Prison Pete

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
  I do not know if you notice any difference
but I am slowing down and working on one or two parts of my life at a time, instead of my usual thing of throwing everything at the wall and see what sticks. For example, while I am still not back up to full speed on the writing front, I have managed to stay up-to-date on the New York Times. Well almost.

I still am saving the Magazine and Book review sections. As soon as the newspaper is given to me at mail call I sit down and read it. I am also finding, much to my dismay, that by doing the crossword puzzle each day and looking up the tough clues, it is actually beginning to sink into the gray matter. I am learning new words and phrases, plus I am better able to see words developing when I have only two or three letters. Of course sometimes I fill in a wrong guess and it takes even longer to get my brain unlocked and into a different train of thought.

For example, I think I might finally have "Ich bin ein Berliner!" locked in. They like to use that phrase on a fill-in-the-blank basis. Okay so it is not quite locked in yet, as I still had to look at today's puzzle to be sure I had it right, but now I think it is locked.

Typus interruptus... It is already 9:00 and I have not taken my shower yet. An inmate who has been here about a week and is leaving in nine days stopped by and we started talking about music and computers. Okay, it was more me doing all the talking. I still need to learn to not be in such a hurry to put forth my various computer theories, but I am so starved for intelligent conversation that I fall too quickly into my old habits.

Then another inmate asked for my help with a time computation problem he is having. According to his figures they are beating him out of four months of jail time. The ironic thing is that Downstate Inmate Records wrote a letter to the NYC Department of Corrections saying they thought there was an extra seven days, and they agreed and he lost seven more days. Never a dull moment. He is lucky in that he has one of the new flat bid sentences, just like my 10 year fed sentence. In his case he was given a five year flat bid and will serve 85% of it.

I on the other hand must depend on the good graces of the parole board to release me after I serve the minimum five years. They can deny me that "privilege" and make me wait another two years, and deny me again at that point. In theory, unless I so something wrong I must be released on my CR date which is ten years, two-thirds of my sentence.

I am going to enclose a recent publication that details what (NY Governor) Pataki has done to the parole system. It is frustrating that some people are fighting to get murderers out who have served the same amount of time as I will have when I first face the parole board. Please send this booklet back to me. I will write more on this too.
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