Reentry (by Michael aka Polish Avenger)

After serving 25 years, my friend Michael who I met in Arizona prison, was recently released. He is the author of the amazing and compelling shit-slinger series of blog entries. A former software-engineering undergraduate, Michael was sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary of a store they were both committing. Here's his blog about his release:

 Why Is One of the Finest Minds of our Generation Cleaning Toilets? The Shocking Answers Below!

Re-Entry:  Life After Prison
Installment 1 
By Michael 
Aka The Polish Avenger 

                The journey from free life into prison is one of great culture shock; the transition back out is equally disorienting.  To many ex-convicts, it is too much to handle, particularly when the reality sets in of just how difficult it can be to get a foothold back in society. 

                Hurdles abound:
                                (1) one cannot work without a Social Security card that takes two weeks to obtain. 
                                (2) From there, one must get either a State ID or Driver’s License in order to cash checks or open a bank account; at least two more weeks. 
                                (3) Then, to sign up for government assistance and medical care, you have to get a copy of your birth certificate; minimum of  $17.75 and at least two more weeks.

So that’s six weeks a person would have to somehow support themselves on the $100 that DOC garnishes from your account while you are inside. 

Not an easy proposition…

Thankfully my own experience has been far wide of the norm.  My family has been exceptionally supportive, and I was hired into a volunteer position three days after release.  So I personally am doing fine, but for the average fellow who has to stay in a halfway house and work under the table, the frustration could (and has) easily drive them back into crime just to get some money for daily needs. 

So as to why I am currently scrubbing toilets at the local church - it’s my job, and I enjoy it. J

Shaun Attwood

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