Steven & Suzie Jennings were married in February of 2014, in a prison visiting room.
Suzie created a WordPress blog for Steven in 2013, titled Stone City Blog, where he could share his incarcerated journey, and also to help promote his ebook.
Steven loved writing and blogging his thoughts for his family, friends, and the world to read. He truly could feel that his voice was being heard. Blogging helped change his life, and he felt a strong sense of connection to society. It created a community of support around his writing, which inspired him to be the best he could be.
He told his fellow inmate friends about his blogging, and then several became guest writers on Stone City Blog. Word spread within his facility, and soon random guys were coming up to Steven showing an interest in blogging. At this point, Steven & Suzie saw the potential. And this is when Steven came up with the master plan idea to create a blog specifically designed for inmates. He saw first hand that blogging could be a valuable tool used to help rehabilitate the inmates who truly wanted it.
When Steven first started blogging, Suzie would type up each post from a handwritten letter. As there started to be guest bloggers, there became extra work for her typing up each and every written blog post. So to take away that tedious time-consuming step, she started utilizing JPay.com (an inmate email service) for receiving Blog Submissions.
In the summer of 2017, the name Stone City Blog was changed to Inmate Blogger. They felt that this name change showed more clearly what the blog is.
Steven’s incarceration gives him certain obvious limitations as to how he’s able to help from behind those prison walls. Therefore, Suzie stepped up and is the one carrying out and executing every step towards making Inmate Blogger a success. She has spent countless hours managing the blog and reaching out to inmates offering them this blogging opportunity. She is the lady behind-the-scenes doing all the grunt work to bring the vision into reality. (Check out this Broadly article about her and Inmate Blogger: “After Marrying Her Prison Pen Pal, This Woman Is Sharing Inmates’ Writing“)
Patience, understanding, and communication are the paramount things which have helped Steven & Suzie along this journey. They are in a long distance marriage, with little phone time and have only a few visits per year. It is mainly through emails/letters in which they communicated through the process of creating Inmate Blogger.
With Steven’s tenacious, relentless & entrepreneur spirit combined with Suzie’s creative, compassionate & steadfast ways, they were both able to work together. In fact, those qualities began to intertwine together and create new positive habits in each of them. Finding the right balance between creating this blog and also navigating their incarcerated marriage was a challenge at times, but they each had love & passion in their heart to help see them through the rough patches.
Steven & Suzie want to give the gift of blogging to thousands of inmates by offering them this platform for their voices to be heard on Inmate Blogger. They support and believe that writing can be a great source of rehabilitation, growth, and healing. And the door swings both ways, viewers can also gain a better understanding of a prisoners journey and learn more about their life inside of those prison walls.
NOTE: Steven & Suzie are now divorced. This blog post was written while they were still married.