Taking Responsibility

Ben’s Problem: Going Back to Court For New Criminal Charges

Before I went to sleep yesterday, Ben (another prisoner at Taft Camp) came to speak with me. Ben is a young man in his early 30s who is serving a nine-month sentence. He had been expecting release to come in only four more months, but earlier in the day he was ordered to pack all […]

Puppies Behind Bars program

I was incredibly moved by the Puppies Behind Bars segment featured on Oprah last week. The PBB program trains inmates to raise puppies to become service dogs for the disabled, and for the military men and women who return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). […]

Seduced by the Glamor of Cocaine, I Deserved a Prison Sentence

Prior to federal authorities opening a criminal case against me, I had never known anyone who had served time in prison. My parents reared my two sisters and me in a relatively affluent, north Seattle suburb. They were small business owners and provided every opportunity for success. I lacked the good judgment to appreciate all […]

A Long-term Prisoner’s Reaction to Bush’s Clemency Orders

As I sat watching the CNN broadcast on Monday evening, November 24, 2008, I read a streaming announcement on the bottom of the screen. President Bush had commuted the sentences of two federal prisoners and granted pardons to fourteen other people. Although that news should have filled me with optimism, I was filled with a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Prison Led me to Reflect, Repent, and Reform

My judge sentenced me to serve a 45-year prison term. That sanction at the age of 23 really woke me up. It helped me to understand that I had made some really bad choices as a younger man. I had to acknowledge my guilt. The decades that I would serve in prison gave me an […]