Time keeps ticking no matter what goes on in my life. My desire to succeed never slows or diminishes, as I remain determined to succeed on a professional level, just as I have done on an interpersonal level.
My life on the outside has been a challenge in many respects, as it took me eleven months to find a job, other than the non-paying positions I have as a writer and a blogger.
Trying to fit back into society after serving thirty-years, six-months, and eighteen days of my life inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, has also been a challenge, since my not having a job or a place of my own has interfered with having normal, healthy relationships with females. At least, not in the romantic sense: I have healthy-relationships without romantic involvement.
Without the love and support of my friends and a loving family, life would be much rougher for me and more of a challenge to successfully reintegrate into society.
On July 18, 2019, I began working for Goodwill of North Georgia as an Environmental Services Technician, a long title for a janitor, a humble servant.
I am happy to have a regular income and do enjoy getting to do something constructive (cleaning floors, toilets, helping others and doing whatever needs done to keep the building clean and as sanitary as I can).
My position at Goodwill is a way for me to give back to the community because Goodwill does things to help a whole lot of people to have and to do things that otherwise would not be possible. I love Goodwill!
Go to Goodwill of North Georgia and get a job and I’ll love them more if you tell them Wayne T. Dowdy from the McDonough, Georgia store referred you so that I get a $50 bonus. 🙂
Being a servant keeps me humble, a spiritual trait I need because my EGO was out to kill me when I allowed it to run out of control. Today, I remain clean and sober to keep the Ego under control and out of the driver’s seat.
I am like my first sponsor in a Twelve Step program who said, “I have a head that thinks it can kill the body and keep on living.”
Good thing that I know it lies!
In Conclusion: I will make my living with the business I am creating. I will remain humble and do what I can to help the community, online and in person, as I continue my journey of life on the outside.
Here’s a short video clip from the Adventures of Wayne at the Clayton County Reservoir, where I went to a retirement party with a loved one. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the scenery as much as I and can appreciate having eyes to see.
I remember, back when I was a young impetuous adolescent. Me and my girlfriend were arguing at each other. Then I angrily shoved her by her face. I had instantly regretted putting my hands on her and thought how foul that would be if the females of my family would have seen that, and on top of that her response to my action was so profound and disturbing. I would never forget it! She said, “Nigga, don’t put your hands on me, you don’t love me!”
Now that I am grown, I see other grown men and women alike with that same mind frame, as that impetuous adolescent had all those years ago. Grown people being controlled by their emotions. As opposed to acting like they are grown and controlling their emotions! Yeah, I know that is a radical idea. But, bear with me? As kids and small children, we lack the mental tools of working out problems, and/or being self-reliant. So, they cry and throw tantrums! Any way to act out, because they need the love and guidance of adults (grown people)! And I find it very disturbing to see grown people acting as if they are kids and small children.
So, ‘we’ as grown people are unable to understand the simplest and purest aspects of love. So, we distort it, control, and abuse it. We become dictators and place every imaginable condition on love, until it is unrecognizable. No wonder we believe that there’s a thin line between love and hate. Please think about it for a moment. If love was supposed to hurt, trap you emotionally, mentally scar you, or to take advantage of you then why would you need enemies?
On the contrary, love is supposed to make you fly! It releases your greatest potentials. There’s not a thin line between love and hate, there is an ocean between the two. You cannot stifle love by placing conditions on it! Because love is supposed to breathe and flourish. Love is simply this, in its truest form, giving and asking for nothing in return. So, when our hearts and minds allow this then we have truly found that ever-elusive LOVE! Then and only then would we stop acting as kids – allowing our emotions to control us – by throwing violent tantrums in a fit of jealous rage! All in an effort of controlling our significant other. As if we had the authority to control and bully others.
Yes, we must grow up and release that impetuous adolescent that’s within. Then we can start to release the true power of love.
Based upon showing a positive difference in my behavior due to more humane living conditions in the Federal prison system, compared to my behavior in the Georgia Department of Corrections, a reader commented on the viability of each state creating a pilot program of prisons to mimic the more humane conditions in the federal system, to see how that affected recidivism. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but the gist of the suggestion is the same.
Thanks for the
comment and feedback. In my opinion, yes, if the powers that be wanted to, it
would be simple to do as you suggest, to create experimental/study group prison
projects to study recidivism reduction, through Prison Reform/Improvement.
That’s what it’s all about: Money. The mighty dollar! The penal systems in America make a lot of politicians and investors in private prison companies, and in the goods and services provided to the prison machine, a lot of money.
Proven prison systems exist to reduce recidivism by treating people differently during their incarceration, and providing necessary resources/tools to help them transition into a new life.
To prove a point that change in the American Criminal Justice system is possible, I refer to an experimental program in America that is designed after a particular prison in Germany, where prisoners are treated more humanely and are less likely to return to prison after release. Prison Reform Progress
In Prison Privatization and Recidivism, I show how the interest of private prison companies and society may join to reduce recidivism while the investors continue to profit through prison privatization.
My concerns and interests are in returning citizens coming out of prison in better shape than when they went in, and being able to function in society upon release, so that each person may experience a better quality of life and hopefully will pass it on by helping others.
Change is up to each individual. Living under more humane conditions helps to encourage positive changes; opposite of the status quo in most prisons, which explains why more than eighty percent of released citizens return to prison with a new charge within nine years.
An Excerpt from Breaking News
“EVIDENCE OF MORE RECIDIVISM: Last month the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new study (“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.”
