Friday, February 26, 2021

Last Birthday In Prison by Ruth Utnage

Today is February 25th and it is my birthday, my last birthday in prison. I am now officially 39 years old. I came to prison when I was 29. I have spent my 30's behind razor wire. I have to say, though, I don't regret it.

I regret what I've done to get here, that I betrayed a community, trust, hurt someone. I deserved my time in prison. But I am not mad I was here. I needed it. Now, I know my prison abolitionist friends and readers are cringing at that statement, but it doesn't change that it is true. I'm glad I came here.

I deserved prison, the separation from community, exile. I did wrong. I proved myself unfit for societal residence. I had a lot to learn ya'll.
I was messed up.
I was living a big ole' lie.
I needed therapy for elements of my childhood.
I needed to meet Rory, Christopher, Renee, James, Marshall, Steven, Jade, Taylor, Laney, Catherine, Veronica, Dad, Aryn, Juan....and so, so many more.

I've met officers and staff that I sincerely don't know who I'd be right now had I NOT come to prison. I mean, we're talking serious influence here. If any of you knew me over a decade ago and you seen me today you wouldn't even recognize me. Not in appearance, action, or speech. I am not the same person I was, and thank God.

This birthday isn't being celebrated as my "last one in prison" instead its more of a "thank God I get this opportunity to prove I am a worthy and safe community member"

Thanks for helping me feel so happy.

With Love
Ruth 



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