Journal Entry: Andres Alejandr Freyre-02/17/2024

Journal Entry

It’s been a long time since I last posted. I’ve been very busy completing the summer and fall semesters of the classes I’m taking. I’m almost done and I should be about halfway to my Bachelor’s once these last set of classes are done. I’ve also been busy helping to run the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People groups that I advocated to bring to the institution. Just a few days ago, I finally completed one of the few long-term goals that I set for myself after entering the BOP. I was transferred to a minimum security prison camp in Thomson, IL. It’s actually the camp that’s across the street from the low-security prison I was previously at. It is so much better. It really doesn’t even feel like I’m in prison anymore. The oppressive atmosphere created by overzealous correctional officers and inmates that believe that power inside prison is something to aspire to is finally gone. I am just here and the pressure of social forces that occur within prison walls is no longer even relevant. I’m still getting used to being able to move around freely without having to wait for the top of every hour for a controlled movement. There is no temptation to run away or abuse the freedom I have been granted because there is no way I want to go back to a higher security after being here even for only a few days. I now have the freedom to structure a routine and schedule with minimum interruptions so I can be much more productive with my time. While I was at the low-security prison, I remember always thinking that even when I get out, not much will change. I still have the goals that I set for myself and they will require the same amount of effort and energy to accomplish. The only thing that will change will be the environment, but inside, my path will be the same. Now that I’m at the camp, I had a small impulse, like the faint pulse of an old habit trying to revive itself, to just relax and slow down. I guess to ease up on my self-imposed responsibilities. I reflected on this feeling and realized that old habits die hard, but they do die and we have the ability to create new ones. I quickly dismissed this thought and remembered the thoughts I had about nothing really changing when I was at the low. I may be more comfortable now externally, as in my environment, but I must keep the fire burning inside. Now is not the time to relax or take any breaks. I have years and years of productivity wasted that I must catch up on.

As a side note. After being at a minimum security facility, I think it’s absolutely the right idea to save taxpayers money and send people at prison camps to home confinement with GPS monitoring. These people are not dangerous and this is not much of a punishment. This is not the prison environment I’ve unfortunately become so accustomed to in the previous four years of my life. This is like a daycare where we get fed very well and are provided TVs and recreation facilities. We could be working while being confined to our own homes or halfway houses, and paying taxes. Society paying 40k a year/per person to keep us minimum security “adults in custody” in prison camps seems like a pretty absurd policy decision after being here and experiencing it myself. Just some thoughts on the state of the Federal prison system in America.