If you`re wondering who I am and why I post all this stuff about prison life on my blog, let me fill you in on why I`m a trusted source for information on federal prisons. So far, I`ve posted bits and pieces about who I am, so here it is all in one place.
I know the Different Prisons in the BOP
When it comes to the feds, they have no problem shipping prisoners all over the country. In fact, if the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) were a shipping company, it would`ve gone broke long ago. It`s common for the BOP to fly someone across the country on “ConAir” and for that person to ultimately wind up at a prison a few hours from where they started. I`ve experienced this myself.
I started out in the Florida prison system, and then the feds picked me up from there when I completed that sentence. In the feds, I`ve been to all the major detention/transfer centers, including Oklahoma City, Tallahassee, Atlanta, and the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn. Some of them more than a few times during my transfers to other facilities within the BOP over the years.
I`ve experienced several BOP facilities, including medium, low, and “administrative” security levels, and I`ve seen all sorts of housing arrangements. I`ve lived in cells with doors, wide open units with hardly any walls, and everything in between.
I know how the prison-transfer system works in the BOP.
I know the Different BOP Programs
The BOP offers some respected programs for the treatment of drug abuse and sex offenses, and I`ve taken all of them. There are three drug programs in the BOP: Drug education class, Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP), and the well-known Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). There are also programs for sex offense treatment: Sex Offender Treatment Program – Non-Residential (SOTP-NR), and Sex Offender Treatment Program – Residential (SOTP-R). I`ve taken all of these programs and remained involved in them as a mentor long after my completion. I know how they work.
I`ve completed college courses while in the BOP, on my own dime though correspondence (they were not offered by the BOP). The BOP counted these as “programming,” which is a nice bonus for those who have the money to take college classes. I also received hundreds of program hours in the BOP for becoming a certified paralegal, again on my own dime.
The BOP also credited my other activities as “programming,” such as playing piano in a honky tonk band, playing hockey, and working a prison job as the head law clerk.
I know how the BOP`s programs work.
I`ve Experienced Lots of Different Things in the BOP
Anyone doing time in the BOP will experience things that no normal person will ever see. Here is just a few examples of the things I`ve experienced in the BOP:
How medical works (or, more accurately, doesn`t work), Threats by prisoners because of my offense,
Death of a family member,
Being tempted with drugs and alcohol,
Being locked in the Special Housing Unit (SHU),
Lockdowns and Quarantines,
ConAir and bus trips,
Loss of property by staff,
Abuses by staff,
Communication difficulties with family,
Obstacles to practicing religion,
Release planning and halfway house (RRC),
Administrative remedy process and formal complaints,
Being charged, arrested, and released on bail/bond,
Sentencing in federal court,
Loss of a great career,
The list goes on and on.
I Have a Trusted Name in this Area
As a head law clerk in the BOP for many years, I`ve helped prisoners with hundreds of filings in state and federal courts. After dozens of releases and even more sentence reductions, I earned a trusted name with prisoners and staff. I`ve also written hundreds of published articles and columns for Criminal Legal News and Prison Legal News Magazines, plus three post-conviction books (so far) and I have a fourth book coming about what it`s like doing time as a sex offender.
If you`re looking for a trusted source of information on the BOP and federal courts, I`ve got the first-hand experience you want. Let`s talk.
Dale Chappell, the Zen Law Guy