Happy Birthday, After All


Yesterday after I emptied all of the garbages, filled the water container for the pill line, and made my afternoon cup of coffee, I went back to my room to read. I’m in the middle of Relic by Preston Douglas and Lincoln Child. It’s not bad. It sort of has two story lines. One is kind of boring and scientific. The other is exciting and gory.

Anyhow, I got into my room and there it was. Dated my birthday and with my name highlighted in bright yellow, was my acceptance letter to boot camp. Finally!

Here’s how it breaks down. Phase one is a minimum of six months and contains a highly structured daily schedule and treatment-oriented program that includes: intensive instruction on military drill, ceremony, bearing and courtesy; physical training, on- and off-site work crews, cognitive skills training, chemical dependency programming, education programming, restorative justice programming, and reintegration planning.

Phase two is a highly supervised community phase under intense surveillance and lasts a minimum of six months. And the final phase, also six months, is community-supervised release, and depending on behavior in phases one and two, can be shorter than six months. After that is standard parole for the remainder of my sentence, until 7-15-2018.

If I screw up, depending on severity, they can choose to put a location monitoring device on my leg or send me back to prison and take away all my good time. So I would sit in prison until 2018. That’s pretty good incentive.

So…now I wait. One of these nights they will call my name and I will get my red box. When your name is called, you go get a 1.5 x 4’ red bin (or two if necessary). Do not ask the CO where you’re going. They don’t know. In fact, they don’t tell us until we get on the bus. It’s for our safety, or some nonsense. If I knew where I was going, I could tell my family (really, just my mom) and friends. I could adjust my canteen order so I could have money to spend if I do end up at a county jail, and so I don’t end up with a bunch of envelopes and post cards purchased from the DOC that I can’t use at a county facility even though it is a DOC holding facility. Oh my God that sounds so complicated. It is.

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