Archive for February, 2010

#73 How much is 33-50 months prison time

Doing 33 to 50 months prison time.

This blog is based on a few things, one, somebody has been asking this and I wanted to take a shot at it, to help this person out. Second, after the blog I wrote last night about some idiot criticizing my post, I got 2 very nice comments from people reminding me that for every group of people I try to help, there will ALWAYS be a jerk that has nothing better to do than spit on it…even those who call themselves “prison support” or “Christians”.

They both encouraged me to keep doing exactly what I am doing, because for what it is worth, it does help somebody. So with that encouragement, I can continue to write in full confidence.

Before I continue, check out the short story I wrote awhile back, titled “Where does hope lie for the condemned”…or was it “Where does hope lie for ex felons?” I write so much I often forget my titles.

Now, today’s blog is based on an example that many people are confused about… doing prison time. Years ago, when the judge said “10 years” that is how much you got. But then there was added the idea that an inmate can actually earn time and get out a little sooner by “good behavior”. Nowdays, in many prisons, there is a structured sentence, involving a minimum and maximum time frame.

This is very confusing to a lot of people, so I want to use the example to help you understand how this works. Now, before I continue, let me emphasize that I am going off my experiences in NC prisons, so it could differ in your loved one’s case.

And for the sake of argument, let’s agree that I am given my sentence on January 1st, 2010. I know that this isn’t possible because it is a holiday, but I want to use the first day of the year to help chart out the example. It makes it easier if I do it that way.

Ok, now, let’s suppose that I got a sentence of 33 to 50 months on January 1st. How much time will I really do?

First off, understand that we are talking about 2 ½ years to 4 years and some change. But we have to look at this in months, rather than years. The moment the judge gives me the sentence, my incarceration begins. Now, there are cases of jail credit, which I will add on here, just to make the example, that will come later.

The sentence of 33 to 50 months means that the MINIMUM I can be in prison is 33 months, and the MAXIMUM I can be in prison is 50 months. On the charge I got, I cannot be held in that prison longer than 50 months, and I cannot come out any sooner than 33 months. That is my range of incarceration but there are exceptions.

The moment you get your sentence, you are there for the maximum time. That means when you go to prison, the release date is based on you being there the maximum period of time…in this case, 50 months. So, if I got my sentence on January 1st, then I would be looking at a release date of about March 1st, 2014 (give or take a day or two).

Some people think that an inmate can get out in 33 months, that is partly true. But this is NOT automatic! Lots of people see the low end, and immediately think that their loved one can get out in 33 months, and don’t have to be there for the entire 50 months. This is not totally true. The inmate has to EARN that time, on what we call “good behavior”, but is actually based on “gain time” and “merit time”.

See, inmates don’t get time shaved off the maximum just by being nice…they have to do constructive things to show that they are trying to improve their character, things that are recognized by the prison system, and can thus get time credited against their maximum release date. The difference between the 33 months minimum and 50 months maximum is 17 months…that is the amount of time the inmate, me in this example, can earn, or shave off.

So, how is this done?

Keeping in mind that I am using myself as an example, if I started my prison sentence on January 1st 2010, then the 33 to 50 months means at the very worst, I should get out by March 1st, 2014. But the key now is to find ways to earn time off, and in the prison system there are numerous ways to do that.

Most prison jobs give what is called “gain time” for the time worked. That means if you work a prison job for a month, you will be given days off your sentence. The amount of days differs from one job to the next…I’ll explain in a minute.

Another way to get time off is by going to certain classes. These include getting a GED, going to AA, or DART, or other programs. Even going to some HRD (Human Resource Development) classes can earn you gain time or even merit time.

“What’s the difference?”

Both come off your maximum sentence, but merit time is more valuable, in that once awarded, it cannot be taken away. See, even if you earn gain time, it is possible you can lose some of it by inactivity in prison, or breaking the rules. Most jobs and programs give gain time, some give merit, but those are rare.

Are you following me so far?

So, lets continue with my example. I am starting my sentence, and have a 33 to 50 month period. What I need is something to cut down on that maximum, so I can get out sooner than March 1st, 2014.

Let’s say I don’t have a GED (although I have a college degree). But for sake of argument, let’s say I didn’t graduate from high school. Most prisons have a GED program, and upon completion, inmates earn 30 days merit time against their max date. So I sign up for the program, after being idle in prison for a month. So Feb. 1st I start working on my GED, and lets say in 8 months I finally finish and get my GED.

When I successfully complete that GED, I get 30 days merit time. So, if you are tracking, by October 1st, 2010, I get my GED, and 30 days knocked off my maximum date. So now, instead of me getting out March 1st, 2014, I can get out February 1st, 2014.

Now, let’s suppose after another month of inactivity, I get a job as a dorm janitor. This is a prison job, and gives gain time per month worked. Some prison jobs give more days than others, usually anywhere from 3-6 days per month worked. Lets say in my case, I get 5 days per month worked. So, November 1st, 2010, I get a dorm janitor job, earning 5 days per month.

Let’s say I work that job for a full year. That means I get 5 days PER month worked, or 5 X 12, which is 60 days. By doing that, I knock off 2 months off my sentence, not the original max, because remember, I earned 30 days with my GED. The new maximum release date was Feb 1st 2014. But now, after working a year, I knock two more months off, taking it down to December 1st, 2013.

So after I work a full year as a dorm janitor, by November 1st, 2011, my new release date is December 1st, 2013.

The target date that I would like to get is that minimum, which is 33 months. If I started my sentence on January 1st, 2010, then 33 months takes me to about October 1st, 2012. That is the earliest I can get out of prison, if I do things that show that I am bettering myself, and earning gain time or merit time.

Lets say that after a year of working as a dorm janitor, I get a better job working in the kitchen. Instead of 5 days a month, I now get 6 per month. I switch to that job, and work there 6 months.

That means from November 1st to May 1st, 2012, I am working in the kitchen and earned 6 days per month, or 36 days total. This now brings my release date down one more month from the max. Remember, my new release date is December 1st, 2013, but now, with 36 days coming off that, it is now down to about late October, 2013.

So by May 1st, 2012, my new release date is about October 25th, 2013. (give or take a few days)

Now you notice something here. The very minimum I could be in prison, according to the sentence, was 33 months, which puts me about October of 2012. But now, in this example, I am already in May of 2012, and my release date is October of 2013. At this point, there is no way I can get out by the minimum date, because I have not earned the gain time fast enough. Even if I work that kitchen job another 6 months, at 6 days a month, by the time I finish, it will be November 1st of 2012, and with another month knocked off the max, my new release date would be about September 19th or so, 2013.

