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Articles, short stories, and novels inspired by prison life.


In re Butler Update - Article
I'm writing this article today to update you on Butler, and several other topics. In July, the Court discovered that the Board was not setting base terms for Youth offenders (under SBs 260 and 261) or Elderly Offenders under the 3-Judge Panel agreement (60 or older with 25 years served) . The Board's excuse was that: there is "Immediate Release" language in the law for those groups. The fact is, they never "immediately" release any lifer. ....

Lifer Twelve Step Insight - Article
First and foremost, as I stated in my previous article, remorse for our actions is the most important element to recovery, reform, and rehabilitation. Remorse drives us to examine ourselves, and it compels us to change as we feel dissatisfaction with the results of those actions. Please understand that there is no distinction between a lifer here and a normal citizen....

Lifers Insight Preparedness - Article
I would like all of the lifer families and my fellow lifers to share in some very important information pertaining to the lifer parole process. There are some developments in the law of late, but I've neglected to write about this important topic and I have seen such a dearth on this, arguably the most important factor for gaining parole suitability among the lifer community...

Recidivism Encouraged By Rewarding Bad Behavior - Article
Did you know that before 1977 ALL California prisoners were sentenced to a term of 'imprisonment-to-life' (like 1-to-life or any-number-of-years-to-life)? Most people don't, but that's how it used to be. The Parole Board required inmates to 'earn' their release date, and only after achieving a set of standards would they qualify for release...

California Prisoners Affected By Drought - Article
In light of California's worst drought ever, The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), has implemented the most severe water restrictions, affecting state prisoners ability to shower. A statewide CDCR memorandum issued to all 33 prisons mandates that prisoners are only afforded a 5-minute shower, 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursdays, Saturday), between specific times...

Healthcare For California Inmates - Article
I entered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in 1995 during a time when the state's prison population was at 160,000 inmates housed in 33 prisons, way under capacity, with men housed in gymnasiums, makeshift dorms, and triple bunked. If you had a medical issue it might take 3 weeks to see a doctor...

The Roy Butler Case - Article
Ah, the 1979 memo. The culprit responsible for today's overcrowding as well as the current lifer issue. Who is "Morrissey 8", anyway? In 1972, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471. That created due process rights for parolees at their revocation hearings, including the right to have an attorney...

The Morrissey 8 - Article
Butler vs The Parole Board Case no. A139411. Greetings. My name is Rodolfo Gonzalez, and I want to share some facts and dispel some rumors about the Roy Butler case, which are the result of some individuals that don't understand our case, but love to write unqualified informational bulletins nonetheless...

Letter to Justice Siggins - Article
I am clearly not advocating for every lifer to go home; it's just that too many of us should be out in society doing reform work with our youth, or with newly paroled men, to keep them from coming here...

The Settlement Solution - Article
The State has had systemic problems with its justice system for decades. Crime rates have soared; recidivism rates have been at unacceptable levels for far too long; and now, overcrowding in California's prisons has caused deaths that has led the federal courts at the highest level to order releases...

Butler Paroles: The Problem Lingers - Article
Dear readers, let me begin with a bit of good news; after 28 years of incarceration Roy Thinnes Butler has officially gone home. On June 27, 2014, Roy was officially entered into CDCR computers as "Address: Paroled." My previous articles depict every step that led to his release and I urge you to read them...

California Appellate Court: Blockbuster Opinion - Article
On May 22, 2014, the California Appellate Court issued a blockbuster opinion. To be sure, the opinion of the Court reflects, agrees with, and repeats what this little "donkey" has been telling you in these articles, practically word for word...

Donkeys Don't Brag, They Bray - Article
I wanted to write this article right away, because I want people to know that I've written and helped file another lifer petition of great significance to lifers. Roy Butler declared support for it, and it follows his case (the Settlement), and its progress and outcome I will update and inform in this forum. So stay tuned...

In re Charles Ridey DEPUBLISHED - Article
Dear friends, I return with this new edition to update you with some important developments. To begin, the In re Charles Riley case that contained that beautiful biography of this crooked "lifer" policy they have us chained to, that is essentially a "Life Without Parole" sentence, was DEPUBLISHED by the California Supreme Court...

Bypassing the Law with State Regulations - Article
I understand it's difficult to sympathize with the people in here that the State has maligned with labels corresponding to their crimes. But you would be appalled if you could only peek into the level of corruption and injustice that those same agents perpetrate. I have explained how these injustices aren't just against prisoners who may or may not deserve it, but that it trickles down to you and your own children...

The State Betrays Public Safety - Article
The "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act" labels things like burglary and auto theft a misdemeanor. So if someone breaks your car window and steals your iPOD or iPAD, if the damage is $950 or less, you...

Our Problem Is Your Problem Too - Article
Demand that the Board be constituted of more than just retired Sheriffs or Crime Victim advocates. Your prisons are a business right now. You are a good customer...

Parole Board's Psychic Readings - Article
The Board of Parole Hearings is crooked, and in this case has behaved criminally by using the State regulation-making procedure to create an entire department of psychologists to evaluate only lifers for the specific purpose of assessing their risk of violence and danger to the public...


Cellmate; Getting a new cellmate is very stressful. - Short Story
Today was a sad day for me. I'm usually awaken at 6:30 a.m. by my T.V. timer, but today when I opened my eyes expecting to watch the morning news, I noticed that only the bottom half of my T.V. was working. My 16 year old T.V. was about to die...

Destination ASH; How nutcases find treasure in the California penal system. - Short Story
My first day on the yard at New Folsom Prison, a maximum-security joint in Sacramento, I saw an African American inmate get rushed by three hardened convicts and nearly stabbed to death. It only confirmed my fears. For nights, I couldn't sleep, being celled up with desperate, edgy cellmates...

