Journey member is active in seeking justice for her sister

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On October 16th, I participated in the Accountability Session planned for candidates for District Attorney. This session is a coalition of concerned citizens who ask direct questions to candidates for office.

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At the session I spoke on behalf of my older sister, Christina Simmons. She has been convicted of child neglect. She neglected to seek medical attention for Charity, her two year old daughter, in a timely fashion prior to her death at the hand of her babysitter. The babysitter was 14 at the time — he went to a program that would offer rehabilitation if he could stay out of trouble, but he could not, so he is now serving time in prison. Her sentence is 20 years with 2 1/2 served, her judicial review was denied about 2 years ago.

This whole situation depicts nothing of her character. It makes me angry and my heart feels heavy, knowing she is away from her 2 sons and there is nothing we as a family can do about it. In the future I'd like to see cases like these observed with delicate care, exhausting all avenues concerning character witnesses and also the intricate details of the circumstances that lead up to the outcome. Some history on the inmate should be observed, to know who the person really is, not who they seem to be right now.

I'm concerned that our justice system is flawed, I believe that in depriving Christina the opportunity to spend quality and valuable time, time of growth and development with her 2 sons, David and Daniel, is child abuse and neglect of the highest degree.

My aunt also expressed that our concern should be for the children that are kept away from their mothers during their incarceration.  We should consider the emotional & physical well being of the children who are forced by the court to be away from their mothers. The children should not be penalized for the sentences of the court. 20 years is an inconceivable term for the children who are sent to live in homes away from their mothers. 

As a sister an aunt, I sit on both sides to see the mental abuse perpetuated by the courts upon the innocent children snatched from their mothers in an effort to make the mother pay for a crime that carries with it it's own automatic punishment of separation anxiety for children & mothers.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and for taking  my feelings into consideration.

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Ollisha Warren

Ollisha is an active member of The Journey Church, She co-leads the womens Bible study. She has 5 children, a loving husband and she is passionate about sharing God's word with others that may need a little encouragement in an area she has struggled in before. She loves God and everything he's doing in her life, although the road may not be easy all the time, God is Good nonetheless! 

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