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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #6

Updated: Jan 15

If you could only have one of these sodas which would it be?

  • Sprite

  • Coke Zero

  • Coke Classic

Theft!! In a prison?

With a little over a month under my belt I feel much better. I still am recovering from detoxing, but I finally got my first night of full sleep (wow over 30 days in and this past week was my first full night).

My locker continues to have food swiped (stolen) out of it every other day. Nothing huge but super annoying. There is nothing I can do about it, so I don’t get too angry. My bunkmate and I were going to do a stakeout (he also a food thief victim) but then what are we going to do if we catch someone? The number #1 item stolen is saltine crackers...go figure.

(a few days later) Whoever is stealing my food I just missed...I just opened my crackers...there are 4 sleeves now I have 2 and I haven’t eaten any.....argh!!!! I don’t know what to do. Today 2 guys doing laundry had all their stuff stolen. sooner or later, something got give. People are starting to watch the laundry to bait people. Mark my words a big problem is coming. People are also marking their laundry with their name in permanent ink and looking for people who stole it. It’s only going to become a bigger problem because nothing is happening to deal with it...frustrating...

Leavenworth Satellite Camp has a Canine Training Program ‘Photo is for illustration purposes only.

I thought I had spoken about this unit of the prison, but I guess it was only to a couple friends in random emails (I only recently met people in here, so I got super excited and fired off emails to my dog lover friends). CTAP is the Canine Training Apprentice Program. CTAP a canine unit that trains and works with rescue dogs, dogs that accompany police & firefighters. There are probably 20- 25 dogs that share rooms with fellow prisoners. The dogs are trained extensively and are paired with their full-time owner after 6 months. New puppies come in at 6 weeks old and transition out at 6 months (lucky dogs get to go home). SO WE HAVE PUPPIES running around. They are adorable. They pretty much brighten everyone’s day. The meet in the gymnasium and run them through obstacle courses and are taught detailed commands. Watching a room full of puppies get all their energy out is chaos at its best.

The unit seems to be made up of mostly white-collar guys. The unit is much nicer than the rest of the camp (even RDAP). Which made me contemplate...did I make the right push when selecting my program here? I am confident I did. I need to be enrolled in RDAP. What I have learned already has consumed my thoughts 24/7. Besides I am not here long enough to qualify for the CTAP unit. There is a waiting list due to its popularity and an extensive interview process like RDAP. They have additional TV's and space/privacy for their rooms. All inmates are allowed to visit after 4pm so I have made a habit of going in there to hang with the puppies/dogs. So many of my friends have asked why I don’t have a dog....I think I finally have the patience for one. So that’s one positive change I have taken away from the Leavenworth camp.

Illustration only. Photo’s not available from Camp

In only a month I have seen some things that defy imagination. I met a new transfer that was trying to talk the prison administrator into being able to teach a sculpting class (which is pretty bizarre for prison). The staff had no idea how sculpting would be possible, so they asked him to set up a demonstration. All he needed was two dozen bars of state issued soap and some cleaning detergent. Mr. R put together one of the most insanely creative sculpture presentation I have ever seen (granted this is my first). He made 3 mini sculptures that had the most precise detail. His specialty is famous musicians and people’s pets. They take priority. I wish I could do this scenario justice, simply put it was one of the most creative displays of anything I have ever seen. You would never picture this guy an artist. He is a hardcore gangster doing time for running a drug lab. People started immediately making requests... Bring him a pic of your favorite pet, grandson, motorcycles, and he will make you a 1-2 ft tall recreation that is scary in its similarity to the photo. He takes his time and his attention to detail is next level. He also makes necklaces out of Popsicle sticks that look better then things I see in the store. Hopefully my explanation does it justice....It’s amazing.

Soda Man

Everyone at Leavenworth drinks soda. At commissary you will see guys getting 8-10 cases of soda for the week. Soda and coffee are the beverages of choice. I have been sticking to my Wyler strawberry/lemonade lite water. Love it. But it’s hard not to want a cold soda occasionally. So like Europe nothing beverage wise in this camp is cold. We have massive ice coolers but that’s for personal ice. There are very few ways to get things cold. Thus, the soda man. For a 12 pack a week you can grab 8 sodas, one at a time... any time (they are ice cold)...He is always in his room and despite a intimidating presence he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I continue to be impressed with the different services people provide here and the different ways they provide them. I absolutely love creativity and although it’s not rocket science, I love meeting the different people and learning what they do and how they do it. By the end of my stay, I’m certain I will be able to touch on all the services provided here.

The simple ones as well as the extravagant ones.

Final thought

I have been thinking a lot about my relationships (obsessing really) and I want to thank every one of you for your support. your emails & letters are the best part of my day.

Weekly newsletter. week 6
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