by Steven Dybvad

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lately I’ve been pulling out some of my older men’s health magazines and rereading them all over again. It’s amazing to me, how much easier it is to retain the information of what I’m reading when the content is more interesting or, if it pertains to my life.

At the end of this month, I’ll be coming up on two years of incarceration, and time just isn’t moving fast enough. On one hand, it seems like just yesterday when I was arrested for my crime, on the other hand, a lot of things have happened in these last two years that have totally changed my outlook on life altogether. It’s strange to say but, I am eternally grateful for my incarceration for. It’s not only save my life. But it’s also change my future.

by Steven Dybvad

Friday, March 8, 2013.

Physical fitness has had a lasting, powerful effect on my mental health. Along with my Journal entries, working out has alleviated so much stress in my day-to-day life in here, as well as keeping my depression at bay. I’m constantly watching my daily food intake and concerning myself with its nutritional value. I find myself reading the labels on every item I purchased from the commissary, which is completely opposite to the way that I’ve been living prior to 2013. I have a lot of growing to do in so many aspects of my life. But, finally, I’m at peace with where my future is headed, because I know that I am taking the steps necessary to get me where I want to be in my future, whether it’s long term or, short term plans. I’m on my way to a better life, a life I can be proud of, as well as my family and also showing my children. How a responsible man should live life.

by Steven Dybvad

Thursday, March 7, 2013.

One of my cellmate made me some shelves from cardboard boxes for a small price. It is considered contraband but, only to the extent that a guard would rip them off the walls, and only if you give them a reason like, doing something to make them angry. But, this is not worthy of a ticket, I made sure of it by asking one of our regular guards on duty. The shelves are glued to the wall with a simple Elmer’s glue and are unbelievably sturdy. This is very helpful, because it helps provide me more of what very little floor space we have in here. Everything we own used to be on the floor; this prison provides no shelving for inmates personal items. The shelves help me a great deal because I utilize all the cell area, when I’m working out.

by Steven Dybvad

Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

I almost forgot my parents are taking my daughter, Caitlin another fun filled ski trip in Colorado. I hope they have a wonderful time and a safe trip. This is something I used to enjoy doing with my family, before I turn my life to drugs and crime. It used to bother me. Each time my family would go on another vacation without me hurt, either because I was strung out, to untrustworthy, or institutionalized. Now I can see and think clearly. Using these times as just another great reminder as to why I’ve chosen to live a better life, with a higher standard of ethics, morals, and values for all aspects of life. I’m just thrilled that my parents are in a position to carry this kind of culture over to my children, making their lives rich, with love and rare experiences.

by Steven Dybvad

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I had a great conversation with my mother and father on the phone last night. I only wish it was easier to get on the phone, that way I could talk to them more often. I spent over an hour waiting in line with obnoxious men, in order to get a 15 min. phone call but it was well worth it. Last week I was lucky enough to catch both of my children that I miss so much, at my parents’ house, spending time with them. I am so eternally grateful for the amount of quality time and love my parents bestow upon my children, who desperately need love and direction from positive role models such as them. I couldn’t possibly ask for a better family, and it’s a constant reminder that my turbulent life in prison has light at the end of the tunnel. So long as I stay the path I have chosen, no matter how successful, my future will be richly fulfilled with love from so many great people that God has placed in my life.

by Steven Dybvad

Monday, March 4, 2013

I just got word that this block is in fact moving about 40 men to about 20 different cells out of here to other blocks in order to accommodate people from the restricted block. I guess they’re making the block I’m in right now, which is F unit. The religious block. I’m trying not to let this bother me, or stress me out. But, there’s no way around it, it is very stressful to think that I’ll be torn from my semi-safe and familiar environment and placed in an environment that’s much worse. I went through this many times during my 15 months in the County jail, and never gets any easier. Especially being in a high-security prison such as this one, were day-to-day life is a great deal more dangerous than the County jail.

by Steven Dybvad

Sunday, March 3, 2013.

We had another fire drill today. The SRT officers were here to help out as extra staff. One block at a time, we all had the pileup in the chalice, as a fire alarm went off; they unlocked everyone’s cell, all at once.

