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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #30

Updated: Jan 10

I am only 4 months from going home.

The last of inmate artist Rolo’s renditions of Scott’s photo’s. This is Scott and Jessica (his good friend and assisting attorney) some time ago when they were students at UCSB.

WOW. That is crazy. I think that will mean about 16/17 more newsletters. Daily Life at the LPC is going fast. The weekdays are great...they fly by. The weekends are a bit tougher without RDAP. RDAP really makes the day fly by. We recently built a sand volleyball court and bocce ball court (also horseshoes) .... I wish you could see how much we are improving this place. Despite our efforts it still looks like an abandoned park from the movie Terminator. It still provides very little to do. But we are doing our best to make it livable.

Craziest thing I heard/saw at the LPC this week?

One of the most sought-after jobs at the camp is the town driver. The town driver runs errands all day. They drive inmates that are released to the bus/plane station to go home. They drive guards around whenever they want to go someplace. Town drivers have a ton of freedom. An inmate told me a story about how he met his girlfriend. He met her as a TOWN DRIVER....WHAT????? He was driving one day and stopped off to hang out for a few minutes waiting to kill time before his next pickup. He ended meeting a woman who he struck up a conversation with. From that one conversation they started corresponding & chatting. She had no idea he was an inmate...she thought he worked for the government. He has only seen her a few times...However you would never know it based on the way he talks. He is beyond smitten. I have heard of a few people finding their wives in prison.... I just have trouble imagining it.

I have mentioned to everyone our daily “upbeat rituals” in RDAP. They are at the end of our meetings. We play a game or a sport to put us in a good mood for the day (it is as odd as it sounds.... very awkward.... but we do our best). Literally we say, "Today's upbeat ritual is________ we are doing so to uplift us and prepare us mentally for the rest of the day." So, on Wednesday we had to sing a tune and then someone in the audience had to guess the song and artist. Very few people went up there to sing. My first thought was this is way am I getting up there and singing. I have the worst voice and that would terrify me. (Dad comment: He is being truthful not modest)

As soon as I thought that...I said F that.... I am going to go up there BECAUSE I am scared. I refuse to be beaten at anything (well not anything.... you get it) .... I sang a brutal rendition of its a "beautiful day," by U2. It was all I could come up with on the spot. It was either that or Taylor Swift. Anyway, I did it so I’m proud of that.

It was a rough week. A friend of ours who was 19 days....19 DAYS...away from going home got booked for Alcohol. He will face new charges and his good time/FSA credit will be wiped out. I don’t condone what he was doing but it is difficult not to have empathy. He is a good guy...The security team "SIS & SIA" came in and raided his unit. Bags and bags of contraband were taken away...CRAZY.


This place continues to scare the hell out of me some days. I know I have mentioned to everyone how easy it is to get in trouble even if you are actively trying to avoid it. Here is my scary story. Today I was down in our gym (it is a basement with a ton of ridiculously old equipment) ....and five exercise bikes.

These bikes were bought by Michael Vick (famous football player who spent time here) and then taken by the guards. When they broke them, they were returned...HA....So what did the inmates do (those clever, innovative inmates)

They fixed them, and people ride them every day. So anyway, I was downstairs riding the bike. All sudden SIS (Security team.... they are intense) ...came into the gym with a lieutenant...that’s never good. On the wall opposite the room (probably 40 feet away) were makeshift speakers with a phone attached to them (playing music). They went up to the phone and speaker and pulled it out of the wall.... WOW....there were 3 people lifting weights in the vicinity. The lieutenant asked whose phone it is (he’s talking to the 3 inmates near it) .... nobody answers.... He asks again and proceeds to tell us that if someone doesn’t claim the phone "WE ARE ALL GOING TO SHU & BEING HELD PENDING AN INVESTIGATION." (He looks over at me and points to make sure I know I am included) WHAT T F???? I didn’t even know a phone was in the room...I am biking, reading a book, and listening to my MP3 player. Clearly, I don’t have anything to do with the phone. He is including me to put pressure on everyone else. I don’t mess with phones...I don’t do anything wrong AT ALL at this place...So I’m freaking out.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??? If I say anything I break the inmate code (and there are serious consequences for that) ...If I don’t say anything Its a possibility I go to SHU and held for investigation....I would have to start over in RDAP, could lose my FSA/Good time credits.....Since I would likely be cleared I probably would be fine....But there are no guarantees. I could be held for months (while under investigation phone is only 1 a month, no correspondence). Terrifying. The guard proceeds to give us one last chance...he says we have one last chance.... if someone steps up and takes ownership of the phone...He will take it and leave (he even says "he will wish us a good day"). Now you have no idea if this is true. They can do whatever they want. Taking his word is a big time risk. Without getting too dramatic (which it was) of the three inmates admits it was his phone. The Guard takes the phone and "wishes us a good day." Just like that it was over. It was a big relief, but it was next level terrifying. It is a scary situation where you can’t win with any decision you make.

I miss everyone...Tell next week.

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