As I sit here staring out of my window a memory of you crosses my mind.
It was a memory from your graduation day. The letter I gave to you @ Mom’s.
I can see the joy & tears of love on your face. I want you to know that the love
I felt for you on that day has grown. It has became a mountain of love on this day.
That memory alone has taken me away from the Twilight Zone, ( Federal Prison),
for just a few minutes today. For a moment today I’ve left the Zone & joined you @ homeThank you for this wonderful memory of a beautiful time we shared.
Your spirit has come into the Zone & brought me a special joy & peace today.
I love you sis.
Love Your Brother, JW.

“Clemency Project”

The Clemency Project as conducted during the Administration of President Obama comes to a close with the final days of his service, 330 sentence commutations were granted on his final full day in office, January 21, 2017. The powers exercised by a sitting President include the use of clemency to reduce court ordered prison terms for individuals the President deems harsh under currently existing law. Clemency is potentially available to any non-violent inmate who has served 10 years of his original term of service.

During his time in office, President Obama recognized clemency to be a worthy attempt of America to be fair to many of her children who have been confined far too long. He has granted a total of 1,715 sentence commutations rendering President Obama the Grantor of the most commutations in a single day, 330, and the most during a term of office, 1,715. Not since President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 have so many Americans felt this level of hope for freedom. The comparison may seem strange; However, the hopes, the dreams, and the prayers for freedom for those in bondage remain the same.

As the Obama Clemency Project comes to an end, across the nation and from each point of the compass, it was followed by inmates with great anticipation. To many thousands within state and federal prisons, the project had given hope. Many, to-date, have received the welcome letter granting the clemency sought; thousands more have felt the crush of the receipt of the letter of denial. Many other’s fate today hangs in the balance awaiting the results of the President’s last full day.

Herein lies an account of a small group of inmates during the closing days of the Obama Presidency as viewed from the Twilight Zone of a prison through the eyes of “Twilight” along with a plea to a higher power for himself, (who anxiously awaits the listing of the final 330 commutations), and especially for those who have, to-date, been denied.

It was my original intention to wait for the completion of the Obama project and have final results in hand, knowing my personal fate in the process before rendering the enclosed information; however, after experiencing the flood of emotions of the past week, I felt now is the best time to share this account with you. In sharing this now, I am relieving my desire to implore you who may read this to reach out quickly to your fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, and other loved ones showing your deep and continued love and support of them and your desire for their freedom. The need for your help and support is now! For now, many of God’s children must look to the next administration in hope the clemency project will continue strongly and long awaited and needed prison reforms will become new law. Many continue to go through dark and dreary nights wondering what the future holds. The clemency project started by Obama is now in the hands of President Trump, awaiting a period to get cabinet members in place is expected but hope is still alive!

The most important thing is never give up hope, there is still hope for all qualified, continue to do the things that make the chance for freedom sooner. On behalf of each of us within the Twilight Zone, I’m thankful for your prayers, your support and your loving devotions, the fuel that moves us through the days, one day at a time! Thank you!! And God bless you and yours.


“The Last Week”

After being incarcerated for decades, I’ve felt sure that I’d faced the worst mental trials possible and I had, until last week. The week President Obama left office ending the most aggressive Clemency Project of any President with the commutation of 330 sentences his final day. Mine could possibly be in this final group, so I continue to anxiously wait, pray and hope.

I think I could have managed my personal situation much better should I have been able to avoid the eyes of many young inmates here who have shown me a great deal of respect mostly due to my age and long experience within the Twilight Zone.(FEDERAL PRISON), These young men know they do not have to reach out to me for love, support, a kind word,I have
chosen this path for myself. Long ago, I came to terms with my place here as a place where my Creator desired me to be in service to Him. I’m in service to Him when I’m serving His children. Many of His children are here with me in bondage.

I’ve heard and read people say: “I could taste freedom” or “I could smell freedom”. I never put much stock in either saying until last week. Last week I had that taste in my mouth, that smell in my nose and those two of my five senses will never be the same! With every clemency approval list issued, with every denial list posted, with the uncertainty of those who were not on either list came emotions that had names like HOPE, JOY, AGONY, DISTRESS, ANTICIPATION, and REASSURANCE. Our group was small compared to the thousands all over the country who watched; male and female, young and old, watching as we were for a sign of hope.

