And he was always kind and supportive to me and my program. He believed children separated from their families needed all the help they could get — especially very young kids separated from their mothers. That’s why he supported and defended my stance to work with only women in the Greene Leaf program. But Judge Beth W. Cappelli of Fairborn Municipal Courts countered that if we have a program for the women, we have to work with the fathers, too. The Sheriff and I lost that argument with the judge, and I’m glad we did — the fathers’ positive responses to the program has surprised us all.
For a guy whose job was to enforce the strong arm of the law, I saw a sweet caring man with a child-like curiosity for the world around him and a heart bigger than a house. Story Chain has received thousands of dollars from the Sheriff’s Department in the form of staff support, mobile book cabinets and scores of MP3 players. Support aside, I lost a good friend who believed in me.
Jonathan Platt is the Executive Director of Story Chain, a non-profit specializing in literacy intervention that serves populations including jails, prisons, senior homes and families of the disabled.