Maria -All the characters in here are definitely “something else” (to say the very least)! I suppose the cast has changed a little since my last letter. I’m not sure that “Wilson” in here really looks like a volleyball. It’s more the concept, I think. In retrospect, he does look like what I think “Mr. Wilson” would look like from that old sitcom TV show Home Improvement with Tim Allen. Do they air that show in Scotland?
Maria - Friday was the name of a movie over here in the US about 10 -15 years ago (I think). It was about a bunch of black guys who congregated around a barber shop. I don’t even remember the plot of it, but it was a funny comedy.
MamaB - I did learn that Coolidge drew all of the anthropomorphized dogs at the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks! Those pictures sort of bother me. They don’t scare me in any way, I just am sort of annoyed by them. I wonder why. I’d love to write a play or book about my experiences in here, but I don’t know what the plot would be. Right now, it just seems to be random stories. I’m thinking on it, though.
MamaB -Wouldn’t fishing be great right now with all this nice weather? There is one guard here that pulls me out of line every time I pass him because he wants to talk fishing. It’s sort of funny. He’s really a nice guy about 50-55 years old. He’s not just real bright, but extremely sincere, nonetheless. I think he is going fishing this weekend so, hopefully, he’ll have some good stories to share with me next week. I’m still at a loss for how to reduce recidivism. I agree with you that reform NEEDS to happen, but I have an inherent problem with doing much of anything that costs more money. There are just soooo many guys in here that honestly do not give a damn. I don’t know how you would help them. Their family life has destroyed them from day one. One thing that must happen is that the prisons must be more strict. This place is a joke on a disciplinary level. The guards should beat at least 2 inmates a day just to display dominance! I am only saying this tongue in cheek. I think the state needs to use the prison system more as a deterrent. I’m just not sure of the actions they should take, but I think that is the direction they need to go. I have actually shared this viewpoint with some of the rank here. They all agree. I also think that the state needs to incorporate some type of a 3 strike system like California has in place.
Mama B – I know exactly what you mean about needing to visualize everything to have it be relevant and make sense. I’m the same way. It all transgresses to a fear of the unknown. I don’t know how your son’s dorm is set up, but I can tell you that there are 2 phones in our tank of 58 guys. There is never a line to use them and no one ever drops in on your conversation. I feel bad when I have to ask my mom to do outside “projects” for me. Maybe I should have hired a personal assistant before I came here. I do have a good friend that is keeping track of my Facebook account, though. If any one friend requests me, I’ll accept before I even get out. Not sure about repayment to MFE. We haven’t worked out any terms. I’m pretty sure that 99% of the people who know me would watch out for the fact that I take care of my friends, so MFE shouldn’t have much worry.
Marc’s Queen – My friend, Friday, was extremely fortunate. His strategic chance encounter with the parole board member was monumental and probably life changing for him. I hope he ends up alright. I’m sure you’ve read by now that I was interviewed by Parole last week. I did not receive your personal email yet, but I look forward to reading it soon. Hopefully, the moderator can forward it to me and then I’ll respond right back. Thanks for your patience.
Lachsis – I’m glad you’ve kept up this whole time. I really appreciate it. I hope you can read my “Hey folks, that’s it…” blog sooner rather than later, and once I’m out I’ll keep writing. The stories I’ll be able to share in their entirety once I’m out, are going to tie all of this in together and really let everyone have a better sense of prison. I hope your bf is doing OK. I’m sure your relationship is extremely difficult right now and I wish you all the good fortune I can muster. Talk to you soon.
Earl – I had to read your comment a few times to make sense of it and to figure out who Earl was. Obviously, I should have figured it out a little more quickly than I did. How are things with you? I’m glad you’re keeping track of things on here. There have been a handful of times that I have needed to borrow your “Oak” when dealing with the apathy and ignorance that abounds here.
Each time it sort of makes me laugh. I assure you that you’ll be the first to know about the fishing trip, and I will now officially call you out and state that I guarantee that I will catch a larger fish than you will. Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.
Anonymous - Sorry for not getting back to you on your comment from a few weeks back. It was not intentional. I have a 3 year sentence with a start date of January 7, 2010. My sentence will end January 6, 2013. I am eligible for parole May 13, 2010. Right now, my mandatory discretionary review “shortway” release date is May 27, 2011, but it should come down to mid Feb. 2011 once I progress in live class status and get credit for 36 days of back credit while I did work release while on probation. My charge was 2nd degree theft. I originally pled to 3rd degree theft and received 5 years probation and a $70,000 fine. My probation was revoked when I got behind on my payments. I then made a deal to serve a 3 year sentence and increase my fine to $94,000. I was facing a possible 10 year sentence if I did not make a plea agreement. My fine is paid in full now and I’m waiting parole. I have no other charges or detainers and this is my first time in State Jail or TDC.