So some of you would say, well, if he is already at his minimum, can’t they let him out? It does not work that way. He still has to earn that minimum release date, and with my example, I have not earned enough to get out early. Now, this might be where parole and probation come in, but I won’t include that here. But in my example, I am technically in my minimum release date range, but I have not earned enough to get out.

So as of November 1st, 2012, my new release date would be about September 19th, 2013. A difference of about a year between where I stand now, and when I am formally released. If I work in that kitchen another 6 months, and earn another 36 days, then by May 1st, 2013, my new release date would be about August 12th 2013…only 3 months away.

Now, it IS possible to earn enough gain time to have gotten out by the minimum date, but some of you may ask, what if you earn more? Can you get out sooner. Easy answer…no. The MINIMUM cannot change, even if you earn more gain time and merit time. In my example, the difference in my minimum and max was 17 months. Even if I earned 20 months, the minimum would still be the same. I cannot exceed that date of the minimum release date.

Now, I spoke about jail credit earlier…what if I was in jail 6 months before my sentence? In many cases, the judge will award the inmate jail credit, because a person waiting for his sentence should be (in most cases) given those days since at that time he was not guilty of his charge…only detained. Many people do get jail credit if they were in jail for a lengthy period of time before their sentence. If the judge awards that, that time comes off the MINIMUM sentence…I say again the MINIMUM, not max.

If that was the situation in my example, and if the judge gave me 6 months jail credit, then my real sentence would not be 33 to 50 months, it would be 27 to 44 months… everything shifts 6 months because technically I was serving time BEFORE I was sentenced. So I start off my sentence with less time to do, because I was already doing it long before I was sent there.

I hope this helps you, I could have run up several other examples to help you understand, I mean, I could have gone 10 pages with this easy. I hope it helps you. Well, gotta go, email me when you can, and ask me about subjects you want me to blog about. Until then….

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February 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

#72 Stupid prison thoughts

Stupid prison thoughts

It is about 11:30pm as I watch Kentucky and Kansas lose, and Syracuse win big, this college season is getting really interesting…but I digress.

Tonight I was checking out some blogs and post I wrote on other sites in the past, some over 2 years old, and I ran across one that caught my eye, and one I am going to have to bear fangs over.

Those of you who are new to my blogs may not understand what “bearing fangs” means. That means if I am pissed off about a subject, I will cut loose, and because this is MY blog, I can say what I want. I don’t kiss butt on anybody’s site, I am not afraid to say what I feel needs to be said on some situations. This is what people at Prison Talk never liked about me, and other sites as well. But tonight I am bearing fangs, so watch out.

Tonight I am talking about some idiot on a site on prison place, a site that has posted a lot of my blogs and posts. I wrote a blog about condemnation for those who have served their time, and it, as most of my blogs are, was lengthy. I read some of the comments after it, and one dated about a year or so ago made a comment about how this person (the writer of the comment) was trying to come up with funding to help ex felons get jobs…ok, that sounds nice, need more people like that. The person appeared to really like my post.

But this this moron says that they won’t read any more of my blogs because I didn’t reveal WHY I went to prison…in fact, the person called me a coward for not identifying why I went to prison.

I read the comment and I could just feel wolf fangs growing out of my mouth. I made a comment on the post, and posted it, although I am not sure if that same person is still a member of prison place…it was over a year ago. If they are, then I DARE that person to open their mouth and say something…because I am about to retaliate as to how STUPID that remark was.

First off, when I blog, I share what I want to share, not what some nosy idiot EXPECTS me to share. If a person takes the time to share what he can to help, there ought not be some self-righteous ingrate that feels that I OWE more than I am sharing. This is a major problem with ex felons and their acceptance back into society. People like that idiot are actually looking for a sin in a person that is confessing.

What this person’s brainless argument is simply is, “so what did you do time for?” But tell me this folks…what does it matter? Too many times people who are curious are looking for ways to damn other people, even further than necessary.

I gave one example before while I was on Prison Talk, how I was answering a lot of questions from members who saw that I wanted to help. I get a private message from one lady who seemed nice, and asked me how long I was in prison. I didn’t think much of it, so I told her. Seemed like it would be harmless. I mean to me, it does not matter if you did 2 years or 20 years, if you did time, you know what prison is like.

But days later on one of my posts, this same lady jumps on my post and criticizes me because “her man” did more time than me, so therefore she knows more about prison than I do. It caused a stink and ended up being yanked off the site. I thought by sharing personal info like that could not hurt, I mean, after all, I am here to help. But the very info I shared was used against me by some idiot who had nothing better to do than look for a reason to argue.

This is similar to what the person on Prison Place is doing. By their belief, I am a coward because I am not telling her ( I say “her” because 99% of all people on prison support sites are women) what she wants to know. Yet I cannot see one benefit under God why this helps her in any way, shape or form…in fact, it will only be used to condemn me. If this idiot was so head-strong in wanting to know WHY I did time, she is also foolish enough to judge me for whatever I did time for.

And to many people, this seems harmless, but I say to you, it isn’t. I mean, what charge could I give you that would be acceptable for you to say, “hey, that’s not so bad”? Even if I shared such info, the next question a person would ask is the details of the charge, if they have not condemned me already.

Consider, what if I told you I did time under DUI? Then you would judge me as a drunk. What if I told you I did time as a drug dealer? Then you would judge me as a senseless thug. What if I told you I did time under a white collar crime? Then you would label me a con artist. What if I told you I did time for indecent liberties? Then you would label me a child molester? What if I told you I did time for manslaughter? Then you would call me a murderer.

None of those instances would help me at all, and only give you ammunition to condemn me, when that is the LAST thing you should be doing. The mere fact that this lady called me a coward shows that she was clearly out to condemn me anyway. Sometimes folks, you can be to nose for your own damn good.

And regardless of what people say, society WILL actively condemn you, even if you are doing good deeds. I can give you an example based on my life. A year or two ago, I got an email from a local newspaper at the last camp I did time, in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Somehow, an editor of the local paper ran across one of my blogs online, and contacted me to do a story of ex felons trying to make good in society after their release.

Well, that sounds great. I mean, if it helps, why not?

So I email the editor back, letting them know I would be glad to help if I can, and asked what they needed to know from me.

I get an email back from them, asking me to explain what I am doing to help those with loved ones in prison, and to validate the story, they needed a picture of me, my full name, the prison I was last in, the nature of my crime, and the place of my employment….

Whoa….that is too much personal info!

I emailed them back asking why they needed so much info, and they said they needed it to make the story believable…that without it there would be no credibility. But to me, it is giving them complete credibility at the expense of me being persecuted.

