Institutionalized: He does not want to leave Federal Prison?
I suspect we have all heard a story about a prisoner who adjusts so well to life in prison that He does not want to leave when his sentence expires. I always believed that this was one of those “prison myths” that circulated, it sounded dramatic but was not based in any fact. I mean, come on, who wants to stay in prison? The movie, The Shawshank Redemption, depicted an older prisoner who tried to hurt a fellow prisoner so his sentence would be extended and He would not have to leave prison at the end of his sentence. His plan was foiled by his fellow prisoners and He later leaves prison. Thereafter, He commits suicide because He cannot live in the real world. Great movie stuff, but hardly applicable to the real world.
That was my opinion until I met Carl. Carl was a non-violent drug dealer serving a 12 year sentence. Carl was scheduled to leave on November 8, 2016. In October, Carl was informed that He might have to stay until May 8, 2017, an additional 6 months. The excuse was a foul-up in his paperwork on the part of his former case manager. Carl lives in my cube and told Me and my other cube mates about the delay. We were all outraged but Carl seemed to be unfazed. I helped him prepare some administrative paperwork to get his release date returned to November 8, 2016. He said He filed it.
Recently, I asked him if He heard anything about his appeal. He replied that He decided not to file it and simply decided to wait until May 8, 2016 to go home. I was stunned. Most prisoners have their release dates embedded in their brains (I know, I do). You mess with my release date and you will see an irrational man! I did sit down with Carl and I asked him what was going on? He confessed that He is apprehensive about going home. He has been in prison for over 9 years and does not know what He is going to do when He leaves. He does not have a plan so He does not mind staying here for an additional 6 months while He tries to formulate one. I, of course, tell him He has had 9 years to develop a plan! How could He need any more time?
The long and the short of it is that Carl is comfortable in Federal Prison Camp. His needs are met. His job is not demanding. He sits for hours in the Television room each day watching sports and joking and betting with his buddies. He is not quite sure the real world will be any better than federal prison. This is shocking to me. This is what long prison sentences do to some prisoners. No wonder the federal recidivism rate is 69%.