Teen Mom Amber Portwood update from prison by brother Shawn

Teen Mom Amber Portwood scrapbook graphic

It’s been more than seven months since former Teen Mom star Amber Portwood elected to return to prison to serve out a five-year sentence instead of completing a court-mandated drug rehab program. At the time Amber was reportedly hooked on suboxone and admitted to the judge she had never been able to remain clean, even while enrolled in the program. A source close to Amber said she felt that prison was her only option if she really wanted to get clean, and although her decision drew an outpouring of criticism online, it seems her decision may have been the right one.

Amber’s brother Shawn updated fans on his sister’s status by speaking with OK! magazine back in July, telling the magazine Amber was “clean and sober.” He added, “It’s good that she’s there because she has a new level of focus and commitment that she couldn’t get on her own.”

Amber Portwood Behind the Bars Special with Dr. Drew prison interview

In early October MTV aired a “Behind the Bars Special” in which Dr. Drew interviewed Amber Portwood behind the walls of Rockville Correctional Facility and she seemed to be sober and doing extremely well, except for the pain caused by not being able to see her daughter, Leah.

On Friday Amber’s brother Shawn, who remains in contact with his sister via email, provided another update on her status with an entry on his blog. He reveals that in one of their first exchanges Amber wrote, “I just hope you guys understand that I chose prison to help me, and pretty much save me from myself.”

He points out that Amber received a lot of criticism because she chose to go back to prison, which essentially left her daughter Leah without a mother, but Shawn explains that Amber’s health had to come first because “if she were to remain unhealthy then Leah’s importance would be non-existent.” That point is extremely poignant given Amber’s history of depression and suicidal tendencies.

Shawn says that his sister was portrayed by the media as “a very hateful individual” and reluctantly admits that “she was for a while.” But he then writes, “I am happy to say that I absolutely believe that it is all behind her now.”

According to Shawn, Amber is in the third and final step of the CLIFF (Clean Living Is Freedom Forever) drug rehabilitation program and once she has completed that she will then tackle finally getting her GED.

And anyone who has watched Teen Mom knows that drugs aren’t Amber’s only problem, she also has some serious anger management issues, which of course were only exacerbated by the drug use. Shawn reports that in addition to being enrolled in the CLIFF program, Amber has also completed an anger management program.

“That is the one difference that I see in her most,” Shawn says. “She does not get nearly as angry as she used to. In addition, she nearly never curses, and when she does it is not that vulgar.” He reveals that in one of Amber’s letters she wrote, “I make sure I laugh or smile everyday here. I feel emotions, happiness, anger, and sadness but that is still better than before when all I felt was high.” That sounds like an amazing transformation!

Teen Mom Amber Portwood in prison jail

So what about Leah? Does Amber have any contact with her?

Amber tells me that she calls Leah every night, and that she loves hearing her voice. Every chance I get, I send Amber pictures of Leah that I have taken or ones that are on Gary’s Twitter page. She loves getting them, tells me often that they make her cry. Amber told me that her inspirations to better herself are Leah and our father, who at one point only had six months to live. That was 9 years ago and since then he has battled liver disease and cancer. Still in his weakened state he is fighting, and fighting to get a new liver. Amber knows that she has a lot to live for and I feel comfortable saying that Amber will have a better life after all of this is done. By completing the CLIFF program, getting her GED, and being good, Amber can be out of prison and well on her way to a new life in a few months.

The heartfelt blog entry is wrapped up with wonderful strength and humility in a way that only a genuinely concerned big brother could:

Some of you may not like Amber. Some may post hateful messages on here. But know that Amber is a human, and as humans we all make mistakes. She is paying for her mistakes right now, and that is not by being in jail but being away from those she loves the most. She has taken the steps to better herself, which is more than what many would do. It is not often that you hear about someone who has their whole life ahead of them agree to do something like what Amber did, which is agree to a prison term. If you are religious then say a pray for her. If you are hateful then say a prayer for yourself. But keep in mind that all of the negative things that you say will eventually come back to you. The world is full of hate, which is why it can be so dysfunctional. Think!

Amber has been doing extremely well, and it appears that she will be rewarded for that behavior with an early release. As we mentioned in a previous post, Amber is rewarded a day off her sentence for every day she is a model prisoner, which seems to be just about every day! At that rate, she may see a release as early as December, 2014!

We applaud Amber’s strength and efforts to better herself, and concur with Shawn’s concluding statement.

