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COOPS Weekly - Life from Home Confinement #57

GEO Resendential Rentry Center Office. Where my classes are.


We had a ton of new people check in to the HRC.  They were asked to fill out general question

forms that rate how they feel about certain situations or experiences. These answers are

important…they determine how the HRS will program.  What classes will be suggested, what

ones will be mandatory (spoiler alert- you are going to be taking classes).  

The written assessments are important…. you need to be careful…. it’s tempting to give honest

answers about your experiences….and/or sprinkling in some sarcasm.   One of the questions

asked “did you feel you were given educational opportunities while incarcerated?” Or “did you

feel staff made themselves available for questions/concerns?”  I MEAN CMON.   How do you

answer that question seriously?  Keep in mind these are very formulaic questions so they can trap you into being suggested for classes that YOU DONT WANT TO TAKE.  Classes that justify the HRC’s existence.  So, if you go off and reflect on how big a joke these questions are staff will score you based on your attitude/reaction (not on the quality of the answer).   Passionate answers will be used to suggest you need to take the classes like anger management.  Coming in late or complaining about your job or class workload will garner a suggestion for time management group/class.  

In class this week I was working on an assignment named “thinking about my relationships,”

where you give updates on your closest relationships.  I wrote that I would like to spend more

time with my friends. I explained that I want to take trips the minute I’m off paper (no longer on

probation).  I thought this was a simple answer but also honest.  The feedback I received from

group and the teacher (staff) was that I should try now.  Knowing the actual hurdles, I’m facing

(mostly BOP) I replied I would think on it.  The next meeting, I had with my case manager she

told me staff thinks, based on my responses I should take a time management class.  I politely

reminded them that me driving an extra 2 hours (1 hour to get to the center and 1 hour back) a

day 3 times a week would be the biggest obstacle to me managing my time effectively.  Just get me to January 13th.  

Each week on home confinement you sit across from your case manager and you have what’s

called a “progress check.” This progress check is basically where you update your case manager on everything from family to work.   But every time you end this meeting you are asked the following question “how can we help you integrate back into society?”  Now this question comes after an hour of denials, “No’s”, some “maybe’s,” or “we will look into it,” responses.  It’s such an odd process.  It’s like robbing someone and then afterwards asking that same person to borrow some money from them.  It’s these little interactions that make you wonder who in fact is steering the ship.  Are they aware of how ridiculous this all is?  Do they go home thinking “I helped a lot of people today.?” 

The best part is that these “No’s.” comes from this mysterious organization called the BOP.  Nobody knows what they actually do or if they even exist …. But there are people that are dedicating their lives trying to discover what is this ALL POWERFUL, NEVER WRONG, organization all about. The truth is out there somewhere.  It’s actually kind of amazing for an organization to be so unbelievably massive yet make it so hard to actually reach someone.  

My favorite part of this important discussion with my case manager is when I try to trick her into

saying “yes.” … TO ANYTHING.  But no matter how reasonable or logical I am the staff

always wins out.  Sometimes, for brief moments, I convince her that concepts of fairness and

empathy exist everywhere (even the BOP) and that she can help if she really wants to.   And then out of nowhere, as if someone is watching, she snaps out of the humane persona she was starting to display and reminds me logic, compassion, and care are the enemies of the BOP.  There is no place here for those qualities.   She reminds me if she doesn’t have a good reason for a denial.  She has the perfect unverifiable response to any question “the BOP said NO,”. (Works every time).


I know I joke a ton about how dysfunctional the BOP is but the worst part is most people,

including staff, think the broken BOP is just something the inmates embellish.  I wish it was.  I

would challenge anyone to pick any institution and try and find out something trivial.  I bet you

have trouble finding a working number/contact, let alone a person to speak to.  

The problem inmates and their families have is acclimating back to society’s is about identifying

problems, solving them, then moving father towards more liberty.  So, since the biggest problem we have are the obstacles, the BOP creates itself.  

I was able to get my car this week.  So, I can drive myself around now.  Very exciting. Just as an aside the car is a 2007 Lexus ES350. At my trial my car was described by the prosecutor as

another example of my privileged life. To set the record straight the car has over 150,000 miles

on it.

There is a checklist they give you in order to get approval to drive.

1.) Valid Driver’s License (Leavenworth did not and still has not returned mine or my social

security card so I had to get new ones)

2.) Registration

3.) Notarized letter from owner allowing you to drive their car

4.) Insurance with participants name listed

5.) 36-month DMV printout 

6.) Vehicular inspection / search form completed by staff

7.) BOP Authorization to operate a motor vehicle form 

8.) Approval from program manager.  

Craziest thing I have heard or seen at home confinement.  

So, I came in last in my fantasy football league last year.  It was stressful for me because I was supposed to put a license plate frame on the back of my car indicating I lost.  But how was I supposed to do that in prison.  Well, I almost had to have my dad drive there and put the frame on and take a picture.  I still will have to do something for my Loss…. but get this story.  I told my story in group the other day about how I lost and what I had to do.  Well, a guy in my class had a league where the stakes are a bit higher.  In jail the losing team had to get tattoos of any player of the winners choosing.  He was all set to get Baker Mayfield and he begged for a double or nothing bet.  He lost so now he had to get 2 tattoos. He had to get Baker Mayfield and Taylor Swift tattoos.  It’s hilarious.  I asked if I could take a picture out of class (We can’t have phones during class).  Hopefully I will get the picture.

I have been working on a website.  The purpose of it is to explain my situation and start rebuilding my image.  If you want to see any of my newsletters, they are there….  It’s still a work in progress.  But please let me know what you think.  Thanks everyone.


Side note -

The Russian prison population, estimated at roughly 420,000 before the invasion of Ukraine in

February 2022, plummeted to a historic low of about 266,000, according to Deputy Justice

Minister Vsevolod Vukolov, who disclosed the figure during a panel discussion earlier this

month.  Russia is sending its prisoners to the front lines.

Weekly newsletter.week 57
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