Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-02/10/2024-Journal #5

Journal Entry

I’m trying a daily approach now, hoping it helps me focus on spending time on my priorities, be them still pretty much undefined except figuring out ways to get to a Camp and make my appeal successful and keep in touch with family and friends.

Monday 2/5

After 80 MPH wind gusts and 3-4″ rain yesterday and last evening, it seems our weather is settling down a bit, as only .5″ rain expected today! This morning was pretty productive, with normal routine of emails first thing, followed with Bible reading, and organizing my to do list for the week. With only 15 minutes per email session, and guys always waiting for us to hurry up and finish, those 15 minutes go by quick to say the least. I’ve started draft emails where I add to them as the week goes as I think of things, so I don’t send as many and they are more material.

Even got outside for an hour track time today, first since last Wednesday, given my cold and then the weather. One more week until weights open up again as well! I Learned we have Yard from 5-7 pm as well so will try that the next week to help break up the boring evenings!

Well best laid plans as they say. Because at 10:45 this morning they did another lockdown as the cafeteria flooded. So they brought styrofoam box of lunch inside the unit, chili in french fries, so I passed:) These lockdowns mess up the entire schedule so library goes from 12:30 to 2 and so forth. That’s how productivity evaporates almost every day. Post dinner rest of evening was NBA TV, and crime TV, the guys love this stuff. Seems like these kind of days are the new normal…

Tuesday 2/6

Much more productive day today! Everything on schedule, so spent 4 hours on my appeal which was gratifying. The next 45 days are crucial as the legal team is focused on a solid first draft, leaving April for review and May for filing. Likely a 200 page document. They certainly don’t need my help, but I’m trying to bring up things from my perspective an attorney might not think of. Think constitutional law intersecting with securities and finance. My main focus is a Supreme Court filing that was issued the last day of my trial, right before we went to jury. Guess we’ll find out if it really reversed what our legal team believes it did! Last evening I found myself energized typing up all my notes for counsel. Before sending, I’ll let it germinate a few days and edit a few times.

Wednesday 2/7

Today is off to a great start. We had commissary first thing, where we can spend $90 on snacks, medical supplies, clothing etc.. It only took 90 minutes, 50% of the 3 hours its taken last three times. Plus I scored a pint of ice cream, never realized how good it tastes at 8:30 in the morning:)-no freezer for us!

Had my first case manager meeting today. Vert helpful for getting RDAP approved (residential Drug and Alcohol program) qualifying for teaching classes, plus determining when I can transition to camp, which should be finally determined in August. Turns out I have to prove I graduated from high school,or get a GED, so hoping my MBA certificate carries the day! Many folks have problems with proving graduation with a college degree and the guards still requiring a high school transcript.
Crazy even though prison rules allow for a college degree to be proof. I’ve learned written procedures either don’t exist or don’t mean anything if a guard doesn’t want them to!

Finally had a breakthrough on books held up in the mail department. Last 2 days have gotten one by Chuck Colson, Born Again, and 2 from Prison Professors. Hallelujah! And the inmate I bought a bible for got his as well, thank you Amazon:) Ironically I also found a daily devotional at the library for men, same day-kind of interesting timing!

Thursday 2/8

Woke up to the weather finally turning, sunshine and warming the next 10 days- FINALLY! And Jose came running over to me at 6:30 am with his new Bible, all grateful. Not a bad way to start the day!!

Today I’m getting back to my normal schedule of workouts and library on top of normal stuff. My big priority is sending Valentine’s cards(on notebook paper)including my first one to my little granddaughter. She may not read yet, but she can listen:)

I forgot to mention yesterday, but as I was prepping for my case manager meeting, I had my Release Plan book, authored by Michael Santos, sitting on the table in the middle of the unit where I usually do my bible reading and morning writing. Fellow inmate, mid 20’s, who has been very helpful to me, stopped by to ask what I was doing? By helpful I mean sharing his commissary stockpile of food which was a lifesaver back then, plus just overall what to day to day in prison. Unfortunately, even as a first time offender, his sentence is for 20 years, which just seems crazy to me. If you were to meet him, he could be the clean cut handsome 21 year old living down the street so to speak.

So I explained the benefits of a release plan, and why I was doing one plus the book reports, blog, and journals. He is already so cynical about the system its sad, and that made the conversation difficult. His view is no one cares and no one will read any of this. I offered to share the book with him,even help him write a release plan. He wasn’t bought in, and wants to see what good all this does for me first. I’ve got to help him understand that he needs a plan for his life, and a learning/self improvement plan, not just credit from a case manager. I can tell a lot of guys inside have the same view based on things they say etc.. The fact that something might be educational, interesting, a form of self improvement isn’t a high priority for most of the guys here, which certainly makes the BOP’s job that much harder. Between having parents not role modeling education and values, to a lousy public school system wehre they grow up, how does society ever improve from wher we are at today?

On a better note, at lockdown 9:30 pm, my cellmate asked if I’d be willing to pray and meet with a gent a couple cells down who apparently sees me reading my bible in our unit. Claims he’s a Christian and wants to grow in his faith. Funny how one never knows what an inmate is thinking about, that’s for sure. Guess we’ll find out how that goes this next week!

Friday 2/9

The good news is the rain stopped, the bad news is foggy, so at 7 am we went into lockdown for 2.5 hours. Definitely makes the day start off more relaxing sitting in one’s cell reading first thing. I wish we had room to write in our cell, as seems we have lots of cell time, but they’re too small, especially for two people. Pretty sure they were initially for one person.

I’m in pretty good shape on my memo to counsel, just waiting to receive their package that’s in the mail so I can review and include my comments. So today is more catching up on emails and journal, getting exercise at 1, and of course, being inundated with TV about our President’s failing memory by the Special Counsel dealing with his classified docs. Wish I had thought of that defense:) I could swear our President and VP were recently speaking about Trump and that no one is above the law. Except?? So here I sit…

Next week should be a big medical week which will take a lot of my time. Hopefully, my doctor’s letter gets the BOP’s attention it deserves, especially the outside treatment plan that is required.

Saturday 2/10

Great start to the day with 7-9 am Kairos ministry get together. Kairos is a non denominational non profit ministry, serves about 500 prisons, staffed by local believers who come once a month to worship, share a message, and discuss in small groups. They do an annual in prison 4 day retreat over Memorial Day, Friday -Monday as well. Open to non believers as well.
The message was about the difference between belief and obedience many religions teach based on what the Bible says, vs. having faith, and I found it quite relevant and interesting as it resonated with my past youth upbringing around obedience vs. where I am now with faith. Definitely got me thinking out God’s plan for me in prison again and thereafter, that’s for sure.

Gorgeous weather today so workout in the Yard was great. After lockdown and dinner, had a relaxing movie night and that was about it. Guess I did a good job using my recently read book, Art of not giving a F*ck, as after the movie ended, the guards kept us in the auditorium 40 minutes for no reason, and I made sure not to let it frustrate me:)

Praying for Freedom and Liberty and to see my FAM and friends soon! BJ