PRISON PEN PAL?

I received a letter today from a complete stranger from Jacksonville, Florida. (Lets call him Jon.) Jon started his letter by stating;
” I have read your blog for over a year and it seems like after moving to Pensacola you are having a hard time adjusting. I have searched Google for you and I hope some of my suggestions below help a bit. Please know that your blogs have helped Me tremendously! Keep your chin up and counting days.”
Enclosed with his letter was a list of 100 Positive thinking Exercises to make you healthier and happier. I was touched by a letter from a complete stranger. I will definitely try some of the suggestions. He signed the letter “your new friend”.

Jon was correct in assuming that my adjustment to Pensacola camp has been harder than expected. It took awhile to understand why, but I think I now know why I was struggling. First of all, I think I had inflated expectations about how much better camp life was going to be as compared to my old prison. When Pensacola Camp did not meet the high bar that I had set in my mind, I was disappointed. Camp is really not that much different than my former prison. That said, at Camp. the food is better, the library is better, there is more to do and there is no double razor wire fences to look at. The prisoners at camp appear to be better educated and it is easier to strike up an intelligent conversation. One of the drawbacks to Camp is the living quarters. I now live in a pod with 13 other men, The pod is the size of my old bedroom. There is absolutely no privacy. At prison, I lived in a 2 man cube with a great cellie. Another disappointment at Camp was the lack of cleanliness of the dorms and bathrooms. That was not an issue at prison.

No matter, Camp is my new temporary home and I am trying to make the best of it. Things could be allot worse!
On a totally unrelated topic, the President granted clemency to over 200 long term prisoners serving lengthy drug sentences. One of my pod mates, Todd, was granted clemency. He was ecstatic. He had served 17 years and had 6 more years to go. His remaining sentence, with the stroke of a pen, just evaporated! It was really exciting to see something like this happen right in front of you. Pure joy.

Ken Flaska

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