Jane and Josh
Sometimes you can find love in the strangest places, I know I did. My name is Jane and my husband, Josh is serving a life sentence for First Degree Murder in the state of Florida. Our love story is really not that different from anyone else’s except that it began within the confines of a correctional facility.
Our Life Together
It has been a little over five years since our fateful meeting and that friendship grew into a relationship that ended in the commitment of a lifetime. Josh and I were married on October 19, 2007 at Polk Correctional Institution.
Although we look at marriage as our biggest accomplishment it is not our only one. While incarcerated Josh has used his time wisely by filling it with education and religious pursuits. Josh was the catalyst that started the New Kadampa Buddhist volunteers coming into the correctional facility where he was located and now they visit facilities all over the state. He attends Buddhist services weekly and leads them on occasion as well. His other interest is education and Josh has taken all kinds of courses to further his education while behind bars. He earned his GED shortly after coming to prison and has since earned a certificate in Architectural Drafting as well as a Paralegal course. Josh also took a Tibetan Language course and some type of religious study course from a Christian Bible College. His love for knowledge never ends and he is currently working to start a non profit organization that will fund education for inmates while incarcerated.
As for me, well I keep busy with work, research and my Wing Chun Kung Fu class. In between visits every other weekend, we write and speak on the phone regularly. If there is one thing our relationship has it is communication. I love my husband and can not imagine my life without him in it.
My husband is now thirty years old and has been incarcerated for eleven years. The good news is that we were granted an evidentiary hearing which could lead to a new trial for Josh. The bad news is that it was granted over a year ago and we still have yet to be able to schedule it because of one reason or another. Josh and I do our best to stay positive as we believe positive thinking will net positive results.
Being married to Josh hasn’t always been easy, I face a lot of prejudice from others due to my choice to marry a man behind bars but I hold my head high when faced with that kind of ignorance. I love my husband and he loves me and I am willing to stand by him no matter what life brings our way because that is what true love is……unconditional love. I do not love him just on the good days but I love him every day and he feels the same.
How We Became Involved in “Prison Wives”
I was approached by Sirens Media in August of 2009 to participate in the series “Prison Wives” after they saw some film footage of me and my husband at a marriage seminar we attended at Polk Correctional. Ironically one of the couples that attended the seminar was being taped for the series. Joshua and I sat at their table and ended up being on film during the seminar. Someone at Sirens Media saw us and liked the footage so we were contacted to do the show. I agreed to participate in the show because I wanted to help people understand what having a spouse in prison is like. I thought if people understood better than they would be more likely to empathize with us then to condemn us. I also thought we would be able to put a spotlight on the unfairness of the justice system in the state of Florida. This website is but a glimpse into what life was like and is like for us but I hope you will watch the series and be moved to support change in our justice system. I believe we should be the change we want to see in the world.
CORRECTIONS AND UPDATES
In an effort to clear up some things that were unclear or just plain wrong in our episode I have compiled this list of corrections and updates for the viewers.
- In the reenactment of the crime the narrator says that just Josh and Nathaniel were up at the convenient store but in actuality there were five guys up at the store that night including Josh and Nathaniel. All were drinking alcohol that they purchased from that very convenient store.
- Also in the reenactment it states that they were trying to bully a Hispanic youth but in all the testimonies from the five guys they said that it was a Hispanic man not youth and that he was yelling at them first.
- The detective stated that Josh burned the bicycle by himself and that Nathaniel went home. This was not consistent with the testimonies from the case. According to statements from multiple sources the bike was transported in Nathaniel’s truck from the crime scene and was burnt at another location. This was not an act perpetrated solely by Josh.
- In our episode there was reference made to Josh’s family and how he was raised. Although he did not come from the best home environment, he is not trying to point fingers and place blame for his actions that night on his family. He is merely trying to bring to light an occurrence that happens all too regularly with youth these days by how they are raised and how it affects their personality, behavior and decisions in life. Ultimately Josh made his own decisions that night and blames no one but himself for the part he played in the beating. Josh’s family is not perfect and they may have made mistakes in the past but even they are not the same people they once were, much like Josh. Please see Josh's own explanation below the corrections and updates
- It was a little unclear in our episode so I wanted to explain about the appeal and evidentiary hearing. We filed an appeal in 2005 and we were granted an evidentiary hearing in 2008 from that appeal.
- In January of this year our attorney withdrew from the case because I could no longer afford the accruing costs to bring the evidentiary hearing to court.
- We have currently been assigned a court appointed attorney to process the handling of our evidentiary hearing.
- The hearing is now scheduled for December. The court has granted us the funds for the expert witnesses that will need to testify at the hearing.
I hope everyone realizes that they were watching a dramatization of the crime and that the reenactment was not a statement of fact to what occurred that evening. Also I would like to point out that the Detective in the episode was not the lead detective in our case and was probably not as familiar with the facts as he could have been, plus after 11 years I would imagine that he may not remember everything as accurately as if it had happened more recently.
Josh wanted to express in his own words why he expounded on his childhood for the show.
In Josh’s words…..
My motivation in exhuming and expounding on my childhood and adolescence isn’t to sensationalize it or an attempt to garner people’s sympathies or expose some injustice that I feel I’ve suffered or point fingers at some corporal perpetrator, (the only real perpetrator is anger) but an attempt to turn a benign eye on the often ignored and horrific treatment of our most susceptible citizens (our youth).
These injustices are taking place right now in millions of homes all over this country and world. My hope is for those altruistically predisposed people to see my story as a sword that cuts through the faulty logic of inaction; join the ranks of the true nobility by wielding the sword of correct understanding and skillful means. And for the those with the seed of this altruistic mind to continue to cultivate this precious mind by remembering that every being has the wish to be happy and free from experiencing suffering. Thus we should never be the cause of any beings suffering, we wouldn’t wish to be the object of someone’s aggression would we?
As the mind becomes better developed we should then cultivate the courage to help those that are suffering by using skillful means – this means to assess your own strengths and weaknesses (Be honest with yourself) and then based on this honest assessment develop an intelligent means to help. For example, imagine you come upon someone drowning, after seeing their predicament you then experience the wish to help. Now imagine that you are unable to swim; would it be intelligent to jump in the water in an attempt to sabve this person? Of course not, you would drown too. Do not misunderstand; the point isn’t to say you shouldn’t help but to emphasize that we need to use our intelligence in our approach to helping.
You can also write to Josh at:
Bailey, Joshua DC#165945
Polk Correctional Institution
10800 Evans Road
Polk City, FL 33868
You can write to me at:
PO Box 1080
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Be sure to sign the petition below our picture to suppost Joshua for a sentence reduction. Thanks a bunch!