Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-01/21/2024-Journal #3

Journal Entry

Not sure where to begin so just going to start writing and see what bubbles up.

These past 4 days have been a bit annoying, to be honest. Some idiot drug dealer apparently kicked 2 soccer balls filled with dope and cell phones into the yard last Sunday. This caused an immediate shutdown of the yard, body searches of all of us as we came inside. The annoying piece of this was the guards shut down the yard all week as well as computers and email, my two main activities! Apparently, they wanted someone to take responsibility or snitch, either of which is a death wish around here and just not going to happen… All we could do all week was eat(30 minutes a day for 3 meals),2hour movies every other day, TV, and reading/writing in the library, cell, or unit.

Being a non-druggie, what I find fascinating is the mentality of some of the drug related convicts supporting the attempt. Basically, decent guys, I’ve come to know, but their DNA/history can’t understand why this was wrong, almost a view we see in America today by the MAGA crowd- it’s more the little guy standing up to the establishment is more important than anything else. I guess if you feel mistreated by the elite/system….. It is also such a sad paradox, this vicious cycle of basically decent people wanting a quick pop of income from selling drugs get caught eventually, wiped out financially, don’t feel they got a fair trial/appeal, get out, and need to do it again to get on their feet. The fairness issue comes up due to how the judge treated them compared to others, and how the prison system treats illegals so favorably vs US citizens who have no lawyer or ID by the way.

Today is my official two-week anniversary, congratulations to me! Still don’t have my bible though delivered 2 days ago. so hoping it makes its way to me. Otherwise, I’ve read 6 books, and have an unpublished blog,2 book reports, plus now this journal. At 15-minute increments, next week on the PC should be busy!

Thankfully I feel fairly adjusted to this environment now, but that doesn’t mean I love it:) I sleep fine, plenty of carbs to eat (which I’ve done a good job staying away from so far). I’m down 20 pounds in 2 weeks, and inmates are generally polite and courteous. There’s always a few loudmouths, but I’ve learned whites don’t tell other races what to do, and vice versa.

I find it interesting that each week there has been a busload of transfers from other prisons of 80 people, almost 10% of the prison population. We all have sensed the Hispanic population grow from about 60% to 80% in that short time frame, as well as the prison reach capacity. Eventually, I’ll do a blog on how things could improve since customer service surveys don’t seem to be a thing!

Interestingly, several of the long-term inmates have shared how they have noticed quite the degradation of the prisons these past 10 years- primarily guard attitudes, quality of food, and the lost focus on corrections and rehab, mainly punishment now. I raise this as I’m reading a book by Victor Davis Hanson, former Fresno State professor, now a Hoover Institute Fellow at Stanford, and a FOX News contributor. He wrote a book in 2020(25 books overall on America, society, social issues, etc..). His book The Dying Citizen-How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization are Destroying the idea of America addresses the exact issues we see in prison- rise of illegal Mexican immigrants smuggling drugs, and the impact on America, its citizens and institutions like healthcare, education, oh and prisons which are overwhelmed as well:) Really a sad state of affairs overall, given how our politicians use the border for their political aspirations and other personal goals in my view.

If there is any benefit to being in prison, it is the ability to have lots of spare time to read, reflect, and think. I don’t think I’ve felt this amount of ” freedom” since sophomore and junior years in University. Some of you might not know, but I was a business/accounting major, and a philosophy/religious studies minor. So I did a lot of reading as part of my minor, it is quite foundational to my intellectual curiosity and logical thinking tools. What reminded me of those years was recently I read a book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, also made into a movie with Julia Roberts back in the day. The journey of her divorce, depression, isolation followed by a year of travel- 4 months in Italy eating and learning Italian, 4 months in India meditating with a Guru/Yogi, and 4 months in Bali falling in love again brings back my memories of self-reflection, intellectual curiosity and appreciation for life and relationships.

Thanks everyone for being so caring and supportive, it’s really comforting to know you’re there willing to help, send emails with updates, chat on the phone, and take care of things on the outside for me!

Praying for Liberty and freedom and to see my Fam and friends again soon! BJ