Day 23 In The Hole




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

Journal entry dated 12/17/08:

Today was exchange day for jumpsuits. I have one of those really nice orange ones. Nice and thick. Zips all the way to the neck. I like mine big and baggy. I tuck the bottoms into my socks. It’s like lounging in my PJ’s all day. Love it.

I’m laying in bed when this mean guard comes by and kicks the door. He startles me. I look up from my bunk. He says in a curt voice, “What size jumpsuit do you need?”

I say, “3 X” as I get up and walk to the door. He eyeballs my body from head to toe, then says, “You’re getting a 2 X.”

I know about this guard. He’s well known for being a complete jerk. He comes to work on the war path every day. He never smiles and he dislikes every inmate. That’s probably why they have him working in the hole. Because he causes a lot of problems out there on mainline.

I respond by saying, “Oh yeah, that’s what I meant to say…2 X. This one here is a 3 X, and it’s way too big.”

I really wanted a 3 X. but I’m not going to satisfy this guy with an argument I can’t win. I know the type of reaction he was expecting and wanted. He wanted me to beg and plead for a 3 X. Most guards don’t care what size we get. We’re locked down 24/7…what does it matter? But this guy loves to “power trip” and create drama. He does it every day!

As he stuffs a 2X through the cuff port, I say, “Good looking out.” He slams the cuff port and moves on. I laugh to myself. That was NOT the reaction he wanted. I flipped the script and made it seem like “Mr. Hate-an-Inmate” just did me a favor.


I remember this incident very well. Instead of getting upset and stressed, I somehow found a way to get laughter and satisfaction outta the deal. That jumpsuit situation had huge potential for stress and anger.

Situations occur. It’s the thoughts in your mind that dictates how you respond. If I desire peace and happiness, yet I’m constantly stressing and in turmoil, it’ll never happen.

But if I put in the work and condition my mind with peace and happiness, only then will I be able to respond to situations from within that positive capacity.

“Stress is a choice”



Steven Jennings



  1. Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man and commented:
    Been there, done that.
    The prison experience changes a man, often for the worse. Ex-cons (like myself) have many stories about the mundane details of their experiences, about the daily insults to their person and their dignity as a person. I was changed greatly. I left prison angry, confused and depressed. By reaching back to my faith and belief in Jesus Christ I started (and failed many times) to rebuild my life and my relationship with God and my family. I eventually found a Priest whom I had known years earlier that gave me good guidance and a return to a life centered on Jesus Christ in the sacraments of the Church. I have trod the road of reformation of self and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. So much so that I am beginning a ministry dedicated to helping ex-cons reorient to life outside through one on one counseling, referrals for housing and jobs as well as in the spiritual realm. My ministry is named after the patron saint of convicts, Saint Dismas, the good thief who was crucified on Christ’s right hand and who, because of his confession and declaration to Jesus of his belief in the Son of God, was promised to be in Paradise that very day with Jesus.
    May God’s grace be imparted to you and to all who read my words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this reminds me of a story in the script adaptation of my book. an inmate says to the guard “we are someone’s mother, sister with families not only an inmate. we are someone other people care about.” “you might consider this the next time you speak to us.”

    Liked by 1 person

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