Jane’s File


JANE’S FILE BY Jenny Alforria 


I came in as an intern

The rehab center told me about Jane’s file!

It says…..

She’s violent And she steals,

Jane is a heroin addict who is in denial!

They warned me to have thick skin

Because…she’s been in out of prison,

And she’s been to rehab 20 times!

She’s now on probation

She’s court mandated to go to treatment

She doesn’t want to change…

The counselors said,

“she’ll end up back in prison in no time.”


When I seen Jane

I seen she was a person

Who joked all the time,

And she was really tall

She had tattoos up her arm

To cover up the scars.

She looked tough

But in her eyes she looked afraid.

I was only an intern

I spoke to her with empathy and warmth

I treated her as a human,

Not a criminal,

Not an addict….

I seen her as “Jane”

I didn’t let her years of being in and out of prison get to me.

I still did my job.


One day in my group

Jane finally opened up

She always was the one to either make a joke,

Or stay quite

But Jane finally developed trust

She talked about what happened to her

As a child, growing up.

I was only an intern…

I was surprised, when Jane said…

She felt comfortable enough

In my group to open up

Jane cried as she disclosed that

Her father molested her younger sister

Right in front of her eyes

Her father told Jane not to worry

Just watch, and that

He wouldn’t do the same thing to her,

So don’t be afraid…

He told Jane that she was too ugly for him any way.


She then went on

To having feelings for girls

Because she figured

Boys wouldn’t want her

After what she internalized

And when she was 8

She began to molest her 4-year-old cousin

Because she thought it was a normal way to socialize

She eventually realized

That was not normal at all.

For years

Jane was filled with



And self-hate.


Jane eventually became addicted to drugs

This was her way of finding an escape.

She blamed herself

For what her father did to her little sister.

And how she sat there and watched.

Jane started to self mutilate as a teen

She figured that’s the punishment she deserved

For not speaking up


Jane didn’t care about prison

Because After a while

Prison became a home

She couldn’t hold down a job or finish school

The system Is the only way of living Jane knows.


Jane fell in love

With another client in the rehab

Her name was Maria

Maria was in prison for murder.

She murdered her stepfather that molested her.

No wonder she snorts coke…

And doesn’t trust social workers!

Maria loved Jane so much

She would risk anything for her.

They were caught having sex

On the unit by some one in charge.

Maria’s P.O.

Already told her…

“Break a rule

You going back to jail

For non-compliance,

So don’t fuck up.”


Maria and Jane

Then ran away together

All they can do is hope that they won’t get caught

They wanted to spend as much time together

As they possibly could

Jane wanted to fully get the chance to love Maria

And be happy with her

They wanted to start a new life.

To be able to show intimacy

Without looking around



The supervisor felt sorry for them

She said….

She gets how it is

She just doesn’t understand

How they couldn’t just

Follow the rules

And finish the program


Did they just blow it all like fools?


She doesn’t understand….

They don’t care about prison

Their trauma was the real prison

It kept them locked up all their lives

They were always told

What to do

From Jane’s dad molesting her little sister

And telling her to watch

To Maria’s stepfather

Molesting her

Till she shot him with a gun

To prison guards telling them

When to eat,


And wash

To a rehab telling them

How they are addicts,

They need to follow the rules

And that they need

To tell strangers

Why they use.


But Maria and Jane

Opened up to each other

And found something

That made them smile, despite their pain

Jane felt like

Maria was the little sister

She wished she could of saved.

Maria consoled Jane

And assured her

That the abuse wasn’t Jane’s fault

Jane was only a child,

And that when it came to her cousin

She didn’t know any better

Maria accepted Jane for who she was

Not the labels placed on her by society

Or the ones in her chart

Not the addict…

The outcast…

Or the bipolar lesbo

Who doesn’t want to grow up.

The system could never love Jane

It only wanted to make money

Off her addiction,

Control her,

And then be the ones to say…

We helped Jane recover.

The therapeutic notes

And urine tests were suppose to be

The only progress that could be measured


Falling in love,

Having sex,


Running away

Was probably

The bravest thing they ever did.

They allowed themselves to be vulnerable

They formed a bond

They finally felt able to trust

Maria only had sex for money


That sex act

They were caught doing

Was the first time

Maria actually made love


Jane finally opened up

She formed a meaningful friendship

She finally felt loved.

And if

They end up back in prison

And never see each other again

They’ll at least be able to

Sit In their cells

And know they have experienced

A first love

That most people never felt



Their charts will always call them…



And addicts

They will be seen as





In need of a wake up call,

Lost souls,


Mentally unstable,

And thieves.

Jane and Maria

Will be seen as failures

Who are not capable

Or stable enough to love,

That they are only avoiding reality



Jane and Maria

Have been

Reduced down

To files

And numbers


Like they were less than human

When they were child molestation victims,

Who got older

And became

Heavily addicted to drugs

How can we…



To a human being….

Simply by

Looking through a chart!


But to me……….

They’ll always be…

Jane and Maria

I never cared about their files,

I seen their souls

I knew their heart.












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