The Felonious PhD.

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

My Own Quietly Explosive Here, Part 7…….. “I Saw RED” My own silent rage!

I Saw RED! As I sat in a chair, across from another human being, trying to have hope and desperately, patiently awaiting some information regarding my OWN life, which at this time is in the control of an entity (The Prison Industrial Complex; Criminal Justice System) that structurally, in my professional opinion, is not capable of managing any living souls life effectively. I Saw RED! Not particularly because of the woman-person-human soul that was sitting in front of me, the one who was explaining to me that, I would NOT be getting six-months of halfway, transitional services because I have NOT completed a VT-vocational Tech class, such as automotive-brake repair or suspension or Microsoft 2000 or Resume Writing!. I have taken and completed such classes as, personal finance-which teaches you how to open a bank and savings account, women wellness- which talks about the importance of balance, smart money which discuses the importance of good credit, mortgages and interest rates and renting housing agreements, (lol someone please help me! hahahaha!)
It has been explained to me that I need to take the VT class to prove that I will and can be successful in the community, since I can no longer work within the field I have dedicated 27 years of my wonderful life to serving-the field in which I owe thousands of dollars for still, have given a priceless amount of my blood, sweat and tears, have passionately served with pride, dedication and love, for at least 10 years according to the OIG (Office of Inspector General). So, I am guessing the Criminal Justice System/Bureau of Prisons/Prison Industrial Complex believe the VT classes such as, automotive technology or resume writing are going be my saving grace. Once again, I do not blame the woman I am sitting in front of as I am seeing RED. I blame the ineffective, non-productive, structurally oppressive, archaic and demeaning Prison Industrial Complex, Criminal Justice System. This must change, reform is not enough, simple reform will never be enough! I hope Voters, Politicians, Community Activist and any other living soul understand that this structure has to change soon.
In the meantime I am awaiting a date so that I can plan my future re-entry. I saw RED! As I walked out of the office, after the 10 minutes team meeting, I left confused, angry, frustrated and baffled by a process that has no accountability and renders me completely and indescribably helpless.

I immediately headed to the phone and urgently attempted to call my “PERSON” (an individual who is not tethered to your crisis, life coach, therapist, counselor, friend, who will authentically, honestly and often bluntly tell you the truth by any means necessary in an attempt to assist you with saving your mind and soul!). After several attempts to reach her on the phone, standing there I felt my blood boil from my toes up to the top of my head. I saw RED! I knew my silent rage was at its max. Once my PERSON answered the phone she immediately knew from my tone that I was emotionally in crisis. After explaining my frustration and coming to grips with the fact that I still do not know when I will be transitioning from the Federal Prison Camp to halfway house and then home, she simply reminded me that it is completely about the system, and once again I remembered that at this moment and time I am inmate 47078-048 and that is it. I am not a mother, a professional with a degree, not a sister, not an aunt, not a daughter, not a niece, not a friend, not a woman who needs to know what in the hell is going on in her life.  I am an inmate who is just one soul in this system of many souls. As our allotted 15 minute conversation drew to an end, I felt my level of red move from the top of my head down to my stomach, whew! I hung up the phone and planned to go lay down on my bunk to gather myself completely. As I left the phone area and headed to my bunk I was stopped by my buddy who has been incarcerated for over 20 years, non violent, low-level drug offender. She asked me how my team meeting went and if I received my date yet, BECAUSE, she was still waiting for hers as she is due to be released in less than three months. She has yet to receive her final, definite date! OMG! that was all I could think, as I felt my level of red seep all of the way out of my body. I was reminded that no matter how much of an ego I may have or how desperate I am about being here, or how much I despise this setting, or how much I know that the Criminal Justice System is completely inhumane, I must be thankful, because there are women who have been trapped in this system most of their lives and still the system does not operate with any level of urgency to return them to their family, community, or society effectively or expeditiously.
I have never felt so helpless as I have throughout this experience within the Prison Industrial Complex/Criminal justice System. This journey is often unfathomable to me, I don’t know how to help other souls through this process other than to share all of my consciousness of truth in regards to my experience. I will continue to do that in hope that I can and will serve as living proof that through it all one can leave this structure hopeful and loving and excel despite knowing and believing that we were never meant to survive it! I will continue to be Beyond Resilient.
I am so thankful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. I am also so grateful that my time is winding down here. I may not know when, but I know it is going to happen!

