Notes from the Land of Oz


The day after Dan’s parole hearing I found him leaning against the rail on the second tier looking glum. 

Professional Courtesy

I arrived at the Receiving and Diagnostics Unit of the New Hampshire State Prison in June. It was a sultry summer. R & D is not known for its accommodations. My cell was a five by seven foot metal box that I shared with another inmate. There was barely space for a bunk and the stainless steel toilet-sink combination. We spent twenty-two hours a day locked down. A few tattered paperback novels provided the only distraction.

The First Week's Rent

Alvah was a small sixty-something guy who looked even smaller in his oversized prison-issue jeans jacket, hands stuffed deep in the pockets.

Take Me As I Am

The first time I met Chris was at a rehearsal for the Catholic choir. Chris was from Kentucky. I figured maybe he was a lapsed Baptist or Methodist - definitely not a Catholic. But, most of us in the choir weren’t Catholic. We just wanted to sing and the choir was a respite from the daily grind of prison.

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