From Jason Glascock, a captive in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
The post is complimentary to allow his voice to escape the confines of prison walls. Content is as submitted. Straight from the Pen does not express any opinion on the subject matter, content or the validity of any statement or claim made.
Wisconsin’s Sin: Prison, Parole and Empty Promises
In Wisconsin, prison is a social program; it’s intended to provide the public safety AND afford PIOCs (persons in our care—prisoner) the opportunity to forge a better, healthier life. The system has two faces: 1) the public face of what is says it’s supposed to help people rehabilitate; 2) the face shown to the PIOC population that says the system is there to destroy the PIOC.
Parole is a system the state legislators have instituted to allow prisons to earn release through good behavior. Do your programs and you’ll be released. There is a date where prisoners become eligible for parole: 1/4 of the overall sentence. Then there are parole hearing until a Mandatory Release (MR) date is reached at 2/3 of the overall sentence. But, in 1994 the Wisconsin legislature made the MR into a Presumptive MR (PMR); it’s presumed the prisoner is will be paroled, but it is discretionary.
PMR is the game of parole. He legislative intent was to encourage people to complete treatment programs or face longer incarcerations. Since the law was enacted, it’s been the policy of Wisconsin to retain PIOCs as long as possible, which means past their PMR dates. Parole says ‘we will consider release if you complete treatment.’ By then it’s up to the discretion of the treatment staff whether you enroll and complete; no objective criteria exist. Men are terminated for such things as group member feeling the person isn’t being open enough. What the hell does that mean? And, we’re not talking about the facilitators, but the other PIOCs not feeling validated enough.
One of the frustrating parts from the prisoner perspective is that the creeps get out. Over and over again I see guys that can’t stay away from drugs, booze, or fantasizing over abusing females—the serious creeps— get released. It’s as if Parole selects the guys they know are going to fail in order to point to those released as the typical felon. The system is disgusting.
Then there is the out right, bald faced lying by staff; Parole included. They manufacture records, invent offenses and comments, permanently entering them into a record that they refuse to change, even with court orders to do so. There is no mechanism to challenge the record.
Another game is when Parole requires an approved parole plan but the supervision agents don’t investigate the plans until parole approves release. A catch-22. They deny us for not having a job, but employers don’t agree to hire a person 3 months before release. They deny us for not have a residence, but to rent 3 months before hand you need that month’s rent, a month ahead, a security deposit, and 2 more months to cover up to release; ≈$5,000. Who has that?
The Parole “board” consists of one person making decisions on if they are “comfortable” seeing the person released. There is no objective criteria. Even the completion of treatment doesn’t guarantee release. They completely reject the federal and State’s dept’ of Justice reports regarding recidivism rates and their so vaunted COMPASS test that show petitioning PIOCs to be low-risk. Parole will just say a prisoner is high-risk, and—BLAM!!!—it is so, despite the evidence.
Prison, in Wisconsin, is a social program to help rehabilitate people. It places people into a situation to devalue everything they are, dehumanize, disempowering, isolate and handicap them to the greatest extent possible. Education is considered a threat to security and kept essentially nonexistent. They limit our to resources for educating our selves.
They have a great CNC vocational program, but only a few PIOCs fit the criteria for enrollment; virtually no one can enroll. Out of 24,000, only 7-10 get a chance. Transfer to a minimum prison so the prisoner can work in the industry prior to release is promised, but Wisconsin DOC doesn’t keep that agreement.
What a wonderful social program!
At no additional cost to you, our valued customer, we receive a small commission for a product or service purchased through this website. The commission does not necessarily influence the decision to advertise or promote a particular product or service.
On another website, I posted a blog and used a similar image as the one shown above, but the point remains the same: I am trying to catch a few crumbs through online Affiliate marketing to help prepare a better future and to earn additional income.
I am debating flipping, too (buying and reselling items), to generate additional funds through eBay, Poshmark, or on websites I create and then use search engine optimization techniques to become more visible. Google Ads and Facebook ads are additional options.
For many returning citizens who struggle with finding employments, as I did upon release, starting a business is another option.
My goal is to focus more on building my business to employ others who need a chance at success.
Because of the risks associated with a returning citizen, or an ordinary citizen, having an accident in a vehicle or being pulled over by law enforcement, products I found interesting are cameras–dash cams that may be placed on mirrors, or in the front and or rear of the car to record all activity within view.
I love the technology available for people to use to protect themselves and others. Follow the link on WonderfulThingsDone for discounts on products sold by REXING to use on vehicles, in the home, or in the woods (trail cameras to record animals or intruders).
If you use any of the links and purchase a product, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
Nice Brush, huh? That belongs to PriceWaiter. Click on it to find great deals on several categories of products. Be sure to read “How it Works” to help people save money.
PriceWaiter is one of the companies I now promote because I believe the company really does help people to save money. In addition to that, if someone purchases a product from PriceWaiter by going through any links in this blog, I will receive a small commission and will be grateful. I thank you in advance!
For those reentering society, saving money may make a big difference in their outcome; however, finding a great deal won’t make a difference unless that person committed to change their lifestyle.
On a personal level, I made a choice that returning to criminal activity was not an option. I gave enough of my life to living on the Other Side and am not willing to do anything that could cause me to have to return to the environment I hated. Returning to it would only help the System grow bigger and stronger. That is why I changed my life (I do not want to be a part of the Mass Incarceration in America. My actions must show I do not want to return to a life spent behind bars, hoping for better days).
Today, I hope for better days as a returning citizen, one who becomes a success story to show others it can be done. I refuse to give up fighting for a new life, a better life, which is a driving force behind me and my promotion of PriceWaiter and other companies who allow me to earn a small commission if anyone uses the links I provide on this website or others to buy any items, regardless of the particular item I may promote.
In the following example, I am promoting PriceWaiter’s discounts on electronics; however, many others are available, including appliances (33% off), and many others you love.
These kind of deals are hard to beat. PriceWaiter strives to get customers the best price available.
My hope is that you, the reader, will visit PriceWaiter and find substantial savings. PriceWaiter will help you negotiate lower prices. Check ’em out! Thanks!
Please post a comment or send an email to email@example.com to voice your honest opinion about PriceWaiter or any other affiliate company, and whether you purchased an item so I can verify that I am being paid. Thank you!
Life After Release continues to be an adventure and a learning experience. My life on the outside is evidence that those who wish to successfully reintegrate can do it by accepting that things happen that wasn’t in the Pre-release Plans.
I imagined life after release would be much different than it has been for me.
Expectations of others to support my business endeavors by utilizing links from my websites to purchase items has been a true learning experience.
What I do know is that Envy Runs Deep, no matter how much a person claims to support the success of a released citizen. When my success would prove their pessimistic views wrong, I should have known not to expect support, even though the support would not have any negative effect on them or their finances.
One of my favorite sayings is that, “Your actions speak so loud that I can’t hear a word of what you say.”
In one particular case, more than one person close to me has literally bought thousands of dollars worth of items from Amazon, who had been asked to start from the links in my website so that I could earn a commission from the purchase at no cost or risk to them.
Why would someone NOT support a loved one’s attempt to become a successful affiliate marketer when absolutely NO risk or harm or cost would come to them?
Could it be envy, or a desire to see that person fail, or for some other reason? Whatever the case may be in this particular situation for me is one that I am certain is not unique to me as a returning citizen.
I can’t change other people: I can only change how I respond or react to a situation that “I” allow to cause me to experience negative thoughts or emotions.
By accepting that no one is obligated to help or to support me in any way, allows me to not be angry because that person (or those people) did not act “According to Wayne.”
In the early days of my recovery, I had some affiliates and associates who went to extremes to tempt me into falling back into my evil, wicked ways by offering free drugs, knowing I was trying to not use again because I had a bad problem with stopping once I started; one in particular who would only give it to me to use, not to sell.
Why? In my opinion, two reasons, with the main one being that the change in my behavior removed me from helping them to do their dirty deeds. Another relates to the old cliche’ that Misery Loves Company.
When a person (a Hater), has a negative view or image of another person, IF that other person succeeds in an area the Hater has failed or said couldn’t be done, then how would that make the Hater feel? Not good.
The person who offered free drugs to use, only, died within four years because of his addiction. He had been one of my partners-in-crime who refused to put forth an effort to change and it cost him his life.
The above is only one example of many things that I would never have thought would be a reality in my life, even though I knew not to place expectations on others if I wanted serenity in my life. The good thing is that I am aware and know that I must let others be themselves, regardless of how wrong I feel they may be. It’s okay either way. I am only responsible for my side of the equation.
Other examples are my plans to buy a house, sign the contract, and then learn that the house was not a good buy, so then I cancelled the plan and lost $500 in the process. Life goes on.
I got in the stock market and done fairly well for a small time player, and then the stock market goes wild. Though I am still up in the game, and have learned through the drastic swings, I hated losing money I had made. I accepted it and continue to hope for a better outcome in the future.
My plan was to get rich quick. Perhaps I need a better strategy for getting rich or just be grateful for what I have and continue to do the next right thing, not letting the Mighty Dollar take me away from doing the things I need to do to experience more peace of mind, serenity. 🦉
In the near future I am going to write about other aspects of Life After Release that hasn’t worked “According to Wayne” that I refuse to lose sleep over.
Life goes on, and for that I am grateful because I do have what I need, even though I still don’t have all of what I envisioned having before I walked out of the prison gates on August 28, 2018.
That Patek Philippe in the photo is a fake and a terrible time piece that stops keeping time when I lay it down.
Running behind schedule this year is no excuse to not have already posted something on this website to give the ladies’ props to celebrate Women’s History Month.
The lady in the above photo stands in a park next to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, a few miles from where I write. Though some women may not feel a connection to what this statue represents, her divine presence radiates the power of women in history, as well as in the present.
For more on Women’s History, please read this revised and modified blog. This is for all of the Wonderful Women of the world.
EXPERIMENT IN PROGESS: I am experimenting with the design of this website in hope of increasing loading time and making it easier for visitors to navigate. Please consider that until August 28, 2018, I had never used a cellphone or been online. When arrested on August 18, 1988, the Internet did not exist as we know it today. Cellphones were rare and primitive. Smartphones did not exist, period.
I paid my former publisher at Midnight Express Books to create this website for me while I was still a federal prisoner. Within a couple of months after my release, I took control and have been learning as I go along, posting all content, taking and posting most photographs and videos used since October 2018, and redesigning the website, etc.
This site is still a work-in-progress and is one of four websites I manage. Please feel free to voice any comments and suggestions for improvements.
At the end of this Blog Page insert, I post an embedded link to a formerly abandoned website, my first. Check out the turtle photo in Living in the Slow Lane. I walked out the door one morning to go to work and found the turtle on the driveway, uphill and hundreds of yards away from any body of water, I might add. 🙂
Prison, in Wisconsin, is a social program to help rehabilitate people. It places people into a situation to devalue everything they are, dehumanize, disempowering, isolate and handicap them to the greatest extent possible. Education is considered a threat to security and kept essentially nonexistent.
Happy Easter to those who celebrate! What surprised me was to learn that the Stock Market is closed on Good Friday every year, since Easter is a large marketing opportunity for retailers. Thousands of Easter Sales are going on as I type, which will now turn to After-Easter Sales to attract more customers looking to … Continue reading Happy Easter from Wayne T. Dowdy→
My life after release continues to be in the present, as I have not become a recidivist who got out of prison only to return with a new charge(s) or for a technical violation on supervised release. For me it is easy since I don’t do anything I’m not supposed to do: I don’t get high, don’t run the streets, get permission before going out of the area, and just do the right thing by living in harmony with the Universe on most days.
In these types of blogs, I write from my personal experience and perspective, more so than from a broader, more general perspective of life after incarceration, or about my life while inside.
However, issues affecting those of us released, as well as those left inside, remain important to me, as will be shown if you search this website for “recidivism,” “returning citizens,” “Federal Bureau of Prisons,” “Incarceration,” where I have written numerous blogs relating to those issues. I contribute the following paragraph as a great resource for information.
PRISON POLICY INITIATIVES
For those interested in a more technical aspect of issues relating to Returning Citizens and recidivism or other prison-related issues, the Prison Policy Initiative contains volumes of important research information. I am personally grateful for Peter Wagner who devotes time and energy towards making a difference in the lives of others.
Fairshake.net is one of the best, if not the best, resource for returning citizens who need a broad base of information to help them carve their way into a bright future.
The owner of Fairshake.net invited me to write a few sentences for the Fair Shake New Year’s Eve Edition. This is what I was published:
“‘Miracles happen every day but what I learned is that sometimes I must do my part to make a miracle happen. I do what I believe to be the right thing and then get out of the way. I refused to give up my fight for freedom and fought 14-years to get Good Conduct Time. My last victory allowed me to leave for a halfway house on 08/28/2018, instead of 12/26/2018. My hope for better days got me through the dark days spent inside the dungeons of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. Today, hope keeps me moving in a positive direction in pursuit of the many goals I remain focused on achieving. Never lose hope!'”
My popularity continues to climb on Quora.com, where I have written several articles/answers about my experiences relating to life in prison and other related topics. The bulleted list that follows this screenshot of my statistics, shows the most read and upvoted content. These days I don’t have much time to devote to writing on Quora, but if interested in any of the topics, visit my profile page on Quora.com to access my Answers (https://www.quora.com/profile/Wayne-T-Dowdy).
How are new inmates treated when they first come to prison?·
If you’ve spent a long time in prison, what technology did you find hardest to adjust to when you were released?·
As someone who has been to prison, what are the most common inaccuracies about prison life portrayed in movies?·
How does serving time in federal prison compare to state prison?·
In prison, inmates yell “12” to alert other inmates when an officer is present. Why is the number 12 used when they alert each other (or does this only happen in Georgia prisons)?·
When does the day start for inmates in federal prison?·
What happens in prison if you don’t get along with your cellie and it is a dangerous situation? Can you request a new cellmate or a transfer to a different cell?·
Do all men in prison have sex with other men?·
If you were imprisoned, how comfortable would you be without any privacy?·
Is it true that people get sprayed with water in prison, when they first get there?·
What is a secret which you would not tell anybody in real life, but would on Quora using anonymity?·
What incentives do inmates have to behave well, especially those in for life? Do they care about their quality of life while on the inside knowing that they’re not ever getting out?·
People believe that prison should be tougher for the inmates, since there are too many luxuries awarded at the expense of taxpayers. Is being in prison as good as people think it is or worse than people could imagine?·
Are jail/prison inmates treated differently based on the crime they committed?·
Did anyone attempt a prison escape while you were an inmate?·
Can you survive and stay healthy on food provided to you in prison? Is the food clean and nutritious enough, or do you need to order out like the rest of the inmates?·
How many people who attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings stay sober over 5 years?·
What were you in prison for?·
What is something you’ve seen that you wish you hadn’t seen?·
Does “giving yourself up or turning yourself in” really give you a lighter jail sentence?·
I have more to say but don’t have time to write it, so I will close by asking those who like or want to invest and trade stocks, to read Massive Change by Wayne T. Dowdy. Watch the two YouTube videos by Stock Moe to learn something you didn’t know. 🙂
Sign up for a Webull account and fund it with at least $100 to get an free stock ranging in value. That will help me to earn two free stocks, too. 🙂 I thank you in advance!
Massive Change for me involves all my recent activities by trading in the stock market, as well as taking more time to work on my websites to create more traffic in hope of earning additional income. In this blog, I am dedicating most of it to promote Stock Moe, a great person who helps others.
Stock Moe taught me to use the word “Massive” in a title for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is what bloggers and others use to make their website more visible to search engines, such as Google and Bing.
Stock Moe used Massive about YouTube videos but that doesn’t mean it only works for YouTubers. I am using a SEO technique in this blog by repeatedly using his name and placing his name in headings.
Stock Moe qualifies as my favorite YouTuber because his actions prove that he wants to help others and isn’t doing the YouTube videos strictly for profit.
Stock Moe does promote WEBULLto get free stocks to help support the channel, as will I if someone uses the link in this paragraph to go to Webull to create a stock trading/investing account, and then funds it with a minimum of $100.00.
Get free stocks by signing up now, and then if you also promote WeBull, you will get more free stocks when a referral opens and funds the account within the specified time range with $100 or more.
WEBULL Promotion Good Until March 1, 2021
In myWEBULL promotional case, I am assuming that I will reap a benefit if someone uses the above link (or that one) to create and fund an account. Because I just posted it for the first time and have never used it in this type of communication, I am not sure. Please leave a comment if you do sign up so I will know I am being credited for the referral. Thank you in advance!
NOTE: From my limited understanding, most Penny Stocks classified as so not because they sell for pennies, but because of their overall price or corporate value. Over the Counter (OTC) stocks, meaning that they aren’t listed on the NASDQ or other stock exchanges, are not available on Webull. Several trading platforms do not allow users to purchase OTC stocks. My personal favorite for buying OTC stocks is Charles Schwab.
STOCK MOE THE PRO
Watch and listen to this YouTube video by Stock Moe and then you will know why I used the heading, Stock Moe the Pro. He is someone who knows what he is talking about on the YouTube channel, as a former teacher, stock broker, etc. A very impressive person, him and his Tesla Cat!
To understand Tesla Cat, please watch Stock Moe’s YouTube presentations, then you will know what I mean. 🙂
Listening to the second video will reveal more about the Real Stock Moe who also hangs out on Twitter, where I, too, also post links to these blogs.
I am learning more tricks of the stock market trading and investing practices from Stock Moe and a few other people who do YouTube videos. In the near future I will promote some other favorites that I find reliable but Stock Moe does hold the title as The Best!
Stock Moe Teaches
Marketing and learning Search Engine Optimization is a big part of any successful website or social media platform used to make money. Stock Moe explains more about the processes in his teaching platform. Enjoy!
“Enjoy the special day celebrating life as a living, breathing, human being. No matter how screwed up things may seem, know that there are millions of others who’d love to trade places and to have your problems. That is something I have to remind myself of when disgruntled because the world isn’t working according to Wayne.”
The above quote comes from a previous post, two actually, because on February 13, 2019, I reposted the last Happy Valentine’s Day message that I sent out to my publisher in 2018 to post for me while still living in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. #Happy Valentine’s Day | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN.
When I posted the other blogs and wished everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day, I would not have believed that on Valentine’s Day in 2021 that I would be single and without a Special Someone to spend precious time with, celebrating each day filled with gratitude for having her in my life.
Well, the world just won’t work according to Wayne on most days, and that is okay with me today, because even though things don’t always turn out the way I hoped, the main thing is that I have continued to do the right thing and have succeeded at doing many good things throughout my life.
I do feel blessed for having people in my life who love and care for me and who are always willing to help me to accomplish some of my goals.
Okay, maybe that’s not completely true because I still cannot get friends and loved ones to use links for Amazon.com from WonderfulThingsDone to begin their search for gifts or product so that I get paid a small commission as an Amazon affiliate, if they order within twenty-four hours. But if I was in serious need of something, I know that I can count on most of them to help if possible.
Before ending this blog, I must confess that I don’t have a Sweetheart by choice to a certain extent, as I have resisted the urge to get involved with quite a few women interested in me.
Right now I am focused on trying to become financially secure and have a long way to go. And even though some of the women interested in me could have helped in many respects, I feel that my love and attraction to someone would make it more difficult for me to stay focused on doing what I need to do to leave behind a legacy.
If I could get Google to pay me just one dollar for each of my magnificent photos and reviews (7.4 million views), I could retire and ride off into the sunset with that Special Someone I know awaits me. Pay Up Google!
I reckon I need to be grateful for being in a position to help others, and for being a free man, because I know of millions of others would love to trade places with me.
Yep, it happened again. The Hand of the Censor closed the door of communications between the Freedom of the Press and a captive held inside the mighty United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.
I send in the same content to over one hundred federal captives held in several institutions, without an issue. And then on occasion, at least one incompetent screener who cannot comprehend the context of my blogs or messages, decides that what I write or do is a threat to institutional security.
Maybe it was due to me offering to build him a website in another message. I don’t know.
In this case, the Censor at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida seemed to have stopped one of my blogs that I sent in to a high-profile captive who is a subscriber whom I have published articles for, even though he is of a different faith and belief than me.
I do not believe or feel the same as this particular person on many issues but that is irrelevant. What is important, is that I believe in treating others with the same respect and in giving the same consideration that I would want from someone who didn’t agree with my position on an issue or event.
It is not about me and what I believe in regards to religion or politics: it is about him having a right to believe as he wishes and for me to give him and others a voice to shout out from behind the walls, bars and fences that holds the body but cannot control the mind.
That is, unless the administration pumps the person full of anti-psychotic medication, which actors within the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons and other prison systems have been known to do to control captives who fail to conform. At least, so I have heard and seen the results of when a person begins to walk and talk different because of the heavy dosing of medication.