The journey continues………………………………………felonious p

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My Own Quietly Explosive Here Part 6…………………………….Where does the PAIN go?!

Today I started my day as I do everyday, on the “track of tears”, where I can mindfully start my morning off in a peaceful and quiet space. My walk this morning was interrupted by many of my own thoughts and obsessive feelings about this Criminal Justice process. This week I had a very heartfelt and powerful conversation with one of my ex-bunkies, who is also a “White Collar, 1st time offender, non-violent, woman, mother, grandmother, Entrepreneur and a very soulful being”. The biggest difference in our journey is that she was sentenced to 120 months. Now, remember that translates to 10-years of “nothingness”.

     We have engaged in many conversations over the past 20 months in regards to our lives and our current state as an imprisoned soul, within the Federal Criminal justice System. We talk openly about how it is imperative that we keep ourselves strong, mentally and emotionally, while acknowledging that no matter how determined an individual soul may be, the life as an imprisoned soul, challenges all and I mean all that you stand far as a loving caring soulful being.

My ex-bunkie had requested to be transferred to another Prison Camp months ago so that she could continue to challenge her legal case and more importantly maintain a connection to her family. She was excited the day had finally arrived and as we sat in her favorite “window seat” in the camp cafeteria, we discussed the importance of remaining tethered to your CORE-self. My ex-bunkie made some very emotional and authentic statements about her fears of losing part of herself to this Federal Criminal justice Process. She passionately and emphatically stated, “I love who I was before all of this happened! I love me!”. Her specific question which is so familiar to me and deeply touched my soul was, “Where does the PAIN go?!” I have faced that question personally and professionally. I responded to her question by saying to her that it is imperative to merge with our pain, to not allow the energy of pain, to operate alone and untethered from our CORE self. I simply reminded her that, “We are NOT broken, we are simply INJURED and injuries do and can heal with nurturing, support and mindful attention. Our last conversation was productive and encouraging for both of us. She stated to me that it was the perfect exit conversation as she progress onward in her journey, and she thanked me. For myself, it did several things, it provided me an opportunity to share with the prideful, resilient, loving, hurt, black woman, mother, that she is BEYOND RESILIENT and that this traumatic experience has injured her but she is far from broken! It also solidified my stance that only through self love and love of others can or will we truly heal from traumatic experiences. It encourage me to continue to operate from a place of love no matter what.

I am grateful that I met my ex-bunkie and I truly wish her the best as she continues to fight for her physical and emotional freedom. I am thankful that my time of being incarcerated is nearly over. It hurts my soul knowing that I will be leaving many women in the Criminal Justice System and that more will be entering this absurd process. I will continue to share how important it is to remain tethered to your Loving Core Self and operate Beyond Resilient through it all.

The journey continues………………….feloniousphd 6/2015

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My Last Incarcerated Mother’s Day………..A Message From the Camp

I honestly almost forgot that Mother’s Day was this week. Or perhaps I simply put it out of my mind, like I have chosen to do with every holiday in this unnatural space. I have experienced a variety of emotions as I sit here in the Federal Prison Camp, but the most difficult time I have during this period is not being home with my teenaged son and the rest of my family. I remember once upon a time hearing a song called, “A Motherless Child” and I can faintly remember some of the words of anguish that those lyrics contained. But living a life for any period of time as a “Childless Mother” has left such a profound mark on my soul as I sit here simply doing nothing in this space of “nothingness” rendered a danger or a risk to who? I am not sure but still isolated from all that is real and loving to me.

