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Marion says was allowed to bring only a tiny number of personal possessions to jail with her—a Bible, a few photos, and a list of important addresses and phone numbers. Marion says she spent much of her six-month sentence writing to friends and family. "I learned that the only real way that I could communicate how I was feeling, how I was doing, with my family—in particular my husband—was to write long letters every day," she says. "About important stuff, mundane stuff, my feelings on how I feel about the boys, where I'm at, who I'm meeting, the incredible stories that these women are sharing with me."

Marion says her lowest point in prison was missing time with her children, including both of her sons' birthdays. "Having to be away from them and not experiencing those milestones, you can't ever get those back," she says.

Watch Marion read a letter she sent her sons from prison. Watch

Since her release, Marion says she has a newfound love for her freedom. "I appreciate so much more now the little things—going to the supermarket, being able to buy whatever I want," she says. "There are days where I drive to pick up my son, and I just thank God that he's given me the gift to do that. There are so many days when I was in prison when I had wished I could have ... just held my kids or picked up the phone and called my best friend."
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FROM: Former Olympic Medalist Marion Jones' First Interview After Prison
Published on October 27, 2008

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