USA: Free Range Prison

I hate to break this news to folks who haven’t yet connected the dots: You are in Federal Prison, right now.

DHS Chief said: “I can build you a perfectly safe city, but it will look like a prison,” he warned.

Let me break this down for any reader refusing to accept reality:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons identifies four (4) levels of prisons. High, Medium, Low and Minimum.

‘SuperMax’ is a unit within High security prisons. ‘Camps’ are the Minimum level facilities. (Forget whatever you think you know about ‘Club Fed’ Camps – they do not exist.)

Now, brace yourselves: There is a fifth level. Look around, you are in it. I call it ‘Free Range Prison’.

Don’t think so? In a camp you have no fences, no walls, no barbed wire, no perimeter guards, no armed guards. There are no jail cells, no bars. You have vending machines and a day job. You have a convenience store. You have no forced ‘bed time’. You have unlimited television. You can move from A to B at will, most of the time. If you have ever been to college, you understand 80% of the Federal Minimum Prison experience. If you have been to boot camp – you have experienced a higher state of ‘restrictive’ lifestyle than prisoners in a Federal Camp. Prison is defined by the loss of your Rights. Click through the Bill of Rights – when you are in prison you lose those Rights. (Not all – at least not openly. Even in prison the ‘rules’ can make it expensive if your Rights are infringed improperly.)

Now, for this fifth level that we all share, the Free Range Prison.

We have no fences either. But if you get within 100 miles of the edge of the ‘prison property’ you are subject to intervention by armed guards (Border/Customs). Anywhere within this magical fifth-level, you can be ‘Stopped & Frisked’ essentially at whim by armed agents. Your house can be ransacked without a court order. Your property (real and otherwise) confiscated at the discretion of the ‘Guards’ (You call them ‘Police’ and ‘bureaucrats’.) You may be armed only to the extent they permit – and in no case are you allowed to arm yourself and display the same arms the Guards possess. Your ‘Free Speech” is not free – there are penalties if you get out of hand by wagging your tongue. (Proof? Look at how many Patriots are afraid to get on the radar. In a ‘Free’ environment, there would be no such fear.) Our calls are monitored. Our mail (snail mail and email) is inspected as they see fit. Our travel is logged and interrupted as they see fit. We must present our papers on demand, especially when travelling. When traveling by air we are challenged by Men and Machines and forced into pat-downs or through cattle-chutes where we are given cavity searches. (Oh, you thought you’d never been ‘cavity searched’?) Who you know is known to the ‘Guards’. With whom you interact is known. Interacting with the ‘wrong sort’ will get check-marks by your name in a file. Consider how many times every single day we must acquire ‘permission’ (in one form or another) from ‘the Guards’ before we may do X or Y. That is not Freedom or Liberty. That’s called Prison, cupcake.

The biggest differences between Minimum and Free Range prison levels? Conjugal visits, cell phones, internet access and the ability to travel. That’s about it. Don’t get me wrong – nothing is off the menu. Lobster, alcohol, drugs and women are available to anyone who wants such things – and can afford them. And I’m not talking about alcohol brewed on-site (though it exists) – I mean if you want a bottle of Stoli, properly chilled, it is available (no guard corruption necessary.) Everyone has access to a cell phone. Everyone has access to a DVD player and the latest releases (and a porn library that is only rivaled by the internet itself.)

Here’s the bottom line: The list of activities in which you are not allowed to participate when in Federal Camp, and the list of activities in which you are not allowed to participate in Free Range prison – are written on the same bureaucratic form. The only difference for people in Free Range – a few boxes are left unchecked. Be careful – it is really, really easy to get yourself bumped from Free Range to Camp. For ‘the Guards’ it only takes a little paperwork.

“I ain’t no damned slave or prisoner – I have weapons!” Oh, you dear, naive Special Snowflake.

Reality – you can ignore it all you want. But that doesn’t change the facts…


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