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Illinois General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in Illinois that do not fit into any other Illinois sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 09-26-2004, 01:05 PM
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Dear PTO Members,

I would like to talk to you for a moment about some of your concerns when it comes to this site being monitored by DOC officials and the paranoia that seems to follow. Simply put, I am sure there are many DOC employees that regularly visit PTO in addition to the ones known to us that are very helpful here. It is up to you and what you have to say on whether or not any interested parties even notice you exist.

This isnít a new topic. This is something that has been discussed since soon after PTO first opened. The public nature of PTO and the internet in general gives most anyone the ability to read the public forums here and in most other forums, groups or boards. Before you registered you could view the forums and thus anyone else can to. This is not going to change. Even if we were to make PTO a private site, guess what?? Anyone with a little bit of time could infiltrate it and it would only peak more curiosity. If you are not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.

It is each memberís responsibility to consider what they are posting and what personal information is given out. Since we opened the site I am aware of only a couple problems that came about from people posting here. That is a couple out of almost 30 THOUSAND now. Out of all the problems that I am aware of, each stemmed out of a member talking about things they did which violated a prisonís policy or law.

I am sorry if this upsets anyone, but the truth of the matter is most DOC officials donít give a flip about what you have to say.. Whether it is praising them or criticizing them. They get to deal with it at work all day and 99.9999% of the DOCís donít consider you a threat. They donít care about any rants being made against them. People protest all the timeÖ File reports and grievances.. You name it, they FADE IT.. That is part of their job. Yes, a small percentage of COís out there might be interested in knowing who is criticizing them directly but most just want to do their job and go home.

What they do care about are people who are violating prison rules, and especially those who flaunt it publicly which then makes them look bad. ((Notice we have a policy here about those who post about violating DOC rules - for YOUR OWN PROTECTION)) You want to talk about the dirty little things you got away with at visitation and that the guards at this prison or that prison are laxer in visitation??? How the heck do you think that makes them look, especially if their boss happens to read about it? What do you think the result is going to be for everyone else at visitation after they crack down big time because you wanted to brag about getting away with breaking the rules??? Do you think the CO is going to be happy that you brought down heat on them?

This also goes for talking about getting things through in the mail and ANYTHING else that is a violation of prison rules. Its things like this that make them want to know who you are for obvious reasons. It is also things that are not appreciated at all by other members here because of the obvious fallout and how it affects them.

Letís now talk about activism and making a lot of noise. Activism is one area that is not addressed very much at PTO because we are a prisoner family SUPPORT SITE, not an activist community. We are not interested in doing battle with the DOC, DOC employees or anything of the sort. If you want to stand up and wage a war with COís or the DOC then YOU are putting yourself at risk. If you post about it at PTO and it comes back to bite you, it is on you, not PTO.

I have gotten complaints from a few members recently about ďcensorshipĒ and ďfreedom of speechĒ. Well, I am going to be blunt once againÖ If you post something that we feel is a violation of prison rules, over antagonistic, or hyping everyone up because of an isolated event that is a result of your actions (no matter if we are sorry to see it happening or not), we are going to remove it at our discretion.

We are always going to do what is right for the community as a whole and anything that brings trouble upon this community is not going to be looked upon favorably.


For those of you who are concerned about staying anonymous here, there are a few SIMPLE things that you can do to remain completely anonymous.

1) Donít use your real name as your username.
2) Donít post your loved oneís name, Inmate ID #, or anything else publicly.
3) Donít be specific on which prison you are dealing with.
4) Be selective on who you share all the above information with privately.

PTO does not share your information with anyone. The only way that anyone on this site is going to get your personal information is if you give it to them. Itís very easy to say off the radar in many different ways and prevent anyone from knowing who you are.

To be honest with you, I donít care if they know who I am, who my friends are who are still in prison, ETC.. Why? Because there is NO reason for them to care. If I am not breaking any policies or making myself out to be a threat to them, why would they? If they donít like PTO for any number of reasons I am sure they would like me least of all because I started it, yet I have NEVER had any problems with a CO other than the few that have registered and started trouble (and were immediately banned). They know my name and where I did my time. They know the people in prison I write and did time with. They know I am involved with the Con-Tact News (no papers have been returned because the DOC didnít like them). No CO or staff member has ever sent me a threatening or nasty PM or Email.

Most DOC employees go to work and then go home. It is just a job for them. Yes, there is good and bad like everything else in this world but to think they are all out to get you is simply wrong. For those few who actually might be looking for trouble, the chance of them putting two & two together is up to you. There are almost 30,000 members on PTO at the time I type this and over 2 million inmates in prison. Finding out who you are without you telling people is like finding a needle in a haystack.

I donít know how I can be any clearer on this subject. They donít care about you unless you come up on the radar (become a problem for them). I suggest that if you just canít help but be a thorn in their sides or talk about how you broke this rule or law that you DO NOT also include personal information which someone could then identify you with, unless you just donít care.
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