Confused Prisoners

By Jay Goodman

Prisoners without a doubt can be some of the most confuse people on earth. It’s almost like they have blinders on, because they cannot see to the left or right of themselves. Their path is one way, and that’s usually straight back to prison. It’s amazed me, they are already back to prison before they are even finished with the sentence they are serving. One thing is certain with state prisoners and federal prisoners, they all want to be rich. I mean everywhere I go they all have this dream of becoming wealthy. Which is an okay dream, there is nothing wrong with wanting to live a wonderful life. People in the free world work hard and dream of having a nice car, a beautiful home, and seeing themselves traveling and living the American dream. But the prisoner big problem is they believe this road to riches can only be achieved one way. Through breaking the law. Why don’t like to look behind me at the mistakes I’ve made, I do like to look at them and learn from them. Naturally I don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over.

I have also seen that some people learn their lesson from their mistakes while others never do. The odd thing is, is some of the ones who don’t learn their lessons are not stupid people, but for some reason they cannot see there are other ways to become rich, then being a criminal.

Not long ago I had heard someone tell me how they met a man at another prison who taught him about the stock market. He even told me how he paid this man each week to teach him. He told me how much he learned, and how excited he was to leave prison and get started. He also told me how he learned about real estate and talked about all he was going to do once he left prison. I shared some of the things I have been doing throughout my incarceration with him, which peeked his curiosity. I showed him a book I had written several years before, and told him how I have been receiving checks every 90 days, and that I took that money and invested it into the stock market to make more money. He liked the idea so much that he began writing a book himself. He wrote for the next several weeks almost daily. He would come to my cell each day and give me an update on how he was doing. But in a very short period of time, I notice he would start focusing on other stuff, he loves to gamble and before long he stopped talking to me about his book altogether. When I asked him how his book was coming along? He would say, “I stopped writing.” I asked why? But all he would say is I got bored with it, or I’ll get back to it soon. I would encourage him from time to time to finish, but all he would do is take a deep breath and say oh I know.

It’s odd how I watched so many people throughout my years of incarceration when given the opportunity to bring money to themselves honestly, will put it off. But, if they are given an opportunity to make money dishonestly, they will jump on it faster than a lion jumps on a zebra. It wasn’t long after this that this same guy received a $1400 check. I mentioned to him once again that if he would finish his book and pay to get his book published that he would generate a steady income for himself. Again, I thought it was a good idea and he slowly began writing again. But during this time, he would still hit the gambling table each day. He did send out some money to his mom for the book, but everything takes time in here. So as the weeks passed he kept losing money at the table. One night as we were going to bed, he told me the next day when he went to commissary, he was going to buy a pair of Nike gym shoes. I thought to myself at the time why? I mean he already has two pairs of Nikes, and a pair of boots. Then he said, “I’m going to also buy me a new G-Shock watch.” Which I thought was crazy because he already had a G-Shock on his arm. When I asked him why? He said, “because it’s white.” The G-Shock he and I have are black. I couldn’t help but think to myself what the hell is the difference? I mean we are not talking about a Rolex here; it’s just some cheap ass watched the prison sell to us at a marked up price. Who gives a shit if it’s white or black? But that gives everyone reading this an example of what I’m talking about. $89 for the Nike’s and $70 for the watch. For a grand total of $160. Which is probably half of what he will need to get his book edited. This is what I am talking about, even though he understands that he can take his $1400 and invest into something that will generate a regular income for some reason he will put it off. The crazy thing is almost everyone in here will jump into an opportunity to break the law. Even though they have the same opportunity to do something that’s legal.

Here my cellie has a good understanding on how to do something with his money but will choose to just blow it on shit he doesn’t need. Or invested in something that will generate a regular income. In his mind he has a desire to do something positive but he and others lack of mental power to follow through with it. This is why I said at the beginning of this chapter it’s almost like they have blinders on that keep them from seeing anything else but the way they’ve always known. They have always seen themselves becoming rich by being a gangster. They have never taken the blinders off and realized hey, I can have everything I want everything I’ve been dreaming about without being a gangster.


… I am going to run some more drugs, just to get on my feet. Then I’ll take that money and invested in the stock market in real estate. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have heard this. When I’ve asked why don’t you just get a job and use that money to get started? They say, I am not going to go out there and work. A few reasons I have heard this, and I am too old to go out there and try to work for a living. Or I have lost too many years in this place, if I sell a little bit of dope, I can come up real fast. That way I can get started right away. There are many other reasons believe me I’ve heard it all. But it really comes down to these one or two things. One is laziness. A lot of prisoners don’t like the idea of leaving here and working. They have always been criminals and got money easy so the prospect of leaving prison and working doesn’t appeal to them. To and this is the most important reason, they only see their way to being rich by being this big-time drug dealer. Most of the men in here never figure out that everything they want can be obtained other ways. And for the few who do you see there are other ways, still can’t get over this mental picture they have of themselves making it to the top by being a gangster. Some will do five, 10, 15, 20 years, but only see the one picture. So, in the end even though they know there are other ways to become rich. They have sat there in prison and thought of being this gangster. Their every thought has been of how they would leave here and come up in the drug business. They have made friends with people who they believe will help them with their dream. But for some reason they seem to forget what’s happened in the past. They seem to forget what happened to all of the other men sitting in prison with them. Like I said earlier, they are on their way back to prison before they are even done with the time they are serving.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez