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Successful Returning Citizen

The bridge between successful reentry for returning citizens and recidivism may be a narrow path to follow but those who chose to become productive members of society learn to cross it and to stay focused on living a new way of life.  Dr. K. and I are only two examples of those who continue to be success stories by choosing not to return to old behaviors.

In this blog I am giving props to Dr. K., because I am proud of him for satisfying the full term of his court mandated supervised release. Supervised release in the federal system is the same as parole in state systems.

Dr. K. is a man I helped a few years ago to win a post-conviction relief motion. 

He won his case in federal court and left the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons several years before his original release date.  He remains a free man and is living his new life as a truck driver/owner/operator.

In one of my favorite blogs, Out of Many (Out of Many | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN), I mentioned Dr. K. for giving me one of his magazines to read that I used to write the blog.  He also used to encourage me to write from a more positive perspective, rather than the negative one I used to shoot daggers into an issue or public individual I found offensive.

Dr. K., like me, walked out of the prison doors with a goal in mind related to helping others to successfully reintegrate into society.  I sought to use straightfromthepen.org and straightfromthepen.net to challenge the status quo of mass incarceration, and he the creation of a non-profit organization geared toward providing resources to help returning citizens.  After our release, mine of which came much later, both of us ran into an issue of not having public support to accomplish our goals.  That hasn’t stopped either from continuing to live our lives in a productive manner that does not include committing crimes.

Prison life often divides people because of its racial nature.

He is an African American and I am of the lighter persuasion.  Our racial and cultural differences never interfered with our bond as friends while working in the Quality Management office for an ISO certified factory, or when walking an asphalt track to discuss events or to plot the next legal move in his case. 

The main thing today is that we remain free and strive to be successful as returning citizens to show others that positive change is possible and that our past does not define who we are today.  Our lives show that returning citizens can stay out of prison to become part of the solution (being a positive role in society) instead of part of the problem (another number in the recidivism column for Mass Incarceration).

I’ll close with an excerpt from Out of Many

“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL:  Our beliefs and values may unite or divide us; whether based on racial or cultural differences or similarities, religion, politics, fears, sexual preference or identity, and a whole array of other reasons.  

“How do we keep from falling?  Join hands and accept each other so we can work together to survive this thing we call life.  If each of us represents a ‘cell’ of the humanity organism, those who damage and injure others are the cancers of society, driven by hate and indifference.” Wayne T. Dowdy, Out of Many.

Could Be Me

But for the Grace of God There Go I

Provide Treatment for Addiction Problems to Reduce Recidivism

July 11, 2021: I am reposting this blog because of its importance to me and millions of others. Had I not changed my life in 1995 while inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, I would never have lived long enough to walk out of the prison doors. Today I have a life worth living because I dealt with the interpersonal issues I had that kept me caught up in my addition and in prison for the majority of my life.

I am evidence that miracles happen.

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.

Wayne T. Dowdy

PriceWaiter Affiliate

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PriceWaiter is one of the companies I 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.

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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 waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.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!

Independence Day 2021 by Wayne T. Dowdy

Leaving the Past Behind

Happy Independence Day to those who celebrate America’s independence for traditional reasons.

In 2020 I wrote about my personal perspective on Independence Day which may be read by clicking this link: Happy Independence Day | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN.

Independence Day means freedom for me. In that blog I included another link for the historical aspect of Independence Day. Please feel free to read.

Today I am wishing a Happy Independence Day to those who may have freed themselves from an abusive, unhealthy relationship. For those who may still be trapped in one, I hope the day comes where you, too, find freedom from the one who mistreats you and fails to provide the love, respect and kindness you deserve.

Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.

Never lose hope!

For me, I continue my fight against recidivism (not returning to old behaviors with negative consequence (addiction, crime, etc.)), and to help others to live their lives where it is not necessary to revert to old, destructive, and unhealthy behaviors.

My focus today is to become a successful affiliate marketer and entrepreneur, as well as to begin my long-term goal of building a business that makes the world a better place, to help others to live better lives, and to reduce the damage we do to Mother Earth.

May the remainder of 2021 bring each of you an abundance of love, good health, and the successes in life you desire.


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Happy Father’s Day 2021

Happy Father’s Day Straight from the Pen!

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PhotoJobz Affiliate by Wayne T. Dowdy

PhotoJobz Affiliate

Now I am an affiliate marketer for PhotoJobz through ClickBank, so if you use the links from this page to sign up for their $1 Trial offer, I will earn a commission but probably not enough to afford to buy some special lady a yacht or Mercedes-Benz. However, I will gratefully accept anything I may earn. 🙂

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Since I take hundreds of photos and am a Top Google Maps photographer with over 12,000,000 views, I am going to use this service to see what I can earn. Then maybe I can afford the woman of my dreams whose smile drives me to become the Man of Her dreams. I can see her now smiling for the camera. 🙂

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Federal prisoners hold $100 million in government-run accounts, shielded from some criminal scrutiny and debt collection – The Washington Post

UPDATE (06/10/2021): The referenced program statement for the collection of fines and restitution may be read on the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website (Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (bop.gov)). Some of the sanctions for NOT meeting financial responsibility are listed on pages 11-13, many of which are severe.

Inmates must pay or be sanctioned for non-participation. If a court ordered the defendant to pay the cost of incarceration, the BOP takes that first.

Personally, while on the Inside, I was fired three times from my position in UNICOR for not paying restitution that the court ordered to be PAID UPON RELEASE FROM IMPRISONMENT. Eventually, I won the battle and the BOP stopped extorting me.

Based upon the above, I do not find the attached article reliable, even though I am sure the reporter only stated what he had been told, much of which was misleading in my opinion.

