The Only Way Is Legally

by Jay Goodman

After sitting in the Ohio reception center for two months waiting to see the parole board for my violation, I was finally going to have a hearing. It had been a slow two months because I had been sitting in a cell 23 hours a day, but I did receive all the paperwork I needed to show that I had to move into federal custody. The day of my hearing went well, the parole board looked at all of my accomplishments over the last 15 years and paroled me to my detainer right away.

I was happy to get that behind me, I was now ready to move into the final chapter of a very long road. Even though it’s still going to take another 90 days, I was excited to be starting the last stage. I was sitting here looking back over the last 15 ½ years and I feel blessed to have survived everything I did. I am also glad that I had the determination to do the right thing all these years and was able to grow mentally, spiritually, and physically. So many people come here and never do anything except plan what they are going to do different next time. They make new connections and think it’ll be different because they learn from their mistakes. You’ll never hear these men say “they got lucky and got me.” The crazy thing is a lot of them, if not most of them, have already been busted before. So, they should have a very good understanding that they’ll either make a mistake again or law-enforcement will get lucky once again and they’ll get caught.

So many of them are caught up in their mind about being this big-time drug dealer, or being a gangster that they won’t allow themselves a chance to grow into a better man. If they would let go of the outside world while they were in prison and focus all of their attention on learning something, they could take to the world with them, they would see that they still could be rich, the big difference of course is now they would not have to ever worry again about coming back to prison.

I wondered why so many times why the prisoners can’t see themselves doing good in life or becoming rich any other way then becoming a criminal? Everyone in prison has the ability to do good, and if more focus was given on showing prisoners this, I believe a lot more inmates would see the light. I will say this about Ohio, they do offer more opportunities for change than Texas. But Texas is not about change as I have always said it’s about punishment and institutionalizing every single person that enters its store. A lot of the big problems inside prisons now is drug use, especially K2. Of course, if inmates are spending their time in here blowed out of their minds, change is not going to happen. Also, as I just wrote in my last chapter, the K2 users are destroying a lot of the prison ‘s I’ve been to. Plus, so many of the key to smokers are so fried, I don’t know if it’s even possible for them to make a comeback.

Many people are so struck in their old way of thinking that they won’t even consider looking at a different lifestyle. It seems everywhere I look the majority of people are still looking at what they are going to do this next time. But if they would take a moment and see that every next time has turned into another trip to prison, and that more than likely the next time will end the exact same way. It’s sad that a person won’t take a better look at themselves and realize that there is so much more in life than spending it in prison. I know for myself that once I took a long hard look at the life, I had led, I realize that if I didn’t change now that I would spend the rest of my life in prison. I see that one of the most difficult things for prisoners is change. But without the will power to change, the course of almost everyone in prison is written in stone. Prisoners are some very stubborn people, they have had it in their mindset Damn near their entire lives that they would become this famous rich dude by becoming a criminal, and they won’t stop for a moment and visualize that there’s other ways to become rich that won’t leave them back to prison.

I listen to the men around me in here and their ideals are always people who have made it to the big-time selling drugs. People still talk about Pablo Escobar from Columbia, or Chapo Guzman from Mexico. The funny thing is, is no one seems to remember the outcome of both of these men. I mean yes, they both made it to be very rich. But at what price? Pablo was so rich he was on Forbes magazine as one of the richest people on earth. But, a lot of Pablo’s life he spent on the run. He would have to constantly run from place to place because either the police, the army, or the DEA, or his enemies we’re always trying to arrest him or kill him. And in the end, he was shot dead like a dog.

So, what good was all the money? Chapo Guzman, also made it to the same Forbes magazine as one of the richest gangsters in the world. But once again at what price? Chapo also spent a big part of his life on the run. He was caught several times and put in prison, he did escape but of course it was right back on the run, having to hide out at a different place every day. And in the end, he was arrested and brought to the United States where he received life in prison and now, he sits in a federal prison cell 24 hours a day. So, what good is all of their wealth? For all the people reading this, if you don’t change your thinking, what good is making millions of dollars if you cannot enjoy life? Take the opportunity in here and change your thinking. If you change your thinking, you will change the course of your life.

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