  • Murphy

    I hope she’s not in there for 5 whole years but I do agree a long term sentence was best for her

  • Very glad to hear she’s doing well. Amber could be a huge success if she just stays on track.

  • I think she made a very wise and selfless decision. Although she hasn’t made the best choices in her past, she’s bettering herself now. I’m happy for her. May God continue to bless her and let her better herself.

  • Lauren

    Amber did the hard but right thing and that’s very admirable. She not only owned up to her mistakes but also admitted the rehab program was a joke she could have taken advantage of. Jenelle would be smart to follow Amber’s lead. Though the difference between those two are that Amber has always thought about her daughter while Jenelle doesn’t give one shit about anyone but herself.

  • Honeybear

    Now if we could just get Lindsay in jail…

  • I’m proud of her, and hope that she will continue to do well. It’s not the ideal situation, but it seems like this was what she needed to get her life back on track. God bless her.

  • Why thank you for this awesome post.
    Shawn Portwood

    • Sam

      So let me get this straight…. YOU have to get pics of Leah off of Gary’s twitter to send to Amber, he isn’t sending her any? Has she even got to see Leah? Wtf?!?! My daughters other parent is in prison and if this is the case, that is wrong! He chose to have a child with her so he needs to man up to his decisions too. Even if the baby wasn’t planned, everyone knows the risks. If Amber was dangerous I could see why not, but it sounds like she is doing very well for herself.

  • Jenn

    What happened to Gary sayin he was going to take Leah to see Amber? I know some don’t think that children should be allowed to go to prisons, but I honestly think that her getting to see her mommy is more important then it being at a prison. I hope he isn’t keeping her from seeing her mommy. I mean why isn’t he sending her pictures of her?
    I am happy that Amber is doing so well. She did the right thing and it is a shame that she got so much hate for owning up and trying to better herself for her daughter.

  • mari

    I’m glad…she’s a good mom despite it all, better than Janelle’s ass

  • HoardersFan

    I like Amber. I want her to do well.

  • justine

    Just stumbled upon this article. I do not watch that show or even know who Amber is but WOW she made a hard decision, up against those who thought they “knew better”, and now it thriving. Good for her! I have dealt with addiction and know that only the addicted person can make the decision that works for them. Everyone needs to back off and let this Mom get better for her family!

  • Feisty

    When Amber was first film the viewers had no idea what she was dealing with. This is why people were so judgemental. Amber has serious problems but she has chosen to work on them, even if it is in prison. Thats her path and no one elses. I wish Amber nothing but best in recovery and in life. I pray all her hard work brings her home to be with Leah. “who are we to judge”

  • Kristina Leilani

    I’m so happy to hear she is doing good! Congrats amber:)

  • Fan of Amber

    I feel like she got a bad rap. She is far from a perfect mom but you could always tell she loved her daughter. It doesn’t sound like her family life was very stable. She never learned a healthy pattern. It wasn’t modeled in her home. I hope this makes her a better mom for Leah and I hope this makes her see her great worth. It takes a lot of courage to do what she is doing!

  • mom86

    Amber stay strong girl! She is a great role model and i no when she gets outta jail she wil be the greatest mom to that sweet little girl. I wil continue to pray for her always. She is so awesome! Im rootin for ya girly

  • melinda

    I think it is great that she is working on herself and bettering herself for her daughter! Im so proud of her for doing that. Even tho it is in prison but she felt that was the best place for her. I am continuing to pray for her. Stay strong Amber!

  • Good for Amber! I pray that she keeps up the hard work and determination for her and Leah. I’m so glad she’s doing well and hope that she continues on the same path. It takes a lot of courage to do what she did. We all struggle and go through tough times and this will only make her a stronger person. Hope to hear more good news about her soon. xoxo

  • Jen

    Im glad shes getting help I wish her all the best. I wish ppl would STOP BEING MEAN AND NASTY to her and remeber that she is a Young and she still makes mistakes

  • Guest

    i think this will make amber a better p

  • Some empathy

    I felt awful for Amber while I watched the show. She’s an example of how society gives a lot of lipservice to motherhood being the most important job and the children being our future, and then abandons young mothers as some sort of punishment for having sex. Amber had no resources, no help, no family, and was far too young to handle all these adult problems – Gary, money, a daughter, school – on her own. It’s not surprising she cracked under pressure. I’d bet that everyone criticising her would have cracked too.

    I’m not saying she’s not responsible for her actions, but I really think she was set up to fail. I really hope she gets it together when she’s released and does well.