My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

What I’ve Learned About the Federal Criminal Justice System Thus Far…

  • There are no conjugal visits.
  • The food really IS that bad.
  • Don’t tell anyone what you are in for.  And don’t ask anyone what they did.
  • There is no parole in the federal system…but you will only serve about 85% of your sentence for good behavior.
  • Be wary of those who are exceptionally nice.  And especially wary of those who are serving long sentences.
  • Admission into the RDAP program can get your sentence reduced by one year and an additional six months off (served in a halfway house).  Consequently, everyone is a drug addict and/or alcoholic.
  • Everyone really IS innocent…except for me.
  • There is a lot of misinformation bantered about among inmates.  Do not take legal advice from anyone except your attorney.
  • Most federal prisoners are incarcerated for convictions related to three general categories: money, weapons, and drugs.
  • Red tape — I was arrested in June of 2010, whereby I gave a full, uncoerced, signed confession for a case which would never go to trial…and I won’t even start serving my sentence until nearly a year later.  Speedy trial?  That probably would have taken years before I saw the inside of a courtroom.
  • There are always exceptions:  99.9% of those charged with what I had confessed to never get out on bond while they are awaiting trial…and I had been charged with over a dozen of those crimes.  Yet, I have been able to go to work, attend religious services, see my psychotherapist/psychiatrist, and even go on an extended holiday leave to visit my in-laws.
  • While Federal Sentencing Guidelines are mostly black & white, the judge ultimately holds the power of grey.
  • Despite what you may have seen in the movies…the vast majority of federal prisons, if not all, are smoke free.

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