Even if the newspaper did the story of me in good faith, with no true intent of harming me, the mere fact that my personal info…a former inmate, now in society, would no doubt stir up some of the self-righteous morons that think that “once a con, always a con”. And folks, sadly it ONLY TAKES ONE.

If I was working at Wal-Mart, and agreed to do that story, in good faith, then once that story hits, then my personal information is out for anyone to scrutinize…and persecute. People like that idiot on the site don’t understand how damning that is, when ex felons are just trying to get their lives back together. It does not matter what they did to go to prison, if they did their time, and trying to make amends and get their lives back, that ought to be enough.

But if I was working at Wal-Mart, for example, and some self-righteous snob read it, they might get upset that “criminals” are getting jobs that “good citizens” deserve. If that person, or people wrote to Wal-Mart, enclosing the article, with my info, what do you think Wal-Mart will do?

They’ll fire me for no other reason but public image.

You think I am kidding…but it has happened to me before.

Even if the attempt by the newspaper was in good faith, the second it is printed, that same info can be viewed by others as offensive, and will seek to persecute this ex felon simply because they feel that it is there God-given right to do so. And if I lost my job because of it, the BEST that newspaper could say was, “I’m sorry”.

Do you understand how stupid all this is?

Do you understand how damning this is?

Apparently that lady on the site doesn’t. So to her, I am a coward for not “laying on the cross” for her amusement. I say this in strong words, because what this lady wants me to do, and ever ex felon, is to continually nail themselves to a cross so that society can persecute them. Now, if this sounds too strong for you, then you have not fully understood the depth of condemnation, and how silly it is for some people to think that they have a right to expect me to help YOU condemn me again.

Folks, what I did time for is not important, the fact that I DID time is, because it gives me insight on telling you what I have gone through. I don’t ask you to tell me the nature of your loved’s ones crimes when you email me, because it has no impact on how I respond. So many times we are so damned convictive that we just have to get all in people’s personal business, not just out of curiosity, but with an inner motive to condemn. I wrote a blog awhile back called, “Confess your sins, so we may hang you”. Its kinda like those Salem Witch Trials. If a person suspected you of being a witch, they would test you by several ways. One was to take the accused into deep water, and tie a huge rock to their neck, and then toss it in the water. The test was simple:

If you floated, then you were obviously a witch, and were burned.

But, if you sank, you were innocent…but dead.

The irony was that these people doing these foolish things really felt they were doing it “in the name of God”…and they could not be more wrong.

Not much has changed today, has it? Same accusations, just a different time. Awhile back, one of my readers shared an article with me about a guy who did time in prison, and after he got out, he had a decent job working with the city. But when some people found out that he was an ex felon, they complained about it, saying that there were more “worthy” people that should have that job, rather than that ex felon.

See…little has changed.

I am not afraid to tell you the nature of my charge, but with it goes a very somber story, something I personally don’t think the nosy reader has a right to know. The fact that even the judge saw there was some glaring holes in the case against me, and how it reflected in my sentence, implies much more…but that is not your business to know…not yet.

And if a person is offended with that…so what? I didn’t come here to bear my complete soul so some self-righteous idiot can stick more daggers in my heart. Those kinda people don’t give a flip about me anyway, nor anybody else. I wonder how sincere this lady truly would be in her so-called efforts to help ex felons, if she is so distraught with me not telling her what she wants to know about me? Does she REALLY care, or is she just out to get government funding for a bogus charity.

One of the strongest forms of love is to do so REGARDLESS of the past of a person. If you are so concerned about the details of a person’s past, you will never have room in your heart for that person. You will always keep them at arm’s length, and never truly help them from your heart. I say again, what does that misguided lady think to gain by knowing every detail of my incarceration? And apparently, since she decided not to read my blogs anymore, she WON’T know anymore about me.

To anybody who has ever emailed me before…have I ever gotten too personal with you, asking the details of your loved one’s sentence and charge? If you have a son that is doing time for indecent liberties…did I ever ask you about that? Now, some people have emailed me and given me some details of their loved ones, but I continually stress to them that this is not necessary for me to try to help. The problem about having too much info is that we as humans are too stupid to keep them in check. Too much info is often the temptation to condemn.

I don’t care about Tiger Woods’ personal problems, but don’t get me wrong. I hope he comes back to true form soon, better than ever, and I truly hope he can save his marriage. But trust me when I say this, I do not care about the tabloid crap that the media keeps throwing out there. All this causes humanity to cast judgment on a man that, up until that point, had done TREMENDOUS help for charities and people.

But now, in just a couple of months, people look at him as a lowlife…completely unfair to him…I asked this on another blog, but I will ask it here… how many people here are perfect?

Raise your hands….

Anybody?

Anybody out there perfect, with no flaws in their life, nor any sin?

None…I thought so.

So stop condemning others! We all live in glass houses.

For ex felons, it is much easier to condemn because most info is public intel, and I believe a strong reason why it is so hard for an ex felon to secure a good job. Oh he can get one, but all it takes is one person who just don’t like ex felons at all, and that person can lose his job with no fault of his own…I say again, I know this because I have been a victim of it. In fact, more than once.

So I blog about what I can, and I bear enough of my soul so that you can get an idea of what I have gone through, and what I GO through. I mean, even this blog is an example of what life is after prison, and sometimes it shows how people who are in prison support circles, and even those who call themselves “Christians” are the worst enemies of those trying to get their lives back.

About a year or so ago, I was blogging on a similar issue and got an email from a grandmother who knew what I was going through, because her grandson was having a hell of a time trying to adjust. She told me how he tried to get a job, but when people found out that he was an ex felon, they let him go, and it was difficult for him to get a decent job. It’s a cruel reminder that society in general does not have the heart to forgive…and we call ourselves “one nation under God…”

Yet this grandmother did something that touched me. She asked me to not give up, and to please keep blogging about my life, because she followed it a lot. She sent me a card a week later, with $5, and a special note, “just to encourage you for today”. The fact that she took the time to care, send a card, and money touched me almost to tears. How could I not keep writing if there are people like that out there?

Those are the people I try to help, not the ones who think I OWE them something…because I don’t. But if you have emailed me before, you know I will do my very best to help if I can. I don’t do it for a reward, although I really do appreciate the support I get from time to time. I do it because my heart is set on trying to help those with loved ones in prison. For that reason, I blog as much as I do.

So for that person who called me a coward…how many cowards have written thousands of pages to help others? I can imagine that person wrote just a handful, and stopped after that. Anybody can write for a few days, or a couple of months. I have been writing posts and blogs off and on since about 2002…about eight years. Don’t you DARE call me a coward until you write as much as I have.

