Tag Archives: returning citizens

Electronic Chain-2019

Update APRIL 10, 2021: Many things in my life have changed since I wrote Electronic Chain over two years ago after I finally completed a 420-month federal prison sentence. That day was a long-time coming and one I often wondered if I would live long enough to see as a free man.

When I look at the photo that I took of Dismas Charities in Atlanta, Georgia, on the day of my release, I am reminded of the times I had to have permission to walk out the doors and through the gates to walk down the street to catch a bus to go to an approved location, such as the Georgia Department of Labor to continue my fruitless job search, or to Grady Memorial Hospital or to the Mercy Care Clinic for health-related issues.

Free at Last, Kind of

The first time I got a pass to leave the premises, when I was kind of free at last for a few hours, I remember standing at the end of the street at a bus stop, feeling like a dog must feel when freed from its leash.

It had been thirty calendar years since I had walked in the free society without a chain strapped around my waist, handcuffs on my wrists, and leg shackles biting at my ankles as I tried to act normal while wearing such unfashionable jewelry.

Returning to Dismas Charities was not always as bad as what one may think for a man who spent decades of his life bound by chains, who lived behind concrete and steel walls, with the outside perimeters decorated with row-upon-row of razor wire designed to slice the flesh of anyone crossing over it into a different world.

Sometimes it was a relief to walk back inside the gates of the halfway house, after walking up a long hill in one of the less-favorable neighborhoods of Atlanta, where the prostitutes and dope fiends hustled the streets to meet their needs for survival in a cruel world.

For me, returning to the boundaries of Dismas Charities was a relief because I was back into a more familiar atmosphere, where I didn’t feel like an alien or caveman.

Behind the gates was where I was supposed to be until told I could leave and not return; the day I longed for but somewhat feared because of the risk of returning to a jail cell if I failed to meet the expectations of the United States Department of Justice or any of the many local law enforcement agencies in Metro Atlanta.

I thank God daily for me not having to live in that environment anymore, where my activities were governed and regulated by program statements and policies, often interpreted by people who lacked the required intelligence to grasp the concept behind broadly-written words.

However, to be fair, I need to clarify that not everyone in authoritative positions lacked intelligence or abused their authority because the policies gave them the power to do so.

Some were good men and women who did all they could to help me and others to walk out of the prison doors and to become better individuals.

I am grateful for several staff members who fell into the latter category, as well as for the ones I have dealt with since my release, none of whom have shown any ill-intent toward me and have helped me to successfully reintegrate into society.

LIFE ON THE OUTSIDE

Today, I live and eat well and don’t have to do a lot of walking to go to and from desired locations. That is because I own and drive a vehicle; work 40-hour per week, have automotive, life, medical, dental, and vision insurance. The walking I do is by choice, or necessity, not because it is my only option.

Alexander West Park, McDonough, Georgia

I am ending this update with a few photos to show that life is good and with the hope of inspiring others who have been released from prison to never give up and to work towards finding a better way to live out here, even when times get rough.

It took me eleven months to find a job, more so because of my age than criminal history, but I never gave up or thought about reverting to my old behaviors.

The God of my understanding has bigger plans for me than being in a cage, and for that I am grateful.


The Night Before I Lose An Electronic Chain

Dismas Charities, Atlanta, Georgia, Residential Reentry Center
March 8, 2019
Dismas Charities, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia

Anticipation may be one word to describe what a person experiences in knowing he or she awaits the finish line of a challenge that took thirty-years, six-months, and twenty-two-days, to reach.

MY DAY: March 8, 2019: On the day of my total release from the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, my weary mind recalled sleeping from about 1:00 am until 3:30 am.

My eyes popped open and refused to close, so I succumbed to the pressure and got out of bed to begin a day I had awaited; a day I didn’t think I’d ever see after my arrest on August 18, 1988.

Miracles Do Happen! I believed I would die in prison or be killed escaping. I was wrong! 

When I went to sleep on March 8, 2019, I slept longer than I had in years, maybe because of having completed my 420-month federal prison sentence. Being relieved of the pressure from carrying a heavy burden for three decades of my life, lightened my load.

Not having to worry about getting up to charge an ankle monitor helped me sleep better, too, I’m sure.

(I viewed the ankle monitor strapped to my ankle as an electronic-chain, which I had to wear to go on home confinement. If I had not agreed, I would have had to stay at the halfway house (Residential Reentry Center.))