Elation seemed to rise from the pores of the skin of those who were shown on issued approval lists. I could see the joy on their face as clearly as the sun on a cloudless summer day. Their eyes told a story of the freedom won from bondage spoken throughout history and expressed so eloquently in recent years through the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Free at last, free at last, thank God ALmighty, I’m free at last!”

Though I’ve not known the joy of appearing on an approval list as of yet, I was wrapped in the joy of those who have been, rejoicing with them. Pulled from the anxieties and uncertainties of my own situation into the bliss of others, the intoxication could never be reproduced by a foreign substance in my body; in one instance, looking into my friend, Smitty’s eyes, I knew pure joy.
The denial lists has proven the most difficult for me. Although I’ve not appeared on any denial list either, I’ve felt the pain of those here who have been denied as if their situation was my own. I’ve traveled this prison road for many years thinking I had mastered the process of doing time, I was wrong!

One day at a time! That’s been my GPS, my pointer, my flawless direction home, my road to freedom. Today, my GPS shutdown. For the first time in a very long time, I found myself lost in prison. Try to imagine what it’s like to look into the eyes of a young woman or a young man who came to prison at the age of 18 and now they are 28. They placed all their hope, all their faith that this Clemency Project was the answer to their prayers for freedom. Then, on the last day, their name appears on a denial list. I could see the cloud come over them, a cloud as dark as any could before a mighty thunderstorm. Maybe the cloud I saw before my own eyes was enhanced by the wall of tears for the plight of the thousand on this denial list; especially for the 28 year old who slowly comes to the realization they are going to be in prison for 10 more years!

What I see is real. It’s not caused by my own grief or by the tears I struggle to hold back. There is a pain in those eyes with the capacity to touch the heart of the most cruel of persons. There truly is a thousand mile stare. I’ve seen it. It is on the faces of those who have come to the denial list and found they have been denied. I’ve stood before agony this week and watched it crush so many. To see how brutal the effects of being found on the denial list is;is to see hope savagely drained from a living human being. To watch the young become old in a matter of minutes, And the old have their life force drained almost into nothingness. It is to watch the hope of tomorrow become the nightmare of today.

One would almost think that I was on this denial list. No! Not today, anyway. However, the pain I feel is just as real. Nothing I’ve learned in my many years of prison life prepared me for this moment in time. I must reach back to the medicine my mother believed was a cure all; “I must pray”. At this moment in time, when I look into my brother’s eyes and they are without hope. I who have vowed to never never give up hope am helpless to help them, no matter how deeply I feel their pain. Well maybe not helpless; I have my mother’s medicine. Will you who are beyond these walls help me? Will you pray for those on the denial list? Will you pray for their peace?

The final list is the list of uncertainty. I am on this list. The last 330 approvals under the outgoing President who have been approved. The list is not out yet. When we know I’ll tell you of the hardship of this list, no matter what my personal outcome happens to be. Peace to you from the Twilight Zone. (Federal Prison)


“Aunt Cathy”

I was thinking of you today, spending so much time alone. Wondering if you knew how much I love you; and that I’m here for you to lean on.

I know I’m just a nephew and that don’t amount to much, but when it comes to Aunts; Aunt Cathy you are the best.

I’ll never forget how you loved Ben; he never felt alone always knowing he had a loving mother at home. I remember the way you nourished that love when Ben had passed on.
Releasing the balloons in your yard, celebrating his life. I’ll never forget the love you showed him in that way. I don’t have to tell you what kind of man Uncle Tommy was; Him, filling your life and this family with his special love. I hope you know that they are both watching you from above and sending this message by me to you; to get out and share your wonderful love.

There are a few of us who could use what you have to give; so come on Aunt Cathy move around I can’t tell you how good that would make me and the family feel.

I love you Aunt Cathy,



New Years day is the one day celebrated throughout the Twilight Zone, (Federal Prison System). The most basic reason is because the passing of the time is the primary goal for each of us who are in prison.