Anyways, I have said enough for now, even with a throbbing headache, I had to write this out. I hope you guys understand my feelings. Anyway, until next time…

February 28, 2010 at 5:37 am 2 comments

#71 Prison rules: Medication (retro)

http://prison101-nolaw97.blogspot.com/2010/02/65-where-does-hope-lie-for-ex-felons-pt.html

Prison Writeups: Medication

“It is against prison rules to sell, accumulate, give, misuse or hide medication”

This is one of the rules out of the NCDOC rulebook, and I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about this. This blog today is about prison medication, and how your loved one has to acknowledge the rules pertaining to it.

Now, it seems like a no-brainer right? The obvious thing here is that you don’t want your son or daughter, or boyfriend or whomever to get in trouble, so this rule seems self-explanatory. But let’s go through this with a finer comb and see.

According to the rule, it is wrongful to do five things with medication that is issued from the infirmary. But from experience, I have seen many inmates do one, some or all of those things…even I have done it myself.

“But why would you do that, you are just asking for trouble!”

Maybe, but the situation can sometimes force a person do bend, or even break the rules, if it helps them get through the day. We’re gonna need to talk about that for awhile for you to understand what I am saying.

What I hope to share with you in this particular blog is that even when a guy tries his best to adhere to the rules, there will always be times in prison where he may have to bend it to his advantage. One of the rules that can easily be bent is the one concerning medication, as you will see.

According to the rules, it is wrongful to sell medication that you received from the infirmary. You can also extend this to say that you cannot even sell medication that you buy from the inmate canteen, such as Tylenol or any such thing, since this is also bartering.

I knew a guy that was hooked on Benedryl, and was always taking it, and even buying or selling it. It seemed that every time I saw him in the evening, he had one of those pink pills. I remember once my cellmate told me he wasn’t feeling so well, and went to that guy to buy a Benedryl from him. Of course, this would constitute a violation of the rules.

But if you knew how common this was, it would almost be a joke. Many inmates sell or buy medication from one another. Yes, I know there is a drug problem in prison just like there is in society, but in many cases these guys are looking to either sell off excess medication given to them by the infirmary, (which is very rare) or looking to buy some from someone.

Before you jump the gun and say, “well that’s just wrong”, let me put a situation to you. What would you do right now if you were suffering from a headache? Most of you would go immediately to the desk drawer and grab a BC, or Tylenol, or Advil, or something. Well, what would you do if you had none?

You’d probably go to the store and get some. Well, what if you didn’t have a way to the store? Maybe you’d call somebody to see if they can bring you something for your headache. But what if you knew no one that could?

Then you’d just have to sit and endure it until it passes.

And every second that you do would be miserable.

Now, what if you were in prison, surrounded by negativity, stress, depression and guilt all day, every day, for 24 hours a day. Now that same headache, which was already miserable, becomes multiplied because you don’t have any venues of relief. NOW what do you do?

I shared this with you several times, so many of you already know, but I have been in those situations before…more than once. When you need medication, there are options, but those options are most times more costly than they are worth. If I had a headache that was just throbbing, I could fill out a sick card, and sometime in the next THREE days I will get called to the infirmary.

Or, I could fill out an emergency sick card and be seen within a few hours, but it would cost me $5 off my inmate account…FIVE DOLLARS for aspirin? Maybe one time I could do it, but I used to get headaches often since I was a kid, I just cannot see dropping five dollars every time I got a headache, that is not reasonable.

But what if I knew someone in a nearby cell or dorm (depending on the prison) that had some Ibuprophen? Many times you can find a guy that had some extra medication from a sick call, and you may be able to barter with them to give you some. Is this against the rules…absolutely. But is it necessary…absolutely.

The fallacy we have with prisons is that people think that any additional suffering that goes on in prison is actually part of the punishment, which is highly incorrect. No judge ever sentenced a person to prison with the addition that if anything bad happens to him or her, that is part of the punishment. If so, then a person who gets raped while in prison was just taking his part in the incarceration. No different from any other form of suffering. No prison has a right to imply that pain and suffering is actually a part of the incarceration. That folks, would be inhumane.

But the rules are in place for a reason, because for every rule, there are guys that abuse it with unrighteous intents. A guy that pays 50 cents for an Ibuprophen pill to take care of a headache is trying to help himself through a problem. A guy that buys Benedryl to just pop them and sleep is abusing the drug. There is a difference.

I do understand the intent of the rule, because I think the prisons didn’t want things to get out of hand, but I really do think that in order to keep some peace in the prison, there has to be some bending of the rules. I will say this, and not incriminate any officer; if a prison guard that is around inmates all day knows that a decent man in prison needs something for his headache, and knew he bartered another guy for some aspirin, I don’t think that officer would do anything against that inmate. Why? Because he understood that the guy did what he had to do for his health.

See, there are some sensible sides to this issue. And YES, there are officers who understand what inmates are going through. Not all are vindictive slavers looking to write up the next person that breathes against the prison rules.

So there are indeed times where rules like this can be bent, and not punished. Even though by the rule you cannot even give medication away, that is also loosely translated. If I bought some Tylenol and had a couple of packs, and a guy I knew needed some, I would either sell it to him, or just give it to him. If he offered to barter, then I would, but if I knew he had nothing, I would simply give it to him.

Sometimes inmates have to look out for other inmates.

Have I ever sold medication before? I think I may have, but it was only aspirin I had bought out of the canteen, but I very rarely kept enough to be a problem. For that reason, I was never in any trouble for accumulating medication. In many prisons you are allowed to have a certain amount, but no more. If I had 2 or 3 packs of Tylenol in my locker, that is fine, but if I had 50 packs, that could be a problem.

Have I ever given away medication. I am quite sure I have because you often have other guys that need some help. One of the most common is those who go to the dentist. It is a very sad thing when an inmate goes to the dentist, and they pull teeth, and give this guys the very minimum dosage, KNOWING he is going to have some serious pain. What do you expect these guys to do when they are in big pain? Write a grievance?

Many times these guys have to file for an emergency sick call just to get some more Ibuprophen. I was fortunate to never be in that situation. But there was one time I got sick with a very high temperature, and was put on some strange medication, taking like a handful of pills a day. It was almost like a handful of marbles, with the different colors and stuff. I actually took the meds for I think 3 days, but another guy that was getting some stuff was selling it to other inmates.

I could never see myself doing that, because I don’t want to be responsible for giving somebody a pill I did not know much about. Giving ibuprophen is one thing, because I know what that is, but anything else, I am not comfortable with that. Yet many guys do, because to them it is a hustle (you will need to see my blog on hustles).

