Saturday, November 7, 2009
My hubby is getting some pretty scrumptious food, I made homemade spaghetti with baby bello mushrooms, zuchinni and spicy sausage meatballs. A coyboy burger with jalapeno and cheese in the meat with pepper jack cheese thick sliced bacon with a jalapeno and cheese bun, and all the ususal burger fixin's. He's getting some carne asada and yummy pico de gallo that chopped up. A fresh salad, german chocolate cake, twice baked potatoes, and a GIANT T-Bone steak and some sushi. I'm sure he's gonna be stuffed!
My diet will not allow me to eat any of that so I get 2 hard boiled eggs and the salad. yay for me.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Underhanded, shady, extortionists that steal our money, warehouse people, expect inmates to follow policy to the book while they just continue to do what ever the hell they damn well please, because who's gonna find out or care about an inmate or let alone believe one.
I guess I need to gear up to start coming down hard on DOC again. I am so irritated with how they treat inmates in PC different than those who are in GP. Especially those who are at Sunrise. I get that it's prison, and it's not suppose to be a cake walk...but seriously, issuing clothing, pillows, blankets, sheets and jackets should be something they get on a regular basis and not have to go months and months without, only to finally break down and buy your own. Sunrise inmates can't work off complex, so they have too much idol time. They have to share only a few TV's and they are not allowed to have any POWER appliance that THEY paid for. So this causes undue issues between inmates because no one can agree on what they are going to watch, fights occur and they are bored. Idol hands are the devils workshop! No jobs, money is scarce prices are climbing in both commissary and visitation vending machines along with phone costs it's out of control.
My husband cannot have his appliances (he is not charged the $3 utility fee) but he has purchased over $400 worth of appliances that he CANNOT use. A CO attempted to give him a ticket for shaving with his electric shaver and told him he's going to have to BUY razors. He BOUGHT that electric shaver so he didn't HAVE to buy razors. Insane! He didn't end up with a ticket.
Now, their microwave breaks down so they start to use their stingers, and they are getting in trouble for it. WHAT??
He WILL not get issued new clothing because he has purchased his own. But it's CRAP the only reason he had to purchase clothing was because THEY didn't issue him new clothing in the first place. It's re-issue clothing. So he buys clothing and it takes them WEEKS to get it to him but can he KEEP it when he comes home...NOPE! He's renting it only for DOC to re-issue what HE purchased! It's EXTORTION!
He has been there for months and still has NO PILLOW, they have NO heaters there and he only has ONE blanket that has holes in it. ONE sheet and NO JACKET.
HE cannot afford to purchase all this stuff and frankly it's not HIS responsibility to do it that's what WE PAY TAXES FOR!!!!!
Sunrise does have the freedom of movement but that's what any 1/2 yard would have it's not like that's something they don't have coming to them he's in a MINIMUM yard! But they treat these guys like CRAP because they are PC. Burger the beeeoch even told one visitor to her face that she doesn't like them and if anyone grieves ANYTHING they will go to the HOLE!!
They have no checks and balances it's CRAZY!!
Today, there wasn't ANYTHING in the vending machines they were new and completely empty. The vendor showed up at 15 till 4 and said that Burger told them the unit was on lockdown so they could not come up there. It's that kinda crap that just irks me. They may have been on lock down yesterday (not all day), but vendors can still come up to the visitation area. She did this crap on purpose!
So for 7 hours we sat there with NO FOOD!
Friday the guards shook down their cells and were so disrespectful throwing their stuff all over the place....all purposely!! Did the damn dogs find anything...NOPE! But you know as well as I do they don't "want" to find anything or their reports they have to send to central will be askew and someone might get in trouble.
Now a lot of these guys LOVE it there, but most have never been on a min yard, so they don't have anything to compare it to. They are all afraid that if they complain or grieve about the appliance issues that they will get moved so they don't want anyone to complain...
Well...I'm saying fine, you don't want to give these guys appliances then give them their money back. Or give them jobs or programs make them be productive with their time so they can at least be half way accustom to the real world when they get released.
UGH....I feel like DOC is a Goliath of an enemy that unless we have more people that see the corruptness of our prison system nothing is going to change.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I called the constituent family friends whatever they are, and the lady there doesn't know. It's always the same old lame excuse....BUDGET CONSTRAINTS, AND UNDER STAFFING!!! I am SO SICK and TIRED of hearing the same thing! You think I'd give up calling. She told me to call the ADW...and so I did. It's always a pleasant experience talking to Mr. A. He seems to not realise that this issue is happening. I wonder why? Is it because he really doesn't know, and the CO's are doing things like this behind his back? How can administration really not know that these things are going on? He told me that within the week there might be some changes, I suppose time will only tell. I, at least, appreciate that he was polite and seemed to agree with me. I usually get push back, that there is nothing going to be done to change the things that seem to make no sense.
On the home front, all is well I've been hitting the gym everyday twice a day doing some sort of Yoga, Pilate's, and Tai Chi, along with a group fitness class where we use weights, and a bit of cardio. My food intake has decreased as well as my emotional state has improved. I'm feeling better from the inside out. I have always been active and pretty healthy and strong but haven't always been the thinnest. I am very determined to loose the weight I have gained from all the fast food eating and emotional eating I have done since Brian has been in prison. It's time for ME!!!
I have enrolled in FULL TIME school and part time work. I have decided that I really just HATE insurance and that was a mistake I don't plan on repeating. If I have to go back to full time work I will go back to processing mortgages, since I am happy doing that type of work. I want to get my Masters in Psychology and my ultimate goal is to be an Art Therapist. This will take some time, but I'd rather achieve my dream and be older than be older and still dreaming. I have really done some soul searching lately and I think the meditation and the yoga have helped me focus in on letting go of anger, and loving myself.
I tried to visit Brian a few weeks ago, only to drive all the way down to Tucson to be turned around at the gate. I was with a few friends of ours and I felt like an idiot because I didn't check my phone and Brian had started calling me at about the time we left to let me know that there was not going to be visitation. I also had received a Google Alert on the fight in Tucson and it was posted on PTO....all of which I didn't check!! So I haven't seen Brian for some time now, and I do miss him. It's so hot and such a long drive and it's costly, so I will have to wait to see him until Sept. Calls will have to do, let's hope they get the phone issue straight and I will get more calls than just one a day!!
