I am so grateful to be home that I rarely find space to complain about little mundane facts about life. For me, every day that I wake up on this side of society is a good day. That brings to mind that old saying, “Your worst day in society is better than your best in prison.” Still, I have moments when I wish I were not on parole.
I understand parole is a privilege and I’m truly grateful to have been granted an opportunity to be home. Admittedly, my current Community Supervision Officer is the coolest, most down-to-earth parole officer a girl could ask for. Most of the time when I visit her we have nice conversations about school, work and life in general.
Parole issues in the news: Computer Parole Board to Decide Prisoners Fate
My parole officer is a young African American female who sort of reminds me of myself. She is always kind and in a good mood, but yesterday even her nice personality could not mask the challenges I face with having someone oversee me and pry into my personal life. I only have to visit my CSO once a month and I rarely take drug urinalysis tests.
Yesterday my parole officer came to my apartment for the first time. She called me to tell me that she arrived and I went to the building door to let her in. I was hoping she would not come inside. In the past I had a parole officer who would visit me in the transitional house and just park outside of the building and have me come out and sign the paperwork confirming her visit.
I’d had another parole officer who came to my place of employment wearing a bulletproof vest with her badge around her neck. You never know what to expect, so I’m truly in good hands with my current CSO. I respect her as a person and I understand that she has a job to do.
So when she jumped out of her car in her consistently good mood and made her way into the building and into my apartment, I said, “Welcome to my humble abode.” Deep down inside I was dreading her presence. Not because of whom she is, but rather what she represents. It all just reminded me that I am a convicted felon still being supervised by the Federal Government in their attempt to maintain public safety.
I made small talk with my CSO while she looked around discreetly. Then, she said, “How many bedrooms?” as nicely as she possibly could. I gestured toward my bedroom and replied, “One.” To her credit she stretched her neck, peeping around the corner trying her hardest not to violate my very personal space.
I said, “You can look inside, you don’t have to peep like that.” A part of me wanted her to know that all is well with my surroundings, but in truth I was so happy that she did not walk into my bedroom. That would have been a bit much. Again, I know I have done some things in my very distant past that have impacted some people forever, and I am responsible for my actions; therefore, I own my consequences.
I’m just saying, ‘It will be nice to someday have my life back and not feel like someone is case managing me, supervising me, or assessing me constantly.’ In due time…. I pray….
You may be interested in: Life without parole increasingly leads to freedom