Tagged: EFV’s

The Two Day Shakedown

 

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On Thursday December 1st, DOC spent $18K to shakedown two units. DOC brought extra guards in by the buss load! Literally.

The first unit they hit was G UNIT. The dog program is in that unit. So at about 10 am, a guard brought me Sam from G UNIT. Sam is a two year old Husky/Shepard mix. We spent the day playing and getting to know each other.

Sam is an awesome dog, and he’s looking for a forever home. For more information on how to adopt, please read: Adopting A Dog.

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Me and Sam

I was expecting to give Sam back at 3:30pm. But to my surprise, he spent the night with my celly (Jesse Bailey) and I. The next morning, we got raided! Sam went back to G UNIT, and all of H3 (my unit), went to the gym. There we sat for 9 hours while our cells were getting TORE UP!

Some cells got hit harder than others. I was actually surprised that my cell didn’t get hit that hard. Everything was moved around, but they didn’t dump everything on the floor like they did others.

These shakedowns are to be expected. I mean after all, this is prison. But the interview tactics was out of line! As we all sat in the gym, DOC conducted interviews with everyone. Or should I say, they interrogated everyone.

As soon as I walked in the little office, the lead investigator looked at me from above his glasses and simply said, “Sit down!”

I said, “Yes sir” and sat.

He asked, “Are there drugs in the unit?”

I said, “I’m sure there is. This is prison.”

He asked, “Who has them?”

I said, “I don’t know. I’m not in that scene.”

He said, “Don’t lie to me. You live in that unit and you know where its at!”

I said, “Sir, I understand your position and objective. But I can’t tell you what I don’t know.”

He responded, “So if you knew, you’d tell me?”

That’s when I got philosophical with him. I said, “What’s done in the darkness will eventually be brought to light. Guys that come in here and tell, eventually get exposed. And that in itself presents a whole host of problems that often turns out worse than a guy sitting in his cell getting high.”

He says nothing as he jots down notes on his pad.

I continue, “So with all due respect, let’s just focus on me and what I’m doing.”

That’s when he says, “You’re getting high. I’m ordering that extra attention be paid to your cell. I’m also ordering that you get tested for drug use.”

I’m thinking, man, this dude is hardcore! I feel myself taking offense. Then all of a sudden, The Four Agreements pop into my head. I remember the second agreement: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.

At that moment I start to relax and realize this guy is just doing his job and he views me as a number. He doesn’t care about me or my journey. He’s just doing his job and I just so happen to be within his line of work. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

So I offer him some unsolicited insight. I tell him, “I don’t use drugs anymore. I’m about to get EFV’s with my wife, and I’m in The Dog Program.”

He quickly snaps back, “That doesn’t mean anything!”

I quietly say, “To me it does.”

Then he asks, “Who do you run with?”

I reply, “No one. But I associate with all types of people.”

“Does that include the White Boys?” he asks.

It would be so easy to be a smart-allic to this guy, and at times I’m tempted. But I stay composed and answer his questions as he attempts to put his own twist on things.

I say, “Yes. And it includes my Black friends, my Native American friends, my Asian friends, and my Mexican friends.”

As he’s interrogating me, he’s looking at a computer screen, reading some type of inaccurate information on me. At least I assume it’s inaccurate, based on his line of questioning.

He asks me, “Do you sit with all these different races in the chow hall?”

I tell him, “Yes.”

He asks me, “How do the White Boys feel about that?”

I tell him, “I’ve never went around asking, but I assume it’s just like anything else in life…some hate it, some like it, and some don’t care.”

Then he asks me, “Have you ever been affiliated with the Skinheads?”

“No.”

Have you ever been affiliated with the AF (Arian Family)?

“No.”

“Have you ever attended any Asatru meetings or European events?”

“Nope. But I have attended Native American Pow Wows and Cinco De Mayo celebrations.”

“Let me see your tattoos,” he demands.

“I don’t have any,” I say.

He says, “Either you willingly show me your tattoos or else I’ll strip search you, then write you up you for lying to staff.”

“If I had tattoos I’d gladly show you. But I don’t have any.”

Silence filled the room.

