Crystal Sutton, wife of rapper G-Dep, describes the hardships she has encountered since her husband went to prison as unbearable. G-Dep received 25-years-to-life after he confessed to a 17-year-old murder, in which he was unaware that the victim had died. In part one of Sutton's letter she shared her hopes and fears and now opens up about the sacrifices women make when a loved one has gone to jail.
Another day at court, anxiety always sets over me even though I know the only thing happening will be is another court date this time for a hearing. Then I believe very soon after a trial will begin, but these things are all decided by the lawyers and the judge.
The strain and the stress of court dates and visits are definitely setting in.
I feel for the family members and friends of incarcerated individuals, don’t get me wrong, I feel for the victims also, but I can only explain my journey. So I can only comment and tell you the side I know, the side I have experienced. The same side I see many other women go through.
A wife, girlfriend, mother, or AUNT, if they decide, can be there for support of a locked up loved one. The reason I am using feminine descriptions is when I board that packed express bus to the Island it’s filled with women and children, more so than it is with men.
We make the visits to the Island, rain or shine, sleet or snow. We arrive ready to battle the lockers with quarters in hand attempting to find a safe place for our cosmetics, cell phones and whatever else is banned from being taken in. We remove our jewelry, belts, shoes, socks and hairpins from our hair. We are prepared to be searched. Once when we first enter and twice after we have boarded a school bus that carries us to the correct holding location.
We subject ourselves to constant changes in the rules. One of which requires, if you wear a dress you must lift it and turn around in a circle. Some women get paid to do things like this, our payment is an hour visit.
We make sure to make deposits into their commissary accounts and we wait in long lines to leave our loved one clothing items from the very strict approved list. We do this with money we could have used ourselves, but instead we say, "This week I will do without.”
We hang on to our cell phone like its a life line. We just don’t want to miss that call. I can’t tell you the times I have opted to take the bus (which is a longer route) instead of the train, just in case a call from 718.777.xxxx might come through.
We arrange our schedule to make sure we can be there for every court date. So we pay a babysitter or change our schedule at work. All for that chance to catch each other in a moments glimpse before they are turned around to face the judge. All to show that "I am here to support you" and " you are not alone."
With the approaching holidays, families with join together, carve turkeys, watch football games, play cards, drink and laugh. This year my boys and I will do the same but we will be waiting on that call from Rikers.