Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Week 10 Summary

The theme for this week is the weather -- hot and humid. Seems like June 1 kicked in the summer season. Glad I won't be here in July and August!

Again, I weed-eated (or is it weed-ate?) every day. I'm getting pretty good at it and have started to view it as a challenge. (That is, trying to figure the most efficient and effective way to perform different weed-eating tasks.) I am writing a separate article on attitudes toward work in the camp and how I chose to approach it. A key for me is energy level. I consume a quart of Gatorade in the morning and snack on trail mix throughout the day. That seems to do the trick.

Thursday was particularly exhausting. I weed-eated continuously (i.e. no breaks except to change the string) for 2 1/2 hours in the morning and another 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon. Try it. I took a nap at 5:30p only to wakeup at 11:30p! I hate when that happens.

They changed our work schedule. Normally our bus leaves at 7a after all the buses that travel off-base. The biggest advantage of working B01 (my detail) is that you started 30 minutes later and got back 30 minutes earlier by avoiding the 30 minute bus ride.

Now we leave with the first buses and have to ride the bus rather than walk the several hundred yards. In addition, our lunch break was shortened to 30 minutes, from 60 minutes. They want us out on the base working at 7:15a. The inmates were quite upset. Our supervisors were not happy with the changes either. With less than 3 weeks to go, they could make me work 16 hours a day and I wouldn't care.

We got a new inmate in our work detail -- 51 years old, 350 pounds ... been in prison for 15 1/2 years already. Imagine that poor guy doing groundskeeping in 95 degree weather (heat index).

My May paycheck was deposited on June 8 ... $18.48 for 22 days of work, thank you very much. I'll try not to spend it all at once but it will be hard.

Changing the subject, the warden has been gone for 3 weeks. I'll save the rumours for when I get out. The food also seems to be getting worse over the last 3 weeks. Don't know if there is a connection, but that's how rumours get started here.

Last Friday night, I saw The World's Fastest Indian (very popular with the inmates) and last night Music and Lyrics, which I had seen on the outside, but decided to watch again. As I have stated before, watching a romantic comedy with 250 inmates is a little weird but they seemed to like it.

And then there was Paris ... Hilton, that is. Imagine the sympathy that a 45 day sentence (23 days actually, after good time off, state style) gets from federal inmates. NOT! While I think she is a victim of her own celebrity and it is rather silly to send her to jail, she really does need an attitude adjustment. If she was smart, she would start a blog -- Paris Does Prison -- and make a killing.

I still have to serve 3 months of home confinement when I get out. I will blog about that also. Of course, I will be able to type that myself. I will also review the previous posts and post updated comments with the benefit of hindsight.

Less then 3 weeks to go! My departure plans have been confirmed with my Unit Manager. My parents will pick me up at 8a on Thursday June 28 (that is the earliest you can leave). I have a flight back to Charlotte at 11:25a (arriving at 2p) so we have a little time for breakfast before I get on the plane. My wife is sending clothes to the prison for me to leave in. (Departure clothing can be sent within 30 days of your release date but you have to fill out an authorization form from your Unit Counselor in advance so the mail room knows it is coming.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You are a great communicator and writer, you should think of writing a book on your experiences. I do wonder how much of this is made to be dramatic for the viewing audience such as me, but then again I feel it must be all real since you have no vested benefit other then say how it is. On the outside we watch too much BS TV and news is not real news anymore, all we see is how Paris Hilton survived her 20 days in hell. The drama around her etc...

I am looking forward to reading your departure and house arrest episode. You did not discuss the circumstances of your plea deal and trial or your thoughts on trial, you did not discuss how you only got 3 months when the points were made to give you 10-16 months, What about the cost of defending? How did you find your lawyers? These are great details that make us curious in following your weekly episodes on this blog. I think that would be a great episode of hope and luck. I say it in such a way since each week to me is like an episode on TV.

Seriousely think about TV/documentry or a book deal...You would be very surprised how many people read this BLOG...