Wednesday, December 20, 2006

First letter from inside

I'm so sorry that it has taken me so long to. Trust me, I have not forgotten you. I wanted to wait to write until I got settled in. Please know that I am doing okay.

My mom, dad, and husband dropped me off on November 20th. It was around 9:00AM. It was a very sad drive here. No one was really talking, just minimal chit chat. When we got to the base we had to go to the visitor section and I had to check in there. They finally called my name around 11:00AM. I said my sad goodbyes. Mr. C, the guard, drove me and another woman to the main prison. There we were booked in, fingerprinted, pictures taken for our badge, paperwork filled out, and made to change our clothes. Mr. C and I went and dropped off the other lady to the hospital section, which is a whole other story. After that he walked me across the street to the camp. I was shocked and happy at the same time to see where I was going and where I wasn't going!

The camp looks like a small college campus. The housing looks like two story apartments. I actually thing that it is an old Motel 6 or 8. There are three sets of bunkbeds in each room, there is a private bathroom and a small kitchen area. We also have our own lockers to store our belongings. We have laundry rooms, that are free, TV rooms (a lot), medical and dental clinics, a hair salon, visitor room, law library, walk/run track, educational building, nice dining hall that over looks a lake. Heck, what else can you ask for? Maybe family. We have free roam of the whole compound. It is so crazy. The only sad thing about being here is the fact that they keep you from your family. A lot of inmates and their families call this place Spa Carswell. There are no fences around this place, just open. We have a lot of oak trees so we have a lot of squirrels, white tail deer (3), skunks, and raccoons. The squirrels will actually come up to you and take food out of your hands. We are not supposed to feed them but everyone does. I haven't, I'm afraid I will get bitten, knowing my luck.

Carswell also had the best food. For breakfast we have hot cereal, dry cereal, and all different kinds of pastries. They feed us brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week we have a regular full lunch. Like today, we had taco salad, tortilla soup, peanut butter cookies, and a full salad bar. For Thanksgiving we had a full Thanksgiving dinner. For Christmas we will have Cornish hens and all the trimmings, for New Years we have steak and shrimp, for the Superbowl they make us chicken wings and best of all in February, Black History Month, we have things like ribs and fried chicken. We have awesome desserts with lunch and dinner. They will make you fat here! However, I have lost 10 pounds in the twenty-two days I've been here. There is no way I can eat all of this food, I would be sick as a dog! I also walk five miles per day on the track. I do two in the morning and three at night so that is helping also. I am trying to get rid of this mom body that I've been carrying around over the years.

The guards here are all pretty nice. Other people warned me about them and the counselors, but I have had no problems with anyone that works here. As long as you do what you are asked and follow the rules you should be fine. My favorite is Mr. C. He is tough, but he is really nice under all that toughness.

I have five roommates; D, B, L, R, and Mrs. B. It seems like a lot of people are here for drugs or transporting illegal aliens. Not too many people here for white collar crimes. All my roommates are great. D is here for some political reason. B is here for drug conspiracy, L and R are here for transporting illegal aliens, and Mrs. B I think is here for some type of drug charge. They come in all shapes and sizes around here. Some people here have been back and forth many times and will probably be back again. No one is really mean here. Camp is not a place to screw up, it is too easy here. You don't want to screw up and get sent across the street or get a shot, a write up. I have only had a few verbal arguments and that is about it.

There are some gay people here, people here call them bulldiggers. They do not even try to mess with you. If they know you are straight they won't even bother you. They are very respectful! There are a few who look very masculine with full hair on their legs, personally I think that is REALLY gross! But the good thing is they stay away from ME!

We have a commissary at the camp. We are allowed to spent $290 per month, stamps and OTC meds are not deducted from the $290. You get to spend $340 for the month of December. You get 300 minutes monthly on the phone. November and December you get 400 minutes. It costs 23 cents per minute so about $69 a month for 300 minutes. If it is considered local it is only 6 cents per minute. The computer emails cost 5 cents per minutes. You have unlimited use of them. I will make a copy of the commissary list, the prices of this stuff are RIDICULOUS!!

So far I have spent Thanksgiving, my birthday (12/19), and will be spending Christmas here. Oh well, I guess that is how it does. I pray every night that my time will go by fast. So far the days are long but the weeks go by quickly. I will have been here 4 weeks on the 18th of December.

Thank you all for your continued support!
{Some names have been changed or shortened by blog manager}

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Comments 2

I just wanted to take a moment to respond to some of the comments that have recently been published and submitted.

I realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Doing this blog has helped me to develop quite a thick skin.

A long time ago, I chose for my oldest children to live with their father while all this was going on. No one took them away from me nor did the children choose to leave me. Their father and I decided together that it would be better for them to live with their father during this ordeal.

