November, 2008

My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror

My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror is an autobiography describing the career path of Louis J. Freeh, who was a former director of the FBI. Prior to his post as FBI Director, Freeh had been an FBI agent, a U.S. prosecuting attorney in the Southern District […]

Reflecting on the Long Prison Sentence I Serve

I made the bad decision to sell cocaine when I was in my early 20s. That decision led me into criminal charges, indictments, convictions, and a 45-year prison sentence. Despite having no history of violence or prior imprisonment, my sentencing judge and the U.S. prosecutors wanted me to serve a significant portion of my life […]

Why I Don’t Succumb to Prison Influences

I have never embraced the values that prison environments perpetuate. I recognize prisons as exquisite designs to condition offenders for further failure. My interest has never been in cultivating a reputation within prison boundaries. Rather, I have always thought about the life I wanted to lead upon release. While I was beginning my term inside […]

How I Avoided Prison Subcultures

Prisons are like mini communities, totally separated from the wider society. Those who live inside find cultures that differ in remarkable ways from the America that most citizens know and love. In what I call the real world, citizens strive to reach their highest potential. People earn respect by working to educate themselves, by contributing […]

Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters by Bill Tancer

As a long-term prisoner, I’ve never had a direct experience with the Internet. Through my wife and partners, I’ve been writing content for my Web site at since the late 1990s, but all of my knowledge about the Internet and steps I could take to use it more effectively has come through books and-technology […]

Religious Programs in Prison

Although I have not participated in organized religious programs in prison, many prisoners find them soothing and therapeutic. Every prison where I have been held has had a room or rooms that were reserved for chapel services. They were nondenominational, as prisoners from every faith used the chapel rooms for worship services. With staff budgets […]

Why Don’t More Prisoners Take Advantage of Improvement Programs?

America is a magnificent country because it inspires hope in all of its citizens. Anyone who applies effort and works toward excellence can succeed. Every American has the power within to reach meaningful goals. Those who live in prison, on the other hand, struggle through constraints that are much more like communism than the society […]

How to Avoid Problems and Violence in Prison

During the more than 21 years that I have served in prisons so far, I’ve never had a single altercation with another prisoner. I’ve been in minimum-security prison camps since 2003. Prior to that year, however, from 1987 I served time in prisons of higher security. I walked through many puddles of blood, lived amidst […]

We need President Obama to appoint a new Director in the Bureau of Prisons

The President appoints Director of the Bureau of Prisons. The  Director presides over an agency that employs more than 25,000 people and incarcerates more than 200,000 people. The Director sets the policy for the Bureau of Prisons. All employees of the BOP carry out the Director’s mission, and the prisoners must live within the rules […]

Extortion Targets in Prison

I received a letter from a reader who asked whether other prisoners had ever extorted me in prison. The answer is no, I have never succumbed to extortion. That does not mean prisoners have not tried. I spent the first 16 years of my sentence inside higher security prisons. When I was locked inside the […]

President Obama election and newly elected Congress give real hope for prison reform

Two days have passed since millions of Americans elected Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. For the sixth time, I watched election poll results from inside a federal prison. I sat in one of the television viewing rooms at Taft Prison Camp, cheering when the networks called Pennsylvania for Obama. Then […]

Why I Regret that I Sold Cocaine and Fought the Criminal Charges

When I was 21-years-old I joined a group of friends in a scheme to sell cocaine. That was a terrible decision that changed the course of my life. For nearly two years, I was deeply involved in setting up a network that transported the cocaine and distributed it through a supply chain. Those actions resulted […]

Relationships Between Prisoners and Guards

The relationships between prisoners and guards differ in accordance with security levels. In minimum-security camps, there is a much less hostile atmosphere. I have been confined in minimum security camps since 2003. Currently I am confined at Taft Prison Camp, and I find the officers here to be friendly and unobtrusive. They do not go […]

Seeking Protection in Prison

Protective custody, known as PC in prison parlance, is a choice that can have severe consequences for any prisoner. In minimum-security camps, it is not a valid concern as these types of institutions are no more volatile than a corporate office park. Yet in higher security prisons, where there are gang influences and threatening prisoners, […]

Who initiates Sex between Prisoners and Guards?

Some of my published writings about prison describe sexual relationships between prisoners and guards. One reader wrote me to ask who makes the first move, the prisoner or the guard in such relationships. Generally, I would have to say, prisoners make the first move. Yet during the more than 21 years that I have served, […]