Brian J. Vickers
During the month of June (2015), I (Brian Vickers of CCNEWS Media) received a letter from Jonathan Tolliver (IDOC Inmate of Menard Correctional Center). In the letter, Jonathan asked, if I could bring his daughter Jakema, and her mother Monique Pitts to visit him at Menard.
On July 7th (my Birthday), at approximately 7am, I picked up Monique and her daughter Jakema from their place of residence, and took them to Menard Correctional Center, to visit Jonathan. We arrived at Menard at approximately 12:15 pm; approximately 20 minutes later, Security escorted us to the visiting room. When Jonathan walked into the visiting room, and saw his daughter, the smile on his face lit up the entire visiting room. Then Jonathan came over to the table and gave Jakema and Monique a big hug.
During the three hour visit, Monique took a stroll down memory lane with her first love-Jonathan Tolliver, a/k/a “J.T.” Monique and Jonathan reminisced about their relationship, and their days growing up in Robert Taylor Housing Complex. Jonathan also gave his daughter some words of wisdom; the first thing he told Jakema was “focus on your education.” Jonathan also told his daughter to “stay out of those streets, because it’s nothing in the streets, but trouble.”
Over the last 14 years that Jonathan has been incarcerated, he has drawn closer to God, which has helped him become a much better person. Jonathan also believes his incarceration has not only given him a different appreciation of life, but it also gave him the motivation to obtain his GED.
At approximately 3:30 Pm, Prison Guards announced visiting hours were over. Then Jonathan hugged, and gave Jakema and Monique a kiss goodbye. Just before I left the visiting room, Jonathan gave me a hug, and thanked me for bringing Monique and Jakema to see him. Then I told Jonathan, “one day justice will prevail, and you will be coming home.”
Meeting Jonathan Tolliver was a pleasure. I was happy to be able to fulfill Jonathan’s wish, and bring his daughter, and her mother visit him. Lastly, I was touched by the overwhelming amount of gratitude and appreciation displayed by Monique and Jakema, and Jonathan, which really made my 45th Birthday a day to remember.
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