My decisions for starting this blog was not to solicit pity from anyone. I am not seeking to gain some sort of misguided martyr status by putting my words out there. It is up to the reader to interpret the combined letters they see before them. Whether you chose to think I am over-dramatizing my life, choose to feel sorry for me or my family, choose to think I must have done so much more to deserve my fate, whatever conclusions you choose to draw...these are yours to make. I will not presume to think that I can tell someone how they should or must feel about something or someone, I know I am in no way entitled to do so. By the same token, all of you who choose of your own free will to leave or submit comments to me via this blog, are not entitled to dictate to me how I should feel or behave in my writings.

The only thing I ask is to respect my family. This is a hard thing for all of us to go through and while I am open to you saying whatever you wish about me, I politely ask that you keep my children, husband, and others out of it. Any future comments where this is not respected will not be published. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Coming clean

We have a contract on a house and should close on the 22nd of September. This will give me about 17 days to move, unpack and get my husband and little one settled before I self-surrender. With my husband buying this house, it will save him money every month compared to him renting the house we are currently in. I hope that the closing happens on the date it should. I really do not want my husband to have to move and unpack with out my help.

I had dinner with the twins last night. We had a really nice time. It is really neat to listen to them talk about their day. They are getting so grown up like, kind of scary. My son’s voice has changed and his twin sister looks so grown up. I have them this weekend. I am really looking forward to spending as much time with them as possible. I will have them 3 more weekends before I go. I went and spoke to their school counselor about me leaving. She was very nice and understanding. They now know that they have someone to go and vent to at school. I think this will really help them out. She also stated that she would like to stay in contact with me while I am incarcerated to let me know how they are doing in school and with counseling.

I know a few of you have asked what I did to get in the situation. I plead guilty to one count of bank fraud, which the judge gave me 37 months for. I embezzled money from my employer that I worked for almost 4 years. I cannot tell any of you why I did it. You are correct that I didn’t think about my family while this was going on. I never thought that it would come to this but it did. My former employer stated in court that I was fired for embezzlement, which is not correct. I was let go on April 23, 2004 for telling my employer’s wife that he had been having an affair for 11 years with his medical assistant. Then on May 12, 2004 my former employer found the money trail. So I hope all of this answers some questions. I am not telling all of you this to come down on me. You asked and now you know.

I will be posting my name, ID#, and address I can be contacted at before I go if any of you choose to write me while I am gone. I will be self-surrendering on 10/10 by 10:00 a.m. at Carswell in Fort Worth Texas. I will be in the "camp" section.

I will post again soon with some more info for all of you. I hope all of you have a great day.
Thanks

