Who I Am. From 1990 until 08Jul2011, I was an inmate of the federal Bureau of Prisons. I spent that time in over a dozen institutions at almost every security and custody level. I was in long enough to witness prisoners coming in who had not been born when I started.
Back in 1990 with a 25-yr bit I took the long view. Acquiring information and resources, knowledge and skills, seemed to me to be a worthy goal, or at least one that could not easily be “seized and forfeited” by the retribution & punishment crowd. I’ve been able to complete fully accredited degrees up thru a doctorate in psychology (PsyD).
While I use the nom de guerre, Dr. Publico, my name is Nick Medvecky, prisoner #12155-039. I was a journalist and a criminal/civil investigator for most of my adult life.
The public has been taught to view prison life as a violent confrontation of social predators. One of the first realities that new prisoners learn is that the overwhelming majority are statutory felons, not violent or sociopathic; people who’ve been criminalized by a variety of legislated consensual “crimes.”
Most are simply youth who’ve never experienced anything beyond their poor neighborhoods. Others are brutal murderers, rapists and corporate thieves who stole what others took a lifetime working for.
There is no shortage of doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, mafia leaders, bankers, stock-brokers, CEOs, an Indian chief or two, and military, police, and intelligence officers. I’ve known many of them.
There are no less than 10 million felons in this nation, 2.4 million of whom are currently incarcerated (27% of the federal prison population are “aliens,” mostly Hispanic). Another 5 million-or-so are under direct criminal justice supervision (for a current total of 7.3 million).
While the US is 5% of the world’s population, it holds 25% of the world’s prisoners. Considering that we have perhaps an average of 3-each concerned family and loved ones, the total number is a minimum of some 40 million souls having direct concern in the American criminal justice system.
This mass base cuts across virtually all demographic lines in American and world society. If this mass were ever informed, mobilized and fully enfranchised, we could constitute a major political force.
I welcome your joining us in this journey.
Dr. Publico, May 2012.