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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A Critical Analysis of Re-Entry……..

 

Beginning in January 2015 I will began my official emotional, mental and professional preparation for re-entering my community, my family, my friends, well essentially my entire life. All of this transformative action will be done without any assistance from this system.   Not that I require any assistance from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but there are many women in here that do need assistance with transitioning from an environment that is proficient at telling you how little you actually matter as a felon, and how low you are on society’s heirarchy. The label “FELON” alone carries a lifetime of shame, disenfranchisement, and one can be self-deprecating if your capcity to understand that no man or system has the right nor the ability to define who you are and your place in the world is not well-developed.

I will spend the next eleven months reminding myself that I am Felonious. As the Felonious Ph.D.,  I have to take ownership of a label that someone else gave me and redefine it in an effort to once again be successful in the United States of America. It is very humorous to me when I think about it.  That happens often in this space. I am not very concerned about my ability to successfully re-enter into society, because I honestly know what it takes and I am well practiced at overcoming barriers in order to achieve the goals and possibilities I have for myself and my son. My biggest challenge and that of other women like myself has been reconciling the fact that this has happened to us, and being able to work with my Ego self and not from my Ego self. A difficult concept to explain but those of us who have endured this process and feel that it was and unnecessary and extreme outcome are stuck with the curse of forever questioning “why” and battle with motivating ourselves to once again becoming a hard-working, active members of a professional community.

I know my next is not going to be easy but my past was not a bowl of cherries either and through it all I am still my loving, caring beautiful self. The true issue at hand here, in regards to re-entry and the many Prison reform discussions and policies, is that there has to be a critical look at how a system such as Federal Bureau of Prisons can be made responsible for my being successful in re-entering when its whole existence is to imprison me? One of my favorite writers, Aurde Lorde wrote, “You can not use the MASTERS tools to dismantle the MASTERS house!”. The issues of Re-entry have to be addressed at the legislative level and not be placed on the FBOP. There has to be mechanisms and organizations at the grass roots level to make sure that re-entry is a priority. The FBOP is a system that systemically feeds itself. I see it so clearly now. And I honestly do not blame FBOP they are doing what they are being paid to do, and that is to warehouse individuals who were deemed unsafe to be free in society….and they’re doing it for a WHOLE LOT of money. We truly have to rethink this process, and now that there are many financial motivations for United States to do so, I hope that many advocacy groups and individuals are preparing to address the many issues that will assist with successful re-entry and reduced recidivism. Otherwise the system will continue to fund the FBOP when honestly many of us could be home working, taking care of our children, and serving our communities.

I want to be an active participant in some, well, many of these discussions. Mainly because if we can get a hold on this system I am sure that we can also assist with minimizing the number of young people that are in foster care. The issues of re-entry go far beyond a place to live and a job. We are talking about how to renew individuals who have endured this process and have lost their human dignity, human possibilities and their human worth.

I am thankful that at 50 years old I can still Dream of a World, and I can also see my next and all of its possibilities. I also know that no one can define who I am and they never will. I just want to find a way to assist others in my position to feel the same way.  That is truly the only way I will completely be FREE!!! It is not all just about me, I have always felt that way but over the past 14 months if I have not learned anything else, I have become aware of my own true PURPOSE and I am thankful for that.

Felonious Ph.D. 12/2014

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Happy Holidays…

I had decided that I was not going to acknowledge or celebrate any holidays while I was under the Federal Bureau of Prisons guidelines and direction.  Those who know me would probably tell you that I never truly indulged int he holiday chaos and commercial craziness anyway.  My only reasons for participating in any holiday activities were to create some form of tradition with my family and my son.  So, now that the federal government has seen fit to separate me from those who are dear to me, I can and will wholeheartedly say, “Screw the Holidays!”

I will observe how most of these mothers have to painfully process the despair that comes from unwillingly being away from their kids this Halloween and all of the other upcoming special days.  I know that I have been away from my son for less than three weeks and I have a hole in my heart that will not be filled until I am home with him and a part of his day-to-day life again.  Until then, I know without a doubt that he is well taken care of by all of those who love him.  I am the one who is lonely for his jokes and, damn, I miss brushing his hair.

I know today his only goal for Halloween will be to collect as much candy as he possibly can and then he’ll promptly forget all about it until next year.  He feels like he is too old for a costume so he may throw on some scary mask so that he can participate in going door to door.  That wasn’t always the case of course.  When he was young we dressed him as a little tiger one year and a Power Ranger another. Last year, he grew up……..he thought.

On our last Halloween he decided we should go to the scary house in Sparks.  I am admittedly a huge scaredy cat, but I agreed to go.  I told myself to just do it.  Do it for him.  It will be a wonderful memory.  I had no way to foresee just how memorable it would prove to be.  We made it less than half-way through the haunted house when he decided he’d had enough and on our desperate escape through a side door he lost his shoes and I nearly peed my pants laughing and screaming at the same time!  Fright Night for sure!  I told myself, “NEVER again!”  He loves to tell and re-tell that story!

I miss my wonderful, handsome son!  For him I am eternally thankful and for him I say….

Happy Halloween!

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