I was sentenced to over nine-years of confinement beginning in 2006. On the day I was sentenced it only took about 30 minutes to strip me of my clothes and get me dressed in prison garb. I had a bedroll and supplies within an hour. I was assigned to a prison cell in general population within two-hours from the moment my judge delivered my sentence and hit his gavel.
Over my time in federal prison, I've seen the season finale of many men. Some good, some sure to return to prison, and I'll be leaving many more behind. The last stretch of prison is when you think about all your plans. You second guess yourself and you wonder what the next chapter of your life will be like. I've seen guys become reclusive and despondent, while others smiled and became extra talkative.
Two of my closest friends are leaving soon and although the quickness of a persons intake, the process of release is agonizing.
HOW IT WORKS:
Your case manager makes a recommendation for the date you are to be released. You sign two papers as your case manager develops a release package to be routed throughout the prison facility where you are located.
Your release must be approved by Medical Services, your Unit Manager, the Captain, the Associate Warden and the Warden. Once all of these signatures are obtained your package goes back to your case manager who then sends it to the Community Corrections Manager in the area of the country where you will be released (your release address).
The CCM coordinates your release to a halfway house or to home detention. Once this process is complete you're set to leave prison at some date which doesn't have to be that original recommended date. It could be decided you leave prison before or after your recommended date, but once the date is set by the CCM, you are are set to leave.
This entire process aka "the last stretch" takes on average two to three months, versus the two hours for your prison intake. It's like a prisoners is too valuable to let go. It's as if no one cares how anxious you may be to leave when your sentence is complete.
While you wait for your final release date it only gets bearable when prison staff communicate with you on your status. In all other cases, it's like sitting in a pot of hot water as the flame beneath the pot increases slowly. Eventually, you cook internally - especially if you have plans.
I hope this helps.
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