Brian seems to have low spirits and it concerns me. When someone is down and depressed you can't grow, and when you stop growing you are stagnant and that's not a good place to be when you're in prison. I hope that he is still doing scripture study, going to church, and taking time to pray....these are things I have a hard time keeping up with so I wonder if it's hard for him as well. God has blessed us with so much, He continues to work miracles in my life and I attest that to FAITH and His unconditional love for me and my family.
GOD IS GOOD!!
Kids are well Ashley my youngest was recently baptized and it was a great day for her and me. My niece was in the hospital with a possible deadly infection and is recovering wonderfully, she has no traces of infection at this point and has been released from the hospital. Again, The Lord's blessing is on her!
I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, I did 5 hours of much needed yard work. I lost my Palo Verde Tree in the Monsoon storm a few days ago and had help getting that all cut up and put in the utility trailer. So I'm off to the dump to get rid of the entire tree...all that is left is a huge stump. I have some placement tests I have to complete and finish up with some last minute school stuff and a good work out topped off with some deep cleaning of my children's rooms....CAN'T WAIT!!!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Well, 5 days on the job and my klutz of a husband already hurt himself! It never fails, while working or playing he has manged to pass out in the heat working at a funeral ceremony and cut his chin on a gravestone, impale his thigh with a jack hammer, trip on a boat cleat and get hung up on the dock hanging by his shoe, get attacked by a motor home in motion, loose the entire head of the pic axe and practically chop his head off, chase the chain of the chainsaw down a 20 ft tree, tumble onto hot asphalt off the back of a moving golf cart going 30 mph. So yesterday he calls me and tells me "Misty, your klutz of a man already had an accident"
"Oh my gosh, what did you do this time?" I ask him
"A #10 can of apple sauce fell from 3 ft above, slamming me square on top of the head!"
I tried so hard not to laugh, and all I could do was hold my breath. But pretty soon I was busting up laughing!!
"A white shirt saw it and said that I'd better go get a CO and get medical attention, so I went to the the bathroom, looked in the mirror and blood was running down my face from the middle of my forehead. No one was able to determine if I needed stitches or not so later that day I took a shower and it wouldn't stop bleeding so I asked to see a nurse....she did nothing for me but charged me $3 for it!"
He cracks me up we laughed and laughed on our phone call last night, what a dork.
Oh, I almost forgot...he said that the can has a crescent shaped dent on the rim from his head....dude...I told everyone he has a hard head this totally proves it!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I am just amazed at the prices of the items that the store sells these guys who make little to nothing. A CD player that would cost me $9.99 at Wally World costs him $65! Keefe has raised the price of store 3 times in the last 6 months. It's ludicrous!
Anyway, I am packing up my house as I cannot afford to stay here any longer. With my 2 lay offs this last year I am making a lot less money that I ever have, and it's stressing me out to no end. I'll be moving in with my mom for awhile until either Brian gets home or when my mother-in-law gets back from Canada. I'm sure they will either purchase a home or rent one and we can share the expenses. I'm not sure how it's going to be living back home, my mom is a control freak so I will try and be gone as much as possible. But doing this will allow me to have more money to go out and get the kids involved in more activities. I will be able to save money again and with Brian coming home now in less than a year I will want to have some more money in savings. I am sad that I am leaving, and that I just couldn't keep it up, but I am relived. The kids will like their new school and my mom is a great help. As long as we get along it should be OK.
So I will be packing and moving the next two to three weeks, with a full time job and no one to really help me it's going to be a chore. I will figure it out, I somehow always do.
Brian, on the other hand, is not taking this well. He feels like this is his fault and that he should be here taking care of his family. I know this. I think that it is his fault too. Nothing we can do about that now. This time has been a huge eye opener for him, I know that he hurts for putting us in this situation. At least it's not long before it's over and he will come home to me and take care of us. He will,l I am certain of it.
No visits for the next couple weeks and that really bites! Father's day is coming up soon and so is our 11 year anniversary on June 21st. I will most likely see him that weekend. I hate that he is in Tucson, it's a long drive and I feel like I'm imposing on people when I stay with them. Thank heavens that this is the last summer we have to endure.
I hope that Brian calls me early tomorrow morning. Calls are $0.18 before 8 am...we can talk all morning at that rate!!
I hope you all who read my blog are doing well. I welcome comments....so feel free to start a discussion on any post, I'd love to hear about you!
Misty M. (aka briandi)
Saturday, May 23, 2009
DW Hartsuck and I spoke via e-mail on this subject in February 2009 (see e-mail below), shortly thereafter many inmates have filed grievances on or around that time in regards to this subject. Why hasn't the prison responded to the 30 plus grievances that the minimum custody inmates filed for months ago regarding housing minimum and medium custody so close together, not allowing the freedom of movement that a general population minimum security inmate would be allowed? They also sent complaints to the ACLU, and I am trying to follow up as a free person, who can question this breach of policy. I have been in touch with, and I am working with the ACLU on resolving this major security and fair treatment issue.
You have been most helpful in the past, and I hope that you can respond with an explanation since I am acting on behalf of all these inmates who are in protective custody and are minimum security, they have yet to have a respone and the department has had ample amount of time to respond. These inmates are being treated like they are still in medium security and this is against the law suit John Doe vs. Lewis, Terry Stewart from back in 2001. Not so much the housing situation, but the treatment of one level to the other, protective segregated inmates are not to be "punished or put in a situation any different than the inmates who are in general population". The minimum security inmates are being denied freedom of movement, certain jobs are not available, and privileges that they have earned are being withheld by sharing a common area with a higher security level inmate population. Not only that, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen, if there is an assault on a minimum security inmate from a medium security inmate DOC will be held liable since these populations should not co-mingle, and they do.
