July 31, 2015

I can”€™t. I can”€™t even take a girl to dinner or a movie. I gotta be home by 7 p.m. It will stay like that until 2019 when my parole ends. That’s why I need to get this overturned. I want to be free.

You want that ankle bracelet off.

I have to charge this thing twice a day and they also charge me a rental fee. It’s $30 a month.

Could you get conjugal visits when you were inside?

You need to be married for those and even then you need to apply for it, which can take a year. It’s possible to get married in prison but that takes a long time too. Unless you”€™re in for, say, 10 years, it’s really not worth it.

Did you ever have girls come by and just show you their tits?

No, but my girlfriend stuck by me for the first year or so. After a while she couldn”€™t take it, and I don”€™t blame her.

If I was your dad, I would have brought you pretty girls just to stare at.

I don”€™t think my mom would have approved.

Is every two weeks the most visits you can get?

No, in the maximum-security prisons upstate, you can go to the visiting room Monday to Sunday all day. I don”€™t think there’s any limit.

So wait, someone could serve their entire sentence in the visiting room with their family all day every day if they wanted?

I never thought of that but yeah, I guess so. There were quite a few times I told my parents not to come. It was really hard on them and just for their health I”€™d tell them to take a visit off.

Was there ever any fun?

Sure. People do drugs in prison. They do heroin and we would smoke pot sometimes.

What happens if you get caught?

It sucks really bad. They send you to S-Block, which was originally designed for really violent criminals. It’s a prison within a prison and these solitary-confinement cells were for guys who tried to kill guards or each other. Now they”€™re filled with guys who got caught smoking pot. I spent 90 days there for making hooch.

Did you fight?

Like I said, it was a hostile environment. You”€™d get into a fight every month or so. I did okay, but I got my ass kicked plenty of times.

If you were a judge what would you sentence yourself to?

I don”€™t know, nothing? A year? Two years? Look, on the one hand I had really bad luck, but on the other hand, maybe it saved my life. I was on the wrong track. I might have ended up getting deeper into it. I could have been shot.

Yeah, uh, that’s not helping. My angle here is that the drug war is wrong, so I can”€™t have you defending the system.

Sorry, but I”€™d say seven out of 10 guys in there are really bad guys. Sure, their record might say they were just carrying a joint, but a lot of time that’s a plea deal after fucking up a whole bunch of times.

What was your plea deal?

It was terrible. It was five to 15. I refused and went to trial and ended up with six. In a lot of ways, that’s a win.

So prison works?

Sometimes. I”€™ll never know if it was good for me in the end. I”€™d see these guys come and go. They”€™d do a year here and two years there and go out and come back in. The work-release guys would leave during the day. That’s basically what my probation is now. I”€™m still in prison with this ankle bracelet and curfew, it’s just a really nice prison.

It would be a lot more convenient for this article if you stuck to Galen Baughman’s number and said only 5 percent deserve to be there.

I met a guy in there who was 84 years old and he was sentenced to 12 years for owning a shotgun. Even if I say seven out of 10, that’s still way too many people in jail for nothing.

Thirty percent of 2.2 million is [Googles it] 660,000.

I”€™ll take your word for it.

Can”€™t you just say the drug war is evil and all our problems would be over if we ended it?

I can tell you that most of the drug war is crazy and we would probably be much better off without it, but that doesn”€™t mean prison never works.

Oh, come on. You probably have to remain open-minded about all this because if you let anger and resentment set in, you”€™ll go insane. Deep down, you know I”€™m right.

Hey, whatever gets you through the day.


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