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COOPS Weekly - Life from Home-Confinement #60

Updated: Jan 5

I received some feedback on my newsletters. That feedback was essentially that my tone had changed (I had gotten darker). I think that assessment is very fair. I actually had been thinking about that very issue for a while now. One of the requests I have if people stumble upon my newsletter (or start to read it) is that they read them all (start with number #1 & catch up). It’s important for me that people understand how I have gotten to where I am. That’s no small ask considering we are now at #60 newsletters (and although they aren’t ever long, some aren’t short either).

Anyway, if you just started reading these you might think my view of my situation is quite bleak. I will admit that the last 10/15 newsletters my cheery nature has somewhat darkened. I will never defend the BOP; it deserves all the attention it can get. It’s a disaster. But I/WE know that. Will it ever change? Maybe (there are people out there trying).

But what I’m mad at myself about is I let this BS get to me. NOW IN MY defense my HERNIA (yes, it’s been diagnosed officially) has me in a ton of pain & for those that know me IT IS KNOWN I do not have my legendary patience when I’m in this much pain.

However, my attitude is still unacceptable. I always have a day in how I handle the challenges I face. I lost focus…. I apologize.

I don’t want people reading this to just get angrier & angrier. That’s not the purpose of my newsletters. I want people/family learning what they are going to be facing. I think venting about the BOP is the one healthy thing we all can participate in (whether you are an inmate or a family member….it affects all of us). The smart play is to give it the attention it deserves then move on. Nothing deserves anyone’s total attention. So again, I apologize.

This experience is a huge source of inspiration, I lost focus and started just complaining. ALTHOUGH…. I had this epiphany at the very beginning of my journey, my job is to call it how it is…. not to sugar coat this experience (that may worry some people unnecessarily but I truly believe people want the real deal not some event spun wearing kid gloves).

So, my efforts will trend more toward the positive outlook. But let’s be the honest the BOP doesn’t exactly provide feel good stories (because c’mon there really isn’t any). There are plenty of people making this experience better and I will continue to talk about that. I will also give people as much info as I can to help them when they reach each phase.

So, five months after I stopped biking at Leavenworth because I felt like I tore something in stomach. I got a definitive diagnosis (from normal doctors that order tests in timely fashion). I 100% have a hernia (and some other stuff that needs to be looked at) …. but I’m ecstatic. I can get this fixed. Huge relief. The BOP claims they are going to reimburse me for the front tooth removal (that could have been avoided if it was treated). We will see if they kick in for the hernia. Not likely.

The TDAP (the final part of RDAP) program here is fantastic. The councilors are ex parole officers (so they know all the tricks, so they will call you out on any games). But they also provide plenty of good stories…. but they actually seem to care about your continuing success. One of the DTS staff in particular is very sharp…. has a lot of ex clients who think highly of him.

Navigating RDAP was an indescribable journey that forged deep connections among us. The friendships cultivated during this experience, whether within RDAP or at the camp, feel enduring and likely to last a lifetime. The shared moments, challenges, and growth we encountered together defy explanation. Our collective journey not only contributed to personal growth but also fostered resilient and lasting bonds among us.

With that In mind hopefully this Story makes a bit more sense.

Craziest things I have seen/heard during home confinement

One of his RDAP students had a very hard time making ends meet years ago.

He struggled finding work and eventually landed a trucking job that was a drive around the country type job. He was elated, the pay was spectacular, but also it was a great opportunity. The BOP denied the job originally, but some parole staff members (who saw how hard this inmate was trying to succeed) went to bat for him. INCLUDING My Sacramento RDAP DTS who made it his mission to help him get the job approved. The inmate eventually got the job and drove the truck for years. He eventually found success and money. Every year he contacts the RDAP office here and asks the staff to pick out a RDAPPER who is struggling. He times his truck route to come through Sacramento and gives this inmate a few hundred bucks to help with the holidays. He does this every year. He does it because he remembers what it was like to have nothing. That’s awesome.

There are plenty of good stories…. most of the time I don’t want to hear them because comparably they are so infrequent. It’s like I don’t want the BOP to get credit for anything. The BOP didn’t help save my life…. the people and experience of going to prison saved my life.

6 weeks into my arrival at home confinement (I’m not being a smart ass just being accurate about the time length it took for approvals) ….

ALL my jobs were approved. I can assist felons in a limited capacity at the various groups I want to work/volunteer with…. including my favorite attorneys in the world - Law Office of Wing & Parisi.

One of the most fulfilling endeavors will be …."Project Rebound" with Sacramento State's Criminal Justice Department. This program focuses on transforming formerly incarcerated individuals into scholars through mentoring, academic resources, and career development.

But my big win was starting work in advertising, something I did for over 20 years. We will see how it goes but I am beyond grateful for the opportunity.

Hope everyone is well. Please reach out if you ever need anything from me. You can always find time to help the people you care about.


Weekly newsletter.week 60
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Dec 09, 2023

Could it be possible that the anger is normal? You have been through a traumatic time and have not been able (for several reasons) to explore or share your emotions. Could this anger be part of the healing process? Could the anger be a manifestation of how your boundaries were violated?

this may be something to explore.

I do know that many people are fearful of the emotion of anger. Anger serves a purpose. It is there for a reason.

Rage, on the other hand is pathologic and not healthy.

Hang in there. I think that your newsletters are great and the emotions that you are feeling are fine.



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