Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CA Prisoners Started Being Transferred to CA County Jails

CA Prison Transfers Started Monday

Last Monday, October 3rd, CDCR began transferring California state prisoners to California county jails across the state. Prisoners who were transferred, were sent to county jail facilities local to their home towns. Upon release, they will be released to the custody of local county probation officers. This is a far cry from being released to CA state parole officers.

CA Prison Realignment

These transfers are part of a plan put into place by California State Governor Jerry Brown, in an effort to reduce the CA prison population by 11,000 inmates by January. This plan is just the beginning of a complete plan to “realign the criminal justice system”, as ordered by the US Supreme Court last spring. This phase of the realignment only refers to the following California state prisoners:
  • Considered low-level prisoners
  • Convicted of non-violent offenses
  • Convicted of non-sex-related offenses
  • No history of spousal abuse convictions
  • No convictions of any type of crimes against children

CA Prison Rumors

My fiance tells me that there are plans being made to turn some prisons into California pre-release prisons. The purpose of pre-release prisons is to help prisoners that are soon to be released transition back into society. According to him, prisoners from Southern California will be transferred to Lancaster and Chino. I completely forget where those from Northern California will be going.

Realignment - Phase 2

I guess this would be considered the 2nd phase of the plan. Prisoners sent to pre-release prisons will spend a certain amount of time there, as a low-level offenders. These are the prisons they will be released from when their time comes.

Coming Soon

I cannot wait until one of these phases finally trickles over into our lives. My Boo fits the criteria for the low-level early release programs. At some point, I expect to get a call from him saying that he has been transferred to Lancaster, which is where I'm moving next month, or Chino, less than 40 miles from Los Angeles.

In the meantime, every single morning, I check the CDCR Inmate Locator to make sure he is still in Avenal State Prison. The day I see anything different, will be one of the happiest days of my life. It will mean that he is official IN the CA Prison Early Release Program, and he will be coming home soon.

More Information

Want more details on this phase of the CA Prison Realignment Reform. Read California Prisoners Started Moving to County Jails.

Check out my favorite blogs:

Monday, September 19, 2011

It May be Sooner Than We Thought

My boo just may be getting closer to home even sooner than we both thought. CDCR is set to begin releasing state prison inmates to the custody of our county jail systems on October , 2011. That's on 12 more days from now!

This new process is supposed to help with the CA prison overcrowding problem that the federal government ruled must be cleaned up in the next two years. This "shifting of the guards" action only affects low-level prisoners doing time for low-level offenses that are in no way sex-related or child-related.

As a prison fiance, this could have a great impact on my future, especially since my prison husband-to-be is classified as a low-level prisoner:
  1. The love of my life could be released to an LA county jail facility as early as 12 days from now.
  2. For me, him being in the county jail means a much shorter traveling distance to visit him on the weekends.
  3. For him, being in the county jail system means he may be released from prison much sooner than we thought due to the LA county jail system's overcrowded conditions.
  4. If by some slim chance, he were to make a very simple, low-level mistake later, he would be sentenced to a short time in a CA county jail on a probation violation, instead of being sent back to a CA prison for a parole violation.
I would like to say that I pray that he gets out as early as the 1st. But, I don't. I actually pray that God keeps him safe and sane until whatever date He feels should be the true release date. But, I do have hope, though. This new CA prison news gives me hope that no matter when my boo is released, there's a large possibility that he won't have to be released as a CA state parolee. That's every ex-offenders nightmare.

Want to know more about these upcoming changes? Read "CDCR Changes for Low-Level Prisoners" at the Prison Rideshare Network Blog now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Social Effects of Having Loved Ones in Prison

Life has its highs and lows. There are things that chance into our lives that we never bargained for from the outset. A typical example could be having a flat tire while running to make it to a job interview on time. But, if for any reason, one finds his freedom confined within the walls of a prison, the effects are really devastating. 