At any rate, I will end this post with the Message from the Censor:
This message informs you that you have been blocked from communicating with the above-named federal prisoner because the Bureau has determined that such communication is detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the facility, or might facilitate criminal activity. The prisoner with whom you were communicating is being informed of this block. You may appeal this block within 15 days of the date of this message by submitting a written request to the Warden of the prison where the prisoner is located. You should include a copy of this notice, an explanation ofyour appeal request, and any additional documents or information you wish to be considered.
Este mensaje le informa de que ha sido bloqueado de comunicarse con los citados presos federales porque laAgencia de Administraci?n federal de prisiones ha determinado que dicha comunicaci?n es perjudicial para laseguridad, buen orden, o la disciplina de la instituci?n, o podr?a facilitar actividad delictiva. El recluso con quienusted se ha estado comunicando ser? informado de este bloqueo.Usted puede apelar este bloque dentro de los siguientes 15 d?as de la fecha de este mensaje mediante lapresentaci?n de una solicitud por escrito al alcalde de la prisi?n donde el recluso se encuentra. Usted debeincluir una copia de este aviso, una explicaci?n de su solicitud de apelaci?n, y cualquier otro documento oinformaci?n que usted desea sea considerado.
One of the many things I do is to provide information to those inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, whom I know have limited access to information from the outside, as well as what is going on inside the system. Most of the information I send in comes from http://www.bop.gov, including updates about the Coronavirus and other important issues.
One of my clients suggested I let everyone know about the court ruling that permits the incarcerated to receive the Stimulus payment from the Cares Act. At that time, another client had requested an IRS form to file his claim.
I questioned the legitimacy based upon my experience on the inside and prisoner filings for tax refunds. And then today (10/21/2020), another client requested that I check on his filing status and informed me about the publication of an article in the Washington Post.
Yes, though controversial and challenged by the Trump administration, the incarcerated may file a claim to receive a stimulus payment, as reported in the Washington Post by Personal Finance columnist, Michelle Singletary on Oct. 19, 2020,
IRS is forced to extend to Nov. 4 a deadline to allow local, state and federal prisoners to claim tens of millions in stimulus money
For those with loved ones in American prisons, you may want to let them know about being allowed to file a claim for a stimulus payment but remember, there is a deadline for filing.
If you can send in an IRS 1040 form, it may help; however, I know some people inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons who were provided the proper form and a memorandum by prison officials to notify them of the court’s decision.
Politically Incorrect I may be, but I have a right in America to be however I choose, regardless of what public opinion may dictate as proper or improper, offensive to a particular group or party, providing I do not physically harm someone; or what supports their agenda and makes me a dedicated supporter, worthy of praise.
To be clear, at one time in my life, I may have wanted to burn down the White House, but not anymore. I prefer to live in peace and to treat others the way I want to be treated, no matter who they are or what their occupation is in life. We are all in this together.
I do not support and was saddened to see what happened at the White House on January 6, 2021; nor the events that led to the attack, which, in my opinion, may be legally attributed to outgoing President Donald Trump, based upon what he said to the crowd gathered near the White House before the attack began. (I will not go into all of that because only a caveman wouldn’t know what I am referring to and cavemen can’t read anyway.)
As someone who has been censored, I am censor-sensitive and feel a lot like Patrick Henry, whom I have written about in previous blogs, but I am not willing to die to defend your right (or President Trump’s) right to say anything. That is just asking a little bit much: I will speak out, though, and fight to prevent our words from being silenced by censors.
On one level, nothing going on in the political arena matters to me, but I do feel obligated to express my opinion and view of what I see happening.
What I don’t feel is right is all the politically driven censorship by Facebook and Twitter, which I am sure was influenced by the recent Congressional actions against Facebook, Amazon, Google, and other technology companies dominating the market.
More recently, Facebook removed ads for guns and weapons because of more political interference. Click Here
The new controlling party doesn’t like guns, so how strange that Facebook suddenly makes a decision to stop advertising the sale of items frowned upon by the Democrats in particular.
At what point does the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protect Freedom of Speech? With today’s political environment, it doesn’t in most circumstances, as can be shown by Facebook and Twitter shutting down President Trump’s accounts.
Though private companies and not really protected under the provisions of the First Amendment, I see the situation as the beginning of the disappearance of another of the Writings on the Wall. To understand that statement, read Animal Farm by George Orwell (buy from this link and I earn a commission).
Most people in modern society fall within the Sheep category written about in Animal Farm, who supported and could not accept that the controlling party (Pigs) were removing the Writings on the Wall; illustrative of the disappearance of what was voted on during the revolution (animals taking over the farm and running off the farmers who killed and used animals and their parts). Also reflective of what would be the Constitution or controlling documents agreed upon by the Animals/People.
Would Patrick Henry have defended President Trump’s right to say all of the controversial statements and claims? As a writer and one who has written many words that some found offensive and decided to not follow my blog because I supported issues different from their beliefs, I think of who will be the one to decide what you may read?
The power of the media was shown when its false allegations of the Spanish attacking one of the American ships started the Spanish-American war (see below for link to History).
If Freedom of Speech does not matter, go to China and Russia where the governments exhibit total control and have a history of making people disappear who speak out against the establishments.
Freedom of the Press
Is the news media responsible for what happened at the White House, because the news outlets provided the platform for the inciteful speeches made by President Trump? No.
Some politicians are wanting to hold Facebook, Twitter, and other private companies responsible for hateful content that leads to violence, so what it the difference? There isn’t.
Starting with control over the private sector is only the start for the erosion of America’s Freedom of Speech protections.
Next in line of attack will be the news media outlets or reporters who report on issues that result in violence or political upheaval.
Real Fake News helped start the Spanish American War in 1898 by falsely reporting the Spanish attacked the USS Maine in Cuba. A lie that fed the mass frenzy to attack the Spanish and to defend the Nation!
More Fake News led to the attack on the Capitol when the Commander in Chief encouraged his followers to take a stand, promising to be there with them when they did. He lied.
Yep, I am making progress on many levels now. To begin, in 2020 I became one of Google’s Top Photographers for Google Maps, with Six Million views of the photos I took with two Motorola cellphones that I own.
Since my release from the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons on August 28, 2018, I first struggled with finding a job because of my age, more so than my felony convictions. In Year One of New Life, I wrote about recidivism and my succeeding in light of the odds against me as a man who spent over thirty consecutive years in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
When Goodwill of North Georgia gave me a chance to prove myself by giving me a job on July 18, 2019, I become the October 2019, Employee of the Month for the McDonough Store and Donation Center. The following month I was selected for Goodwill’s Employee Spotlight.
Then in January of 2020, a loved one gave me a vehicle to help me in all of my endeavors to succeed as a free man. Until then, I depended on my family to get me to and from work, or to the bus stop 20-minutes away from Small Town USA, kind of, even though it is near the Big City of Atlanta, or I walked and loved walking around as a free man.
I am Blessed by the Best and fortunate to have people who love and care for me, and who helped me to successfully reintegrate into society after I walked out of the prison gates feeling like a caveman entering the Modern World in which we live.
2021 Coming Up!
My hope for 2021 involves sitting in front of the fireplace in the above photo, as I am awaiting for the loan approval as I type. Whether I purchase this particular home that I have signed the contract for, or some other house if the loan doesn’t go through because of contract-price issues, I will be living in a new place of residence in 2021 to focus more on developing my business(s).
Stars Continue to Shine!
In January 2017 I wrote the following and am thrilled and happy to now be living in the starlight with success since my release:
“My opportunity to reenter society approaches faster than additional studies can be produced to predict the likelihood of success for released prisoners. I am prepared for successful reentry. Failure is not an option.
“Without thinking of that particular day, I have worked toward it for almost three decades. Even when my release date seemed more distant than the stars that glittered in the night (too far away to see without a telescope), I moved forward on faith of better days.” Successfully Reentering Society
My faith in a Higher Power I call God, and my life of sobriety got me where I am today.
Had I not stopped using the drugs and alcohol that helped get me to prison, I would not be alive and would not have been blessed by getting to walk out of the prison doors to begin a new life.
I never dreamed I’d become a Top Photographer with a Smartphone, a device I had never used until August 28, 2018, the day my new life began. And for that I am grateful.
I close with More from My Motorola to Spread Christmas Joy
When the year 2020 began, I believed it was going to be a wonderful year, and as in other things, it is a matter of perception of whether it has or has not been a wonderful year. For me, I lived to fight many more days and continue to be thrilled and happy to be “here,” with here meaning Alive, alive and still Kickin’ after all these years, which is a miracle, indeed. For that I am grateful. Some things I wished to have been different but … I am not in control of life. I am happy to be a part of it.
I am Blessed by the Best!
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday, and to all of those who do or do not, please take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of life today. Personally, I begin with the obvious, my health, including all body parts that remain intact and fully functional; especially, my Eyes to See and Ears to Hear, as well as my mouth and fingertips to express what I want the world to hear and read.
The most import is Love
Of all things I am grateful for, the most important is LOVE, love from above and love from my many friends and the few loved ones who remain alive and in my life. Should I list all things for which I am grateful, this blog would take more time to write than I have before posting it in time for people to read before Thanksgiving celebrations begin in America.
I’m late according to my schedule but on time spiritually.
FROM THE INSIDE
Two days ago, I received a Corrlinks email from a person who shared his feelings on the holiday. Here is what Chuck wrote, who is serving an excessive federal prison sentence:
“I wanted to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, and to remind everyone that this time of year is an excellent time to reflect on family & friends, as well as community and the world. We are in challenging times now and can often not see the beauty in others around us because of our situations. To be thankful for what we have, as well as what we have learned about those closest to us are experiences that should not be overlooked. To see the trivial things that we otherwise might have missed because of the daily hustle and bustle of our hectic lives is reason enough to give thanks during this holiday. Those smiles and conversations that arise out of the extra time that we spend because of our closeness are opportunities that may only come once. So, embrace them and cherish them … give thanks for them and the people that they originate from.
Note: if you would like to correspond with the author, his address is as follows:
CHARLES R DENNING, # 21317-045
USP TERRE HAUTE
P.O. BOX 33
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47808
In the original draft of Too Late for Torrick, I began by using the dictate function in latest update for Microsoft Word 2016. Two reasons kept me from including a section titled, Positive Note; the first being something that a friend once said about using the talk-to-text function for sending emails.
He wrote, “I can’t get it to understand Southern.”
The second reason related to the amount of time it would take for me to decipher the convoluted dictation, and my deciding that it would be best to wait to include the positive perspective of the Corrlinks correspondence in a separate blog and that proved to be a better idea because of the events that followed.
My plan was to include the convoluted dictation as humor; however, I will spare my readers and conclude with the blog my friend sent and authorized me to post on his behalf. I also sent his blog into the prison system and received several favorable comments from those Inside who needed to read good news.
The devastation caused by COVID-19 from inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons did have a positive side, in that the courts intervened and ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners that the prison officials refused to release on their own initiative after given authorization to do so by the United States Attorney General.
A person who I have known for years and who wrote an Introduction to Unknown Innocence, recently wrote that he was granted his release because of the Court’s intervention related to his request for Compassionate Release because of the threat of COVID-19.
He sent me an email and wrote, “Thank you for all you have done for me recently. The daily stats helped me present my case.” That made me feel great and assured me that the time I take from my schedule to provide information and meaningful content to those on an approved Corrlinks contact list, is a worthy cause, for which I am grateful for being able to do.
On Monday, November 30, 2020, Jeffrey P. Frye, will be released because of his having a competent public defender who assisted him, and a federal judge who granted his motion and ordered his release.
Miracles happen! Never lose hope.
Leaving Shawshank (last blog from prison)
Jeffrey P. Frye
In June 2020, two months into the national lockdown in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I made a strong cup of coffee and took 10 sheets of paper and I sat in my cell and penned a Motion for Compassionate release to the court in Charleston, South Carolina. I cited the COVID-19 epidemic and its devastating effects on the inmate population, especially for people with my medical conditions of COPD, asthma, and hypertension… However, for somebody with my history, and given the fact that I was given 20 years for robbing seven banks (w/out wearing a mask), and given the fact that Judge Norton had actually whacked me with 7-20 yr. sentences (one for each bank), I figured it a stretch. But time and pressure sometimes make a jailhouse lawyer…so I fired off the motion anyway. And in what has turned out to be the smartest move I made, I sent a copy to the Federal Public Defender in Charleston, Ms. Ann W., to ask her if she would represent me on this filing.
After about a month I had still heard nothing back from the court or the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) on my case. Nor had I heard from the public defender’s office. I found this to be odd, because usually at least the AUSA would deny my filings in short shrift. I waited, all while the outbreak back here for worse and people started dropping like flies. I have a friend named Wayne T. Dowdy who had started sending me daily reports from the BOP’s website (bop.gov) of which institutions had cases and how many people had died. When we came out for our hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would write these down. It was sobering. The numbers were climbing all while the BOP told Congress and the media that it was getting better.
Enter Ms. Ann W, Esq.
The judge appointed her to investigate the validity of my claims. I kept piping her info through snail mail, and filing addendums to my original brief, and asked her to amend these to my pro se filing if she thought it relevant. In America, a lot of defendants have an incorrect assumption about public defenders. They assume that they are the bottom of the barrel or lawyers who are just on their way to something better. They also mistakenly believe (at least in federal court) that if they hire a high-priced lawyer that they’ll get a better deal. Maybe these opinions have at least a little validity in state court but not in federal court. In the feds, the public defender’s office is the best one to have because all they do is federal law, day in and day out. Subsequently, they are the smartest lawyers in the pack; the best to have.
Ms. Ann W. is the cream of the federal crop.
After sending her a second addendum telling her how bad things were, she filed an amazingly excellent 20 page brief that used recent reports from the Department of Justice’s Office of The Inspector General (OIG), and from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that refuted the BOP’s claims. She blended this with my medical history, my new-found career as a writer, and a couple of character letters the info on the place I would live if the motion were granted (this is paramount). Then after she’d threw all these things into the pot, she stirred it using her own narrative of me and my life. I have often commented that writing is like making sauce in that you throw in a bunch of different things and stir, hoping that the reader loves your creation. And much like feeding people and the ones you love; you hope that the reader likes your sauce. We, I am here to tell you that Ann W. makes a damn good sauce. She also included something else that I found to be pretty cool.
She included you guys. My blog readers for the last eight years and the people who have purchased my books. How cool is that? She also attached letters penned by the two people who have been great friends to me and that have been instrumental in my career to this point. Steve Hussy, Owner of Murder Slim Press and Jonathan J. (a.k.a., Alexius Rex), creator and pilot of my website bankblogger.weebly.com. Two people who have been very kind to me over the last eight years, and who, strangely enough, that I have never seen in person or even spoke to on the phone during these years. At the end of The Love Fest section of her sauce, Ms. W. listed my transition from the genre of “Hey look at the dumb criminal,” to the mainstream by mentioning The Life of Riley Book 1 (now available and seriously underpriced on Amazon). But in spite of her awesome brief (I’m almost out of stupendous adjectives to describe her work), there was still no word from the judge. Until two days ago.
I was standing on the inside of my cell door staring out into the abyss of abject criminal nothingness while practicing what I refer to as “Anti-social distancing.” This involves me strapping on my MP3 and ear buds and pretending that the music is playing, even though it’s not. This tactic prevents me from having to talk to my psycho cellie, the one whose face, head and neck are completely tattooed; the one that I have had to fight at 5am three frigging times in the last three months.
As I stood in my door feeling every bit the Nowhere Man living in my nowhere land, staring into nothing, while listening to absolutely nothing, I spied the back area of the staff offices open up and watched as my case manager hustled towards my cell with a sheaf of papers in his right hand. I found this to be extremely odd because most days, I couldn’t find this dude with a search warrant. He walked up to my house and opened my cell door, and said, “The judge has granted your compassionate release and commuted your sentence to Time Served. We have up to 14 days to get you out of here and on a flight to Chicago, all we’re waiting on is Probation in Illinois to verify your release residence, then you’re out of here.”
And just like that…this 12-year nightmare is over. I’m going free.
Now it’s two days later and what should be extended joy and elation is only fear. I have no money to speak of; No clothes; and until I can get to the food stamp office like a good liberal, I don’t even have any food. At least here at Shawshank I had Cheeseburger Day to look forward to every Wednesday. I was the guy who could write about Cheeseburger Day. Now I don’t even have that anymore. But in a few short days, you know what I will have?
Freedom. A brand-new beautiful life. A chance not to die here.
So, very soon I will be sitting in a terminal at Orlando International waiting to catch a flight To Chicago, where I will be met by my sister and brother in law with love. I will have on my lap all of my possessions; a mesh bag with the hand-written copy of The Life of Riley Books 1-4, and two other books I have penned and not decided what to do with yet. Ironically, I will be wearing a mask. Go figure.
I am not sure where my cool new beautiful life will take me in the coming years, but I do know one place that it will not. To a bank. Ever. From now on, I will be doing all my banking online.
I watched leaves fall from trees due to high winds from a storm and then it hit me, That’s why they call this season Fall, all of the leaves fall from the trees. And Spring is Spring because life springs up from the ground. Rocket Science, huh? 🙂
Now that October has ended and November began, here comes D-Day, as in a Dreaded Day for the loser in the United States Presidential Election. I’m not a fan of either party!
October was an unusual month for me. I lost more money in the stock market than ever before, caused by me making a poor decision and for not doing what I originally planned. For instance, seeing premarket indicators to sell some shares and then bought more instead because I saw another fluctuation in the numbers that made me think I would make more money.
Greed Cost Me!
Well, it worked for a few dollars and then turned on me. Because SoFi (an American online personal finance company that I use to buy and sell stocks) has me limited on daily transactions and prevented me from selling when I saw the numbers dropping again, I lost more money instead of gaining. But it is all good. I am okay and lived to fight another day.
Today I chose to see things from a different perspective, with the main point being that I am still alive and kickin’ after all these years. Life is Good!
An attitude of gratitude carries me a long way and helps me feel better about life.
I am fortunate to have only lost as little as what I did, and to still have over ninety percent of my investment. The few dollars lost will return after all of the political BS ends, providing that the Coronavirus doesn’t create more havoc than it has done across America and abroad.
Either way, though, I will be okay and am blessed to be in the position that I am in because I do have the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, and am in reasonably good health. I sympathize with those who cannot say the same and hope that one day their lives will change so that they can.
Personally, one year ago, I did not have money to invest in the stock market. On July 18, 2019, I got my first and only job since my release from prison, and then started a business two months later. I did not have a vehicle to drive and dodge deer in the road. Life changes.
Each day that I commute to and from work, I travel over twenty miles on a rural State Route. One section of the highway runs through a State Park. Signs warn to watch for Deer Crossing for Next Three Miles.
The deer don’t always comply and stay in their lanes. Even when they do and have the right a way, many motorists don’t have time to stop and another one goes down. During two days of travel last week, I saw six dead deer on the side of the roads.
On Wednesday morning, October 28, 2020, I almost ran over two young bucks (male whitetail deer) that stood in the road trying to fight as I approached at 55 miles per hour, on a dreary night with low-dense fog.
I hit the brakes and got within twenty yards from where both stood. One turned to exit the roadway but then turned back to face its opponent, like he was confused on whether to run to get away from the danger or continue to fight. Ironically, in the lane I was travelling in at a speed that would terminate its existence and total my car.
His chance of survival in a collision was low. He didn’t stand a chance!
The next night during my travel, an opossum almost entered into the danger zone but turned back in the other direction.
Live and Let Live
In recent months, I swerved to dodge squirrels, and opossums, too, as I do all within my power to avoid taking a life; any life, whether it be animals or insects, I prefer to Live and Let Live.
Earlier in the month, I also hit the brakes to swerve and dodge a careless driver who pulled out in front of me without looking. Thankfully, my superb driving skills prevented an accident. God was with us!
One thing that I noticed after my release from federal prison was an increase in animals killed on the Georgia roads. Nothing changed since then, other than the numbers of dead animals I cannot begin to estimate. Our population growth takes away their land and lives. 😦
One night while driving home from a job site in North Atlanta, I saw a deer grazing along a narrow passageway on Interstate 75, where a large wall separated the deer from the small wooded area where it most likely lived, in the city.
The main type of animals I’ve seen killed on the roads are whitetail deer, opossums, racoons, squirrels, rabbits, and armadillos, the latter of which many people rejoice in a population reduction of because of the damage armadillos cause to their yards.
Election Year 2020
Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is Election Day in America. Civil unrest is expected in some states, with Georgia being one, if the preferred party does not win. For me, though, I don’t care who wins or loses, I simply look forward to it ending. Not only because of its disruption in the stock market and social media and all news channels, just so we, as American citizens can move on to the next line of BS that is sure to follow with a new group of elected officials.
During the 2016 Presidential Election, my life was much different when I wrote Politics & Prisons, where I spoke out against insane practices by prison administrators and voiced my opinion on the Elections and politics in general.
“PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: My view on politics is that the Democrats represent the lawyers trying to sue the big businesses represented by the Republicans. Politicians deceive voters when they run on a platform and promise to vote a certain way on an issue, but then vote otherwise when elected because of their party line agenda.”