His entire line of questioning was an attempt to tie me to STG (security threat groups) and make me out to be a racist. (please read: Prison Ink: The Art of Hate)

As silence filled the room, he continued to read from the computer. So I took it upon myself to give him some more unsolicited insight on myself.

I said, “I know I’ve done wrong in the past. I’m ashamed and remorseful for all that. Today I’m a rehabilitated man. I treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, religion, or crime. I don’t use drugs or alcohol and I always try my best to do the right thing.”

He continues to read and says nothing.

Then to my surprise, he took off his glasses, looked me in the eye, and said, ”Thank you for your time Mr. Jennings. And good luck to you in the future. We’re done here.”

I was shocked! WTF just happened?

As I stood up, he stood up. Then he extended his hand. I felt uncomfortable shaking it. Because this is where all the snitches conduct their business. And this is the man they conduct their business with. But I have a clear conscious. I’m not a snitch. And I haven’t done anything wrong. So I shook his hand and said, ”Thank you sir” as I walked out the door.

For more on this crazy day, please read my celly’s perspective in a post he wrote on Stone City Blog called: SHAKEDOWN (the drug raid)

And oh, just so you know, they never did UA me.
Or strip search me.
Or pay special attention to my cell.

 

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Steven Jennings

My Watch Broke

 

Broken Watch

 

I was in my cell training for my upcoming EFV’s with my wife. I was doing weighted hip thrusters with a 65 pound box on my lap. As I was on my fifth set of fifty, my stomach growled. I finished my set, then looked at my watch to see how much longer until lunch time.

I looked at my digital Ironman TIMEX and quickly realized it was malfunctioning. The entire screen had nothing but 1’s on it. There was nine of them to be exact.

I immediately thought: GREAT, ANOTHER EXPENSE! THIS WATCH IS CRAP!!

Then it happened. The 11 seconds turned to 12, then 13, 14, 15, 16….etc. That’s when I realized it was November 11th at 11:11 am.

There’s nothing wrong with this Ironman TIMEX. It works like a champ. The problem was with me. Within all of one second, my brain had made an assumption and drawn a conclusion: My watch is broke. It’s crap. I need a new one.

Sometimes if we just take a second and let things play out, we’ll realize that there was never an issue to begin with. So many non-issues become issues because we make them issues.


PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the wisdom to remain calm and assertive in the face of adversity. Please give me the ability to be patient before drawing conclusions. Open my eyes to the fact that no matter what the situation is, its as good or as bad as I choose to make it. Give me the strength to remain positive and happy as the events of life unfold. Thank you for using my watch to teach such a valuable lesson. AMEN.

 

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Steven Jennings

 

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11:11 What Does It Mean?
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Engaging In Meaningful Activities Is Crucial To A Healthy Lifestyle

 

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Now that I’m learning a little about Occupational Therapy, I feel like it’s giving me a deeper, richer, more thorough understanding of life in general. I reflect back to my days of crime and misconduct, and I see direct parallels to the fact that I had zero to very little meaningful activities in my life.

Today I engage in several meaningful activities. And as a result, I live a healthy lifestyle full of love, compassion, excitement, and happiness. It’s so clear to see that the healthy lifestyle came AFTER I started to engage in meaningful activities.

Early in my incarceration I had a desire to live a healthy lifestyle. I told myself on numerous occasions, “It’s time. Let’s do it!” But time and time again, I’d fail. Why? Because I wasn’t engaging in meaningful activities. The ONLY way to achieve a healthy lifestyle IS to engage in meaningful activities. There’s no other way to do it!

I’m so glad I’m learning this stuff. In addition to the clarity it brings me, it also teaches me effective ways to articulate my journey when mentoring and helping others.

I feel like I’ve done a lot of this work on my own. And just now, I’m starting to learn about it from a clinical standpoint. Which is great! Because the principles and philosophies have been validated before they were recognized.

Now it’s time to continue to learn and build as I use Occupational Therapy (Wikipedia definition). That in itself is a meaningful activity that is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve learned that in Occupational Therapy there are 7 areas of occupation that people engage in. Some are self explanatory. Some are not. But I feel they are all important to know. By knowing them, I can achieve a better balance in my life. I can do a self evaluation and determine if I’m lacking or over compensating in a specific area. The 7 occupations are:

 

#1) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) This refers to basic needs such as eating, showering, hygiene, clothing, sex, etc.

