The Felonious PhD.

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

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

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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!.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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From the eyes of a butterfly……………………………….Swiftly moving towards next!

I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share my concerns and experiences with others.   This video is part of my lecture for Dr. Susan Chandler’s, “Mass Incarceration” class at UNR on Wednesday.   I am a true believer that education can be transformative and create change agents.  If we don’t tell them our stories, they won’t know.   So I will continue to tell all that I can possibly remember, to all that will listen.  

The journey continues…………………………………….. the feloniosphd  3/2016 

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The FELON………It is going to be ALRIGHT!

Growing up many of us were told that “sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you!”. Well there may have been a time when that premise was appropriate but, as a black, gay, woman who has intrinsically fought passionately through all of the negative and hurtful labels that have been placed on me, I have to say that words are definitely hurtful and powerful. Anytime words can be use to marginalized and dehumanize a soulful being, they hold power. I am not the Felon that the US Federal Criminal justice system wants me to consciously be. I will define this absurd label for myself and place my own swagger to it. I rebuke that disfranchising and limiting label that tells me I am less than and what I can’t do, as I have the other negative connotations. My felonious self will remain purposeful, loving and boisterous. Life is good. Different but good. Peace.

The journey continues……….the feloniousphd.

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From the 👁y👁s of the butterfly………One week free, well at least 80% free. I have a wonderful ankle accessory!

I had a wonderful free week at home. Well I am still beholden to the process physically, but to be able to interact face to face with my son is worth it. I have an ankle monitor on and I was trying to figure out what purpose it truly serves, when for the last two and a half years, my only goal has been to return home. lol. And home is where I am so I am not sure what purpose an ankle monitor serves other than another funding source. That was just a thought. I will continue to do whatever it takes because believe it or not I follow rules lol. Each and everyday I gain more insight into why re-entry and recidivism is challenging for most people. I happen to be fortunate because I am able to maneuver through the process critically and I have some supports that makes my re-entry manageable. I still have many limitations and barriers but I will not allow them to limit my possibilities and desires. I will never say it is easy though. Because this has been the most challenging process I have been legally forced to endure and had to consciously place into some form of philosophical proactive practice. I am just fortunate that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. Have a wonderful holiday weekend peeps. Life is good. Peace.

The journey continues……….the feloniousphd.
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From the 👁Y👁s of the butterfly…….If I can’t legally vote, then I should not be forced to pay taxes!

After a brief conversation with a dear friend of mine yesterday, I realized that even though I am disheartened by the Government and many of its policies, I currently have NO power or assumed power to vote for policies I believe in. As a now labeled “felon” I have lost my fundamental right to vote here in Nevada. Then I thought well, hell if I can’t vote, then I should not have to pay taxes. How is this exclusionary practice fair?!  The system still wants me to participate as if, I belong and on the other hand creates a tremendous amount of barriers for me, the felon, to have access to the rights that other US citizens enjoy. This week I also realized that it is easier for me to get on welfare and food stamps then it is to get a job in my field of practice. That is absolutely ridiculous when you think critically about how our system is structured. I am not sure what I will do with or about my new found life on the fringes, but I am sure I will continue to voice my opinion. That is truly the only real freedom I have. The freedom to speak. And I will speak boldly and from a place of love. This is a crazy life but it is worth living. Peace!

The journey continues…………….. Feloniousphd. 2/2016

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Happy Birthday, Ms. Alice Walker………. The written word has always been my therapy!

I have always loved reading and writing poetry. There is just something incredible about putting words together that create a visual experience and at the same time provide a beautiful cadence, a song or a brief narrative. I just love it. Throughout my lifetime the written words of poets and writers have served as my therapy.  They have provided me with a peace of mind and reminded me that eventually everything will be as it should be.   While  I was incarcerated at the federal prison camp, I re-read several of Ms. Alice Walker books. I don’t have a particular favorite because they are all incredible. But the one that helped me the most during that period was, ” Anything we love, can be saved: A writers activism”. Because of incredible, authentic and brave Artists like Ms. Walker I know I am not alone and I also know that we can overcome anything throughout our lifetime. I am thankful for Poets, Writers and Artist. The most bravest and honest people on earth.  Happy Birthday, Ms. Alice Walker. Peace.

 

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