The Felonious PhD.

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

The First Sunday…

October 20, 2013

Sundays here are no different from Sundays all over the country.  The camp chapel offers every religious service possible.  There is a Catholic service, Latter Day Saints services, Buddhist, and Christian services.  Every spiritual-at least religious-need can be met.

As I sit under the shade covering my familiar table listening to the birds chirp and the chatter from the other women within earshot who are grouped together to discuss God and His Word, I almost forget that I am in a Federal Prison Camp.  That is, until I hear over the loud-speaker, “Inmate number _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ , please report to the education department.”  That is when I am abruptly reminded….I AM IN PRISON CAMP!!

The campus is very peaceful though, so I sit and watch a group of women play a card game called Golf.  I was told that soon, I too, will be playing cards, knitting, and crocheting to pass the time.  These day, I am a little afraid to say what I would never do or what will never happen to me.  I won’t even put any of those thoughts into the universe anymore.  Shit, I am here, a federal prisoner in a federal prison camp. A felon!  I never, ever thought that would happen.  So, I will just say, “Time will tell!” For right now, I like spending my ample free time writing, walking the track, and talking to the ladies here.  Their stories are engaging, they are PEOPLE, and while hearing the ridiculousness of some of their experiences doesn’t make me feel any more hopeful, and frankly more disheartened about our punitive system, for the moment, it’s far better than crocheting!

Just stay tuned…

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Nineteen Days and Counting Down!

Okay, now shit is getting real! Whew!, down to the teens in the countdown numbers til the day I have to self surrender.  I decided to take a nice hot bath in my sisters cozy tub.  Trying to do that as much as possible since for the next 22 to 28 months I will be limited to showers.  Lately, I have been having a little anxiety about what I can bring with me.  The camp manual that is posted online was very informative.  But when I googled information I was getting different information.  So I decided to phone the facility this morning.  A young woman answered the phone, I explained to her that I was due to self-surrender and had a few questions.  She was very nice and explained to me that outside of a few things listed on the camp guidelines on the website.  I could only bring my Identification and the clothes on my back.  I asked about money and how I could place cash in my account so I did not have to wait a week or so.  She stated that I could western union cash to myself prior to self surrendering.  Now I know!

I have had many experiences in my life and they have all helped form the woman I am today.  So I don’t expect this part of my journey to be any different.   More to come…..

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Twenty-One days and Counting!

I woke up today and prepared myself to continue to check off my things to do list before I leave.  I always save going to the storage unit as one of my last tasks or make it one of the first tasks of the week.  I told myself this month that I was only going to deal with disconnecting, packing and preparing physically on the weekdays.  Weekends are for hanging with my son, family and friends.  And time to just sit in a peaceful space.  So the storage unit issue is one that has plagued me for the past three years.  See we had well over 6 group homes, 13 independent living condos, office and once we closed down we had to sell everything and what we did not sell we had to put in two large storage units.  I was so excited when we emptied the last unit a year or so ago.  So now when I return to my own personal unit and see my belonging stack, shoved and placed in a box it usually gets very emotional for me.  But today I had a different reaction.  I remember telling my oldest son when he helped  place the last of my things in the storage, shut the door and placed a lock on it, that I should just sell the whole damn storage unit and start over. lol  Of course, he did not agree with that idea and I get it.  Who wants to replace all of that stuff.  That is the thing though, these days I feel light!!  Yes there are times I miss my things but I have never been connected to stuff.  I feel like I did when I was in college and had to figure out what was next, where will I live and how will it look?  The only good thing is instead of starting over I will be starting in the middle.  I will be ready for next.  So my trip to the storage unit today was a productive one and not sad.  I am thankful for that!

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Twenty-Four days and Counting Down!!!

September 20, 2013 Okay! So my to do list is about complete.  It is the strangest feeling to be working on disconnecting from all of my responsibilities.  For a minute, I started feeling a bit irresponsible.  As long as I can remember I have been responsible for something or someone other than myself.  Then my next thought was, I wonder if the lack of responsibility was one factor for the high recidivism in jails and prisons.  I know it is not a major factor, but I am guessing that it does play a small role.  Because honestly, “real life” today can be wearing on the souls of people.  All I know is that, yes I will miss my love ones and other things, but I will not miss dealing with the banks, NV Energy, TMWA, AT&T, Verizon, Progressive insurance, Raleys, high gas prices, cable bills and the other monthly responsibilities I have had most of my life.  Honestly, yes I would rather be worrying about all of my bills and responsibilities, but since i do not have a choice, all i can say is bye, see you in 22 to 28 months.  

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