Sunday, September 10, 2006

TRULINKS

Hello Everyone,
I am sorry that I haven’t posted in a couple of days. I was very busy last week with volleyball games, football games, dinner with the kids, lunch with the kids and meeting with the school counselor!!! As busy as it has been getting I love all the time I spend with them. Last week I got to see them everyday because of sports and our weekly dinner. They come for the weekend on Friday. If I counted correctly I will only have three more weekends with them before I go. My little one has Fall Break the whole week before I go so I will need to make the best of that time with her.
Some of you have wanted to know more about my true deepest feelings. Let me start by saying that I am almost numb. I do not know how I am supposed to feel. Some days I am sad, depressed, nervous, scared and other days I can laugh and smile. I find myself sitting a lot and watching my kids sleep, I try to memorize their faces. They are so innocent and sweet. I also find myself watching my husband sleep. I realize how much I am going to miss my family and try to imagine their lives with out me. My heart always feels like it is in my stomach when I start to think about leaving. I know I will not have my daily kisses and hugs. I won’t get to pick up my little one from school, I will miss that smile when she comes out and sees me. I will miss my hugs from the twins. I will miss when my son twirls my hair when we watch television. I will miss helping my daughter with her hair and lying on her bed with her and hanging out. I will miss MY LIFE!!! I will miss my daily phone call from my mom and will miss my dad’s daily emails. I am going to stop here because my little girl just asked why I was crying…..
I would like to share with you about a new system that the BOP, Bureau of Prisons, started a while back. It is called Inmate messaging. The inmate can’t get on the internet or anything like that but they can email friends and family that have been approved. In one comment that I received a while back someone was making fun of the fact that I could correspond with my friend that is helping me with this blog. I was not thinking I could just get on the internet and do what I wanted when I wanted. My plan is to write to her and send a few days at a time to her. Then she would type it on the blog for me. But to let that person know inmates can have access to messaging. I wanted to let everyone see that rules about it. That way you can also learn about the Federal System as I learn it also. If anyone has any questions about the Federal System please ask me, I will most likely know the answer.
Here is the info on the Inmate Messaging:
What is TRULINCS?
The Trust Fund Limited Inmate Communication System (TRULINCS) is a pilot program currently being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to provide inmates with some limited capabilities to send and receive electronic correspondence without having access to the Internet and uses no taxpayer dollars.
One purpose of this program is to assist in the inmate’s eventual community reentry. Many of these inmates are nearing their release date. Electronic communications have now become a standard form of correspondence within most American homes and businesses and can now also serve as a way to keep inmates connected to their families. Strengthening or re-establishing these family ties assists the inmates with their successful reentry into the community and can reduce the possibility that they recidivate.
Do inmates have access to the Internet?
No, this service is solely a messaging application and provides no inmate access to the Internet.
Who funds TRULINCS?
No taxpayer dollars are used for this service. Funding is provided entirely by the Inmate Trust Fund, which is maintained by profits from inmate purchases of Commissary products, telephone services, and the fees inmates pay for using TRULINCS.
Which inmates have access to TRULINCS?
The pilot program is currently being conducted at the Federal Prison Camp and Low Security Correctional Institution in Coleman, Florida; the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut; and the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama.
How do I correspond with an inmate?
Inmates are limited to sending and receiving electronic correspondence only from individuals on their approved contact list. An inmate must request to exchange electronic correspondence with a person in the community by placing that person on their contact list. If staff approved the inmate’s request to exchange electronic correspondence, the system generates a message to that person advising them of the request and gives them the option of accepting; rejecting the request and any future electronic correspondence from that particular inmate; or rejecting the request and any future electronic correspondence from any Federal inmate. The inmate will be notified of the requested contact’s reply action and messaging may begin if the applicable response was received by the contact.
What do I do if I have not received a system-generated message, but the inmate added me to their contact list?
Verify with the inmate that they entered your e-mail address properly. Pay special attention to the spelling of addresses and domain names (.com, .net, etc.).
Many mail clients have filters to protect users from spam and viruses. Once you have verified the inmate entered your correct e-mail address, you should check your junk mail folder to see if a filter diverted the message.
I accepted the system-generated message, but the inmate has not been notified.
Responses will only be accepted from the exact e-mail address placed on the inmate’s contact list. Messages from forwarded domains, alias addresses, or miss-configured mail software will not be recognized by TRULINCS and, therefore, cannot be delivered. Please verify your Reply Address in your mail client’s account settings. It must be the exact address entered on the inmate’s contact list.
Do not alter the reply message or the subject line.
I tried to approve or refuse communication with an inmate by clicking the appropriate response, but nothing happened?
Many mail clients' viewing capabilities are defaulted to view text-formatted messages to reduce the number of viruses introduced to your computer. To approve/refuse communication with an inmate, your viewing capability must be set to view html formatted messages in order to launch the appropriate hyper-link to approve/refuse communication.
Is correspondence monitored?
Yes, all correspondence is subject to monitoring. Inmates consent to monitoring when they agree to participate in the program. Contacts consent to monitoring when they approve corresponding with the inmate and are notified each time they receive correspondence from the inmate.
Are there rules?
Correspondence may not jeopardize the safety, security, or orderly operation of the correctional facility, or the protection of the public; exceed 13,000 characters (approximately two pages); or have attachments. Correspondence that jeopardizes the safety, security, or orderly operation of the correctional facility, or the protection of the public or exceeds the 13,000-character limit will be rejected. Any attachments sent with correspondence, will be stripped and not delivered to the inmate.
What do I do if I want to stop corresponding with an inmate?
Contacts may remove themselves from a specific inmate’s contact list or refuse all future Federal inmates’ requests for message exchanges at any time by selecting the applicable action identified in the footer of each inmate message.
What do I do if I accidentally declined to correspond and want to correspond?
If a member of the public accidentally responds that they do not want to correspond with the specific inmate or any Federal inmate and a block is placed on their e-mail address, they must provide a written request to the Warden of the facility where the inmate is located to remove the block. Requests must include the contact’s name, physical address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
I hope everyone has a great week!!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Updates

HAPPY LABOR DAY EVERYONE!!!
I am not feeling to perky today. I am starting to feel very depressed and have a lot of anxiety. I feel like my heart is in my stomach. I have 36 days until I self-surrender and start a new chapter in my life and unfortunately my family will have to start a new one without me.
My oldest daughter had her first volleyball game last Thursday. Her team won. I feel so privileged that I was able to see her play before I go. I think I will be able to go and see a few more games luckily. I should only miss the play offs. My daughter played awesome. I am very proud of her. I was never the athletic type and I am thrilled that she is pursuing that talent.
My son will have his first football game this Thursday. He has been practicing very hard to make the “A” team. I am very proud of him also for that hard work and dedication he shows. I will be able to see a few of his games as well.

