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#63 Coops Weekly - Life from Home Confinement

Updated: Jan 5

We had a Christmas Party at the DRC (daily reporting center).  WHAT????  I cannot make fun of this event ... it was a sincere effort made by staff to have everyone get together and play games, eat, & swap funny stories.  We had a solid turnout even though it wasn’t mandatory.  Although when I asked for clarification….”do we have to come to this?”  The exact response I received was “it is not mandatory, yet it is.”  That was from the head honcho (the DRC Director).  So I was really struggling with the question of …. should I go?  I did go….it’s not worth the possibility of future trouble .... AND….it was worth it. 

Our group of DRC inmates has actually gotten tight so it was fun to just hang out & hear more about their individual lives (prison journeys/stories fascinate me).  Usually I get in trouble for asking about the details of their lives/cases (not for asking the question but because the story usually hijacks the group discussion).  BUT today I was allowed to ask as many questions as I wanted.  

We have a general store at the DRC.  Imagine back to grammar school when you got points for being good (good behavior).  With these points you could buy things.  

So that’s what we have.  There is a store at the facility & you can buy all sorts of stuff.

You get the money (looks like Monopoly money) from staff for winning games, answering questions, (or for other random things).   Well, at the party, they made everything 50% off and called it “Cyber Monday.”  There were some useful items to buy (watches, pots/pans, blankets, toiletries, games, etc).   A lot of these items are essential for plenty of the inmates so it was cool to see people get excited.  They also had a gift wrapping station so you could wrap the items as gifts for friends/family if you wanted to.  

I actually commend the staff, the event was a huge success & helping like that goes a long way for the inmates & their families.  

It really puts things in perspective & reminds me not to take any of the good things we have In our life for granted.  

They had other stations that gave away prizes for participating.  They had a quiz station, hot chocolate cart, design your own card, and a surprise bag (where you got one blindfolded grab….it had cool gifts such as “skip a class day,” “phone meeting instead of coming in for your one on one meeting,” “leave early,” “no homework,” and “gift bucks,”.  (Things inmates wanted & would use)

So the big thing theme in every class related activity run by the BOP is participation.  This cracks me up because I think most of the time this tactic is used to waste time when people haven’t prepared. But the head of the Sac DRC is sharp, and although we have had some differences of opinions she actually is pretty impressive.   Anyway she had this funny giant sized dice (personalized with each side having a funny act you had to participate in).  Things such as “sing a Xmas song.”, "tell why you are on the naughty list," “tell a funny story about your incarceration (or Xmas story),” etc.  Everyone participated….it was pretty entertaining. 

I rolled “telling a funny story,” on the dice.  Now the groups have heard plenty of my stories so I was asked who I had tortured over the past year (years).  Who was I on the naughty list for?  I took a moment and then I responded ... "my Parents & my other family (which consists of Jessica, Erica, Linda, and even their husbands Jeremy & George)."  I proceeded to tell the group I was eating with the story of how through multiple driving infractions (I am recently ranked a "top five worlds worst driver,"), reckless driving, then a felony conviction…..I have asked more of my best friends-2nd family/& MY family than I could have ever imagined.  Telling this story out loud made me realize how ridiculous it truly was.  How many times I made a call asking for “help.” …. Get me out of this crazy mess I got myself into …. how countless times I called and said “help, I messed up.”  I acknowledged how frustrating it must have be for everyone …. Including the husband’s….”WHAT....We need to help Scott again?”  The story got considerable laughs because most people in prison/HH only know the Scott Carper who is generous, & helpful….they didn’t meet the lazy, entitled version my friends & family had to put up with for years.  It highlights how different a person I was at that point in my life.

Well somehow this story resonated with others because the remaining gifts (snow hats & lotions/beauty products) were mine for the taking (50% off)…..they were even wrapped by the staff (STAFF WRAPPED THESE GIFTS...CMON!!! that actually very cool of them).  Even staff felt bad for my friends/families/attorneys....I was GIVEN EXPRESS instructions by some of my fellow inmates to give these gifts to the people that have earned it having to put up with me for so long.  Ha….I'm not sure there is enough gifts on the planet but I will try. 

