The Washington Times-Herald

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
  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Has the iPad lost its swag?

    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

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014