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  #1  
Old 07-10-2016, 05:15 PM
Combs Combs is offline
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Around 2x-3x/year, I look up some old acquaintances from back when I was inside to see if everybody’s still out or if anybody ended up back inside. I did one of my status checks last night and found that one of the best guys I ever knew in 6 years inside is back inside--again. This is his fifth time through the mill. When he gets out this time (~3 years from now), he’ll have spent 15 of the last 30 years inside--and that doesn’t even count Parole time. He probably did another 7 or 9 on Parole, and he’ll have another 3 to do on Parole after he gets out.

This really makes me sad, but I guess he’s OK with being inside. If he wasn't, he wouldn’t be back in there now. Still--I think being inside isn’t even being alive--it's a kind of living death and time spent inside isn’t even time worth living. I can’t imagine ever allowing myself to get sucked back inside again. I’d rather just drop dead and be done with it. I really hope he figures something out this time and quits his self-destructive “moth to the flame” pattern, but I don’t feel confident that’ll be the case. Oh, well... We all pick our paths and nature will take its course.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2016, 06:08 PM
prisonlady prisonlady is offline
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Have you considered that he may simply be unable to earn a living on the outside even if he is able and willing to do some work, since he may have trouble getting a job that pays the bills, or a job, period? At least in prison he doesn't have to worry about paying rent or where the next meal will be coming from, although the conditions are terrible and he is not necessarily choosing prison on purpose as a solution.

Depending on what he's doing, it could be that he is, in fact, trying to earn more money than he can earn legally, but in doing so, he is breaking the law and ends up incarcerated again.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2016, 06:43 PM
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He used to have decent, responsible, pretty well-paying jobs when he was outside. He had a serious “in charge” job at a concrete block factory years ago and has had decent construction jobs more recently. I expect the quality of his jobs and income have been going down with each additional run through the prison system. By this point, you might well be right. He’s probably evolved into one of those “institutionalized” mentality guys the counselors always warned us about becoming. Nonetheless--it still makes me really sad.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:29 PM
GaReform GaReform is offline
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Originally Posted by prisonlady View Post
Have you considered that he may simply be unable to earn a living on the outside even if he is able and willing to do some work, since he may have trouble getting a job that pays the bills, or a job, period? At least in prison he doesn't have to worry about paying rent or where the next meal will be coming from, although the conditions are terrible and he is not necessarily choosing prison on purpose as a solution.

Depending on what he's doing, it could be that he is, in fact, trying to earn more money than he can earn legally, but in doing so, he is breaking the law and ends up incarcerated again.
You are right about not being able to work causing major problems. My son tried everything to get hired. He had 16 job offers rescinded once they found out about his background. He tried working for himself but could find very few people to do short term work for off Craigslist. I remember him saying he should have just served his whole time so that maybe he could work when he got out & at least he knew he'd have a place to live & food to eat. He gave up & accepted that he wasn't worth anything. So he made a bad decision that resulted in a probation violation & now he's back inside for a short time. But he is a lot wiser & realizes it could be worse so he knows no matter what he'll have to make it work outside when he's released.

There isn't much help for offenders after release. No one helps them with job leads, places to stay or even just encouragement. All the so called programs are just look good on paper programs. There is nothing that they can use to make sure they have what they need to be successful.

We treat animals in the shelter better than this. No one would ever think of locking up an animal for years & then one day just turning it loose with a "good luck" & expect there to be a happy ending. Yet this is what the legal system does to prisoners.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:37 PM
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You are right about not being able to work causing major problems. My son tried everything to get hired. He had 16 job offers rescinded once they found out about his background. He tried working for himself but could find very few people to do short term work for off Craigslist. I remember him saying he should have just served his whole time so that maybe he could work when he got out & at least he knew he'd have a place to live & food to eat. He gave up & accepted that he wasn't worth anything. So he made a bad decision that resulted in a probation violation & now he's back inside for a short time. But he is a lot wiser & realizes it could be worse so he knows no matter what he'll have to make it work outside when he's released.

There isn't much help for offenders after release. No one helps them with job leads, places to stay or even just encouragement. All the so called programs are just look good on paper programs. There is nothing that they can use to make sure they have what they need to be successful.

We treat animals in the shelter better than this. No one would ever think of locking up an animal for years & then one day just turning it loose with a "good luck" & expect there to be a happy ending. Yet this is what the legal system does to prisoners.
I agree with what you said, they don't make it easy once you come out of prison
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:34 PM
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Real talk...my Lo WAS basically okay with being inside. He felt like that was where he belonged...like it was what he deserved. He had the same convict mentality as most of his fellow inmates, he knew how to survive in the jungle, and he had plenty of hobbies: selling dope, using, gambling, gang banging, drinking...quite frankly, the same hobbies he had on the streets. The hobbies he wasn't ready to let go of. His father died in prison and his mother raised him to believe he was going to end up the same way, and I guess it became a self fulfilling prophecy in a way. There were obviously more factors there - a wife who was never happy living on his "legal income," a couple instances of playing white knight and taking charges for other people - but in the end he made the choices he did because he's already accepted prison as his fate.

