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).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blogging as Therapy

I love it.

  • A 2005 survey by Digital Marketing Services for a found nearly half of the 600 people polled derived therapeutic benefits from personal blogging. 'Instant support system'
  • Writing long has been considered a therapeutic outlet for people facing problems. A 2003 British Psychological Society study of 36 people suggested that writing about emotions could even speed the healing of physical wounds: Researchers found that small wounds healed more quickly in those who wrote about traumatic personal events than in those who wrote about mundane activities.
  • Blogging can create an instant support system, especially at a time when you might not have the energy or resources to seek out people who've shared your experiences," says Mason, author of "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch," a book on keeping a blog interesting.
  • John Suler, a psychology professor at Rider University in New Jersey, has studied the overlap of psychology and cyberspace. Blog audiences are usually small, he says, but "going public with one's thoughts and experiences can be a self-affirming process."


Anonymous said...

Bill, YOur stay in Federal prison was very short - were you lucky or was the crime very little?
My brother is facing about 5 years in Federal Prison for looking at child porn on his computer - everyone wants him to go to prison at the one you went to in Pensacola. Right now he is in a county prison awaiting sentencing.
We don't have any idea what to expect - I live in NYC so if he does end up in Pensacola it will be a big trip for me to visit him.
I guess, I would like some idea as to what it is like to live in this prison, what are the duties and what is the food like? How are the inmates towards each other?
If you could help I would appreciate it = the info might give me some peace of mind.
Best regards,

Tea N. Crumpet said...

What you say Bill is very true.

Bill Bailey said...


Sorry to hear about your brother.

Sentencing for even simple possession of child porn images on one's computer is extremely harsh. Not to mention that he might have to register as a "sex offender" afterwards (and all the limitations and stigma associated with that) with perhaps computer restrictions and significant supervised release. Not an easy future.

As for what he can expect in prison, I would recommend you start at the beginning of my blog (see date timeline on the left and start in March, 2007). This will explain the whole process starting one week before I reported through the 3 months I was there and then afterwards. Like with most blog, you have to read them chronologically backwards.

For sure it will be better than the county jail he is in.

For 5 years, he will do a little less than 4 years plus 5 or so months in halfway house.

If I was your brother, I'm not sure I would tell anyone why I was there. I don't think he would be subject to any violence in a prison camp (I was not aware of anyone there for the same offense) but I would maybe make up a bank fraud conviction or something.

Good luck.