The Felonious PhD.

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

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

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

girl with raised hands and broken chains

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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A Critical Analysis of Re-Entry & Recidivism Pt. 2………Prison Industrial Complex-Pipeline to Self

As a “Welfare Offspring”-someone who grew up as a young child on welfare and dependent on a systemic structure that had the power to limit your food, shelter and basic needs as well as intrinsically warranted and encouraged a mindset that insisted that one acquiesce to living with shame, poverty and self hate in order to receive Government assistance to stay alive – I am now, as I sit in the “belly of the beast” of the Federal Criminal Justice System, with a tremnedous amount irreverence, admitting that once again I am in familiar territory. I am speaking with an authentic level of expertise when I say the “Prison Industrial Complex” is like welfare, a systemic structure that creates a pipeline that leads directly back to itself!

 

The irony of my life or the absurdity of my life is as such- here I am again trapped in the trenches of a system that I despise for more reasons than one, but, and I say but enthusiastically, I feel empowered in knowing that as an educated Black Woman, with a Doctorate Degree, ability to pull myself up, and a love of self that is limitless, it is more apparent and real to me that, “I was born and raised to be who and where I am”. There can not be any other explanation for my being imprisoned in such an¬†oppressive structure ¬†that I ran from my entire life and still feel FREE!

I consciously and mindfully constructed and orchestrated a life that was totally opposite of my present reality. It definitely was not made to lead to my life in the pipeline to the Federal Criminal Justice System. As I sit here as a reluctant participant in this system, I have gained a level of awareness in regards to Recidivism and Re-entry and the issues of The Prison Industrial Complex. My Birdseye view of this system far surpasses that of many Politicians, Academics and Reform Advocates. I am speaking as someone who has studied, endured and survived systemic oppression on many levels and now to be a part of The Federal Criminal Justice System I have to say I have seen enough!

First and foremost, I do not believe that Prison Reform is going to solve or rectify the de-humanizing effects of Incarceration. Like, slavery, incarceration has to be abolished. There is no fixing this process which is founded on the very premise of slavery. It carries all of its ills and ill effects on the human heart and soul. I am speaking in reference to the inmates as well as the employees. There must be a paradigm shift on all levels of our Criminal justice System and the shift has to be brave enough to highlight the human needs and fiscal rewards for De-carceration. Because let us be honest, it is all about MONEY! As an educated, business minded woman, I can clearly see that for financial and political reasons the Prison Industrial Complex is going to be difficult to destroy or exterminate. For the same reasons we upheld the inindiscretions of Wall Street, we refuse to tackle the many humane challenges that incarceration put on our society. I get it!!!!

So in knowing that the Prison Industrial Complex will not meet its fate soon enough, I see the need as a human and a newly labeled Felon, to increase awareness for how the industry, our American Prison Industrial Complex, is destroying the souls and limiting our wills as citizens and in turn creates a blood line that leads directly to itself. An incredible business model, that can be fixed on the lowest levels immediately if voting citizens, legislators and our community leaders are truly invested in creating a system that allows people like myself and others, low-level offenders, and non-violent at least the opportunity to re-enter our communities and families successfully,humanely and with dignity.

The Prison Industrial Complex and the Criminal Justice System has a structure that has given someone like me a lifetime sentence. There truly is no way to start a new chapter in my life as a Felon. Even I, with all of my work experience, education and determination have a direct line back to this Prison Industrial Complex. It is clearly a system that is structured to continue to feed itself. Currently I am being told that I do not need any re-entry services. I am not sure what that means being that I have lost everything, and if one part of the Criminal Justice System felt the need to put me here I feel that the other should be compelled to help me leave as efficiently as possible. Then it hits me again. This system is a business hence-The Prison Industrial Complex. It is not personal but I am a monetary number to this structure. So not until there is a financial motivation implemented at the Legislative level to motivate the Bureau of Prisons, Jails and the other integral players in the Criminal Justice System, they will not be moved to make sure individuals exit this system successfully and expeditiously without being set-up to return.

As a Welfare Offspring I have internally, mindfully and consciously decided that as a middle-aged educated, strong, willful, resilient, empowered beautifully loving woman, I will once again liberate myself. In doing so I plan to share my story with others and serve as “Living Proof” that no matter where our journey may lead us we are never ever without ourselves! The power is knowing that all that is good, loving and real is internal.

I am thankful that I am now coming out of the “White Collar Woman Fog.” I am now knowing that I can and will reach well beyond possibilities as long as I am fearless and lovingly myself. I will also be doing this without any assistance from the Prison Industrial Complex. I am also thankful that I now know what makes me peaceful and happy. I am determined to not be any part of the blood in the veins of the Prison Industrial Complex once I leave. I am “FREE” internally and soulfully and I am imploring all who are in this system or any structure that is imprisoning them to “Free” themselves too!!!!

Felonious Ph.D. 12/2014

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