A lot of rules have been changing and privileges being taken away. Since the new warden has arrived, he’s gradually changing Lebanon into a total disciplinary prison. Some blocks are already experiencing the changes. Some of the inmates that are causing more problems are being sent to other blocks, where there is no time out of the cell, no state pay, no commissary, or anything else in their cells, except for hygiene and writing supplies. These, along with many other changes, are quickly starting to take place. I’m very grateful not to have any disciplinary infractions, speeding up my chances of transferring to a better prison soon.

by Steven Dybvad

Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Last night, I got last week’s journaling work back in with the mail. There was no explanation as to why it was returned to me. The address home was correct, and the envelope was stapled shut after being opened and searched. Upon reviewing my work, I noticed that two pages are missing. There are only two possible explanations for this one is that the envelope was damaged and paper was lost. But, this is highly unlikely for a few reasons. The envelope appeared to be cut open, plus, my papers that are missing were folded in between the rest of my papers. The only other explanation is that my writing has raised some eyebrows in here. Only I can’t recall writing anything last week that was worthy of confiscating or, risking the security of this prison. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see if it happens again or, I get confronted by staff about my writing.

by Steven Dybvad

Friday, March 1, 2013.

A major burden has just been lifted from my shoulders. The Sgt. was surprisingly quick to throw out my ticket. After listening to my well-thought-out speech and reviewing my clean behavior record on the computer. If it wasn’t for my lifestyle, clean record, and daily practice of holding myself accountable to the straight a program, getting out of this ticket would have been impossible. I continue to hold myself to a high standard of living, and it’s paying off in so many different ways and shapes in my life. I continue to remember and be thankful for my loving family and strong, unwavering supportive group of people, friends, and mentors.

I’ve spent more than a week working on drawing for Gretchen and I’m finally finished. I’m going to mail it out to her, along with some words of encouragement. I sense that she’s going through some personal problems and I want her to know that she can lean on me and I’ll always be here to comfort her as much as I can from inside prison. Two years of sobriety and many accumulative life changes and decisions have taught me to once again love and care for others unconditionally. Gretchen has gone out of her way to show me her unconditional love and support through good, bad, thick and thin, Gretchen has even gone out of her way to show love and support to my daughter, Caitlin, being a very important, healthy, positive role model in her life. Thank you Gretchen, I will love you always.

by Steven Dybvad

Thursday, February 28, 2013.

I’m still going a little bonkers trying to resolve this ridiculous ticket. I was given on Tuesday. The Sgt. Still hasn’t seen me about this matter. In other news, on a better note, my cellmate started his new job at the license plate factory that he applied for over a year ago. Not that I mind his company but, I cherish my time alone. This also allows me to work out more hours in a day without interruption. Not to mention how important physical fitness is been for me therapeutically, if such a stress reliever, and the healthiest way for me to relieve stress. Now I’m up to 400 push-ups, 1000 crunches, 1000 squats, 1000 jumping jacks, and jogging for one hour to 1 1/2 hours straight. I love it!

by Steven Dybvad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

Today was another day that every single inmate in our block, +2 other blocks, had to go down to the gym directly from lunch. The prison does this every three months to spray chemicals in our cells for bugs, most of the massive infestation of cockroaches; so regrettably, the sergeant didn’t have time to see me today about this ticket. I was really anticipating seeing him to get this matter resolved. Even though this situation is completely out of my control, I can stop worrying about it. This simple matter of her ridiculous ticket may sound petty. But, this could and would keep me from writing out to a better prison, and it’s driving me crazy! I have a whole speech written out and memorized for the Sgt. to consider. I only pray that he genuinely considers my plea of innocence in this simple matter, and in return removes this ticket from my record.

by Steven Dybvad

Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

I’m very upset right now! I was just sent to the captain’s office. My cellmate told me that the only reason people get sent to the captain’s office is when someone is in trouble, or there’s a death in the family. Well I knew that I had not broken any rules. So, naturally my mind was racing so fast that I thought I was going to vomit. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my family since Saturday, and since they didn’t make it to my Sunday’s scheduled visit, I thought that something terrible had happened. I just can’t explain how horrible that queasy feeling of the unknown is. To my relief, upon arrival to the captain’s office, I found out that it wasn’t about my family at all. Instead, I had to sign an official conduct report for not picking up my carry medications. I was stunned because, I was never given a pass to pick up my medication. This makes no difference to the staff at the captain’s office. They told me to explain everything to the Sgt. in my block. So, I went directly to the Sgt. from the captain’s office. I told him my whole situation, all he did was look my name up on the computer and tell me that he would see me tomorrow. I’m very upset, worried, and so concerned but I can’t think about anything else. If this conduct report goes through, it will be a permanent sore on my untarnished record, completely affecting my chances for security level dropped, and a transfer from this horrible prison to a better one. I can only hope and pray that this doesn’t go on my record tomorrow. But, my chances are very slim. I’m told this kind of thing happens all the time in this prison, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Little do they know, I will fight this to the bitter end, until this matter is resolved in my favor.

Copyright 2020 The Michael G. Santos Foundation