One of the most important people in inmate DuJuan Quinn’s village is his sister, Tondalaya Quinn. While Stateside was at Lakeland Correctional Facility, we recorded a conversation between Dujuan and Tondalaya about how they’ve stayed connected as a family while he’s been incarcerated. Listen above.
DuJuan has three children. His oldest daughter Kujuana is 17, his daughter Eriuna is 15, and his son DuJuan, Jr. will be 12 in December.
The hardest part about being a parent while in prison, DuJuan said, is missing the day-to-day of his children’s lives. Everything he knows about their lives, he finds out after the fact. That makes it hard, he said, to “show them the way instead of just always, you know, talking.”
One of DuJuan’s favorite memories with his children was a visit that his son and youngest daughter Eriuna had with him in prison. DuJuan was incarcerated before DuJuan, Jr. was born, and so it was the first time he had held his son.
“And I remember Eriuna telling me, I guess she felt it, she said ‘Well, don’t worry dad, I’ll take care of him.’ So that always sticks out to me,” he said. “What I was feeling in that moment, I just couldn’t believe she can read me like that.”