Welcome to The Letter Sessions With Federal Prison Consultant, Dan Wise, and Success Coach, Jenny Good.
During Dan’s time in federal prison, he wrote a letter every day. He often wrote to his significant other, Shelly, but he committed to documenting his journey in writing, even if he wrote to himself. The Letter Sessions are weekly installments during which we share one of Dan’s prison letters and an interview where Jenny asks Dan questions to gain deeper insights about his thoughts and feelings during confinement. The Letter Sessions are raw, vulnerable glimpses into what one man’s federal prison journey was like, and how life continues to unfold after his release. If you’re curious about what happens inside the mind of a federal inmate, this is for you. Grab your drink, pull up a comfortable chair and join us on Fridays for The Letter Sessions.
That was then (12-21-2014)…
Hi, Sheltoid. I am just winding down from my weekend and getting ready for the week. My celli and I are going to start tomorrow, and have a club 47 Christmas Eve party. I guess it’s something to look forward to.
I spoke to Matt tonight. It was real nice hearing his voice. That was the first time I’ve spoken to him. He’s doing good. He said to tell you hi. He is excited at the thought we might move there.
I daydream all the time about us being free. Today, I did 14 laps on the track and that’s all I thought about. I know it’s going to happen and that I won’t be in this place forever. Day by day we are chipping away at the sentence. It’s still going to be a while for me, but if I can get myself into a camp, I think it will be better. I hope. I just want my Shelly with me. I hope it all works out for the best in the end.
It is supposed to rain all week, this coming week. That means the outer free yard will be closed L That is where I find peace in this place. I can walk, run, dip, do push-ups and play basketball and softball. When it’s closed, there’s nothing to do except play cards or read, which one can only do so much of. Writing letters to you is fun. I feel like I am talking to you when I’m writing to you. I see your face in my mind and I can picture you reading the letter with your cute smile and laugh. I love you so much. It keeps me happy in this place. Can’t wait for it to be over. I hope you and I always remember how this felt. This has made us strong. I love you, babe. Always and forever.
This is now…
Jenny: What is a club 47 party? You mentioned having one for Christmas Eve…
Dan: The 47 was my cube or cell number. We had a few people get together and enjoyed music. I think we made burritos and stuff.
Jenny: You wrote about the possibility of moving where Matt was. Who was Matt and where did you ultimately end up moving after prison?
Dan: Matt is a friend of mine. I ended up moving to Spokane, Washnington.
Jenny: When someone is released from federal prison, do they have to remain within a certain area or state?
Dan: No, but you have to let them know ahead of time where you want to move. You need to get the address approved. If you do not get it approved, you are supposed to live in the area where your crime was committed.
Jenny: It seemed like being outside was a major stress reliever for you. How long were you allowed outside per day?
Dan: I was allowed outside a lot. If not in RDAP, I could go out from about 7:00a.m. – 10:00 a.m. or so. Then after lunch, I could go back out until about 3:00 p.m. Count time was at 4:00 p.m. and then I could go back out until about 7:00 p.m. I hear horror stories about other places that do not permit nearly that much outside time.
Jenny: Are there indoor gyms for days when the weather is not conducive to being outside?
Dan: Not exactly a gym but there was a cardio room with mats on the floor. They had steps and rubber kettle bells and pull up bars. There was a stereo system in that room. There was spin room with bikes in it and you could use that room if a spoon class was not in session at the time.