Guest Blog: A White Collar Prisoner on Diesel Therapy, by Anonymous
The author is a member of our White Collar Support Group that meets online on Monday evenings. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment for a white collar crime, but was released for six months pending his appeal. When he lost his appeal, he was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Marshals whereupon he was immediately put on “diesel therapy”. That is, he has been shuttled around from prison to prison on buses and planes for over six months, and still has not arrived at his designated facility.
Just dropping a note to all and letting you know that I’m “In Transit” at a transfer station in XXXX. Been here a about two weeks and not sure when I’ll be moving on but I do know that I’ll be heading back to my last destination prior to my release pending the Appeal (which I obviously lost). It was nice to be back home for six months starting last July. Got a lot taken care of at home and actually starting some consulting work in my industry – good sign. I hope that door will still be open when I get out again.
What follows are from my notes I’ve put together while living in my “room” here in XXXX. Also, this “email” service is very primitive with almost no editing capability, unable to cut-and-paste, etc. so, many thoughts I’ve listed here may seem disjointed and non-sensicle (all, my excuse for sounding so illiterate as I sometimes do!). I’m also going to let everything hang out here. So, I hope what I’ve got to say doesn’t make anyone too uncomfortable. I don’t want sympathy, really, I don’t want that. I just want it to be known, these things we’ve endured. And then think of how much of this is really necessary and how much may be truelly damaging and unecessary. Just know that I’m ok and I have survived.
To bring some of you up to speed as to what’s happened since I left FCI XXXX at the end of June 2020:
My attorneys getting me released “Pending my sentencing appeal” which we had now been waiting almost two year to be heard. The first few months home I spent re-adjusting and looking for work. I started to play with Day and Swing Trading on line and got familiar with Ameritrades “Think-or-Swim” trading program and became pretty AmeriTrade’s with it, even made a few bucks. Then got a call from a friend who runs a plant in XXXX. He said they needed someone to help with the regulatory side of things and were hoping I would come on board as an independent consultant for this. This was more or less a full time consulting position, really a perfect setup for to get reconnected with the industry – good pay as well – a very fortunate opportunity. I explained that I was still waiting for my appeal to be heard and was expecting a favorable outcome. They understood and still accepted me onboard starting sometime in September. Things were going very well, even spotted incorrect filters installed which saved them from a potentially very embarrassing situation during an FDA audit. Overall I proved a good asset for them. Then I learned we lost the appeal early in December and I’d be heading back to prison to finish my sentence, devastating.
Just prior to getting this devastating verdict, I had offered our local high school another “Astronomy Night” with my telescope for the science students to observe the upcoming conjunction of Saturn and Mars with the Moon, a rar event perfectly positioned for viewing this December night. All the students were come to our home where we were setup for this viewing. That Day we received the verdict of the lost appeal so needless to say i was devastated and barely able to function, certainly feeling unable to host these students. I felt terrible about this but fortunately the wind picked up at the last minute which made it just too difficult to setup the telescope. I sadly canceled the viewing at the last minute but saw no other choice, especially because of the way I was feeling. My loss, everyone’s loss-
Also around this time I found out that I somehow contracted latent TB, care of my fist stay at XXX. Who gets TB?! What a thing to have to deal with now! Fortunately, TB is now curable so I got on a heavy dose of special meds that I had to take daily for four months – done!
To add to things, another difficult issue that came up at this time was a son suddenly dealling with an acute mental crisis which required all our resources to deal with. It is spiritually difficult and sad issue for any family and the timing for us couldn’t have be worse except for the fact that I was fortunate to be at home to deal with it, barely. We got him the treatment he needed and is fortunately doing very well at this time.
To say the end of the year was a difficult time would be an understatement. The weight on my shoulders was overwhelming and desperate. The most fortunate thing out of so much of that period was the very positive re-introduction to my industry thought the consulting work and the fortunate successful resolution to a family healh crises. For this I feel ever so grateful to have had that brief home interlude.
Then came my time to “re-enter”…
It’s been a hell of a ride since I came back in the system, starting out first in XXXX in XXXX for a few weeks (nightmare) and then transferring to a private prison for another six months (also horrible). Being caught in the system during COVID has generated this increased movement of inmates called “Diesel Therapy”. This Diesel Therapy is comprised of terrible repetitive cycle between institutions (most often of inmates between facilities other than Bureau of Prisons all in the view of segregating people and or quarantining them between locations. Often inmates are moved from one private prison to another and then back to that same private prison again. It’s really an endless cycle in dealing with the ever increasing federal population. Most of this move, again is between these private institutions because the BOP had shut their doors due to COVID in an effort to stop any further out-breaks in them. By the way, I had watched an inmate, near the beginning while I was in XXXX late one night, fall-out (drop to his knees gasping for breath and being attended to by CO’s and then found that he had died the next day (young guy too!). It was terrifying, it was real! (sorry, I know, I need to start using new expletives). This movement is done every time someone or group is moved or if someone in your group is suspected of having COVID.
