Family Of The Accused/Convicted, Inc.


Arnetta’s Testimonial


It was placed on my heart during the early year of 1990 to start a support group for Parents Of The Accused; because I was going through an ordeal with my youngest son being arrested for murder, and had no one to embrace me while assuring  me it wasn’t my fault as a parent for the decision my son made. I sought assistance from different Organizations, Ministers, and City Officials, but was given no direction in where to go or who to see; therefore, being me and never throwing away anything I tucked the God given well written Vision, Goals, and Purpose papers in the book of Habakkuk (Bible). In January of 2004, God nudged me to get up and follow the Vision He gave me. When I retrieved the yellow papers, and dusted them off, I saw the vision was broader than just the Parent’s needs, it included the ‘whole’ family. Family Of The Accused/Convicted was born in 2005. I am looking forward to FOTAC growing and hopefully involving all surrounding Counties, at least once a month.


I know first hand Family Of The Accused/Convicted will work, because I am a mother of a convicted person. I didn’t have anyone to embrace me to let me know I had ‘hope’. I wanted to reach out to the victim’s mother, but was told not to, because they felt it was my fault, because I was “the devil who birthed him”. Like a lot of inmate’s parents this was my son’s first time ever being involved with the law. For a number of years there has been a Victim’s Advocate to offer support for the victims; but there was no one for the families of the accused or convicted, no one to say, “It’s going to be okay, it wasn’t your fault that your son, dad, brother, uncle, step-dad, mother, aunt, sister, cousin, or friend made the choice they made”.


It will work, because there is a need to bring communication, and healing between families and inmates. Some children don’t see their fathers/mothers, because the caregivers haven’t healed because the man/woman left them behind. More than likely the child is caught up in the middle, and never has a chance to visit their dad/mom. But with FOTAC services we work to bring healing and understanding to the caregiver, by expanding the importance of communication between father/mothers and children. Dad/Mom can help to give direction to his/her child’s life, by trying to show them prison is no place to be. If they have to work a minimum wage job it is better than working for a few dollars a month as dad/mom is doing in prison. Dad/Mom will have the opportunity to direct his/her child in a different direction then he/she took in life; by using himself/herself as an example of where they will end up if the right decision isn’t made; to remain in school, keep off the streets, and to say no to drugs. He/She will be given the chance to assist in setting some positive tone in the child’s life from the ‘inside’.


It will work; because for those family members that can’t afford the cost of the telephone calls could possibly afford to make a donation once a month to an organization that can assist them by transporting them for a visit at least once a month. Because we are a non-profit organization with no capital at the present we do seek donations, but if a person can’t afford a donation we don’t turn them away, we seek support for them through churches, private supporters, City organizations, public donations, and fundraisers.


Another reason it will work is because FOTAC will be the instrument that will bridge the gap between inmates and family members.  Some inmates don’t receive any visits, because of the distance, or a family member doesn’t drive, or a family member doesn’t have car, or a family member/friend’s car isn’t reliable. These inmates will be able to receive the information about FOTAC though the Chaplain, from other inmates, during church services or from posted information.


Some children haven’t seen their parents because the child was born out of wedlock, or born after he left. Some mothers say, “Why should I take two steps to take my baby to see him, he’s got a woman”. She is taking away from the child, because she is angry with the man. FOTAC will work to teach the children what a family concept is through our day care, mentoring, tutoring, and higher education classes. While working with the children we will be working with that parent, to show her/him the importance of the child having that bond with their other parent. Just because dad/mom is away doesn’t stop them from being a dad/mom. Some people have never learned to be a parent; therefore, I think it is very important for programs to be in place in prison to help teach them all areas that covers being a parent. If they don’t have the opportunity to participate in a prison class, FOTAC will provide the parent with classes and a mentor to assist them in becoming a better parent.


One other reason I am sure FOTAC will be a success is because we provide an outlet for the seniors that are raising their grandchildren. Single grandmothers (sometimes grandfathers), or even great-grand parents most times don’t have the resources, or energy to make the trip. After they have tried to put food on the table, and clothing on the children’s backs it has taken all they have, since they live on a fixed income. The children are more than likely hanging in the streets, because they’re not wearing the $100 and $150 dollar tennis shoes the other kids are wearing. They need to see their dad/mom. They need to be told by their parent, “son/daughter it isn’t like it seemed, this is for real up in here”. I can truthfully say, ‘most’ older parents do not want to go on welfare, because they are too proud. They come from a time in life where ‘you’ took care of your own. Our entire program will work because we have a plan that will assist every person; whether it is providing transportation for seniors to a doctor’s visit, to pick up their medicine, providing transportation to prison for a visit, supplying food when needed, and a list of many other provisions.


Families Of The Accused/Convicted, Inc. need people such as you. We need people to share our goal, as well as to have a passion for our vision. I was over whelmed with emotions when the 501 C (3) application returned in the mail stamped ‘approved’ in less than a month. I was over whelmed because who ever read the application saw my vision and goal. These steps are new to me; therefore, I am taking them one at a time with the assistance of support from people such as you.



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