Getting Ready for Federal Prison

Jose Lopez shows how he strengthens himself before he surrenders to federal prison. Read his entries and learn how he builds strength.

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So I was sentenced to 135 months… my life is over right?


I am STILL going to be alive! I still have all of my limbs, my kids are healthy, My wife is as strong as ever, my parents are healthy…believe it or not, I still feel that life is good.

YES I fucked up!! YES I am going to miss my freedom and loved ones dearly….but I’m not going to die! I am still going to communicate with them. I will still see them. We will still have a relationship. This will not break me or my bond with my loved ones. I am a strong believer that life as we live it is full of routines and patterns. My life with my family currently has a certain routine. When I begin my prison sentence, our routine will change, but we will still love each other and will still remain a family.


Opportunities in Federal Prison

Prison will provide me a tremendous opportunity if I choose to take advantage of my time. I have choices now and I will continue to have choices after I surrender to prison. I can curl up in a ball and just wait for my sentence to pass or I can take action and make the most out of each day to work towards returning to my family a better husband/father/son! The choice is mine really.

In preparation for my life in prison, I am taking steps that I feel will help ease my transition. First off I have accepted that prison is in my future. Many defendants I think remain in denial. I am not. By accepting that prison is in my immediate future, I will have a plan on what it is I will do when I self surrender. Some of the things I am doing is preparing a list of books that my loved ones can send me, creating a list of phone numbers/email addresses to communicate with my friends and family and developing a plan on how I will continue my education while incarcerated.

I have also made it a point to communicate my ideas with my family. In doing so, my family can see that I am ready to face and conquer this journey. I ensure my loved ones that everything will be fine. I know I have to be strong. Matter of fact, I have to be the strongest person in this entire situation. My family feeds off of my energy and the stronger I am, the stronger they will be. Truth is without my family’s support, I wouldn’t be as relaxed and prepared as I am now. My wife has been my pillar and she has been there for me through this entire ordeal. My children bring a smile to my heart and give me the strength I need to be positive.


Journaling as I Prepare for Federal Prison

I have actually started writing hand written letters to my family. I want to get them used to receiving these letters from me now so that when I transition to prison, hopefully they will already be somewhat used to this new routine. I will continue this from now until my surrender date and of course will continue to write them after I have surrendered.

In the next few weeks I will learn what facility I will have to report to on my surrender date. Once I find out where I am being designated, I will research the prison’s policies and general rules so I can further prepare mentally for my journey. I will also inform my family what rules and guidelines must be followed in regards to visitation.

My life today is somewhat normal. I still work a full time job, I am still taking care of my responsibilities as a parent/husband/son (financially and physically). Honestly, you wouldn’t be able to tell that I have just been sentenced to over 11 years in prison if you had a conversation with me. I prefer it this way. My current coworkers have no clue about my situation. They have never questioned me and they have never seen me ‘break down’. I have continued to work day in and day out and I plan to do so up until 15 days or so prior to my surrender date. I work Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm. After work I rush home, help feed the kids, clean up a bit and prepare for the next day. This is what my life was like prior to being arrested and it has continued to be this way after the fact.

My weekends still consist of taking my children to their activities (softball, football, etc). We continue to enjoy family time BBQing, celebrating birthdays and creating memories with my family.

I know that I will never be ‘ready’ to leave my current routine and begin my prison sentence. But I feel strongly that the steps I take now to establish my plan and strengthen my mindset will benefit me greatly for the day that will surely come, my surrender date. In the weeks to come, I will continue to enforce my positivity not only within myself but also with my loved ones. I will continue to develop my plan on how to continue my education, become a better writer, and find ways to communicate with my family once I have surrendered.

I plan on working out when I begin my sentence. Truth is, losing weight has always been a dream of mine but I have never had the self discipline to act on it and make it happen. That will change when I surrender. I don’t want to start cold turkey on my surrender date, so I plan on beginning a routine now. This will help ease the pain (literally) when I begin working out in prison.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_button corner_style=”full_rounded” size=”large” letter_spacing=”4″ url=””]Click to Read Jose’s First Article[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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