A Letter From Robert

This post is a transcription of a handwritten letter I received from Robert. All typos I made should be blamed on Robert, because that’s what so cool about him not being here to defend himself. As with last time, I’ll forward any comments people leave in this thread onto Robert. –Amp


A typical day in prison.


Dear Barry –

Thank you so much for your gracious letter of 8/13. I read it with a beaming smile on my face. It’s very easy to get “closed up” in prison, to forget that you have friends and loved ones on the outside. Letters like yours break that illusion, and do a lot of good.

You are correct that my robbery was unarmed – no gun involved. (“I just don’t see the point of those things.” -Buffy) Also, that I could be out in a year. Actually, I could be out on “community corrections” (i.e., a halfway home with supervised living and work release – not freedom, but a damn sight better than prison) right now – but that process can take up to 6 months. So I’m expecting quasi-freedom by February 2015 and actual freedom (though with parole) around July 2015.

“Expecting” is too strong a word. “Hoping and planning,” perhaps. Because they don’t have to give community corrections, or parole. They generally do but these are grants of privilege, not rights. So, bird in the hand and all that.

If anyone would like to write me, their letters would be most welcome. My DOC # is 165970 and my current status and mailing address can be seen at the Colorado Department of Corrections website. Note that parole eligibility and release dates are listed there, but these dates are “worst-case” dates that do not account good time, earned time, etc.

For those who have progressed past the material plane and communicate only electronically, there is a website called Jpay.com that allows you to send an e-mail message to me. I receive the message as a letter – they print it out here at the facility. There is a charge for the service but I believe it is competitive with postal rates. All you need is my DOC number.

JPay can also be used to put funds on an inmate’s account, for the purpose of hygiene items, food, and other lifestyle items. Far be it from em to solicit in my own behalf, but I feel obliged to note that as left-liberal dupes, you are all morally bound to support convicts in unearned, undeserved luxury. I’m just sayin’. (Come on, convict-hugging suckers! Daddy needs that flatscreen TV!)

In seriousness, though, I have recognized that my behavior was unacceptable, and my thinking prior to my crime had spiraled into a very dark place. Barry’s preferred cartoon, the “I’m already hurt” one, did not spark a smile on this end because the joke isn’t a joke; it’s reality. Robbery puts a human being in fear. One can rail against the banks 24/7 and get no argument from me; banks are the devil. But tellers are not the devil, they are young men or women who have done nothing wrong other than going to work one morning. And tellers have no way of knowing that a given robber has no actual intention to harm them. I made no threat or show of force; I was at pains to be polite. But Ms. Prudhomme (the teller) was trembling in fear the entire time.

That is indefensible. That is monstrous. I should be, and am, ashamed of that. The bank will get its money back; where does Ms. Prudhomme go to get her sense of safety, her security, her ability to go to work unconcerned, back?

She can’t, and that is 100% on me. So, fuck me. Fuck that guy.

Not self-blaming or self-hatred, just recognition of where the moral responsibility for outcomes lies. Right here.

Well, that got heavy. Let’s go to the mailbox and respond to the comments.

G&W: Incorrect. Tellers are under instructions per bank policy to give money to anyone vaguely engaged in robber-like conduct. They make no assessment or assumptions about the threat. The robbery statutes in Colorado do make that assessment; robbery requires force, threat of force, or intimidation. Use of a weapon is an aggravating factor. that makes it a more serious felony.

Thank you beyond words for giving me the opportunity to be a pedantic lecturer with a 0% chance that a 240-pound man named “Crush” will become aggrieved and destroy me. I’ve missed it.

Brian: I do in fact remember you. Thank you for the good and wise advice, even if stolen. If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

Elusis: It’s the “incredibly handsome” one. Please make a note of it.

Ben: People who are as wrong as you as often as you should learn to be grateful for correction, not ticked. You keep that up, you’ll wind up in prison.

Jake: Laugh while you can, lackey of the Pop-Tart fascist movement. One day the people will stand up to your imperialist running-dog false state and then it will be your turn against the wall.

