Nov 28, 2021
Holidays in Prison
If you’re facing challenges that could lead to a federal prison term, or if you have a loved one in prison, it’s always helpful to know what’s going on inside. Our team at Prison Professors strives to provide as much insight as possible, from as many voices as possible. We have a close friend that is serving time in the Sheridan Federal Prison Camp. He sent us this letter with a report of life at Sheridan Federal Prison Camp. We hope it’s helpful to you.
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The last month has been quite a ride. A slow ride, but a ride nonetheless. Trying to get settled in and find my routine. I think I have finally found it and days are starting to go by faster and faster.
I continue to make friends, acquaintances, and learn new names of people on a regular basis. I make a point to introduce myself to people, get their name when possible, and learn their story. The idea of two y ear's - one mouth - allows me the opportunity to educate myself in a unique way, only possible in a place like this!
It’s amazing how far a, "How are you doing today," goes. People love to tell you their stories and followed up by just a few questions, they share interesting tales of wild adventures! You would be amazed. I can't really share them on this platform as I am sure you understand, but just know - wow! :) Some tales are how they got here in the first place, and others just about lives before this. If someone wanted to, they could make an entire Netflix series on just a few guys stories here (and likely have).
Rest assured though, my story will not be one of them! The power (gov), motivations, and capability of that which lurks around us, but cannot be seen - is immense. I am lucky, so lucky and grateful, that my experience with it will be a limited one.
I started my "job" in the garden last week. It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the camp where almost every single program is closed down. Not much of a job right now. More of a place to read and study. The indoor recreation room is closed which forces everyone to exercise outside or in the dorm areas where its warm. The sun comes out from time to time and the weather is very similar to Sonoma County's weather.
It is beautiful here in many ways with the changing of the seasons, green grass, fresh air, and wooded hillsides. As I look out, it reminds me of home. I am not sure how the cold will affect outdoor activities in the winter, but I have a feeling that guys will still be running the track and exercising, snow or no snow! Think Rocky 1, when he was in Philadelphia and there was snow on the ground while he ran up the stairs!
I'm getting in good shape. The love handles have melted off and so far I have lost about 15 pounds. I think I have gained some muscles too. Hopefully, but likely because I am getting stronger.
It’s amazing how much guys work out here. Many are doing 1,000 push-ups a day, some even 2,000! I couldn't believe it until I did a workout with them one day. It was a slow day, so we only did 45 sets, 15 reps each set, a 15 second brake between sets! I was tired! and, "not doing that again" came to mind when I was done. No reason to pre-emptively wear out the body! Nonetheless, I work out every day and I'm feeling good.
More importantly, I have gained lots of traction in my "self-study" program I created. I have been reading a series of books, newspapers, and magazines. Mostly books and the magazines which have begun firing cylinders in my brain. And what better place to do this then in my own private study quarters - the green houses in the garden.
You might be wondering why quiet time is so special. Well, it’s because there is absolutely no quiet place here. Nowhere. Considering there is only a few places you can be, there is no place to just sit and study. I thought there would be somewhere to study, I was wrong.
When they say there is a "library," they mean there is a room that will hold about 6 guys, one copy machine (for 340 guys) and two small tables. And most of the time the "Library" is closed because there is literally, hardly ever, any staff here ever (staff is needed to open and close rooms).
Then there is the housing wing. Or should I say the "fraternity" house! Which are wild at time with guys talking, joking, cooking, hanging out and laughing, or trying to sleep. Speaking of sleeping; have you ever heard a symphony of 30 guys sleeping in the same room? Well - the snoring becomes a musical composition with your occasional "trumpet" sound firing off in the distance. Let’s just say its not the Ritz. Good thing there is a steady air flow in the room that keep things circulating.
Luckily, I am in the back, back corner of the wing. I’m mostly removed from the nightly traffic of guys walking in and out of the wing and bathroom. And when its loud, I put in my ear plugs. Then Mozart finally stops playing.
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