It is really sad that one’s freedom can be taken away from him for one or more reasons. Honestly, I am not trying to stand for or against the legal system that upholds jail sentences. But, I am trying to x-ray the effects of such a sentence on a person with regard to his family members and friends. I think that is where it really hurts. 
Now, there are many prisoners who probably left behind their wives and kids. Even if the wife of a prisoner has the inner strength to stay without the man, what about the raising of their kids? Raising children is never meant for a single parent. The challenges involved are enormous. Sometimes, the kids end up in foster homes. Yes, it is true that these kids can receive proper nurturing in such environments, but that of his parents can never be equaled by any other. 
Statistics reveal that most children who end up gangsters and prostitutes are traced to dysfunctional homes. There is the role of a parent, even though he may not be morally perfect, that the child needs. The fact that dad is around has a way of shaping the life of kids. A recent documentary by CNN titled; “American Al-Qaida”, tells the story of how a young American lad joined the Al-Qaida network after mom and dad separated. The picture is no different when mom or dad is confined within prison walls. They are separated, and the frustration gets deeper and lethal.

In addition, friends of prisoners suffer a lot, too. In a friendship, everyone brings something to the table. Friendship is like parts of our body. Each differs from the other, but in all, they are best of friends with a single purpose. Once a finger is bad it could affect even the head. So, when someone is imprisoned, his friends suffer. They are denied the warmth and fellowship of a noble friend. For some prisoners who had pen-friends before the jail sentence, imagine the endless letters going out without a single reply coming in. Worse still, if the prisoner was addicted to social sites, such as Facebook, it will hit his friends hard on the network as they keep sending messages and postings without any replies or “likes.” 
Such is what people go through just for one man in jail. He is not the only one bearing the burden. In fact, some families bear more than the prisoner does. It is really a breaking time for friends and family members who have someone spending a while behind bars. And the heater turns on during birthdays of their loved ones in prison. Friends and relations would love to gather and celebrate with him. But such can only exist in the realm of wishful thinking. Being in prison is a hard knock on both sides. But courage and faith surely conquer.

By Renee Patterson

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Life is NOT Depressing

I finally saw my boo yesterday. It had been almost two months. I had some medical problems that had me on crutches. But, the crutches were by choice, not subscribed by a doctor. Because of that, I was unable to take the crutches into the prison. So, I had to wait until I was better to visit.

I guess that's why, for the first time, I cried when it was time to leave. I didn't even cry the first time I visited. But, this time was different. I missed him so much. I had never gone over three weeks without visiting him. It had been two whole months.

After our ritualistic game of scrabble, (I beat, as usual), we just sat for awhile. We enjoyed just holding hands and the stillness. Yes, stillness. There's a stillness that is creating by most prison couples in love at some point in a visit. It comes at a moment when you realize that the time to leave is within the hour.

That moment of stillness is created by couples who have a very high intimacy level between them. It gives them the power of shutting out the rest of the world. At that moment, you are the only two people in the room, in the world. It's not a sexual moment, in anyway. It's an intimate moment where your hearts start to beat together, you can hear each others' breaths, and that small physical gesture (something as simple as holding hands) is your greatest pleasure at that moment. You just look into each others' eyes, and let them do the talking. And, trust me, during those moments of stillness, your eyes can say it all.

Our moment of stillness lasted a very long time yesterday. It was finally interrupted by guard I like to call Richard Rimirez (He's my fave, in spite of the ugly nickname.). Our visit was over. Time to go. It took all I had not to cry like a baby. Maybe had I been watching the clock, like any other time, I wouldn't have been caught off guard. But, he interrupted our moment. And, that made me sad. So, I cried (but not like a baby. lol.).

Someone asked me the other day if this ever gets depressing. I told him no. But, thinking about yesterday, I had to revisit that question. I must say no again. I love this man. We have a connection that is unbreakable. Our bond has lasted for over 20 years. Do certain aspects of being in love with a prisoner make me sad or even frustrated sometimes? Of course. I'd be lying if I said no. But, is it depressing? Impossible.

This is the life I was given. I have to make the best of it. I actually like my life because I like who it made me out to be. Because, I like me. So, no, it's not depressing simply because I have been lucky enough to find a great best friend, who ended up being the love of my life. I have found my soulmate. He is my happiness.

Thanks for listening.
The Prisoner's Fiance

Don't forget to check out the update to my blog dedicated to being "The Prisoner's Daughter"!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Introducing the Prison Websites Affiliate Program

Thank you for visiting my blog. I am proud to announce that I am starting an affiliate network specifically for Websites and blogs related to prisons, prisoners, prison-life, prison reform, etc...