     As a mother, woman, a soulful being, I will never forget how easy it was for a system that has so much leverage and flexibility to not take in account my role as a loving, caring mother, foster mom and was afforded the means to simply discount who, what and how I have operated as a loving, caring, lawful human being my entire life. This Criminal Justice System, our American Criminal Justice System has impacted families in a manner that in my eyes is so Un-American, callous and just plain mean spirited. As we spend this election cycle listening to the politician, political pundants and other lobbyist discuss the ill-effects of mass incarceration and how it has destroyed our Nation, communities and individual lives I want those involved to also understand the devastating impact this process has had on the family systems. I want them to be made aware of how THEY (politicians) are to blame for this mess and how it may just be a political campaign for them, but my life as a black, mother, felon is lived, controlled and fought for on a daily basis, not just when it is time to vote. I want to be authentic in regards to life of an incarcerated mother soul, and I say that as a woman who took her role as. mom, mother, mama, foster mom, mama Sandy very seriously and with real intent to impact those very important lives I was privy to be connected to, it was not a joke to me. I know most peeps will say well, “then you should not do the crime!” to that I say, “when almost everything useful and helpful is needed to impact others lives positively is considered a CRIME by the Government, what are we to do as helpers?”. Then I will add, “talk to me when you become 1 out of the 100 people who will one day be impacted by our American Criminal Justice System!”. At which time I will gladly encourage you to push pass this process and operate beyond being resilient as I have done.

I am fortunate that this is my last incarcerated Mother’s Day. I will be leaving behind many dedicated and loving, non violent, low level, first time offending Mothers, and Grandmothers as I swiftly walk away from this space in a few months. I want to tell all Mothers who are unfortunately involved with this system that you will be ok!. This System will take a lot from you but it can not take away your own “consciousness of truth” and the love you have and give to those you are tethered to regardless of where you are. To get through these periods as I sit in this space I write. I also remind my self that this process will end and when that day comes, I will stubbornly walk out of here more of my loving, caring wonderful self.

I am forever and always thankful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. I am also very grateful for my wonderful teenaged son and for all of the young people who consider me their “MOM”. I am lucky. So no matter what this process has done to me and those tethered to me, I will continue to operate from a place of love and live life FEARLESSLY!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The journey continues………………………………………………….felonious phd 5/2015

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My Own Quietly Explosive Here Part 1………………………….I’M Still Mad as Hell!!!!!!

Lately I have dedicated a tremendous amount of my time here at the camp trying to formulate a plan for my next, which includes but is not limited to where will I work? where will I live? how will I keep myself emotionally strong? etc. I know most people feel that we are happier and are more productive when we limit how much we focus on our future issues and remain present in our NOW. Because of this irreverent experience and after I have lost everything, including my right to PERSONAL PHYSICAL FREEDOM, I know that I must prepare for tomorrow, otherwise, what will happen to me?

As usual when I find myself in a major quandary and my emotional, spiritual and physical self are in an uproar in here (whew and I mean a feisty one! lol) I depend on reading and writing for some healing and clarity. My current reality is that I am MAD AS HELL! Simple, there is no sugar coating it, that is my own truth. Anger has always served as a motivating emotion for me. I know that if something has me angry then I need to change it. But being that I am incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp and legally enslaved in the Federal Criminal Justice System that has served absolutely no purpose, I have no choice but to move with and through my anger. Over the past 18 months I have wrestled with this process and asked the same damn questions. Who benefits? What is the purpose of this incarceration process especially for non-violent, low level offenders? Does anyone really cares that this is going on? Why destroy a persons life and those tethered to them over nothing? Aren’t I an American with value also?

