Visiting Nanon in the Ramsey Unit

Nanon1On the inmate-side of the visiting-department of Ramsey water is pouring from several points in the ceiling. Its raining cats and dogs outside and a guard screams at an inmate to hold big plastic bins under the streams of water. They cannot avoid water covering the floor and raising fast. One of the guards tells them to get blankets on the floor to absorb the water but nothing helps. Until it stops raining, thanks god. In this building everything is made to punish and to punish harder. When it rains the water is pouring into the cells too, it is freezing cold in the winter and burning hot in the summer. Welcome back in the Texas Prison System.

First problem this morning was: how to get there. Bryan, Nanon Mckewn Williams uncle was sick so I had to find a way to get to the Ramsey Unit, 33 miles away. Ordered an Uber and this nice guy Moise from Congo came to pick me up. Not only did we have a nice conversation, but he kept my I-phone in his car during the visit: you can only bring coins and a passport into Ramsey. He waited almost five hours at the control-post in the fields and brought me right back to Houston. For 90 dollars, but I gave him 125. Because he deserved it.

And my friend Nanon. Just a few things about a lot I can say about him.  His dad was killed in front of him when he was a child and mother recovered and built up a life as a nurse. Nanon got into trouble and was finally sentenced to death when he was 17 years old for a crime he did not commit. After 10 years on death row he was found innocent, but the state appealed. His sentence is changed into a life and he can’t do anything about it because in Texas they can deny appeal  without giving a reason. There are a hundred ways the system tried to break him. Now they started a criminal case against him for being put on the internet by others. He is going to fight for his human rights, so I mention him today, with his permission!

Beside that, Nanon wrote several important books, was winner of the international Justice and Redemption Award 2014,  got five university grades in the last 25 years in prison, makes incredible jewelry and teaches groups of other incarcerated people in lifestyle, how to do time and he helps them to deprogram themselves from destructive and unrealistic ways of thinking. “It is wrong to think that you can have a better life and freedom after release. And become a better man, a good husband and father. You have to become a better person today: here and now and be a better father and spouse in prison, the place where you live.

We talk for about four hours through a raster in the window. He probably is the strongest and most inspiring man I ever met. And what an honor to be able call Nanon my friend!

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