Saturday, July 26, 2014

‘New Beginnings’

Thursday, July 11, 2014

I have hit an inner prison milestone. I am officially eligible for placement in a minimum security prison unit. This is actually a pretty big deal in the cosmic scene of things. I never would have thought that I would go to a minimum yard because I began this odyssey in a Super Maximum prison known as SMU (Special Management Unit) Inmates that begin there, rarely, if ever, make it to a medium security facility, let alone a minimum.

Prison security levels are somewhat complex – so I will try to break them down for you. Hopefully you will have a better understanding of how inmates are housed in a correctional system.

Inmates live alone in a 6x10’ cell for a minimum of 2 years upon entering prison. It’s underground so there is no daylight, no recreation, no contact with other human beings and the lights stay on 24/7. Inmates are permitted to have a television, hygiene products and stationary only. Inmates are allowed (1) 5 minute long phone call per week and (1) 2 hour visit behind glass on weekends however the inmate is chained to the phone receiver and the table behind the glass. Meals consist of a sack breakfast/lunch and a hot dinner.

This population consists of: murders, rapists, lifers, death row and inmates deemed as ‘STG’ (Security Threat Group)

I served 2 years and 19 days in SMU

Inmates are in a cell with another inmate of the same race or gang affiliation (when necessary) They are allowed 3 hours of recreation every other day along with a shower. If behavior warrants, the inmate can have a job and receive contact visits on the weekends. Inmates can purchase food at the commissary and receive packages from family and friends monthly.

This population consists of: Inmates who have already served 2 years in Super Maximum, and those who have committed armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and manslaughter.

I served 3 years, 4 months and 21 days in Maximum Security (The “Walls”)

Inmates live in large, open dormitories or Quonset huts. They are assigned a 6’x8’ cubicle space which has a bed, a locker and a desk. Inmates can shower, go outside and use the phone whenever they want between 0500 and 2000 hours, Inmates can shop at the commissary weekly and are allowed better paying jobs with greater responsibility.

This population consists of: Inmates who have already served in Maximum Security or for those who have committed hit & run, burglary, simple assault, weapon or drug violations.

I served 7 years and 2 days at the following Medium Security facilties: Barchey, Santa Rita, East Unit, Stiner, and now, Cheyenne at Yuma

Everything is the same as a Medium Security facility with the addition of minimum wage paying jobs off site the prison complex, more freedom of movement and less prison politics
This population consists of: light drug charges (marijuana, prescriptions and paraphernalia), forgery, DUI, & resisting arrest.

The demeanor of Minimum Security is said to be unlike anything else I have experienced and it is something I will have to adapt to.

The other night I was speaking with Joey and sensing my nervousness over this change, he turned the situation around for me. He was able to get me to view this Minimum Security yard as a good thing. It is simply another step toward letting go of so many of the traits that I have adopted in here that I will absolutely not need outside of prison. As I have said before, “change” is a good thing and I will embrace it because I have earned this privilege. I doesn’t mean that I have any less anxiety about it.

Minimum….Here I come….


Thursday, July 11, 2014

I am so very tired…

I have become completely unaware of the energy I have been putting forth to tend to, manage and figure out so many things that I have no control over. Somehow, I continue to fall into this regime and it is so dangerous for me because I am naturally a “fixer” of things. That in mind, it is easy for me to become consumed by issues that are not my own. I have become short, irritable and frustrated on so many levels. I need to waive the proverbial flag and just give up… It is easier said than done.

To list the specific reasons that my blood has been at a constant boil over the past few days would be unfair since the people that it concerns would not be able to defend their actions. So I will choose to remain somewhat vague here. Believe me though, when I say that the issues that I am struggling with have been simmering for quite some time. A close friend actually summed it up deftly; “it was just a matter of time…”

I know in my heart that this is true because I am excellent at holding things inside, locked up tight – all the while putting on that smiling/laughing and unassuming face. Inside however, I am a pressure cooker and eventually everything will explode. Normally I can see how the explosion will turn out, what it will fix or damage. In this case however, I am unable to see any benefit in the impending explosion.

Unplugging seems to be the only logical and mature thing to do at this point. I will have to work hard at it. I think that I can do it… but it will be something that I have to pay attention to in a very methodical way.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom is: 

·                      Freedom is: The smell of freshly cut grass

·                                                            Freedom is: Soaking in a warm tub

·                                            Freedom is: An innocent kiss

·                       Freedom is: Running in a forest

·                                   Freedom is: Interacting with new people

·                                                                           Freedom is: Privacy

·              Freedom is: Physical Mobility 

·                             Freedom is: The Ability to make a choice

·                                                       Freedom is: A warm embrace

·                                                                Freedom is: Flying

·                                  Freedom is: Learning new things

·                  Freedom is: Sex without reproach

·                                                                  Freedom is: A state of mind

·                                                                           Freedom is: Love