Steven Dybvad – Personal Journal – February 16, 2014, through February 26, 2014

by Steven Dybvad


Apparently the unit manager has taken notice of my work in the Straight A Guide To Success program and my book that I hope to have printed in the near future. I believe another inmate may have told him about my work, however it is that he took notice I think he might be a little impressed with me. He told me that some benefactors are coming in next week and he would like for me to speak on behalf of the inmates. Mr. Emmons, the unit manager didn’t give me enough detailed information as to who these people are that are coming in, except for the fact that these sponsors make contributions for the children of inmates who want to go to college and don’t have the money or resources to do so without help from others. Regardless of why these individuals are coming to visit this prison, I told Mr. Emmons that I would love to speak on behalf of the inmates. I will always jump at an opportunity to show others how a convict like me can make clear cut choices to change my life around and take the necessary steps to do so starting from inside these prison walls, in preparation for a successful future as a law abiding, contributing member of society after release.


I just had a video visit with my parents; fortunately today the kiosk wasn’t shut down, enabling me to spend an enjoyable hour talking with the both of them while watching them relax in the comforts of their home, something I look forward to doing as early as the end of next year. What really made our session together exciting was hearing them explain how Justin Paperny offered me a job as a prison consultant when I’m released from here. I’m so excited! This is an amazing offer that I won’t even hesitate to think twice about accepting. To be able to earn a living practicing the very principals that enabled me to take control of my life and future is a major blessing. To be able to give back to the same program that provided me with the tools necessary to create a life for myself and my family is one that I can’t ignore.


Apparently there’s a big uproar on the internet about our prison food service company, Aramark serving us food that’s not made for human consumption. This is an unfortunate issue that all of us inmates were already aware of. Many of the kitchen workers have told us about the boxes of food labeled ‘NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION’, but all we could do is talk about it because of the rigorous pat downs after every kitchen worker leaving the chow hall, unable to carry out any evidence. Well thanks to a lady that was recently released from Marysville penitentiary for women, who was smart and keen enough to get a few of the labels from the chow hall, out of prison, then posting them on the internet, people can start to believe us inmates. Apparently word around the prison is that the food that was once questionable and/or labeled not for human consumption is now coming shipped in boxes without labels. It looks like Aramark is making an attempt to cover up their tracks, when I wish they would just feed us better food.


My daughter is going through some really difficult times at her home right now. It just eats me up inside that I can’t do anything for her but pray and send her letters of encouragement.
My so called speech in front of these benefactors turned out to be a crock. I went down to the gym, prepared to talk about my life as a drug addict, a criminal and the changes that I’ve made to become a success- full, law abiding, contributing member of society upon release. I thought that I was essentially making a pitch to these individuals to shed a little light on the benefits of making contributions to a good cause, one that would help children of convicted criminals have a chance at getting a good education, instead I quickly realized that these individuals were pitching to us (the inmates) to donate our own money to their cause. My unit manager was extremely unorganized and misinforming on this entire fiasco, I’ll have to think long and hard about offering my services to this system before getting any and all necessary information about said subject.


I continue to work hard at accomplishing my goals each and every day. I workout out for at least three hours every morning immediately after breakfast, giving myself just enough time to take a shower before the guards lock us down for count. After count I always sit down with the same three men to play a game of spades and talk about the latest gossip while waiting to be called for lunch. After lunch I either have a victim awareness class that I’m taking, or I go to lift weights, only three assigned days a week is our limit. If I’m not lifting weights, or in class, then I’m editing my book, or blogging, or reading, or practicing my guitar, which I might add I’m really starting to catch on quick, I love practicing so I do it all the time, sometimes I do it for hours on end. No matter what it is that I’m doing, I keep myself busy all day with activities that are in harmony with my goals for a successful, fulfilling future after my release. I can honestly say that I haven’t felt this alive since I was a little kid. I just wish it didn’t take me coming to prison to save my own life. I just thank God each day that I am still alive.


Having a video visit with my parents over the weekend was very nice, but hearing that my parents were getting ready to go pick up my son, Taylor and his big brother, Dakota go to a new local go-cart track was even nicer to hear about. It sounds like my son spends a lot of his time at home playing video games, up all night without anyone to tell him otherwise, or for that matter give him the option of even doing anything else. The last time that Taylor came to visit me he had really dark circles around his eyes from being up all night, which was very hard for me to see, knowing that there’s nothing I can do to help my little boy, who needs his daddy so much. This gives me so much pain, but it also gives me so much drive and motivation to insure the success of my future, so that I never have to be separated from my children ever again.


I’m hoping that if all goes as planned my good friend, Kurt and I will be bunkies. Occupying the same cell is important to us because we share a common goal of creating a better life and future for ourselves. We also share similar interests and hobbies like fitness and playing the guitar. Being cellmates will just make it easier for the both of us to do things like guitar practice without bothering the other person, we can also respect the quiet time necessary for us both to accomplish writing, reading, blogging, etc. There are many benefits to having a good celly. Having a cellmate you don’t get along with can make time in prison more difficult, this is something we can both attest to.

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