So he got out, went back in, got out, went back in x over half of his adult life. He just accepted it.

I do know that once he changed his mentality and decided he deserved and wanted better, prison time got so much harder. He didn't fit in with most of the people anymore and life got very lonely. The environment went from a nuisance to almost intolerable. He started spending all of his time dreaming of being free and calculating how to never go back ever again. He stopped acting like an animal in the jungle and started acting human again, and humans are built for prison.

I can't say he'll never go back... That's up to him. But I've had a cool vantage point to watch a repeat offender completely change their way of thinking and living over the past couple years. Here's hoping it sticks and your friend finds his way home for good.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:03 PM
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.....once he changed his mentality and decided he deserved and wanted better, prison time got so much harder. He didn't fit in with most of the people anymore and life got very lonely. The environment went from a nuisance to almost intolerable. He started spending all of his time dreaming of being free and calculating how to never go back ever again.....
Interesting thoughts. You just gave me some insight into my own trip through the mill. I knew when I got to Reception this trip would be my one and only trip through the mill, because I’d do literally anything to avoid going through that insane system again. I think the CO’s sensed it, because most of them showed serious antipathy toward me from the start. A few years and a couple prisons later, one of the few decent CO’s I ever knew told me that CO’s didn’t like the way I “behaved with dignity”. Wow. All I ever did was keep my nose clean, my mouth shut, myself down below the firing line and behave appropriately for the environment. I didn’t get tickets and I never gave anybody a target to take potshots at. I kept to myself, lived in my own little world and never did fit in well at all. If I hadn’t been a Law Library clerk, math coach, alcohol/substance abuse peer counselor and AA facility chairman/clerk I doubt anybody would’ve ever even talked to me. Oh, well... that was then and this is now.

But... back to this thread. I do really feel bad for my old acquaintance. I’m sure he’s more comfortable inside, but he’ll be back out in 3 years and back to the same old same old problems--except I’m sure it’ll all be even worse than before. This is his fifth time through the mill, so any sane employer is going to take a negative view of him, shake their head and point to the door. After five runs through the mill, rebuilding credibility is going to be “Mission:Impossible” for him.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:45 AM
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Another story and more of the same old same old.....

I just found out yesterday that one of my old bunkies who was still on paper is back inside. He got hit with a PV and he’ll be inside until his max date next year. I know he’d already screwed up a couple times during this run on paper and I imagine he probably earned what he got, but it still makes me sad to see him back inside that tiresome old fence. This is his 4th time through the mill and when he gets out, he’ll have been inside for ~16 out of the last 30 years (NOT counting parole time). I don’t know why these guys just won’t stop and I’m definitely not going to be joining them in their revolving door antics, but they really do make me feel blue.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:12 PM
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My brother was in and out for several years - then in 1999 - signed a plea bargain to keep his wife from being arrested and his kids from being put in foster homes. He was young then and now 17 years later realized what he did. I think back then - he didn't mind prison life - thought it was kind of "cool" - Signed his life away - 112 years - federal prison. In those 17 years he made some bad decisions - has been in max security for most of the time if not in program or SHU. Most recently - he was threatened with program again even though he had done nothing - I wrote -emailed - called - his case manager and lieutenant spoke up for him at the hearing and he is getting a regular transfer. Hated visiting him behind glass - only had a few visits that weren't - now he just wants to serve his time in relative peace. Hoping at some point something will change and he can get out - if he had not signed the plea bargain - he'd be out in 5 or so years. Heart breaks for him and if he were ever released - I'd take care of him. I try to do what I can for him now and he asks for NOTHING. Sad - a life wasted.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:33 PM
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I agree with what you said, they don't make it easy once you come out of prison
Not only do they make it worse,they make it HARDER when a person leaves prison they have a criminal record,and citizens assume this person is now "worthless"(not knowing their people who want change).But like always I learned something though it is still YOU who determines your future and fate,no matter the "boundaries" after prison best is to keep trying to find the job you want do NOT give up,knock on 10 doors one door WILL accept you.Failure is not an option,well atleast wasn't for me.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:34 PM
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Hello... I'm looking for some recommendations on reentry homes for parolees? My brother gets out in 2 years after 17 years in straight. He wants to start there and I'm having a hard time finding something in Riverside County, close enough for me to visit. Any info is appreciated!
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:34 AM
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Hello... I'm looking for some recommendations on reentry homes for parolees? My brother gets out in 2 years after 17 years in straight. He wants to start there and I'm having a hard time finding something in Riverside County, close enough for me to visit. Any info is appreciated!
Go into the “US Regional Forums” area and put a post in the CA state sub-forum. You’ll have a much better chance of getting responses there.
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