nightmarish dreams; and still he blooms til this very day -thriving while striving against self defeat; bringing color to places of slate –black and gray; the flower that grew from concrete.
Handwritten first letter:

Ali Mursal

Ali Mursal 541673
CCI PO Box 900
Portage, WI 53901
BD 1983, 34 YO

Ali Mursal was very withdrawn when he first wrote. He could only write  a few words and they were always the same- he needed love. He would not leave his cell even when he was in general population. He has grown a lot and now talks freely about his feelings. His brother shed some light on Ali problems. The family is from Kenya and when Ali was 7, he saw his father murdered . Ali was treated very badly also. The family are refugees from that period .

Ali needs a friend badly and has  no idea of the give and take friendship requires. We are looking for a mature woman who can regularly write this man and demand of  him more than just testimony of how lonely he is. Like many people who are  confused and desperate, he shows little curiosity about the world around him and is focused ironically on one thing- getting love. The closed and open fist is a good analogy for ALI- his fist is tightly closed- not interested except in one thing- so there is little exchange between him and the world. He is ready to learn however.

I will partner with who ever chooses to help this man- he is less trapped than he was and is going to school for his GED. I have positive feelings about his capacity to learn what true friendship is and I hope someone will come forward to help.

If you decide to write this man, feel free to use FFUP return address, Email pgswan3@aol.com to do so.  Also, We can address any questions you have.
yours, Peg Swan

Fredrick Andrew Morris

Fredrick Andrew Morris 579941
GBCI, PO Box 19033
Green Bay, WI 54307
My name is Fredrick Andrew Morris. I am tall , dark, African American.  D.O.B. 7-24-92. I am 25 years of age; 5’11’’ , slim built with a smile that tends to warm hearts. I like music of all kinds, I like to read, learn new things, relaxing, watching movies or t.v,, traveling. I can be described with these words: loyal, honest, dependable, trust worthy, caring, non- judgmental, passionate.

Jermal Jones

Jermel Jones 640826
WCI, PO Box 351
Waupun, WI 53963

My name is Jermel Jones. I was born March 2, 1994 and my release date from prison is 3/18/19.  I came to prison on 2/15/17/I never knew my real family . My mother passed away when I was 9 and I never seen my dad . I grew up in C.P.S. and been in group homes all my life. I wish I knew mentors out there who will help inmates. Everyday I wake up I wish I had my mom and dad - I'm sure I would not be in prison. I also have {PTSD disorder, learning disorder. When I was born I was brain dead so I 'm still learning certain things. I have a hard time reading. I have a friend help me read so when you write me back I will be able to understand what you are saying.

Jermel Jones is 23 years old, Born 1994. He has been in foster homes all his life and asks FFUP to help him with a lawsuit and stamps. I can send him a litigation guide and a regular stipend of 5 stamps a month but he really needs a connection with a caring person.- a penpal. I am connecting with EXPO, a group of ex prisoners, and trying to set up a program where newly released inmates get  help upon being dumped by the DOC;yes, the “kids “ like Jermels are returned to society with no resources , no treatment and usually little training. But that is not the problem now- what he needs is a caring soul  to correspond to. Please send him a card if you are that soul. The card can begin the correspondence.

If  you are interested in writing this man and want to use FFUP's return address, email pgswan3@aol.com. We will also answer any questions you have.   .

Robert Ward

WSPF PO Box 9900, Boscobel, WI 53963
New Post for Robert Ward 2 23 17:

 Robert Ward 515599 WSPF , 25 y.o.

To All That Will Listen,

This is for people to understand fully what life is like on the inside of the Wisconsin prison system. I would like to let you know that the system in Wisconsin is made to mentally break you down. They really don’t beat you down to get your compliance, but they sure do mentally beat you. But yes, there are a few cases that staff do beat inmates, and I have seen 2 or 3 of them first hand. I just want change. I am going home soon but I met some great people that just made some bad decisions that do not deserve this brutal treatment and to be very honest, some of the smartest and strongest have broke at the hands of these people.

            And all these people do is sit back and laugh. They say they are underpaid and that we are dangerous, but really all staff do is instigate everything they can. Giving people 150 days in the hole for not celling up with a homosexual. Really is that necessary? We all know that answer. There has been a lot of studies on the way long term segregation is very harmful to a person’s mental health. Even the U.N. has announced that more than 15 days in segregation is torture. So that goes to show you what the DOC is doing is very wrong. I want people to know what their tax money is going to. The DOC is creating more monsters. They are breeding mentally unstable people and letting them into the outside world.

            Department of Corrections. What “Corrections” is happening really? Basically none. Rec for segregation inmates is very irregular. Most of the time 2 hours a week. “if lucky.” We don’t get very much law library. Clean our cells 1 time a week. There are a lot of people on the floor. They do not have enough bunks. A lot of the cells are single cells, but they have people on the floor of the single cell.

            Staff talk down on us all the time. And if someone reacts, that person gets treated worse. People’s mental health is a joke to them. There are staff that do not agree with the mistreatment, but they can not speak out because that will be their job. Staff do not go against staff. New staff are training new staff. Very dangerous. It’s like you lose your right to be a man, when you come to prison. But what happens to a caged dog that always gets messed with and antagonized? Most of the time they become very mean, and when they are released, they snap and most of the time you have to lay them down. Then they blame it on  the dog. How sick and wrong is that? Every man has a breaking point. And this is mine. It’s time to let this torture be let out. Loud and Proud. “We are Men, and We Deserve to be treated as one. “ I came to prison because I did something wrong. I want to become better, but the system is designed to have you have a rough time and eventually come back. Every person that comes through these doors means money to them. But if you knew that your money was going to building killers and “crazy people” would you let that keep happening? I hope not. All it takes is one bad judgment call to end up exactly where I am right now. We are human and not perfect. I have seen people “lose it.” Eat their own bowl movements, cut them selves, wipe blood and other bodily fluids all over themselves. I have seen staff walk away from people who ask for help and they laugh while the inmate hurts himself. One person that I really respected told a CO that his chest hurt, the CO said drink some water and lay down. The man died that night. The man was no older than 50 years old. That was the last straw for me. Things need to change. People need to be aware of the disregard to human life the Wisconsin DOC has.

            I am a 25 year old white male. I surround myself with all different races. And black men, for the most part, are treated far worse. And anyone who associate themselves with the Black men are treated as such.  It’s like they’re scared of them, and they try to keep them down, so they feel more safe.

            I do not wish this treatment on ANYONE! This could be you or someone that is close to you. Please stand up and help fight for change. All Lives Matter!

Robert Jay Ward #515599;Columbia Correctional Institution; PO Box 900;Portage, WI, 53901