Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

March 21, 2013

Jail dance lets fathers, daughters take a few steps together

(Continued)

RICHMOND, Va. —

"Father Father Father where have you been?/ Jail, dead, on drugs, or the street life is that where you went? / Did your choices lead you to leave me?"

Her hoarse voice rises, like a preaching poet's. Then she screams and weeps some of the final lines:

"I know after hearing my poem you feel messed up and you should / But I understand now you were misunderstood/ You too was misled you was raised by the hood / Was a fatherless child because your father was no good."

Watching as some of the inmates choke back tears, Sheriff Woody rushes to the front of the room.

"Let it go through you, brothers," Woody says. "Let yourself just feel it."

It's the morning of the dance, so Jhaniyika's mother is getting her ready at home, as her five siblings — four boys and one sister — watch enviously.

Her mother helps her put on her white tights and silver Mary Janes along with a necklace of plastic dress-up pearls.

"I'm gonna see Daddy. I'm gonna hug Daddy," she says, twirling around the living room.

Her sister Avianiea, just a year older, is quiet.

She stares at SpongeBob on TV. She starts to cry.

"They said we could only bring one daughter," says her mother Jennifer Morman, who chose Jhaniyika because she cries the most for her father whenever they visit.

"She really hates talking to him through that glass," says Jennifer, who wears her husband's wedding ring around her neck since inmates are not allowed to wear jewelry.

Does she think the dance will help?

"I think it will stay with him," Jennifer says.

He's been behind bars for the past nine months, this time for failing to pay child support for a 15-year-old daughter from another relationship. He gets out in 88 days. He has nine children total and says he just doesn't have the money.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks