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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #19

Updated: Jan 5

Miscellaneous stuff in Kansas

We had a ton of snow the other night. So much that it caved in part of the roof and water started dripping through the entire floor into our activity room (it is in the middle of the unit next to the door we walk in). I can’t believe anything penetrated this compound. But it did.


Things are tense here because of the Memphis situation (cops beating that poor guy to death). Anything related to law enforcement riles the prisons up. I don’t think this statement will surprise anyone, but the government is not well liked in prisons.


Working in the kitchen was a bit interesting for the first two months. I didn’t mention it to anyone because I felt like it was just complaining... but most of the workers wouldn’t talk to me. It was bizarre. They would say "Hi,"...that was it. Come to find out its done-on purpose to see if you are a hard worker or if you are going to stick around. Most people quit after a few days or get fired stealing stuff. There are a few guys I have had one sided conversation with for weeks. If someone won’t say hi that fires me up to bug them every day until I get something out of them. Anyway, after a couple months everyone starting chatting. It was so noticeable I had to ask. It is a strange initiation. They wanted to see if I was going to hack it. Kind of funny though. So many social differences here as opposed to the part of the real world in which I used to exist.


Crazy things I have heard or seen at the Leavenworth Prison Camp.


One of my friends in RDAP (although he just signed out...is going home in 9 days), He is named "E."( Equira) and is originally from South Africa. When he was around 10, he was kidnapped and held hostage by some enemies of his father to exert pressure on his dad to give up some favorable oil/gas contracts. In front of his father part of his arm was cut off using a machete. Their purpose was to force his dad to sign documents (his dad refused). E was also branded with the drug lords initials. This story absolutely floored me. He told me about it one day as we walked five miles around the compound. He is quite open about this experience. Can you imagine???? Happy to see he is going home. Recently lots of people have been going home to the CARES Act. The CARES act is supposedly being discontinued so people are scrambling.


Dad Comment: The CARES Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Part of the Act provides that Inmates in federal prison can secure an early release from prison and received home confinement as related to the COVID emergency. It was signed into law in March 2020.


Essentially, the part of the CARES Act that Scott is referring to gives authority to the Executive Branch to allow eligible inmates to be placed in home confinement during the federal COVID-19 state of emergency. Traditionally, the Federal Bureau of Prisons allowed inmates to be placed in home confinement for the last 10 percent or six months of their sentence. With the CARES Act, the BOP can consider more time in home confinement rather than prison or a half-way house. The number of inmates who have benefited from this appears to be less than proponents hoped. President Biden by ending the Covid Emergency declaration effectively will end the provision for special home confinement related to Covid. The Covid Emergency Declaration and home confinement release will end on May 11. 2023. In theory Scott could still benefit from CARES but I am not expecting it.


Story


It now seems apparent to me why I stayed involved with UCSB. Besides loving to help others I really do gravitate towards younger people. Their energy is inspiring. I have noticed I have a lot of younger friends in Leavenworth. Two of them are just over 30 and they remind me of my friends outside (ha...not to say my outside friends remind me of criminals but you get it). My favorite is a guy named Hadley. He is from Texas and is hilarious. But the thing that impresses the most about him is the potential he has. This guy could do anything. He is exactly like my Christian...We joke all day, and he reminds me how important it is to have fun whenever you can. I have gotten him to start reading self-improvement books and taking classes with me. It’s fun to watch him get excited about reaching his potential.


The thing I notice most is people really miss their kids/family (shocker rt???) .... I spend a lot of time giving advice on a subject in which I have no personal experience. Bizarre. The advice I give is stay busy and find a way to show your family you love them from the prison. We have come up with some creative stuff that I look forward to sharing when I get out. One big idea was to have my buddies in here reach out to a friend on the outside and ask them to send flowers to their wives/girlfriends. When you have few options, you get creative. Many significant others are starting to receive flowers now and the response has been awesome.


Another younger friend is named Phil (probably my closest friend in here). I have mentioned him before.... he is super private, smart, and funny. He is easy to spend lots of time around. You need to remember you spend literally 12-14 hours a day with the same people (except sleep) ...so it is impossible to not need breaks. But it is easy to spend long periods of time with him. Really good athlete...Played baseball @ Nebraska (catcher). We play horse (basketball) every day and play catch in the gym because its cold. He is a much better athlete than I however I still can shoot decently so we are neck in neck in our daily horse games. Plus, I hate losing anything, so I am constantly practicing at odd times when no one sees (HA).

Anyway, the reason many are in here is drugs/alcohol. They are many examples of people here that used constantly and didn’t think it was a problem. One thing happened which was more like bad luck and boom they landed in here. I don’t think drugs were out of control with them.... I know that sounds odd, but I know plenty of people that use drugs recreationally (once in a while and it is not a problem for them). The thing I find interesting is they were caught because someone informed on them. Informants are big and sensitive subject in here. Lots of people are in here because someone cut a deal. Some people obsess over it. I would have obsessed about it if that had been my situation. If you did inform (if it is found out) ...you are ostracized AT BEST (most likely you take a beating and then are transferred). Anyway, Phil is the first person I have met here who doesn’t seem to care (Hadley obsessed over it and figured out who his informant was). Phil is facing 3 years because one of three CLOSE friends cut a deal and used him as bait. A CLOSE FRIEND....That would kill me. I have read his PSR (pre-sentence report) and am spending more time trying to figure out who it was then he is.... He doesn’t care. I must admit I admire that about him. But I am determined to figure it out. I have a theory and I think I am right. We will see. Might be a great story one day.


Inmates with ankle monitors have jumped from 86,000 inmates in 2020 to 247,000 in 2022.

How much do you think a doctor is paid to administer a lethal injection? On average 15K.

Big super bowl weekend. Go Chiefs. Stay safe everyone. I miss you all.

Dad Comment: Scott has read a great deal since beginning his time at LPC. I asked him if he would write a brief comment about the value of some of the books he is reading. This is his first submission. He geared his comment towards me as a reader.



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