Since the budget crisis has now been reportedly "fixed" with the possibility of the sale of Perryville, Yuma and Eyman, this still doesn't address the overcrowding or the under staffing or the lack of funds. I'm sure that the DOC will be making a lot of changes with regard to population adjustments, this should be one that needs to be looked at. There has been talk of the possibility of moving minimum inmates to SACRAC, is this a rumor or something that is a possible solution?
I am frustrated at the fact that there is a security issue and it's not being addressed. I assure you that I will continue to research the legalities of this, the policy guidelines and continue to work with the ACLU to shed light on this to whomever is responsible in insuring that protective custody inmates are being treated the same as their counterparts in general population.
I'm sure that there is a protocol and there are procedures to follow in addressing this, and I would like to know who, within the Department of Corrections has control over this issue, and what is being done about it if anything at all?
Thank you for your time and response to this e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Mrs. Misty XXXXX
Wife of Inmate Brian XXXXX 121XXX
E-mail from DW Hartsuck a few months ago in response to a question I had about the different custody levels sharing common areas.
On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 3:25 PM, KEITH HARTSUCK wrote:
Manzanita Unit does have some different custody levels which include Mediums and Minimums. The lower custody is given some additional privileges than the mediums according to policy guidelines. There are also some additional job opportunities which is established according to the inmate's custody level and EIP phase level. The Department is looking at other housing locations, however, they are working through the Budget Crisis and the Agency's overcrowding. Manzanita Unit and many other prisons throughout the state is being reviewed for population adjustments, to assist with the over crowding and the changing inmate populations. The Department is conducting reviews in order to ensure the best use of its resources.
I recommend, if you have any further questions regarding Manzanita Unit and its operations, Deputy Warden Aguilar should be able to assist you.
Friday, May 22, 2009
A really close family friend passed away from a very aggressive pancreatic cancer. He was only 52. I loved this man dearly, he has known my dad practically all his life, and of course he's known me since before I was even thought of! Joey Mortensen is his name and I will always have a special place in my heart for him. I am going to his viewing tonight, and his funeral is tomorrow, so I couldn't have visited Saturday even if I did have the funds.
Right now in times of sadness and with the death of a loved one really makes me want to have Bri home....I need him to comfort me at the funeral especially. I don't like being alone.
On the brighter side, Brian and I celebrate this Monday our year to the gate! His release date is on Memorial Day2010 so we will still have to wait one more day for his release on Tuesday. That really irks me. Oh well, there is nothing I can do about it anyway, at least he will be home.
I'm thinking about planning a wedding for us...a renewal of our vows, we are legally divorced and I want to start fresh. I want to get married to him again. Our first wedding was a shotgun wedding and I was 4 months pregnant and wore a navy blue and white polk-a-dot dress, not your idea of a white wedding with cake and a photographer. We had no guests other than immediate family; mom, his mom, my sister and that's about it. I want the whole shebang this time. A girls dream is to have a traditional wedding and I want it, I really want it!
I am ready to stop peeking over the fence to see if the grass is greener. I've decided that even if the grass is greener, I like my lawn just the way it is. It's green in patches, and trampled on in others, there are a few weeds but nothing like a good weed killer or labor to pull them out, we all hope that weeds don't grow back but sometimes they do and you have to pull them again and again, but eventually you can accept that you have to have it maintained. I have two beautiful rose bushes that we planted 10 years ago and they keep blooming everyday. I can see that if I choose that greener path those bushes might stop producing roses and replanting them in a new yard would shock them and and it's just too much of a risk to let that happen. We have finally hired the best Gardner, He is like no other and He promises that He will keep this lawn fertilized, free of weeds, and says that He can mend the parts that are trampled on. We both trust Him that He will do His work, so long that we call on Him, and we have and that garden is looking more and more beautiful everyday. I can't wait to sit back and enjoy my garden when it's fully bloomed but without Brian there to enjoy it with me it just wouldn't be the same. I love this man, no matter what. I love him in spite of not because of. Unconditionally, I love him.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My Love I sit here and I truly am lost in grief. I have been doing my studies and an overwhelming feeling of sorrow came over me...I miss you so much. I need you my love, and worst of all for me, I know you need me. I really pray you are doing fine, and I have been praying that your finances are doing alright.
Sweetheart you are the love I have always wanted and our love when put to scrutiny, the ultimate love of all is what we have. I really hunger for your touch. I don't know if you can tell lately but I have been dreaming of you a lot! Part of it probably is because I got moved down to a lower bunk, got all situated and put all of your photos up where I can see them all the time. Mostly I just hunger for you! I guess honey you are my new addiction.
Misty I am honestly struggling with the validity of the truth in the churches, but I am studying on and looking for the truth, because it's very important to me. I would like to share a quote with you that really drives me. "The most important of The Lord's work you will ever do will be with in the walls of your home" Harold B. Lee. I read this quote last year and it really made me open my eyes about everything, spiritually and worldly. I must make the right choices, for I truly guide our family, and all of your lives depend on me. I want this for you, for us. I want you to know, I am truly sorry it took me so long to grow up.
Well today, as everyday, this place SUCKS! But I take it as it comes, slow some days and fast others. I am hoping your days are going faster than mine. Well, one more week and we can say less than a year, oh I just wish I could come home NOW!
Misty I sit here and just wish I was with you, every memory that haunts my mind is of you and loving one another. You are the one. I love it when you give me that look, and my heart leaps and flutters at the though of your touch I really cannot wait to come home and be with you forever.
It's stupid all the crap that we could have avoided if I would have made better choices, yes I see it! I can change it, I am man enough to see it, and I'm man enough to change it!
I am listening to "My Heaven" bu Trace Adkins, listen to "Baby I'm Home" off the Songs About me album, this one makes me think about you. About how I never knew love or how to love until you Misty, you showed me I am capable of loving and being a good man. Thank you for sticking it out, thank you my love.
My girl, I want you and our family so badly I can't stand being here another minute. I need you. That used to be so hard to say, why I don't know, but it rolls off my lips now and it feels good to say. I love you.
Well, I went to lunch today, I don't know why....it makes me SICK! I tried to phone you on the chance that maybe...yeah....I guess I will see you tomorrow....I HOPE!