My little one had her first spelling test last Friday. She was so nervous about taking it. She had all the words memorized but was scared that she would spell the word “that” incorrect. We will see when the “Tuesday Folder” comes home how she did. She is doing great with her gymnastics and she will soon be a Brownie also. I think two activities a week will be good for her but not too much for my husband to handle. I want her mind to be on school, gymnastics, Brownies, and church. I don't want her wondering about me all the time I'm away. I know she will always worry about me and I just want to make it a little easier for her. Makes me feel sick thinking about it. Three years my kids will have to be with out their mom, three years I will be without them.

We have had a contract on a home for the last week and a half. It is a foreclosure and the note is with a bank so the process is long. They have countered with us a few times and we hope to know something tomorrow after the long weekend. If this house falls through we will need to find another rental. We pay too much for this house in rent and really just need a 3/2 while I am gone. The twins will have their own rooms at my parent’s house for when they visit on the weekends. A mortgage payment will be a lot less then a rental payment for my husband while I am gone. I am sure some of you are wondering why I am worrying about buying a house at this time and this is why!!

My long weekend with the twins has been great. They go home today at 6 p.m. I hate these days. I know my time with them is limited. I have started to go to eat lunch at their school once a week. I get them every Wed. for dinner and every other weekend. Plus I will see them at their games until I go. My son said he would send me all his school papers and progress/report cards in the mail. He said this would make me feel a part of him and his schoolwork. I told him that I would love that!!! I feel that my daughter, his twin, has not accepted this yet. Maybe she just has a different way of showing it??? When I sat them both down to explain to them my sentence she stated, “ Mom, it is only a little over a thousand days. Just think how fast a day goes by.” I really didn’t know how to take that… My son on the other hand started to cry and get very emotional, but he is an emotional child, very caring and loving. I just do not want this to hit my daughter like a ton of bricks when I am already gone and cannot be there for her. They will turn 15 in June and I will be home in Oct. My youngest will turn 10 in May before I come home.

I want to thank everyone again for all the support I have been getting. You have no idea how it feels to read all the positive comments and negative comments. They will both help me with my journey. I will be adding something in a later post that may help people to understand the Federal System better. I have learned a lot about it in these last 2 ½ years. Please look for this post to come in the next day or two.

Have a wonderful Labor Day and enjoy your family!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Comments

This is just a quickie to update some of you. To all those asking what the crime itself was, all I am at liberty to say is that it was a white collar crime that involved money. Sorry, but at this time I prefer not to go into the details any further.

Thank you for all the kind words. I am a normal person, I just made a mistake. That is part of the whole reason for this blog. Not everyone who goes to jail can fit into a certain stereotype. I'm trying to remain even-keeled about this. Freaking out every day does nothing to help, nor does it change my eventual fate.

And for those wondering how I'm going to keep this updated while in jail. I mentioned before that I have chosen to team up with a close friend. I will be sending her journal pages, via snail-mail, and she will be posting my thoughts here for me. I know that I will not have access to the internet while incarcerated.

Thanks everyone for all the support!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Still searching

First off I would like to thank everyone for all your words of encouragement. I did not think I would get such a positive response to all of this.

We did not get the house that we put a bid on the other day. Someone actually offered more then the asking price. I didn’t think the market was that good??? I guess the people thought the house was worth it and didn’t want to lose it. So, I am back to looking again. I looked at four yesterday. I liked three of them. Two are foreclosures and one is occupied. I liked one of the foreclosures because it is in my same neighborhood and it would be the same school for my youngest daughter. Bad enough she will lose me for a while but I also do not want her to have to change schools also. I will be putting a bid on it later today when I get all the final figures to see what my husband can afford while I am gone. I will let you know what happens. This is really the last thing I want to be doing before I have to go!!! But, I need to make sure my family is set and as taken care of as possible.

I go and eat with my other daughter and son tonight. Let me tell you, you wouldn’t think two hours is worth going but it is!!! I miss them so much. My oldest daughter went to the hospital last week on Thursday. She sprained her knee doing squats at volleyball practice. She is very disappointed. She missed her first scrimmage on Monday and hopes to be in the game this next week. My son, her twin, is so tired from football practice when he gets home. They seem to really work these kids!!!

My little one that lives with me has pink eye. I am trying to get her into the doctor but he is booked. She is taking medicine but it does not seem to be helping. I am still so worried about her. I hope my mother-in-law can handle all of this while I am gone.

Well, I am off to clean and pick up the house.