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FALL 2000 - Homepage ART & ARTIST History as TODAY REACTIONS

Ohio Reformatory for Women
October 1, 2000

Dearest Bircan,

Happy month of October!

This morning I got up at 6 AM, said my prayers, and got dressed to go to breakfast. Ms. Carlin, the C.O. (Correctional Officier) said "No breakfast," because the institution changed the location and time without letting us know!

I'm determined to make life pleasant and easy on myself. So I came back to my room and had tea with honey in it and a slice of bread with penaut butter and honey.

I shared the tea and peanut butter with my roommate. We had a peaceful, enjoyable tea party in our room. It beat the noise and commotion of the inmates' dining room.

God gave us a beatiful earth and sky and God gave us beatiful lives. I'm determined to enjoy them -- against all odds -- with my beatiful friends, who have given me strength.

I have two friends now whose company I love -- Stacy and Trudy -- and we have fun together.

Because I am in the yard crew, I have certain advantages. I can walk all over the compound with other members of the yard crew or by myself. Stacy and I discovered walnut and pecan trees. We sat down and enjoyed fresh pecans and walnuts (illegally!) and talked about girls scouts, camping, beauty and nature.

Stacy is 32 years old, has three children, and has lived on the streets. She borrows stuff from people all the time: coffee, sugar, candy, etc. So on the morning of September 12, when Trudy offered Stacy some coffee, Stacy said, "On Friday I shop. I'll bring donuts and we'll have a party. We'll have a good time. You guys bring the coffee."

Then we started talking about where our little plan of having a good time might end at ORW -- life sentences without parole!

Here is the story of how a simple cookout -- like we used to have in the girl scouts -- could lead to life sentences without parale.

"Moonpies" are sold in the commissary (our store at ORW). They have marshmallows in them. So we thought of taking the marshmallows, adding graham crackers and chocolate, and making "s'mores (some mores) in the microwave.

Then Stacy talked about a camp she went to and how someone dug a hole and put a grill on it and cooked potatoes, tomatoes, and onions.

The sky is the limit! Our imaginations and our saliva glands worked overtime!

Then we thought of going behind the building where the staff eat their lunch, digging a hole, stealing potatoes from the kitchen, picking tomatoes in the backyard, exchanging a pack of cigarettes for some onions and peppers, and then having our very own cookout at ORW.

What kind of criminal charges should be brought against us for such behavior?

Well, stealing potatoes would be aggravated burglary, and cooking the food over an open a fire would be aggravated arson.

Climbing up a tree 9which we would do for the sheer enjoyment of nature) would cause us to be charged with attempted escape because the trees are near the fence. It is also destruction of state property.

We would also be charged with:

1. Disrespect -- because we lied about our activity by taking time off for fun instead of doing the work we were supposed to to.

2. Lying.

3. Disobedience to a direct order -- we were told to work but played hooky instead.

4. Being "out of place" --because we sat in the tree branches.

5. Starting a riot -- because the group consisted of more than two (Stacy, Trudy, and I).
So far this is the number of years we could get sentenced to for these "crimes":

Aggravated Burglary and Arson
Attempted Escape (flat time)
Destruction of State Property, Disrespect, and Lying

Disobedience to direct authority, being out of Place, Stagin a Riot,
And Wheeling & Dealing (buying onions)
and peppers with a pack of cigarettes

and we used skewers on the fire made out of tree Branches

That would also be possession of a weapon

If we wanted to do more time, we could pick
--this would result in a drug charge

We could also paint leaves growing on the trees
-- more destruction of state

3 years
5 years

6 years


10 years

2 years

15 years

no parole


2 more


This was a fun conversation with a deep, thouhgt-provoking lesson. Given the fact that we might have an aggressive prosecutor, we might even get LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE!!

All these because we had a picnic -- like girls scouts -- at ORW.

Where is society going?!!



This issue is dedicated to: FM-2030
The Ligh Millennium TV The Light Millennium

of Fall 2000


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