Journal Entry: Scott Donald Carper-11/05/2023

Journal Entry

HRC rules (Home re-entry center)

The question I’m getting now that I’m on home confinement is what are the rules? One of the things I try to do with the newsletter is document each part of the journey so it can be useful to everyone at different parts of their journey. So you would think that because you have an ankle monitor on 24/7 they are aware at all times where you are (and they do know…they know when you’re getting the mail/taking out garbage).

Your first/biggest rule is keeping the unit charged. The ankle monitor is not small. We have watches/devices that can monitor your mood and are tiny….so it’s surprising this clunky device is the best they can do. Its weight & size are bit inconvenient when it is charged (but manageable). But when you have the battery on it’s heavier & bulkier – hiding it under clothes gets tough. The battery & ankle monitor can be separated so you place the battery on the charger (or you can hook up the unit with a SHORT chord – but you would have to sit on a chair and wait). It’s suggested You charge the battery during the day & put it on while you sleep. There’s a noticeable difference when you have the battery attached. …. Without the battery the monitor is noticeable only if someone stares at your feet (it’s hidden for the most part). The battery falls off quite easy while sleeping or if you bump into anything). The good news is it charges quickly (and the charge lasts a whole day). So if you sleep with it on (which seems like the best play) you will most likely need to go searching for it under the blankets at some point after you wake up.

Now I have been told some people have trouble sleeping with it (which you will understand when you wear it….im guessing significant others LOVE IT)….so they charge it at different times In the day.

Reporting is your 2nd big rule (calling in). You are given a call log to mark when you call and whom you speak with. You have to call twice a day every day. The first call is In the AM (so technically starting @ 8:30am – 11:59am – although they want you to call between 8:30-9am). Then you have the short time window, end of nite call (THIS HAS TO BE the last 30 minutes the center is open). So on weekdays it’s between 7:30pm – 8pm, on WEEKENDS THEY CLOSE EARLY so it’s your 2nd call is between 1:30 – 2pm. You can leave a message if nobody picks up…. it’s a risk though as I was given examples of inmates getting told no message was received.

AT MY CENTER WE ARE TOLD THIS IS THE MOST COMMON REASON FOR INITIAL WRITE UPS/punishments. Bizarre, considering we are wearing a monitor and they know where we are.

We went around the room in class and most of the inmates had some situation that arose where they received a write up for not calling/calling late,. The prevailing theory from the inmates I spoke to is by itself calling late is usually just a write up (which still goes on record somewhere so you don’t want it)….but when/if you do something else to get in trouble the not calling in is used to say the person is breaking numerous rules and bigger punishments occur. At each stage you see staff having their go to reasons that seem like petty punishments…..reasons to either get you in line, or punish you. This seems like one. I have already heard stories about punishments being given for a single missed call. Falling asleep, emergencies….they don’t care. Miss your call you’re going to get written up. Or if something bigger happens that needs some additional juice to show you’re not complying they add the missed checkin call there.

So of course what happened? I missed the a call in….Sunday afternoon call….

SO I went in and took accountability, apologized, which I thought was the rt. play (usually admitting accountability at least buys you some good will). It didn’t matter what in this case. They begin to formally write me up (and begin discussing possible repercussions). Asked me to sign zone paperwork without indicating/or knowing what my punishment could /would be…..WHAT???? (More on that in a bit)

Now there was a reason I missed my afternoon call ….. I want to mention it bc this is the kind of stuff that happens. My mom is not a tech fan, but like most people she needs her cell phone. At 1:25pm (exactly when my alarms start to go off to remind me to call)….my mom realized her cell phone was missing. The search party sprung into action. Now, I have my phone set up to find her phone (using “find your friends”…both my Mom & I have Apple phones/my dad does not) …. So my phone is being used to find hers. We found my moms phone but I completely forgot about the call. I realized my error at 2:01pm …. at 2:03pm they called instructing me I had violated rule 309 (not following written instructions or rules). Seems super formal rt???? Now the HRC, in my opinion, is by no means a picture of organization (I mean wow….you have to see it in action). I figured it would be no big deal, this has to happen all the time with new people …. but of course you freak out a bit. Now the way my mind works if you are going to quote rules (rule 309 was specifically stated) you better have your house in order (which they do not). So rt then I started prepping…. making mental notes of the various ways they are not complying with their rules/handbook (some quick examples….they haven’t authorized my jobs within their stated time frame, they haven’t given me a case manager….and they asked me to sign paperwork stating I had my case manager orientation….I’m not gonna sign that if it didn’t happen (a few case managers quit so they have a staffing shortage), next they tried forcing me to take classes I don’t need to take bc of RDAP (which the RDAP guy had to straighten out), ….oh and LAST but not least … they promised follow up on my status of my MIA-FSA…. I shouldn’t even need to be on home confinement, which central office, Grand Prairie, & everyone who I can actually speak to all agree on…..but it matters not, I’m sure that info will be available around the time Hunger Games 147 comes out.

