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Welcome to our world!
This is not your ordinary prison survival guide. This is a survival guide for maximum security penitentiaries. It was inspired by a trip back to the County Jail. I was able to take another negative and make the best of it.
Thankfully, I happen to be of the small percentage of men in prison who can actually think for self. Realizing I was over-shadowed in this alienated environment, I decided to pick up the pen. My intent was simple- Create an eye-opener for the unconscious.
In the process of blueprinting this project, a frequently asked question has been, “How did you come up with the title?” Some people even criticized me for claiming this environment. Well, I went with the title, “Welcome to Our World” for two reasons.
·I used “Our” because I am part of the population
·The things that go on here, in the penitentiary, are foreign to how things operate in medium facilities, lows, or camps and even state prisons.
I’ll be the first to tell you, the federal system is over-rated. You do not have to be a kingpin to be made famous. For those of you who are still free, it’s important to know: nowadays, just about everything is going fed. Whether you’re a first time felon or someone looking at their third strike, you’re no longer in the State. Beating the Feds is much harder. The Feds still have a 99.9% conviction rate. You’ll need more than a fifty thousand dollar attorney to have a shot.
I was indicted in 2005. When this interesting journey began, I was sentenced to 262 months on charges of: 1) conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more. 2) Possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 3) Using physical force to intimidate a federal witness. I was immediately shipped to USP Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia and other prisons would soon follow.
Coming into the system, I had no one to sit me down and give me “the game.” None of the old-timers who came before me took the initiative. The lack of communication between generations has a lot to do with the mind state of the “new comers” in the federal system today. But, I don’t believe in watching things unfold, if I could help it. So, although I am only 28 years old, I’ll be that old-timer for those who are just coming in.
I have yet to get the privilege to experience the “likes” of the lower level facilities. But, I have had the opportunity to sit down with those who have. To this day, I cannot understand how one could give up the privilege of living more comfortably in a lower security facility. True penitentiaries are more structured, but there’s even more politics. You have more freedom in the lower level facilities, but the administration’s tolerance level is very low.
On January 7, 2010 I was called back on a writ to a County Jail in Salem, Virginia. This was related to a murder that took place in Lee County’s federal prison (USP Lee). It was during my first few weeks in the jail, in the midst of fresh faces, when I experienced the most disrespect I’ve ever endured. Ever! At least that’s what I thought. I found myself surrounded by inconsiderate men, who I saw as “Dangerous Individuals”. I was once one of these unconscious men who were fresh off the street.
I have learned so much during the last eight years in maximum security and supermax facilities in the federal system. Two of those lessons will always stand out.
In this survival guide, I’ll erase any myths that you may have heard about the federal system.
I’m sure there is a long list of other myths and rumors. After reading this, you should have a clear understanding of how things work in the federal system.
So, for the curious and the unconscious, sit back and take heed. Put the urban novels aside for a while, as I welcome you to our world!
Stay tuned for more to come on a weekly basis.