At any rate, I hope that clears it up a little for you. There is still much that can be said on this subject of prison medication, but I hope you can understand that sometimes inmates have to do what they can to help themselves. I don’t regret paying for Ibuprophen or any Tylenol if I had a headache and needed help, and I don’t regret selling it to someone who needed it as well. Sometimes inmates have to look out for one another.

Give me a email at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com if you want me to discuss other issues, or ask me about how to support my blogs or buy my prison books.

February 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

#69 Prison talk: don’t lose your faith (retro)

NOTE: check out short story at
http://prison101-nolaw97.blogspot.com/2010/02/65-where-does-hope-lie-for-ex-felons-pt.html

Prison Talk: Don’t lose your faith!

Before I begin, I wanted to update you on the blog I wrote about PTO changing my name to discourage their members from knowing who I was. I mentioned they changed the “masonik4” and “Nolaw97” names on the site to “Retired-101”. Today I got an email from a reader that told me it was changed to “Retired 102”.

If you are looking for my posts on PTO, try those out and see, you will know if it is from me, you know how I write. They will probably try to change it again, to keep their own members from knowing who is writing those, heaven forbid if the members of PTO are really looking for help.

Anyway, let’s get started with a scripture that I feel is needed today:

“Trust in the Lord with thine own heart, and lean not unto thy own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all thy ways, and He will direct thy path”

I was reading some emails today and I came across one that I believe needs to understand what this means. A lot of us have been in, or ARE in, situations where it may look hopeless. When those times come, we are often pushed to try to find an answer, either by God or by our own methods.

In dealing with prison issues, this is very common because anyone reading my blog is likely in a tough situation. A mother with a son in prison, a girlfriend with a boyfriend going to prison, or a person who themselves may be going to prison. This is very common, but the results of those situations can be anywhere from common to miraculous.

If you have a concern, and need help, it is all to easy to ask for prayer, because we all are in situations where we look for divine help. But a lot of times we don’t look for help in faith, we look in fear.

We pray to God, “Lord, save my son, I am so afraid”. Now, to some it sounds like a decent prayer, because you are asking God for help. But I might suggest to you that this maybe in error, because the prayer is full of fear.

Folks, when it comes to prison issues, it is important that you understand why you are praying, and how. If you want someone to be delivered, or to be delivered yourself, you must come to God in faith. The Bible clearly says that without faith you cannot even please God, because you have to believe that God is there, and that He will reward those who seek Him.

Another verse in Psalms says, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”.

I sometimes get emails from people that are very afraid, and are doing the best they can, but you can tell that they are afraid. And that is common, because I have been there myself. I know what it is like to be at the verge or panic or full-blown terror of a situation involving prison.

But there is a difference between being in faith, and being in fear. And many times, your actions will show how you really feel. What I want to do is try to get you to understand that the very words you say and how you act can help, or hurt your chances from getting a prayer answered.

Now some might say, “what does it matter; if God promised, then it is automatic, right”

That is true, God can indeed promise and deliver, because the Bible says that all the promises of God are yes and amen, but if that is so true, why then don’t we get the answers to our prayers? If you are looking at doing time, and you have repented and asked God to deliver you, is it fully automatic, or are there things you have to do? If your son just got 10 years, can you pray that maybe he can get out earlier?

Let’s say I offered free prison cards to anyone who asked for them. Let’s say I write a blog and promise to the first 500 people that if they gave me their land address, I would send them 5 prison cards so they can send to their loved ones in prison.

What I have established is a promise. I made a promise to you that if you do this, then I will do that. Now, if I am a man of my word, I will honor it as best as a human being can. So if you email me and give me your address, then it is on me to honor my word to you, and send you those cards. Why? Because I promised that I would.

The moment you give me that address, then you are in expectation of my promise. It is as good as yours because I promised that I would do as I said. During that time, there is an expectation on your end for me to fulfill my word to you. The moment you get those cards, the promise is fulfilled…but actually, it was fulfilled the moment I sent it to you. You just didn’t have the physical proof of it, although it was in the mail.

But what if you didn’t trust me, and gave me a bogus address, just to see IF I would send it? I don’t know on my end what is true or not, so unless somebody gave the address, “123 Sesame Street”, I would have no idea what is honest or not. But I am still bound by my word to send those cards because I said I would.

Now if those cards go to the wrong address, that is not my fault…that is YOUR fault. If you gave me bogus information to see IF I would honor my word, then you were never in faith to begin with. Or, if you gave me an address that you are no longer at, or a post office box that you never check, then you missed out on the promise because you were not diligent to receive what was given to you.

The promise was there, but often times we reject it because of other circumstances. Just as we do the same to other people, we do the same to God, but yet we expect Him to do it anyway, even if we fall completely out of faith with Him.

We have all been there, so I am not criticizing anyone in particular, I know I have been there more than once, so in some ways I am talking about myself, but doing so to help you understand what you may need to do. So many of us have loved ones in prison that we are afraid for, and pray for things but are still in too much fear to believe in it.

What if your son got sentenced to 20 years, and you were afraid you may never see him again? Twenty years is a long time folks. What if that mother went to God and prayed that her son could possibly come out sooner? We all know that it would take a miracle for that to happen…which is why we pray to God anyway. Man on his own cannot make miracles unless the power of God is with them to do it.

If you are going to pray, you have to have faith, or it may not work. I started to say that it WILL not work, but I know God is merciful and can see the hearts of us all, but I can say that without faith you cannot please God. And that goes in a few ways, one being in that you have to trust that God can, and WILL answer your prayer, but it also means something else:

It means you have to let God work it out, instead of you trying to figure everything out for yourself. I mean, if you could do it yourself, you would not need God anyway, right?

A lot of times when I get emails from people with loved ones in prison or prison related issues, I read to see the faith in it. If there is faith, then things can go well, but sometimes I read emails where the person talks more about the problem than about the prayer and faith they have.

You can’t do both.

Well, maybe you can, but the more of one you have, the greater the chance of you getting what you either believed for, or was in fear of.

You can actually measure the faith or fear (or both) in what you say and what you write. Writing is a direct form of communication, so you are very well saying what is in your heart. If a person writes an email and talks about the problem more than their faith, you can tell that this person needs to work more in faith. What this means is that there has to be a greater application of faith in the person, not just by the eyes, but to also get it in their heart. There is a scripture that says that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If you are talking about fear and the problems and the circumstances, then THAT is what is in your heart, not faith.

