The CARES Act, First Step Act and Compassionate Release are three big topics of discussion among inmates. These programs essentially allow non-violent inmates to go home early, on home confinement. Home confinement doesn’t mean freedom, though. It means that you spend the rest of your sentence in a home (notice I did not say in “your” home, as most inmates have had all their assets seized). Most inmates will be living with family members or friends.
While on home confinement, they are required to wear an ankle bracelet. All of their movements are monitored, and social interactions are minimized. In some ways, a camp is more free. The public has the perception that inmates on home confinement will commit more crimes, or go back to their prior criminal life. There is a fear that the inmates will be a danger to society if released on home confinement, but in my opinion, that is not the case.
Many inmates just want to see their children and whatever family they have left. Notice I did not mention meeting women, or going out, etc. They just want to see their remaining loved ones.
Hope comes from a belief of betterment. Without hope, a man will have a hard time finding a meaning to exist. Even through suffering one must have hope. Hope comes through a belief in love.
Inmates have developed a hard exterior due to confinement. It is a shell that one develops to survive. After 21 days in the SHU, I personally have a shell, which I don’t think will ever go away. Those 21 days of being by myself, no human contact, no books, no TV, no radio… that time with my thoughts changed me in ways that I myself cannot explain.
Similarly, long term confinement builds a shell. The shell is there because inmates want to protect themselves from further anticipated pain. Not physical pain, but the pain of being forgotten. If you have a loved one incarcerated, one of the best gifts you can give them is to remember them, write to them and don’t let them feel forgotten.
Until next time,
Shan Sultan worked as a medical doctor for 10 years before receiving a 48-month sentence for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Shan was designated to Lewisburg Camp.