Just released from prison

3 03 2009

After five years of corruption, verbal abuse, negativity, sexual harrassment, and a healthy dose of good ‘ol human misery, I have just been released from prison. I feel so relieved. I am comforted by the hope that I touched some lives while I was there and if anything, helped those incarcerated feel like somebody cared about their well being.

I have taken a part time job working in a partial hospitalization program. In addition, I am doing per diem work with women through a local agency. I am excited about a flexible schedule and having benefits with a part time job. This is giving me a much needed break.

As I said my goodbyes last Friday at the prison, I heard “You’re so lucky, I’m stuck here”, over and over again. As if my getting out of that place was luck instead of a decision I made regarding my own happiness. Most of the people working at the prison are employed by the state, which means if they have 30 or so years of service they get pension and ongoing retirement benefits for life. I cannot express to you all the misery that this creates for most of the people working there. More people than not can tell you at any given moment exactly how many days they have until they retire. They stay in jobs they hate, in a place that they hate, working with people that they hate, for security. And they have made that CHOICE.

Two things became very clear to me as I heard how people were “Stuck” over and over. The first, that no wonder the prison is so full of miserable and negative people all treating each other like garbage.  And second, it is the staff who are in prison in that place, not the inmates. The inmates are going to get out eventually and it appears the staff are not. They are, for all intensive purposes, prisoners of their own minds.

Even though I no longer work at the prison, I will still write about it from time to time. There are enough stories to last a lifetime from that place.  And event though I am no longer in prison, I’m still having adventures in prison and I guess as long as I work with other human beings, that will be the case.

I hope you’ll keep reading.

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5 responses

4 03 2009
therapydoc

I surer will. Welcome outathere.

5 03 2009
cb

Of course! And I have seen the ‘stuck’ mentality at work too – my first social work job out of training I saw a lot of miserable people who had been there for years and it terrified me enough to pack it in and move to Italy! Of course, I came back but that’s another story for another day. Sometimes leaving is the bravest step when it is so easy to stay.
Anyway, definitely going to be following how you’re getting on!

5 03 2009
reas

Yay! I’m so glad for you, really.

Although I would gently urge you to not be quite so hard on those people who made the choice they made (to stay employed at the prison): mortgage, children, bills, perhaps elderly parents, perhaps the college education to help finance. We all need money and the older you get the more you genuinely feel you have little choice. Especially if you’ve been employed in one particular area for a long time. It’s hard to walk away from a guaranteed paycheck, medical benefits and pension. Not to mention the economy!

This reminds me of an absolutely miserable woman I saw just last month. She was employed by a private prison system. I’d be interested in hearing mental health stats about the workers in prison: drug abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. I wonder if it’s higher for them than the population at large?

13 03 2009
oregonamy1972

I would agree with Reas. But, having worked in a State job before, I know that there are lots of people that complain about being stuck but don’t make the move to even look at other things. Like anything, I guess there’s a happy medium between making sure some level of financial security is maintained and moving on to something more meaningful and fulfilling.

7 09 2011
Flash Bailbonds

Your probation begins the day you are released from prison and you are expected to immediately contact Adult Probation.

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