The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

Happy New Year bye…I will never forget!


It’s TIME! I will move…

Onward but I will never forget. This will be my last diatribe as THE FELONIOUS PHD on my blog page. But, I will never forget how in 2010 the trajectory of my life was changed forever. I will never forget having my office raided and having the news stations outside my building, as my incredible, Ujima family protected me. I will never forget all of my kids and all the lessons learned from them. I will never forget the Medicaid Fraud unit administrator telling me that, “they did not care what happened to the kids”. I will never forget my despair and merging with my shadow self, in an attempt to remain whole, sane and alive. I will never forget all the people who showed me love, as I maneuver through this process. I will never forget my tough, cigarette smoking public defender, who reminded me that the law is not always about the truth and that I can still be of service to young people in a different capacity once I was free. I will never forget, my almost three hour discovery hearing at the Federal Building, and how happy I was to have it over. I will never forget telling my son that he will have everything he needs while I was gone and he replied in tears, “yeah everything except my mom”.   I will never forget. I will never forget my drive with my friend, Rebecca, to the prison camp. I will never forget being so cold in that prison camp building at night and my bunkie taking three days to crotchet me a blanket. I will never forget the nasty, mean and ignorant people who worked within that system or the ones who had good hearts. I will never forget witnessing just how strong and soulful the human spirit of a woman is, no matter what the circumstances are, at the moment. I will never forget leaving and hearing my name called on the loud speaker as I left the camp. I will never forget being sent to the Tenderloin, drug infested and mice and rat infested Geo Group halfway house. I will never forget, finally being free of Bureau of Prisons on March 5 2016. I will never ever forget that. I will never forget the women that are trapped in a cruel and inhumane, structurally oppressed system, ever. There is so much I will not forget, but I will move on. I will now focus on putting it all in writing for my book. Where I go from here, who knows. For once in my life, I have no clue and I don’t care. and even though that make some people uneasy, I am so good with it. I am forever grateful for this WordPress blogging space, it saved my life.   Life is good. Happy New Year. Peace. 

And this part of my journey is over……..feloniousphd 12/31/2016

1 Comment »

From the 👁y👁’s of a butterfly….It’s so hard to say goodbye but it is time! 

As I approach the New Year, I have decided that it is time for me to say goodbye to my dear, trusted friend, my blog page, the felonious PhD. Those of you, who know me, understand my need for closure in all aspects of my life.  I have alway operated in the mode that there is a beginning, a middle and an end. And now that I have been home from the Federal Prison Camp for over a year.  With two years of supervised release left, and having already experience how the label felon will impact my life forever. I have realized that like my childhood and other life altering experiences, this is a life long journey.   And it is essential that I mindfully make a paradigm shift, that will propel me successfully to my next.  So I have decided that December 31st, will be my last time posting on http://thefelonioisphd.wordpress.com. I will leave the space active because there are people who are entering the system for the first time and have no point of reference, like I did in 2013, when I started the blog page.  However, for my family and friends, who have become accustomed to my long winded and often overly opinionated diatribes, I will be starting a new blog space called, “Pieces of You”.  So stay tuned. Thanks to those who read my blog and supported me along the way.  It has truly saved and nurtured my soul.  Life is good. Peace. 

And the journey continues……felonious PhD 12/16

Leave a comment »

Thoughts on Re Entry and Recidivism…Title VII!

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records, suggests that excluding job applicants who have criminal records MAY constitute employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.    The word MAY leaves individuals like myself without protection from discriminatory practices.   It’s hard for me to explain how it feels to have every part of your being be subjected to hate or questioned at some point and time in your life.  I know for a fact that laws and the government, will never fully protect my black, female, lesbian and felon self, so I am prepared and ready to fight for my own survival.

As I continue to muddle my way through my new life, it is imperative that I continue to openly discuss every detail about my journey, the good and the bad. And I don’t do it because I am some crazy lady, who consistently obsesses over losing everything she has worked for, and eventually going to prison. I feel that I must continue to discuss the details of my journey because society is structured in a way that reminds me daily, that I am not wanted, in certain circles and I not privy, to certain privileges and certain entities feel that they have the right to discount me as a productive and proud, American Citizen, because I have been labeled a FELON.

This journey through prison and my daily walk within my own so-called felonious skin, continues to motivate me beyond belief. It forces me to look at life through a lens that I have witnessed from others or often read about and empathized with, but never truly embraced as my own experience in America.

