PRISON SUICIDES: DON'T DO IT!  1:32 pm August 5, 2012

Love Letter from Federal Prisons Director To Unabomber Et Al.: ‘I Want You to Succeed’

by Lloyd Dangle

Big FunThe 200,000-plus inmates of the US Federal prison system had a wonderful surprise one day in July –– they received a special letter! Charles E. Samuels Jr., director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, wrote an inspirational memo to each one of them wishing them the very best –– and imploring them not to commit suicide.

Director Samuels, undoubtedly a popular figure among federal inmates, wrote:

You may be reading this message while in a Special Housing Unit or Special Management Unit cell, thinking your life is moving in the wrong direction. But wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, my commitment to you is the same. I want you to succeed.

It’s hard to know what would constitute “success” for an inmate living in a “Special Housing Unit,” a cage in a supermax prison where he would be locked up for 23 hours a day without human contact. Of course a large percentage of those inmates suffer from mental illnesses and may not fully understand that they are in prison in the first place let alone be able to grasp the sentiments of Mr. Samuels’ words.

Here’s more:

If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it is not because solutions do not exist; it is because you are currently unable to see them. Do not lose hope. Solutions can be found, feelings change, unanticipated positive events occur. Look for meaning and purpose in educational and treatment programs, faith, work, family and friends.

Some of those on the receiving end of this text would’ve been Ted Kaczynski, Richard “the Shoe Bomber” Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui, and “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.

Why did Samuels send the letter now? Might it have something to do with all the pending lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional rights, abuse, and failure to provide basic treatment for the mentally ill? Could be, and it was a good move. What Bush-appointed judge is going to worry about the welfare of a bunch of convicts over that of a genuine motivational guru? His book should be titled, “Chicken Soup for the Correctional Industrial Complex.”

[The Atlantic]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 117 comments }

CrunchyKnee August 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Please don't kill yourself, you make me lots of monies.

Love,
Chuck

kittensdontlie August 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Chuck's uncoded message: Stay alive and there will be pardons…"someday…somewhere…somehow….

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

*sings with sweeping, operatic gestures*
SOME-*WHERE*!!

kittensdontlie August 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

This prison story is going to be a lovely musical, and I am looking for a director…

Negropolis August 6, 2012 at 1:13 am

P.S. I'd also not like you to kill yourselves, 'cause it might totally get me fired.

sbj1964 August 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Brooks was here.And Red too.

fartknocker August 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

My all-time favorite movie.

GunToting[Redacted] August 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Get busy sitting on your ass in silence for 23+ hours a day, or get busy dying.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm

"look for meaning or purpose in life. Or take up a rewarding hobby like birdwatching or stamp collecting".

Dashboard Buddha August 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Soap carving (using your teeth), expanding the sexuality continuum, interpretive dance, there's no end of things that can give a prisoner a sense of hope and purpose.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Attached is a copy of "What Color Is Your Parachute: Federal Prison Edition"

deanbooth August 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

All prison parachutes are orange, except in Arizona, where they are pink.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

OT, but I'm considering an online petition to get Chick-Fil-A to put an "long vowel symbol" over the "A" in their name.

This is something that really annoys me and I doubt I am the only one.

viennawoods13 August 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Agreed; bugs me every time I see it. We don't have any of them up here and when I first saw it in print, recently, I wondered what the hell it was.
But wouldn't an accent aigu be way too French and therefore effete and librul?

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Just think of the Chick-Fil A-Holes who run the joint, and you'll always get it right.

viennawoods13 August 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Nice one.

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I think they'll get very upset to have you fiddling around with their
Chick-Fil-A-ness.

MosesInvests August 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

ISWYDT

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm

"Chick-Fil-A-ness"

And this is why Dan Savage said their name should be a synonym for pegging.

memzilla August 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm

The secret word for tonight is "macron".

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Good. I'm a fan of macron & cheese.

MumbletyPesade August 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Memz has spoken like a true judge of character. Why do you want to get all Krafty on his marksmanship?

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

No peckishness, intended. I was merely exploring the linguistic pastabilities.

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Fuckin' A!

Hell, yeah, man!