I’m definitely lacking in the sex department. So this is something I need to address in my life. And address it I shall…in March 2017!…EFV’s with my wife, Suzie. 🙂

 

#2) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s) This is the act of caring for my environment, such as ordering my commissary, cleaning my cell, helping my disabled celly, taking care of my dog, turning off the water that people deliberately leave on, etc.

I feel balanced with this one. However, I can do more. A lot of guys don’t clean up after themselves. Therefore, the sink and microwave area is always a mess. From now on, whenever I see a mess, I’ll take 30 seconds and clean it up. Why not? It’ll be good for me.

 

#3) Education – Participating in a learning environment or learning activities.

I could definitely use more of this. And now that its been brought to my attention, I will actively seek opportunities to engaged in more educational activities. I currently engage in two educational activities: NA Meetings and the Sustainability In Prison lectures.

 

#4) Leisure – A non-obligatory activity that is engeged in during discretionary time.

I have plenty of leisure activities, such as: blogging, writing Real Love Letters to the love of my life, working out, taking my dog for a walk, reading, etc.

 

#5) Work – Employment. Making money. Getting paid! Also, volunteer activities.

I do both. Freedom Tails is all volunteer work. And I find it way more rewarding than my actual job. If I had to choose between my “Remunerative Work” and my “Volunteer Work” I would sacrifice my pay and choose my Volunteer work. This just goes to show how rewarding volunteer work really is.

 

#6) Play – Any activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement, or diversion.

This is interesting. Because what happens when these adjectives can be applied to work, volunteer, and leisure? All of a sudden, play becomes a dominant meaningful activities in my life. I like that! I’m going to make it happen.

 

#7) Social Participation – Activities associated with patterns of behavior within a given social system.

Prison is a social system. A lot of misconduct goes on in here. So I’m better off engaging in anti-social participation when it comes to the prison social system as a whole. Another word for “Social Participation” in prison would be “Institutionalized”. This is just one perspective. My reality is: there are sub societies within the overall predominant prison social system.

By conducting myself in a positive, productive manner, and observing The Law of Attraction, I find my self socially participating in a positive mini sub-division within a predominant negative social system. The social participation that I engage in, is strong enough to give me strength to navigate through the negative prison social system without getting caught up in the current of negativity.

I’m thankful for the path I’m on. I’m thankful for my wife, family, and friends. I’m thankful for Sandra Rogers and the learning opportunity she has brought to my life.

 

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Steven Jennings

Prison & Occupational Therapy

 

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I recently received an email from Sandra Rogers. She is a faculty member in the School of Occupational Therapy (OT) at Pacific University. In part, this is how the email read:

 

Dear Steven,

My name is Sandra Rogers, I am a faculty member in the School of OT at Pacific University. I am writing to request help with a project I am working on. I work and mentor a group of occupational therapists who work in criminal justice (prison, jail, and community corrections) throughout the US. Occupational therapists believe that engaging in meaningful activities is important no matter your circumstances. In correctional facilities OT’s work with those incarcerated to help them develop and practice skills that lead to engagement in healthy lifestyles, like work that you enjoy, leisure interests that are fulfilling (and do not harm others), taking care of children or families, having relationships that are meaningful and healthy. We term the lack of engagement in meaningful activities occupational deprivation. I think you are a very good example of how engaging in meaningful activities, even while incarcerated, can really help you maintain health. I have read your blog and book, your wonderful relationship with your wife, and have been reading your adventures with Yahoo. I am wondering if you would be willing to talk to me about your experience of engaging in these activities and how they have helped you. IF you are willing I would love to videotape or share your written comments with the group of OT’s I mentor, and use your comments in a presentation I am doing. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts from a lived perspective, of having to deal with the consequences of the crime, and still trying to do good in the world. I think it would be helpful for the audience to understand how you personally were affected by occupational deprivation.

~Sandra Rogers

 

How awesome is that? I share this because IT in itself is “meaningful activity” to me. She and I have exchanged emails about working together and I am super excited about all of this. She’ll be interviewing me via email, phone calls, and video visitations. And I will be sure to blog this experience here for you all to read.

This blog is “meaningful activity” and has enriched my life tremendously.

