This is a project I have been working on the last few years with my friend Adele.
When I met her 5 years ago, she was serving a life sentence on parole, after doing 16 years inside. Over the years we became close friends, she was someone I loved and trusted, someone who was always there for me. Adele had such incredible spiritual strength and an amazing sense of humour. She always made me laugh and always told me she loved me.
This past Christmas she was placed back in custody, as the parole officer claimed that her, “being depressed” was breaking parole. (After 7 years on parole without having done anything illegal)
I spoke to her often and did not see her as depressed, I saw her as a survivor of the injustice system. She got up and fought for her life every day. She struggled against the stigma of being labeled a murderer and mentally ill. She was diagnosed as bipolar.
They let her out and gave her three months to “get over” her depression with no support, or she would be put back into prison for the rest of her sentence. The in-patient programs would not aid anyone serving a sentence.
She commit suicide in February, 2012.