Christopher William P.
Original post date: 20.02.2008
A letter sent by the 15 year old son of a registered sex offender to the Governor of Florida:
Dear Governor Crist:
I’d like to tell you a story; a story of a family composed of two sons, 9 and 5, and a mother, with a potentially fatal heart condition. For three long years, on every Saturday, this family visited Bill Pratt, a sex offender, in jail for an hour. It was a long trek to the jail, and almost every time we went, we were harassed by the guards. “Your not allowed to wear chachi pants,” or “Stamp with your left hand not your right!” said the guards, as we were shoved in the the small, tight, and loud maximum security room, with armed guards at every few meters.
Every week we would drive an hour there and an hour back in the cold New Jersey night, and if we were minutes late, then too bad, the guards didn’t care; they didn’t care that we were two innocent kids and a single mom, working two jobs who had more then enough stress for five people combined. But they didn’t care, and treated us so.
Finally, after those long, strenuous years of legalized harassment and hours of crying in dark corners, his day had come, my dad was being let free. By that time, we had already moved to Florida. He jumped into his car, and drove down to Florida. Now it’s expected that we lived happily every after as a good happy family, right? Well it has kind of turned out a bit differently then expected.
Over the years after my fatherB4s emancipation, I as an individual, as well as my mother, and especially my brother, because everyone knows kids can be real bastards, have faced ridicule, outcast, and have been denied friends and opportunities because my dad’s a sex offender. Our entire family, me included, has had multiple mental breakdowns, where we have had serious problems such as overeating, heart related chest pains, and failing every subject in school along with being late every day. Along with that, my mother’s stress is still through the roof, what with having to still work two jobs and overtime just to keep us out of debt, and the fact that my dad can’t keep a job for more then a few months. All he can find work at is construction companies paying little above the minimum wage because he is a sex offender. Keep in mind that this man has a masters degree in business, and was one of the top managers at Lockeed Martin at the time.
I am now 15, enduring worsening hardship with each passing year. I thought by now, as with all other ex-felon families, that all of this would be behind us and I could enjoy life as a normal teenager. But, my father was arrested while going to work because the police thought that he had not registered a temporary address. He was in fact registered at our home, but the police wouldn’t listen. So to keep him out of jail for even more undeserved years in that overcrowded hellhole, my mother had to use the families last $2000 to bail him out of jail and we are still paying for the attorney, to keep him out of prison.
And now, when things were starting to look up, what happens? 5 days before Christmas, he is arrested again while going to work, because of a suspiciously deliberate administrative screw up by the state of New Jersey and they are threatening to extradite him back to New Jersey, when they new all along my father was legally registered as a resident of Florida (for the past 3-1/2 years).
This means many things for my family. My mother will – almost guaranteed – die because of her heart condition, my brother will fail 6th grade, and we will probably never see my father again. He will miss my mother B4s passing away, my brothers B4 and my first girlfriends, our highschool graduation, our college graduation, and maybe even our marriages.
I’m sure the father’s of our Constitution (yes, I am an honor student, learning about this not-so great country) could not have envisioned the laws of today. Yet, please, uphold what they set forth, and understand that my mother, brother and I have lost our civil rights to privacy, because of the out of control sex offender laws.
Governor, please do not allow my brother, mother and I to continue as collateral victims to a crime of my father’s that was long ago and which he already paid for. We want and need him back in our life.
Please, we have suffered so much already and you are the only one who can help us!!
Please let my father out of jail- he didn’t do anything, but go to work. We can’t bear being without him again. He is all we have- we have no other family (no grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) and have passed too many holidays alone.
Thank you for your time and I hope, clemency, for my father. We need him back!!
Christopher William P. (for privacy sake- if there is such a thing in my life?)