I look forward to working with Sandra. This experience will be both educational and healing. It’ll also give me the opportunity to acquire new tools to help myself and others.

After reading her first email I learned the term “meaningful activities” and the crucial role they play in a healthy lifestyle. I am so excited about this learning journey I’m about to embark upon. Nothing gets me more excited, except for my wife and our upcoming EFV’s! 🙂

Already, Sandra has inspired deep, intellectual, soul searching thought. As a result, I have decided to write an ongoing blog series based solely on the food-for-thought which she inspires. The following three titles were derived from the very words she wrote in her initial email to me. I will kick start this series with:

 

#1) HOW I WAS AFFECTED BY OCCUPATIONAL DEPRIVATION

#2) CONSEQUENCES OF MY CRIME INSPIRE GREAT CHANGE

#3) ENGAGING IN MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES IS CRUCIAL TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

 

It is my greatest hope that this blog will plant seeds that will somehow reach your incarcerated loved one (or anyone else for that matter) and inspire positive change in those lives.

 

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Steven Jennings

 

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Rehabilitation, It’s My Choice

 

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I’m always hearing people say things like:

“DOC does not rehabilitate people”
“DOC makes people worst off”
“DOC doesn’t give a f**k!”

Unfortunately, the people who say things like this are exposing their attitude towards life in general. Perception is reality.

Prison is full of pessimism. Most of these guys in here focus on the negative. And the majority of their conversations are full of whining and complaining. It’s always everyone else’s fault, except their own. Some of them make valid points, but that’s it. They don’t follow it up with positive action.

Not too long ago I used to fight this environment with a bad attitude, harsh words, clinched fists, and devastating elbows. I was doing nothing to better myself. I recognized this. I wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. So I sought help from DOC (Department of Corrections).

I sent numerous requests for various treatments, such as CD, PTSD, MRT, VA, AM, etc. And every single request was denied! The reason being: my “time structure.” (aka: I have too much time left to serve). Unbelievable! I sought help, and they told me “NO”.

So, I had to help myself. I mean, if I really wanted to change, I didn’t need any classes to succeed. It sure would be helpful, but DOC had made their position clear…”NO HELP FOR GUYS DOING A LOT OF TIME.”

As I worked hard on myself and my attitude, I realized that there was still a major hump that I needed to get over. I still found myself on the verge of fighting. I’d be doing good, but then I would get into an argument which then resulted in a fight.

WTF!! I was actually putting forth a lot of effort to change my ways, yet I was still getting into fights. I asked myself why this keeps on happening?

I thought about that long and hard, day after day. I really didn’t like how I was failing. I should be able to control this aspect of my life. But I obviously couldn’t.

After a couple years since my last request for help, I wondered if maybe DOC would help me now? So, I tried again. I submitted several requests to get help.

Again, I am DENIED!

But wait! There’s a new program called “Redemption” and it’s open to all. I’ll do it!

I enjoyed it. I felt productive. I learned things about myself. I gained tools I could use to build a better me. Then five months later, it was over and I graduated from that class. I was getting along with my peers, and I was applying what I had learned. I was finally over that hump.

All was good, right? Wrong!

Within a few months I found myself in a heated argument. Dude swings on me with no real warning. He hits me twice before I slam him down on the cement floor. His head cracks open, he’s knocked out, and blood forms a huge pool under his head. I walk away. When its all said and done, I loose my EFV’s (Extended Family Visits) for 5 years, and I spend 3 weeks in the hole.

While in the hole, I requested help. But I was denied once again. This time because I’m only doing 3 weeks in the hole.

The help programs are designed for guys doing 3 months or more. Think about that for a minute. I’m denied self help programs because I’m doing too much time in prison AND because I’m not doing enough time in the hole.

But I wasn’t mad at DOC. I was mad at myself.

I was the one who kept doing this. I needed to figure this out. I needed to find something that would last longer than the length of any class. I needed to find a way to help myself and to impose my own goodwill within this environment. But how could I consistently do that?

Well, I am proud to say that I have finally found a way. I’ve created my own personal ministry. It involves daily meditation and inspiration rocks.

I know what inspires me…my family, love, peace, and living in harmony.

The challenge is…to remain focused throughout every second of every day.

