If you have any questions for Andy about the prison system, what it is like, what goes on there, or anything, please leave the question in a blog comment and Andy would be happy to answer it. It keeps him occupied and allow us to learn about the system.

Also, for his friends, he would LOVE to get pictures of anything, so if you have his address, please send them to him, or if you would like to email them to the blog editor, you can do that and he will print out the pics and mail them to him.

He is now attending the class he must take before his release, and he will mention the journal entry memo they discussed that day in class.

Even if you don't know Andy, feel free to comment on his blog entries, which he gets and will respond to.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Todays' class discussion topic  “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is all you really need.”

It’s Thursday morning and everything is still great here with me.  I think after today, I’m going to stop making that statement and you can simply assume that everything is OK with me unless I explain otherwise.I think I’ve just about reached the point where I genuinely am comfortable with enduring the remainder of my time here.  I think, up until recently, I’ve been tricking my mind into thinking positively, but now the thoughts are real.  I don’t know that there is anything that they can do here to deflate my spirits at this point.  Sure, some days may seem a little longer than others, but overall, I’m good to go until January.

Now to address some reader comments. We had some mail delays for a while but I think things are running more smoothly now so I should respond to your comments in a more timely fashion. Please keep any comments or questions coming!
Jeff B. – Thanks again.  Did you get all your boat issues resolved?  I’ll see you soon.

Christy – I was wondering where you wandered off to.  I’m glad to know you’re still around.  We’re under 3 months now, so just hang in there a little longer and try to have dreams of Water Moccasins.

Maria - The end is indeed very close.  I sent you a letter and I’m very excited to hear about your entire family coming to the U.S.A. next summer.   That’s awesome!  I’ll talk to you soon.

Marc’s Queen -  Thanks for keeping me in mind.  I still can’t believe it took 5 months for my answer.  I think I would have gotten my FI-3 if I would have been voted on back at the start of the summer and that would put me at home by now.  Oh, well.  It will all be finished soon.  Do you have a parole date soon for your family?   I will definitely continue the blog during my transition period once I’m released.

Shane -  I’m keeping up with football just fine.  Actually, I think I pay more attention to it in here than I did in the real world.  A&M is awful. The A&M/Texas game will end up being close this year.  There will be nothing at stake other than bragging rights.  I disagree with your take on the Texas/OU game.  OU controlled from start to finish.  The penalties would not have affected the outcome.  Also, I think it is an outright fabrication about your child being a running back.  It is genetically impossible for this to have occurred naturally.  There must have been some sort of mutation way back when.  Or maybe you’re paying the coach…

No, seriously, it sounds like your hands are completely full, and that both football players are doing well. That’s great to hear!  It does not surprise me at all to learn that you drank too much at the tailgate.  You are still a lightweight, but at least, you’re not giving up!  I think I know who just started working with you, but I thought she already worked there.  Did she just move to your department, or do they both work there now?  It’s a good thing we are in a family friendly environment, or I would have some very funny comments to share.  We’ll discuss it all later.  I’ll talk to you soon and we’ll do the mid-spring fishing trip as usual.

Frankie – Instead of wearing letters when I get out I have a better idea.  I will hire a tattoo artist and all of my friends can line up for identical Greek gang tats.  It will be great.  We’ll all put them in spots completely visible to the public and our employers.  I don’t think I own any more clothing with my fraternity letters.  The T-shirts finally wore completely out.   Wait, I just remembered some sweatshirts.  I do still have a couple.  How funny!

Eddie C – I suggest you increase the intensity of your workouts immediately, if you want to stand a chance in our battle.  Roses are red. Polar bears are white.  You should be ready… lose the fight.  I’ve had several people tell me that they had no knowledge of these gold coins.  I’m clueless, but I guess it’s obviously not that big of a deal.