You will probably read this letter next week, I really miss our children, how are they? I want to just come home and watch them grow. I promise you on everything.....to be continued.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sometimes I feel like I have a 1000 lb anchor tied to me while I'm trying to hold up a job, a home and 2 kids, and then holding on to the bottom of the anchor is Brian. When all is said and done we will have been together for 12 years and out of those 12 years 7 of them he's been locked up. He's a work-a-holic when he is out and he's putting in 60-70 hours per week, and then there is the time he spends with the kids and his family and friends...my time is so small. I feel like we have had a lot of good times, but far more bad times. I'm sure that this is what outsiders see.
I have been through enough, I don't know if I can make it another 12 months. There are opportunities all around me where other men are interested in me, it's a great ego boost. Yet, I still feel like I'm letting everyone down if I left him now. I made a commitment to him and my children that I would wait....but what about me? What about my happiness? I want someone who WILL be there, who I don't have to worry about the next shoe dropping. Am I wrong, do I need to keep on this roller-coaster ride?
I will say that I do see a huge change in him. I see that he's really committed himself to a lifestyle of righteousness, and I see that he's let go of a lot of the addictive habits. There are plenty of drugs in prison, and he's quit all forms of tobacco as well. He studies scripture, and he's realized his self worth I think. But I can't predict the future.
I guess the question I need to ask myself is:
1) If you don't wait will you regret it and wish that you had if he's happy in another relationship? 2) Are you willing to put up with the unknown and take the risk that he might relapse again? And if he does, can you live with the fact that you waited in vain?
Any advise from anyone out there is much appreciated.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- $40,000 Housing for My Husband
- $7200 Health Care for his family (I am currently on AHCCCS until April 2010)
- $6000 Food Stamps (I am currently receiving at $500 per month until June)
- $1800 in six months cash assistance (which I needed while unemployed)
- $480 unemployment when I didn't have a 2nd income to rely on
- $800 one time rental subsidy from Maximus (Jobs Program)
- $500 one time utility assistance from Mesa CAN
- $300 one time utility assistance from Maximus (Jobs Program)
- $5160 in daycare expense for the year (I am not receiving any longer)
(Mutliply just the $40K to house the 40,176 inmates AZ has $1,607,040,000 PER YEAR! I understand that these are not all low level offenders but still DOC is 29% over capacity. Lets just say that 11,651 are low level inmates non-violent that's still $466,040,000 per year they could save)
What I Pay Per Year:
- $3240 round trip in fuel to visit
- $1440 in vending machine for OVER priced JUNK food
- $1200 in collect calls and that's low balling it
- $24,000 in living expenses
- $??.?? Unknown amt in counseling and family therapy after he's released. Due to the trauma, and separation of our family.
Thank You ARIZONA Tax payers. For paying to keep my husband from supporting HIS family!!!! Contact the AZ legislators and tell them to change the truth in sentencing for low level non-violent offenders to 65%....this move would save the state millions of dollars in the first year and billions with in 5 years.
His approx income prior to incarceration:
I was at home with my children before he was sent to prison (which by the way Gilbert Police threw him under the bus because he was not charged originally for the crime which he is serving time for, he was used and then thrown to the wolves)
My Income: BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL for a household of 3
PS I am NOT making excuses for his actions, he should be under some form of punishment, restitution, probation, but NOT PRISON!! What he NEEDED was REHAB!
Or, just keep laying off teachers and throwing guys in prison...pretty soon all the SCHOOLS are GOING to BE PRISONS!!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Brian is a work-a-holic, as well as a binge user he will go years without using but he will work until 10 just to close a deal. He put us first financially, but wasn't there as much as we all needed him to be. He'd get burnt out and then relapse and that was the usual pattern. My son told him many things, one was that he wanted a promise that Brian would be there from now on, and that he was jealous of the other kids in the neighborhood, school, church ect. that had their dads home. It touched Brian in a way that I felt he needed to experience.
Although, many thoughts were racing through my head...as a mother I want to protect my child, I don't want him to be sad or hurt...My dad died when I was 13, and I wouldn't want that pain wished on nobody. I wondered had I made a bad decision to try and keep our family together? Should I had left him the first time? Am I doing the right thing? Maybe I should leave now, and not look back....am I taking too big of a risk? Am I staying for the right reasons...UGH...I just couldn't pull my thoughts together as to what I had done to my son.
Then it dawned on me. I had not done anything. It was Brian who had the problem, not me. My feelings turned to anger that this man had done this to my baby, that his choices had taken him away from his child. How? How can one choice to either use or not use be so difficult? So much that one tiny piece of white substance can do such harm? I was angry at him...I had waited close to 5 months to have this visit. To hold him and kiss him and spend time with him, and now it had turned into a visit I didn't want to even be at.
It was nearing 4 o'clock and I just wanted to leave. Take the kids and not come back. I didn't even kiss him good bye. How awful is that? I wanted so badly to kiss him all this time...and I pushed him away. I left sobbing, angry, and confused, sad, and hurt. My kids asking if we were going back tomorrow, and I snapped back "I don't think so!"
He called me on my way home and I explained what I was feeling, and he told me how truly sorry he was, and that he had never felt like such an ass in his entire life (that was not my goal) I love him so much...I don't want my selfish feelings to want him, hurt our children. That is when my son told me that he was appreciative of me for trying to make it work and keep our family together, and that he knew it was hard for me to do, but that he loved his dad and would always love him. And that he was OK. So I felt much better, that my little 10 year old recognized this. He's so smart and observant.
We all agreed that we were tired, anxious, and overstimulated emotionally that we would get some good sleep Sat night and have a re-do visit on Sunday. Brian told me things that he had never expressed about his feelings toward our daughter vaiing for all his attention either negative or positive, and that he knew this was his fault. But how could he tell her no? Push her away when she gets in between our son and him or me and him, when all she wants is the love and attention that only he can't give her. I could see his point. He said that if someone told him he could come home to us today but he would have to walk bare footed on his hands and knees over broken glass to come home to us, he'd gladly do it twice, and that he'd never leave us ever again. He promised that this was for real that even all that we have been though , he has never been as happy as he is other than when he is with me and the kids. We are his reason for breathing. I believe him. I have always believed in him.
