Skip to content

Sage Grass

Betty Crenshaw

I first met Cassie in 2018 when she was in the county jail and have corresponded with her since she was sent to prison.

I have heard many doubtful, derogatory remarks about Jail House Religion and, no doubt, there are those who would pretend anything if it worked toward their release.  But, that doesn’t refute the fact that God does indeed change lives in prison.

In Cassie’s own words, “I wasn’t arrested; I was rescued.”

These letters mark the beginning of her journey I will share in a three-part series.

October 1, 2019

Dear Betty,

Well, I just got back from church.  The topic was “expecting.”  It was really good. I’m praying that I will hear from you soon.

I’ve been here two weeks, and it’s HORRIBLE.  If you hadn’t given me the book to read about that woman in the concentration camp (The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon) I may have thought I was worse off.  So, I’m grateful even if there are all kinds of bugs crawling and flying around, and in the unidentifiable tri-colored scoop of slop they feed us.

I am worse off now than in the county; there are 80 people in one room and it’s about 100 degrees in here.  We all sweat constantly.  There are 8 toilets—filthy in an open row and 4 shower heads in a circle in the middle of the room.

Talk about humility!  I have a yellow jump-suit, a pair of shoes, and a small rag.  That’s it!  I sleep on metal.  There’s no A/C and only one small fan for the entire room; it’s useless.  It smells so bad in here too!!

Nobody is nice except for a few that go to church/Bible study.  But in my opinion, they’re hypocrites when they get out.  They only go for show or to get something tangible, also they mis-inform me about everything around here, never giving me a straight, correct answer about anything.  So, I keep to myself.

Love, Cassie

November 8, 2019


Dear Betty,

I love the cards you’ve been sending – they’re beautiful. I’ve been saving them all.   I will frame them all at home.

Still haven’t heard from my Mom, my sister, or anymore from my son.  I know, they’re all busy with their lives. Today was a horrible day. Note: very humiliating and condescending experience (humbling ) I guess.

I was so upset it wasn’t even funny.

We were told to pack up our stuff, probably to clean.  So I did, and so did most everyone except a couple of loud mouths who made fun of us and they didn’t pack up and of course they did not get in trouble cause they are the drug dealers and users.

Then someone messed with mop vac while I was eating and spilled coffee all over my clean laundry.

After I cleaned that huge mess up I got called out with all the pregnant ladies?? I know.  Right!! (Cassie is well past child-bearing age.)

They were fat and irritable, hungry and passed gas all day!  We got strip searched, chained feet and hands and piled into a bus like sardines, about noon, and couldn’t use the bathroom all day.  We had nothing to eat and went off-site to the hospital.  Sat there all day (I was a mistake of course) for nothing and didn’t get back until 7:30 p.m. I was so angry because while I was gone a bunch of my stuff got stolen.   Yeah!  I survived just like the “Morning Reading” said I would  – gee, imagine that.  LOL

I want to go home soooo bad.  I’m so unhappy.

I’m so miserable.  God help me please.

November 23, 2019

Dear Betty,


Your book could not have arrived in a more timely manner; I spent the morning crying my eyes out so hard it wasn’t even funny!  Thank you so much, I’m looking forward to reading it.  I received your letter two days ago indicating that it was coming.

I’m just beside myself whenever I think about how long I might be here.  I have no clue because I’ve been told so many things.  When I get striped out, I should know the real answer, but until then I go through the day to day menial tasks and it is really getting to me.  The best case scenario would be six months—whenever I get into the class, )?????) and the worst case could be five years.  That’s what the people here keep saying.

I pray that’s not true.  They are all evil and not in charge.  When I see the “case manager” she will tell me the truth.  But, until then I’m trying not to panic.  I am so upset by the thought of five more years it’s not even funny.  If this is not HELL I couldn’t even imagine what hell would be like!

It’s so horrible I can’t get any visits till they move me – whenever they feel like it, I guess. There is no one here that is “normal.”    

Yeah, it’s starting to get cold out everywhere; there is not heat in here!  I have been sick with a head/sinus cold for days.  I’ll be dead by the time the doctor answers my request – three weeks from now.  Don’t know why I even filled it out.  Peer pressure—because everyone doesn’t like the fact that I’m sneezing and coughing.

Not my fault. Awful living conditions.

Food is not edible

No heat

No warm clothes

We don’t go outside ever!

Too many people in one room

No medicine

No cleaners

No one cares if we live or die.  Seriously.

I miss my son tremendously.

You do encourage me; I’m keeping the faith (no choice).  You help me so much.  I’ll always be there for you too, no matter what.  I promise.

Love always, Cassie

Leave a Comment