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Prison Pete

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Saturday, April 03, 2010
  Earning My Keep.
I just received last Tuesday's NY Times, with all the gory details of the wind and rain storm that hit your area (I think) earlier last week. So please break the cycle and let me know if you managed to escape any major damage.

On a personal update basis I have been really fighting this major depression. I have been wandering around in a limited emotional engagement mode. I just have very little reason to take care of myself. I even have been showering only once a week. Good thing it has been nice and cold.

I have been doing a bunch of programming on the computer in the library area. I think I may have mentioned they have a whole security install going on it. It only has Word and Excel and on the initial install they locked the user out of even being able to change the date and time. And the system date is set to sometime in 2002.

They have started a new call out procedure that I will elaborate on soon, but for now I am working on build a database program using Excel. That is efficient. They had removed the open file from the File menu, and the icon was missing from the toolbar too. How the hell are we supposed to keep the various lists of inmates participating in the various programs from week to week if I can not open a previous file?

Since the bane of Microsoft is the multitude of paths one can take to complete a task, in this case it pays off. I was able to execute the toolbar customize dialog and add the open file icon back on to the toolbar.

On the really dumb and stupid game playing front, I was called down to the Mess hall on Friday and told by one of the officers there it was time for me to earn my keep. While it is true I have been getting the grand total of $13.00 a week for not showing up, my new job description is "Table Tops". We have four man stainless steel tables, and I get to wash them as one group leaves and another comes in to eat.

I managed to catch the Food Service manager and asked him if this meant I was never going to be programming again. He said this was just a way to get me back in the building as it were and get the staff to see me working. Like the terrific programming they use all day long is not enough of a sign. So anyhow I am now seeing how long this manual labor will last.

Still no major revelations from my brother and basically the only mail so far this year was your one letter, okay one pre-letter, one main letter, and lots of notes and letters from Abby.

Please let me know about the storm soon. Thanks.
 
Comments:
Hi,

My name is Ana. I started law school this year in Canada. We take all areas of law and my favorite class was Criminal Law. It was an eye opener to say the least and really exposed me to the privileged life style many of us live and do not realize we live.

Anyway, we, meaning a couple of my class-mates and I, did research on the Prison Industrial Complex in the United States and its recently adopted version in Canada.

While doing my research I came across your blog and other blogs of inmates on death row in the US.

I have been reading it for a bit and have been wanting to write but unsure of what exactly to say. Still am unsure.

I will be headed to South Africa this summer to work in Johannesburg's State Prison. It contains the largest prison population in all of South Africa. Unlike, Canadian and US prisons, they do not split the youth population from the adult population. This includes sleeping arrangements so you can imagine what that means.

I was unsure whether or not I wanted to go and work with young offenders and participate in rehabilitation programs. Reading your blog and others has helped me over come some of my own fears, prejudices and stereotypes. I will not lie, a part of me still afraid. In away fear is a safety mechanism, makes you alert and never gives you a false illusion of security. So I guess a little fear is not all bad.

I have no idea how my trip will turn out or if I will even be able to help or make a difference. But I am excited to go and try. I am particularly interested to see what I will learn from the youth. It would be paternalistic to think that they would have nothing to teach me. I have a feeling I will learn more from them then the other way around.

I have been contemplating becoming a defense attorney for youth at risk with the law. Hopefully, this trip will help come to a decision.

Well, thank you for your blog and hopefully I will be able to continue reading some more of it.

I blabbed a quite a bit about what I will be doing because your blogged helped influence my decision to go. Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Ana
 
thaks Prison Pete for this cool blog
http://www.prisonexposed.com
 
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