Christmas greetings from behind the prison walls!
Last week The Sunday Gleaner teamed up with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to offer some inmates at some adult correctional centres the opportunity to reach out to family members, relatives and friends, with greetings from behind bars.
Here are edited versions of some of the randomly selected greetings.
Mark, St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre
"For the never-ending love and support shown to me throughout the years, I'd like to pronounce God's richest blessing this Christmas season to my family. Truly, it's a time of giving, celebrating, and love.
"With that said, I would love to send Christmas greetings to my son Jonathan, my mother and father, Angela and Carl.
"Christmas greetings to my sisters Patricia and Nadian, and to my nieces and nephews - Jada, Jelena, Chloe, Keiron, CJ and Aleisha. Merry Christmas!
Norris Fisher, St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre
"Merry Christmas greetings to my children Randy, Norrisha, Norris Jr, Lisa and Malcolm. A very special festive season to my wife Eleanor.
"I wish my loved ones all the best for Christmas and the New Year, even those not mentioned.
Tasheena Salmon, Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre
"I am sending these greetings to the Discovery Bay Police Station in St Ann. I would like to send greetings to all the officers, namely, Cassandra Collins, Ms Brown, Radcliff and others. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year."
Sheresha Hemmings, Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre
"Christmas greetings to Claudette Grant, Shanette Hemmings and Earl Grant, to my two children Andreena and Sandrena. I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.
Feleisha Dixon, Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre
"Greetings to you all in the mighty name of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. I just want to express greetings to all my family and well-wishers. Greetings to my beautiful mom Ingrid. I wish for her a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, my brother Joseph and my smaller sibling Sardia. I love her endlessly. Also greetings to my sister Patrice and her daughter.
"To all my friends out there in society, I love you with all my heart."
Jeffery Sutherland, Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre
"While it is true that God is everywhere, prison gives us an opportunity to slow down and realise His presence. This period of introspection allows us to see the error of our actions, take responsibility and make a conscious effort to change and become better productive citizens that will make a positive contribution to society. The everyday things we take for granted seem miraculous to us behind the bars.
"To my sons and their mom, siblings, mom, dad and the extended family, it pains my heart that I am not able to be with you to share the love, joy and happiness of the Yuletide season. I promise to be with you soon. To all who have lost a loved one to the monster of crime, the homeless and the destitute, I empathise and wish Gods' strength and richest blessings throughout this Christmas season.
"There is no time like Christmas, which provides the perfect opportunity to extol the virtues of sharing, caring and the outpouring of unconditional love to whoever we come in contact with. One must always remember and never lose sight of the true essence of Christmas.
"There is no better place to do that than in prison, where you are at your lowest point, with the realisation that there is no Christmas tree, stocking filled with gifts, family or girlfriend to share a moment of laughter and the luxury of a warm embrace and kiss. This can either break you or build your inner strength and character.
"Let us make Jamaica the gem of the world where we can all live in love, peace and unity."
Wayne W. Whyte, Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre
"It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in this regard, it makes me, and I'm quite sure you, too, sad. Christmas should be a time of happiness, food and fun for family and friends, yet right now we are apart.
"Despite this, there is no distance in love. Love transcends all barriers and all obstacles, and I believe its profound ability to surpass time and space is a God-given gift to us that is so dynamic.
"There is a verse of song (Blest Be the Ties That Bind) that says,
'When we asunder part,
It brings us inward pain,
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.'
And so during these holidays and in this our time separation, know that I love you, and very specially, my children."
Gregory 'Face' Cespedes, Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre
Oh! Family is very important to me, and I want to send a strong salutation to my two beautiful daughters, to my handsome son, to my sweet mother and to everyone who loves me.
"I love you folks with all of
I am a tree and you're my
I wish you all a joyous
Christmas and a sparkling
I hope you all hear.
There's no end to the happiness this wishes you,
Today, tomorrow and always,