The quote above sums it up. Regardless of who wins any of the elections, he or she will probably act contrary to promises made during the campaign trail. For me, I will continue to live my life in the best way possible to stay in harmony with the Universe by dodging deer and staying safe in a volatile stock market, created by the political atmosphere and COVID-19.
My Life After Release continues to be an adventure as I continue to live and learn, after my return to society as if being a caveman who walked out of a cave into a bright new world filled with gadgets and devices that were not available in 1988 when thrown into a cage to protect society.
Life is wonderful, full of surprises and a host of challenging situations but only as challenging as I chose to perceive them to be.
The truth is that life just happens, and I make a decision on how to view any event or chain of events. I chose to see challenging situations as an opportunity to learn.
No day passes without me having learned something beneficial.
Though living my life in a respectful manner and focusing on doing the right thing, I still must be on guard for the character defects that ruled my life many years ago; especially, the pride when driven by Mr. EGO, the one who feels the need to defend that scared little boy who grew up fighting to keep the bullies and predators at bay.
If left unchecked, Mr. EGO would have me right back in jail or dead. Fortunately, I have learned when to walk away from a situation to avoid a catastrophe or unpleasant outcome in a dispute. Humility. Not humiliation.
In Life After Release-3 I wrote about a Smartwatch with a phishing link, designed to steal personal data. That is a screenshot of the culprit shown above.
When I bought the watch for $14.99 on Woot, an Amazon company, I thought I had gotten a great deal because it was advertised as normally listing for $99.99.
A month later, I find the following when researching to write this blog about learning to deal with life in this new era, and deciding to use the thieving smartwatch as an example that met its match with my smartphone:
Woot must have not known about the 2020 HOT DZ09 Smartwatch shown above that sells for $1.99 on Wish.com, not $99.99 as advertised to sucker people in like me to buy it for a deal.
Who would have guessed that the smartwatch was a thief programmed to steal?
When I received the security warning from Google on my Motorola One Zoom with the Android 10 update, I complained to Woot about the smartwatch having the phishing link included, and though Woot did give me a prompt refund, I later saw the Smartwatch still being sold.
But to be fair to the manufacturer and Woot, the smartwatch I received may have been one of a select group of smartwatches primed to steal personal data when connected to the phone after scanning the QR Code.
I was told to keep the smartwatch. Even though I do not have it connected to my phone, I don’t trust that darn smartwatch because I don’t know just how smart and scandalous it is with today’s technology. I lay it facedown to make sure that the camera isn’t spying on me and sending the data to its operator. 🙂
Now, as part of me making an honest living, unlike the scandalous individuals behind the thieving smartwatch and many online products, I am learning affiliate marketing to earn small commissions for products and services advertised, if purchased.
For both ads, I watched promotional videos and was impressed with their content.
ProVen is a weight loss product and advertised as time sensitive for purchasing at discounted rates.
I researched for complaints and did not find any complaints about the product. I did learn about bogus websites that use ProVen to scam purchasers. Please check out the referenced information below for WonderfulThingsDone.com to learn more.
At no cost to the customer, we receive a small commission for a product or service purchased through this website. The commission does not necessarily influence the decision to advertise or promote a particular product or service.
For those who want to learn how to be a Freight Broker, this appears to be a good course, as it sells often and my research failed to find anything negative about the company who sells the programs.
At no cost to the customer, we receive a small commission for a product or service purchased through this website. The commission does not necessarily influence the decision to advertise or promote a particular product or service.
Federal Prison Industries, Inc., UNICOR, INMATE EARNING STATEMENT
The amount a person may want to send an incarcerated individual, depends on many factors. He or she has shelter, and though it may be lacking at times, most prisoners do have food and the essentials of survival, whereas some loved ones or friends may be struggling to survive on their income.
If the free citizen needs to pay rent, buy food, or otherwise take care of themselves and family, in my opinion, as a former prisoner, I’d rather have gone hungry than for my loved ones to have sent me money that was needed to provide for themselves. My comfort came in second compared to theirs.
My personal opinion is that most prisoners should be able to get by on $50-$100 per month and even less if no one from the outside can help. Unfortunately, many fall into a trap trying to get by and revert to various ways of survival I won’t address. And some of those who have money coming in may be extorted by the stronger prisoners or gangs and still do without.
Prisons are commercialized and charge inmates for many things that were once given to those under their care. Because of that, if the incarcerated receives funds and owes for services provided, the institution may freeze the inmate account and take funds sent in by a person’s family or friend.
Most systems have policy or program statements that define what the law allows, which may be challenged through the Administrative Remedy process and the courts. In most cases, courts rule in favor of the prison administrators but not always. Therefore, money sent in to someone for food items, etc., gets taken and the person has to get by without the funds but will normally survive, even if it means going hungry or not having what he or she wants or needs.
UNICOR HELPED ME PROVIDE FOR MYSELF
In the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, I was happy to provide for myself by working and not having to be dependent on others to provide funds for my wants and needs.
Many of my peers were different, especially if on drugs and wanted to get high, the same as I did until 1995. I understood their actions because I know what it was like for me when I lived the life of an addict, so I am not condemning those who still live the life I once did.
When I first entered the system, after having served time in the Georgia Department of Corrections, where I was not paid for working, I felt good earning the low-wages ($0.12 per hour) then paid to federal prisoners who did not work for UNICOR.
UNICOR is the trade name for the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. that has changed considerably since when I began my federal sentence over three decades ago in 1988.
Please note that all prisoners do not get paid for working, or get paid as much to work in places like the Federal Prison Industries, Inc.
I was one of the highest-paid, hourly-rate, inmate employees who worked for UNICOR, and rarely made over $200.00 per month. In the copy of the paystub above, I earned $189.14 for the month of May in 2018.
On average, by working in the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR), I earned enough to spend $64.00 on the phone, $50.00 on writing/emailing blogs, etc., and $45–50.00 on commissary items, based on cost in the Federal Prison System.
To do the things I wanted to do, I made sacrifices, such as to pay for the creation and upkeep of my website, STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN, and my blogging expenditures that added up when considering I paid five cents per minute to use the emailing system provided by Corrlinks.com. To print my drafts, of which there were many for some of my more lengthier blogs, I paid fifteen cents per page. That is in the federal system, which operates different than Corrlinks does in some state or private prisons.
In deciding what to send, a person may want to see what type of information is posted on the prison system website. The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons posts inmate handbooks and even the commissary lists for institutions.
I checked the page for the Federal Prison at Edgefield, SC to see the commissary list that seems current. As for the Inmate Handbook, old and outdated. View the Commissary List by clicking HERE.
I hope the above information helps to make informed decisions.
Life After Release takes on different forms for me each day. One thing I try to remember is not forgetting how I felt trapped inside as a man imprisoned and often helpless to do what I knew I was capable of, such as what I do now: write professionally on a computer and blast words around the world with a few strokes on a keyboard.
Though I blasted a lot from Inside the prison system because I was published in International magazines, and paid to have this website built, and paid to use an expensive and convoluted emailing system to type blogs to send to my publisher for posting, I couldn’t do as I do now as a free man.
For the last week I’ve been working on this website and another to increase loading speed and functioning (still in process). I upgraded the hosting plan on another website to improve its functioning and security, and worked on it to facilitate my affiliate marketing agenda.
I remain committed to become more successful than I have at this point of life, regardless of my having done well since my release.
Stars Shine Ahead!
GOODWILL Floor Care
Along with the above, I’ve continued to work on my regular job like an Alaskan malamute 1 (dogs commonly seen pulling sleds through snow and ice), cleaning and beautifying floors in Goodwill Stores by sweeping, mopping, removing old wax with chemicals, razor blades, and machines, before waxing to make it sparkle and shine with reflections from the overhead lights.
1 The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body. Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information
Topics for Change
I often wonder about topics to post that will benefit others in some way, whether by drawing attention to a cause, or simply allowing those trapped behind the walls, bars, and fences of prisons to have their voice heard.
Yesterday, my course of action became clear when a man Inside reached out for help. I listened to his plea and am sharing the following message from the man who is a contact inside the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
My hope is for those who care about what goes on Behind Closed Doors to contact the news media personnel provided by the imprisoned individual who cared enough about the COVID-19 situation inside the prison to risk his safety and security by sending an email he knows the prison administration would frown upon and could chose to retaliate against him.
This Door I Refuse to Keep Closed and Am Shouting Out His Plea for Help!
COVID-19 and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Received October 3, 2020
Message from Concerned Wisconsin Department of Correction Prisoner
“I hope you are doing well! I’m straight, I think! My test from when the National Guard tested us was negative ( well they didn’t come to my cell door for me or my celly – as of right now. ) However, it is scary right now!!
“Usually, I would send you a memorandum directly from the Warden/etc. so that I don’t relay unconscious bias opinion when I make my objective and personal opinion of the direction of the institution. However, they are not communicating with us of what is going on. If it is not to create hysteria it is having the opposite. Communication would make this that more easily bearable.
“Personally, I understand that Oshkosh is the most populated institutions in the state. That it is practically impossible to isolate the outbreak of positives cases within for the required 14 days. Technically, if you’re having symptoms or have COVID you’re quarantined but what about the in cases of you have it, but your cellmate doesn’t. Well they are still celled together. The negative guy is panicking. Get me out of here. Yesterday they took a guy out on a stretcher to the hospital because his oxygen levels were extremely low.
“We as inmates don’t make it better because we weren’t or not self-reporting if we have or had symptoms.
“We can’t clean rooms, no showers, no phones to communicate with your people.
“I don’t know if you will receive this email, please let me know if you did. Sent 9-3-2020 at 10:22 am! [Date is probably an error: 9-3-2020 is likely meant to be 10/3/2020 as it was received on October 3, 2020).
“People are not allowed private communication with their lawyers!!!!
“I know people have been contacting you about issues about state food shortages and portions, hot water for coffee is something we have to sacrifice but safety is supposed to be priority # 1 but to have a positive and a negative celled up is dangerous.
“A few said they are having or have had their people call to the institution for what exactly I don’t know. My position is it’ll do nothing to complain to the person or people that are making the inconsistent decisions to correct them. You must, we must contact local news and or court tv of the mistreatment and mishandling.
“This is a list of possible people that have drawn interest in prison issues: Kia Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org (Northeast Wisconsin fox11news); email@example.com Northeast Wisconsin news); Julia Jena @ court tv news # 470-355-8635; Sara Thomsen at firstname.lastname@example.org fox valley local news.
“Without contacting those people to bring awareness things will only get worse! Hoping that this goes away is not the answer. Thanks for your time and I looking forwarded to hearing from you.”
[I chose to protect his identity]
Prisoners are human, too, even if some may not behave that way.
Please do what you can to draw attention to what continues to go on Inside this particular prison and many others around the Nation and abroad.
In the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, as of October 2, 2020, more than 124 prisoners have died. Here is a partial report from the actual statistics
“The inmate totals listed do not include inmates participating in the Federal Location Monitoring program, inmates supervised under the USPO, or being held in privately managed prisons. Additionally, the reference to the FCI Butner Low below refers to an isolation unit that is physically separated from the rest of the LSCI. References to RRCs include both individuals housed at the RRC and individuals on home confinement under the RRC’s supervision.
“10/02/2020 – The BOP has 126,586 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,375 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 1,565 federal inmates and 726 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 13,452 inmates and 1,164 staff have recovered. There have been 124 federal inmate deaths and 2 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease. Of the inmate deaths, 4 occurred while on home confinement.
[I conclude with this section that I modified to reflect content I send inside the Federal Bureau of Prisons to clients subscribed to my email]
[To read numbers: the left column under the facility is Inmate confirmed cases (I.P.), next is Staff (S.P.), the third from left is Inmate Deaths (I.D.), the fourth column is Staff Deaths (S.D.); the fifth column Inmates Recovered (I.R.) and the others are Staff Recovered (S.R.), City and State].
Facility I.P. S.P. I.D. S.D. I.R. S.R. City State
Butner Low FCI 1 1 17 1 627 17 Butner NC
Fort Worth FMC 5 10 12 0 615 6 Fort Worth TX
Terminal Island FCI 0 3 10 0 596 23 San Pedro CA
Butner Medium I FCI 0 1 9 0 186 32 Butner NC
Elkton FCI 2 0 9 0 942 54 Lisbon OH
Lexington FMC 7 0 9 0 206 13 Lexington KY
Oakdale I FCI 0 13 7 0 214 21 Oakdale LA
Carswell FMC 1 3 6 0 522 1 Fort Worth TX
Seagoville FCI 6 1 4 0 1300 29 Seagoville TX
Milan FCI 1 1 3 0 85 55 Milan MI
Yazoo City Low FCI 0 5 3 0 93 9 Yazoo City MS
Coleman Medium FCI 51 34 2 0 194 1 Sumterville FL
Devens FMC 0 2 2 0 45 6 Ayer MA
Lompoc FCI 0 3 2 0 746 16 Lompoc CA
Lompoc USP 0 4 2 0 156 24 Lompoc CA
Marion USP 2 8 2 0 133 9 Marion IL
Miami FDC 29 33 2 0 129 21 Miami FL
Terre Haute USP 3 1 2 0 82 2 Terre Haute IN
The Geo Group (RRC) 1 0 2 0 3 0 Houston TX
ACS Corrections (RRC) 0 0 1 0 1 0 Del Valle TX
Atlanta USP 6 8 1 0 55 8 Atlanta GA
Behavioral Systems SW (RRC) 0 0 1 0 0 0 Phoenix AZ
Brawley RRC (RRC) 1 0 1 0 3 0 Brawley CA
Coleman Low FCI 1 24 1 1 219 6 Sumterville FL
Danbury FCI 2 0 1 0 81 64 Danbury CT
Dismas Charities (RRC) 0 0 1 0 0 0 Hattiesburg MS
Edgefield FCI 2 16 1 0 90 10 Edgefield SC
GEO Care Inc. (RRC) 0 0 1 0 1 0 Brownsville TX
GEO Care, Inc. (RRC) 2 0 1 0 0 0 Bronx NY
Jesup FCI 0 19 1 0 251 3 Jesup GA
Miami FCI 9 25 1 0 122 10 Miami FL
Oakdale II FCI 1 9 1 0 9 6 Oakdale LA
Oklahoma City FTC 68 12 1 0 177 6 Oklahoma City OK
San Diego MCC 16 17 1 0 352 7 San Diego CA
Terre Haute FCI 13 1 1 0 104 8 Terre Haute IN
Victorville Medium I FCI 9 10 1 0 342 10 Victorville CA
Volunteers of America TX (RRC) 10 0 1 0 11 0 Hutchins TX
Yazoo City USP 22 7 1 0 66 12 Yazoo City MS
[Nine deaths shown below are not counted in the 124 reported above]
Privately-managed prisons are secure institutions operated by private companies under contract and oversight of the BOP. The majority of federal inmates in private prisons are sentenced criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentence. Unlike federal inmates housed in BOP facilities, the contractor is responsible for the medical care and the costs associated with providing those services.
The BOP has 13,932 inmates in Privately-Managed Facilities. There are 105 inmates who have open lab-confirmed positive cases. 547 inmates have recovered. Full breakdown and additional details are below:
Facility I.P. I.D. I.R. City State
D. Ray James CI 50 3 144 Folkston GA
Big Spring CI 41 0 46 Big Spring TX
Great Plains CI 13 1 112 Hinton OK
Reeves III CI 1 0 0 Pecos TX
Giles W. Dalby CI 0 2 81 Post TX
McRae CI 0 1 20 Mcrae Helena GA
North Lake CI 0 2 107 Baldwin MI
Reeves I & II CI 0 0 12 Pecos TX
Rivers CI 0 0 25 Winton NC
All inmates are being appropriately treated and isolated per CDC guidelines.
Though this post begins different than some of my others, it does relate to life after release by showing my adaption to the technological advances made since I walked out the prison doors on August 28, 2018.
A walk in the Park on a cool and cloudy, Southern day. What a pleasure it was to see a great blue heron spread its majestic wings and soar across the water. Had I not been trigger-happy on my smartphone, I would have left the park with a nice video of it flapping its wings to lift itself above the water to fly off into the trees after I disturbed its peace by walking too close for its comfort.
When I pressed the spot on my phone to start the video, I didn’t think it worked so I pressed again. The second press stopped the video that had slowly started, so I got a one-second video and another slightly longer one that tracked it as it neared the trees, too far away for a good image.
SMARTWATCH WITH PHISHING LINK INCLUDED
Two weeks ago, I ordered a smartwatch online that has the capability of connecting to the camera in my smartphone. My plan was to use the smartwatch to take a selfie or group photo with me in the picture without having to hold the phone in my hand.
When my smartwatch arrived from China, I scanned the QR Code on the miniature user’s guide to connect my smartphone. Not just any smartphone, a real smartphone with the latest technology. The Android 10 update removed bugs and improved security.
No Connection: I aborted the download when Google Chrome and my security system warned that a phishing link was detected in the app: “IhzI666.com/fundo/download.html Phishing Website” (actual URL).
I contacted the company that I bought the watch from and told them that the watch, simply labeled as SMARTWATCH, came with the phishing link in the QR code and should be removed from inventory and that the company should contact and warn all customers who purchased that brand.
Fortunate for me, a couple of days before my devilish smartwatch arrived, fully loaded to catch a phish, I checked my phone for updates and saw Android 10 was available. Had I not have taken the time to update my phone, my finances may have dwindled, even though I do use two-factor authentication to protect access to anything I use with important information contained therein.
ALWAYS BE ON ALERT FOR SCAMS
Within a month of my release from prison, I ran into a scammer who posed as a hiring manager for a company offering a work-from-home opportunity. A little too late (after giving personal information), I figured out what was going on, but kept the person on the wire for over a week playing games with him, her, or IT, because I had already done what I could to protect myself and didn’t have anything of value to be taken, other than my fine name associated with a long history of criminal convictions.
ALERTED: The email address ended with @gmail.com. The company he, she or IT claimed to represent, came before the @gmail.com. Any official business will use their company email account, not gmail.com, hotmail.com or anything other than something like @amazon.com or @straightfromthepen.com.
I immediately contacted the credit reporting agency, Esperian, and froze my credit reports and alerted the FCC about the Scam-in-Process. After letting the idiot think for a week that a phish was online, I sent a text and revealed what I had done and said, “You need to find you a real job. I’ve been in federal prison for thirty-years and don’t have anything for you to steal. I’m out here starting my life over. Find something else to do that is more constructive before you end up going to where I just left.”
He, she, or IT was one of many scammers that I have dealt with since my release. Because of my popularity as an author, blogger, photographer (Google Guide-almost 4,000,000 views of my photos in Google Maps), etc., my social presence makes me a target.
Before my release, and afterwards, if I had not taken the time to learn about security, and the advancements in technology, my life would be different than what it is today.
To repay my debt to society, I use those negative experiences to help others avoid being caught in the same traps by forewarning them and posting blogs like this to enlighten others because life out here isn’t always a Walk in the Park.
But life is good, especially when I am blessed with seeing the beauty of God’s creation as it spreads its wings to fly into the sunset or across a body of water.
Life After Release means more than some may see when reading this blog. I am a fraction of the true gravity that these posts represent by concept, a mere example of the thousands of returning citizens who reenter society each year who face unimagined circumstances.
Today I’m at a local park enjoying the cooler weather as Fall approaches.
I was blessed with seeing a deer crossing the paved path upon which I walked snapping photos and taking videos on a device that did not exist before my arrest on August 18, 1988, a smartphone.
Yesterday, I learned not to trust or depend on Air/Vac machines to work. At $1.50 each attempt to check and inflate my tires, and at three locations, I succeeded at getting three of my four tires properly inflated.
I ran out of quarters!
One definition of “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Well, I must be a little off in the head because I could have pulled into a Goodyear or PepBoys and not have dealt with thieving Air/Vac machines, but I chose to do it, not once, but three times before pulling into a Goodyear shop to get air in the fourth tire, and it was free. 🤠
More will be revealed. Right now I need to ZOOM-IN to a Twelve Step Meeting on the other side of the United States.
Isn’t life grand with so much technology? Speaking of the such, now I am doing affiliate marketing on WonderfulThingsDone.
In my quest to become an affiliate marketer, of which I receive a small commission from any sale of a product or service I promote, I stumbled upon Freight Broker Boot Camp, and was impressed when I could not find any negative customer responses or complaints against the company.
Then I began to wonder if convicted felons could become a licensed freight broker because I know and have known several men who were released and then found jobs as truck drivers, and so I thought, why not become a freight broker if it pays well?
Driving a truck takes a lot of time and energy and may be more difficult for an elderly returning citizen, or for some, not all, convicted felons to do because of restrictions imposed as a condition of supervised release, probation or parole.
That would eliminate an opportunity that may help him or her secure employment or to otherwise find a lawful occupation to help stay out of jail or prison.
Finding and scheduling a load for a trucker to haul is easier and may become an overall, more lucrative occupation.
In some cases state laws may control whether a convicted felon can get a surety bond, but the short answer was YES when I added this question in the Google Search engine: “can convicted felons be freight brokers?”