We hung up much better since the kids agreed that daddy and I could have a few minutes here and there without interruption, they promised they wouldn't fight, and that they would be happy and we'd have fun....That is just what we did! We had one of the best family visits on Sunday I think we have ever had.
"Don't take this the wrong way," she says "but do you know anyone in prison?"
"What? No. That's wierd" I replied.
"Well, you've never dated, or know someone close to you that's been in prison?" She asks again.
"Not that I know of. No."
"Well, I see prison in your future....not you! But someone that you really care about, someone that you will love very deeply will be in prison or has been in prison."
Almost a year later I unknowingly married an ex-felon. I was quite niave' back then to prison I had no idea what parole meant. I knew that he was on some sort of parole or probation and that he had been released from jail or prison, but I had no idea what the difference was at the time.
Here are just a few people that I know that are/were incarrcerated since that day in 1997 and the root cause:
My Husband root cause cocaine (possession of gun/drugs)
Travis M my mom's best friend's son root cause meth (attempted vehicular manslaughter)
Ryan T my next door neighbor growing up root cause meth (trafficing and robbery)
David H Ryan's older brother root cause abuse (2nd degree murder)
Billy N my cousin mom's brother's son root cause meth (unlawful use of means)
There are more that I know now that I have met women that are in the same situation as me via support groups, but they don't count.
I just think it's crazy now how prison, indirectly, has really been a huge part of my life.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
May the Force Be With You.
Welcome to the Darkside Baby!
PS: My driver's licence still reflects that I have a second home in Tucson....I hope.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My fist time visiting SMU was pretty scary. The CO's were very helpful there and made it more comfortable but as I am led towards the belly of the prison by the visitation officer down that long sidewalk my heart starts to rapidly accelerate. From East to West there are grey buildings where faint voices yelling are coming from. I walk into the visitation area and there are two rooms that you can enter through a doorway that is painted blue gray the department of corrections' favorite color. There are visitation booths on both sides of the room where inmates are waiting for their visitor. I can feel their eyes on me as I are search for our booth. A few times I have been there before him and I have to watch while he comes up cuffed and leg shackled to the honeycomb metal door. The CO opens the door for him and closes it before removing his handcuffs. He slides his hands through the food tray pass through and he is released from the handcuffs. He is wearing a bright orange jumpsuit with an orange t-shirt, the top half of the jump suit is off and tucked around his waist to keep it from falling off. I am sitting in a very uncomfortable chair, while his is sitting on a round metal stool attached to the floor with bolts. The thick glass window between us glares my own reflection and I have to put my hand up to block the light so that I can see him better. There is 2 phones on either side of me and one on his side. The visitors around us are talking in elevated voices because the phones do not work very well. I pick up both phones and put them one to each ear to block out the sounds around me. I can hear his voice clearly in surround sound. We put our hands together on the glass as we talk the entire time. What seems like minutes is two hours and the visit time is over. I have to leave him behind that glass to wait to be cuffed up again to be taken in shackles to his cell. I can only imagine what it looks like in there. Pelican Bay in CA is set up very similar in structure and floor plan. I have watched MSNBC's Lock Up and have seen the Pelican Bay episode, so I have a good idea how it looks in there. The fishing lines that are thrown about to send Fritos or tobacco, notes and other items. My husband tells me that he's a good fisherman...I'm sure he is. A few times he was able to make phone calls on a cordless phone that is passed around until the battery is dead. I can hear the other inmates there calling out to each other through the ventilation system. The profanity and the callousness of the other inmates bother my husband. He reads the Bible aloud and the pod quiets down. As he is taken 3 times per week to shower, he must be cuffed and shackled as he walks by other inmates yell profanity at him since he is still undetermined protective custody. There is a stigma in prison for the PC cases. Although, Brian was involuntary it doesn't matter. He is considered the lowest of the low in prison by the hard core prison politics. He takes a shower alone, one of the only times that he can be alone. Sometimes he has to wait an hour for a CO to come and get him from the shower. I'm sure this was one of the things that he could look forward to doing, just a simple shower and shave. He was moved from one cell to another on his shower days preventing him from a shower for 9 days straight. But it was better that he get moved since he was having to force every cellmate DOC was trying to house him with out of his cell to keep the politics off his back. Once he was put in a cell with someone that was PC things were much easier on him. He endured 6 months of SMU and he told me that had he been to SMU from the beginning he'd never step foot in a prison again. It was an experience that he or I will never forget.
If you would like to see a small glimpse of what we have been through and what prison is truly like watch this movie.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I haven't been to visit Brian in what seems to be a month now. And I can tell that I am loosing focus on us. As much as I want to put this world behind me I tend to shut him out. I guess that's par for the course. I know that we will endure this until the end, I just hope that the end is near.
One thing is for 100% certain, I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN! I will not deal with prison ever again, or will I allow him to take me down this path once more. He ever leaves ONE night, or he relapses ONE time. I'M DONE! Mark my words.
I have too many good things to offer a man here is my mom's list but maybe she is partial:
I am a GREAT mother, I take good care of my home, I am pretty, I take good care of myself, I am smart, I have a good job, I am responsible, I don't over indulge, I am a GREAT cook, I am handy and can do just about anything around the house, I'm not a goody-goody but I have high morals and standards, and I am loyal and forgiving to a fault.
So, I guess I do believe these things are true as well, and I know that Brian sees what a good thing he has...but eve when you got it good addiction can be stronger than any good thing you have. I have to pray that he really sees that this is it for him, he has no other chances at life with me or his kids if he falls off the wagon. It's totally up to him....and I can't say yet that I fully trust him with this. I'm not afraid, because I know that I can do all this on my own and I know that I can move on if I have to. But I just want the trust re-built. Unfortunately, you can't build it while someone is in prison.
I have a strong feeling that I will not be dealing with prison for very much longer. Cross your fingers for me and say a little prayer. The poor AZ economy might just be good for us this year!!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Please Leave Your Comments....I want to know what you think????