True fact: in El Paso County Jail you can get Pop-Tarts on the commissary ordering system. The only available flavor: blueberry.


Grace: I remember that exchange. Damn it, if we can’t apologize when we fuck up, what good are we to anyone? I’m glad you cot value out of the the conversation. I did too, as I always do from you.

Well, that sums up my comment responses. Again, thank you all for taken a moment to brighten my day.

One last word. I plan on getting my life together, starting with my thinking. As a wise fellow inmate told me, “this is the department of CORRECTIONS.” I appreciate all of your honesty and kind wishes, and look forward to returning to Alas in a year or so, to explain to you all once more how you’re wrong etc. I love you guys.

Except for Jake. Jake will burn forever in the special Hell reserved for Pop-Tart sinners and heretics. (You burn for 30 seconds, then pop into the air, flip around, and descend back into the Hell for 30 seconds on the other side. Repeat until you acknowledge the divine suzerainty of strawberry.)



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12 Responses to A Letter From Robert

  1. 1
    Simple Truth says:

    Thanks for posting this. I managed to miss the other post detailing what had happened (thanks for the linkback) and have spent the last 20 minutes at my desk in shock.

    That being said, ….. well, it’s nice to have comments from Robert again here. It seems like he’s not in the jpay system yet, so I guess I’ll wait on sending him witty retorts.

  2. 2
    Ledasmom says:

    Robert, you’re writing from prison and you’re still making me giggle like a hyena on nitrous. Well done. Hope the getting-the-life-back-together thing goes well for you.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    Glad he’s kept his sense of humor and, erm…Robertness. I have always been more of a lurker than a commenter, so I doubt he remembers me, but I remember a few debates we had. I hope he’s out soon.

  4. 4
    Elusis says:

    He’s in the system now.

    I’m gonna pledge right now to send him money at least 4 times while he’s in. Because I’m a morally bankrupt criminal-coddling liberal atheist moonbat, and that’s how I roll.

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    Simple truth: He’s in the Jpay system, but you may have to try “search again” – twice now, I’ve seen Robert fail to come up on the first search but come up immediately upon a second search.

    I’m planning to send him money on the condition that three times a day, every day, Robert stands in his cell facing East (towards MIT) and pledges absolute and total fealty to Noam Chomsky.

  6. 6
    Elusis says:

    Amp, your strategy is so obvious that it’s going to tip our hand about our Nefarious Liberal Plan.

    Anyway, he *should* have to face west, toward the Left Coast.

  7. 7
    Ben Lehman says:

    Man, when I was your age islamo-liberals had to pray five times a day.

  8. 8
    Jake Squid says:

    I’ve tried looking it up but I can’t find an answer. Is your DOC# yours for all time? Or do you get a new one the next time you’re imprisoned? In Oregon, for example, your Driver License # is yours and only yours and, should you let it lapse and then reapply, it becomes yours once again. Is the DOC# like that?

  9. 9
    Simple Truth says:

    Thanks Amp! I was able to find him in the system and send him a letter of complete bleeding-heart liberalness. I’m not sure Robert will want to be your friend anymore if he knows you helped me. ;)

    @Jake – I had to make sure I didn’t accidentally copy the space before it would work. Even though it didn’t seem like it had a space before the number, it seemed to mess everything up.

  10. 10
    RonF says:

    If he faces in that direction he can also take as his inspiration one of the Institute’s more notable alumni who has made far more important contributions to the world than Noam Chomsky could ever dream of doing – Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Pay society what you owe and then hurry back, Robert, I need reinforcement.

  11. 11
    mythago says:

    @Jake Squid, try again – it may just not have been in the database.

    I look forward to Robert’s being transferred to an institution where we can send him uplifting reading material.

  12. 12
    Brian says:

    thanks for letting me know his ID # got posted, I’ll write him this weekend. It’s a shame the Colorado prison system only allows NEW books from Amazon, I’m too poor for that these days.