MamaB – Hang in there for all the stories and gossip.  You gotta be quick and on your toes here.  A fear of frogs?  I can see that.  Personally, I have no problem with frogs, but I can see how the sliminess might make one queasy.  Out of the 8 people in my room, 4 have radios.  The radios are only supposed to operate through a set of headphones, but one guy has his rigged up to play aloud.  It’s on some R&B station that the blacks here seem to really like.  It is on literally 24/7 and is very annoying.  I would love to smash it; and there is a slim chance that I will.   All of the games that we usually care to watch are on television, so there isn’t any need for people to congregate at a radio.  I listen to satellite radio almost 100% of the time in the real world.  I didn’t realize just how inundated the waves are with the Spanish stations.  My radio doesn’t get good reception, so I ordered a ‘Walkman type’ radio from the commissary a couple of weeks ago.  It’s supposed to be here this week.  I am very ready to try it out and see if I can get some decent music while listening outside.
I have no idea if the parole board regularly convenes on Fridays.  I have a feeling they work a fairly normal schedule and therefore, work most Fridays.  I agree that fall is a great season.  The weather here is MW is just terrific.  I’m not used to these perfect days lasting for so long.  Houston doesn’t have a fall season anywhere near like this.  Do you by any chance have your ‘fall fishing run’ confused with the ‘spring spawn’?  It really doesn’t matter; it’s only semantics.  If you’re catching them, it’s all good!  The gold coin thing…I really think that the gold coins are accepted by the CO’s here in exchange for handy items like keys, hacksaws, and ropes.  However, right now I’d much prefer the coin with the chocolate inside to a hacksaw.  This Life Skills class really isn’t bad.  I’ve started bringing in newspaper articles and we are discussing those every few days along with our normal talks.
When are you expecting a parole answer?  A guy in my dorm that had been down 3 previous times went home about 10 days ago on an FI-1.  He had served about 22 months on a five year drug sentence and his was his second chance at parole.  Nearly all of the ‘rule following inmates’ here are making their 2nd parole, if they have a 4 or 5 year sentence.
  Does your son have a short way date or was his sentence aggravated?  I bet you get some good news pretty soon.  Thanks for your continued support and I really look forward to an update on your specific situation.  My two cents on whether or not to speak to a parole member on behalf of your son is 100% ‘yes’.  Definitely do it.  Through my unlimited time in here to mull over the decisions of the parole board and talk to countless inmates, I have drawn many of my own conclusions.  One thing that I am certain of, is that the parole board operates on a bell curve basis in determining who is paroled.  Let me try to explain.  Through studies, the board has arrived at specific ratios that are ideal with reference to parole rates.  These rates vary by offense severity and other factors.  Try to be open- minded when considering my next statement.  

It doesn’t matter how ‘perfect’ of a candidate an inmate is for parole.  The parole board, on a long term basis, must adhere to pseudo quotas.  A candidate for parole doesn’t have to be a model prisoner.  He only has to best the other candidates that are being reviewed by the board at or near the same time.  For example, let’s say the board paroles 50% of all inmates. That suggests that a successful parole decision only means that an inmate has to be a better candidate than ½ of the other inmates up for parole.  If it so happens that there is a bunch of scum that is parole eligible at the same time as your son, then he would  have a greater chance at making parole than if, at the same time he was being voted on, the board was also reviewing 350 S2 model prisoners with parole attorneys.   

My ultimate point is that I feel a prisoner needs to do anything possible in order to ‘stand out’ to the parole board.  You would be amazed at the number of prisoners that submit nothing  to the board before their review (no parole packet, so support letters, etc.).  The parole attorney, your support letters, and your personal talk with a board member are all things that possibly will ‘jump out of the page’ at the board member.  If I could do mine over again, I think I’d put glitter at the top of each page of my packet and staple something very exciting to the cover.  Anything  to be noticed.  Of course, I realize that no one inmate is in direct competition with another.  However, the board is composed of humans.  They are aware of the required ratios and can’t help but to somewhat judge their decisions accordingly.  I hope this helps.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for responding to my parole type questions. You made perfect sense and hit on a few points I hadnt thought of. So I will be putting my big girl panties on and mustering up the nerve to talk to the board. We should be hearing our answer soon. PED was October, still waiting for his file to go to board. Shortway is April 2011, sentence was not aggravated. Hopefully, if his parole is denied with a serve-all, he will make the shortway.
    You mentioned that I might possibly have the fall fishing run confused with spring spawn...oh contraire..the fall run is when certain saltwater fish, such as flounder start heading out to the gulf to warmer waters and return in the spring. The big ladies usually hang around the bays a little longer before heading out. Its also a good time to catch reds, croaker, etc. So I guess basically its a salt/freshwater comparison type thing. Sadly Ive pretty much missed it all this fall, but some of the best ones are caught around Thanksgiving, so maybe Ill fatten everyone up on turkey and head out! Yeah, that sounds like a plan!