No Bars


Ms. Maertz:

There really aren’t any rules and regs as far as when I get out. I’ll be on an intense form of probation / parole for the first six months. As long as I’m doing well (passing my UAs, going to meetings, looking for work/working/going to school, they won’t pay much attention to me. And those are all of the things I plan on doing.

The first day or two they usually let us go shopping and see family, that sort of thing. But we are expected to get looking for work right after that.

In five weeks, I’ll be able to call you. I really don’t know too much more than that, but I can’t wait to talk to you.

Things are going well for me here. It’s all manufactured stress. They like to see how we react to things. I usually do well.

I don’t have too much time to read news and articles but the Johann Hari article was really good. [“Everything we know about the drug war and addiction is wrong”]

I do like to read feedback from the blog, so keep that coming.

It’s been a crazy few days. Three days ago we got our red tags removed. Red tags go on our IDs and sort of make us stand out as new guys. It’s the first real hurdle. We felt pretty good about it.

Well. Last night they made us put them back on. Our squad, as a whole, is a mess. Even for new guys. Some of us (thankfully, not me) still can’t figure out left and right. Some of us (me) still can’t make our beds with 45 degree angles and no wrinkles. And some of us (I won’t profile) think it’s okay to rap and use the N word and profanity.

It is now back to being incredibly stressful, but I think we’re still on some sort of “right path.”

Two days ago while on a work crew we went way out into the woods and raked up pine needles into piles for about an hour. Even though we were working, I felt completely at peace. The sun was hitting my face, a cool breeze making the dry leaves scratch each other in a game of leap frog. The birds happily singing to us. And no fences in sight. No fences, no barbed wire, no bars anywhere here. I think of that moment when I get frustrated. I know that soon I will be able to find peace in everything I do.

And just writing all of that settled me down from today’s frustrations. I’m grateful that people actually want to read this. Thank you. And stay tuned.

1 thought on “No Bars

  1. Rachel

    Dear Anne & Vince
    just made time to read the most recent entries on your blog & wanted to write how much hope, humility, inspiration & love shone out of your entries. Thank you.



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