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 2, 2007

Don't Start Believin'

If Journey had been a prison band, they would have renamed their 80s hit song, "Don't Start Believin'."

I have quickly begun to realize that you can't believe much of anything that you hear from anyone, especially inmates, in prison. You know that maybe 20% of what you hear is straight; you just don't know which 20%.

More so then on the outside, guys on the inside seem to have more to "prove" when it comes to what they know. It's not that an inmate intentionally lies, although I'm sure that must happen, it's just that they don't seem to know that they don't always know what they are talking about.

One inmate told me that he was 100% sure that all inmates could earn 15% "good time" off their sentence, including me. I know this to be untrue, or at least I thought I knew. Only sentences greater than a year can earn time off. I checked later with the staff and sure enough I was right.

Another inmate commented that this is the only prison in the BOP that makes a profit. A correctional officer (c.o.) told me NO prison makes a profit. Then another inmate tells me he knows that Lompoc Prison Camp (CA) makes 3-4 million dollars a year. Now how any of these people could possibly know this, I have no idea.

I could go on and on, but the point is, you should not believe everything you hear in prison, you should not even "start believin.'"


Anonymous said...

You look so happy in your mug shot, you talk of prison like you were excited to go. you hardly have to work. Come on 8 to 2 picking up a little trash is hardly work. you have enough freedom to create an entire webpage and have free access to it. I, a work-class struggling students have to pay $30 for my internet access. I have to pay for my food, i have to pay for the roof over my family's head, I have to pay for my education. and you. you get it all for free. we, the upstanding class, must work for ourselves and now for you and all your inmates. you all get to sit around, get your food handed to you, your gym membership paid for, access to the internet and cable (which most of us have to pay for) and an education or at least the time to educate yourself though the library you have access to (because you are not working your ass off to support yourself of your family). so tell me what's so bad about where you are at? Just commit a crime and all the everyday stuggles just go away? It makes me sick. be a good man and you "poor little thing" wouldn't end up on vacation!

Anonymous said...

Considering these guys are in PRISON for committing crimes and have NO FREEDOM to the outside world NOR do they, typically, have the chance to even have a decent encounter with another human being I think you should lay off. I don't think these guys deserve the golden spoon in their mouth, but in all honesty, it's not JUST being handed to them. You get to HAVE a family.. who are these guys family in jail?? The CO's and fellow inmates.. Families do NOT exist within prison walls... Myself, i've never been to jail, but I know enough to not want to go.

So what, their getting free meals and free internet access.... but how happy would that make you to be allowed the free shit you talked about and yet didn't have the freedom to walk to the corner of your community to get a soda and hang out with friends you were 100% certain weren't going to stab you ...

They always said..
There's no such thing as a free lunch... not even in prison

Anonymous said...

Listen if u think it's that easy by all means there is always a bed available to those looking for "3 hots and a cot". By the way he stated he does not have internet access it is his wife that has the access and she posts his letters that are hand written with a good ole fashion pen and a pad!