When the scarlet letters of F E L O N can give someone the right to look you in the eye and say, “We don’t want you here and you know you don’t belong here”. Something is incredibly wrong. Not only is it personally hurtful and mean spirited, it is also illegal and discriminatory in my eyes. My former employer, Patagonia, was wrong, and many may wonder why am I making a fuss over a $12.65 an hour job, that structurally disenfranchises not only felons, but minorities also, I say to them, that this is much larger than the $12.65 an hour. It’s more about structural oppression and discrimination and the right to work anywhere and be anywhere, I have the experience to work, despite my past. I am of value. I was when I worked my way out of the ghetto, I was when I was told by my high school counselor I was not college material, I was when I was told to get my nigger self out of an elderly white woman chair, I was when I was baptized at a church affiliated with my college and the congregation did not fully approve, I was when I was stopped by security at a store for stealing after I had purchased four pairs of shoes for my kids, it goes on and on and may even continue until my death. But, like I have stated before, I am prepared for this life. Nothing can or will ever dictate how I live or how I define my being. I am of value and I don’t need anyone’s approval to say so.   But I will speak my truth forever.

I am somebody too! No matter what anyone may feel or think about me, I have the right to be treated humanely and with love. And no one is going to make sure that happens for me, but me.

As usual life is strange, life is full of mysterious twists and turns and I am glad I was born and raised to be who and where I am everyday. Audre Lorde poignantly states, that, “Silence will never protect us”. So I will continue to speak my piece peacefully and lovingly. I will also fight for my right to freedom and liberty and justice like every other American. Life is good.

Peace.

The journey continues…….the felonious phd. 12/2016

2 Comments »

Thoughts on Re-entry and Recidivism…A mothers nightmare/dream.  


A year from now things will be different, as I sat in the Federal Prison Camp in Victorville, California, those are the words I would repeat to myself.  For two years I was absent from my son’s birthday celebration. Nothing hurt more, than being a childless mother, who had no control or ability to actively participate in sharing those moments with her child. I know I will never get those moment back and have resolved myself to that fact.

Today, I am here! It brings tears to my eyes and I can’t quite explain how difficult it is for actively participating mother’s to be separated from their children, especially when there are so many other options for our system to utilize to punish, non-violent, low level offenders. Recently, there were several  cases in Reno, Nevada, that were similar to mine, and those individuals received restitution and probation. Initially, I was angry , because I could not understand “why?!” it was so imperative for me to “do time” away from my son.   I attempted to explain to the judge, that I was a single parent, the main provider and this would be devastating for not just him, but many that were tethered to me. I tried to plea to the court that this goes way past the narrative of “do the crime, and do the time” and that with a system that has so many options, why put me in prison?! Who does that benefit? That day at court I took the judge’s choice to separate me from my son, family and community, personal.  Until I stepped foot on the camp and became a witness and realized that, in fact it was not personal at all.  The process is systemically driven and operates as  a machine. There were many mothers and grandmothers trapped in this non forgiving and visceral process. So I reminded myself of that plea I made to the judge in my letter to the court and empowered myself,  to be thankful for those other individuals, who did not have to go to prison over technicality and ridiculousness.

I don’t pretend to have the answers to this incredibly dehumanizing process but, I continue to have many question. I am extremely happy to be home for my son’s birthday, for two years as I laid in the bottom bunk, at the prison camp, I dreamt about this moment. And as this nightmare slowly dissipates from the soulful part of my consciousness, I can’t help but think of those loving moms, I left behind and their children. I will continue to seek answers and speak my truth in regards to the Criminal Justice process and the emotional, spiritual, personal and financial ramifications it has on me.

Life is good, that is for sure. Nothing can take my joy or impact my soul. I am thankful my son, is resilient, like me. Happy Birthday Son, Mom loves you. Peace.
A new journey begins ………….the feloniousphd 9/15/16

1 Comment »

Thoughts on Re-entry and Recidivism….One year FREE! 

After last week I don’t quite know where to begin this blog entry. But I promised those that I left behind, I would remain honest about my experience inside and as I remained interconnected to the Federal Criminal Justice System for three years of Supervised Release on the outside.

I have led an incredible and tragically, humorous life, over the past 6 years. This past year of freedom, continues to provide me with opportunities to tap deeply into my inner self and thrive, despite the bullshit and for that I am thankful.

A year today, my good friend, Rebecca drove me away from the Victorville Prison Camp on September 8, 2015. Time has flown, that is for sure. Although I continue to work past the traumatic effects of living in complete chaos and disarray for 23 months, as the time passes, I move farther and farther from that space emotionally and spiritually. From there I headed to another emotional nightmare, the GEO Group halfway house in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, because Reno, Nevada did not have the resources, that would allow me to be close to home and family. I spent 5 months in a hell hole, rat and drug infested environment. It was truly not a space where anyone could peacefully re-enter their lives productively, without being resilient, mindful and self assured.

