WHAT'S IN A PRISONER By DON COLLINS (Revised-Second Printing)

    The maze of proceedings during pre-trial detainment can be frustrating, compounded with uncaring incompetent public defenders who end up getting you a sentence in the big house, instead of you returning to your house. In the big house (prison) there will be re-unions with fellow street crime acquaintances. Re-uniting is usually in the gym or yard recreational activities and in the housing unit, playing cards or watching TV, and combating boredom of idle time. Though these activities should be second to productive education and vocational programs, self-help, library, and even work assignments, and seeking redress with your criminal case should be foremost. Others will surround themselves in filth and urine-infested living quarters despite freely available cleaning supplies, laundry soap, and private showers. Some prisoners indulge the foreign psychiatrists for silence and sleep time away with psychotropic medication, giving them a robotic state of just being, without the human factor as in human being. Being doped-up is a balance for the once street-high addiction. It is not the miracle cure-all solution. One should elect other options of counseling, group therapy, crisis intervention and other self-help motivational programs. One should caution self against hand-outs & strong-arm bullies who attempt to gain your friendship. In prison there are no friends, you are just passing thru. Some prisoners have nothing to lose and prey on newcomers. Take comfort in the senior population, as they may guide you, they are wiser. Pace the floors and observe and you will find who you can relate with.

    In prison there is no time deadline, patience is your guide. Guard yourself against the retaliatory administration and trust no one. An environment of prison's gate community can be a living hell, especially if you let it. Territorial oversight by prison long-timers is not as common as once was. In the gated community the same benefits apply to all... no security deposit, no deposit or credit check, no background check, and they will leave the light on for you. Once you were a child of the universe, now you are existing in the land of prison, giving up the free-spirit of livelihood for the restraints of isolation. For life you were given a second time to live in faith and will; in the beginning God created man, and after that, who are you now? Currently serving time in state prison, Mr. Collins devotes his studies to Appellate Case Law and Civil Rights of Prisoners. Several articles have been published on the Internet and in print, on the ill-run public defender system, as well as prison environment.

    Don Collins, R-58382 Dixon Correctional Center 2600 N. Brinton Avenue Dixon, Illinois 61021