Many who have marked the passage of time each and every day since January 1, 2016 have accomplished a short term goal and will begin again today to walk down and through another year of incarceration. However, for this one day, they will rejoice in the passing of a year. They will add their positive energy to the many celebrations around them within the Day-Room!

Then, there are those who have come to 2017 knowing this will be their last year in the Twilight Zone. Those of us who have come to that crossroads have a light resonating from us that will dim a light bulb. We loan an energy to the Day-Room today that will allow others to share in our joy we too start a new calendar today; some for days, some for weeks and some, at most, for months. We look very much forward to passing this one day in peace.

The administration throughout the Federal Prison System understands what this day means to us. In most cases the meal served us today will be the best meal served throughout the year. The steaks we ate today adds to the positive energy we share. I can almost see the energy radiating from person to person in the Day-Room. I often have more to say about the difficulties of prison life than I have time to write. Not today! Today I want those of you outside the Twilight Zone to know we also have special times here and today is one of those times. The Day-Room is filled to capacity with positive energy. There is not a space available at any phone or email station. Everyone is reaching out to family and friends, not one empty table: cards, chess and dominoes at an all time high, smiles and laughter the calling card of the day!

This New Year is falling a unique way: today is the first day of the new week, a new month and a New Year! We have thrown away last year’s calendars with a mark across each day. We come into these “Three News” in a positive way. We ask that you add your energy to ours so we can carry this positive energy on to each and every tomorrow!


” Not What It Seems”

“Not What It Seems”

Upon this beautiful mountain where I now reside, with great joy and anticipation throughout the past three days, I have awaited the birth of the New Year:

Day One; From the mountain tops visible to me, strong winds come, rocking the hundreds of trees to and fro, loosening the last of the leaves of every shade and color, sending them swirling and dancing to a music only they and the rocking trees can hear. Like the trees, bending without breaking, I and others who reside here move from place to place but toward a New Year! The wind itself is neither blowing North, South, East or West, but is twirling like a prima ballerina to a music of it’s own; What a wonder in God’s creation, now 50 degrees in late December.

Day Two; On my mountain, the tops are covered with lights and to the eye there is no night; in every direction one can see because of the lights. The snow started in the middle of the night, dropping from the sky as if the clouds had broken into pieces. Flakes cling to the trees to create a perfect White Christmas image. As the snow falls, ravens that drop hundreds of feet are transformed by the snow into slopes that any skier would be proud to navigate. Within an hour the grounds are totally covered erasing all signs of the beautiful colored leaves that fell the day before but the wind is still blowing and the snow is doing a twirl of its own, dust devils of ice crystals in small whirlwinds, lovely reminders of home. This mountain where I now reside is something of a wonder to behold. Even the animals who live here show an understanding this universe belongs to us all. It’s New Years Eve and the world beyond the door where I stand to take in this view would leave most people with a feeling of joy if they too lived on this mountain and could share with me these sights! Sights of glory and sights of might. Humbling to all day or night.

Day Three; When I awake it’s New Years Day and all the snow is gone. As I stand just outside the door breathing the cool morning air, in a way the mountain seems wrong. Yet this mountain still has a beauty of its own, from day to day it changes, in that nothing is wrong. Understanding this is a special day, the animals descend down trails to breakfast just as we humans do. This I will tell you of my mountain and it may be hard for you to believe; however, I promise on all that I am each word is true. The deer, turkeys, raccoons, chipmunks, and birds will eat from our hands. These animals who belong to these mountains have no fear of man, most have been given names. One doe deer, “Short Tail” is her name because her white tail, deformed from birth and considerably shorter than normal, is the most famous of all the mountain’s animals. She, if not stopped, would follow the smell of food right on into the residence halls! This mountain of mine is a beautiful place to see, but it’s how the animals are seeing it that really bothers me. The other night I dreamed that “Short Tail” came to my window; looking in, standing very still with tears in her eyes. She then turned to other deer with her and spoke words that will forever ring in my head: “I know humans put animals in cages, it’s something they do, but why do they put their own in a cage, on display before me and you?!”

by: Twilight