That challenge can be difficult in here where I am surrounded by so much negativity. But thankfully, I‘ve found a way to channel my energy into a positive & rewarding form that brings me clarity.

Every morning before I get out of bed, I meditate. Meditation amplifies what I already know. It helps me to stay focused., and it also allows me to reset my mind and visualize a positive lifestyle.

In addition to meditation, I also hold my inspiration rocks. My mantra is to feel the rocks in my hand as I focus on the words written on them and their meaning to me. This helps to keep my mind alert, aware, open, and receptive. I now do this everyday, several times a day. It seems to be working. (Please see my blog titled: Inspiration Rocks).

My personalized daily mantra of meditation & inspiration rocks helps me to be more open to myself, and to others, as I expand my patience & tolerance level.

I want to be a peaceful man. And now, after 42 years, I am finally learning what it takes to achieve this…desire, dedication, and constant commitment.

Rehabilitation, it’s my choice. I’ll never give up.

 

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Steven Jennings

Two Poems

 

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Here is a poem I wrote back in the 1900’s…..1997 to be exact.

I remember it well. I was laying on my bunk staring at the ceiling…thinking…that I’m 24 years old with 39 years left to serve. I was also thinking about a girl I liked before I came to prison.

 

MY SITUATION

Sometimes I sit in my cell and I think of you girl,
and I think of the life I once had in this world.

 

I remember the feelings that I enjoyed so much,
now I long for the feelings created by your touch.

 

There’s so much pain that dwells in my heart,
it’s a pain that I feel in times I’m apart……
Apart from my family, my world, and love, passion filled romance is all I dream of.

 

There’s a pain I can’t fully explain,
but as I travel on it slowly drives me insane.

 

What will this do to me down the road,
after 20 years without a woman to hold.

 

The thought is scary the situation is real,
I’ve seen the results turn hearts to steel.

 

So I lay on my bed and look at the ceiling,
then my body gets chills from the love that I’m feeling.

 

I block out this joint with fantasies of you,
as I hope and pray for a love that’s true.

 

That was 18 years ago. As I read this poem, I’m struck by the part that says, “What will this do to me down the road, after 20 years without a woman to hold.” Because at the time I still had 40 years to serve. So why didn’t I say,”…after 40 years without a woman to hold.”?

But wait! There’s more. Suzie and I just had our 1 year anniversary. That means only 2 more years before we get our EFV’s. So the poem was right. From the time I wrote it, I’ll have gone 20 years without holding a woman…..soft and slow…..all night long….for 48 hours! OMGoodness. I get excited just thinking about it!

Wanna hear the type of poems I write when I get excited about our EFV’s? Naw…I better not.

But I will share this one…it’s called “Suzie”. I wrote it 12-24-12, just 3 weeks after we met.

 

SUZIE

Suzie excites my mind.
Is love blind?

 

It could be.
Look at you,
look at me.

 

We’ve never met.
Yet, this feeling I’ll never forget.

 

Miles apart,
still I feel you in my heart.

 

With every letter,
this feeling gets better.

 

As we know each other longer,
my feelings get stronger.

 

It seems so crazy, these feelings so soon.
Met in December, married in June.
Absolute proof, our souls in-tune.

 

This love will make you a Mother.
First a daughter.
Then her brother.

 

Say the word and I’m all in.
A beautiful creation from within the pen.

 

Whatever you want I will do.
My love and devotion belongs to you.

 

Who knew life could be this sweet?
But that’s what happens when soul mates meet.

 

We didn’t get married in June. But I wanted to. I sent Suzie the marriage forms in only my 9th letter to her. I knew she was The One. When you know, you know. We have found true love in each other. 🙂

 

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Steven Jennings

Proverbs Chapter 17 & 18

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Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

Out of all 28 verses in chapter 17, this one stands out the most. I’ve been in so many fist fights its pitiful. And they all started due to a quarrel that I was unable to drop. I just kept on and on…until it came to blows. How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years, is a perfect example of that.

 

Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom. Proverbs 17:16

After I re-read a post I wrote (With Every Hardship Comes An Equal Seed Of Opportunity), I realized that some of my priorities are out of order. Paragraph five of that post is evident of that, it reads: My passion to make millions has now become a healthy obsession. It’s the main topic of my conversations, thoughts, and dreams. It has consumed me in a healthy, positive way. It sets the bar of balance high. When I achieve financial success, I expect all my other personal characteristics, morals, and attributes to elevate along with it.

