February, 2009

Prison Administrators Can Enhance Security by Offering E-mail to Prisoners

In a previous post, I wrote about the benefits prison administrators could realize by offering inmates access to modern technology like e-mail. Mel Lopez commented that he agreed it was important for prisoners to maintain support networks, though he had questions as to whether I thought administrators should grant e-mail access to those offenders who […]

Do Prison Staff Members Encourage and Promote a Postive Lifestyle For Prisoners?

Lauren is a university student studying criminal justice who asked a question about the challenges I faced when I was pursuing my university degrees. I want to respond to Lauren’s questions by describing an interaction I recently had in a group meeting at the Taft Prison Camp. A prison counselor was present, overseeing our group […]

My 7,861st Day In Prison

Monday, 16 February 2009 I left my cubicle at 3:05 this morning. The extraordinary visit I enjoyed with my wife yesterday took a lot of energy out of me, so I slept in a little longer than usual. The payment for those extra 30 minutes of sleep would mean that I had to sacrifice my […]

Blogging for Dummies Book Report

Date Read: February 7, 2009 Book Title: Blogging for Dummies Book Author: Suzanna Gardner and Shane Birley Book Publisher: Wiley Publishing (2008) Nonfiction/368 pages Blogging for Dummies was the third book I read in 2009.   Reason I read Blogging for Dummies:  A friend of mine sent me this book through the mail when I […]

Beware of Roman Frabrizi in Prison

I’ve met scores of con artists during the more than 21 years I’ve served in prison. New prisoners should avoid interacting with them. I say con artist, I’m not talking about the men who led Ponzi schemes or who were convicted of the various fraud statutes. Those types of white collar offenders filled federal prison […]

Celebrating Another Valentine’s Day in Prison

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. This year marks the seventh February 14th that Carole and I have celebrated together. I know that I’m blessed to have a loving wife who commits herself wholly to our marriage in spite of the long prison sentence that I serve. Others I’ve met in prison have asked how Carole and […]

Matt Reports To Marion Prison Camp

Matt is a prisoner who was scheduled to self-surrender to Marion prison camp in February. He discovered my writings through an internet search and wanted to know how I was able to publish while I served my own prison term. Matt also requested information on prison life and what he should bring with him when […]

Prison Administrators Should Encourage Prisoners To Nurture Community Ties

In the federal prison system of early 2009, a huge disconnect exists between administrative platitudes and the policies by which prisoners must live. Often, those discrepancies hinder individuals who are striving to prepare for law-abiding lives upon release. Prison reforms could and should bring the expressed concern for rehabilitation into harmony with the rules that […]

Gang Banger and Lifer Show Model for Reform

I met Walter Jones at Taft Prison Camp. Many of the prisoners at Taft were serving time for white collar crimes. They were well educated, serving sentences that rarely exceeded five years. Walt was different. He was a former hardcore gang banger with more than 12 years of incarceration behind him. Walt’s time in prison […]

Prison Policies Block Families from Nurturing Ties with Loved Ones in Prison

In the Second Chance Act of 2007, Congress found that although close family ties represent one of the most effective resources to help offenders in prison transition to society successfully upon release, prison administrators under utilize the resource of families. As a long-term prisoner, I know that Congress missed the point. Administrators not only fail […]

They’re Prison Guards, Not Correctional Officers

Readers have sometimes criticized me for referring to those who staff prisons as prison guards. They don’t like the term prison guard. They would prefer that I used the term Correctional Officer. When I was living in Lompoc’s Federal Prison Camp, Officer Smith told me that he found the term prison guard demeaning. He said […]

Lowering Recidivism Rates Through Liberalism

Josh is a recent graduate from Yale University who responded to an earlier article I wrote about prison guards. In my article, I had given my perspective on why they were guards rather than correctional officers, and Josh wrote about lessons he had learned through a course in political psychology. According to findings from an […]

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Prisoners–Article Seven

Prisoners Should Embrace Accountability Highly successful prisoners see themselves as a part of the broader community. Prison boundaries may separate them from daily interactions, but their sense of connectivity never wavers. To the prisoner focused on emerging successfully, nurturing that connection drives his every action and thought. An essential component of that plan requires that […]

Support Senator Jim Webb’s Call for Prison Reform!

The article below appeared in The Washington Post. Contact your elected Congressional officials and: 1) urge them to learn the facts about America’s failed prison system, 2) tell them to support legislation for national prison reform. Click here to find your legislators and their contact information: United States Senators, US House of Representatives Webb Sets […]

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Prisoners–Article Six

Prisoners Should Synergize By practicing each of the seven habits of highly successful prisoners, remarkable goals can be achieved. When prisoners apply the strategies consistently and deliberately over time, however, a synergy ensues. Synergy creates conditions that make the total effect greater than the sum of the individual effects. When people in prison launch proactive […]