A Letter From Prison

Recently the prison was on a lockdown/shakedown which meant we weren’t able to talk with Drew for over a week. That might not sound like a long time but when your son with autism is in prison it feels like a very long time.

I pondered what I wanted to say to update you all. I received a letter from Drew today and felt that he expresses better than I ever could what he goes through. He clearly deserves and needs to be pardoned and released to come home.

Mom! ❤️

Hey ma. I’m writing you tonight during lockdown because I miss you and Pop. I’m feeling a bit down and need to vent some. I don’t relish telling you about the pain I constantly endure, but I simply have no one else to tell.

Shakedown really had a big impact on me and I’m still adjusting. Day four of 24 hour lockdown was when the pain truly hit its peak. It took me back to the excruciating weeks and weeks I spent in isolation — not for any criminal mischief, but because I have Autism in a Commonwealth that doesn’t even seem to know what it is.

My head felt as though it were growing bigger and bigger within the small box of beige walls I’m confined to. It’s tricky to articulate, but reality felt as though it were bending around in every which direction. I felt numb to everything except pain.

This whole ordeal is nothing but a sadistic and deranged soap opera led by a band of unreasonable bullies who myopically interpreted Facebook drama from 2012 as something it never even was. You know as well as anyone how seriously I’ve taken therapy and how hard I’ve worked to improve my social and communication skills, but trusty Chesterfield County is always there to derail productive and ethical solutions to my struggles. *sigh*

I’m not guilty. I passed a polygraph when? In 2014? Why am I in prison in 2018? Why even give me one if the only goal is to validate the prosecutor’s blatant tunnel vision and ignore it altogether if I pass?

I try to keep things relatively upbeat when friends write me, but the sad reality is I feel tortured. Lockdown periods are suffocating, but being out in the pod is often times even worse. No one understands my sensitivity to sensory overwhelm nor would they care if they did. The pod reeks of bodily waste today. We haven’t gone outside in a good two weeks. I’m so tired. I wish Gov. Northam would help me. I’m always hurting and I’m just so sick of it.

All the system’s been doing for six years has been ripping me forcefully out of the home I love and away from the family I adore. Why? I’m not a bad person. I just want to go home!

I love you, mom. I know you fight tirelessly for me and I’ll love you forever no matter what. I know you’re doing everything you can in an insane world where the house usually wins whether it’s right or wrong. 🙁

Please give Libbie a snuggle for me and tell her we’ll watch Ninja Turtles soon! ❤️

Love you mean it,

Please continue to contact Governor Northam to let him know that you are in support of a pardon for Drew.
You can call 804-786-2211
or email him at ralph.northam@governor.virginia.gov

Thank you all again for your continued support,
Judy and John Harrison

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