The bite of incarceration splinters the bone of humanity right down to the marrow for most prisoners and their families during the holidays.
Mom has sent me three copies of my book, Jacumba Connection. At mail call I hold in my hands the culmination of almost three years’ work that has, in a multitude of ways, transformed my life forever.
Today, just this afternoon, a man died here, in prison. Under a tree by the horseshoe pits. He was only 48 years old.
You remember the movie Con Air with Nicholas Cage? It’s the story of a paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger who ends up trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the inmate passengers take over. Well, recently I got to experience the real thing (prisoner transport, that is, not the siege) when I was transferred from my correctional facility in Atlanta, Georgia, to another in Portland, Oregon.
I want to share with you a poem entitled Sorrow and Joy, written in 1943 by a young German pastor named Dietrich Bonheoffer. He was monitored by the "Homeland Security" of the day, which means he reported to the Gestapo.
Let’s you and I take a walk through my “neighborhood," also known as the “hood,” also known as prison. Don't be nervous, you’re with me. They know me here. Let’s call you "New Guy."
As my world runs headlong into crisis, I'm trapped as a prisoner of the drug war being fought on the wrong battlefield. I wake up daily in this place of endless nothingness. And then my manuscript arrives with its first edit, a professional edit. Someone else has read my story and transformed 478 pages of handwritten scribble into 420 pages of typewritten words badly in need of structure, clarity, polish, and punctuation.
After 12 months in a maximum security facility privately owned by G.E.O Corp, I was finally sentenced to 10 years (in the Feds you serve 85% of your mandatory minimum), and was sent to Atlanta Satellite Camp.
An historic event took place on February 17, 2016, that contains a bunch of subject matter I feel is in my wheelhouse. And that's this: The pope's visit to Mexico, during which he prayed for those who perished in the desert trying to cross the United States border.
If you read my post "Straight from the Inside Out," then you know about Alberto and the reason that I am in prison for the crime of conspiracy. You also know that I want to share my unique perspective. I am four years into my 10-year sentence, but for now, I will just give you a taste of the first 12 months.