Day 20 In The Hole




I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

Journal entry from 12/5/08:

Today I prepared two grievances and two tort claims. The grievances are on Sgt. Paulson for not letting me choose which excess property to send out. Paulson has 3 boxes of my property that he says I HAVE to send out! Yet he won’t tell me what’s in the boxes. I’m confused! There’s no way I have 3 boxes full of excess stuff.

I asked him, “May I have an inventory sheet that lists all the content in the boxes?”

He said, “I’m not going to inventory every single item. All you need to know is its all excess and it all needs to go.”

I say, “Okay. Let me see what it is and I’ll let you know what to throw away and what to send out.”

He acts like I’m being un-reasonable. Like my simple request is just TOO MUCH! Then he says, “You know what you’re allowed to have and not have. You know the limits.”

I say, “And you know you’re supposed to follow policy and procedure. Now go inventory my shit and give me a copy!”

At this point I see I’m dealing with a crooked cop who doesn’t care. He lacks integrity big time. He says in a loud voice, “You’re refusing to sign? Alright. Fine. It’s all getting thrown away!” He turns and walks away.

I feel like pounding my door! Cussing him out! Flooding my cell. But I don’t. I wait for shift change. 2 o’clock. I contact Sgt. Bienusa, I give him the run down. He acknowledges that Sgt. Paulson is wrong. The next day Sgt. Paulson comes to my door. He has an inventory sheet. It’s long! I’m amazed to see that they are enforcing EVERY single limit!

The limit on soap is 2 bars. I have 6. Four of them must go! What? I have never seen any prison enforce that! The list goes on. I have to send out extra: dental floss, tooth brush, shampoo, deodorant, razors, lotion, a pair of shoes, my Play Station 2 and all the games, and a bunch of food. They’re stripping me to the bare minimum! Oh well, easy come easy go.

Sgt. Paulson asks me what I want to send out. I go over the list and say, “The PS2, all the games, the shoes, and all the unopened hygiene products.”

He writes everything down on his form. He slides it under the door. I sign it and send it back. He asks what I want to do with the rest of it. I say, “Donate it.”

He says, “Okay.” And just walks away. What a JERK!

After he walks away, he goes and adds 9 more items to the list! One of the items was a prison issued blanket! That’s crazy! I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a mattress and pillow too. They charged me $18.55 for shipping!

So that’s what I’m fighting right now. We’ll see what happens. My prediction: I’m burnt! Why? Because I’m an inmate. I’m wrong, they’re right. Period!


As I reflect back, I remember the hate I felt towards Paulson. My thoughts towards him were all bad. I thought about acting a fool. But lucky for me, I was evolved slightly beyond that point. But still, the thought entered my mind. Why?

Today, here is my answer: Because I was neglecting my mind. I wasn’t constantly feeding it with intelligent, positive, productive thoughts. Therefore, my mind was left to its own demise. Which was an abundance of useless thoughts that have never served me well.

The concept is simple. When I cultivate my mind with intelligent thoughts, it automatically weeds out all the wrong, useless, impure, destructive thoughts. After years of aimless thinking, it’s hard to just flip a switch and change. Change is a process. As I proceed, I discover that I am the master of my soul and the director of my life.

MORAL: The key to a happy & successful life is controlled thinking.



Steven Jennings



  1. very good post. i’m glad you are out of your prison. Be positive and meditate when alone or pray and seek guidance from you god if you are a believer. bright blessings. I learnt a lot form your experience. This world where we live in is a big prison so all that applies here too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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