More praise for IMSI staff, Ofc. Aber

Higgins photo of front of IMSI with sign

Check out the email Idaho Maximum Security Institution Warden Al Ramirez recently received from the mother of an inmate.

[My son] has been an inmate at IMSI since December 2014. I wanted to let you know that I have been incredibly pleased with my interactions with your staff - especially Officer [Marc Aber]. He is the officer I interact with when I come to visit my son. 

My first visit with [my son] was in late March/early April because he was placed on a no-visit restriction for approximately 6 months due to a dirty UA shortly after moving to ISCC last September. 

In March [he] was frustrated because he wasn't getting an answer on his requests to get a visit scheduled so I finally called and talked to Officer [Aber]. Officer [Aber] was able to get a visit scheduled for us and we were both very grateful after over 6 months of not seeing each other. 

Since that time I have had several pleasant interactions with Officer [Aber]- it is so refreshing to encounter someone like him in the prison system. He is consistently caring both to visitors and inmates and when he says he will do something, he does it.

This past Saturday I came to visit my son and I was approached by an officer who introduced himself to me but unfortunately I didn't catch his name. He asked questions about who I was seeing and when he didn't recognize my son's name he told me that it was good thing because he identified himself as the disciplinary officer.

He thanked me for coming to visit my son and said that inmates who have external support do much better than those who don't but that unfortunately there are a lot of inmates that don't have anyone. 

Like Officer [Aber], he was a pleasure to interact with. He shared with me his philosophy that he says he shares with his team -- that the inmates aren't there to be punished - the system has already determined their punishment and they are there to do their time but it isn't the place of the staff to punish them.

My son first got in serious trouble for drugs shortly after he turned 18 in 2004 so my interactions with law enforcement of various types have been going on for over 10 years at this point. I can honestly say that IMSI staff has been the most considerate and caring to deal with. 

I was initially very dismayed when [my son] increased custody levels - he started at the Farm (SICI), got into trouble and moved to ISCC and then got into trouble immediately with a dirty UA. He has a 2 plus 5 sentence- he is eligible to be paroled in July 2016- when he went to "the hole" in August and again in September and again in December and I began to lose hope that he would get it together and get out anywhere near his fixed time. 

Now that he has been at IMSI for about 8 months, I think coming to IMSI was a positive part of his journey through Idaho prisons. [My son’s] mind has cleared and I can tell that he is returning to the values and principles that drugs had robbed him of. Initially when he was placed at the Farm, he started talking about an interest in "Odinism" which concerned me but a good friend of his who did time and has been out for over 5 years told me not to worry - he said it was a phase that [my son] would work through. 

Recently [my son] asked me to send him a Bible which I ordered and it will be there this week and he has begun to express a desire to help others when he gets out- his interest in Odinism and those who practice it seems to have waned and I am glad. He does appear to be tired of the inmate politics but seems confident that he can continue to tolerate and get through until he can enter the program he needs to do to be considered for parole. 

Thank you for your team - the people I have interacted with at IMSI are great-especially Office [Aber].

EDOC is eager to recognize IDOC staff members for their accomplishments. 

Send your photos and email to the department’s public information officer, Jeff Ray. 

Story published: 09/11/2015
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