And if there is no faith in your heart, how can you expect God to help you if you are rejecting His promise? I submit to you that for every person that has ever prayed, including me, the answer was ALWAYS THERE. The miracles I have experienced in my life before, during and after prison are the same way. Those answers were always there, and probably many others that I missed. God honored HIS part when you prayed, but YOU have to claim it. This is where we miss it so much, because we get suckered out of a blessing because we look at the circumstances rather than God’s word.

If you are worried about your son in prison, get into God’s word and get it into your heart, rather than reading fearful posts on other sites about how bad prison is, and how violent it is. Yeah, it is violent, but that does not mean God can’t protect someone you love. I mean, you DO believe God can help an inmate, right? Even in the worst prisons, God can do it.

But most people live off fear and unknowingly, are embracing that more than faith. Faith drives off fear, and fear drives off faith. It will determine the resolution that you seek, or the one you fear. And the way we fall into fear is by looking at the circumstances and talking about the circumstances, and giving in to the circumstances. By doing this, we are saying that God is not greater than the problem, that there are problems that even God Himself cannot solve (or would not WANT to solve).

When I got my miracle to finish my senior year in college, I was surrounded by the circumstances. I didn’t have enough money to pay for my last year in college, and I was already late in registering; classes had already started. I was afraid that if I told mom, then she might say (with a good heart) that maybe we should not go and drive 6 hours across state if they won’t let me in. But I am grateful that God held my mouth shut on that, because if I told her, then she would be concerned too. As it was, she never knew that her son may not be admitted to college for his final year.

I told you guys this before, but those 6 hours were very, very hard. I was hit with all the “what ifs”. I was very nervous that we might get all the way there, only to be turned down. But I got there, got the money from a grant and loan, and got two jobs on the campus, and even got to stay in the same dorm. Folks, don’t take this lightly…it took FAITH to get back and finish college. Had I looked and talked about the circumstances, I very likely would not have made it, because I would have been looking at the problem, rather than the solution.

I told you about the juvenile I bonded out while I was in jail, and how I promised that kid that I would pay his $150 bond and get him out before his birthday. I had no money on me, but I believed that I could get him out if I would just not get canteen for a few weeks. I figured I could do it, but quickly found out that things were not going to my plan.

Now I did pray to God to bond the kid out, and I certainly wanted to do it, but when things got tough, I debated in telling him that maybe I can’t do it, maybe I would not have the money. But something kept me from saying that to him, I just didn’t have the heart to go back on my word to him.

Things got pretty hard, because with time running out, and his birthday in November coming fast, I had NO money to bond him out. It was a struggle, and I questioned if this could work or not, and wondering if maybe I ought to “tell him the truth” and let him down easily. But something told me not to, to just keep believing.

I remember while we were getting a haircut in one of the cells, he was there with me and was calling his home, telling them how excited he was because he said he’ll be home on his birthday, or before Thanksgiving. I remember it so well because I was looking at him, and fighting to decided whether to tell him the “truth” or to continue to believe…

You notice something there? Twice I said to you that I should tell him the “truth”. Well then what is the truth? Is God’s word the truth, or the circumstances?

I say again, is GOD’S WORD the truth, or the CIRCUMSTANCES?

When you are in faith, then you are standing on God’s word, which IS truth. But we lose it because we start to look at the circumstances, and we claim it to be true, rather than God’s word. This is perhaps why we lose out on God’s promises, because we no longer see God’s blessing to be true, we see the circumstances and believe that to be truer than God.

I had a choice at that moment, to tell that juvenile that maybe I could not do what I said, or to keep my mouth shut and trust God. I chose the latter, even though the circumstances didn’t get better for me.

Time was running out as we were closing in on that kid’s birthday, when I got some mail from my professor from college, who sent me some money. About a few days before, I actually got a letter from someone I didn’t know, who actually had a few dollars in it. Now understand the gravity of that…all mail coming to inmates should have been inspected for cash…yet mine was not because most of the guards trusted me anyway.

With only a few days before that kid’s birthday, in fact just before his birthday, I was able to come up with $150 and get my older brother to get in touch with a bondsman to pay that kid’s bond. And I remember it was on a Saturday, but I think it was November 15 or 16th, when I heard the officer go to his cell and told him to pack his stuff up, he was going home. God honored His word, and by doing so, I was able to honor mine. That kid got out on that day…which just happened to be his birthday.

But you see where I had chances to bail out. The circumstances did not look favorable to me, and we usually see these things as truth, even though we have put our trust in God’s word. Well, what is true to you? The Bible and what God says, or the circumstances? One will be true, the other false.

And the truth will be revealed in what you say.

Look folks, I am no minister, no bishop, no pastor nor do I have a church or choir. I certainly don’t have a halo around my head, or wings on my back. But I know a little about faith, as you do. I have been through tough times before, during and even after prison, but faith never changes. I am learning as I go too, just as you are, but I also know that God understands that. Yet in all things we talk about in prison issues, and what I try to share to you, I am doing the best I can to get you to see that you can get through this, or you can overcome the situation.

I write these things to give you a little hope, but what is hope if you don’t add faith to it? Sometimes your prayer might mean holding on to the last minute, and trusting that God had the answer from day one. When I needed a LOT of money to pay restitution, I had to hold on to the last day, while mom looked like she had given up. She did all she could, and I felt so sorry for her, but I could not give in on what I prayed for. I had no solutions myself, and everything I tried crumbled. But when I went and sat in my bedroom, all I could do was believe…and it was enough.

All these things I have shared supports the scripture I shared at the top. Trust in God with your heart, because to be sure, your mind will be swamped with the problems and the circumstances. But it is now that you have to trust God. You have to determine which is greater, the problems of your loved one in prison, or God’s word. The possibility of you going to prison, or God’s word. The worries you have of your husband or God’s word. The answer is already there, but you still have to accept it, or reject it.

That same scripture warns us to not lean not on what we think we know, because this is the problems we run into. We pray to God for something, but then we start looking at the circumstances, and then we start talking about the circumstances, and by doing that, we end up believing that more than God’s word. The moment we start doing that, we are turning away from the very promises we asked God to help us with.

The next part says to acknowledge God in the things we do, meaning to let God in our lives, and to share with Him what we are going through. If you are concerned or worried, let Him know. God understands that we are going to be attacked every day on our faith, but He wants us to let Him in our lives so we can share it with Him. If we do that, the final part of that scripture says that HE will direct our path. See, He can’t help us if we don’t let him.

This is where we miss it so much. Many people have problems with a loved one in prison, but they keep looking at the problem and never acknowledging God. Or, they try to do it themselves, off their own intelligence, and miss the direction from God. Sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.