Today, as I remember that free day, I can not help but to be critical of the process. During this year I have made a tremendous amount of progress towards moving onward to my next. Even though I have a ten year ban from being employed in my career of choice and was fired from Patagonia, because of a social media troll, and my label as a liar and a thief. Neither characteristic I will ever claim and will continue to rebuke.  My life is damn good.  Nothing or no one could ever stop my groove. And now that I have permission from the Probation department to be self employed, I am once again freed from having to succumb to the process and can began to move freely into my next. Thanks so much to the troll for your assistance. For proving my point that many people in our society will attempt to place lifetime barriers on those of us who have done our time and followed the rules. This past year I have become cognizant of why the recidivism rate is so high. I know why people return to crime to survive. I just don’t have a crime to return to, I never had any criminal intent. But I truly understand the challenges one has when they return home with a lifetime label as a felon.

I will spend this next year focusing on my Artistic self and developing my Life Coaching practice. I’m hoping to launch my online practice in November.  My new journey with, “Wellness for the Soul” has began and to the individual or individuals who feels the need to try to sabotage or destroy me. You will be slayed. I am not afraid and I will not run and hide from no one. I have the capacity to turn a nightmare into a loving peaceful dream. After prison nothing scares me. No one can stop me. I am intent on living the rest of my life FEARLESSLY and will fearlessly live by any means necessary. PEACE.

Life is good………….thefeloniousphd.

6 Comments »

Thoughts on Re-entry……………I will never forget!

I have been free from Bureau of Prisons for over three months.  Time is moving at a rapid pace and for that I am thankful.  I am very anxious to the get past behind me.  The concept of re-entering your life as defined by Re-entry organizations and the system is flawed.  Honestly, it is very difficult to simply re-enter the life you have been absent from for years. You must consciously make your self aware of the fact that you are beginning a new life. My current life bares little to no resemblance of my past life at all.  Emotionally I am not the same.  I returned home to a son, who is not the same, my home is not the same, my professional life is not the same and I don’t feel the same. I often feels as though I am living in someone else’s dream. The process of re-entering after incarceration and trauma must be explore extensively.  It has much more to do with just finding employment and housing. The emotional and spiritual connectedness is what will assist individuals like myself to remain mindful and tethered to our new lives and our community. I hope for more comprehensive services that will assist individuals with truly having access to a successful second chance, as they walk out of prison and attempt to shed all of the nuances that has to do with being an inmate.  There are many of us who do not fit the substance abuse modalities and programming.  I often said while I was at the camp that it is no ones fault that we are there but someone with the system has to be accountable for preparing us to return home successfully.
My incarceration has deconstructed all that I was for more than half my life. It’s not a complaint it just simply the truth. Now as I attempt to reinvent myself and search for renewed passion for something, well anything, I just want to remain honest about this process. I want to remain authentic and mindful of how I can or will overcome the inherent and structural barriers that are before me.
I know I am a fortunate one, I had a relatively short sentence and I am now home for lack of a better word. I remember when all I could think about was being home, home, home.  So I will always remain cognizant of the fact that there are so many non-violent, low level offending, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and grandmothers who remain incarcerated.  I won’t forget you!  So I am thankful about my new, unrecognizable life. I have a new job that will start in July. Doing something I have never done before. I will be making less than I have made since I graduated from college in the 80’s. But on the other hand it’s more than the 12 cents an hour I was being paid in prison.  Life is funny, that is the truth. I am glad I can laugh about it as I move onward.  I am thankful I can move on.
My life is not perfect but it is good.  I will continue to work towards making it the best life possible.  Peace!

The journey continues………………felonious PhD 6/2016

3 Comments »

From the 👁Y👁S of the butterfly….Strength, Courage and Wisdom!

Tomorrow will be my 52nd birthday, and I will be able to celebrate it as a free woman, well as free as I am going to get!  I can not help but give a shout out to the wonderful, strong and resilient women I met and shared a miserable space with at the Victorville Federal Prison Camp. I never celebrated my birthday at the camp. Many of my friends and I decided that we would surpass the jailhouse pomp and circumstances as our own way of truly saying “fuck the system” lol. Excuse my language but that’s real.  For my birthday I want to give a shout out to my friend,  Derian Eidson and share her story with my blog. Life is good but not perfect, but my grandfather warned me when I was a young girl that it never will be perfect or fair it is just life. Peace!

Derian Eidson

http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2015/06/16/feds-get-aggressive-in-pursuit-of-their-white-collar-criminal-theory-case-of-derian-eidson/#22d2c3041aa0

Love you lady and it is going to be alright!.

Leave a comment »

Writings from the belly of the beast….Part 1-An Eye Witness.

July 7, 2014 – Now I get it! I mean I completely understand the angst that I have endured over my lifetime.  As I sit here at the Federal Prison Camp and hating every moment of it, I am having a very difficult time adhering to the premise that it is easier to just “do the time”.    Being a fighter my entire life has made it difficult for me to just give up or succumb do the negative forces.  I will always fight.