My Reason

I am creating this network simply because I cannot find one like this to join myself. Affiliate marketing programs such as CJ, Linkshare, & Google networks are all great, UNLESS your site is related to prisons. There are very few links that I have found to be relevant to sites like ours. If you do find an affiliate that may work, (IE, online greeting cards, phone companies, etc...) they are bound to decline you as a network member because they simply don't see how their product is relevant to your Website or blog.

With this network, all backlinks will be relevant to your prison-related site!

My Current Ideas

  • Below are some ideas I have in mind for launching and promoting this program. 
  • This will be a paid-program. The cost will be very affordable. I'm thinking somewhere between $5-$20 per month to remain in the program.
  • 50% of all proceeds made from this program will go towards the purchase of my mom's quarterly packages.
  • Anyone who has a prison related site will be approved, as long as the site is not an adult site, hate-site or down right distasteful.
  • Once you become a member, you will have access to banners and affiliate links to all of the prison related sites in our network.  
  • The Website itself will feature quality backlinks to all members' Websites and blogs.

Site Pages

  • The home page will contain blog updates of new members, their company info, Website info, etc...
  • There will be page categories that will be customized to ensure that all members are placed in a category that makes sense.
  • Each Regular Member's site will be featured in the appropriate category.
  • Premium members will also have their own page that will profile their company and link to their own Website.


Click here to complete the questionnaire. 

You are not signing up for anything. This questionnaire is just to give me an idea of how many people may be interested and what they need.

  • Send me an email at: prisonrideshare@gmail.com

  • Post to my FB page or send me a PM at: http://on.fb.me/iO4Zv0

  • Tweet me at: www.twitter.com/PrisonRideshare

  • Friday, June 24, 2011

    Betrayal is Not an Option

    It's been a long couple of months. I'm not sure what happened to cause so much confusion between My Boo and I, but I sure am glad we're past it.

    One day, out the clear blue sky, he just started acting funny towards me. The letters stopped altogether. And, when we were on the phone, he seemed so distant, and annoyed. For about a week, I just chalked it up to "prison blues" and kept doing me. Eventually, he started asking me the same question everyday, "Do you have something you want to tell me"? I knew in my heart what that meant. But, I am a certified denial queen. So, I just kept telling him no and acting like nothing was wrong.

    The next thing I knew, we were in the middle of the second argument of our relationship. It got much worse than it should have mostly because I was so insulted that this man was accusing me of betraying him, but giving me no details whatsoever. After he hung up in my face, that's when the texting war between us began (Yes, texts).After texting back and forth for hours, he finally gave me enough information to at least have an idea as to why we were arguing. I could not believe this man, the love of my life, was accusing me of being unfaithful to him, based on some "call-home, he-say-she-say" from someone who does nothing for him.

    After taking time to calm down, I prayed on the situation. God told me, "Don't let go." So, that's what I decided. I was not going to abandon him like everyone else had over the years. I called, text, left voicemails... I did whatever it took to remind this truly good man that I, not his little birdy, am the one who has his back 100%. I had to reassure him that I, his soulmate, would never betray him... ever!

    I never felt any anger towards him during all of this. All I felt was compassion. I realized then that this was a very strong man who had truly been wounded by his current situation. Not only is he in prison for a crime committed by a family member, but he's been doing his time alone, with no one to truly count on. He had put up walls over the years that I, personally, as his best friend, have never had to tear down. But, now, as his woman, the expectations are higher, which scared him at some point. So, his human nature told him that it would be easier to just walk away now than to take a chance of me betraying him later. In his words, "That would be devastating"!

    It takes a real man to admit when he's scared. Once I was able to get that out of him, I was able to reassure him that this is the life for me. I chose this life, the life of The Prisoner's Fiance, because he is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I would never betray him. He is my world. As I tell him all the time, his last name will be on my tombstone. I cannot wait to be his wife. Betrayal is NOT an option!!!

    Follow my tweets at: www.twitter.com/prisondaughter

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Release Date Changes

    On February 20, 2011, I received the tweet below from @madisonghope 

    @ will you share some more? What is a typical visit like with your fiance? When is his "out" date?
    Well, @madisonghope, I would like to start by saying that prison visits are very rarely typical. One of the main goals of the CDCR is to make visiting as frustrating and time consuming as possible. This is to discourage us from visiting. As for myself, that will never happen. They can transfer him to an underground prison in Zimbabwe and I would still be there every Sunday, faithfully.