Craziest thing I have seen/heard on home confinement.  This story is particularly crazy.  A family members MOTHER was in attendance at the DRC (daily reporting center) holiday party.  This was weird because nobody is allowed (even family) at the DRC. She obviously didn't know anybody so me and another inmate sat next to her to eat. While we were sitting and talking she mentioned she was worried about her son.  Now Her son, is in my Monday classes, super nice guy but he rarely talks about his health issues (and in class discussing these things are encouraged).  Well I think he felt awkward about his mom being there ... so he felt obligated to explain (I GOT HIS PERMISSION TO TELL THIS STORY).

He has had ear, nose & throat problems all his life.  He claims he never gets sick. The only time he gets sick is when something goes wrong related to that area, and its very specific (sinus infection or eye infection) 

So he’s at his institution (prison) and he can tell something is up.  It’s not like his normal problems he usually has (allergy like symptoms).  He is having trouble seeing, hearing, balance issues, & constant pain in his nose/head.  He had serious eyesight issues (hes bumping into people, walls, etc).  He goes to medical and they tell him it’s allergies.  He insists..."NO I cant see, something is wrong." He tries to get someone to take a look.  But medical ignores his requests. He eventually gets released.  Now his eye sight got eventually got better (not anywhere near normal, but manageable).

As hes out on home confinement he begins going to DRC classes (the same classes I’m in).  At the beginning you often have to travel with someone else since you are not allowed to drive without permission.  Well as he’s driving one day his mom notices his nose is bleeding.  They take him to the DR (or emergency room, I dont recall the specifics here)....He gets scans and he is sent to his ear nose & throat specialist hes seen for years.  Turns out he has a tumor in his nose (nasal & sinus cancer). A tumor that probably would have been spotted with a basic exam (or at least the signs that something was present). You know that test when Dr. shines a light up your nose.

A biopsy confirms it is cancerous.  

The doctor is frustrated….he asks “you must have had noticeable symptoms, why didn’t you come in and have this looked at when the symptoms started? You could have caught this early & possibly got rid of it with minimal treatment….now it could progress into the bone,”. (I’m paraphrasing).  He was frustrated with the inmate for what he felt was lazy behavior.

The inmate immediately explains he was in prison and they wouldn’t allow him to get additional treatment.  THE DOCTOR IS DUMBFOUNDED. That delay, that denial of treatment at his institution could have measurable consequences.  If the cancer spreads to the bone In his nose, it could become a major issue.

Despite this drama he has the best attitude.  I’m in awe of him as he is doing everything he can to work around this problem.  HE is Amazing.  Its this kind of resilience that reminds me what people are truly capable of.


A new fun contest I have started. I am accumulating pics from different institutions. Lets see who has the tiniest/brutal room. Here are this months winners. There was barely enough room to take the picture. There are multiple social media accounts that showcase peoples lives in prison.


So as we close out another holiday. I want to share something I wrote last year with a friend during the holidays.  It was one of the first times I offered to help someone write a letter. This person was super charismatic and actually very smart he just felt he couldn't write well.  So I told him that I wanted to write a letter to my family/friends also so we would do it together. I remember I was still detoxing and my brain was mush so I really struggled. But this is what we (mainly him) came up with. I ended up keeping a copy.

Dear Family & Friends,

Your love and support mean more to us than words can express. Through every trial and challenge, your unwavering presence has been our greatest source of strength. Thank you for standing by us, believing in us, and showering us with your endless love. We just wanted to take a moment to appreciate your incredible ability to love us even when we managed to mess things up royally. We cherish every moment and can't wait to be reunited. You are our rock, our motivation, and our endless well of love. We love you more than words can say.

I think he/we nailed it!!

Thanks from all of us. We love and miss you. We will see you soon. Happy Holidays.

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1 comentariu

27 dec. 2023

You’re awesome 👏🏼

love you

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