The United States Department of Justice presides over an army of prosecutors, FBI agents, Federal officers, prison guards, and various other paramilitary units ready to fight the war on crime. There are thousands of criminal laws on the books that criminalize all kinds of human behavior, not just drug dealing. On any given day, you could be committing a federal crime and not even realize it.
The Feds enacted thousands of rules and regulations that they are required to follow. Yet the Feds get to bend and break their own rules whenever they want, largely with impunity. The Feds expect everyone else to strictly follow the rules, but when it comes to Federal employees, the rules don’t get interpreted so strictly.
The Feds enacted a number of rules on how to determine which jail to send a convicted felon. Not all felons are created equal. Some are violent and get locked up in the super max. Others are non-violent and get sent to a prison camp, which has less security. I was locked up in the Otisville prison camp, which is located next door to the Otisville medium security prison. The security isn’t much different. You still have guards walking around watching you all the time. You can go outside but you know the location of the perimeter of the camp, or you better know it, or you will get charged with escape if you cross the line.
Most prisoners would prefer to be locked up in a camp than a maximum security “pen” not so much because of the security level. Most guys would rather be in a camp because the inmates in a camp are much different than the inmates locked up in a pen. The guys in the pen have histories of extreme violence. Most guys in the medium also have histories of violence, or were charged with a crime involving violence. Most guys in the camp were charged with white collar type of crimes, where the only blood they ever saw was from a papercut.
The Feds have rules they must follow to determine to who gets sent to the pen and who gets sent to a camp. Guys convicted of violent crimes do not get sent to the camps. Drug dealing is not considered a violent crime. But violence or threats of violence goes hand in hand with dealing drugs. You are not going to find many hard core drug dealers who do not possess firearms. Yet if a drug dealer works out a plea agreement where he pleads just to dealing drugs, he is considered non violent and can go into the camp and terrorize the white collar guys who never met a drug dealer in their lives.
When I was locked up there was a “non-violent” drug dealer named Russell. Yet he was anything but non-violent. He threatened and intimidated the white collar guys all day long. He probably shook down a few guys, which is very common in prison. Pay me $1000 a month and I won’t beat the hell out of you. Your only hope is to find another guy who will protect you for only $100 a month, which isn’t hard to do, as most guys are totally broke in prison, and need a couple of hundred dollars a month just to make phone calls, send emails, and buy stamps.
Russell was orginally busted for drug dealing and making false statements in order to purchase a firearm. The firearms charge was dropped in a plea deal. He eventually made his way to Otisville prison camp as a non-violent drug dealer, after spending some time in other prisons. While he was locked up for a few years he accumulated a disciplinary record. He was locked up in the SHU a few times.
Eventually Russell finished his sentence and went home and was monitored by the Office of US Probation. But he failed a few urine tests. He got fired from his job after he had a “physical altercation” with another employee. He didn’t tell Probation that he got fired. Its not a good idea to lie to Probation. He started dealing drugs again. When the Probation officers made a spot check at his apartment they found baggies of drugs in his apartment. They found another felon hanging out in the apartment. A cell phone revealed drug transactions. He admitted to the Probation officer that he was shooting heroin and using benzos and oxys.
You can’t really blame Russell for dealing drugs. He is clearly a drug addict. The years he spent in prison didn’t help him quit the habit. The drug and alcohol quitting program offered by the Feds, ie. RDAP, only helps inmates who want to be helped. Plus the RDAP program encourages inmates to get other inmates in trouble, and rat each other out. The RDAP program doesn’t have much to do with quitting drugs and alcohol. It is about “character building.” An inmate who is serious about quitting drugs and alcohol doesn’t need the RDAP program. The Feds haven’t devised a program to help inmates with a serious drug addiction. The Feds don’t seem to care that a guy like Russell leaves prison without any money, with an unresolved drug addiction and unresolved anger management and violence issues.
The American prison system is in the dark ages when compared to prison systems in other modern countries. Other countries have a plan in place for the inmate after he is released from jail, which would include a job, a place to live, a support network, etc… They just don’t throw him out on the streets where he will end up committing more crime.
The Feds threw Russell out on the streets with an unresolved drug problem. He went back to dealing drugs and got busted. The Feds didn’t charge him with drug dealing. They already had him for violation of his supervised release. They didn’t want to spend more time and money prosecuting Russell for dealing drugs. The Feds can’t handle the backlog of cases that they are already working on. Federal drug investigations and prosecutions can take years, without making any dent in the drug trade, a complete waste of time and resources.
When Russell got busted by the Office of Adult Probation, Russell got locked up in Albany. He lives in Albany. He has family and fiends there. The judge who sentenced him in the probation case recommended that he stay locked up in Albany. Yet Russell, who had a weapons charge dropped, who has a disciplinary history with the Bureau of Prisons, who lost his job because of a violent confrontation with a co-worker, was sent to the low security Otisville prison camp. How did that happen?
The Feds will never reveal how Russell ended up at the Otisville camp. There is no transparency with the Federal government, especially when it comes to law enforcement. You would think that the Feds were working on the Manhattan Project. Everything is top secret. All one can do is speculate to try to understand how the Justice Department works.
Some would speculate that Russell helped the Feds with another investigation which is why he was sent to the camp. But nowhere in the Federal rules does it say that rats get rewarded with a camp. If the Feds strictly followed their own rules Russell wouldn’t be anywhere near a prison camp.
I don’t believe Russell ratted out other drug dealers. The Probation Office was only concerned with whether Russell complied with the terms of probation. The Probation Office doesn’t bust drug dealers. When the Feds bust drug dealers, the investigations are very long and extensive and target large scale drug operations.The Feds don’t bust small time dealers. The State cops go after the smaller time dealers. I guess it is possible that the Federal probation office contacted the local cops, who busted drug dealers who were associated with Russell, and Russell helped put them away. But that would seem far fetched. The state cops wouldn’t need Russell’s help. The drug dealers were all caught red handed by the Federal Probation officers.
The question still remains as to why Russell ended up in a camp. Could it be that the blueboyz wanted him there? Did they want him there to keep the other inmates in line? Inmates are far more effective at controlling other inmates than the blueboyz. The blueboyz have to follow rules and regulations. Blueboyz can only threaten to send you to the SHU if you act out. An inmate can threaten to knock your teeth out.