Evening Dayroom; Conversations with Huero and other inmates. - Short Story
Finally, after 13 years of imprisonment, I now look delinquent. Always sport freshly pressed prison blues, walk with pride, attitude and confidence, speak the lingo. I even speak fluent Spanish...

Hustle Man; Prison's black market specialist. - Short Story
In every prison nationwide, there exists a man on whom every inmate depends: the extraordinary, smooth-talking convict who can deliver - for a price - anything you ever wanted, even the things you don't want. An agent, middleman, who regulates supply and demand, a walking swap meet or newsstand - he always delivers. Everyone knows him, even the guards. His presence is most conspicuous. Over the years, he earns respect and is trusted. His prison a k a is "HUSTLE MAN."...

Jail Babes; Where women find romance behind bars, and a lot more. - Short Story
If you're a guy, you probably got aroused at the title of this article, thinking of some hot babe who is locked up, horny, and ready to rock your world on a conjugal visit! If you're a woman, you probably instantly thought of some tough-looking biker chick who has tattoos and an attitude. This article is about neither...

Jailhouse Pruno; Homemade booze that'll kill you. - Short Story
As a free man, just 23 years old, I worked as a club/party promoter in Southern California. Spent seven nights a week around hot babes, loud music, and the best assortment of alcohol money could buy. With a $200-a-night bar tab, compliments of the club owners, I often treated all the right people to drinks, so they would come back as repeat customers...

Living with a Cell Partner - Short Story
Due to a riot which required prison officials to move an entire cell block of inmates to another, I was moved to a cell where I'd confront an "X file." As the cell door opened, there was a gorgeous chick inside! Shiny, healthy long black hair down to the waist, a perfectly rounded ass, about a C cup,. breasts a light, flawless complexion, luscious cupid lips with dark red lipstick, a beautiful voice...

Lockdown; Where there's plenty of time to think about life inside and outside of prison. - Short Story
Suddenly, the chatter of voices filling the law library vanished, as an abrupt announcement crackled through the loudspeaker. "CODE 3! CODE 3! EVERYONE GET DOWN ON THE YARD! GET DOWN!" "CODE 3 is a prison riot," whispered one outspoken jailhouse lawyer, an everyday fixture in the prison law library...

Mischief in the Prison Chapel; Inmates take advantage of a religious opportunity. - Short Story
Prison chapels run like churches in free society. The Protestant believers have elders, deacons, and other lower level servants. Elders were like gods, and they had the juice card, could come in and out of the chapel without reason... On the surface, it was like organized crime; everybody in the know had to answer to the boss and strived to be somebody, having to earn their bones to rise to the top...

It's Chow Time! If it's prison food, it all tastes the same. - Short Story
Monday night dinner - Chicken Fried steak. Tuesday night - Chicken Alfredo. Wednesday night - Chicken Quarters. When the guard announced over the loudspeaker, "Gentlemen, it's CHOW TIME!" I found myself salivating over the prospect of a tasty meal, but boy, was I in for a surprise...

You think you've got it bad? Try spending a typical morning with an inmate at Soledad Prison. - Short Story
People seem to think I got it all: No bills, no responsibilities, three hots and a cot. Let me tell you, I'd rather live in a cardboard box, homeless, under a freeway overpass, as a free man than live inside the "belly of the beast!" When you feel like life sucks, pull this article out and realize just how lucky you really are!...

Prison Health Care; The horrible reality of a failing system. - Short Story
About twenty years ago I recalled watching a movie called "Doing Life" with Tony Danza. The humorous flick was about a prisoner's experience serving time, touching on subjects like the arbitrary decisions made by parole boards to the horror of seeing a prison doctor. I thought it was hilarious when a prisoner in the movie had his right leg amputated from complications caused by diabetes only to discover the prison doctor removed the wrong leg. Such "deliberate indifference" had to be fictional - or, so I thought...

Prison TV Blues; Broken TV brings more trouble. - Short Story
My life in prison has been far from easy. The probabilities of me making it out alive are close to none, and yet all I try to do is to survive one day at a time so that I may one day die a better person than I was before I came to prison....

Prison Living is not Easy - Short Story
My life in prison has been far from easy. The probabilities of me making it out alive are close to none, and yet all I try to do is to survive one day at a time so that I may one day die a better person than I was before I came to prison....

Sleepless in Soledad; I fell into the fantasy, falling in love with her. - Short Story
During the last decade of doing time, with only a television set and radio to experience, see and hear what is going on in the outside world, I found hope in certain radio personalities, always looking forward to their next show. Particularly, three female jocks I developed interactions with while serving my time in prison...

Sticky Fingers; How inmates cope with their need for love. - Short Story
I'll be frank. A man either turns homosexual (catching or pitching), entirely forgets about women out of religious or some other belief, abstains or becomes asexual, or manages to get hold of some good porn to masturbate to, what we call "hitting it"...


Icicle Bill - Novel
When I first met Tommy Two-Head he was tied to a tree in the desert, left to die by some bikers. The story goes, the leader of the biker gang, Bumperjack Joe, is one mean cat. You do not want to cross this hombre. I mean, if there are two things you never do in life...

Goodbye Natalie - Novel
Jake Barnes watched intently from the road's edge as the car slowly sank in the turbulent cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, one hundred feet below. Inside the car was the lifeless body of a man he didn't know. All he knew of the stranger was that he'd meant to do the same to him. It just didn't work out that way...


PEN PAL ROSTER


 

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