December 27, 2004
I have read your book "Hell Behind Prison Walls"
with great interest. I saw an article in the Press-Enterprise of Bloomsburg, PA
several months ago. The article drew my interest to purchase the book. My wife
and I were in a bookstore in the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg when I saw your
book on display. I requested she purchase it as a Christmas present for me. She
did. Christmas Day evening, I read the book from cover to cover.
I spent 13 1/2 years working for the Pennsylvania DOC
(Department of Corrections) as an Arts & Crafts teacher. My primary task
was teaching cabinetmaking. Not every year was hell as you experienced;
however, much of what you described is exactly what almost every employee is
subjected to on the job with DOC.
Pennsylvania is just as bad
as the New York
system and getting worse. My years from 1999 to 2004 were my hell
years; although, the worst time was from 2000 to 2002. I was royally put
through the ringer. I have learned that unions are basically useless; except,
they take your money with promises that never come true. They are in bed with
management at the top levels. As a state employee, you have absolutely nowhere
to turn for help. I retired in June of this year. It took about two weeks for
reality to settle in; however, the first day that I was retired it felt good
not having to punch a time clock and begin to watch my back for a staff member or
especially an administrator that was going to stab me or relieve me of my job.
We weren't allowed to be one minute late to punch the clock. That is another
story. It is wonderful to be FREE!
I must close because I am meeting a former college for lunch
today. I wanted to take these few minutes to make contact with you. I
appreciated the fact that someone who was associated with the system has told
his story of abuse to the public. I believe there are more of us
who need to be telling it too.