A friend wants attention drawn to the issue of Pastor Eric Payne being put back in prison, after he had been released, and then violated because of a clerical error. I do not know the specifics of this case and do not voice an opinion on the issue of the legalities and facts associated with his return to prison, because of that lack of knowledge.
[Update: July 11, 2019:In response to a comment posted by a reader, I wrote the reply in hope that others will contact the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to request a commutation of sentence for Pastor Eric Payne]:
State Board of Pardons and Paroles, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE, Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909 Telephone: (404) 656-4661 (parole status questions or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since I haven’t read Pastor Eric Payne’s sentencing transcripts and do not know the facts of his release, transfer, etc., I cannot say if the State of Georgia released him in error, or if he was transferred from Georgia to Florida under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act for disposition of pending charges or for satisfaction of a sentence imposed by the State of Florida, and then Florida released him in error, rather than returning him to the sending state (Georgia).
If the latter is true (Florida released him instead of returning him to Georgia), then if the Georgia sentence imposed by the court had not been satisfied, legally speaking, in my unprofessional opinion, he would owe the remainder of that sentence to the State of Georgia.
However, if the state so chooses, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles has the power to commute his sentence to time served.
I do note that society seemed to be benefiting more by the man leading the congregation in his church and raising his children, instead of being cast back into prison. Clerical Error or not, is the interest of society best served by his return to prison? Is society safer because Pastor Eric Payne is back in prison? I think not!
I feel other
alternatives existed and that if WE, as American citizens and abroad, want to
reduce mass incarceration, the public needs to petition the legislatures to
implement measures to retrain overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement
agents, including probation officers and those associated with criminal
justice, to focus more on helping returning citizens to successfully
reintegrate into society, rather than sending those people back to prison,
unless they pose a threat of injury to others.
Those men and women who are put in prison and then released, who may then fall short of the glory of the criminal justice system, need help in learning how to function as normal, law-abiding citizens. Putting someone back in prison for minor offenses and non-violent crimes, does not help society progress.
Mrs. Theresa Payne on the Reincarceration of Her Loving Husband
July 1, 2019
My name is Theresa Payne. My husband is Eric
Payne. We have four amazing and energetic kids ages 13, 10, 9 and 6. We are
ministers and leaders in our community at The Glades (located in Belle Glade,
FL). I’d like to share with you the great accomplishments made by my husband
from October 2018 until February 2019.
of Glades Family Services (Our Non-Profit, 501c3 Organization)
participated in community feedings with Lighthouse Café
of the Glades Ministerial Association
of the Chamber of Commerce
(created) 2 fundraisers to address the needs of the homeless and those in
poverty in our community (Run to Belle Glade and Pray for The Glades Concert)
presence for the homeless and those in poverty via YouTube, Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and LinkedIn
with esteemed religious leaders and business owners in our community
Personal Trainer and Business Owner of One-On-One Custom Fitness (providing
individual training sessions as well as weekend bootcamps)
As a Parolee who successfully transferred his
parole from Georgia to Florida, I would like to also point out that Eric
possessed a valid Florida Driver’s License, abided by ALL laws and ALL
conditions of his parole and exceeded every expectation of a parolee.
On February 27, 2019, Eric’s Parole Officer
called his cell phone and advised him that his Parole Paperwork had arrived
from Georgia and that he was needed in her office. What she left out was that
he was about to be re-arrested for a clerical error. My husband was re-arrested
due to a clerical error from a 2013 sentence; 3 years was served on a
concurrent sentence involving his 2013 sentence but we were told was that he
was “released by mistake” and must serve 10 more years. Instead of correcting
their error, the State of Georgia decided that in order to cover their own
tracks, they would take Eric away from his wife and children, his church, his
businesses, and his community and take him back to Georgia to serve 10 more
years. This is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. What is
the reason for taking him to another state for a clerical error? Why punish him
for an error made by the state of Georgia? Why punish him by stripping him away
from all he accomplished when he violated no part of his parole agreement?
We have contacted numerous well-known
organizations, individuals, and two attorneys with no success. However, we will
NOT give up because what has been done to my husband is WRONG! Because of this
injustice, I am separated from my husband, our children do not have their
father present, our business has stopped, the events planned for May 4th
were cancelled, our church members are without a leader and guide, and our
community has been impacted by the absence of Pastor Eric. We are devastated to
say the least. What can be done? Who will see past this “clerical error” to see
the fact that Eric Payne is needed greatly back home and in our community? Who
will make it a point to release Eric immediately due to all of the character
letters written by many including the Mayor of our city on his behalf to the
Board of Pardons and Paroles, to the Clemency Department, to the Governor, to
the Chief of Parole, to the Director of Public Affairs and to whomever else we
can reach with our requests? My husband has been wronged and there is simply no
reason as to why he must sit in prison when he has not only served his time but
accomplished just so much. I need my husband. Our children need their father.
Our church members need their Pastor. Our community needs Pastor Eric. His
strength, wisdom, experience, teachings, compassion and love are needed here at
home and in The Glades Community. Please help us get the word out by sharing
our story with all who need to know. As well, please share ANY ideas of WHO we
may contact and/or HOW I can get my husband released. (I have launched:
#releasemypayne, #releasethepayne, and #releaseourpayne on Twitter.) We thank
Happy Independence Day to those who celebrate the Fourth of July in America.
Let Freedom Ring
Though I may not be proud of everything America does, I am proud to be an American and am proud of the brave men and women who have fought to keep America safe and as free as what it is in these times of terror and danger.
When Paul Revere galloped on his horse shouting, “The British are coming,” terror may have existed in the hearts of those who feared losing their life, but that did not stop those brave people from going out to fight those who dominated the nation, until America had had enough and took a stand.