“Yes. having a felony does not mean you can’t apply or be granted a freight brokers license from the FMCSA. You need ONLY to be a VALID US Resident.”
Jobs for Felons also supports that answer and goes into more detail about the process one must go through to start a business as a freight broker.
The above answers made me feel better about promoting Freight Broker Boot Camp, which appears to cover every aspect of going into that line of work and received a lot of great reviews by students.
For $185 right now, and the potential to turn the knowledge gained into a lucrative business, is a good deal for anyone willing to put forth the time and energy to learn the process in thirty-days, and then apply it towards becoming an independent business owner.
Note: The only affiliate link is to the Freight Broker Boot Camp
My past I leave behind as I churn my way into a brighter future, but I cannot forget from where I came because it consumes too much space inside my head. How can anyone forget decades spent inside a cage with thousands of other men, all living in the Insane World of Incarceration in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons?
Never Forget: September 11, 2001, is a day America cannot forget because each year the media reminds its citizens of the day terrorist used jets to attack the World Trade Center in New York City.
Cannot Forget: I cannot forget because I walked the tiers at the United States Federal Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana when the attack occurred, which is the way my brain works (by associating events with my location at the time of occurrence).
Positive Thinking: Though I cannot forget such events and my life inside the prison system, I choose not to allow those thoughts to influence my behavior in a negative manner. I prefer the positive. Had I not been sentenced to prison for the crimes committed on June 21, 1988, I would not be alive today or would have committed even worst crimes if not arrested and put in a cage, which I wrote about in The Price of Change, an essay in one of my books.
In Fence Rows and The Price of Change, I write about a person those who know me today does not see because I am not the same person because I changed my life seven years into a 420-month federal sentence for armed bank robbery and associated charges. Both essays are in the eBook and paperback sold on Amazon and other online booksellers, Essays & More Straight from the Penor separately as an eBook at Smashwords.com, originally published by Midnight Express Books.
Excerpt from The Price of Change
I started this sentence in 1988. The fear of prison had left many years before I decided to change. After a while one becomes accustomed to the insane ways of incarceration and the depravations included in prison life. Shutting down emotions helped me cope with the murders and acts of brutality I was exposed to as part of being in prison. I continued to shoot dope and live a miserable existence until 1993 when I sought help through the prison Psychology department at the penitentiary in Atlanta. I had to learn how to be intimate with others. Trusting others was difficult because so many people proved themselves untrustworthy, so I built walls to keep people out. To recover, I tore down the walls and shared the secrets of the soul. It took over a year of therapy for me to make noticeable progress, but I ultimately succeeded in learning how to live with myself without using drugs and alcohol, which I have done since April 5, 1995.
Today, I use my experiences to help others recover and can accept myself; character defects included and have come to terms with my past: it’s overdone with. I can’t change it. I can be a better person by treating others the way I want to be treated, and not the way I may feel they deserve to be treated. If I’m being judgmental of others, which I often am, I think about the biblical parable of the adulterer whom some wanted to stone, and Jesus Christ saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” and I know I cannot throw any rocks. My ego says I am better than those I wish to judge, but reality says we are all the same—flawed human beings. By accepting others, I can accept myself, flaws, and all.
Another process was praying for people I resented—without making suggestions about what I thought was deserved. Then I became willing to make amends to those I had harmed as suggested in twelve-step programs, and then to forgive others and myself. In a sense, the way I live my life today is one way I make amends to those I cannot make amends to for whatever reason prevents it. An example of my living amends is in this: when I was at a penitentiary in Lompoc, California, I stole loaf bread and bought Ramen Noodle Soups to feed the birds. Some of my friends would come by and joke with me about feeding the birds because of the process that follows feeding them. I often said, “I’m making amends to the ancestors of birds I killed when I was a kid.” And then I would laugh, but I was serious; furthermore, I enjoyed feeding them, as I enjoy the relationships often restored as the result of making amends.
I wish I could honestly write that I no longer experience resentments or anger, but I cannot. I’m still human. However, whenever I experience anger or resentment, I know what to do to find relief: look within myself as I write in my journal. When appropriate, I share it with another person, and when the situation requires it, take the right course of action that coincides with living my life in harmony with the Universe. As a result, I rarely have conflicts.
I am now a model prisoner with a good reputation amongst most staff and prisoners alike. More importantly, I’m loved by my family and friends and am a good human being, which is a priceless gift that I never thought I deserved. People actually like me these days. The price I paid to get here was tough, but it took what it took. And by the way, “here” means alive, not in prison. Prison is just the place my body resides for the time being.
Speaking of prison, as a matter of principle, I really should not be in prison, but the law is such that if a person fails to jump through the hoops at the proper time, any violation of the law made by the government no longer matters. They call it procedural default to avoid addressing issues in the name of the administration of justice, and since habeas corpus laws changed drastically in 1996 to make it more difficult for a person to obtain relief without satisfying extremely stringent standards, very few ever succeed at obtaining relief through the courts. Spiritually though, I know I am right where I need to be. Had I have won my case, I would most likely be dead by now; therefore, I am grateful for the way things turned out, mostly.
The Price of Change by Wayne T. Dowdy
My worst enemy looked me in the face every time I looked into a mirror.
In Breaking News, I wrote about a variety of issues related to reentry, including recidivism, and the lovely Kim Kardashian standing beside President Donald Trump in the Oval Office inside the White House, after she had assisted Alice M. Johnson with having her federal sentence commuted.
To prepare myself for release and to do what I believed would assist me in obtaining employment upon release, I took a program called WorkKeys that gauges a person’s ability to apply textbook knowledge in the workplace. In other words, a GED or High School Education or College, gives a person a knowledge base.
From my limited understanding, WorkKeys tests a person’s ability to take that knowledge and to apply it in practical situations, as well as to demonstrate his or her ability to solve problems by comprehending written or implied instructions to accomplish a goal. Whatever the case may be, I first scored Gold Certification and then returned to be retested because Gold wasn’t good enough for me.
I wanted and received Platinum Certification!
My certificate verifies that Platinum certification shows that those who receive it have “Skills for 99% of the jobs in ACT’s extensive database”; however, when I walked out of the prison doors with a plan to secure employment by demonstrating my vast amount of accomplishments and skill sets, and a high Grade Point Average in college, none of the things I had accomplished meant anything in regards to getting hired.
On June 17, 2017, my publisher posted my blog, Seeking a Real Job. I wrote it to help others find employment, with a firm conviction that I would not have a problem finding a job because of my education and skill sets. I was wrong!
Since I walked in the prison doors at the age of thirty-one and out of the doors in my sixties, I failed to understand that Age was my enemy, a factor beyond my control.
I posted my resume online with several job sites (Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Jobcase, Career Builder, etc.). Job recruiters called often. Many of the recruiters literally hung up the phone after I responded to questions relating to my age.
My criminal history never entered the equation.
During the job seeking process while at Dismas Charities, a Residential Reentry Center in Atlanta, an employment counselor at the Georgia Department of Labor suggested I dumb-down my resume and said I was overqualified for most jobs available through them, and that I should start my own business.
Eleven months later, Goodwill of North Georgia hired me as an Environmental Service Technician, which is a long name for a janitor or custodian.
Three months after being given a chance, I was Employee of the Month, and then on the following month, I was featured online in the November 2019, Goodwill Employee Spotlight.
The pay was not providing what I needed to survive on my own. I liked my job because I saw it as a way to help keep customers and employees safer by keeping the environment sanitary.
But on a more personal level, I NEEDED more money to prepare for my future. A few months later, I saw an internal job opportunity that paid a lot more. I applied and was hired as a floor technician and though I work like an Alaskan Malamute, I do get paid more and have better hours.
Business: On my days and time off from that position, I work on a business I started one year ago today, on September 11, 2019.
Now I am investing in the stock market and am working on building affiliate marketing websites to earn money by referring others to quality products and services.
Financial Success Shines Ahead!
My plans for getting involved in an intimate relationship are still pending. I’ve had opportunities but turned them down; others who I was interested in turned me down, well, kind of. To get involved in an intimate relationship probably requires asking someone out for a date or at least a Roll in the Sack, but …. I only played around with that aspect of romance.
I got what I had coming by rejecting a couple of cougars who were stalking me: What Goes Around Comes Around!
The truth is that I know I need to focus more on building a financial future, and unless I were to find that special someone who would be an asset in that endeavor, an intimate relationship would be distracting because I’d want to spend more time with her than working toward becoming financially secure.
Regarding my children and familial relationships, those haven’t worked according to plan either, but … I know that everything is working according to God’s will for my life.
The most important thing is that I have remained free and am in good health. I continue to live my life without using mind-altering substances and strive towards building that bright future I KNOW God has in store for me, one day at a time.
Everything else will fall into place when it is time for me to step into another life. Going for a ride on a pontoon sounds like a great idea, too, so I can watch the water churn behind the boat as we head towards our happy destiny.
Update: August 22, 2020: I write this to give hope to others about the power to change and to encourage people to not give up on life when the future doesn’t look too bright.
Yesterday seems so far away
Yesterday as in August 18, 1988, not 2020
Yesterday was the thirty-second anniversary of my last arrest
ON August 18, 1988, I sat in a jail cell not knowing if I’d live to see another day as a free man, even though I was sitting there under an alias and hoping I could find a way to get out on bond before my true identity was revealed.
I didn’t and that was a good thing!
I was a wanted man, wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), and local authorities all over the United States because an All Points Bulletin had been circulated wanting to know my whereabouts.
Numerous FBI and GBI agents wanted to kill rather than to arrest me, or at least, so I was told.
I will expound more on the latter in a future blog because now I must get ready to go to work as a working man, who lives a lifestyle that does not mandate arrest or institutionalization.
LATER: In 1988, the FBI, GBI, and five local law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant for my arrest at the home of a known affiliate in Flowery Branch, Georgia, named Charles C.
Very few people knew my whereabouts because I knew better than to let it be known when a reward was publicized for anyone who assisted in my arrest and conviction. Back then, many of us used a Pager to contact others. When paged, I would provide a meeting location and used places I could observe before meeting anyone to make sure the person wasn’t followed.
During the wee hours of the morning, Charles’ wife, Donna, beeped me. One of my affiliates met and escorted her to the house where I was laying low, where she told me about the raid of her house, and the arrests of Charles and a co-defendant in the bank robbery.
I later learned from Charles, after he got out of jail, that an arresting officer who had slammed Charles’ head and face down on the hood of a truck, shouted, “Where’s Dowdy!”
Charles exercised his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and refused to cooperate.
The arresting officer stated to Charles in reference to me, “I believe we’re going to have to kill that Boy. He’s gotten out of a lot of life sentences.”
Well, I thought that maybe Charles had just been geeked up on cocaine because I didn’t want to accept what he said.
A couple of days later, another friend, Harry S., who used to be the Chief of Police in a small town in Georgia, reported to me that the GBI had come to his house and questioned him about his and my affiliation.
He explained that I had always been a friend and a gentleman to him and his family. A GBI agent still asked him to lure me to his house so they could ambush me.
According to Harry, he said, “I told you that Wayne had always been a friend and a gentleman to me, and now you have the nerve to come in here and ask me to set him up to be killed? Get the fuck out of my house and don’t come back unless you have a warrant.”
After hearing that, I knew Charles hadn’t been geeking on cocaine, that some of the law enforcement officials did intend on killing me.
Fortunate for me, I was arrested in another jurisdiction and delivered to detectives from Gwinnett County Georgia in good health. Otherwise, I may not have survived the follies of my youth and been terminated before my life really began.
When I landed in jail and lost hope of getting out, I wanted to commit suicide but didn’t because I didn’t want to cause my family anymore grief than I already had. Today, I am grateful that I was able to get out of myself long enough to think about how my actions would affect others.
In considering my state of mind back then, that is truly evidence that miracles do happen, as is my existence after living the life I once lived.
RECIDIVISM NOT FOR ME: I refuse to become another unfavorable statistic for recidivism, and so now I live my life without committing crimes, without using drugs or alcohol, and in harmony with the universe on most days.
Life is wonderful when I accept that I am not in control and that my higher power, whom I choose to call God, has my back.
An incarcerated person asked these questions for Wayne T. Dowdy. Because of privacy concerns, the name of the incarcerated person will remain anonymous. Straightfromthepen.com gives special thanks and will provide a complimentary copy of Essays and More Straight From the Pen.
Q: Since you have started using this blog, has the sales increased on your books? A: I haven’t noticed much of an increase in sales since I began writing the blogs. But since my release from prison, I have increased the number of views on the blogs, and the circulation of eBooks on Smashwords.com by making certain eBooks free.
Q: Since you began using this blog, have you talked about your books? A: Yes, during the first two years I did (I paid to get a website and blog created in 2015), but I haven’t written promotional content in several months.
I got involved with the prison reform movement in 2016, and then later began writing blogs relating to prison reform, but also to help fight my way out of prison. I became an outspoken critic of the former BOP Director (Mark S. Inch), who changed halfway house policies (reducing available placement period from up to one-year to “up to four months”).
On prison reform, I wanted to do my part in creating positive change, so I put my personal writing and sales promotions on the side until I could get out of prison and put things in action. Now I am back. Look out!
Q: How many books have you written? A: I’ve written four books but only have two I’m marketing. I had a special purpose for UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D (I added sections to the original UNDER PRESSURE to inspire the aspiring writers). To make it a better value for my readers, I combined the original novel with the sequel and produced UNKNOWN INNOCENCE by Wayne T. Dowdy, with the help of Midnight Express Books when originally published.
The other book is technically a personal magazine because it combines genres. ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN has 11-essays, 1-short story, and 3-poems, which I’ve discounted the price of at $8.95.
My case manager read it and commented, “Parts of it make you want to laugh, others make you want to cry. There’s a lot of wisdom in it.”
Q: Have you written any novels? A: UNKNOWN INNOCENCE and UNDER PRESSURE are fiction.
Q: When did you start writing? A: I wrote for decades in personal journals. At the age of twenty-five, while serving a state sentence, I wrote drafts for a series of pornographic literature. I gave my collection to a married woman I was having an affair with and asked her to keep them for me until I got out.
She was jealous. Everything I wrote did not include her. When I got out and wanted my writings, she said they got lost or her husband threw them away, either way, my perverted writings conveniently disappeared.
Maybe I’ll return to that genre if sales don’t improve on what I’m writing now. 🙂 With the success of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, there’s a large market for that type of writing.
Q: Did you go to college to learn to write? A: Yes, and No. In 1981 I did take Creative Writing in college. In 2006-2008, I took a professional writing course through the Long Ridge Writers Group to learn how to write essays and short stories for magazine publication.
Q: Were you published in any magazines? A: Yes, but I was published before taking the course. In 2003 I was first published in the A.A. Grapevine under a pseudonym. I’ve been published several times since then; however, none of the publications satisfy my ego, which always wants more.
These are my magazine writing credits: The Sun (Chapel Hill, NC); The Iconoclast; Confrontation magazine, the literary journal of Long Island University; Savage Kick magazine; and many others under a pseudonym related to recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Q: How has writing changed your life? A: Writing, in general, has not changed my life except on an interpersonal level. But writing does help me to formulate ideas and allows me to express myself without interruption. That means a lot to me when I feel the issue is important and needs addressed, whether it’s what people want to hear or not.
One day I hope to answer that question by saying my writing changed the quality of life by making me rich and famous, but in the meantime, I must say it keeps me constructively occupied and that I take pride in knowing my writing impacts the lives of others, as many have said to me throughout the years.
Q: Are you writing another book now? A: No, but I do have ideas for one coming soon and I am plotting on writing query letters and articles I want to see in print, something my ego loves (seeing my name in print).
COVID-19 entered the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons without chains or restraints in early 2020. Since then the United States Attorney General ordered the BOP to place more inmates on home confinement to reduce the risk of exposure to vulnerable inmates but judges ordered the release of more of the incarcerated than the BOP.
As is normal for the Backwards On Purpose agency, very few inmates at risk were placed on home confinement, many who have now died because of the incompetence of their keepers.
Several of my incarcerated subscribers expressed concerns over the lack of response by BOP officials to protect them from contracting the virus. I sent in copies of memorandums and reported claims presented to the public about all that the BOP was doing to comply with CDC guidelines to prevent/control the spread of COVID-19.
Numerous subscribers responded and stated that the information was all lies, that staff wasn’t wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, even while feeding the meals, some openly coughing while serving food. Various media sources reported staff complaints about not having PPE and feeling at risk because of the lack of PPE and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic inside the confines of the BOP.
BOP officials basically ignored Attorney General Barr’s instruction to release more inmates on home confinement. That is the same behavior as BOP officials had displayed when eligible prisoners were dying inside the system, rather than being released, when Congress urged the BOP to expand their Compassionate Release program, long before COVID-19 kicked in the doors and began taking the lives of the captives.
The BOP changed the controlling policy but did not change their practices. The latest revision of the Compassionate Release program statement is as follows:
Policy Statement NUMBER 5050.50 DATE January 17, 2019, Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence: Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 3582 and 4205(g)
That is the same BS mentality of the BOP officials, who did modify the Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence program statement but did not follow its guidance, which has now lead to the deaths of over 105 of their captives and the infection of several thousand.
Court officials have often stepped in and ordered the release of ill prisoners the BOP had refused to release, since Congress also passed into la the First Step Act that gave the federal courts jurisdiction (the power to act) to intervene when petitioners filed claims to challenge the denial of their request for compassionate release.
Prior to about 2016, the courts were powerless because the governing statutes gave the final say to BOP officials, the same ones who take an oath to keep men and women inside prisons for the duration of the given sentences, until death do they part.
(Because it is not relevant to this blog and is information easily found by those reading this online, I won’t list articles or sources of information on the above content.)
INFORMATION FOR THE INCARCERATED
I am concluding this blog with some of the actual information I sent in to my subscribers on August 1, 2020 (I send in a variety of information but COVID-19 reports are now regular based upon popular demand).
Because of limits in Corrlinks (see Corrlinks Process on this website), I have to modify the information I collect from the BOP website and other sources to make content Corrlinks’ friendly. With this post, I sent the content inside in two parts because it wouldn’t fit into one email.
The information-starved, incarcerated individuals, often express gratitude for the content I send in free of charge to keep them informed about what is going on outside of their restricted environments. I am happy to be of service to those I sympathize with because of my history on the Inside.
08/03/2020: If viewing the following on a cellphone, the landscape view corrects data shown in what may be distorted rows and columns. I apologize for the inconvenience.
August 1, 2020, COVID-19 Update
Confirmed active cases at 106 BOP facilities and 43 Residential Reentry Centers (No RRCs included in this report)
08/01/2020 – The BOP has 128,595 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,806 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 2,308 federal inmates and 503 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 8,253 inmates and 708 staff have recovered. There have been 105 federal inmate deaths and 1 BOP staff member death attributed to COVID-19 disease. Of the inmate deaths, 4 occurred while on home confinement.
[To read numbers: the left column under the facility is Inmate confirmed cases (I), next is Staff (S), the third from left is Inmate Deaths (ID), the fourth column is Staff Deaths (SD); the fifth column is Inmates Recovered (IR) and the last Staff Recovered (SR).
