Prison Pete

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
  Humbled by the success of this blog.
Okay, now that the blog has really taken off, I am forced to take a step backwards. Actually, more like a few steps backwards.

This is actually the first chance I have had to see and respond to any posts. The blog has ballooned so rapidly that it is awesome. I will have the time in the next few weeks to attempt to respond to the posts. My schedule will provide me with access to a typewriter for three hours per day, Monday through Saturday. The rest of the time I will work on the rough drafts, do some exercise, read, and feed myself.

I have been amazed at the responses that have been posted on this blog. The original intent was to find a few people that would care to read my ramblings, maybe post a comment or two, and then I would have a direction in which to head. This certainly has shown the power of the web! I am very humbled by the responses, amazed at the variety in content and style of the comments, and sorry that I can not respond in "real time" to the comments posted.

In the interest of fairness to my editor -- yes, there are two people doing this, and I am the one in jail -- please do not expect him to respond personally to any post. While there was some doubt expressed as to the reality of my being a real prisoner, I am real, I do get all the posts, but the fact remains we are talking about a turnaround time of two weeks between the time you post a comment, I get to see it, and then offer a response.

I will try to respond to some of the comments in the postings where that makes sense. As I type this, I have less than 80 days left here at Club Fed. I appreciate the offers to send books, create wish lists on Amazon.com, etc. After being incarcerated for over eight years, the fact that this part of the journey is coming to a close is very hard to wrap my mind around. No, I am not talking about Stockholm syndrome. I am still in limbo as to exactly what will be happening some time in the next one hundred days.

No matter what is the outcome of my current legal appeals, I will be going to a county jail in NY State. The best possible outcome would be that I am released from the county jail due to a favorable judgment from my appeal. There is the possibility for one other legal question, but the worst case is that I begin the trip from county jail to state prison. This is certainly not something I am looking forward to.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I have never failed to accept responsibility for my actions. I am not whining about being innocent! I have only questioned the legal aspect of my sentencing. One thing those that have not come in contact with the justice system may not be aware of is that there are rules and regulations to be followed. The problem is that there are so many rules and regulations it is next to impossible for you, the defendant, to know if you are getting a fair shake.

I have learned a lot about myself over the last eight years, not all of it easy to accept, and I know I will be a better person for the experience. Most of the lessons I have learned have come despite the system. Yes, I have learned them because I was locked up, but not because of any specific programs the system provided. As a matter of fact, part of my concern is the lack of constructive use of most of the time an inmate spends in prison.

My growth and progress has come from the support from a few special individuals. Mom and Dad certainly are at the top of the list. The editor of this blog is another. There have been a few inmates and one or two staff members that I have come in contact with that have also shown me how life works, and how I can be a useful part of it. Most of the staff members that have had a positive effect on me have done so not as a direct cause of their job in the system, but by the way they add that little bit of themselves to the job. The BOP runs on written policy and procedure. However, as I frequently explain to my fellow inmates, most of the policy is written just so they can take pleasure in proving that "policy, we don’t need no stinking policy."

The next ninety days or so will be devoted to telling some of the day to day comedy this place provides, answers where possible to your questions, and preparing me for my transfer to NY State.
You made me laugh with your comment, "stinking policy." I love that movie. How long will you be in NY?
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