This message was written by a good friend of mine at Maxwell Federal Prison Camp. Here is some advice on how to spend your time inside prison.
I’m a 60 something white, short male. I’m now a professional convict at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama. Also known as FPC Montgomery – Its located inside the Maxwell Air Force Base. I have no illusions about the BOP; the BOP has no desire to rehabilitate me. If I want to commit another crime, the BOP will probably applaud; its job security. If I’m going to get better while I’m incarcerated, its up to me.
Grow Your Physical Health
I can grow my physical health. Obvious to men in their 20s and 30s, but older men, not to clear. This is probably the last time in my life to get into living-good shape for my old age. Life outside the prison was too full of “important” stuff to leave time for exercise. I have plenty of time. Quality of life means good health, whether man or women, old or young, black or white, or Hispanic or Asian or whatever. Walk; run; do cardio; lift weights; do whatever it is that yoga-people do; shoot baskets; do something physical for 60 minutes a day.
Grow Your Brain
I can grow my brain. I’m taking this time to study what’s interesting to me, not to someone else. The BOP requires course work, because it gets more money when we do them. But some of the courses are worth doing, you choose which ones challenge your brain to expand. If you speak English, study Spanish or German or French; if you’re good at numbers, do word puzzles; plays games which make you think in order to win. Practice new skills, like drawing or music or reading sacred texts. Leave the BOP as a smarter and wiser person. True knowledge is power, especially these days when fake knowledge is cheap and free.
Grow Your Spirit
I can grow my spirit. I came into prison as a slave to my own attachments, desires and illusions. TV and media told me what to buy, where to go, what to think. I signed on those illusions without a single thought. Prison is the first time in my life to work toward true freedom (ironic right?). Freedom from anxiety over what to wear or when to get out of bed; freedom from what society says I should look like; freedom from what my own bad habits made me do. I’m truly free to decide what’s really important, not just accept what someone else says is important. True knowledge is power, but freedom lets you use that power rightly.
The “justice” system has taken this time from me and my loved ones. I’m taking some of it back for myself, on the BOP’s dime!