Facility I.P. S.P. I.D. S.D. I.R. S.R. City State
Butner Low FCI 77 2 16 1 575 14 Butner NC
Seagoville FCI 549 12 3 0 769 14 Seagoville TX
Carswell FMC 244 2 3 0 296 1 Fort Worth TX
Coleman Low FCI 174 19 0 0 4 2 Sumterville FL
Coleman Medium FCI 129 29 1 0 11 0 Sumterville FL
Miami FCI 95 23 0 0 3 0 Miami FL
Miami FDC 86 15 1 0 1 20 Miami FL
Victorville Medium I FCI 78 7 0 0 71 0 Victorville CA
Butner Low FCI 75 1 16 1 575 15 Butner NC
Marion USP 71 1 0 0 4 2 Marion IL
Edgefield FCI 65 20 0 0 0 1 Edgefield SC
Elkton FCI 63 2 9 0 938 51 Lisbon OH
Victorville Medium II FCI 48 8 0 0 2 2 Victorville CA
Victorville USP 46 12 0 0 46 1 Victorville CA
Forrest City Low FCI 38 3 0 0 641 4 Forrest City AR
Beaumont Low FCI 35 1 0 0 469 0 Beaumont TX
Lewisburg USP 35 0 0 0 0 1 Lewisburg PA
Coleman I USP 28 23 0 0 0 2 Sumterville FL
Loretto FCI 19 6 0 0 8 1 Loretto PA
Yazoo City USP 18 7 1 0 56 12 Yazoo City MS
Oklahoma City FTC 16 5 1 0 85 0 Oklahoma City OK
Beaumont Medium FCI 15 6 0 0 45 0 Beaumont TX
Guaynabo MDC 15 0 0 0 0 0 Guaynabo PR
Tucson FCI 15 6 0 0 0 1 Tucson AZ
Manchester FCI 14 9 0 0 33 0 Manchester KY
Three Rivers FCI 11 0 0 0 79 0 Three Rivers TX
Forrest City Medium FCI 9 10 0 0 3 5 Forrest City AR
San Diego MCC 9 1 0 0 2 0 San Diego CA
Fairton FCI 8 0 0 0 95 7 Fairton NJ
Fort Worth FMC 8 8 12 0 579 6 Fort Worth TX
Lompoc USP 7 0 2 0 164 24 Lompoc CA
New York MCC 7 5 0 0 16 41 New York NY
Tallahassee FCI 7 8 0 0 0 1 Tallahassee FL
Atlanta USP 6 8 0 0 14 8 Atlanta GA
Butner FMC 6 2 0 0 5 13 Butner NC
Talladega FCI 6 6 0 0 2 7 Talladega AL
Englewood FCI 5 0 0 0 4 1 Littleton CO
Houston FDC 5 5 0 0 7 0 Houston TX
Aliceville FCI 4 8 0 0 10 9 Aliceville AL
Bastrop FCI 4 5 0 0 0 2 Bastrop TX
Jesup FCI 4 16 1 0 252 3 Jesup GA
Oakdale I FCI 4 8 7 0 206 20 Oakdale LA
Atwater USP 3 6 0 0 0 3 Atwater CA
Memphis FCI 3 2 0 0 6 12 Memphis TN
Pollock FCI 3 2 0 0 0 1 Pollock LA
Pollock USP 3 9 0 0 0 2 Pollock LA
Springfield MCFP 3 1 0 0 1 0 Springfield MO
Terminal Island FCI 3 5 10 0 645 17 San Pedro CA
Beaumont USP 2 3 0 0 0 1 Beaumont TX
Bennettsville FCI 2 7 0 0 7 5 Bennettsville SC
Butner Medium I FCI 2 2 9 0 202 30 Butner NC
Florence FCI 2 1 0 0 0 3 Florence CO
Fort Dix FCI 2 0 0 0 37 5 Joint Base Mdl NJ
Los Angeles MDC 2 3 0 0 2 2 Los Angeles CA
Milan FCI 2 1 3 0 98 55 Milan MI
Sheridan FCI 2 0 0 0 0 0 Sheridan OR
Waseca FCI 2 2 0 0 2 0 Waseca MN
Allenwood Low FCI 1 0 0 0 0 0 Allenwood PA
Berlin FCI 1 0 0 0 0 0 Berlin NH
Chicago MCC 1 5 0 0 138 26 Chicago IL
Danbury FCI 1 2 1 0 89 61 Danbury CT
Devens FMC 1 1 2 0 50 6 Ayer MA
Dublin FCI 1 3 0 0 0 3 Dublin CA
Greenville FCI 1 4 0 0 1 0 Greenville IL
Herlong FCI 1 0 0 0 0 3 Herlong CA
Honolulu FDC 1 0 0 0 0 0 Honolulu HI
La Tuna FCI 1 5 0 0 0 7 Anthony TX
Leavenworth USP 1 1 0 0 0 5 Leavenworth KS
Marianna FCI 1 7 0 0 0 1 Marianna FL
McCreary USP 1 3 0 0 1 2 Pine Knot KY
Montgomery FPC 1 1 0 0 0 2 Montgomery AL
Otisville FCI 1 1 0 0 26 14 Otisville NY
Pekin FCI 1 0 0 0 0 0 Pekin IL
Philadelphia FDC 1 2 0 0 3 3 Philadelphia PA
Phoenix FCI 1 5 0 0 19 9 Phoenix AZ
Sandstone FCI 1 0 0 0 0 0 Sandstone MN
Schuylkill FCI 1 0 0 0 0 0 Minersville PA
SeaTac FDC 1 1 0 0 0 0 Seattle WA
Williamsburg FCI 1 4 0 0 0 0 Salters SC
Yazoo City Medium FCI 1 5 0 0 7 10 Yazoo City MS
Allenwood Medium FCI 0 0 0 0 0 1 White Deer PA
Allenwood USP 0 1 0 0 0 1 Allenwood PA
Ashland FCI 0 0 0 0 0 1 Ashland KY
Beckley FCI 0 0 0 0 0 1 Beaver WV
Big Sandy USP 0 2 0 0 0 0 Inez KY
Big Spring FCI 0 6 0 0 0 0 Big Spring TX
Brooklyn MDC 0 1 0 0 12 41 Brooklyn NY
Bryan FPC 0 2 0 0 1 0 Bryan TX
Butner Medium II FCI 0 1 0 0 3 1 Butner NC
Canaan USP 0 0 0 0 0 4 Waymart PA
Coleman II USP 0 14 0 0 2 2 Sumterville FL
Cumberland FCI 0 0 0 0 6 5 Cumberland
08/01/2020 Part II
Duluth FPC 0 0 0 0 1 0 Duluth MN
El Reno FCI 0 6 0 0 1 1 El Reno OK
Estill FCI 0 10 0 0 0 0 Estill SC
Gilmer FCI 0 0 0 0 5 0 Glenville WV
Hazelton FCI 0 3 0 0 0 2 Bruceton Mills WV
Hazelton USP 0 5 0 0 0 5 Bruceton Mills WV
Lee USP 0 1 0 0 0 1 Pennington Gap VA
Lexington FMC 0 0 8 0 227 11 Lexington KY
Lompoc FCI 0 1 2 0 809 16 Lompoc CA
McDowell FCI 0 0 0 0 0 2 Welch WV
Mendota FCI 0 6 0 0 1 3 Mendota CA
Morgantown FCI 0 0 0 0 0 1 Morgantown WV
Oakdale II FCI 0 8 1 0 7 6 Oakdale LA
Oxford FCI 0 3 0 0 1 1 Oxford WI
Pensacola FPC 0 2 0 0 0 1 Pensacola FL
Petersburg Low FCI 0 0 0 0 0 2 Hopewell VA
Ray Brook FCI 0 0 0 0 12 10 Ray Brook NY
Rochester FMC 0 1 0 0 0 1 Rochester MN
Safford FCI 0 2 0 0 0 0 Safford AZ
Terre Haute FCI 0 0 0 0 1 2 Terre Haute IN
Terre Haute USP 0 0 1 0 8 0 Terre Haute IN
Texarkana FCI 0 3 0 0 0 2 Texarkana TX
Thomson USP 0 0 0 0 3 1 Thomson IL
Tucson USP 0 4 0 0 0 2 Tucson AZ
Yazoo City Low FCI 0 4 2 0 96 9 Yazoo City MS
Privately-managed prisons are secure institutions operated by private companies under contract and oversight of the BOP. The majority of federal inmates in private prisons are sentenced criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentence. Unlike federal inmates housed in BOP facilities, the contractor is responsible for the medical care and the costs associated with providing those services.
The BOP has 14,610 inmates in Privately-Managed Facilities. There are 101 inmates who have open lab-confirmed positive cases. 310 inmates have recovered. Full breakdown and additional details are below:
Facility IP ID IR City State
D. Ray James CI 73 0 12 Folkston GA
Great Plains CI 12 1 85 Hinton OK
Giles W. Dalby CI 10 1 72 Post TX
Rivers CI 4 0 20 Winton NC
McRae CI 2 1 14 Mcrae Helena GA
North Lake CI 0 2 107 Baldwin MI
All inmates are being appropriately treated and isolated per CDC guidelines.
Corrlinks.com is a company that provides electronic services for incarcerated individuals in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, some privately-owned, prisons for profit, and a few state prisons.
An inmate must put in a Corrlinks contact request to your email address. Then you receive an automated code from Corrlinks through the email address.
You have a choice to accept or refuse correspondence with the inmate. The following is an actual message I received from Corrlinks:
This is a system-generated message informing you that the above-named person is a federal prisoner who seeks to add you to his/her contact list for exchanging electronic messages. There is no message from the prisoner at this time.
You can ACCEPT this prisoner’s request or BLOCK this individual or all federal prisoners from contacting you via electronic messaging at CorrLinks. To register with CorrLinks you must enter the email address that received this notice along with the identification code below.
Email Address: email@example.com
Identification Code: H7LKQ3XX
This identification code will expire in 10 days.
By approving electronic correspondence with federal prisoners, you consent to have the Bureau of Prisons staff monitor the content of all electronic messages exchanged.
Once you have registered with CorrLinks and approved the prisoner for correspondence, the prisoner will be notified electronically.
For additional information related to this program, please visit the [URL removed for BOP] FAQ page.
Este es un mensaje generado por el sistema que le informa que la persona mencionada es un preso federal que pretende añadirlo a usted a su lista de contactos para intercambiar mensajes electrónicos. No hay ningún mensaje del preso en este momento.
Usted puede ACEPTAR esta petición del preso o BLOQUEAR a esta persona o a todos los presos federales de contactarlo a usted a través de la mensajería electrónica en CorrLinks. Para inscribirse en CorrLinks debe introducir la dirección de correo electrónico que recibió esta notificación, junto con el código de identificación a continuación.
Dirección de correo electrónico: firstname.lastname@example.org
Código de identificación: H7LKQ3XX
Este código de identificación expirará en 10 días.
Al aprobar la correspondencia electrónica con presos federales usted esta consientendo a que personal de la Oficina de Prisiones superivse el contenido informativo de todos los mensajes electrónicos intercambiados y cumplir con todas las reglas y procedimientos del Programa.
Una vez registrado en Corrlinks y aprobado para la correspondencia el preso será notificado por vía electrónica.
Para obtener información adicional relacionada con este programa, por favor visite la página de preguntas frecuentes [URL removed for BOP]
a) If you wish to accept correspondence, you must open a Corrlinks account through the email address.
b) If the inmate is NOT a federal prisoner, you will need to fund the account because it will cost you to send messages (rates may vary but I pay $0.10 per message to Wisconsin inmates).
If the inmate is a federal prisoner, he or she must pay to access the public messaging system and it won’t cost you anything unless you elect to pay the annual $6.00 fee for Premier Service so that you receive a notification when he or she emails you. Otherwise, you must go to CorrLinks to check for messages because the notification process often fails.
Once you receive the Notification from Corrlinks that an inmate wishes to “exchange electronic messages” with you, do this:
1) copy the automated code as shown above that consists of capital letters and numbers;
2) use a laptop or PC computer to accept the request (not a cellphone because it won’t work for the acceptance process and is very limited for messaging once you’ve established contact with the person). Login to the Corrlinks account with the email address and password, and then prove that you are not a robot through reCAPTCHA by selecting the proper images [a sometimes aggravating process because of distorted images and ones that change and others that appear in a former place you selected].
3) Then you will see a box to enter the Identification Code you copied in Step 1);
4) Enter the code and click GO, and then when the panel opens to the right side of the screen (not shown in this example), click the box to “Enable Email Alert” (which happens to work more often when you pay for the Premier Service);
5) Click “Accept” and then after the inmate receives the notification that you wish to correspond, he or she may message you after depositing funds in the institutional inmate account process, or you may be the first to message, once the incarcerated person accepts the contact connection.
6) To retrieve messages you go to the Mailbox:
Beware: The Corrlinks system will malfunction, so after you type a message, copy it before trying to Save or Send.
I have cursed Corrlinks many times because it logged me out instead of saving or sending my message.
Through WTD4U, I send inmates various information, some of which intelligence-lacking staff at the institutional level, will reject because he or she cannot comprehend rights provided by the First Amendment (Freedom of the Press). Later on, I will send the same message and it gets delivered to the intended inmate.
Some of my more controversial messages have magically disappeared and I’d have to start over, so when I remember I copy and save before clicking Send.
On a laptop or PC, you can save a message as a draft, which closes the screen, but still copy it before trying to save or send. Cellphones are not so user-friendly for doing anything other than reading or sending a message.
Public messaging through Corrlinks can be expensive but I was happy to have an avenue to contact family, friends, etc., once the system was implemented.
On average, I spent close to one-hundred dollars per month on Corrlinks because I wrote blogs to post on this website, short stories, essays, and other forms of content for publication, legal purposes, and for general correspondence.
To learn more about this website and my goal, read About Your Host & Straight from the Pen.
History may repeat itself but if I am involved, I have a choice about my role
“History repeats itself” is an old cliche’ that fits whatI have to say in one sense but not in another. Because even though a similar event occurs, whenever it does, I have another choice that I may make based upon my experience with the first event. I do not have to do as I did before.
From my observations and what I read along metaphysical and esoteric1 lines, life does run in cycles.
1esoteric [ˌesəˈterik] adjective: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with specialized knowledge or interest.” esoteric philosophical debates” Synonyms: abstruse, obscure, arcane, recherché, rarefied, recondite, abstract, difficult, hard, puzzling; Antonyms: simple, familiar
In my search for meaning, decades ago, I noticed a strong correlation between my life events and ten-year cycles, some of which I wrote about in blogs and other published content.
The following is a modified excerpt from my essay, The Price of Change that I will use to show an example of an event I foresaw but failed to act to avoid what I knew was to come before my last arrest on August 18, 1988:
“When eventually released from prison, I wanted to become a successful law-abiding citizen. I was fortunate enough to succeed at getting a job at one of Atlanta’s Top 100 companies where I quickly climbed the ranks. A year after I had started the job, I was doing better than ever: driving a new vehicle, wearing nice suits, living a respectable life. What I struggled with was doing what is normal to most people, such as having to be responsible: paying bills, balancing a checkbook, and having to work a lot of overtime to make what I needed to pay for the life I wanted. I stressed myself out doing it.
“I also had an issue adjusting to family life, having to deal with somewhat normal people, who had their problems I wanted to “fix” but couldn’t. I couldn’t even fix my own. After spending most of my life in prison, I had adjusted to the typical prisoner’s mentality, which is not normal. At least, not for those who have to learn to survive in a violent environment: we become desensitized, stop feeling, stop feeling empathy; become emotionally disconnected after being around years of brutality and helplessness, wanting to help someone, but knowing to stay out of it or suffer dire consequences.
“The avalanche that destroyed my plans to be a successful law-abiding citizen began with a 7-ounce beer. I am an addict and alcoholic and the beer started a chain reaction. I was back to smoking pot within a month. [I’ve now been clean and sober since April 1995.]
“What had happened was that I had gone out with a woman who wanted to seduce me. I didn’t resist. I was nervous because we were in a foreign place, the house of her friend, who had several other people sleeping there, some on the floor. One couple had to give up a guest bedroom so we could have it, so, when we went to have sex, I experienced performance anxiety or something, and drank the beer to help relieve the anxiety. That’s typical behavior for many of us who get out of prison, especially males who listen to the wrong head for advice.
“A year later, I was back to shooting cocaine, plotting, and scheming on ways and means to get more [the same thing that I had been doing ten-years before that lead to me being arrested on August 28, 1978, in Kentucky, within ten days of being exactly ten-years before I was arrested again, pulled over in Tennessee by the Kentucky State Patrol. On the previous and last arrest, I had told both partners who wanted me to carry them to Kentucky that I knew we would be arrested if we went to Kentucky. Ten years before, in 1978, another crime partner from Kentucky, also wanted to return to see his father. I told him we’d be arrested if we did go there, and we were].
“I was insane, as is evidenced by my shooting doses of cocaine so large that I often laid on the floor in convulsions. I’d pray and ask God to save me and promise not to do it again if He would, but then when I survived, I would get right on up and do it all over again.
“It didn’t take long for me to quit my job, and to stop making car payments, which resulted in the repo man taking my car away. By that time, I had begun robbing and stealing, pretending to myself to need money to pay bills, but any money I took went into the arms of me and my associates. I had an insatiable urge to stay high, which lead to my putting cars, houses, and relationships, all into bottomless syringes. [Only by the grace of God did I not contract HIV.] My desire to stay high was more important than any amount of devastation my actions caused in the lives of others. I was one selfish, self-centered, SOB, and a crazy one at that.
A good example of my insanity was in response to my fiancés’ warning. She said, “’Honey if you don’t stop what you’re doing, you’re going to end up back in prison.’”
“’I know baby doll. I just want to do some more cocaine.’” That was the extent of my madness. I knew I was in the middle of a train track, and that the coming train would kill me when it hit, but I was unable to get out of the way. After I ended up in jail for more charges than I ever imagined, I wanted to kill myself because I was disappointed that I failed to succeed and had returned to the lifestyle I vowed not to do. But somehow, I was able to think about how my actions would affect the lives of my loved ones and chose not to put them through such pain.”
To tie those events into the Rest of the Story for the conclusion of this blog, I will share more of my personal life experiences.
INSURANCE COMPANY ISSUES
Other events that occurred before my arrest in August 1988, was having State Farm Insurance Company to improperly cancel my insurance because of a speeding ticket, which costs me a lot of money when trying to find another insurance carrier.
On several occasions, I attempted to withdraw funds from an ATM machine. It didn’t give me the money but deducted it from my account which lead to me having overdrawn checks. When I went to the bank and complained, I was told the machine was right, and that no adjustments would be made to my account.
Shortly thereafter, the ATM receipt showed my account balance was over $161,000, which was wrong, of course; however, when I returned to the bank and asked for my $161,000, the machine was wrong.
As long as it was stealing from me it was right but when it tried to give, it was wrong.
Those two experiences made me resent banks and insurance companies.
A Different Man Makes Different Decisions
On July 13, 2020, I received a letter from Nationwide Insurance Company stating my insurance policy would be canceled on July 23, 2020, because I failed to show having insurance coverage for six-months before starting my policy with them.
I did not have a vehicle until January 15, 2020, and had relied on public transportation and family assistance to get from point A to point B. I explained that and expressed how ludicrous it was to require me to have insurance coverage when I did not own and was not driving a vehicle.
After several discussions with Nationwide representatives, who really tried to help me resolve the issue, I was told that the underwriters would not make an exception. I hung up the phone and then went online to return to my former insurance carrier (Root Insurance Company). Within five minutes of hanging up the phone, I was reinsured.
I canceled my Nationwide policy.
I am in the market to buy a home and needed a precertification letter from a bank. I had one from Credit Karma but the real estate agent wanted one from a different financial institution, so I contacted my bank for what I thought would be a simple process since I have good credit and pay my bills on time.
Over a week later, I was still trying to get that darn letter and was not happy about it because I was having to complete forms and provide information for fictitious amounts that I may not even need, for a house in an area I may not even find a house in, so …. I was not happy with dealing with a bank, again.
Different Response, Different Choices, Different Results
This time I weathered the storm and got all I needed. I did have to do a lot of praying for guidance and direction from my higher power, whom I choose to call God, but I did not revert my old behaviors (didn’t use the frustration as a reason to get high or to go and take something that wasn’t mine because I was angry).
Before the end of the week, I had gotten my pre-certification letter for my real estate agent and was happily insured, heading off onto another exciting adventure into the beautiful world, far behind the galaxy that makes up the Universe.
Yes, history repeated itself, in that I experienced problems with two agencies that I had had issues with over thirty years ago, but I chose to respond, rather than to react, and to accept that life happens just as it must. Now I am waiting for that special lady to ride with me into a future so bright we both need to wear shades.
One year ago today (March 8th), I walked out the doors of Dismas Charities in Atlanta, Georgia, as a man freed from the custody of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. I wrote Electronic Chain about that experience. https://straightfromthepen.com/electronic-chain
Life hasn’t gone according to the World of Wayne since my release, other than that I have remained a free man and have continued my pursuit of a better life.
Life is good. My plan remains to make it Great!
In many respects my life is great. I have remained clean and sober and chose not to return to the life of crime as thousands of formerly-released men and women have done since August 28, 2018, when I walked out the doors of a Federal Correctional Institution, thirty-years and ten days after my arrest on federal and state charges.
Throughout the years, I wrote a lot about recidivism, of which may be viewed by searching “Recidivism” or by using the dropdown menu to select the Recidivism category on this site. The May 2018 study numbers are the latest released (83% of state prisoners returned within the nine-year study referenced to below):
“2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014),” NCJ250975, May 2018, a follow-up to the 5-year study relied upon for comparison by the ex-director (“Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010,” NCJ244205, April 2014).
“The 83% recidivism rate revealed in the 9-year follow-up study shows the seriousness of recidivism in America and the need for a magic elixir that does not exist. Until financial incentives end for politicians who continue making policies and laws that fuel mass incarceration, positive change will be slow: It is time to stop state and federal funding for private prisons.”Breaking News, June 18, 2018
I refuse to become one of those who return to the system so many vow to hate but continue to return to make it grow bigger and stronger!
On a Personal Level
Since my release, I found a job, even though it took me eleven months of actively seeking one to succeed in that endeavor. On that job with Goodwill of North Georgia, I made Employee of the Month in October 2019, and was then selected for the Employee Spotlight in the following month.
Then on March 2, 2020, I began a different position in Goodwill of North Georgia and increased my salary by over thirty percent. More will follow!
I have a nice vehicle that gets me where I need to go, which a loving person blessed me with after she bought herself a new SUV.
For other aspects of the reentry process, is finding a new place to live and maybe even getting in a meaningful relationship if a special lady comes along.