So anyway I rattled off the areas where they were not following protocol or made mistakes that were unacceptable (jeopardizing my health, finances & time). Now I was lucky the boss boss was there & she got to hear my situation….it worked…. kinda (as well as it could)….but here’s the kicker….what did I get? I got a minor win….but not much of one (I know I pissed some of the staff off)…..and I still got a warning which goes in my HRC file – not BOP – but it was a verbal one as opposed to written. Now I couldn’t have known what was gonna happen. But I’m mad at myself because I could have handled the whole thing much better. I got to upset and for what. They don’t know me well enough yet to know that I just want to get through this. They probably think I’m going to challenge everything (I’m not).

So quite Predictably actuality…this did cause separate problems….they are pushing back (they denied all my job requests, with the main reason being “the BOP SAID NO.”) Also they told me to stop using Skool, helping others without getting specific permission, including “Project Rebound,” – A criminal justice program at the local college which THERE CENTERS RDAP coordinator recommended me for. HA….wow ok). I am hopeful I will sort this out (I have already have taken my argument up the chain) but we will see.

So my point is document everything with staff…. and MORE IMPORTANTLY set reminders EVERYWHERE. Im not good at at stuff like this….but I should have known better. You’re better off failing a drug test here then calling in late. That’s crazy. Also remember if your gonna press staff expect them to push back with a far better arsenal then what you have.

Other rules.

RULE ****this is the other top rule) ANYTIME you leave the house you will fill out a DARs form (it’s a breakdown of where you will be going). Imputing these appear like staffs biggest job (see sample form). They ask for every bit of info you can imagine. EVERY TIME. They have to be completely filled out or it will get kicked back. You have to account for travel time & the only stops you can make are for gas. So a true example of how someone got a write up for navigating in the grey area. This mom went to the mall (which obviously has multiple stores) and just put one store down on her DARs (you can’t just write you want to go to the mall….you need to be specific, each store)….she had her child with her….her girl walked into a neighboring store….she freaked out and went looking for her….boom….busted. That’s how it works. She had statements from employees (even a lady who wanted to come in and back her)….didn’t matter. Seem a bit rough/hard to believe? You are given this scenario as an example when you get your DAR forms. There are other crazy examples I heard first day of class….people going to work early & they didn’t write on there DARs they would be leaving that early (said 6am & left at 5:30am)….stopping off for coffee….or meds….so many scenarios. Now I truly believe these are harsh examples but most people had some kind of head scratching example so it needs to be taken seriously and done rt. I bet there are instances where other places are far laxer. But who knows. I just want everyone to know what I know.

RULE – You are required to take MRT (moral something) classes if you’re on HC. They are easy for a 2 yr old. I have seen ZERO people in my classes struggle with any of the material. It’s stuff like “name a quality of a bad person.” And it gives you examples to choose from (no trick question stuff).

RULE – You will take a drug test no matter what your crime is at least once a week.

RULE- Church/health/medical are all easy asks for daily time allotment, meaning it shouldn’t get denied (you still have to write up a DARS ALWAYS). I go to the gym every day from 6-9am (I’m bored) so I walk and write my ridiculously long emails/newsletters.

RULE- There are 4 phases you move up in according to time, job, following rules….you do well you move up…we have a points system…picture grammar school where you get points for good behavior. I was tuned out until I heard we get points for correct answers which can speed up access to privileges.