That morning I signed some papers and a staff member at Dismas Charities removed the electronic-chain. From that point on I was technically freed from the custody of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, an agency I spoke out against for years while under its control.

Leaving Dismas Charities, a loved one invited me to a celebratory meal at a Waffle House. I accepted! He treated me to steak and eggs, with hashbrowns smothered and covered.

And high-dollar coffee, in comparison to the cost of a cup in 1988!

Not at Starbucks!

I was shocked to learn a cup of coffee cost $1.50 at a Waffle House!

[Breaking News: On March 13th, I drank coffee at a Waffle House in downtown Atlanta and paid $2.00 for a cup. My brother-in-law said the previous cup was $1.90, not $1.50] Much cheaper than StarBucks!

Then the next day, I ate even better. I’ve been treated so well by family and friends since my release, it’s hard to say when I ate the best. I have eaten a lot of tasty food, at a lot of high-dollar-restaurants, none of which served better food than what I ate during family gatherings on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

March 9, 2019: Food-wise, I liked the food at a couple other restaurants better than what I ate at an Outback Steakhouse, where we celebrated my return to the family, but I enjoyed the experience tremendously.

That is because of the time I spent with most of my loved ones, and without me having an electronic-chain strapped around my ankle.

Having an electronic-chain strapped around my ankle, embarrassed me when it showed while I was out in the public; however, I preferred dealing with embarrassment over the alternative (sitting at the halfway house or in prison).

Family Time Made Everything Wonderful!

Celebrating my Special Day Entering a New Life

From FaceBook: I am blessed to have a family who still loves me. This Yummy, Great American Cookie was the final part of my special night out at an Outback Steakhouse to celebrate having closed one chapter of my life and for beginning a new one.

The evening meant a lot because it was the first family outing I experienced in decades without an electronic-chain strapped to my ankle.

There were other loved ones who couldn’t attend for various reasons, but I do want to say that the Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings were really special to me because I got to meet relatives I had never met and to just really experience the gratitude of love.

God blessed me with a wonderful family and I love ’em all!

Roaming the Streets Without an Electronic-Chain

UNLEASHED: My day in the Big City without an electronic-chain

City of Atlanta, Georgia, March 8, 2019

Leaving the Waffle House, my brother-in-law carried me downtown to the Grady Memorial Hospital for medical appointments.

80 Jesse Hill, Jr., Drive, SW, Atlanta, Georia
Grady Memorial Hospital Sits in the Background

“Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. is rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition. It is a general medical and surgical facility. It is a teaching hospital.

“Rankings and Recognitions

“To help patients decide where to receive care, U.S. News generates hospital rankings by evaluating data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties, 9 adult procedures and conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. To be nationally ranked in a specialty, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients. …”

https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/ga/grady-memorial-hospital-6380130

Grady Memorial Hospital held the Top-Spot for U.S. Trauma Centers for decades, and still does, I believe.

The above I wrote because of how impressed I’ve been with the level of health care provided at Grady, where I had to go upon release from prison because I had health issues and did not have insurance and could not afford it. I still can’t afford insurance because I’m unemployed!

[My experience at Grady does not coincide with other patient ratings. August 7, 2019: Since writing this post in March 2019, my opinion of Grady has lessened but I still give it props for the greater good the hospital serves to the Atlanta area.]

Though my brother-in-law was willing to wait, I did not want to hold him up as I went about my scheduled affairs. Leaving Grady I needed to check in with the United States Probation Office.


U.S. Probation Office Inside this Massive Structure

I left Grady Memorial and walked to the Richard B. Russell Federal Building. Many things changed in society since 1988.

Going into the building I ran into a metal detector, with several government officials guarding its entrance. I had to surrender my possessions, including my SmartWatch, SmartPhone, and backpack filled with a variety of items I knew I needed to venture into the Big City.

Once I cleared the metal detector, all of my possessions were returned, except for the cellphone, which I had to leave with the staff members guarding the entrance. I was given a numbered-token to hold in exchange of my phone until I was ready to leave.

As it turned out, I wasted my time going into the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, because I learned I had to report to another office on Monday, in another town.

While in Atlanta, I gave a urinalysis, but still had to give another one at the correct United States Probation Office. It’s all good, though, I’ve been clean and sober since April 5, 1995.

At the Atlanta office, I did get to speak with the most beautiful probation officer I’d ever seen.

Iplanned to attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that night, but I was so tired by the time I got home at 6:30 pm, after having run around the city and walking over five-miles, that I didn’t even do my typical social media activities.