I am clearly fighting my way through this senseless, visceral and inhumane process and environment.  Daily I wake up and climb out of my bunkbed, questioning the entire purpose of incarcerating non violent and low-level offenders.  Other than giving tax payer dollars to the Prison Industrial Complex, there does not seem to be any reason not to utilize the other resources that our system has available to it, other than for money.  It is all about the money that is gained off incarcerated souls.

For the past month at least 80% of the middle-aged, harmless women that have entered the prison camp were incarcerated for obscure and translucent laws and policies that have been placed under the federal guidelines for fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud or conspiracy to commit a fraud.  Honestly anyone can and will be a target if there are no real efforts to critically think about what we are considering a crime.  I know in reality people commit crimes and they do them intentionally.  But this seems to be out of hand and to simply use incarceration as the only model for correcting ones wrongs intentional or not seems to be very barbaric and inhumane.  I know as I sit here in prison none of my concerns may ever matter and the Prison Industrial Complex will continue to profit off human souls, but I will continue until the day I die to speak my own truth in regards to this process.  I may be forever be labelled a felon, but I still even as I sit imprisoned have my rights and freedom of speech.  I truly believe that it is my responsibility to discuss this process with others no matter how embarrassing, or how disheartening, or how traumatic it is for me.  Even if only one person understands and votes or becomes an advocate for real Criminal Justice reform, I will be happy.

But as I sit here at the camp counting down till the day I am home with my family, friends and my son, I can only hope and fight for my own peace of mind.  Although this issue is far from just being about me, I am thankful that I am able to continue to be my loving self.  It is a daily struggle but I have nothing else to do in here, but work on being the best me possible.  I am so excited that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment.

The journey continues……………………………………..the felonious phd.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments »

Writings from the “belly of the beast”……………. The responsibility of the artist’s soul!

While I was incarcerated I spent a tremendous amount of my time writing and thinking. A dangerous combination in some ways. The wonderful thing about having that empty space, was that I could critically and consciously see the world from a point of view that I could or would have never created on my own. That time in prison assisted me with giving power to my words from the deepest and darkest part of me and in doing so in a consistent manner it also enabled me to compile pages and pages of thoughts in regards to the Criminal Justice System.  I was able to mindfully observe just how incredibly Inhumane our American System has become and how our prisons systems and Government has once again returned to its history of slavery and slave like policies, politics and justifications for treating the most vulnerable human souls with little to no dignity.   The writings from the “Belly Of The Beast”,  will allow me to authentically share those thoughts with the blog as I was living them.  I will share them in no particular order just grab a page and type it in. I am so glad I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any and every given moment Peace.

The journey continues………………………..felonious phd

File_000

 

Leave a comment »

Forever Free Part 1…………..One month free, life is good.

Today marks a month of my being free from the auspices and ridiculousness of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Even though I remain captive in the Judicial system for another three years on Supervised Release, nothing compares to being free from the belly of the beast. My probation officer has been a pleasant part of this journey. Mainly because every interaction I have had with her up to this point, she has treated me with dignity and respect without skipping a beat to do her job. So I know it is possible for our system and those who work within it to do better. I am witnessing it first hand.

Now I have to complete my 100 hours court ordered community service hours, and try diligently in the conservative town of Reno, Nevada, to secure adequate employment. I know I have a challenge ahead of me, but that is not a new way of being for me. Nothing or no one could ever disrupt my spirit and steal my joy again, so I will continue to push forward lovingly and with purpose. Truly, this is the only way I know how to operate.

These days I ask myself this question, “What do I want?” I ask that question in regards to all aspects of my life. I have decided that Professionally I want to work in the college setting. I love that environment and the energy that young people who are learning and finding their way have. I am not sure if that is possible with my being a felon but that is what I am striving for, and that has always been my long-term goal. Personally, I only want peace and will not allow anyone within my space that does not want the same thing or try to infiltrate my peaceful and loving environment. I am now free to live and build the life that I want and I am not going to miss this opportunity.

This unplanned journey has been so surreal and often foreign to me. I know that only time will move me past the trauma I have personally experienced, and I will continue to remain mindful of everything that I have gone through and overcome so that I can share those experiences with other women whom unfortunately find themselves in the Federal Criminal Justice system. I left several incredible friends behind in the camp and will not forget them either. I want them to know that they are not invisible, alone or unworthy.

There is nothing like being free. Lately I have been trying to organize my many blogs that have not been posted, as I attempt to piece together my life over the past few years. I want to write a book that will clearly tell not just my story but one that will provide a window into the stories of many of the women, mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and friends that were incarcerated when truthfully there were other options. So for the next year that’s my goal. I will never forget how I felt as an incarcerated soul, so that I will forever live my life FREE! Peace.

The journey continues………………..feloniousphd 4-4-16

image

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

girl with raised hands and broken chains

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

image

Leave a comment »