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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #13

Updated: Jan 15

I had a visitor. YEAH!!! My friend Christian Sparger braved the travel debacle and came to the LPC. I just love her so much. I am so lucky to have the support I do. But get this...the guard almost did not let her stay. I was told I didn’t have any visitor points, yet I have never had a visitor. Each month you get a certain number of points to have guests. My total was zero indicating I had multiple visits. I was stunned and started explaining to the guard that she had traveled from California. He made an exception after talking to his CO (head guard) ...."Its Christmas." Let her stay. But WOW...come on.... can you imagine if they turned her away. I need to talk to my counselor and find out what is going on. Kind of scary.

Leavenworth got an influx of new inmates. I am by no means a veteran here, but I do remember how uncomfortable I was walking around at the beginning not knowing anyone or having any idea what to do. One of the pieces of advice that I got in my white-collar group before entering prison is that "people will be helpful."...I would amend that statement as follows: "Some people will be helpful; most people will not (at least not at first)." Most of the information I got when I sought help here was terrible and totally unhelpful. I have gone out of my way to introduce myself and offer help in any way I can.

This place is the walking plague.... everyone is sick.... In my unit alone there are over 15 people in medical...I am one of 3 people who are not sick (or are not on medical lay in). The people directly next to me have Pneumonia.

"Strangest things I have seen/heard." (THAT I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT). While I was waiting to get XRAYS (don’t ask me why I am getting Xray’ idea...bizarre). I met a man who had some crazy health problems. The biggest prerequisite he had in moving to a camp was the camp needed to have air conditioning. He fought for over 3 years to get transferred from a medical unit to a camp...asking only for air conditioning. As he told me this story, I am thinking to myself this guy knows there is no AC here at LEAVENWORTH. In summer the place is called the HOTBOX (which is an actual book that discusses prisoners that were sent to Leavenworth and only allowed out once a day a year for exercise.... the story is so crazy you won’t believe me if I paraphrase it.... I will need to get the book and write the story verbatim.... I barely believe it and I was told the story from a guard).

Anyway, the guy had a good sense of humor about it and was trying to pretend we did have AC. Good for him...keep a positive attitude.... But can you imagine working that hard to get here and finding out the one thing you wanted was a NO GO. How did they get that so wrong???? Plenty of Prisons/camps have AC....not here.

My activities and schedule

I have been so excited to update everyone on what I am up to now. I wanted to make sure everything panned out before I wrote this. First things first I started my job in the kitchen (everyone is sick, so I got bumped into the rotation). I work in the mornings and lunch (5am and 10am). It’s serving, preparing, and cleaning. It also comes with some killer perks. I can bypass the HUGE line for every meal and get food whenever it is being served. I also can use the Kitchen/cafeteria whenever I want to study or hang out and watch TV.

I also got tasked to take over the inmate head position for education in the dog unit (it is such a long story how this happened I will need to tell everyone later...its huge compliment. As it is one of the most high-level jobs available here). A guy named Daniel (he is in here for a 55-million-dollar Ponzi scheme) runs the education/dog unit/assistant to education guard Mr. Adams....he is training me take over when he leaves. Lots of people wanted this gig and I was bumped to the top. I am excited about it.

Next, I am beginning a yearlong program to get my paralegal/legal degree/certificate. I have plans to go back into law when I get home. I study at least 4-6 hours a day. Nothing but time so I am cruising through it. Just finished my first 5 tests.

I also am taking a leadership class with 7 other inmates. It’s a 9-week class that we get First Step Act (FSA) credit. For those of you who are curious about this stuff here is the website.

This class is unbelievable. The teacher is a fellow inmate who is a fantastic teacher (there are some really gifted people in here). I could not be more fired up for the class and what I am learning.

I will be teaching a communication/negotiation class for the first quarter next year. I am currently writing my lesson plans. I have also enrolled in the HEART PROGRAM. Hospital, Real Estate, Education and Teaching program. This program results in a certificate and is a 4-month class every day from 11-12:30.

My schedule is as follows.

WORK - Breakfast - wake up at 5:45am (kitchen)

RDAP - 7am - 10:30am

WORK - Lunch 10:35- 11am (Kitchen)

HEART class - 11am-12:30am

RDAP 1pm - 2pm

PARALEGAL work 2:15- 4pm

DINNER @ 4pm

Paralegal work - 4:30 - 6pm

Leadership class 6 - 7:00pm

Paralegal 8pm - 9:45

Lights out - count @ 10pm

The advice I got when I came in was better yourself. Get a job. Stay busy. I am busy to say the least.

TO RECAP. I am taking RDAP, working TWO jobs, taking 3 classes, teaching one, Getting my Paralegal degree/certificate. Writing weekly newsletters. Reading profusely. Working out (I do need to eat better though...I am giving myself a break until I’m fully done Detoxing). Fired up!!!! Not bad Right????

The illustration is accurate except for no phone, no computer, no briefcase, and no civilian clothes

Comments from Dad

I get to visit Scott in a few weeks and am very excited to visit Kansas in winter. Who would not be. It is clear Scott is doing better and engaging in activities geared towards putting him in the best position to go forward with his life when confinement ends.

Scott - High School Baseball

Weekly newsletter. week 13
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