What a foolish way to think!

First and foremost, I need wisdom. The kind of wisdom that can only be acquired through the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is what sets the bar of balance high. That is what will elevate all my other personal characteristics, attributes, and financial gain.

Today my passion is in the word of God. My healthy obsession is to live each day in accordance to the scriptures. The topics of my conversations come across with love, understanding and respect.

 

CHAPTER 18

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

Hey! I found a wife. I found love. I’ve found what is good. And I receive favor from the Lord. AND I’M IN PRISON. The Lord knows no boundaries.

Thank you for reading.

 

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Steven Jennings

Random Thoughts…

 

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It’s cool to have something like Stone City Blog and Stone City Publishing, LLC in my life. Especially in prison. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

For years I sat around and absorbed the days while playing Pinochle. I made $250-500 per month. Consistently. That’s counting my $55 a month Porter pay.

I have to admit, I took great pride in hustling. I always conducted business with integrity, kept my word, and was respectful.

Now I have a new focus. It’s to be balanced. Breaking rules, hustling, and manipulating is nowhere in this equation. The #1 is: PRINCIPLE – the morals and values I base my life upon.

With that being said, I’ve completely stopped all gambling. I even gave up my fantasy football team. Something I NEVER thought I’d be able to do.

I did pray to Jesus about two months ago. I asked for the strength to COMPLETELY stop hustling. Then, outta the blue, I simply made a decision. And I’m gonna stick to it. It’s an actual step in the right direction, not just talk and meaningless thoughts.

My focus is on “Doing What’s Right”, Stone City Blog, & Stone City Publishing.

My sexy wife, Suzie, makes it all possible. She is the absolute best! I love this woman with all my heart & soul.

She has sacrificed so much because she married me. She’s only 29! Never been married. No kids. OMG…I got sooo lucky. I’ve never felt a love like this before. The way she loves me is incredible. She told me she worships me like a God. Talk about flattering. By the way she treats me, I believe it.

I’d like to ask all my readers something right now…Would you like to see us create an Erotica Blog?

The content would be intimate details regarding my EFV’s (Extended Family Visit’s) with my wife. The love, passion, romance, and powerful sex acts…tastefully written, of course. Similar to 50 Shades of Grey. But our fantasy meets reality. By the time our 1st EFV rolls around, I’ll have gone 23 years without a woman to hold and make love to.

I look forward to the feedback…let me know your thoughts.

Thank you.

 

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Steven Jennings

My Prison Wedding

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As you all know, I recently got married. I was surprised at how surprised some of you were. My Aunt Mindy didn’t even know I could get married while in prison. Mindy…thank you for your kind comment and your support. I cannot wait for my entire family to meet my wife!

Well do you all know that in April of 2017, I’ll be getting conjugal visits with my wife? OMG! Talk about excitement. Suzie and I will get to spend 48 hours together. Alone. Naked. Free to do anything we desire. We’ll be able to have these visits (called EFV’s) every 40 days or so. EFV stands for Extended Family Visit.

EFV’s are allowed with immediate family only: mom, dad, brothers, sisters, wife, kids, and grandparents. No aunts, cousins, step parents, or anything like that. The only thing better than an EFV with my family, is an EFV with my wife. But first, I had to get married. Here is how the whole marriage process worked:

#1) First off…I found the love of my life. (see: How I Found Love From Within Prison).

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#2) After I found my lovely soon-to-be-wife, we had to fill out lots of paperwork. Some of that paperwork was to inform Suzie of what I am in prison for and for how long. She also received a summary of my actual crime. Then they ask her if she still wants to proceed.

They do all this because inmates lie and manipulate. Not all, but most. As for me, I’ve always been honest and upfront. Everything DOC told Suzie, I had already told her. And then some.

#3) After Suzie agreed to proceed, we had to do some pre-marital counseling with Reverend Walker. He concluded that we are a good fit, he had no objections, and he recommended that our marriage process advance to the next stage.

