“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”


“I will be the only doctor you’ll see while you’re incarcerated.” Then he closed my folder with both hands and looked at me with that vulgar grin again. “It’s not my job to make you comfortable and feel good. I just make sure you stay alive to do your time,” the mad scientist hollered at me, then turned around to finish his paperwork.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play  http://www.paytoplaythebook.com



The Underbelly of Prison.

Prisoner in jail

For the better part of the day, I was held in one of four cells at the check-in point in the underbelly of the prison, just inside the iron door near Gate 1. I was stripped, cavity searched, and had my fingerprints taken. I’ve never felt so violated. 

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The “Hole”


I’d learn later that the acronym SHU (Special Housing Unit); pronounced “shoe” by the COs, was best known as the “Hole”, amongst inmates.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play  http://www.paytoplaythebook.com

GUARD TOWER-Who’s watchin’ the watchers.

Guard Tower

There were manned guard towers located at each corner, and halfway down each side of the wall. A large sweeping stairway ascended the center of the front building where a gold colored dome capped a nondescript entrance. The architecture of the stone veneer was very similar to the museums along the lakefront in Chicago. That was until I took notice of the twenty-foot tall cyclone fencing that ran parallel to the wall with rows of razor wire, top and bottom.

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Utter Despair.

Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart – “It’s a Wonderful Life”

I slid two small pills out of each container with my index finger and put all four under my tongue, doubling the dosage to counter my raging panic. The taste of the dissolving pills soured with the fermenting residue of last night’s alcohol and cigarettes, and made me want to throw up; but I needed the quick fix. I gagged while holding the pasty elixir under my tongue and my eyes watered from the sudden convulsion.

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Johnny Rotten!


JOHNNY ROTTEN – a debonair gentleman compared to the “chap” I was dealing with.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play  http://www.paytoplaythebook.com

The guy had a grotesque smile and I noticed he was missing several teeth. He took a long drag off his cigarette, then with one eye closed from the smoke trail, he struggled to crunch it out in the ashtray, almost slipping off the bar stool. “Nope, yer goin’ to the Pen.”


“Breaking Bad” – I felt like Walt.


We were leaving the area when we noticed the headlights of another vehicle coming down the gravel road we’d entered on. The light was hazy, bouncing through the night, surrounded in a cloud of dust. The vehicle was moving very fast. I clenched my hands together and took a deep breath. 

The pickup screeched to a halt 10 yards in front of us. Gary and I looked on dreadfully as a very obese black man slowly pried himself from behind the wheel of the truck. After each one of his high-top military combat boots was firmly planted on the road, he stood erect and adjusted the pants of his uniform. He then reached back in the truck, holstered a handgun and approached our car with a shotgun pointed toward the ground. 

“Gimme ya driver’s license.” the officer snapped at Gary. His breath was labored and he looked frustrated. The patch on his shoulder clearly stated: “USP Leavenworth Kansas”.  

The officer seemed to struggle as he examined the driver’s license. I thought I should try and explain myself to him. 

“Sir… I am self-reporting here tomorrow, and we were just driving around to familiarize ourselves with…”  

But he was in no mood for lame excuses, and cut me off. “Y’all, are trespassin’ on restricted government property. There’s a sign posted where y’all pulled in.” 

“Oh… I didn’t see… I must’ve missed the sign, sir.” Gary said sheepishly when the officer handed him back his driver’s license. 

“Don’t give me no more shit, boy. Just get the fuck off this property.” He craned his neck sideways and hurled a gob of spit from his chew to the side of the road. The officer looked more agitated now, wiping the dribble off the side of his mouth, then stood up taller, cradling the shotgun in his arms.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play  http://www.paytoplaythebook.com