Three Years Mandatory Minimum

Thinking about my brother, I keep hearing, “three year mandatory minimum”. Every answer to every question, I can hear his voice, “three year mandatory minimum”.

I wonder if this is his lesson – he just spent three years focusing on his girlfriend’s family. There is little time between now and when three years mandatory minimum begins – that’s six years total. When my mother was in town and before I understood what had happened I had to call him because she was frustrating me. There was a tone in his voice and a perspective from which his message was delivered that I do not believe I have ever heard from him. It struck me between the eyes, “Mom needs you right now and this is because of my bullshit. She won’t be here forever and all we have to do is love her.” I caught his vague confession, but his message was louder at the moment. I said, “Ok. I’ll do it.” and hung up the phone.

I am concerned he will have regrets. I am concerned he will shut down and default to apathy.

It seems like chasing your tail – looking to build a loving home life, pouring yourself into a new relationship by prioritizing a girlfriend’s family over your own. The perceived solution fails and suddenly you have three years mandatory minimum in a negligent, deprived environment.

What’s the difference between jail and prison?

Will he recover when he is done? Will he accept his circumstances as a permanent reality?

It is a waste and a shame.

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