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).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reader Comments

These are comments I have received to my gmail account ( from readers who chose not to post comments online. I have of course slightly edited where necessary to not compromise their privacy.

Comments received while in prison:

I've been enjoying Bill's blog throughout the last few days. As a convicted white-collar felon on my way to Jesup FCI (most likely the camp, from what the forum bloggers are saying), Bill's thoughtful commentary has already helped me tremendously as to what to expect when I arrive. -- Gregory

I'm sure I will have more to say very soon but I just found out 2 days ago that instead of the 12 months probation my attorney said i would get for taking the plea of information withholding (missprisonment of a felony) I will be doing 18months at FPC Pensacola. I report June 4, 2007. Reading your Blog has eased my mind a little and I appreciate that. I still don't know how to handle being away from my 5 year old son and 1 year old daugther, I cry like a little girl everytime I think about it. LOL! Just telling the truth, I'm amazed how supportive and strong my wife is.....I look at her now in a whole new way. I'm sure in time I will learn to cope with missing the children but honestly I just don't see how, other than God, because they spent most of their time with me since I worked for myself. But anyway, I just wanted You to know I appreciate you sharing your experience and I will be Praying for you and your family -- Jonathan [Actually, Jonathan ended up assigned to Edgefield, SC so I didn't get to meet him. I didn't know until prison that there was such a crime as Missprisonment of a Felony, which is a failure to report a felony that you have direct knowledge of... a very odd crime indeed.]

Hey I just wanted to send a note to thank you guys for blogging, I have just stumbled onto this blog in march and have been checking it religiously since then. -- Benjamin

Thank you very much for your compelling blog... I can't thank you for your compelling story and all the information has been so helpful... I have read your blog a hundred times. I printed the entire website and Jerry has it in prison. He reads it daily. I can't thank you enough for all your words of advice and wisdom. It has helped me tons to get prepared for what happened last week. -- Eileen

Comments received since my release:

Thank you so much for creating your blog site and sharing your experiences in the Federal Prison System. Reading your posts has provided a lot of practical insight on what I can expect.
It has also help reduce my fears of being in a prison facility. I will continue checking your blog site every day - please keep the posts coming. -- Jeff

I have been scouring for information on what to expect and trying to prepare myself and my family for what is to come. I have been reading allot on, which is where I found your blog. I wanted to thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and dealing with this the way you have. I plan on showing my wife your blog so she set her expectations as well. -- Joe

First, let me say welcome home! You survived our backwards system! I am happy for you and your wife. I found your website through Prison Talk Online (PTO). I have been a regular visitor there for a few years.I am about to begin serving a 27 month sentence for Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and failure to file a tax return. Those are my supposed sins, but I will tell you that I am 100% innocent and have never broken a law in my life! -- Tracy

I really appreciate you writing about your experience with the federal government criminal justice system. I am having my own experience unfold presently. -- Michael

Just wanted you to know that I stumbled upon your blog last night (via a link from and couldn't stop reading until I'd read every word. As someone with a relative currently at Pensacola FPC, I'm tremendously grateful for your descriptions, as well as insight and explanations. Thanks for what you're doing -- please keep it up! -- Lisa

I just want to say I really enjoy reading your blog, especially the recent updates since your release. You have a wonderful way with words that can paint a picture for someone who is not in that situation. In one of your posts you talk about 'crossing the threshhold' - how life is different for you now. I can tell you that as I go through this process I can relate. Life really does change. I would say for me it crystallized when all this came to a head. Right now, in pre-sentencing, time does two things. It speeds by and I wonder where the days go, and September 4th (my sentencing date) is getting here quicker than i can believe. In the opposite vein, time seems to slowly creep by slower than I have ever experienced before. -- Jim

First off thanks for your info you don't know just how much you have helped me!!!!!! Is there any way I could talk to you, I hate email. I just have some concerns i would like to know about. My # is 000-000-0000 or i will call you on my dime just e mail me your number. Please please let me talk with you. It would help me and my wife so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- Phil

Thanks so much for your informative blog. I have been searching the net for a few years, and I must say, your blog is the most informative about life inside. It really is helpful to know what I'm about to face. It takes a lot of the stress and fear away. Please keep this up, as you will help many others in the future. -- Vincent

I read with interest (and laughter), your site today which I ran across as I was looking for information on the Federal "Good Time Credit" bill. For now, your explanation of the calculation provides one of the most clear I've seen. While I still didn't find the information my son called me to look for, the brief reading I did brought a smile to my face. I was having another one of those days where I slip in to depression. I just wanted to let you know that. -- Vivian

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill you are doing a very good deed by telling the world about your experience, not many people would have the capacity to publish such thorough commentary...
Keep up the good work and keep telling your experience, details from you can only cast a shadow on the experience you went through. You are very sincere and real with this blog...