Daily, as I sit in the t.v. room watching the news, my questions continue to be answered as I witness the on-going incarceration of non-violent human beings. When will it end? Some say I should not watch the news or read the newspaper, like that will somehow change the facts. The facts being, as politicians continue to discuss, debate and plan for Criminal Justice reform, the American Justice System, those who are benefactors and stakeholders, continue to advocate and encourage to support the mass incarceration of non violent people. So yes, I am mad! I am mad that there is a continual influx of elderly females into the Federal Prison Camp of all races so it is not just a color thing. I am mad that as Politicians maneuver for political clout and positions, their policies are continuing the mass incarceration of not only hard working people but they too are getting caught in their own Criminal Justice nets and still they refuse to make urgent changes. That is scary to me. I am mad that as legislatures refuse to honestly legislate for real Criminal Justice changes for political reasons many incarcerated non-violent women are dying, getting physically injured, depressed, mentally ill, isolated and just plain forgotten about in this Criminal Justice System. I am mad that Federal Government Agencies, Federal Government Criminal Justice System and those tethered to it are not encouraged to utilize any form of critical analysis when it comes to over-criminalizing those who understand that to make lasting changes in the lives of vulnerable people you CAN NOT operate inside a box, but know that you must use creativity to effect change and that does not make you a FRAUD or a MONEY LAUNDERER! Yes, I am mad.

I am mad because as I sit here serving as a monetary number for the Bureau of Prisons off the backs of tax paying citizens, my son is without his mother, my grandkids are without their grandmother, my siblings are without their sister, my mother is without her daughter, my foster kids are without their mentor, my extended family is without their niece/aunty, my friends are without their friend. The remaining question is…..WHO IN THE HELL IS THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT HAS INCARCERATED ME PROTECTING FROM ME? I am not and never have been a threat to anyone!!!!!! So yes I am mad.

Today I am thankful for the powerful writing of Ms. June Jordan. I have titled one of my books, “My Own Quietly Explosive Here” after this poem she wrote:
In my own quietly explosive here
all silence isolates
to kill the artificial suffocates
a hunger
likely dying underground
in circles hold together
wings
develop still regardless
Thank you Ms. June Jordan because of that poem this week I have been able to breathe deeply. I won’t remain silent about my pain and anger in regards to this Criminal Justice process and I will continue to move forward and RISE in spite and because of it all!
The journey continues………………………..felonious phd. 4/2015

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Another Month Gone….

I would like to report to all that I am adapting well and feeling great!  Well, this place has given me an opportunity to develop a new and improved ability to adapt. I have always been able to strategize myself through troubled waters and come out on the other end smiling so don’t think that I don’t still smile a lot, even here! I’m able to smile because this is what I know…this process is temporary and will be tucked so far away into my psyche, in the do not resuscitate file, that I will move on afterwards.

As I walk around the camp observing, engaging, participating, and existing, I can’t help but think about who created this monster.  I want to have a discussion with someone in the D.O.J. (Department of Justice) and ask what the purpose was because if anyone came and spent 2 weeks here, they would leave rubbing, and scratching their head.  Being a program developer, I am sure that, initially, there was a clear purpose and at some point it met the needs of those involved.  I just have to think that way, otherwise, our system is a complete farce.  I am stuck in a system that is about to implode.

The over-crowding here at the camp (the FEMALE, forget the men for a minute) is bursting at the seams!  So much so that it is literally impossible for a competent employee to do their job effectively.  Case loads are high, inmates are not leaving on their correct dates, we are housed in television rooms, I could go on and on.  Like Marvin Gaye, I want to scream, “What’s going on?”

I only have a 33 month sentence, I am saying only not because I think that is a cake walk, because-whew!-it isn’t, but because some of the NON-VIOLENT women here have sentences such as 120 months or 135 months.  I had to sit back and put that into perspective.

People are always asking me what I am going to write about.  I have always wanted to inspire and be uplifting to others, so I do not think that the criminal justice system is the thing I should write about.  Ironically, my bachelors degree is in Criminal Justice.  I once even had aspirations of being an attorney….go figure.  So, I believe in order and rules.  I just do not understand all of the inconsistencies, lies, and the level of erroneous judgments that are upheld in the court of law while the real criminals (those who control the money, wall street, politicians, you get my point) go free.

Anyway, sitting in the camp another day, I can tell you it is not about money on the Government’s end.  Because the way they place non-violent, victim-less “criminals” in the system where it costs on the average $34,000 per year to house a woman with minimal medical needs, it just does not make sense fiscally.  To me, it feels like a system that has run its course and need to be revamped in order to be effective.

Like I have told the women in the unit, that change may not happen when we want it to happen, but change is inevitable.

In the meantime, I smile!

 

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