Kevin Wallen writes:
The day Charley convinced me to present a program on Roots Fm was truly a blessed day. being on the radio talking about prison for an hour each sunday can be dificult sometimes. But today was surely the exception, a few months ago i received a phone call on the radio from a young lady. She told the story of being raped by the driver of a taxi she once took. It was the way in which she was treated that was most disturbing. When she spoke I did not know what to do; the only thing i could do was listen. I gave her all my contact information and told her that if ever she wanted to contact me she could, day or night and i would be more than willing to speak with her and help in anyway that i could. I did not receive a phone call from her until about three months after.
She opened the conversation with “thank you kevin”. She thanked me for all that i was doing on the program allowing people like her to call the program and express themselves. But for the most part she wanted to say thanks to an inmate, someone who had heard her on the program when she called in about being raped and felt her pain, so much so that he wrote a letter of apolgy to her, saying sorry to her for just about everything that the rapist had done to her. She expressed the fact that she has been to a lot of different places seeking help including the church and found no peace; however hearing the letter that was read by this young man in prison made all the difference in the world.
This young woman who was once so bitter at the world to the point where she saw a man’s body as nothing more than a weapon that can be used against her called the program today to express her thanks and her gratitude for Semeon, the person who wrote the letter, and to the program for stepping outside the box and making a difference.
The first time she called she talked about killing the man who raped her and today she spoke of forgiveness and peace and love. She said she would help in anyway she could with his rehabilitation. She was still scared and could not see herself in a room with this man, however she wanted him to know she would be more than happy to assist and that she forgave him. Her words were so inspiring they touched not only me but folks all over, expressed by the many phone calls i got and am still getting.
This is a true example of restorative justice.