Before my release, I joked with my peers that I was going to get a fat butt girl with a pecan tan and a Mercedes Benz, but maybe I need to revise that, because that’s being too picky. What I would like is that special lady who loves me the way I will love her and then perhaps I will perceive my life as great.
What was I thinking? I am free and alive and well! Life is great!
In conclusion, what I didn’t know during the time of the photo posted above when I was about three-years-young, with me with my hands on those toy guns, is that I would make bad decisions in life that would lead me to putting my hands on real guns to commit crimes and to spend most of my life in prison.
I wrote a lot about my life in Essays & More Straight from the Pen to show the power of change, and that, just because I was a recidivist, does not mean I have to be one now. I chose freedom. Thank you!
UNKNOWN INNOCENCE consumed my first novel, UNDER PRESSURE by Mr. D, and part of my second book published by Midnight Express Books (UNDER PRESSURE–MOTIVATIONAL VERSION). What separated the second novel from the first was the addition of “The Story Behind the Novel” and the addition of the first two chapters of UNKNOWN INNOCENCE.
After writing the sequel, I decided to give readers a better value by allowing the sequel to consume the original novel.
For this blog post, I’m providing a peek into the most important part of the Motivational Version (The Story Behind the Novel ), and one randomly selected chapter that shows one aspect of prison life in some of the more dangerous prison settings, Chapter #6, Let It Go.
Warning: Not Politically Correct! Contains Violence, Profanity
Let It Go
Months later, on a cool spring morning, Stan
and Bobby returned from the yard and took their showers before being counted at
10 A.M. Shortly thereafter, they went to eat Spanish omelets, oatmeal, biscuits
and gravy for brunch. That afternoon, Stan sat near the center of the TV room
watching VH1. The TV room was on the walkway at the rear of the cellblock that
joined the tiers. Terry, Jake, and three of Jake’s friends were huddled in the
back corner. Two Jamaicans, who were acquaintances of Stan, sat closest to the
only door, talking. Stan lowered the volume on his Walkman to hear Jake and
Terry’s conversation. A few minutes later his suspicion was confirmed: Terry
still planned to involve Wendy.
“She’s coming over the holiday weekend in
July and I’ll talk her into bringing in the package,” Terry said.
Stan stood and turned to face all five in
the corner. “Keep my sister’s name out of your mouth,” he said.
“Keep out of my business, boy,” Jake said.
Him and his three friends stood. Terry stayed seated.
“Don’t try fucking with this boy!” Stan said.
Terry stood. “I won’t let anything happen to
her, dude,” he said, his voice a high-pitched tone, almost a shrill.
Rastaman stepped out the door and cleared
the corner of the tier to get Big Bobby. At the same moment, Bobby walked out
of his cell to go get some hot water. Rastaman saw him and yelled in his
Jamaican accent. “Yo, mon, Stan need you.” Bobby slung the cup in his cell.
One of Jake’s partners positioned himself
near the door by the other Jamaican, who sat looking toward the television with
a know-nothing stare on his face.
“You’re damn right you’re not because you’re
not going to pull her into your shit,” Stan said. “Find another way to feed
Jake’s other partners tried to position
themselves behind Stan, who turned to put the wall behind him. Jake moved
closer to him and said, “What’s up? You want to get this out of the way, right
“Smash that punk!” the one by the door said.
Terry edged closer to the door. “Y’all cut
this bullshit out, dudes,” he said. “We’ll all go to the hole.”
Jake moved within arm’s reach. Stan shoved
him in the chest with both palms. “Get off me, punk,” he said.
Jake stumbled backward. He regained his
balance and rushed back to get in Stan’s face. “Want some of this,” he said,
and pushed him back.
“Don’t take that from that cunt,” another
yelled. “Hit him!”
The one by the door pulled a shank from his
waistband. “Let’s stick this bitch,” he said, his back a foot from the door.
Everything changed fast: Big Bobby barged
into the room. The door smacked the doorman holding the shank, knocked him into
Terry, who shot to the wall near Bobby.
“Hey,” the doorman shouted, as he turned to
see who had hit him with the door. His face paled when he saw Bobby. He hurried
beside Jake, faced Bobby.
Jake had moved to the corner when Bobby
rushed into the room. “What’s up?” Bobby said, his voice coarse.
The two who had surrounded Stan moved with
Jake. Terry stood against the wall with his arms crossed. Bobby moved within
striking distance of the doorman.
“Let it go, man,” he said. Rastaman had
followed him into the room. The other Jamaican stood and positioned himself
beside his partner and Bobby.
Stan eyed the two who tried getting behind
him, and then he moved near Bobby and the Jamaicans. He looked at the one with
the shank. “Put that up before I stick it up your ass,” he said.
“You got the easy part done,” the doorman
“Cut the bullshit,” Terry said.
Still winded from rushing down the tier,
Bobby said, “All of you need to put this on ice. Nothing good’s going to come from
us going to war over whatever the hell y’all got going on in here.”
Jake took a step closer to them. “Tell your
boy to keep out of my business, big guy.”
Bobby started to speak. Stan pointed at
Terry. “I’ve done told that idiot I didn’t want him involving my sister in your
business, buddy,” he said. “If you can’t respect that, we’ve got big problems.”
“You’ve got big problems with all that
mouth,” the doorman said. Seconds earlier, he had slipped the blade of the
shank in the front pocket of his pants and covered its handle with his hand.
“Look, man, my problem’s not with you but we can make it that way if you don’t back off,” Stan said. He moved closer to him. “I don’t give a damn about you having a shank.”
Bobby stepped between Stan, Jake, and the
doorman. The Jamaicans stayed in the background, propped against the wall by
the door where Terry stood. The doorman jerked out the shank. Before Bobby
could stop him, Stan maneuvered around him and grabbed the doorman’s wrist
holding the shank. In a continuous motion, he twisted it behind the man’s back
and yanked it to the base of the neck, as he forced him against the rear wall. “What
you want to do now, bitch?” Stan growled, keeping the pressure on the back of
Jake advanced toward Stan. Bobby grabbed him
by the shoulders and slung him against the wall, and then turned his head to
glance at the other two, making sure they weren’t getting involved. “Stay out
of it!” he said.
The Jamaicans, who were much larger than
either of the two they faced, had moved between them and Bobby. Both Jamaicans
had their arms spread, angled toward the floor, palms opened, inviting war or
peace. “We don’t want no trouble,” one of the other two said.
After he had failed to free himself from Stan’s hold, the doorman dropped the shank. It clanged as it struck the floor. “All right, man. You got it,” he said, his voice strained from stress.
Jake stayed still against the wall; fear
written on his forehead: Bobby’s massive chest six inches from his nose.
Stan used his foot to slide the shank to the
far side of the room. Then he released his hold and stepped away from the
doorman. “Let’s all let this shit go and get the fuck out of here before the
hacks come and slam us in the hole,” he said.
Everyone exited the television room; their
eyes darting one from another, sweat dotting their foreheads. Stan waited until
last to leave, motioning for the doorman to get his shank and go. He did so
silently, his head held low.
Five minutes after leaving the TV room, Stan
had told Bobby all that had gone down before he walked into the drama. They sat
in Stan’s cell with their arms crossed, sodas sitting on the floor by each of
their legs. Neither one uncrossed their arms except to take a sip from their
“What you think about it?” Stan said. “You
think they’re going to let it go or what?”
Bobby cleared his throat and repositioned himself on the toilet bowl where he sat. “I’d like to think they’ll let it go and leave us alone, but you know how things go in these places. They may claim a truce only to gain an edge for an attack. I’m going to keep an eye on ‘em, for sure.”
“You know I’ll keep an eye on them. And if
Terry and Jake don’t leave Wendy out of their plans, they’d better keep an eye
on me,” Stan said, and then got up from the edge of his bed. “I’m telling you,
man, if they don’t, it’s going to be bad. Wendy may become a widow before it’s
over with if they don’t.”
“Well, … we’ll just have to play the cards
dealt and play the game well. Let it go if you can,” Bobby said. Then he rose
and patted Stan on the back. “Gotta go, Pal. Keep your eyes open. Yell if you
need me, okay?”
“Okay, man. I’m sorry I got you into this
“Don’t sweat it. It’ll all work itself out
however the hell it’s supposed to turn out.” Then he ducked to leave the cell.
He stopped on the tier.
“See you later,” he said and threw up his
hand before walking back to his cell.
The Story Behind the Novel
August 14, 2019: This novel was published while I was in prison and most
content remains the same; however, on May 8, 2019, I was released from the
custody and control of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. I removed some
of the original content from “The Story Behind the Novel” because it became outdated.]
story behind the novel may surprise you because I wrote it while serving a 420-month
federal prison sentence. Mr. D.” is the pseudonym I used for my first book to
avoid any confusion associated with my writings. I am a writer of many genres
and am aware that some readers are “profanity-sensitive”; I don’t want anyone
to be confused when purchasing my books, essays or short stories. Though not
used frequently, profanity is often necessary to capture the personality of a
character or to make a scene or setting more realistic; especially, when writing
about prison life. A person allergic to profanity may safely read most of my
personal essays (inspirational, political, creative nonfiction), but may break
out into a rash or go into anaphylactic shock when reading what I write as “Mr.
D,” a pseudonym I chose based upon the song, Dancing with Mr. D., by the
Rolling Stones, and because my last name begins with “D” and some people call
me Mr. D.
should the reader find motivation by reading this? It came from the confines of
a prison. If I wrote this from inside, without an electronic data storage
system, and without access to the Internet, someone “out there” with all of the
available technology and resources can really work some magic. This is the
story behind the novel:
am a federal prisoner serving a lengthy prison sentence; to be precise,
thirty-five-years, without parole, for armed bank robbery and associated
charges. I started on August 18, 1988. I have never used the Internet or seen a
cell phone, other than in magazines or on television. I’m somewhat prehistoric,
prison, our movement and activities are limited. For instance, I only have until
7:45 pm, Monday through Thursday evenings, to type at the library, which does
not begin until my living unit gets released for chow (usually by 6:00 pm). At
the library, I use a dumbed-down, AlphaSmart, word processor to type with until
the library closes [AlphaSmarts were removed from the library before my release
and replaced with the worst typewriters available, with no memory recall
Normally, a writer using an AlphaSmart would have an interface cord to connect to their PC to upload what they typed on the AlphaSmart, and would then make modifications to the text in their PC; e.g., change line spacing, font size or style, underline words or adjust margins. I don’t have a PC to upload what I have typed and cannot modify what I have written, other than typical editing functions, such as copying and pasting and using spellcheck to correct misspelled words (program does not check grammar or punctuation). Fortunately, the presets include double line spacing, one-inch top, left and right margins, and a 12-pt Times New Roman font. If I want to add an underline to a word or a case cite when doing legal work, I have to create a separate file, count spaces, and then use the underscore key to create an underline. Then I have to run the original document back through a low-quality printer to complete the process.
That gives you an idea of what limited capabilities are when writing and typing from inside a prison (and I am fortunate to be able to do what I do). Some prisons only have ancient typewriters, with no memory storage capabilities. (I authored Under Pressure on such a primitive device.) The only other day I have to work on my writing is on Saturday because the library does not open on Sunday or holidays. During the morning I skip going to eat to type from 7:30 am (or whenever the door opens) until 9:15 am. Then I have to return to the cellblock to be counted. Yes, all of us men must stand up and be counted at 10:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 10:00 pm on weekends and holidays. The 10:00 am Count is a special event: we don’t have one during the week. I often use the break for the count to proofread what I’ve written, or to prepare for what I will write.
Once the count clears and the prison staff begins feeding the noon meal, I often skip chow to go type some more. I am usually typing by 11:30 am until I have to turn in the AlphaSmart at 3:15 pm. Fridays and Sundays are my days of forced rest from typing at the library: the only place I can type personal projects.
Where am I during the week when not at the library? Working. I work as the document control clerk in a textile factory of the Federal Prison Industries, Inc., trade name UNICOR. My meager MONTHLY salary averages near $200.00. I used that income to pay for my enrollment in the Long Ridge Writers Group on January 8, 2007. The course is outlined for completion within two years. On July 7, 2008, I graduated. During the same time that I was taking their writing course, I wrote the short story, “Under Pressure.” I attempted its publication by submitting my 6,158-word manuscript (typed on the ancient typewriter mentioned earlier), to various magazines, college literary journals, and entered it in PEN’s Prison Writing Contest. It didn’t win. Then on January 1, 2012, my ambition was born to convert the short story into a novel, the hard way, almost five years from the date of when I enrolled in the Long Ridge Writers Group to learn how to write and market short stories and essays. One year after I decided to turn the short story into a novel, it was available worldwide.
biggest problem in getting started with converting the short story into a novel
came from not having any way to electronically store data. When I finished
typing at the prison library to return to the cellblock, everything I had typed
was deleted according to policy. I knew having memory storage would ease the
pain of the revision process (some pages I retyped up to five times to correct
a typo, verb tense, or to replace or to add “one” word). I solicited help from
my family and friends to have my manuscript scanned and stored on a disk or CD
as a word.doc format for the manipulation of data. One of my two sisters, who
was not real computer savvy, did go to different places attempting to find what
I needed, but the best she could find was someone to scan and save it as a pdf
file, which I didn’t think would allow her to alter the text back then (now
converters are available that allows a person to modify Portable Document Format
I began the conversion process in light of the troubled waters ahead before I learned about the publisher, Midnight Express Books (MEB). Approximately six months after I had surrendered the idea of finding an easier, softer way to write the novel, I discovered MEB through an ad in the Education Behind Bars Newsletter (EBBN). EBBN ran an ad in Prison Legal News and asked for submissions. I submitted an essay and began receiving complimentary copies of the newsletter. In the last issue I received, I noticed an ad for MEB, who works exclusively with prisoners seeking publication [the publisher retired].
that point, I had decided to go the traditional publishing route, so I passed
along the information to another aspiring writer. MEB sent him a brochure. He
asked me to read it and asked that I give him my opinion. I was sold when I
read about MEB’s optical character reader and computer program for scanning
manuscripts, and then being able to digitally alter the text. I immediately
added their contact information to the system provided for e-mailing and
recording addresses (TRULINCS & http://www.corrlinks.com). Thus, began the
correspondence that lead to MEB helping me publish my first novel.
On January 14, 2013,
CreateSpace.com released UNDER PRESSURE for sale to the public as a print-on-demand
book. [Note: Amazon closed CreateSpace,
which was a self-publishing division for paperback books. Now authors must use Kindle
Direct Publishing and pay Amazon twice the amount of commission for books sales.]
following day Amazon.com posted UNDER PRESSURE. Now it is available worldwide
upon demand through the following sources:
[Link removed due to agreement with Amazon KDP Select program]
[10/26/2020: Removed several links where sold. eBook sold on Amazon contains all links in updated version, August 14, 2019, NOT original version]
[THE POINT IS] If the product in your hands (or before your eyes) came from inside a federal prison, with the assistance of MEB, imagine what you can do “out there” with all of the available technology.
Maybe one day I will find out. For you, though, if you are an aspiring writer or just a reader with ambitions, apply yourself to the task and reach for your dreams: they may be closer than you imagine.
T. Dowdy aka, “Mr. D.”
I welcome all comments and will respond to all questions as soon as possible, which may vary according to the number received, but I will respond.
Military Police ﬁnds Roger Johnson slumped over the
steering wheel of his Mercedes Benz, a bullet hole in his head. State Senator
Leroy Johnson wants swift justice for the murder of his son. The military turns
the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent Ward
promises Senator Johnson he will ﬁnd the murderer.
Big Bobby Sanders drank too much the night of the murder.
Lost in a blackout when the murder occurs and unable to prove his alibi, DNA
evidence put him in jail for killing his friend. An exotic dancer knows the truth. She gets
forced out of town after telling her story to attorney Zachariah Zambroski.
Under pressure by Agent Ward to
close the case, Zambroski convinces Sanders to plead guilty to avoid the death
penalty. In prison he befriends a man who ultimately introduces him to the
lovely Nicole Anderson, a former dancer who ﬁghts to free him.
“UNKNOWN INNOCENCE is a riveting tale that transcends genres. It’s a mystery and a thriller, with a love story woven through its fabric.” Introduction to UNKNOWN INNOCENCE by Jeffrey P. Frye, author of “ONE CRAZY DAY,” Murder Slim Press (www.murderslimpress.com).
Guns, Drugs and Thugs: Drug Store Spree by Wayne T. Dowdy
When I pulled in front of his rundown, Georgian Revival style house, with a hipped roof, panel door, and yellow gutters, I noticed curtains and drapes covering all windows. That made me feel uneasy, so I popped the hood and then got out to tinker with the breather for a moment, slammed the hood and walked to the trunk. That is where I kept lots of money and drugs that other dope fiends and thugs drooled at when seeing. Many of whom I knew would take it from me if given the opportunity. I stashed more money inside a secret hiding spot I made. Then I walked around the car, stopping to tap on each tire so I appeared to be checking their inflation. I hid the trunk key inside the fender well, on top of the rear tire, away from view of those inside. Then I eased toward the front door of the house. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd played on a sound system. I knocked. Leonard opened the door ….
Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy
Essays and More Straight from the Pen shows the power of
change, gives hope to readers wanting a different life.
The well-written essays take readers deep inside the life of
the author who overcame circumstances and obstacles that kept him chained to a
life of drugs and crime.
The stories inspire and motivate people to not give up or
lose hope, and to fight for a new life.
Purchase these books today. You won’t be disappointed.
Provide Treatment for Addiction Problems to Reduce Recidivism
In December 2002, a study author stated that eighty-five percent of prisoners had addiction problems, and of those, half had an underlying mental condition (42.5%). To me, that study shows a critical need for providing resources to help treat addiction problems, if we plan to reduce recidivism.
Thirty Percent of Men and Women with Addiction Problems Have Underlying Mental Health Conditions.
Combine Treatment for Both Issues to Change Lives.
I am one who falls within the study findings and attest to the accuracy of the study finding; however, I don’t live that way anymore. The August 2008 publication from Readers Write in The Sun magazine, helps explain why that remains true: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/392/up-all-night
(For more on the study and its findings, read “No Sympathy” on this site)
Note: I am now free and living my life as a productive member of society and reside in metro Atlanta, Georgia.
The Sun magazine Readers Write topic: Up All Night
I have spent many nights wide awake on methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy. In the late seventies, I used to go on PCP benders and lose days of my life to blackouts. As a result, I cannot honestly say what I have or have not done.
I am currently serving a thirty-five-year federal sentence for armed bank robbery and associated charges. For the first seven years of my sentence, I did cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or some combination of the above as often as I could. When the guards came around to count us after lights out, I’d fake being asleep to avoid getting a urinalysis the next day. In the morning I’d begin the search for another fix.
Then I began seeing a prison psychologist. I wanted to stop shooting
drugs, but I had failed at it so many times that I didn’t have much
hope. The psychologist arranged sessions with a drug-treatment
specialist. After about a month, she decided that the core of my
addiction was shame, and she gave me a homework assignment: to write
about the most shameful event in my life.
I decided to give her more than she had bargained for. I wrote from 5:30 P.M. until 5:30 A.M.,
committing to paper all the sick secrets that I had vowed to take with
me to my grave. I filled sixteen yellow, legal-size pages.
The following day the drug counselor read what I’d written and
predicted that I would never use again. For thirteen years her
prediction has held true. But I keep in mind that my reprieve from my
addiction is contingent on my spiritual condition from day to day. To
stay healthy I have to attend twelve-step meetings and continue to write
about what’s going on in my life. Staying up all night writing, instead
of doing drugs, has helped me to reach beyond the walls and razor wire
and into the lives of others.
Google Search Result Deemed Delay in Posting Blog and Justified Revision
Before I posted this blog, I checked to see where the photo image might show up, since I had used it a few years ago in a profile, and on the waynedowdy.weebly.com website, as well as on Facebook.
I never knew me and Bond, James Bond, looked similar, but Google Search apparently thinks we do. 🙂 You Go, Google!
Ironically, during the period of this photo, I thought of becoming a model and went to an interveiw with the PIZZAZZ Modelling Agency, who was advertising its search for models.
The agent gave me a contract to review, sign, and return with my portfolio. I chose to do cocaine instead of signing the contract to pursue a career in acting, modelling for catalogs, and commercials, by rationalizing that, “They just want to get in my pants, anyway.” Sick!
Who’s that dude wearing my three-piece suit? He looks like he thinks he’s on top of the world, standing up there at that podium with the pretty lady beside him, giving his speech before 500-plus at the Hilton Hotel in the Big City of Atlanta, Georgia. A Big Shot!
The World of Work program trained him and the other participants to be entrepreneurs, how to succeed in the business world, and how to perform during job interviews.
Though he was a convicted felon, he landed his first job at one of the Top 100 Atlanta companies; within two-years, he received seven promotions, and increased his salary by fifty-percent.
During that infamous speech at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, he was the last of the graduates to give a presentation.
