Softball, Kitten Ball, Hard Ball

VINCE

It’s my down day again.  They keep coming so fast, and only nine to go.

Today, I chose to be lazy.  I’m going to play cribbage as much as I can, and not do any treatment work.  I may sound like a rebel there but I don’t actually have any treatment work to do.

It’s been a huge boost to my confidence hearing that people are so willing to help me out.  I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that they know a lot about my situation vs. just being some ex-convict in need.

Right now I’m sitting in my chair and everybody is being loud.  It’s so hard to concentrate sometimes.  In a few minutes though, I’m going outside to play kitten ball which is exactly like softball except for the ball is even bigger and actually soft.

[ANNE: I filed a request for aid with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) back in March.  One of my neighbors (before I moved twice) is the executive director of the Minnesota chapter.  I took a risk and told her about Vince.  It always feels like a risk, doing that, although I’ve never received anything but kind words of support.

I had just received my BAN notice, and I specifically asked her if she thought I had any legal recourse.

She responded via email:

I am so sorry to read your email, your blog, and then think about you dealing with all this pain while at the same time looking for a place to move, packing and moving.

Prison administrators have a great deal of latitude in how they deal with inmates and visitors, so there may not be an infringement of constitutional rights here.  However, if there is a hook we can find that would indicate that your denial of visiting rights is retaliation for what you said, we might be able to do some advocacy for you.

I would suggest that you go on line and fill out an intake form.  Our process is all volunteer driven and we get far more requests than we can take on, but it would be worth your time to try.  Here’s the link to the form: http://www.aclu-mn.org/legal/fileacomplaint/

Again, I am so sorry.  I hope that we can help.

So I filed the complaint, and forgot about it.

Four months later.  I got a letter from the ACLU saying they couldn’t take my case.  Basically, due to their limited resources and all-volunteer attorneys, they have to prioritize cases that they think they can win, that won’t drain a lot of resources, and that will have an impact on lots of people.

My case…well it was really only a case of “he said/she said.”  I understand completely and I’m not surprised except that it took them four months to respond.

The six-month ban will end on July 30.  I will submit (the perfect word) my request for visitor’s privileges next week.  I am nervous that it may be rejected.  I still don’t know if they’re aware of the blog and may decide to “teach me a lesson” and “show me whose boss.”

If I am denied, then by the time Vince is released in September it will have been over eight months since I’ve seen him.  He’s excited about his graduation ceremony.  If I’m not approved to visit, I’ll have to just sit in my car out in the parking lot, I guess, until the ceremony is over and they send him out the gate.]

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