Get-tough policies that lock up offenders for longer sentences are propelling a projected increase of nearly 200,000 in the nation's prison population in the next five years, according a private study released Wednesday.
The increase - projected by the Pew Charitable Trusts study to be three times faster than overall population growth in the U.S. - is expected to cost states more than $27 billion.
"As a country, we have a problem," said Susan Urahn, managing director of policy initiatives for the Pew Charitable Trusts, which funded the study by its Public Safety Performance Project.
The study is the first of its kind to project prison populations in every state through 2011, based on state projections, current criminal justice policies and demographic trends.
Urahn said she hopes states use the study to prepare for the future - either by building more prisons or by adopting policies to slow the growth through alternative forms of punishment.
The projections, she said, are not inevitable. They can be altered by state policies as well as economic and cultural changes.
"What we have seen is there are a growing number of states really focused, not on being tough on crime or soft on crime, but on being smart about crime," Urahn said. "Every state faces unique circumstance and challenges."
There are more than 1.5 million inmates in the nation's state and federal prisons, a number that is projected to grow to more than 1.7 million by the end of 2011, a 13 percent increase. The nation's population, by comparison, is projected to grow by 4.5 percent in that time.
States are projected to spend up to $27.5 billion on the new inmates, including $12.5 billion in construction costs, according to the study.
Men far outnumber women in prison - nearly 14 to 1. But in the next five years, the number of women inmates is projected to increase by 16 percent compared with a 12 percent increase for men.
Florida is projected to add the most prisoners, about 16,000, followed by California, Texas, Arizona and Ohio.
New York, Connecticut and Delaware are the only states with no projected growth in the number of inmates. All three are projected to have stable inmate populations.
Florida's prison population has been growing since the 1980s, when many inmates had to be released early because of crowding problems, said William Bales, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University.
Since then, the state has eased crowding by building more prisons and changing the way it sentences offenders, Bales said. The state eliminated parole and other forms of early release, but only 20 percent of those eligible for prison are sent there, he said. Instead, many lesser offenders are sentenced to home confinement and required to wear electronic monitoring devices.
"But if you go to prison, you will go for a long time," Bales said.
In Connecticut, the state reversed years of crowding problems in part by investing in programs for inmates who are about to re-enter society. The state also increased the number of probation officers to monitor those who have been released.
"Truth in sentencing, three strikes and you're out - it looks great on paper, but try to make it work," said Connecticut Rep. Michael Lawlor, a Democrat and co-chairman of the state legislature's Judiciary Committee.
Lawlor, a former prosecutor, said Connecticut lawmakers focused on ways to reduce recidivism rather than campaign pledges to get tough on criminals. As a result, he said, crime rates have dropped along with incarceration rates.
"There's a pretty long list of people who deserve to be locked up forever, but it's not the majority of people in prison," Lawlor said. "If you can get people into a room instead of a campaign debate it's really easy to come to consensus.
The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 that I introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009 will create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom. I believe that it is time to bring together the best minds in America to confer, report, and make concrete recommendations about how we can reform the process.
Why We Urgently Need this Legislation:
With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses 25% of the world's reported prisoners.
Incarcerated drug offenders have soared 1200% since 1980.
Four times as many mentally ill people are in prisons than in mental health hospitals.
Approximately 1 million gang members reside in the U.S., many of them foreign-based; and Mexican cartels operate in 230+ communities across the country.
Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard and often nonexistent, undermining public safety and making it extremely difficult for ex-offenders to become full, contributing members of society.
America's criminal justice system has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace. Its irregularities and inequities cut against the notion that we are a society founded on fundamental fairness. Our failure to address this problem has caused the nation's prisons to burst their seams with massive overcrowding, even as our neighborhoods have become more dangerous. We are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing millions of lives. We need to fix the system. Doing so will require a major nationwide recalculation of who goes to prison and for how long and of how we address the long-term consequences of incarceration.
For More info here is a Fact Sheet on the Bill:
When Calling and writing AZ Government Leaders tell them you support Senator Jim Webb's Criminal Commissions ACT of 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This was a meeting on 3/17 after the 3/6 budget proposal draft was created by the DOC.
The agenda for both the house and senate in regards to department of corrections budget cuts and the video footage of this meeting. (You can just click on Department of Corrections to skip over the Judiciary)
The first guy that's talking is Martin Lorenzo, he is the budget advisory chairperson for DOC.
Charles Ryan, the DOC director is the next to speak in regards to cutting the inmate/CO ratios.
Last to speak is Dr. Mike Dolny he just gives more statistics on house arrest.
They have yet to, at this point, even discuss the truth-in-sentencing.....and by the sounds of it, they are NOT going to look at releasing "bad guys back on the streets, just because there is a budget crisis right now"
There is a heated disscussion between one of the representatives and one of the senators about other "options" to reduce the budget, they don't go into much detail but one can assume they are talking about releasing inmates.
PS I did find out, however, I could still be misunderstanding, what ever is put in the budget doesn't have to be passed into a bill, they will just strike the current bill and revise it based on the need to uphold the budget.
Unrelated, the HB that takes tobacco from inmates looks like it passed...
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I hate visitaton, it's like cruel torture. The phone calls are nice, but they only last so long, and cost so much. Writing, I can't even pick up a pen and think of anything to say...my mind is blank.
What if this whole truth-in-sentencing thing doesn't change. So, we've got a year left. I met a man that goees to my church that spent time in Alcatraz and Leavenworth Prison in KS he's 80 yrs old. Said he could do one year standing on his head. He spent 12 years in prison. Puts our situation a bit in perspective.
I just hate prison, and I am burnt out....I love my husband and I will wait for hm, but I don't like it.