Maybe all the walking lead to me sleeping as well as I did, without the burden of that electronic-chain and all of the associated factors strapped around my mind and my ankle.

Wayne T. Dowdy is feeling blessed.

April 6, 2022, Facebook Post

[I posted this on Facebook to share with the world so I am sharing it here, too. Another associated blog that I wrote last year is Master Number 33 by Wayne T. Dowdy. Though I do acknowledge that I attend Twelve Step programs, I do not represent any such programs. I am simply a person who loves to show others that miracles do happen, one day at a time.]

April 5th, 1995, was the last day I used a mind-altering substance, the day a true miracle occurred since I have remained drug and alcohol free ever since. Someone once said that if I ever decided to play the lottery that I should play it on April 5th (I stopped smoking 9-years later on that day, too).

Driving to work in the rain that morning, about ten yards in front of me, a car in the right lane decided to cut across the left lane to make a left turn (from the right lane). I swerved sharply to avoid being hit in the right side of my car.

Another miracle occurred on that day when I avoided a collision. I didn’t even blow the horn, just kept on driving to my destination and thanking God for His continued protection of me.

Before the night was over, eBay notified me that my Peter Rabbit collection sold (the first item that I had listed). I shipped it today and have maintained my Five Star Rating. 🙂

The moral of the story is that miracles do happen, and even though I refuse to see myself as a miracle, I do acknowledge that I am evidence that miracles do happen. I hope that a miracle happens in each of your lives, every day, as they do in mine when I live to see another day with all body parts intact and still working.

Revising a Life-2

STRAIGHTFROMTHEPEN.COM

Revising a Life-2

BOOKS BY WAYNE T. DOWDY


Revising a Life-2

Employee #1

“Time goes by fast when having fun” is an old cliché I use often. For me, it seems I spend most of my time spinning my wheels procrastinating at times.

7 Year Anniversary Achievement Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Revising a Life in Progress

Seven years ago when I began this website/blog with the assistance of my publisher at Midnight Express Books, I was sitting in the only Federal Correctional Institution that I was ever in during the thirty-years and ten-days that I served on a 420-month federal prison sentence.

My primary purpose was to use Straight from the Pen as a way to promote my books and to stand up and fight against the system that held my body but could not contain my mind and spirit. For evidence in regard to fighting the system while on the Inside, please read my blog, Fight for Change, and notice the copies of my letters written to the then BOP Director, Mark S. Inch, and Congressperson, Trey Gowdy.

What I became more successful at was fighting the system, which I continued after my release on August 28, 2018. My plan was to continue the fight with the help of concerned citizens who were willing to fight a worthy cause. Unfortunately, I stood alone when it came to financing the projects, as well as providing the content to elicit additional support.

People are quick to complain about public issues but very few put forth the necessary energy or time that it takes to do something about it, or to at least make an attempt to change what is troubling to them. That is true even when it comes to voting against the ones who lie to get a political seat, only to deceive those who voted to put them in office.

And so the story goes. At the end of the day, my most important goal was to keep from returning to the system I professed to hate. To accomplish that goal, I refused to live my life in a manner that would result in being wrapped in chains again, literally. Because my criminal history and tendency to slip away from confinement, I qualified for the Black Box Special during transportation, via the United States Marshall Service.

Those who qualify for the Black Box Special line of treatment, are escorted with a belly chain (large linked-chain heavier than what is used on most dogs) wrapped around their waist, with the handcuffs encased in a black box designed to make it more difficult to escape. To compliment the arrangement, shackles are secured around the legs near the ankles and often induce pain when walking.

So, as I type, I continue to accomplish the goal to be Free from Incarceration. The Revised Life I now live does not include committing crimes or doing things I shouldn’t be doing if I want to remain a free citizen, a Returning Citizen to society, not to the prison system.

Some of the other things I do are to provide content on Quora.com for my profile page and my space, Life Inside and Out. I am coming up on 1,000,000 views on Quora, and for Google Maps as a guide, over 24,000,000 views.

Right now, though, I need to work on getting some sleep so I can get up and do my good deeds at Goodwill as an Environmental Service Technician.

Feel free to make a modest contribution in the blocks below. I thank you in advance.

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Happy New Year-2022

What will 2022 deliver? Rainbows in the sky or more of what 2021 delivered? My thoughts on 2020 and 2021 proved to be wrong so I won’t try to prophesize this year.

