The Felonious PhD.

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

Pack Out! Camp Out! and Walk Out!……….To Be Free!!

on December 27, 2014

Over the past 14 months I have attempted to capture how many of the other women here at the Victorville Federal Prison Camp feel, react and finally Walk Out of the Federal Prison Camp.

There are three essential administrative processes that we as a collective are a part of for each other during this part of the journey. There are many others but those typical are handle on an individual basis. So I have focused on the three that I have personally been a part of and identified as pieces of this puzzle that affects me and many of the other women on some level. Those three pieces are “packing out”, being on the call out to “camp out” and finally “walking out”.

The pack out day which occurs 24 to 72 hours prior to your release, entails you packing all of your earthly camp possessions in a box, garbage bag or home made crotchet bag, putting them on the grey cart with wheels, that you borrow from the orderlies, and then take them to the R & D office where you were processed into the camp. The R & D staff will keep your possessions, search them and document them in preparation for you to leave the next day or so. As I watch the women roll their possessions to the R & D office I could just see the happiness, joy in their eyes. It is the moment where they are not experiencing any immediate anxiety or fears just happy that they are progressing further in this long, tiring, frustrating process.

Twenty-four hours prior to leaving the camp your name is listed on the Camp daily posted calendar of appointments referred to as the “Call-Out”. Every woman no matter how long they have been here rushes daily to look at that “call-out” and proceed to the back page to see if someone’s name has the those liberating two words “Camp-Out” next to their name. Daily we count the number of women who are fortunate enough to be leaving. The most I have seen in a day on that list has been four lucky women. Once they see their names on the list they get the biggest, most inspiring smile on their faces. That is proof that it is now official after enduring the monotonous process of leaving, they have finally reached having their names listed on the “call out”. Now their stay consists of just a “wake-up” and then they will be on their way home.

The next morning is filled with disposing of your ugly green men close and taking the thin sheets and itchy blanket off of your bed, bag them up or just happily carry them to the laundry and dump them in the huge laundry bin. “Whew, I can not wait!”. The early morning is complete with anxiety and nervousness for some and for others it is pure joy. This typically consists of saying your goodbyes to those who were not at your goodbye party the night before and with getting your hair and make-up done. Around 8:30 am, the R & D staff will call the names of all of the women whose names are on the “call-out” to report to R & D. You can hear the cheers and excitement each and every time it is announced. This occurs whether you know the person or not, it is always a wonderful thing to witness someone leaving the camp. Those women who were close to the soon to be free woman will walk her out, carrying the rest of her things and bid her a farewell. It is truly a moment that I have extreme difficulty explaining. Your reaction is that of joy because someone is about to walk out of here. Your next thought is sadness, because you are still here. it is such a strange way of being. To not have access to your freedom and look upon another’s with happiness but selfishly feel jealous at the same time. I have endured all of those emotions and make no excuses for having them. In the end having women walk out of this non productive, dehumanizing, dehumanizing, paternalistic, environment feels me daily with HOPE!.

 I am thankful that like I have said prior and will continue to say, I have a date to exit. It is not the date I feel I should have because I surely should leave early to have access to Re-entry services, but none the less I have a date of November 27, 2015 if my paperwork is completed in a timely fashion. I am also thankful that I will be able to walk out of here with my head high, my heart open, hopeful, full of possibilities and my loving peaceful soul, FREE!

Felonious Little Ph.D. 2014

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