#4) Then Suzie and I each had to write an essay to the Facility Risk Management Team (FRMT), which they then look over and either approve or deny our marriage. We were approved!

Essay topic: why we wanted to get married. For two people as in love as we are, that topic was a piece of cake!

#5) Suzie got our marriage license while visiting me here in WA. Normally, the intended bride and groom must fill this out together in person. We did it through the postal service. She sent it to me to get signed and notarized, then I sent it back to her to get signed and notarized. It took longer than normal, but it got completed.

#6) Then it was time to set a date. We asked for Feb. 20th. They gave us Feb. 27th.

***

On Feb 20th, Suzie left California and started her 14 hour drive to Washington. On that very day is when a huge gang fight broke out. SCCC went on lockdown! We were going to spend Fri, Sat, Sun, & Mon visiting with one another before our wedding ceremony.

Things didn’t go as planned. All visits got canceled. We had absolutely no way to contact each other. Even our wedding date was in jeopardy of getting canceled. It was torture being so close, yet unable to visit. But we both remained positive & strong as we waited this out.

Finally the lockdown was cleared. I was able to call my fiancé to tell her that our wedding was still on!

At 10am on Feb 27th, I walked into the visiting room and saw my beautiful bride. Thirty minutes later, it was official…we were husband & wife.

Suzie is an amazing woman to have married me under these circumstances. Every girl dreams about their wedding day. None of those dreams take place in a prison visiting room.

We kept our ceremony to the bare minimal, small and simple. We had 2 witness’s: my buddy Matt Ruth (see Guiltyashellrecords.com), and my wonderful mother.

I have promised to give my wife the wedding of her dreams when I come home. Whatever my lady wants, she shall have. And it all starts with my love and devotion. I will give her the love she desires. I will honor and respect her at all times. I will constantly strive to be her dream man. It’s the least I can do for my lady who is willing to ride this out with me.

I love Suzie dearly with my whole heart. I am forever hers.

My thoughtful sister has created a Honey Fund for Suzie & I. To learn more, please visit the link here: http://www.honeyfund.com/wedding/jennings.

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My First Visit With Suzie

 

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Suzie and I have been writing each other for 9 months. I have 147 letters from her. I absolutely love this woman! (For more on how we met, please read my blog: How I Found Love From Within Prison.)

After 9 months of letters, emails, and a few phone calls, she decided it was time that we met face to face. So she rented a car and drove 800 miles to Aberdeen, WA. It was only 20 minutes prior to our 1st visit that I became aware of her trip. I could not believe that I was about to meet her in person. My weekend just got a whole lot better. All these months of writing…and she was HERE!

As I walked into the visiting room, she gracefully stood up. I gave her a big, long hug & kissed her soft lips. We both couldn’t stop smiling. For the next 3 days we got to know each other on a deep personal level. We talked about family, love, relationships, marriage, and our plans for the future. We played games, held hands, snuck kisses, and spent hours enjoying each others company. I asked her if she really wanted to marry me. She said yes. I explained to her all the challenges that exist within these type of relationships, then I asked her again. She said yes.

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I am so impressed with this woman. She is smart, beautiful, sincere, and so kind hearted. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Her sweet demeanor melts my heart. Her soft voice soothes my soul. Looking into her beautiful eyes gives me butterflies. I really found someone I can love forever.

After 3 days of 8 hour visits, it was time for her to head back to CA. I missed her the instant she left my side. After she was gone, I felt like a puppy after its owner has left for the day. Inside I was weeping.

The next day, I called her to make sure she got home safely. That’s when she told me that she was still in Aberdeen, and that she extended her stay to visit me for another full weekend. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited! My tail was wagg’n. I absolutely love how much Suzie loves me.

I spent those next visits lost in her emerald green eyes, kissing her hands, and expressing my love towards her. It’s incredible all of the feelings that she makes me feel. I am so happy, and I am so lucky that we have found one another.

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Suzie is my reward for being such a good boy and for being so patient. I will always cherish her and treat her with nothing but love & respect. She is my precious gem and I will forever treasure her.

I can’t wait to see her again. I can’t wait to marry her and to have our special EFV’s together. I can’t wait to show her just how much I love her…all night long…for 48 hours straight!

I love you Baby! You are the love of my life.

Steven Jennings