God Please let him come home September 1st, 2009.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Please send an e-mail BCC to the above AZ State Representatives:
Subject: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CUTS: SUPPORT
March 6, 2009 the Department of Corrections submitted a budget proposal with many priorities to reduce their one billion dollar Budget. In particular priority #10C is to reduce the mandatory time served for inmates in AZ, otherwise known as Truth-In-Sentencing. I completely support this move by the Arizona Department of Corrections and strongly urge you, as a representative of the tax paying citizens of AZ, to implement this plan in what ever means necessary. There is too much spending in corrections and not enough on education and other important agencies. It's time that the mandatory minimum time served of 85% be reduced and other monitoring methods and programs utilized for those qualified inmates in the proposal from the DOC. If in fact, this part of the budget reduction happens there will only be approximately 6500 non-dangerous low custody inmates eligible for parole. Ten prisons could be shut down and possibly leased out to CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) generating a revenue, as well as creating jobs for Correction Officers that will be laid off. Correction officers could transition to Parole Officers and utilize space in the prisons rather than outside office locations. This is a win/win situation, none of the other budget cuts the DOC is proposing would need to be cut (if AZ is asking DOC to cut 8.5% of their budget) including programs for inmates, staff benfits, and operations expenses.
Thank You For Supporting My Request.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
You know, I am going to play the devil's advocate.
First of all, out of 10 priorities, this one is number 10. Number 11 is really just an extention to #10C.
Second, by unloading 10K plus inmates either into county jails or on parole would eliminate 10 plus prisons.
Third, the county jails will have to house more inmates 600 plus from DOC and that isn't going to fly with the counties too well.
Fourth, eliminating 10 prison facilities means laying off close to 1200 employees. Although, one suggestion is to lease out the DOC prisons to private prison companies (creating an income) and house out of state inmates possibly opening up new jobs for those employees that will loose their job with DOC.
Fifth, AZ will either need to increase the parole officers case loads or create new jobs, because the parole officers are already over loaded. Again, possibly more jobs for the laid of DOC workers.
Sixth, there will need to be a revision of the current law, something that is very complex, because of other language that is used in ARS codes determining inmate eligiability. Would this only be for non-violent, medium, minimum inmates not convicted of certain crimes? They will really need to hammer and smooth this out to prevent some inmates that should qualify falling through the cracks and not getting released which will cause unrest with inmates and family members angry that one inmate gets this program while another with the same crime does not especially based on the fact that the only difference is they are house in a closed custody yard or level 5 yard. I guess this would have to be an internal DOC policy based on internal scoring and behavior....
Some other things to consider I heard, I haven't verified this yet, but DOC was only asked to reduce their current budget of 1 billion 8.5% so in other words $85 million dollars. If DOC reduces the budget by each priority in order, then they would reach that reduction prior to priority number 10C the modification in truth-in-sentencing.
Just some food for thought so that we can look at this in a realistic approach.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I had to figure out a game plan for me and the kids. Brian was leaving and I knew the hard facts that I had to face. Sell the house in a virtually dead market. Find a job other than what I had done for 6 years in the lending industry since the Mortgage Boom finally blew up. Figure out what I was going to do about the kids school situation. And find help to move a house full of furniture. Things were looking pretty bad. I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed with my kids and I cried out to the Lord for help. "Make a way Lord, where I see that there isn't"
I put my house for sell by owner and I told everyone I knew that I was selling. My brother-in-law knew someone who was ready to buy and after much consideration they said they wanted my house! I knew that I was going to have to do a short sell but had no idea how or where to start. My next door neighbors knew of my situation and they happened to mention it to a friend of there's in their church (our church now). Their friend Paula was a realtor and was learning about foreclosures and short sales (coincidence? I think not!) All I needed was a listing and an advocate to help me though the process. Paula, who became my realtor, brought along her partner Sara (who is now a great friend of mine) she is a loss mitigation (short sale) specialist! (co-incidence? I think not!) They put together the entire deal, we had all the paperwork to sell the house in about a week from the time we put the listing on the MLS. Of course thanks to my sisters husband I had a buyer! My second mortgage company agreed to settle and thanks to Sara I didn't owe them a dime or have to pay taxes on the loss.
In the mean time I had signed Justin up for Pop Warner Football. During a practice I met a wonderful lady named Kristi, a construction company owner. I told her my situation about having to move and she offered to let me borrow her crew on what ever day I needed at her generous expense. Justin only did about 18 hours of practice and decided football just wasn't his game so he quit. I realize now it was meant for me to meet Kristi. Now where was I going to move, now that I had sold my house?? The kids were getting ready to go back to school and I knew I needed to figure out where they were going to go. I had pretty much ruled out the kids staying in their current school Zaharis since I knew I couldn't afford anything with in the boundaries. And since they already had a boundary exception to go to Zaharis I wouldn't have Brian's usual daily help to drive the kids to school. The bus seemed like the only solution for me as a working mom. At this point my house hadn't even closed escrow but I felt like I needed a plan. I went ahead a decided that I would go and enroll the kids at Kids Corner for after school care and what ever school had it available I would enroll them at that school and find a house in that district. Kids Corner is the most affordable after school program out there. So my decision was based on that. Salk was the only one with open spots. So I figured that's where they will go. Period. Deep down I hated this and I wanted so badly for them to stay at the school they loved and had friends they knew. It broke my heart that they had to face another huge change.
I was still on the search for a job. I decided to go to the job fair in Phoenix since I wasn't getting anywhere on line. A few hours of talking to recruiters and walking in 3 inch heels I was ready to go. I still hadn't found anything worth while. Although, Police recruit looked pretty decent if only the hours weren't so crummy. As I was walking towards the exit, exhausted and discouraged I saw a man with red hair and freckles and he smiled at me and I smiled back (we redheads have an understanding with each other!) I walked over to his booth and I scheduled an interview with him for the next day. The only interview I had scheduled that entire day. Insurance seemed like a great idea, at least that's something everyone needs and the market isn't going to drive me out of business. Our interview went very well and I liked the company a lot. Once the background check came back clear I knew I had a job. I felt confident that I would be starting work by September 1st.
My Real Estate Agent Paula had given me a copy of "The Secret" on CD to listen in my car a few weeks after our meeting and I had been applying the principles to my life and I could really see some instant results. My mom and I were wanting to get away for the afternoon to have lunch so we decided to take a quick drive up to Payson. We were going to take the route down by the Salt River through to the Bee Line Highway and as we were almost to Saguaro Lake I said "Hey, Mom we should've brought my "Secret" CD's to listen to!"