    As far as his release date, well, that's a subject he and I just do not discuss much anymore. Officially, the latest release is January, 2014. But, due to the prison overcrowding conditions in California, many changes have taken place in 2011. The California Prison Reform policies have opened up new categories that will allow many inmates to be released earlier than originally expected.

    The following are some of the categories that he has fallen under that have and may cut his time short:
    • He has never been written up, which caused them to recalculate his "good time." (Yes, "good-time" is back!)
    • He's a Level 1 prisoner, who actually works off the grounds. As time goes on, more L1 prisoners may be released early, as these prisoners are not considered to be "threats to society."
    • He has already completed 70% of his maximum sentence. If overcrowding persists, the percentage of time serve may have to be lowered.
    So far, in 2011 alone, my baby has received two notices informing him of new expected release dates, totaling about 15 months off of his time. He is also due to see his counselor for his annual review in the upcoming weeks. According to guards whose opinions he trusts, his counselor will probably give him even more time off and/or "good-time credits" due to his Level 1 status and good behavior.

    So, with all that said, I will just say that he will be home sooner that we both anticipated. We have both agreed not to actual start calculating until he speaks to his counselor later this month. Our idea is that if the counselor deducts even more time, not that would be very exciting to calculate!

    Fertility Issues - Having His Children

    Every once in a while, I get a letter from my mom which contains a newspaper clipping or other information related to fertility. My mom has wanted to be a grandmother most of my adult life. Now that I am 40, she's going through a panic about me starting menopause recently. (See my blog "The Prisoner's Daughter" for more on my mother.)

    I have always wanted children, all my life. I just never made it a priority in my life, mostly due to the fact that I was seeking a spiritually fulfilling relationship first. Now, things are complicated even more by the fact that I am in love with a man prison.

    I am more in love with this man than I have ever been in my life. He is where my future lies. I plan to marry him as soon as possible. There is no other man that I would even consider having a child with. But, he still has a couple of years to go, while I continue to go through menopause.

    We talked about this in depth a couple of weeks ago on a visit. It was almost cute for him to ask if there was a way that he could give me his sperm while still in prison. I felt so honored that he would even consider doing something like that. The ironic part is that I had already researched the subject and found that the Supreme Court has already ruled against. So, I have to figure out what I can do now, while he's still incarcerated to ensure that we at least have a chance to have children when he comes home.

    I've started researching the different fertility options that we may have. I am still researching and going through consultations, but it looks like I've pretty much made a decision. I plan to have my eggs frozen. That way, if all of my eggs are useless by the time my boo gets released, we will still have the option of using my frozen eggs to make our family.

    Because he has been my best friend for two decades, he always knew there were some type of fertility issues for me. Now that we're in love, he is more than happy to go through whatever procedures we need to in order to have children together. I feel so blessed and honored to be his fiance. The day I become his wife will be the best day of my life.I can't wait to be his wife and the mother of his children.

    Life sure would be much easier if they would just let him give me his sperm. I could see it now. Frozen packages of sperm being shipped via FedEx to various prison wives across the country. That would be hilarious! LMBO!

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Who is The Prisoner's Fiance

    Let me introduce myself. I am the daughter of a woman serving time in prison, who happens to be in love with my best friend, a man serving time in prison.

    My boo and I have been best friends for two decades. For the past 12 years, he has been a CDCR prison inmate. We have been nothing but strictly platonic friends all of these years. On September 1st of last year, he called to wish me a happy birthday. I'm still not sure why, but that call was the beginning of it all. Within six weeks, we were both more in love than we had ever been in our lives.

    As of today, we are engaged. Officially, he still has a couple of years left on his sentence. Unofficially, he is a candidate for the early releases mandated by the Federal Government due to overcrowding in the California prisons. No matter how much longer he has, I will stand by him faithfully until the day he comes home to me. And, it has not been a problem because he is not only the love of my life, I am his soulmate.

    Whether or not to get married while he is still incarcerated is a question we change the answer to regularly. We are in no rush because we are truly enjoying our "courting" period. But, there will come a time when we will set an "if" date. In other words, we will get married when he gets out. But, "if" he's not out by our "if" date, we will probably go ahead and have our own private jailhouse wedding. (Sorry Mommy)

    Either way, I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. Because of that, I make sure to thank God for what my boo and I have every night before I go to sleep and every morning as soon as I wake up. I feel blessed to have what we have. I am proud to say that I am The Prisoner's Fiance.