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Prison Politics

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

When I arrived in the regional jail 12yrs ago, I was green to what was to come for me. I didn't know the ins and outs to this new life I was forced to live. Having a high profile case, my face was all over the news in the beginning. I used to hear people whisper and point out to me saying "THAT'S DUDE RIGHT THERE". In my mind I thought it was cool for people to already know who I am coming in. Little did i know this is when the politics begin. Inmates would come to me asking me about what are you locked up for. See in jails and prisons, some crimes are accepted where as others such as sex crimes or harming a woman/child was prohibited. I figured I didn't have anything to worry about because I was in on murder at least that's what my charge consisted of. At the same time guys who was trying to get home sooner would befriend you to learn more about your case. That's what happened to me. More and more inmates would come and sit to talk asking personal questions. One day after each talk, my lawyer would come by and tell me listen Mr. Thomas you are in danger because inmates are calling down to the court house looking to jump on your case. Jumping on your case is a term we use when someone is trying to do whatever it take to get a lesser sentence while trying to enhance yours. So finally a guy came to me name Anthony Jenkins who I mentioned in one of my articles that he's my good friend and mentor today. He sat me down and schooled me on this politic stuff. He said man listen you are facing a lot of time and you are a target right now (fresh meat). He said to me that doing time is simple. Either you are going to do it the hard way or the right/easy way. He continued on by saying that when I get to prison, I will have to decide whether I am going to be on homie time(which means hanging with inmates from VA specifically Richmond or you going to stand like a man on your own two feet. Of course, being as though this is my first time you would think I would've decided to be a coward and allow others to dictate my moves. This is why I'm here in the first place now, following behind cowards who I thought was my friend. I remembered allDr my fathers teachings and how he would say to me, be your own man son. My mother wrote a letter to me when I was just 5 years old saying you are a special baby, you are number one. See they saw in me a LEADER, It was ashamed I didn't see that then. So fast forward now I'm in the high security prison(USP).

This is the place where they send the real killers, big time drug dealers etc.. Now here's where the "PRISON POLITICS" come in. First thing, first your car(people you are rolling with), for me that would be Virginia. They would approach you aggressively asking for your paper work. This is to see whether or not you told on someone or testified in your case. From there once you are cleared, you go about your business. See so call tough guys don't make it in these places. See you have to use your muscles in a penitentiary. I'm not talking about the physical, I'm talking about the mental aspect of things. "The strong rules the weak, but the wise rule the strong". Facts: For me my focus was programming and staying my required time so that my points can drop. Its a lot of violence in a USP, but all in all the respect level is so high. People don't want any problems in a place like this, all they want is to do there time and live to see another day. After 18 months of this intense environment, my was transferred to a medium custody. Here the violence isn't that frequent but the callable of inmates is different. Here you have guys that we call "faking it till you make it" type of dudes. They take FULL advantage of the environment by walking around being the loudest and seeking all the attention. Most inmates coming from a USP doesn't make it here because of the disrespect that goes on. Again, this is where using your mind instead of your physical comes in play. You have to think for the next person in this level. For me this is when I really started finding myself. All of those one on ones talks with my father started to make sense. I would always say to myself that I am different from the others, not because I think or thought I was better but because of my train of thought. Being raised by a father rather than a mother shows in these type of places. In my opinion those who were raised by mothers some time get more emotional than say me, who was brought up on tough LOVE. I spent the next 9 years in this level until Nov of 2019.

I am now at a low security prison where the freedom is so GREAT here but once again the lower you go the more you have to deal with mentally. Being at a low for me is a step in the right direction and is helping me prepare for my return back into society. There are no lock doors here and you can stay up as long as you want to. This level can be dangerous as well because its a lot of people going home EVERY day from here. Its no secret that a lot of activities goes on in lows but for me its a no brainer. Do i want temporary pleasure now and risk getting sent back to a high level or use DISCIPLINE and focus on what motivates me the most. I have chosen my daughter Shantelle and family over all that. You would here guys say all the time dudes talking about if they were at the pen this would happen and all these things but I say if you wanted that type of lifestyle so bad, why be a good boy and work your way down. Stand on what you say. Today I can say all these years I was looking for something that I possessed all a long. Having LEADERSHIP skills, see I'm here because I was a follower and wanted to fit in but in reality, those who I thought were leaders was actually looking for me to lead them. I didn't know how when I was fighting my addiction (liquid courage). Being sober I feel like that its no limit to my success. I want to thank the readers for your attention and hope that these blogs I'm writing can inspire you and maybe help someone from having to experience PRISON POLITICS.

Sheppard Thomas


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