She said "Yeah, let's go back and get them...there's a reason why we need to go back anyway."
She's always saying weird things like that... and boy is she right!! As we were driving back down Ellsworth to my house I saw a "FOR RENT" sign.
I said "Can we go look real quick?"
And she said "Sure!".
At this point I had probably looked at a dozen houses and apartments and nothing was in my budget or if it was, it wasn't big enough. It's a tough thing to do when you have to downsize. I called the number and the owner picked up... "Hello?"
"Hi, I'm here in front of your house for rent and I'm wondering if I can take a look at it?"
"Did you just call me?"
"Oh, well a lady just called me and she was going to meet my husband there and probably rent it from us but I can't find what I did with her number to call her back and let her know he's on his way to meet her now."
"Well, I'm here...can he come and show it to me?"
"Sure, I'll call him right now."
(coincidence? I think not!) My mom and I waited only a few minutes and Dave showed up. We both were amazed at the floor plan and the space. It was perfect. B-b-b-but how much?? I didn't want to seem too excited, but I wanted him to know I was serious. I had some money in reserves for first and last months rent and I also had my side business to use as a job qualifier. We worked out a sweet deal for both of us, pending Dave's wife's decision! My mom and I went back to my house grabbed "The Secret" CD's and started back out of town.
"Oh my Gosh Mom, you know what I just realized??!!!?? This house is in the Zaharis school district where the kids have been going to school!!"
(coincidence? I think not!) I realized that what I wanted and what I had asked for, but always seemed to settled for something less, was actually becoming a real possibility!
As we were just about to get to the entrance of Saguaro Lake I decided to test the law of attraction that "The Secret" teaches. I said all of this out loud to my mom as we were driving.
"I'm going to see if I can manifest a red napkin!!"
I saw it in my mind, I asked for it, I received it in my mind and I thanked God for it. The whole way up to Payson I did this. We got into the restaurant and on the table was a white napkin. We ate and I didn't think much of it after that. We decided to drive home since I was anticipating hearing from the owners of that house. As we were getting close to home I wondered if I would even get my red napkin today. But I kept picturing it in my pocket, like it was already mine. We were again approaching the entrance of Saguaro Lake and up high in a Verde Tree was this red fabric. "Did you see that!" My mom said... "Hurry up and turn around!"
I pulled over and ran across the highway. I was expecting a red handkerchief or red work rag but as I got closer and closer I realized it was, sure enough, a RED LINEN NAPKIN high up in a Verde Tree. I pulled it out of the tree and was in amazement!! My mom and I were speechless...well, that's impossible with me and my mom....we were freaking out!!
"You know mom if I would have turned around right when I asked for the red napkin I probably would've seen it right then!!"
Stupid, stupid, stupid I should've asked for a million bucks!!
The next day I met with Rhonda and Dave the owners of the house and we signed a lease agreement!! The kids had gone one day to Salk and the next day I took them back to Zaharis. Boy were they happy! Now, about the Kids Corner after school care issue, remember Zaharis had no openings for any more kids only Salk had openings. But because we moved from one district to another by default they got to stay in the program because we were already enrolled and approved in the previous district.(coincidence? I think not!)
At this point my house had still not closed escrow and I technically didn't have a full time job yet!! Man was I relying on faith or what!! I drove the kids to school everyday until I could get their stuff moved into the new house. The owners of the house were kind enough to let me move in two weeks earlier than the date of my lease move in. Remember my friend Kristi...well her crew got me all moved in in one day! Five houses West of my new place is the kids bus stop! The kids already knew quite a few friends in this neighbor hood since most of them go to Zaharis. Cool thing is, is that there are a ton of first grade girls and a ton of third grade boys. Ashley my girl is in first grade and Justin my boy in third. (Coincidence? I think not)
As I have settled into my new house I have met some amazing friends along the way, new neighbors who I don't know how I could do without. The job situation did finally work out, not as soon as I had hoped! But as I am looking back in retrospect I can see now that it's all in God's timing and there is a reason why I wasn't working for all those months. There is no way I could've handled all of this and held a full time job. I am unpacked and I even had all my pictures hung on the walls. My kids are settled and happy, I had the time to take all my licensing classes and was able to pass on the first try. I am truly blessed beyond my understanding I am loved more than I think I'll ever deserve and I am most of all happy under all the circumstances and trials that I have faced. I'm not saying that it's been easy, but sure does make me realize that with God in Control I don't have to be fearful or alone. Everything has a purpose and a plan it's just up to us to find it.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Arizona is in a major budget crisis this year and obviously, in the video above, the Department of Corrections proposes a major law change that could affect as many as 9000 inmates. Most of these inmates are non-violent inmates and not a real threat to anyone but themselves. The thing that us Zonies need your help with is a mass e-mail sent to the AZ Legislators that we as a whole support this law change. Without the voice of the "prison community" most everyday AZ citizens wouldn't have a clue at how over crowded and understaffed the prisons are in AZ. How we are ranked 4th in Correction spending, and #50 out of 50 states in Education. AZ proposed to cut millions of dollars in K-12 and less in Corrections. It's pathetic.
Please help us get the message to our legislators that enough is enough. 85% Mandatory Sentences have GOT TO GO!!
Attached is a word document with the e-mail addresses you can use that as a template in your e-mail. PLEASE BCC the Representatives an e-mail something like this:
Subject: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CUTS: SUPPORT
Recently, there has been talk of a budget proposal to reduce the mandatory time served for inmates in AZ. I completely support this move by the Arizona Department of Corrections and strongly urge you, as a representative of the tax paying citizens of AZ, to implement this plan in what ever means necessary. There is too much spending in corrections and not enough on education and other important agencies. It's time that the mandatory minimum time served of 85% be reduced for those qualified inmates in the proposal from the DOC.
Thank You For Supporting My Request.______________(feel free to copy and paste)
A lot of our loved ones would be home sooner if this becomes a new law!Thank you for your Urgent help with this. AZ's budget must be completed by June 1. And if this is on the agenda inmates could be coming home as soon as Sept 2009!!! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions....all us Arizonians have our hopes up pretty high!
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