He spoke a few moments to express gratitude for being allowed to take part in the World of Work program, then concluded by saying,
“Nine out of ten released prisoners go back to prison.”
The audience stilled. His words captured their attention.
He paused and then said, “I am the one who won’t!”
The audience erupted with cheers and a standing ovation. Pride engulfed his demeanor and spirit, as he returned to his seat on the stage for the closing of the graduation ceremony.
He lied! Not knowingly at the time he made the statement, but he did because he became one of the nine instead of the one to not become a recidivist.
Recidivism: a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; repeated relapse into criminal or delinquent habits. Recidivism: a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; repeated relapse into criminal or delinquent habits.
Congressperson Trey Gowdy Chaired the Oversight Committee on the Bureau of Prisons, December 13, 2017.
The then B.O.P. Director, Mark S. Inch, had made changes to the program for operation of the Residential Reentry Centers. His changes resulted in me receiving 119-days in an RRC, instead of the 364-days recommended by my Unit Team because I had been in prison for three decades and needed the additional time to readjust to society.
I fought for change and after Mark Inch resigned, as I wrote about in War and Reentry, my Unit Team resubmitted me for more halfway house placement time because I won an issue on the miscalculation of Good Conduct Time that reduced my outdate.
My situation showed the RRC decision made by Mark Inch conflicted with Congressional directives and would put society in harm’s way, contrary to the purpose and intent of the Second Chance Act of 2007.
I did not hesitate to seek administrative redress and to write letters to Director Inch and Congressperson, Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
The following are copies of the imperfect letters I sent, with all of the supporting documents I sent along with each of the two letters. I am presenting them to show that it helps to voice opinions and to stand up for what we believe.
I believed Mark Inch’s change in policy screwed me and thousands of other prisoners. I fought for those who could not, would not, or did not, fight for themselves. I was near the door either way but I saw the devastating effect of the new RRC policy and it really pissed me off; especially, after I received 119-days in an RRC that made me think of telling them to keep.
[I struggled with getting the letters converted into a format to use for posting in this blog. The content remained the same. Maybe their content will help energize the fight for Criminal Justice and Prison Reform.]
[Note: Letters replaced with better image: Other Documents Will Be Added.]
Save Millions: Letter to Former B.O.P. Director
The following is a scrap copy of a letter I referred to above in the March 5, 2018, letter to former B.O.P. Director, Mark S. Inch, where I showed how to save millions of dollars each year. I included a copy of both letters with the letter mailed to Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) .
Politics: Letter to Representative Doug Collins (R-GA)
The First Step Act: Before Passed Into Law
The following letter I sent by certified mail to the Honorable Doug Collins (R-GA), and to the Honorable Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), whom I do appreciate and respect for submitting the First Step Act. Though, neither of whom showed the courtesy of a reply or acknowledgment of receipt, due, in part, I suspect as due to a concern about what their peers may think of their communication with a convicted felon.
Proof of Mailing
Please forgive my frankness, which does not apply to all politicians, because some are courageous men and women, but in my opinion, most politicians lack in courage and are political whores, who dance to the tune of their parties, rather than to stand up as men and women for the issues that got them voted into office.
I walk around the city and find homeless people sleeping on the streets of Atlanta on a daily basis, amongst the many multimillion-dollar buildings and structures. Too bad, we, as people, cannot provide resources to allow fellow humans to live with dignity and respect.
A couple months ago, while riding a bus into the city, I saw people sleeping in tents under bridges when temperatures were below freezing.
My heart went out to them as I prayed for their comfort and safety.
I sympathize with the less fortunate because that could be me, and in some sense, is, as I do not own a home or have a legal residence. If not for those who love me and have helped me to have a place to sleep and eat, I could be in the same position as the people in the photo.
Another person was sleeping beside the cardboard box shown in the photo.
I would like to think I could be as humble as the men and women I pass sleeping on the streets and under bridges. It’s either be humble, find a solution to my problem, if possible, and then do what I feel I must.
Hopefully, I’d make decisions that did not harm or cause others pain and grief; decisions to show others there is a solution, regardless of how devastating the problem may appear.
In prison, I refused to give up my hope for better days. That hope kept me alive and helped me live to fight another day.
I love women! Women Rule the World and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. This re-post pays respect to all of the women today and from the past, who shaped the world and gave us Life as we know it.
The facts have changed as I am now a free man, no longer under control of those in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, but I remain grateful for participating in the event that honored Women’s History Month.
WOMEN RULE THE WORLD
I live in an abnormal environment dominated by women–a men’s federal prison. On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, I am a scheduled speaker at an event to honor Women’s History Month in America. I feel inclined to do a powerful presentation.
Talk about performance anxiety!
I speak often from the podium and have no fear of public speaking. I will speak from the heart to honor powerful women in history, not just in America.
Most department heads at this institution are African-American women, including the one who rules her domain with whips and chains at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina, the Warden, as well as, one of her two Assistant Wardens. Here is what I have written for the Products of a Woman presentation:
I am Wayne T. Dowdy, a son, father, grandfather, brother, and an uncle, all the products of a woman, my Mother.
The strength I saw in her and many other women has convinced me that the biggest deception in life began when an intelligent woman convinced man that he was the strongest.
Yeah, right! She says, go fight that bear to protect me, honey. Bring me his meat and we will eat. The man risks his life to please and feed her.
Now I’ll touch on history. In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its beginning back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911.
In 1978, the school district of Sonoma, California participated in Women’s History Week. Different events followed that led to President Jimmy Carter declaring March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week, which began a series of Presidential Proclamations of Women’s History Week, up until 1986.
During this trend, Congress got on the bandwagon and passed resolutions for Women’s History Week.
Beginning in 1988, each subsequent president issued Presidential Proclamations of Women’s History Month that continues to this day. These women are a fraction of notable women in history:
Cleopatra (69 BCE – 30 BCE), the woman who ruled Egypt. Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431), a 17-year old woman who inspired a French revolt against the English occupation, and then led the French to victory at Orleans.
Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883), an African-American, female abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner, whose famous speech against racial inequality, as a woman, I will share upon conclusion.
Susan B. Antony (1820 – 1906), campaigned against slavery and promoted rights for women and workers. Her contribution earned her a mark on a U.S. coin.
Emily Murphy (1868 – 1933), the first woman magistrate in the British Empire. In 1927, she joined forces with four Canadian women who sought to challenge an old Canadian law that said, “[W]omen should not be counted as persons.”
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005), she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, an action that indirectly led to the most significant civil rights legislation in American history.
Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984), first female Prime Minister of India. She was assassinated.
Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013), the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Condolesa Rice, Secretary of State under President George Bush, Jr.
Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney General under President Barrack Obama.
A true cliche in my opinion, is that, “Behind every good man is a good woman.”
These women are a few examples who were behind the powerful men who ran the United States of America. Each of these ladies achieved far more, and were of greater significance than what I list. I am only using them to show how their influence and support helped to guide these Presidents:
Nancy Reagan (07/06/1921-03/06/2016), First Lady of President Ronald Reagan
Hilary Clinton (10/26/1947-), First Lady of President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State under President Obama, 2016 Presidential Candidate
Michelle Obama (01/17/1964-), First Lady of President Barrack Obama, and of African-American decent
I offer those listed above as examples of thousands of powerful women throughout history who influenced the shaping and transformation of the world as we know it today.
Women are survivors!
The birth process is evidence of a woman’s strength. Most men would not dare to suffer so much pain to give life, if given the option. No, he is too weak for that kind of pain.
Our species would not have survived if man carried the burden of birth. He may go fight a bear to please her and to feed their children, but he dare not to endure such pain for nine months.
Additional evidence lies in the fact that in long-term marriages, if the woman dies first, the man is soon to follow. If the man dies first, the woman keeps on going to nurture her offspring for generations.
My mother outlived and buried three husbands.
Women are fighters, fighting for life, for love, for equality. Ask Beyonce’ Knowles, she tells the truth when she says, “Women Rule the World.”
To celebrate their legacy, a week was not enough, nor is a month, so the fight continues.
Women’s History Month allows us to focus on the value of women and reunites the flame to fight for equality in the workplace and in all other aspects of life, because without the woman, there would be no life.
Yes, maybe most men are physically stronger than most women are; however, the facts show women rule the world. Evidence also suggests that she is more intelligent. If she wasn’t, she’d be the one to go fight the bear to feed her family while the man stayed at home with their children.
Now for, “AIN’T I A WOMAN?” by Sojourner Truth, delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio:
“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women of the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most of them sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, ‘intellect’] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”
The fight continues until the day all women are treated equal. Let us remember each day to celebrate Women’s History, not just during the Month of March. Thank you!
_______________________________________ Wayne T. Dowdy writes at Straight From the Pen. Purchase his paperbacks from your favorite bookstores and eStores, including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
On December 23, 2015, I blogged about a “Plot to Stop Santa.” My publisher found a photo to post of Santa and a Militarized-Sled Santa used to fight terrorists who stood in his way. Well, now there may be other reasons to deter Jolly Ole Saint Nick from doing what he does best: deliver gifts on Christmas morning.
Santa Clause may skip over a lot of homes and businesses this year, due to fear of being dragged into a sex scandal that would prevent him from being able to deliver all the gifts to all the boys and girls who have behaved. Who knows what someone may do who has drank a little too much Egg Nog. Alcohol does impair memory and behaviors.
Maybe he won’t pass over this prison, even though there are lots of perverts and thugs who would take all the gifts and his “goodies.”
In recent weeks, the news has been inundated with sexual misconduct claims against politicians, movie stars, television personalities and others in the entertainment industry; all complaints filed were by women against men in powerful positions.
I wonder at what point will a sexual advance on a date become grounds for a sexual misconduct claim? Maybe some of the events in the news are just that. Will men stop making sexual advances because of paranoia about being sued by a would-be-potential mate? Maybe to a certain degree in America but highly-unlikely in more liberal nations.
I understand how wrong it is and know how angry I’d be if some pervert gave my daughter, granddaughters, sisters or other family members, a date rape drug and took advantage of them.
Do not misunderstand what I write in the following paragraphs. I do not condone and do not attempt to justify anyone, regardless of gender or any other factor, who sexually abuses someone. My true feelings for women is in “Women Rule the World” (03/27/17).
MEN GET ABUSED TOO: How long will it be before men began initiating sexual misconduct claims? No doubt, men too, have performed sexual acts and done personal favors to climb the corporate ladder, or to otherwise enhance their chance of success in the business world or entertainment industry.
Men also get sexually and physically abused by women. But if a man complained about a woman who sexually abused him, some may ask, “Why are you complaining? Be happy.” 🙂
With my release date approaching, and in considering my knowledge of vulnerability after serving thirty-years in prison, I must take extreme precautions to guard against any claim of sexual improprieties by an evil woman who lures me into her web so she can take advantage of me.
SEXUAL RESTRAINTS: No, not that kind of kinky stuff. I’ve been restrained too long with cuffs, chains, bars, walls and fences, to volunteer to let someone tie me up and pull out the whips and chains or to bound and gag me. Not my cup of tea!
The good thing about my extended stay in the federal prison system, is that I have gotten plenty of practice at restraining myself from making sexual advances toward women I find sexually attractive. I won’t even flirt, which is far different than the way I would have been many moons ago. I am damaged now!
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE: I write from the perspective of a heterosexual male but the principles apply to anyone, regardless of sexual preference, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
ENTERTAINMENT & CONSENT: Perhaps I will create a CONSENT AGREEMENT to cover all legal issues for any woman who wishes for me to entertain her wildest dreams (sounds good). I’d email a Consent Agreement to an interested woman and require her to fill in all blanks and agree not to bring suit against me for any action one may interpret as a sexual advance, within reasonable boundaries, such as placing an arm around her waist, over her shoulder, or on her leg if out on a date.
Casual touching or groping the erroneous zones requires special written permission, even if on a date or within the confines of one’s residence. Upon completion, she’d have to click to return the email to me before we engage in a relationship.
DISCLAIMER: For safety precautions, I’ll include a disclaimer should I fail to live up to her expectations or to give her more than she wanted.
Because a woman’s age is not obvious (some look years younger, others years older), the production of identification is required before we engage in romance.
PERSONALLY: I’ve given thought to the issues now facing males in an insane and monetary-driven world. I feel certain that most women are saying what they believe to be true in relation to their sexual misconduct claims. Personally, though, I suspect many claims are false and are driven by a desire to be paid, a new form of Gold Digging. It happens!
When I worked in the Personnel department at an Atlanta company, an attractive, African-American female, who had relocated to Atlanta, asked me to take her to lunch. I did.
After we ate lunch, she wanted to go to her apartment to pick up something before we returned to work. She invited me in to smoke a joint while there. I succumbed to her desires. She showed me the only furniture in the apartment: her bed, a lone mattress.
Nothing sexual transpired between us. I did not proposition her or make a sexual advance; however, if she had not indicated that she wanted me to furnish her apartment, it’s possible we would have had sex at a later date, but that wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t into paying for sex.
A few weeks later, she was terminated for unexcused absences and for repeatedly being late for work. In an attempt to get her job back, she contacted the personnel manager and threatened to file a sexual harassment claim. She claimed we had sex in her apartment.
Did her memory reconstruct the event and twist the facts to best serve her purpose or did mine fail to accurately recall what transpired between us?
I signed a sworn affidavit that we did not have sex and that I never propositioned her to have sex. In the affidavit, I agreed to take a polygraph test (lie detector test) to attest to the same.
SELECTIVE BUT NOT-SO-RELIABLE MEMORY RECALL: According to the field of Psychology, we use memory to guide us in our decision making process and thus use the past as a guide into the future.
The memory stored in our minds is not always an accurate portrayal of events, because, as humans, we “reconstruct” events to make sense of our experiences.
The fallible memory process lead to false convictions that caused numerous men to be sentenced to death. If not for the advent of DNA that allowed the defendants to prove their innocence, the witness’ unreliable memory would have put the defendants six feet under or led to cremation of their bodies.
MEMORY IS NOT A CAMERA: Some people may think of memory like a movie camera or tape recorder, recording vivid details of their lives. That is not an accurate assumption: Memory is more akin to a series of snap shots from a group of unconnected frames that the human brain lays out to reconstruct in order to “figure out” what the missing parts of the scenes were like.
British Psychologist, Sir Fredric Bartlett (1932), was one of the first scientist to conclude that memory is in large part, a “reconstructive process.” We often take complex information and modify it in ways to make sense out of what we know or think we know.
Since Sir Bartlett’s conclusion, hundreds of studies have confirmed that we do that with our conversations and personal experiences. Is the reconstructive process behind the delayed claims of sexual improprieties? Possible.
Maybe that is why humans argue? Everyone believes their reconstructed memory is correct.
The fallible memory process applies to the accused as well as to the accusers; both may be right or wrong or only remember parts of what is true.
FLASHBULB MEMORIES: When memories fall under the spell of emotional events, Roger Brown and James Kulik labeled such memories as “flashbulb memories”; the term captures what appears to be photographic detail, surprise, and illumination associated with the recollection of the event.
The mind also alters those types of memories, and with the passage of time, are also subject to error.
CONFABULATION: Another unusual aspect of the reconstructive memory process is a subject’s ability to confuse an event that happened to someone else as “their” experience. In other words, the person believes something that happened to someone else happened to them, when it did not. Facts become mixed with fiction.
SEX & HOLLYWOOD: In the entertainment industry, sexual misconduct has always been a part of it, if Harold Robbins used the truth to form the basis behind what he wrote about the industry in THE LONELY LADY, a book I read in the early eighties.
I am convinced that numerous producers, agents, and major players in the movie industry, including other stars with sexual desires, used the offer of screen roles and movie contracts as a “dangling carrot” to entice victims into performing sexual acts to win the prize. However, I am not convinced that everyone accused of sexual misconduct is guilty.
In 1986, I chose not to sign a modeling contract with the PIZZAZZ Modeling Agency in Atlanta, Georgia, because of my belief about sexual exploitation in the industry, which I based strictly on my belief, nothing more. During the interview, I was not propositioned or given any reason to believe sex had anything to do with me being given a contract to review, sign and then return to the agency with my portfolio.
TIME CHANGES THINGS: Over the last several decades, society has changed considerably, a very different society than the one I left in 1988. Some of the events that fueled many changes over the years are terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and changes in the legal climate, which includes what constituted rape and sexual abuse of children.
In the fifties, it was not viewed inappropriate for a twenty or twenty-five year old man to marry a fourteen or fifteen-year old girl: Society evolved and determined it inappropriate, based, in part, on the fact that the mind of a young girl has not developed as fast as the rest of her body.
Even in the sixties, some rapists were not found guilty because of the way a woman dressed. If the woman dressed seductively, a jury or court often failed to find the man guilty if he claimed the sex was consensual, and because she “enticed” him into having sex by the way she dressed.
Absurd, yes, but true, even though I am writing from memory and do not provide specific case citations to support my position.
It is equally as hard for me to understand some idiot spilling coffee on himself and then winning a law suit against a McDonalds’ restaurant because he did what he did; supposedly, the courts awarded the man a million dollars. I do not know for sure, since I am relying on what I’ve heard others report, which is not the best source of information, nor is the fallible memory process.
Hopefully, Santa will still crank up his old sled to spread joy throughout the world, and not worry about any of the events plaguing the nation or false claims that may be made against him along his journey. For me, this Christmas will be my last behind bars so life is good.
In 2018, maybe Santa will bring me someone special to have fun with and enjoy life. Then again, solitude may be safer. 🙂
Purchase the most recent writings by Wayne T. Dowdy online at your favorite eStore. eBooks available at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords.com and many others. UNKNOWN INNOCENCE and ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN are must reads for those who want to see life on the inside, as well as inspirational stories of recovery. Check out his Smashwords Authors page at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy.
TO THE MOTHERS OF THE WORLD: Two years ago on May 8, 2015, I sent out a message to have posted on FaceBook. My publisher read and liked it so much that she decided to post it as a blog for me. This is what I wrote:
“Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there who gave your blood and suffered unbearable amounts of pain to give life to the children you brought forth into this thing we call life. Not to mention all you gave of yourself to raise your children the best way you could by giving them what you had been given. May those close to you show the same amount of love on your special day.”
To all you Mother’s out there who do or do not follow my blogs, I resubmit to you the same feelings wrapped in words. Each of you deserve praise for the sacrifices you make for your offspring and loved ones. I decided to repost it when a friend of mine let me know he planned to plagiarize it last week, after having read a collection of my blogs.
In “Women Rule the World” (March 27, 2017), I used a bear to illustrate that women are the stronger and more intelligent of the human species. We owe our lives to our mothers, whether she was the best or the worst, she chose not to “abort” the mission of bringing us into this world. For those who did not read it, I will share a version of my favorite parts that caused the audience to erupt into laughter when I presented it at a special to celebrate Women’s History Month.
“I am Wayne T. Dowdy, a son, father, grandfather, brother, and an uncle, all the products of a woman, my Mother.
“The strength I saw in her and many other women has convinced me that the biggest deception in life began when an intelligent woman convinced man that he was the strongest.
“Yeah, right! She says, go fight that bear to protect me, honey. Bring me his meat and we will eat. The man risks his life to please and feed her. …..
[Men do insane things to please women, some rob banks, write bad checks or worse to win them over.]
“The birth process is evidence of a woman’s strength. Most men would not dare to suffer so much pain to give life, if given the option. No, he is too weak for that kind of pain.
“Our species would not have survived if man carried the burden of birth. He may go fight a bear to please her and to feed their children, but he dare not to endure such pain for nine months.
[Of course, there are those “males” who would love to get pregnant and become rich, but most men I know would mandate prophylactics (rubbers), not because of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, but because of the risk of pregnancy.]
“Additional evidence lies in the fact that in long-term marriages, if the woman dies first, the man is soon to follow. If the man dies first, the woman keeps on going to nurture her offspring for generations.
“My mother outlived and buried three husbands. …..
“Yes, maybe most men are physically stronger than most women are; however, the facts show women rule the world. Evidence also suggests that she is more intelligent. If she wasn’t, she’d be the one to go fight that darn bear to feed her family while the man stayed home with their children.”
It made me happy to be able to help others have a pleasant day. A Psychologist who was present thanked me as I was leaving. She said, “You had us laughing so hard we had to hold our sides.” 🙂
MOTHERS & GOD GIVE LIFE: Both parents may have enjoyed the process of putting us children into our mother’s belly, but it was she who suffered the pain of childbirth that allowed us to grow into the person we became in life. The formation of our life was under her and God’s control.
HIT & RUN: Some fathers hit and run and left the mothers to bear the pain all alone. Single parent mothers made even more personal sacrifices to get us the life we now have.
If you know any single parents (male or female), who has children at home, give them a hug and offer to help care for their children long enough for them to go out and get some time alone or time with friends. Everyone needs a break, sometimes!
REMEMBERING REBELS: Confederate Memorial Day is April 25, 1866, that is, depending on who you chose to believe. Various dates and places exists as to where Memorial Day originated. The same is true about which group of people began the day of remembrance for the soldiers who died during America’s most gruesome war. Civil War history is convoluted.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy kept memories alive of the Civil War, by raising funds to have monuments constructed to honor soldiers who died during a period of American history that America’s government wishes to forget.
