Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-03/17/2024-Journal #11

Journal Entry

Sunday 3/17

Happy St Patt’ys day to me! Hard to have much green clothes or beer today:)

As I sit here on an early quiet Sunday morning reflecting on the week and my experiences here in prison overall, it strikes me how there are at least 3 distinct layers to the prison environment, two pretty much invisible.

The middle layer is what comes to the eye and we see all week. Cell time, outside Yard, jobs, lots of TV time, frat like gambling and card games with lots of yelling and shouting, guards always telling you what to do and not do. The basics of everyday life.

Then there’s the underground, people whispering and scheming, gossiping about what they hear is going on regarding any topic, drugs, trades for clothes, food from kitchen or cooked meals, sports gambling, with guards generally just looking the other way for the most part. Don’t create trouble is what some really care about.

Finally, there is an aspirational top layer, where maybe 10-20% max are trying to take advantage of the time and situation they find themselves in to read books, learn, educate themselves, help others, prepare for life post-release and so forth.

It really is amazing to me how little is done to prepare inmates to be released and:

– find a job
– have enough money for housing, food, and medical
– transportation
– supportive network of friends or family

I always hear inmates say they wish there were classes relevant to getting a job. It makes sense to me as most resources are books on HOW to get a job, which really doesn’t meet the guys where they are- either in reading ability or as a practical manner to implement without help.

The day was pretty uneventful, church at noon, outside 2-3 and 6:30-7:30, beautiful sunset every night!

Monday 3/18

Commissary is like Christmas morning around here, especially when on Monday! 7 am and off to grocery shop:) Until there is fog lockdown for 2 hours. So everything shifted to 9 am, took till 1 to get back, unpack and get my morning shower in. Oh well…..

After the last 5 days working out plus my morning being wiped out, taking a day off to focus on legal research at library tonight. Finished all the Baldacci books in the library, so switching to Grisham, even though I’ve read many over the years, guess I’ll see if I remember them!

Tuesday 3/19

Another foggy start at 6 am, but by 7 was all gone, so no lockdown, hallelujah! Got to power till 11 on legal research/writing and putting into email, exactly what I wanted to do! The library 1-3, outside 6:30-7:30. Nothing major today.

Wednesday 3/20

Today is my dad’s birthday, so glad he doesn’t have to see me like this, he would be so worried, plus telling me “I told you so” a bunch of times:)

After 2.5-hour fog lockdown, had an incredibly productive 10-3, basically writing my legal in 3 separate memos, 15 minutes on PC, 15 minutes off, then rinse and repeat. Then we had a power hit and that was it for the rest of the day:)
So went outside at 6:30 for a good workout.

I’m reading like 5 books at the same time, hopping around between them. Sometimes I feel like self-improvement or biography, others faith based, and some either novels or suspense of some kind. If there is one dividend to prison that would be it. I’m in the middle of Purpose Driven Life, and struggling a bit with the message. I absolutely loved the first 1/3, where Rick Warren reminds us God just wants our heart, to be our friend, for us to worship/praise him, and even submit ourselves to Him. The middle 1/3 is starting to sound more like rules/religiosity, the old God wants you to do this, God wants you to do that, and my Catholic memories of guilt are rushing back for what I’m not doing. Ironic my first Communion was 60 miles away years ago at the Mission in San Luis Obispo where we lived at the time. Hope the final 1/3 is like the first part.

I’m going to the Jewish service Friday at 5, rumor has it might be useful, besides for my girlfriend’s benefit:)

Thursday 3/21

After fog lockdown till 10 and lunch, we had our newbie Orientation at 1. About 300 new prisoners/people in Q1, about 15% of the overall population. I feel for the staff not having access to technology, from lists of names to microphones, to PowerPoints, so far for the BOP to go.

We’re locked into unit from 2-10, nothing open, yard, library. But we were able to go movie,1947 with Keanu Reeves, pretty good!

Got a whole series called Mitch Rapp from my brother and sister-in-law, which is 7 books or so, should hold me for a bit. Plus I’m behind 2 book reports that I need catching up on, I think those will be my Friday/weekend project!!

Friday 3/22

Off to a good start on my legal paperwork- mainly organizing between topics, questions, and motions during trial and their relationship to the rules agreed upon prior to trial. No fog for lockdown yet, fingers crossed:) Then at 7:30 it rolled in:( Amazing how some days you just wake up clear-headed and crisp and ready to go and others not so much…. Today is one of those crisp ones so we don’t want to waste it with a lockdown!

For some reason, from noon on gym, outside, library were shut down, so we were stuck in unit/cell all afternoon till 10 pm , definitely got a lot of reading done:)

Saturday 3/23

My son and daughter in law and my cute little granddaughter flew cross country to visit this weekend. Met with him 5 hours+ and was great to catch up in depth on everything. With a second baby coming in June, plus normal life/work, lots going on for them!
My daughter-in-law didn’t get approved unfortunately so didn’t get to spend time with her, but her love shined through making the trip so I could see the little one!

After lockdown at 5, saw a great movie, The Final Hours, based on a true story in 1951 of the Coast Guard rescuing shipmen from a freighter that split in a horrifical storm off Nantucket. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it.

On to Sunday and getting to see my granddaughter!

Praying for Liberty and Freedom and to see my Family and friends soon!