49 Days

In 49 days Aubrey will be released from federal prison after serving a ten year prison sentence. He will be released in Enid, Oklahoma where he has no ties, shirts or shoes, let alone a suitcase, family, friends, or even someone he knows.

I’m not making fun of his situation, but I’m sure Aubrey survived all the trials and hardship while maintaining a sense of humor. As well as dignity and self respect, honor and a whole host of things we take for granted. How hard all the prisons, institutions, and authorities have tried to strip these things away from him throughout his life. Again and again and again. Aubrey has persevered against all odds.

As stated in my bio, I am his friend and pen pal and the editor of Aubrey’s writings and website. In regular life I’m what best could be describred as a library clerk. And believe me, a lot of the stereotypes that go with that title are correct. What can someone like me do to help Aubrey with his plight? Helping through this site, our correspondence, editing his writings, but what more can I do.

I have no legal expertise, I’m at the other side of the globe, have no influential social network to speak of, and am neither affluent or well to do by Dutch standards. Behind the scenes I and two other similarly situated persons (two within the USA) have tried to give advice, contact experts and make connections for Aubrey where we could. The walls of prison are made of concrete, and so are the walls put in place to make offering help from the outside more difficult. Financial, legal, social, geological, political walls.

So, I’ve decided to add my voice to that of Aubrey’s, and stand beside him on this blog. So he will no longer alone in calling for and end to what he is experiencing. In the coming days and weeks I will write, in no particular order or fashion, about my journey as a pen pal to Aubrey, and my experiences along the way.

Johan Holtkuile

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