Personally, I do plan to make it profitable by continuing to work on affiliate marketing, my writing career, and by continuing to focus on revising my life, one day at a time. That is with me being a Returning Citizen who continues to learn how to live a crime-free life.

If I can figure out a way to get Google to pay me for my popularity and services provided on Google Maps, I can retire. 🙂 I do take good photos and write spectacular reviews!

Amazon Associate

Interested in learning how to earn additional income, check out Amazon Associate by Wayne T. Dowdy

As an affiliate, if you purchase a product or service advertised or promoted on this website or any of the links posted, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for helping support this website.

Life After Release-9

Antique Bowl Used to Prepare Meal After Work

Update: June 29, 2022: I’m adding podcasts to many of my blogs and when I do, the system may send it out as a new post. If so, please take a moment to listen to one of the podcasts and let me know what you think. Thank you!

My life after release includes the Bowl shown in the above photo. Just as that bowl traveled with me since I purchased it at the United States Federal Penitentiary (U.S.P.) in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1989, so do the memories associated with how I served decades of my life in a cage.

LIFE AFTER RELEASE

Two days ago, I made a Ramen Noodle soup in the bowl inside the comforts of the house in which I live, unlike how I did in the small prison cells of the huge federal prisons I lived (U.S.P. Leavenworth, KS; U.S.P. Atlanta, Atlanta, GA; U.S.P. Lompoc, Lompoc, CA; U.S.P. Pollock, Pollock, LA, and at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, SC)

As Christmas 2021 approaches, I remain grateful for the life I live today as a free man who tries to make a difference in the lives of others. I’ve always been one to leave a lasting impression in the minds of those I came in contact with but not always in a positive way, the difference now is that I don’t leave a bad taste in the memory banks of those I meet.

An Attitude of Gratitude

When the world refuses to act according to Wayne, I must stop and remember that things work according to God’s will for my life and then be grateful for all I have instead of sad for all I don’t have but want.

Click this for more on Gratitude

PERSONALLY: Because I used to live the life of a dope fiend and a thug, I harmed many people, even those I loved. Today I do not live in the same way and do not harm others, even those I may not like. Regardless of how I feel, I treat people with love and kindness, at least, in most cases.

However, if angered my words may not be nice, but I still refrain from causing physical pain by walking away. On most occasions, I walk away before using words with the intention of causing emotional pain. I’m far from perfect.

ALONG SPIRITUAL LINES: Thus far I’ve failed to achieve spiritual perfection but have progressed along spiritual lines throughout the two and a half decades of my new life that allows me to sit in front of this computer typing this blog.


Now I am working on providing more content for Life After Release on Quora.com. Please check it out and subscribe. I will provide free access in requested.

Affiliate Marketing and Promotional Content

Disclaimer: At no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission for products and services purchased through this website. Paid commissions do not necessarily influence decisions to advertise or promote products or services. Nothing contained herein is intended to be financial advice, as I am not a financial adviser.

Another part of my life after release is trying to find a way to generate additional income. Unfortunately, my success with affiliate marketing is lacking.

One of the main reasons for my lack of success has been my failure to devote the necessary time and energy to succeed, as well as not using more advertising to get the word out about what I am promoting.

In the future I plan to get into flipping goods (buying and selling items on eBay, Poshmark, etc.), or to become an Amazon third party seller.

My main objective in anything I do is to remain focused on remaining a productive member of society instead of the cancer I was before I changed my life in 1995. If interested in learning more about the changes I made, please read The Price of Change, included in this book:

If you cannot afford to purchase a copy, send me a message through the info on the contact page and I will gladly provide so that you can download a free copy of the eBook.

To shop for any eBooks on Amazon, click Kindle


Conclusion

I will conclude with the following temporary promotion that I hope you will decide to accept before it expires, and a link to other blogs I have written as part of my Life After Release, uncaged and coming to you live as a free American citizen and proud to say so, even though I do not agree with American politics.

Don’t miss the following Webull promotion that expires on December 23, 2021. Creating an account gets you one free stock and depositing as little as $1.00 gets four more, and then you can do as I am doing: promoting to earn free stocks. 🙂



Electronic Chain-2019

Having served over 30-years in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prison, I walked out of an era with demons and dragons trying to hold me back as I reentered a society, unlike the one I left behind in 1988.

I had never used a cellphone, been on the Internet, or experienced life on the Outside without chains wrapped around my waist, wrists, and ankles.

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