When I worked for a Christian radio station shortly after I got out of prison, there was no coincidence of me working there. Now, I didn’t know it at the time, but I see it a bit clearer after several years. The church and pastor got the radio station, and made it a Christian station, but needed help running it. So here comes an ex felon, who has a degree in radio, and worked in that very station before, when it was under another owner. I knew everything about the station because I had been there before, and knew how to work on the air. It seemed like a great marriage for the church and pastor because they had someone with great experience working for them.

But when I lost my job with them, and was being paid less than minimum wage, they felt that they could do better. In the years since, they got worse, and now, they are off the air, and may lose their FCC license. I don’t think it was God’s will for them to fail, but they had the answer with them from the beginning. That is not so make me out to be some great guy, but to be sure, God put me in that position to HELP them, and it was at the very beginning of their station. I think the station was running less than 3 months before I showed up. So the answer was right there, even though I had no idea of God’s plan, I was just a part of it.

But often times we get so smart in ourselves that we think we are making the right decisions, when we are actually rejecting God’s direction. Some things seem right to a person, but God knows all things.

We do it all the time, so I am right there with you. But when you are worried abot a loved one in prison, or if you yourself may be in such a situation, you have to check what you are saying. Listen to yourself, or see what you are writing in those posts or emails. If it is full of fear, you have to change that. The more you look at the circumstances, the more you are willing to see it as the “truth” rather than God’s word.

Think about that. You can pray for God to help you, to deliver you or whatever you are praying for, but if you are filled with the problems and talking about how bad things are, and how bad you feel, then you are embracing the natural truth, rather than God’s truth. Or, if you feel that you have to make decisions based on how you FEEL, then you are not operating on God’s word.

These things will determine your faith, or your fear. So I urge you, don’t give up on your faith, regardless of how things look now. Trust in God and what you have prayed to Him for, and stop giving place to the problems. They will be there whether you believed in God or not, but you have to choose which is the greater truth. Whichever is greater to you, you will end up speaking. Acknowledge God in everything you are doing, talk to Him, let Him know how you feel and what you do, and He will direct your steps and tell you and guide you in the way to your answer.

Sometimes that answer will require you to do something, but sometimes it requires you to do nothing, because we have a serious problem of trying to do everything ourselves, and end up screwing it up. But if we listen to God, and pay attention, we can get through it.

Well, I hope that helps some of you, I really want you to understand how much faith you need to help a loved one in prison. You don’t need a ton of faith, you simply have to take God at His word. Are you worried about your loved one in prison? Are YOU worried about prison? Then take the time to ask God to help you. And if you do, then take the time to believe what He says. I am not saying I have all the answers, but what I do write is from my heart, and from what God puts in it for me to say. Again, that does not make me any better than you, but I supposed God knows what He is doing.

He always does.

Anyway, my thanks to those who support my blogs, and as I get more people emailing me and supporting my blogs, I am more thankful for you. It is a strong encouragement to keep writing, so I hope to continue to share more as we go on. Email me at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com.

February 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

#68 Prison Talk: Fear of Prison (retro)

Prison Talk: The Fear of Prison

It is way too easy for me to go online and do a simple search for places where there are people scared out of their wits about a loved one going to prison. There are lots of things that can decline in numbers or volume, but there may always be people going to jail or prison, and as such, there will always be people who are worried about them.

This then creates a fear of prison, something I have blogged about before, but how many of you really understand what that is?

I was reading a post somewhere this morning where a lady was so worried about her son who got sent to prison for 5 years, and was asking for advice. As usual, the people there knew nothing about prison and spent more time saying the “if he did the crime, he’s got to do the time” and that kinda stuff.

Folks…she didn’t come to be slapped with that kinda talk…she came for help. She came because she has a great fear about her son going to prison, and what might happen. Some of the comments I read were so ignorant that this concerned mom might as well give up and just HOPE that her son will live through this difficult situation.

See, part of the problem here is the venue of help is bogus. She isn’t really talking to people who CARE about her or her loved one, they just want to get on a soapbox and tell her stuff she already knows.

If I a deep in debt and need help, I don’t want to go talk to somebody who’s gonna remind me of my faults, I need somebody who can help me get through this. Even if that means facing the faults, there still has to be some hope at the end of the lecture.

Anybody who cannot give you a light at the end of their sermon should have never opened their mouth to begin with. You will NEVER find a chance to fight prison fear when you talk to people who don’t know how to end a discussion on a high note.

And that’s what you are looking for.

When you have fear for a loved one in prison, you are looking for answers, or at least some comfort that things can get better. For that lady who has a son in prison, there are many, many fears that run through her head, some are real, some are based on the fear of prison.

We can discuss this in great detail, but none of it will mean a thing if you can’t get past the idea of your part in this. Sometimes folks, you can’t wait until things GET better before you release the fear, sometimes you have to take an active part in fighting fear. So to get started, ask yourself this simple question….

What are you REALLY afraid of with your loved one in prison?

When you can place a value to that question, THEN we can begin to address the issues and begin the fight to counter that fear. Most people have no idea how much influence they have in how a loved one gets through his sentence, both good and bad.

Think about that, and think about what you can do to help your loved one in prison. When you’re ready, then we’ll talk.

short story on prison issues at
http://prison101-nolaw97.blogspot.com/2010/02/65-where-does-hope-lie-for-ex-felons-pt.html

February 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm 1 comment

#64 More new readers to the blog

More new readers to the prison blogs

I wanted to do some more retro blogs today, maybe not to try to over do it, but to at least put some more out there for you to read. Before I get there, I wanted to say hello to some new readers, some from different prison support sites.

I checked my email this morning (although it is near noon now) and found a couple of new people who have been checking out my blogs. This is a step in the right direction, because for me to get to where I want to be, I need people to interact. I can’t expect anybody to interact until I share some blogs, which is the main reason why I share some my older blogs, or “retro” if you will. I think once I get enough up here, I won’t share as much, because I want to write more new ones based on what the reader needs to hear.

But for that to happen, I need readers to let me know they are out there. Its like I said before, 99 people might read my blog, but the 100th one might be the one to get the courage to email me. That same person might ask a question that the other 99 NEED to hear, but was afraid to ask.

So now I have a few new readers, and slowly, ever so slowly, I am getting some interaction. This is good, because instead of me thinking of a subject to blog about, I can directly answer questions that people ask, or talk about issues that concern them.

For example, the person today told me that she has two loved ones in prison, which I can imagine is pretty tough. Lots of people on prison support sites are stressed over ONE person, try two or more. And for a lot of people, there is a loss of control, especially when you are talking about a mother. Mothers feel that with a son or daughter in prison, they have no control or influence in their life. While that might SEEM true, there are things a mother can do. We can talk about that another time, but you see my point.