I get defensive when I go into the details of my crime, so for now, I’ll just say that I was definitely in a gray area on whether what I did was even criminally illegal at all. Obviously the DA thought it was, and to his credit, I could certainly argue his side. That being said, I can argue for it not being illegal, also. In summary, I’m in here for white collar theft.
Anonymous -- Well, what a small world! I’m sorry your son and I met under such unfavorable circumstances. Since you referred to your jail experience in the past tense, I am guessing that I know who your son is (twins??). In any case, I think your experience as a parent was probably worse than what your son and I went through. I can only imagine how your feelings of helplessness tugged at your heart. I hope your experience is over. If your son is on probation, make sure he stays on track. If your experience isn’t over, then just try to hang in there. No one that I was with in County had a long sentence, so I’m sure he will be out soon. Thank you for your comment, and I really hope to hear from you again.
SK – Let me start by saying that you are not alone with your struggles and all the emotions you have right now are normal. If you didn’t feel the way you did then you wouldn’t be human. Did you ever send your son to a really awful summer camp on accident? If so, then you’ve already done this once. That’s all this place is for someone with such a short sentence. He won’t like it, but he won’t be miserable, and he will be fed well. If you see he has been transferred then put at least $85 on his books immediately using Jpay.com. Send him a letter using Jppay.com and let him know there is money waiting on him. This will keep him from having to wait 10 days to make commissary and will make his life much easier.
My BP is now stone cold low again. I’m almost embarrassed that I let myself stress out and it got so high. It was anxiety driven for sure.
Before I came to jail I heard many people say that once I was in here for a while then the time would start to fly by. Well, excuse me for being a little skeptical, but I wanted to know exactly how long this mysterious little time warp thing was gonna take. No one could tell me. All I got was a bunch of blah, blah, blah answers. I will now answer the question myself. Two to three weeks in county jail and time will speed up drastically. Time will not speed up at all during the intake process at Holliday Unit. It’s not as bad as the jailhouse rumors lead you to believe, but it does go slowly. Count on 2 weeks of that. He will probably stay at the transfer unit throughout his sentence. (Lots of exceptions, but if he is “normal” then he’ll stay. After 2-3 weeks at the transfer unit his time will really start to speed up in his head. I’ve been at my transfer unit for almost 2 months and time is flying by. It also seems like the weeks are still getting shorter.
I do not like the cliché, “That which does not kill you will make you stronger.” I think it is something frilly said by someone that was about to die. What I can promise you is that on a scientific level, your mind and body will adapt to your situation and they will prevent your suffering from extending past a certain point. Once your mind stops the suffering it will then rationally process it and begin a repair process. The repair might take longer than you’d like, but it will happen. So hang in there! The hardest part for me was the anticipation and by now your son is past that. Hire a parole attorney immediately and work to get him home.
My motivation for this Blog was originally entirely self -centered. I’m quietly egotistic and like to get attention. I was scared of being deprived of all attention and simply blending into the crowd while I was locked up. This did not make Andy happy or comfortable. I had never blogged prior to this, but thought to myself, “Self, you have approximately one week to figure this bog thing out before you go to jail, or you’re screwed.” I saw this Blog as a way to maintain my communication with the outside and keep on feeling as normal as possible. I had heard that as a prisoner I should try to do my time on the inside, not the outside. (This means that you make a new life for yourself inside prison and forget about as much as you can on the outside.) I thought this sounded crazy, so I decided to do the polar opposite and do my time on the outside. I like it this way. I’ll be prouder once I’m out.
Kanadai --I’m glad you’re still here. I find your comments very thought provoking. I won’t even pretend to try and solve our justice system with regards to long sentences and “life” terms. It’s out of my league. I don’t think the US system of probation works well. If I would have had to spend 30 days in jail at the beginning of all this, rather than try to do 5 years of probation, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. I think the US needs to explore using more “shock” value sentences for first time offenders. There seems to be no “deterrent” involved with our system and I think that, at some point, I’ll have to write 4 or 5 pages about my thoughts on this. Does Canada have something similar to 3 strikes? I look forward to speaking with you again.