No government likes rebels. Those darn rebels had the nerve to create their own government, and even worse, to make their own money. How dare those darn Rebels! Disgusting Rebels!
ERASING HISTORY: In New Orleans, Louisiana, local government is in the process of trying to remove memories of the Civil War by removing various Civil War monuments.
On April 24, 2017, “Workers dismantled an obelisk, which was erected in 1891 to honor members of the Crescent City White League who in 1874 fought in the Reconstruction-era Battle of Liberty Place against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.” The New York Times, “New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments, Under Police Guard” by Christopher Mele (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/us/new-orleans-confederate-statute.html?_r=0).
Plans exist to remove other statutes/monuments. The list includes a bronze statute of General Robert E. Lee, an equestrian statute of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate General, and a statute of Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the Confederacy. Even the monument of President Andrew Jackson is at risk.
Removing the obelisk is more understandable than removing the other monuments; especially, statutes of real men whose family linage and heritage is rooted; e.g., Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, and President Andrew Jackson.
More of those darn rebels protested when workers and officials attempted the removal of Jefferson Davis’ monument on May 1, 2017. Five people were arrested; the removal process put on hold.
MEMORIAL DAY: The celebrated federal Memorial Day is the last Monday of each May. Supposedly, Memorial Day got its start when a group of women put flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. Regardless of whether they fought for the North or the South, those Civil War soldiers gave their lives fighting for their country, as has all other soldiers before and after the Civil War.
It is a disgrace for those in power to attempt to eradicate a part of history.
IMPORTANT DATES: A misconception pumped into today’s society is that the primary “cause” of the American Civil War was to free the slaves. Don’t mistake what I write. I do not like what happened in America during the days of slavery. No human being deserved to be mistreated the way some slaves were, not even terrorists.
I write that to stress my point: I do not like Terrorist cowards or predators who kill or injure innocent people because of their ideological belief. Terrorist deserve to experience extreme amounts of pain for repayment of their acts. But to treat them the way they deserve to be treated, would make us no better than them. In my opinion, it would be more humane to execute them rather than torture them to death, as they deserve.
PROOF OF HISTORICAL DECEPTION: “On July 20, 1862, John Hay, Lincoln’s private secretary, predicted in a letter that the president ‘will not conserve slavery much longer.’ Two days later, Lincoln, wearing his familiar dark frock coat and speaking in measured tones, convened his cabinet in his cramped White House office, upstairs in the East Wing. He had said, ‘dwelt much and long on the subject’ of slavery. Lincoln then read aloud a 325-word first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, intended to free slaves in Confederate areas not under United States authority.” Louis P. Masur, “Forever Free.”
After writing the draft, President Lincoln was faced with another problem: “One of the weightiest questions was whether significant numbers of Union soldiers would refuse to fight in a war whose purpose was not only to preserve the Union but also to end slavery. ‘How Will the Army Like the Proclamation?’ trumpeted a headline in the New York Tribune.'” Smithsonian magazine, January 2013, “Forever Free” by Louis P. Masur.
If the Civil War was about freeing the slaves, President Lincoln would not have had that concern and the article would not have appeared in the New York Tribune.
Lincoln later “[o]pened the ranks of the Army to blacks, who until then had served only in the Navy.” He had to do that to get slaves to help the Union fight the Confederate rebels who were kicking their ass on the battle field.
Lincoln did not write the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation until 464-days after the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. That proves that the American Civil War was not fought to free the slaves. At least, it did not begin with freeing the slaves on the agenda, only later was it added.
Slave labor allowed the Southern plantation owners to undercut the Northerners in the Cotton market, the same argument presented today by politicians about the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. using inmate labor to produce goods and services, which raises a question of whether the practice violates the Federal Fair Trade and Practice Act (?). (I will write a blog to cover that issue in the future.)
The Emancipation Proclamation was not signed until January 1, 1863; 165-days after Lincoln wrote the draft on July 20, 1862, which gave freedom to slaves across America, including those in the North. In other words, wealthy Northerners still had slaves when the war began in the South.
The most liked blog of mine is “Southern Pride-Waving a Confederate Flag” (July 6, 2015). As stated, “If the Civil War was fought over slavery, wouldn’t President Lincoln have signed the Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves before the war began on April 12, 1861, instead of on January 1, 1863? Weren’t the slaves used by the president to fight off Confederate forces who had proved to be a more formidable force than expected by slaughtering his troops in numerous battles? Yes, is the most logical answer based upon the facts and history of the rich using the poor to fight their battles.”
What would the Mothers of Civil War soldiers think if they could see what is going on today about the war that claimed the lives of their sons? We should, as a society, honor those who gave their lives to defend our country, even if their lives were lost fighting a war within the United States of America.
Feel free to share this post. For more on the Civil War, and excerpts from THE LAST CONFEDERATE COIN by S.G. Garwood and Dr. Jonathan Jackson, visit thelastcharlestonconfederate.weebly.com.
Wayne T. Dowdy writes at StraightFromthePen.com. Post comments on this site or email them to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
[2020 Update: The author no longer worries about the censorship he dealt with when his former publisher posted this blog. He now enjoys freedom and exercises his freedom of speech.]
[The author uses his pseudonym due to institutional concerns when his publisher emails blogs into American prisons: one prison blocked their emails after sending “Zachariah Zambroski, Attorney at Law.”]
PANIC IN THE NORTH POLE: Santa’s elves discovered a package that ticked and then called in the bomb squad. False alarm. After detonating the suspicious package, the bomb squad determined the ticking package had been a miniature version of a grandfather clock. Clocks will be clocks. Real clocks tick.
PLOTS OF TERRORISTS: The feds uncovered a terrorist plot to blast Santa out of the sky. An early morning raid by the FBI netted six terrorists, five pipe bombs, four AK-47s, three pistols, two Rocket Propelled Grenades with launchers, and one computer. A search of the hard drive on the computer revealed other terroristic plots against Santa.
Santa security personnel installed anti-missile devices and .50 caliber machine guns on the sled to give Santa a fighting chance. Santa says, “I’ll blast them to pieces before they get me.”
NO SANTA FOR PRISONERS: Santa’s not coming to see federal prisoners this year. The feds deemed Santa’s modified sled and his reindeer’s antlers a threat to institutional security and barred him from landing on prison property to deliver gifts to prisoners who have not been naughty. If he lands on federal property, he’ll be prosecuted on weapons charges and for the introduction of contraband behind the guard line.
Prisoners gathered on the yard to protest after the Warden announced the news. Guards in riot gear fired tear gas to disperse the prisoners. No reports of injuries. Prison authorities placed the prison on lockdown status and will feed the prisoners bologna sandwiches and Kool-Aid for Christmas.
CONCLUSION: The plot to stop Santa only stopped him from delivering gifts to prison, and that’s how the story ends, but at least the fortunate children will see him and get their gifts.
Terrorists will reap eternal suffering for their dirty deeds.
It turned out for the best anyway. Investigators later learned about a plot by Mean Mugger Mack and Hack’em & Sack’em Sam, who planned to rob Santa of all the gifts when he touched down, so it’s all good. The terrorists plot to stop Santa saved him in the end. As for the prisoners, prisoners are survivors and will go about their daily activities like it is just another day in the pen, hoping for the day of their freedom. May God bless them all with peace, regardless of the name used by those who pray to summon that power greater than themselves.
_______________________________ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who celebrate! I hope everyone gets blessed with the desires of their heart and that 2016 will be the best year ever experienced. Watch for my next blog on Presidential Commutation of Sentences.
[Updated February 21, 2021, with links to completed book available on Amazon]
Here is the conclusion of your peek into UNKNOWN INNOCENCE, which I included in UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D, copyright 2013 by Wayne T. Dowdy. I hope you enjoyed the first part of Sheila.
He looked toward his boxer shorts. “Sorry, I must have drank a little too much.” He got out of bed and headed for the end table. “I don’t know where I am, how I got here, or much of anything, other than my name. My head hurts. Got any Ibuprofen or aspirin?”
“Yes, I have both,” she said as she slid off the satin sheets. “I can’t believe you don’t remember anything. Last night you wanted to marry me, and now you don’t even know who I am or where we met.”
“Sorry.” He hopped and stumble a few steps while putting on his boxers. “I wish I remembered. From looking at you and your beautiful body, I had to have had fun.”
“We had lots of fun!”
“Damn, I have not remembering. Please fill me in on what a lovely time I missed with you, Sheila. Start from the top, if you don’t mind.”
She looked over her shoulder and smiled as she put on her lime-green thong. “One moment and I’ll tell you all about it.”
“That’ll be great. Got any coffee?”
“Couldn’t live without it.” She strutted through the door wearing nothing but a thong. “I’ll be right back with us a cup and your Ibuprofen. How you like it?”
“Straight and black, no cut.”
“It’s a special blend a friend of mine from Colombia sends me every year for Christmas. That all right?” Her voice echoed from the kitchen.
“Is it a real special blend, like laced with Peruvian flake?”
“Not quite. You into that stuff, much?”
“Can’t say I am. I did some in college at a few parties but never liked the way it made me feel, nervous, jittery. Always felt depressed after doing it. It affects different people different ways, I imagine. Just not my thing.”
“Mine neither. A lot of the other girls live off of it, spend all their money on it and then some, but not me. I only work there to pay the bills, not for the lifestyle.”
He walked into the kitchen and put his arms around her waist as she stood at the counter making the coffee. “Work where?”
“Oh, I forgot. You don’t remember. The Star Shadow Gentlemen’s Club. Your buddy in the Mercedes dropped you off there. You said you had been at some other club with him before coming there. I knew you were drunker than hell when you got out of his car.”
He let go of her waist and rubbed the stubble on his block-jaw-chin. “Well, … I. I don’t know what to say. I can’t remember much more than going into the Lonely Rooster Lounge with Roger and drinking a few beers.”
“From the looks of you when I saw you get out of his car, you’d had quite a few,” she said, putting emphasis on the last three words. “Here.” She handed him a porcelain cup filled to the brim. “Careful, it’s hot.”
“I had finished my last dance of the evening and went outside to smoke a cigarette before figuring out my earnings. That’s when I saw the Mercedes pull into the parking lot. I had seen it a few days earlier and knew it belonged to Leroy Johnson’s son. He, the son, used to go there all the time until he got into it with the bouncer for grabbing one of the girls by the tits.”
“Now you’re joking, right?”
“I’m as serious as pollution to the planet.”
“An environmentalist, huh?”
“Kind of. Anyway, you came up and flirted with me some.” She sat down her cup and then reached into a cabinet. “I thought you may be a keeper, so I led you inside.”
“For real,” he said, kissed her on top of her head.
“You know it. Anyway, we sat at the bar in the back of the lounge. You had a couple more beers as I counted my money.” She handed him a bottle of Ibuprofen.
“What happened after that?”
“Not much. We sat around for maybe a half hour and then we went to the car. Oh yeah, you in a CRX,” she said, then giggled. “I played hell getting your big ole self inside the cracker box.”
“Hmm. I imagine you did.” He sipped his coffee.
“When I carry you home we’re going in my Escalade.”
“You kicking me out so soon?” He sat down his cup before pulling her close to him. “Was I that bad in bed?”
Light danced on her pupils. “Depends on what you call bad. Bad as better than good, or bad as not good?”
“Bad as not good.” He smiled as he stared into her amber eyes. He said to himself, no woman has ever said I was bad in bed or didn’t please them.
“Hell, no, you weren’t that kind of bad. You were great! You reached parts of me I didn’t know existed until I felt you there.” She laughed and then smiled as she gazed at his smiling face; put her hands on her hips.
“Want to try it again?” He caressed her shoulders.
“I’d love to, honey, but I have to go pick up my son at my ex-husband’s house. I get him twice per month. I’m a divorcee, does that bother you?”
“Marco’s only five. Me and Timothy got a divorce last year, and because of my job, the court didn’t want to give me full custody.”
“Oh.” He wondered what had led to the divorce.
“He wasn’t a terrible husband, just unfaithful. He never beat me or Marco, or I’d be in jail for shooting him, so it wasn’t like that. He just couldn’t keep his pecker in his pants, like some of our Presidents.” She frowned.
“You sure are pretty. Are you Native American or part Spanish?”
“I’m mostly Cherokee, but there’s always a cracker in the wood pile,” she said, and then giggled. “I guess that’s where my eye color came from, passed on from somewhere down the line. I think my great grandfather was from somewhere across the ocean. How’s your headache?”
“Still throbbing. I’ll be okay, though. I’ve had ’em before. They usually go away by noon.”
“What type of work do you do?”
“If I tell you you’re probably going to be shocked.”
“Try me. Men have shocked me many times.”
“Well, I’m a social worker who works with disadvantaged children at the juvenile center in Charlotte.”
“You’re right, I am shocked. That’s something I’d never have thought.” She stepped back from him and looked up. “That is really good of you. What led you to doing that?”
“I had family issues and then got into trouble with the law when I was fourteen-years-old. A social worker got through to me by reaching out, and it changed my life, so I decided I wanted to do the same thing for someone else.”
“I enjoy what I do. It’s wonderful when I can see I made a difference in one of their lives, you know, watching them change, get off the streets,” he said.
She wrapped her arms around his sides. He bent down and gave her a short kiss on the lips before he continued. “Some struggle with adjusting to a new way of dealing with things the right way, without breaking the law.”
“I’m truly impressed.”
“Well, don’t make me out to be more than I am. I’m honestly not anyone special, so please don’t take this like I’m arrogant and full of myself, but I really do seem to be able to reach some of the more unruly ones that my coworkers claim no one else could get through to.” He stopped speaking for a second. A broad smile illuminated his face. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my size, who knows.”
“Could be. Maybe it’s your personality. You are certainly a likeable person,” she said, as she raised her head and pursed her lips.
She giggled when he reached down to pick her up. “You are really likeable,” he said, and then gave her a long, passionate kiss before sitting her back down.
Her cheeks glowed and her eyes sparkled. “Now, that was a kiss, honey.”
“I wish we had time for me to give you more than that,” he said. He picked up the coffee and sipped it. “I know you’ve got to hurry up and get ready to leave, though, so maybe we can try again one day.”
At first she smiled but then the smile turned to a frown. “Dog gone it, darling. I really do wish I didn’t have to leave. If it wasn’t for my son, we’d go straight to the bed.” She grabbed him by his waist again and put her head on his stomach while pulling him closer. “When do you think you’ll be free so we can get together again?”
“How about next weekend? Is that too soon?”
She let go of him and then picked up her coffee cup and took a sip. Then she paused and grinned as she watched him watch her. “How about tomorrow? My mom wants me to let Marco spend the night with her because I have to work. After I get off we can come back here to have some really good sex that you’re sure to remember, this time,” she said and then popped him on the rear.
Blood ignited the capillaries in his face before the brightness from his eyes rushed to release a short burst of laughter. Still smiling, he stopped to stare into her eyes. “I can’t get over how pretty you are, sweetheart. Damn, I hate that I can’t remember anything. What all did we do in bed, anyway?”
She sat her coffee cup on the counter. Her eyes lit the room. “Honey, you ravaged my body like it was your favorite piece of candy. You are really a kinky one under the sheets. I almost pulled my hair out, it felt so good.”
“If you thought I was good last night, just wait until tomorrow night when I know what I’m doing. I might not even drink so I can make sure I don’t forget my name.”
Both laughed. He picked her up by the elbows to kiss her. After kissing, he sat her down so they could get dressed. Fifteen minutes later she carried him home in her Escalade. “I will see you at the club, okay?” she said before he got out.
“Bet. I can’t wait.” He opened the door and climbed out.
“I can’t wait, either, you big handsome rascal.”
He stuck his head back in and gave her another long kiss. “I like you a lot, Sheila. Maybe this thing between us will turn into something, huh?”
“It’s possible. We’ll see, honey. See you tomorrow.” They kissed again and she drove away, smiling.
February 21, 2021, UPDATE: Unknown Innocence was originally published and released by Midnight Express Books in 2013. Since my release on August 28, 2018, I revised the back cover and some content. For most recent version, click here and visit my author’s page on Smashwords.com (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy) for free essays. Thank you!
What surprised me was to learn that the Stock Market is closed on Good Friday every year, since Easter is a large marketing opportunity for retailers.
Thousands of Easter Sales are going on as I type, which will now turn to After-Easter Sales to attract more customers looking to save on left-over products on the shelves. Sale prices will continue with many companies after Easter passes over.
One business I promote is Rexing that now has a sale on several great items relating to dash cams and other visual monitoring devices. Visit WonderfulThingsDone for a promotion I wrote as a Rexing Affiliate.
In reference to affiliate marketing, my most popular blog on this website is PriceWaiter Affiliate in which I wrote about another company I promote, PriceWaiter. That blog blessed me with several new followers and the most likes ever for any single blog post. I am grateful for each!
As for Easter, I commented to a customer at Goodwill about Good Friday celebrating the execution of Jesus Christ, and it not seeming to be so good to me for Him to have been killed. Of course she explained that it is celebrated because Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Now that is one thing, but I still cannot figure out what little chickens and rabbits have to do with Easter?
Beside that, I don’t know of any rabbits that lay eggs either but Easter Eggs and milk chocolate rabbits have been around for decades, long before the stock market began trading for profits. I am hoping to find After-Easter Sale Prices on Stocks. 🙂
March 1, 2021, Update: My publisher posted this blog for me while I was held inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. Before writing it, I learned that the technical aspects (content) is what determines whether a publication is a magazine versus a book.
My concept of a book was based on physical characteristics (e.g., a compilation of text and or photos bound in a spine and cover, rather than text and or pictures on pages stapled together in the center).
I learned what constituted a magazine after Confrontation Magazine, the Literary Journal of Long Island University, published a submission of mine that the editor chose to publish as a Letter to the Editor, titled, Prison and Khordorkovsky.
The content, not the binding and cover or other physical characteristics, makes a publication a magazine. By combining genres, I unintentionally made Essays and More Straight from the Pen a magazine instead of a book. 🙂
Here is a modified version of what was originally posted before my release.
I own a magazine, two actually. Imagine that, having a personal magazine for the world to read. When I created ESSAYS AND MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN with Midnight Express Books, I did not think about it as a magazine, but that’s what it is, regardless of what I thought. All it takes to have a magazine these days is a website to post them on, or some system to publish it by putting it in print for everyone to read.
What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that I had twelve superb essays to share with all who wanted to read about a variety of topics that involved the infamous “Me.”
ESSAYS ABOUT WHAT? Essays about survival against the odds; essays about love and pain; essays about the cost of crime on human lives from a personal perspective; essays to inspire, to shed light on life from a different perspective; essays that show life inside the American criminal justice system; essays that show the price I paid to become a better man; essays, poetry, and a short story that offers something unique to the reader.
FREE ESSAYS: I made three essays available for free, two of which are on this blog: “We Are the Cancer,” “No Sympathy,” and one from my author’s page at Smashwords.com (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy), “A Prisoner and a Poem for a Princess.” The latter is more about the spiritual side of life, than it is about a strange romance. “We Are the Cancer” has an environmental theme. “No Sympathy” contains a combination of politics and slices of my life as a child and young adult. I grew up in the criminal justice system and now want to change the system that ruins the lives of millions of people who find themselves sitting inside a jail cell or trapped within prison walls.
[NO LONGER VALID] For your taking time to read this blog, I offer another free essay for your reading pleasure. Use Smashwords Coupon Code MQ86S to download a free copy of “An Airport Ate the Neighborhood,” from my author’s page (click on the link listed in the above paragraph). Enter the coupon code near the end of the process as if you are purchasing the essay. The free offer is only available at Smashwords.com, even though you may purchase the essay for $0.99 at several online outlets. For downloading on a personal computer, use the html format option.
WHAT’S THE “MORE” IN THE TITLE? I wanted to give my readers more for their money, so I added three select poems and one short story, which is what converted my essay collection into a magazine by definition. My personal magazine. I hope you start reading it today by downloading a copy from your favorite eBook retailer. If not that, at least order yourself a paperback from Amazon.comor from your favorite bookstore, which I will really appreciate.
A Federal Bureau of Prisons case manager read Essays and More Straight from the Pen and commented that it contained a lot of wisdom, has parts to make you laugh, and others that were touching; a well-written book and good read. He said he read in a couple of days. For that to come from a prison staff member, it’s a great compliment and one that made me proud of what me and Midnight Express Books put together.
Treat yourself by reading it today and then share it with others.* Many people have told me they found something to identify with in it and that it helped improve their outlook upon life.
I did a similar experiment with my first novel, UNDER PRESSURE by Mr. D. Things haven’t worked out as I planned. When I created UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D., I accidentally turned it into a magazine, too. For more on that one, if you haven’t done so already, please read my other blog post, “PUBLISHING & UNKNOWN INNOCENCE.” So, I own two magazines. 🙂