But what I am going to do today, since it is Friday, is share a couple of retro blogs, and I will do something extra on my blogspot prison blog. I told you guys about a short story called “Defending Job”, that is forthcoming, but while looking through some of my older blogs, I ran across another one I wrote a year or two ago.

The story is titled, “Where does hope lie for ex felons”, and I am only sharing that on the blogspot blogs. I have noticed that over the times I blog, my best support comes from people who find me there, so I made that my anchor blog, where every blog I put up is posted there. The story is about 17 pages long, and is about the difficulties of an ex felon trying to get his life back on track…and what happens when things don’t quite go so well.

If you get a chance to read it, I assure you, some parts are VERY real, some are fiction; if you know my writing and have followed my posts for a few years, you can kinda figure out which is which. I intentionally wrote it to touch a heart or two, when I shared it a few years ago I got a few people that told me it had them crying, but not in the sense of complete defeat or failure. If you can, take a look at it and let me know what you think.

Until then…

February 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

#63 New readers to my prison blogs

New readers to my prison blog

Right now I am kinda filled with a little bit of optimism, based on a couple of emails I got just recently. I have been trying to do everything I can to encourage readers to email me, make a nice comment or ask me about my works, and it has been very slow sailing. But the last hour or two has been a bit enlightening.

I got three emails, oddly inside of the last 4 hours or so, from a few people interested in what I am trying to do. One of them came from a reader that has been following my blogs over the last 4 years, and it had been awhile since I heard from her. She has a husband in prison, and she contacted me years ago about a situation where her loved one was having trouble getting a transfer. Since then she had been a pretty cool follower of my blogs, and a couple of times supported me when I was down.

She told me she still goes to Prison Talk Online, but she said that it just isn’t the same without people that has been behind the walls. Most of what she reads is from people getting second hand info, or people validating their comments by saying, ‘my boyfriend told me” or something to that effect.

She told me she wanted to save all my blogs, because there are many, but she found that I had pulled them all offline. I seem to do that often folks, when I get frustrated and things just ain’t going nowhere, I stop blogging and I pull every post offline. She asked how many blogs would I be reposting.

I’ll post as much as I can, although I like the challenge of writing new blogs instead of reposting older ones. The reason why I am doing it now is because since I have restarted my blogs, I need to give new readers something to follow. I think at this moment, I am have just over 60 blogs out here, but many are retro blogs. I am trying to get YOU, the reader, to participate by getting in touch with me, so I can write new blogs based on what YOU need to hear.

I am glad this lady is reading my blogs again, she has been very nice to be in the past. I had blogged once about a problem I had, and a week or so later she sent me a nice card with $10 in it, and a note, “don’t give up, we need you to keep blogging”. You cannot know how moving it was to hear that what you try to do is important.

Life is a lot like that folks, when you try to do your best to help, there might be 99 people that take for granted what you do, but its that one person who thought more of you to encourage you. Consider folks, how many guys that have done time just since 2001, when I got out? How many are blogging or sharing prison experiences for others to learn from? Not too many, not that I am implying myself any better than them. I suppose if I had my life back and in control, I might not be blogging either.

A second email came from a new reader, of about 2 weeks, and she is a mother of a son doing life. She said she found my blog by doing a search and wound up checking out my blog. She said she was trying to find out what to do when her son may never set foot outside of a prison again. She explained some of what happened, but I never want to know the details of a man’s sin. Not my place to know because it tempts a person to judge. Lots of people will never learn that, because it seems to be some kinda demonic nature of man to look for weak spots in a fellow human, and exploit them. Lots of times I feel like my freedom from prison only opened the door to daily persecution for my past. I know what it is like to be continually judged, regardless of what you do, so I don’t ask people to tell me the story of why their loved one is in prison. Let’s just skip all that, and start from how you feel about him or her being in prison, and work from there.

That’s not in insult to her or anyone else, I think sometimes when a person emails me in great sorrow, fear or stress, it is natural to try to spell out the details of their situation. I understand that, so I don’t argue against it. But if you email me, please don’t tell me any private info about you or your loved one. You can certainly share general info, stuff that the average person in prison genre would know, but don’t tell me his whole name, his prison number, and stuff like that. And PLEASE, don’t tell me his charge, again it is not my place to judge anyone because I have been there.

Anyway, this nice lady asked me how I made it through prison, and what kinda advice I could give her to give him. The trick here is that in all honesty, she can’t give him any tips, even if I told her. In his situation, he has to live it as he goes, kinda like on the job training. She can’t see what he is going through, so she can’t tell him how to live it. That’s tough, but get this…that does not mean she can’t encourage him.

I wrote her back telling her some things about how she, as a mother, can stay in faith, stay in health and stay encouraged. No doubt she is in for a long journey, and she asked if I would be blogging long enough for her to get her strength back. She said she spent a night reading my older blogs, and wondered what else I had to share…

Well now, are you truly ready for all the stuff I have written? I mean, we’re not talking about a couple hundred pages. I write a LOT! I actually wrote that with a smile back to her, because I know what I can do, she is not fully aware of how much I am willing to write. But when she emailed me back, she told me she was more than ready to follow my blogs as best she can, and I encouraged her to ask questions if she had them, because although I love writing, it makes me feel better if I know I am writing a blog that specifically answers a reader’s question.

The third blog I got was from another mom who asked me about my prison cards and prison encouragement certificates. She asked if I had any to send her, so she could send to her son. Sadly, I told her that at the moment I didn’t, because my computer’s cd drive is broken, and because of that I can’t use my print software to create anything. And to make it worse, because I did a system recovery two weeks ago, I have to…in some way, reinstall those programs to even get started again. Until I get a new computer, it might take awhile.

She emailed me back and asked how much would a computer would cost, one that I could use. I have not gone window shopping for a computer, since to me its as much a dream as getting a free trip to Hawaii, but I mentioned to her that I suppose if one goes to Staples or Wal-Mart, one could get a decent computer for maybe $400.

I wrote that back to her while thinking, “would she buy me one?” I mean, I used to get donations from readers, but would she really consider buying me a computer? Stranger things have happened through my blogs. I know she is reading this, so I say that with a smile….

If she does, great, if not, that is cool, hopefully I can get enough support to buy a new one, and get back on track to where I was about 2 years ago. But it was most encouraging that little by little, people are starting to come out and ask me things, to encourage me, and to ask about issues I can blog about.

So again I say to you, if you are curious about it, email me, get in touch, ask me to talk about a prison issue. If you want to support me, feel free to do so only after I have convinced you that I am really trying to do my best to help. The next blog I write could be based directly on what YOU asked me. Until then…

February 26, 2010 at 3:46 am Leave a comment

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