Added together I’ve probably quarantined, or rather been in “solitary confinement” locked in a cell either alone or with another, a total of 2-3 months now. If I hadn’t won that ‘release bending appeal” I would never had been subjecting to all the “diesel therapy” I’ve experienced, I would have simply remained at XXXX, still worth the postponement of time served and diesel therapy/quarantine).
After leaving the private prison in XXXX I was flown to a USP in XXXX. and held in this castle-like prison (everything but the mote, beautiful to see, horrible to stay in (look it up). I spent two weeks there in an upper dungeon-like section on the third floor with no AC, sticking, sweating with my bunky with only out for a shower every other day during the week only (screw you if your day is a Thursday – don’t wash again till Monday), Man. Fortunately a good bunky, that time. Much demoralizing things…. Main passage-ways are wide, Spanish glaze tiled floors and walls with beautiful detailed archliberal arches with fine detail/gargoyles… Great for a Halloween Haunted House, not much else.
Bus transport outside these private prisons, or really between any institution in the federal system, usually is comprised of getting on a large Greyhound type bus and taken to an airport for travel on what is called “Con-Air” (similar to the movie Con-Air). All of it a practice in ultimate humility. All inmates moving are fully Chain-and-Shackled, wrist and ankles and then a chain around the waist attached to the wrist-cuffs so no nose-picking or scratching your ass (don’t even think about having to shit). You are treated as the convict you are, thoroughly beneath your captors who are the US Marshals – US Ground Marshals and US Air Marshals (for the plane). These are very large men who look amped up on steroids, very scary looking, all looking like they’re waiting for the IRA or Colombian Cartel to come out from the nearest hedge grove or us inmates to somehow through off our shackles and charge. These guys stand around the buses as they pull up on the tarmac or up to the plane. This is where we are all filed out in front of the plane, Body checked again and eventually shuttled about. All so intimidating, all so seemingly overboard. I’ll never book that flight again, nor recommend it!
Something else I need to share. An episode that took place shortly after we left XXX on our way to XXXX airport. We stopped at this large service station for diesel designed for large rig vehicles. As we sat their waiting for our bus to be fueled, looking our windows…
Large, bulbous spiders out there, hundreds of them at every pump! All moving, between, above, around. I don’t know if it was the heat or the moisture but they were all Moving around their webs, dropping down from the nest’s in the canopy above, arcing, catching an invisible thread, but moving. I’ve never seen anything like it! And from the look and sounds of my fellow shacklties, either had they. We were all staining and turning ourselves (as best we could) to watch this herd of beasts outside our windows. The only thing that could be worse is if somehow some of them got in! Could you imagine?! I could just see it, this large two inch spider crawling around my shoulder and me shackled, unable to do a thing but squirm and watch. I also couldn’t imagine being out there trying to fill my tank! NO WAY! It was really terrifying. I mean, I love to watch these creatures in a contained jar but these were all OUT there, huge and massing. I can almost hear them breathing! I mean – if that were my station I would, or rather would have paid someone to power wash and fumigate the place! So I’m watching this one right outside my window that appears to float slowing down some invisible thread then catch some other mysterious fiber, and then somehow attaching to our bus, then slowly crawl to the cleft of my window and hunkered down, bracing against the wind as we finally took off and he (because I’m sure it was a he) stayed. Not comfortable with that.
Ok, so I’ve now been HERE two weeks – quarantined – isolated – in lock-down except that hour a day for calls and these emails.
No commissary, not cards, nothing but a few books to choose from… I was told on Thursday that my transport to XXX should be leaving the middle of next week, then the next day (Friday) I was told that XXXX is not even on the list for next week. So, maybe the following week?!
Sleep and dreams aren’t a concern, it’s awakening that terrifies me. As I sleep, when I can which is not often and few between, my dreams are my escape (truly!). They’re usually of great meaning or at least seem to be, of comfortable recognitions and sweet reunions. People I’ve hoped to see, connections re-established – so much meaning. And then the fog of my sleep begins to lift and reality, which seams less real than the dreams begin to filter in, first, disorienting but then the reality of it begins to appear and leaves me desperately trying to crawl back to the sands of sleep, desperately trying to hold off the approaching reality of my present state. That peaceful wakefulness that quickly crashes to reality and confusion of present state. Oh, how did I ever get so far from home?
Looks like I’m out of “character” usage – I’ve written myself out!