Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-03/31/2024-Journal #13

Journal Entry

Sunday 3/31

Upon reflection, Easter in prison is quite the experience. Basically a normal day in terms of the routine and kitchen, that’s for sure. We had a great church service, but the guards came early to move us for the next transfer, so had to end early and not have communion. At least the message on Jesus Rising was very uplifting!

It really is amazing to me how many inmates either had no idea it was Easter(not a national holiday in their understanding) or just didn’t care. I had a chat with one on the way to lunch, he’s about 25 years old. His view is he’d never thought about religion, and had no clue it was Easter but didn’t necessarily want to rule out there might be a God. I’m his mind he doesn’t want to deal with the topic till down the road, whatever that means. To me, it came across as almost not deeming himself worthy of a relationship with God because of what he has done and being in prison. Ironically that’s the whole message of Easter, Christ dying on the cross to forgive our sins. I didn’t push him too much then, but I’ve noticed he is a reader, so will give him C.S. Lewis’s short book someday.

All my peeps seemed to have had a great weekend and Easter, so glad for them! Days like today really cut hard, as my lack of freedom to celebrate occasions/holidays with them seems harder to deal with than the actual daily routine of prison.

At least had good weather, so got outside from 2-3 and 6-7:30 and got 5 miles on the track plus a full weight lifting regimen in which was quire refreshing after doing nothing these past 3 days!

Monday 4/1

One of my most productive days schedule wise-literally non stop. 6-11 email/PC /legal, 11-12 legal writing/ Mexican burrito/skipped lunch:), 12-3 legal research in library, 3:30-5 normal lockdown, 5-6 yard working out, 6-7 library for Spanish lesson. Woman’s UCONN/USC game on TV, reading, lights out. Whew! Hoping Tuesday is as productive!

Tuesday/ 4/2 and Wednesday 4/3

Tuesday was just a normal standard day for once!Wednesday not so much. Started out promising as it was commissary day, but fog rolled in , shut that down as we were held in the unit till lunch and commissary rescheduled till Friday. But now that I’m employed in a highly skilled job, I learned I can go any day at 12 as a “worker”, so that’s my challenge for Thursday-see if it works:)

We ended being kept inside all day, as the prison has an annual memorial for a guard stabbed to death 30 years ago, so all the guards could go have lunch and honor him. For some reason it worked our perfectly for me to access the PC/ email as no one was on them all day, most people were playing cards etc… So I got on at least 10 times and powered on my legal stuff.

During my reading time, Purpose Driven Life had a great chapter on serving others and God, good to be reminded though I felt good reflecting on many of the people I’ve helped over the years. Guess point being it doesn’t stop while here!!

Ended up a beautiful evening and had a great workout outside, last one for a couple days as we are headed to rain and 58/40 for temps Thursday and Friday.

Thursday 4/4 and Friday 4/5

Lots of focus on my legal research both days. Up to about 15 pages on my memo, hopefully something in there will be useful:) My foray to commissary as a worker was a bust Thursday, no surprise. Being only on the job 3 weeks and not paid yet, I wasn’t in their computer so not eligible. They called a guard to ask, but not my supervisor, which was my fault as I couldnt remember his name! Oh well, Fort Knox was protected for a day, as I’m going back Friday with my unit.

Plenty of drama Friday morning. Started off promising to have commissary, no fog! First group went at 7:15, then at 7:30 we had a lockdown, we could tell guards were tense. Lasted 30 minutes and then were let out to get back in line. One hour later, they announced commissary cancelled due to the incident. Turns out a woman guard, who is really mean, we’ve had her a few times, got confronted by her unit and she hit the panic button which triggered the shutdown and mess. Just our luck:( Now we have to wait till Tuesday, which will be over 3 weeks since last time, everyone is on fumes for snacks, Pepsi, you name it. Fortunately I have a couple buddies with some backup and they gave me Tuna and pepperoni so I can buy Tuesday and repay. Its truly this hard for $10 of groceries, incredible…..

Went to my first class today, learning how to write a resume. About 30 inmates, half talking the whole time not caring, the other half focused. Probably normal is my guess. Teachers are instructed not to discipline in class and let it go, so guess that’s what you get.

Chapter on Purpose Driven Life was on serving the church and others. Really good reminder as to the Great Commission and what’s important. Have to admit easier to say than do in prison.

The Warden was in the cafeteria today, so went up to him and introduced myself. One out of 5000 overall here:) Just gave him a heads up he would be hearing my name shortly about a medical letter and treatments I need so at least he had a face to a name. We’ll see if it helped!

Rest of Friday spent watching Women’s final Four. Have to admit, they have gotten so much better these past few years, and its way more fun to watch them now, especially now that they’re so good at 3’s. U CONN and Iowa was great basketball.
Looking forward to the Men’s on Saturday.

Saturday 4/6

Last 2 nights have been so cold, slept in my gym shorts and 2 shirts plus sweatshirt with 2 blankets to stay warm. But today woke up to a beautiful sunrise and a warming trend, 52 yesterday/38 for low, today 61 and 45 coming. 75 by Wednesday!

Got 2 one hour sessions outside today which was fantastic. Spent one with Derek, where we planned on next steps for our book and class. He has retained a part time admin and ghost writer to help us research and take what we prep and clean it up. We have a one page framework of the 4 step business model that we decided we will send prison industry experts (non profits, writers, professors,Congressmen/women to solicit their thoughts on our approach and to explore what resources they have or know about we can leverage so we don’t have to replicate what’s out there, just assimilate it. Now that I’m finishing up my legal work, I’ll have lots more time to focus here.

Plus now I will have time for my blog to get going. Been saving up topics,stay tuned!

My doctor finally sent her letter Friday, so end of next week I’ll start chasing. After 2 weeks the plan is to have my attorney send a followup if no feedback, but hopefully this will lead to my treatment and if needed, moving next door to camp to help with the driving to Santa Barbara each time. Prayers are welcome on this one, thats for sure!

Praying for Liberty and Freedom and seeing my family and friends soon! BJ