The Felonious PhD.

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

HAVE NO FEAR!………….A Message of Solace from the Camp

on March 16, 2015

As I enter my 17th month of incarceration at the Federal Prison Camp, there are a few things that I have just become accustomed to for the sake of my maintaining peace of mind for my soulful self. Then there are instances where I am caught off guard and my soul is touched at its CORE.

I have become accustomed to wearing the ugly, green, men’s uniform that is accessorized with the heavy, steel-toed high top boots. I am even accustomed to the oppressive, used green sports bra. I have become accustomed to the fact that this environment has incompetent, irreverent, depressed and often mean-spirited staff that work here. And out of pure survival I have even become accustomed to walking daily, round and round and round in circles on a rocky track. So boring!.

However, I have not become accustomed to how our United States Government Criminal Justice System continues to incarcerate, non-violent, low level offending, frail, elderly women. I know we as a Nation thrive on punishing those who have “done wrong” in the eyes of law. I am also aware of the fact that we have to maintain some level of order as a civilized society. I completely understand all of those concepts, believes and constructs. But what happens when a system is so extremely “FLAWED” and we as a Nation simply continue to ride the “SLIPPERY SLOPE” of mass incarceration without any hesitation or critical analysis into the inhumanness or the ineffectiveness of the process? How can we not act with a sense of urgency when it is apparent that our Criminal Justice system is broken? That sense of complacency is something I can never become accustom to as long as I live.

Today, as I sat in the library, reading and writing about how there are some signs of change on the horizon and how critical and urgent those changes are needed, we get an announcement over the loud speaker that says, “Golf South Mentor come to R&D”. That announcement is a request for one of the women who is a volunteer mentor for new arrivals to come the the R& D office and meet the new arrivals. It also alerts every other woman on the camp that new people are here. Typically, the mentors will take the new arrivals on a tour of the camp before showing them to their bunk area. When the mentor and the new woman arrived to the library, as they walked in I noticed that the Latina woman was “ELDERLY” and that she was trembling like a tree. As the mentor spoke to her and tried to console her she sat down at the table in the middle of the library, put her head down and whispered as her lips trembled, “I AM SO AFRAID!”. O M G! my heart stopped, for a few seconds I was at a complete loss for words. I looked over to the mentor and the other woman that was in the library and they were both standing there with their mouths open and speechless. My immediate reaction was to go give her a hug, but I could sense the complete “FEAR” in her at that moment. I gathered myself and told her softly, “You are very safe here, I promise no one is going to hurt you!”. I asked her if she was thirsty and she nodded yes, I went into the desk drawer and handed her a generic diet soda. I reassured her that the hard part was over. Being here is the easiest part of the Federal Criminal Justice process. Whew!! That was all I could do to not scream or burst out in tears. I am sure that would have scared her to death! After a few minutes she opened the soda took a sip and the other two women began consoling her and talking. I took the opportunity to gather my thing to walk back to the unit. Walking my usual path back to the unit I was trying desperately to find a way to switch emotional gears from pure anger to “March Madness” (lol).

Those are the moments that bring my anger to the surface. Because my own consciousness of truth is that I am forever angered by this process, but these types of days force me to be present in my anger. There is absolutely no way anyone will ever be able to convince me that as United States of America we do not have any other option other than to incarcerate, non violent, low level, women, elderly offenders or anyone who is not a safety risk. I just do not get it! or maybe I get it too well! I have forced myself to succumb and surrender to many things as I progress through my journey. But I will never ever accept how easily it is for our Government officials (fellow citizens), to skillfully and willfully destroy another persons soul with passion and fervor in the name of justice, corrections and rehabilitation. I will also never forget how easily we (Americans) allow these things to happen.

If you are a woman, sister, grandmother, aunt or mother who finds herself pending incarceration at a Federal Prison Camp, I want you to know that “YOU WILL BE SAFE”. Don’t get caught up in shows like “Lock Up” that are televised to brainwash US citizens into thinking we need prisons. Or believe everything about “Orange is the New Black” which is entertainment first and is very creative. The women here at the camp are people you know. “We are all people you know!” So trust me when I say you have nothing to fear in here.

I am so thankful that my time here at the Federal Prison Camp is almost over. It is a challenge everyday to wake up and renew my passion for being a loving, caring, soulful Black American Woman Mother. I am also thankful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any and every given moment!

The Journey continues…………………………felonious phd-3/201

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