This morning, while rummaging through some old books and papers, I found this brief  and lonely paragraph. It was inside of a notepad of writings I composed from 2002 to 2003. Most likely, it was written at some point in 2002, a couple of weeks or months after I was released from prison. I read it today and I hear a young man trying to gain a rational perspective on his feelings, trying to define his experiences, trying to make sense of his reality. What do you hear?

“I can only describe my post-prison state of mind as a confused mixture of ecstatic aimlessness and wonderful bondage. I was overjoyed at my release, but it wasn’t total release. It was reverse incarceration. For nine years my body was held captive with my mind free to roam the world through the portal of literature and vivid imaginings. Now, my body is no longer captive, but my mind remains behind the tall barbed-wired fences of an institution. I traded mental freedom and physical imprisonment for mental enslavement and physical liberties.”

23 thoughts on “Writings of A Recently Released Convict

    1. Hey, I was in the process of answering a second comment of yours, but then it disappeared. I don’t know what happened. Anyway, you had asked how long ago it was. I got released on June 1, 2002. I was incarcerated from June of 1993 to June of 2002.


      1. I got saved in jail, before being sent to prison. The whole experience of being saved, the calm, the comfort, the peace that I experienced in jail after accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior was out of this world. Without that horrific prison experience I might never have developed a relationship with The Father. I would not have chosen the prison experience for myself, of course, but I’m content with His will being done.
        Thank you for reaching out.
        God bless.


  1. Absolute stability, precise perspective, and a soul anchored only by Christ. It’s reflected by your written wisdom.

    (I’d like to email the rest.)

    That’s remarkable and beautiful at once!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You didn’t get it? I sent it that day. I got it off of your site. It’s the second one I’ve sent you. (I’m laughing… it’s been a bit “off kilter” here lately!) All is fine, as always though. God is so good – how could life not be any better?

        Let me check.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, I’d love to have you guest post sometime on my blog, I’d love to share your experiences with my followers. Post prison mentality is such a huge thing to deal with and knowing that we aren’t alone in our journey to a growth mindset is so relieving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The aspect of someone getting out and how that transition will be is something that I think about. It is still 5 years until Jamie gets out. He has done 12. 4 years in juvie before that. There is so much he has not experienced. he will be almost 40 and his son will be in 17. he still has not touched him and my daughter will still not take him to visit. How does one transition to the free world when you have never lived in except as a kid. Even his mother and siblings won’t answer his letters. I am all he has and he still sits in adseg. Years. No phone privileges. He can’t drive a car. Epilepsy will make many things more difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. How can so many years not affect your mental health, your confidence, not ever having done so many of the things I take for granted? It is why I have spent the past 10 years learning what I can and work on the writing I do in the hope that it will pay off in the end. I know depression has affected him growing up. Abandonment by his family has hurt. I asked him if he thought his family would be there when he got out. He said no. It is not like he was a criminal or in a gang and his family gave up because he kept getting into trouble. He came from a small town in East Tx. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time a few months after the 4 yours he did in juvie. I don’t know what I’m asking. I just want to do the right thing to help him so he has a chance to make the right decisions and ask the right questions. I want my grandson to have a father. Go to school. Have a life.

    Liked by 1 person

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