Dear Email Friends
Below is a copy of the letter I sent to the Orange County Sheriff
after my time in jail.
To the Warden of Orange County Jail, greetings,
I am a former inmate of Orange County Women's Jail No. 2364300 - Marie Kolasinski
by name. My journey through this vale of tears called life has had its chapters
of joys and sorrows, twists and turns, lessons only living can teach one.
I am going to call this: if America is an example of civilization,
pray tell me, who needs it???
Recently I had the great adventure of spending seven days in the facility
known as Orange County Women's Jail. To me it was just one more world in
the hell we are all born into of which there are many worlds. By the way,
Christ also saw our world as hell and came to take us out by showing us a
better way. However that is quite another story.
Those seven days had a profound effect on my life which I consider almost
over as I am 85 years of age. Only one other experience has touched me as
deeply and that was the day Christ called me to follow Him.
And considering that following Him and obeying Him and adhering to His pattern
of behavior, His thinking, His vision of relating to the human race and how
our treatment of one another and our example does, indeed, change people,
and perhaps if we all began to do as He has taught us to do, we just
may have a sane society on this awesome, crazy place called Earth.
Jail reminded me of a maze where first one is stripped of his humanity and
then they become little disciplined rats marching to the barking of
other disciplined rats. Once in this maze there is no way out except by divine
intervention. The release of the rats making the human rat race a little
worse off than it already is.
I write this not as criticism but I pray we all start doing something life
changing with our sick nation, our sick world. I am looking to you for answers
as I assume you, too, have done much thinking as I was quite impressed at
the order and details it takes to run such a part of hell.
Let me now give you some of my observations. I am sure you do not hear from
your people you rule over or are ruling over so I pray you bear with me and
always keep in mind our great Father of us all is watching and preparing
us for His visitation where we all will be accountable; that He is not a
respecter of persons and has planted a part of Himself in each individual
making all redeemable, all, in a sense, His children.
Perhaps you and I, and I am sure others, who are weary of the seemingly hopeless
condition of the animal supposedly made in the image of God, can begin to
do our part to try something radical, but evidently not too radical, as our
Savior gave us a step by step teaching and example of how to make for a way
of life filled with peace, joy, justice and truth, giving instead of taking,
treating others as we would be treated.
My seven days in the dungeons of hell I spent with God's angels; young women
that should never be in jail. Sweet, sharing the little they had, cheerful
attitudes, no complaining. Crying some. But I sensed no self pity, and their
complete innocent trust in our justice system doing the honorable thing with
their life really surprised me as I had come through the justice system where
I witnessed arrogance, foul play, disregard for justice. Actually, I witnessed
a big political game founded on the laws of men with no regard for the laws
of God, jury tampering by a judge that made Jezebel in the Old Testament
look like an angel; purposely, out of her own confession making a jury trial
null and void. I watched a kangaroo court trial take my life and the life
of two other disciples of Christ's do to us what they did to our Savior 2000
years ago and are doing yet today as young life, after young life is thrown
into this system where all humanity is stripped from them, turning them into
a well disciplined rat with no vision of a life to perhaps fit them into
when released from jail.
I have no pat answers as I found your facility run by deputies, most of which
were most kind considering that they have to deal with all types of people
and punishment is the only method of reform our system has used to change
Now, I have written all of this to come to this supposition. Has punishment
really changed people?? Is ruling with fear rather than understanding
and compassion the answer to our dilemma?? I was in P-13; there was a deputy
Ellesbeth who should be fired. Her venom was contagious. The likes of her
should be in jail isolated from others as she would contaminate other inmates
with her venom. However, the kindness and understanding of the nurses and
other deputies was also contagious.
I have in my heart the kindness of one deputy as he allowed me to set the
pace of walking to get to my x-ray. His thoughtfulness gave hope to the other
inmates who were younger than I and they all witnessed an act of respect
and kindness that perhaps changed their way of relating to older people.
They enjoyed the pace I kept which I am sure was a snail's pace as they were
in the race years of life.
Now for the big pleasant surprise of my visit to your facility. The kindness
and understanding and compassion of the inmates who were supposedly hard
and calloused was like that cup of cold water Christ talked about in His
teachings. The huddling around me to keep me warm as we sat on the cold cement
in the cold wee hours of the morning; the giving me of a blanket to cover
my shivering coughing body, the showing me how to make a pillow out of a
thin worn out mattress, the giving me a rare health bar when she herself
went without. The sweet essence that came from their lives I found in some
of your deputies, especially the males.
I also noticed that with tax payers' money the offices all had the best of
equipment while the "dorm" I was in had a shower that was a disgrace to a
third world country. The mattresses were disgusting. I feel a pillow would
not be too much to give to the inmates considering they can buy one if they
have the money. Greed by your place is not necessary. Our air conditioner
was on - the weather was the coldest we have had and the air conditioner,
they said, could not be turned off. Was it another way of punishing, considering
the sheets and blankets were thread bare? The shoes are the cheapest. One
of my sister inmate's shoes barely stayed together. And woe unto us if we
used our night gown over our uniform to keep warm.
Now to the food. I was rather surprised as I found it edible. Considering
the inmates are like an animal and eating was the only pleasure left and
I was like my dog, Alice, where anything was great, and considering I am
not a fussy eater, I would say on a scale of one to ten, your compound rated
a six. One of my bag suppers came with the cole slaw leaking out of the bag,
my supper soaked. However, I ate it with relish, thanking God I had nourishment
for my body and also setting an example for the other sisters in the same
predicament I was in.
I was shocked when I found out you could not save an apple or orange for
a snack later and punishment would be doled out in some God awful way if
caught. However you could spend money and get food from the commissary to
eat later. That is, if you had money in your account.
I have taken the time to write this rather long and detailed letter assuming
I am writing to someone who has similar thoughts. Is punishment an answer
to make for a sane society or is there a better way?
Abraham Lincoln said some wise words, "We must have a new way of thinking."
Also Thomas Paine, "Without government a society is autonomous." Did Christ
come to show us a better way or did He come in vain and when the Father of
us all comes to visit His vineyard called Earth will He find anything worth
saving? The answer lies within you and I for starters.