*****************************************

I wish reporters who report this type of articles were more knowledgeable about laws and prison policies. Maybe The Washington Post will find better reporters. The BOP has a policy for collecting restitution and other debts owed by prisoners.

The fact is, though, that the BOP often collects the money from prisoners each month and then holds it in the BOP account and draws interest on the money collected.

In this case, then, the Villain is the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/bureau-of-prisons-bank-system/2021/06/08/2aff9766-c3d1-11eb-8c18-fd53a628b992_story.html

BUTTERFLIES and CHANGE by Wayne T. Dowdy

I found the inscription on the medallion shown above in the photo to be inspiring and true: “If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies.”

Several years ago, I was published in an international magazine and was quoted as having said something like, “I was antisocial until AA turned me into a social butterfly.”

Butterflies are free and so am I!

On April 5, 2021, a doctor called me on the phone and thanked me for a personal magazine/book that I gave her: Essays & More Straight from the Pen. She said it changed her life by allowing her to understand more about how one’s experiences in life shape the person they become (or something along those lines. I’m paraphrasing from memory).

For such a compliment to come from someone as prestigious and intelligent (and pretty) as her, I was moved deeply and more thankful for her call than she probably realized. Knowing how busy she is in her profession and that she was so thoughtful that she took the time from her busy schedule to call me, meant a lot.

She began the conversation by saying she hoped that it was a good time for her to call, and by acknowledging that she knew the day was a special one for me (the last day I used mind-altering substances in 1995). Then she thanked me for my very well written book and for writing openly and honestly about the sensitive content from my past.

When I promised to give her a copy, I asked that she please remember me as the person she met versus the person she reads about inside the book.

I felt honored that she had remembered me as the man she met and was so grateful that she called to thank me for the truthful content inside the pages, a lot of which I am not proud of having done decades before.

People can change the same as butterflies do when metamorphosing from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. Read about the man who did in Essays & More Straight from the Pen.

Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy

He Never Lost Hope. Hope Was All He Had

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.


Life After Release-8

Big Springs Park

I love a walk in the Park! My life after release has not been one. That hasn’t deterred me from continuing to pursue a better life. I’ll clarify.

The World refuses to work According to Wayne’s plans but I continue to feel Blessed by the Best and to maintain an Attitude of Gratitude.

Relationships

Last week I thought I found a woman I wished to have a serious relationship with, even though she was about twice the age of the woman I imagined when writing this:

“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.” Year One of New Life by Wayne T. Dowdy | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN

Well, me and a Fat Butt Girl with a Pecan Tan and a Mercedes Benz had a date planned last week. It only took three times for her to prove that words flowing from her lips were unreliable for me to let her know our relationship would not be going further. Darn it!

Life Goes On and I am okay with the life I have, though not how I imagined it would be by this time. I am fortunate to be alive and in as good of health as I am to complain about anything that happens in relationships. When and if the time comes for me to be in a serious (or a not-so-serious) relationship with a woman, it will happen and my being more celibate than some priest will end as another junction in life begins.

I am okay either way: A fighter and survivor I am!

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I may earn an Affiliate Commission if you use any links on this website to purchase a product or service; however, my opinion remains unaltered regardless of financial gain. 


Finances

My investment plans went great for a few months but then just as for thousands of others, my account values over recent months have essentially gone downhill; however, I am still in the Green in most areas and am grateful to not have been as impacted by the stock market corrections as severely as thousands of investors and traders.

In the rapid changing and volatile Crypto market, devastating is one word to describe activities over the last few weeks, with over 500 billion lost within a couple of day by people and institutions. Fortunate for me, I didn’t have that much to lose and maintained most of my balance, and since the massive decline in Bitcoin value, some losses have been recovered.

To let people know about some of the things I do as a successfully-reintegrated individual, I wrote about the Trading Apps I Use. Last weekend, over the three previous days I had lost between $450-600.00 in Crypto-Trading, a small sum in comparison to typical traders. By Monday at Noon, I recouped the losses. That’s Crypto, up and down, with some swings as drastic as 25-75%.

This weekend I went to a birthday party and swam in a pool alone after the children went back inside with the adults. It was nice having the privilege to get some sun and enjoy being alive and well after all these years.

In the meantime, I will continue to do my normal things to avoid becoming a recidivist, going to Twelve Step meetings to share my experience, strength and hope, remembering where I came from and where I can return if I decide to return to old behaviors.

Though overworked and underpaid by my employer; I remain grateful for my job because it helps to keep me healthy and provides an opportunity for me to meet a lot of lovely ladies I would not otherwise see. One of whom may just be my next wife, whether she drives a Mercedes or not. 🙂

Experiment by Wayne T. Dowdy

Writing blogs and learning how to use the different websites I write on remains an experiment; especially, where the formatting and modification to the visual image comes into the picture. This experiment included in the equation.

Feedback from visitors would benefit me during these experimental projects but only a few take the time to respond, other than those who click to Like. I appreciate each of you for taking a moment to click the Like button. For those who signed up to follow these blogs, you’re the best!

In this experiment, I want to see how this block format works when posted, and if the change increases loading speed to improve the visitor’s experience. If you have a few second, please let me know. Thanks!

Experiment in Progress



Successful Returning Citizen

The main thing today is that we remain free and strive to be successful as returning citizens to show others that positive change is possible and that our past does not define who we are today.  Our lives show that returning citizens can stay out of prison to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem (another number in the Mass Incarceration statistics).

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Could Be Me

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.

Rate this:

PriceWaiter Affiliate

PriceWaiter is one of the companies I promote because I believe the company really does help people to save money.

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