ETA: Or Fuckin' Å?

supernoun August 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I probably thought Chick-Fil-A was maybe Ghostface Killa's younger brother or something until this controversy happened.

starfanglednut August 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Umlauts or GTFO.

fuflans August 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

i really actually thought it was 'chick-filla' until this latest kerfuffle.

and then last week i said it out loud and my (southern born) partner looked at me as if i had just pronounced that river in london as the river tames.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Same here,  except strangely, my left handed brain constantly was mentally pronouncing it chick-a-fil  which seemed to make more sense.I mentioned this to my wife who said, oh, you mean chick-fillet, they're pretty good.  end of that discussion….

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

The way their script logo looks, I saw it at least half a dozen times before I realized it was an A, rather than an S.

Negropolis August 6, 2012 at 1:51 am

The vowel never bothered me; the entire name of the place, bothered me. Honestly, why couldn't it have just been Chick Fillet? The name is too cute by a half, as they say. I'm so damned glad that there is only one of them in Michigan (that I didn't even know about until this whole fiasco happened), and that it's not a stand-alone location but in a foodcourt.

HistoriCat August 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

In a foodcourt? How will you drive your Prius up to the drive-through lane to yell at the cashier?

bumfug August 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

"And you Ted, well you've always been a blast – never change dude!"

Biff August 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

So, what is Charles Manson, chopped liver?

sharethegrief August 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

That was Dahmer's Last Supper.

TribecaMike August 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

After all these years in the jug he's literally 99.99% chipped beef.

Negropolis August 6, 2012 at 1:51 am

You know, I'm sure they do that to executed prisoners in China.

HistoriCat August 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

Why chop up a perfectly good liver when you can sell it for transplant?

BlueStateLibel August 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I hope Bernie Madoff didn't get this letter. He's one we don't want thinking up new "solutions."

Biff August 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Once you're in the system, success is not an option. Unless you're a Madoff, or maybe an Issa.

KeepFnThatChicken August 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

P.S. We may let you have conjugal visits after all. It will be with your next door cell-mate.

salt_bagel August 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Got a letter from the government the other day.
Opened it and read it; said I was special.

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Mine said they were suckers…

not that Dewey August 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Are there no prisons?

MumbletyPesade August 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Sure there are. But polite society requires you keep such subjects to a whisper..

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Are there no Organ Banks?

fartknocker August 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

OT: Another mass shooting today in Oak Creek, WI at a Sikh Temple. I am so tired of these mass casualty incidents.

zappadoo76 August 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Then you should stick to reading about low-casualty violence.

deanbooth August 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Where is Bachmann today? She's in WI, at least in spirit.

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Probably some liberal plot to get gun control laws enacted…

deanbooth August 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

One of the comments to an article at the Milwaukee JS, which described the shooter as a white male in a sleeveless t-shirt:

"Description sounds like a typical democrat union goon….."

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

So, he doesn't even know if that's a muscle tee or a wifebeater & he's just assuming that only a union thug could be guilty of such a fashion faux pas?

Butch_Wagstaff August 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm

LIke that couldn't also describe an arsenal-owning Republican goon.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm

WTF do unions have to do with …. oh, wait … Wisconsin. I understand it used to be a nice place, before the fucking Republicans took over.

The shooter is likely (p=0.99) to be the same flavor dumbfuck as that poster.

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

"Description sounds like a typical democrat union goon….."

Really? I thought it sounded like that dickhead in Missouri whose facebook picture showed him pointing a gun at "liberals", and who had a violent and batshit crazy message to go with it.

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

God dammit.

Me too.

BerkeleyBear August 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I swear to Vishnu if this turns out to be another dumbass who can't tell Sikhs from Arabs, I'm gonna be pissed. Hate crimes based on stereotypes are bad enough, but misdirected hate crimes are just pathetic.

Rotundo_ August 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Scooter has the bubbas strutting around pretty cocky these days, it doesn't surprise me a bit that one gets liquored up and goes off on a bunch of people so drastically removed from Islam that they make the pope look like a fucking mullah. The stupid and crazy is getting worse up here these days.

Butch_Wagstaff August 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

My first thought I had from hearing about this was that the shooter probably did think that they were Muslims.

Fraudulently_Joe August 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

It's still way too soon to talk about gun policy, you guys.

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Yes. And it always will be.

facehead August 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

We should invite them to these new Wonkette drinky things, y'know, just in case they can make it.

BTW, "Lloyd Dangle' is the greatest editor's name in Wonkette history.

gullywompr August 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

Dashboard Buddha August 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

"Do not lose hope. Solutions can be found, feelings change, unanticipated positive events occur."

You know…if I were in a high security prison being treated to what is essentially torture, this note from the dude that gives the ok to said torture just might be the thing to push me over the line.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Best dating plan ever!

Callyson August 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

There *must* be a sensible explanation for this…

…maybe this guy just wanted to give the inmates a good laugh…

…er, um, I got nothing…

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Maybe someone was investigating the suicide rates within the prison system, & decided it was not anything to brag about?

Hera Sent Me August 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Don't you realize that at a cost of $100K per year, your incarceration is providing employment and opportunity for people unable to work outside of a facility where their charges are essentially buried alive?

Don't be selfish by choosing to end your hell on earth. Stay alive in your concrete coffin, and slowly go insane, knowing all the while that, without you, some people might have to apply for jobs at places where sadism is NOT considered a desirable employee trait.

Buckminster August 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Lesson one. Always be a good boy and never play with guns. Or cannibalism or bombs.

GeorgiaBurning August 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

"unanticipated positive events occur"- hmm, how about long-term-effects testing of medical marijuana?

Joshua Norton August 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Do you like me? (Check one)

____ Yes.

____ No.

mwittier August 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

___ Does this note make me look fat?
___ Hair up?
___ Or down?

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Needz moar folded "cootie catcher" to tell our fortunes.

memzilla August 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

He may as well haave said: "How can we sustain the extremely profitable prison-industrial complex if you people kill yourselves?"

This country does have the world's largest incarcerated population. We imprison more people per capita than Iran, Russia, or China.

USA! USA! USA!

mlle_derp August 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Actually, given the crowded prison conditions, & waiting list for cells in many prisons, I wonder if this wasn't reverse psychology to get some of these guys to cash in their chips & free up some beds?

SexySmurf August 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

But wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, my commitment to you is the same. I want you to succeed.

The letter continues: "Have I ever told you that you're my hero? You're everything I would like to be. I can fly higher than an eagle, cause you are the wind beneath my wings."

tessiee August 6, 2012 at 12:37 am

"you are the wind beneath my wings."

This always makes me think of those fake armpit farts.

RadioBowels August 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Needs moar for-profit.

BlueStateLibel August 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

"…it is not because solutions do not exist; it is because you are currently unable to see them. Do not lose hope. Solutions can be found…"

Those were just the encouraging words Prisoner #78902 and his secret tunneling buddies needed!

Serolf_Divad August 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

"Solutions…" My God, he's right… if we smuggle a few gallons of bleach from the laundry, we can use it as a solvent to help us dig through that limestone rock section we bumped up against! Boys, I do think we're back in business!

Beowoof August 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

The toss my salad man has been inspired to think of his porn career after he gets out.

CountryClubJihadi August 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

He could at least write
"Chicken Soup and Tossed Salad for the Inmate's Soul & Asshole".

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What this country needs is another Australia.

extreme_left August 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

..hey.. we already got ours.. ie Wolf creek.

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Romney's stump speech:

"…a chicken in every pot and two Australias in every state!"

LetUsBray August 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Wasn't Georgia Australia before Australia?

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Yeah, and Arizona is today's Georgia.

Blueb4sinrise August 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Click the ad titled 'Prison Reformers Hate Him'

For only $39.95 you can get the complete "How To Succeed After 20 Years of Being Tortured in Prison.'
Act NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blueb4sinrise August 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

DVD 1- Borrow $20,000 from your parents and bribe the guards.

DerrickWildcat August 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm

It is always nice to get an unexpected letter in the mail.

SayItWithWookies August 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

"If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it is not because solutions do not exist; it is because you are currently unable to see them."

And he should know, as he's the official responsible for keeping said remedies hidden from his charges.

MumbletyPesade August 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Martha Dumptruck approves this ALT-TEXT~

doloras August 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Supermax Suicide – don't do it!
Supermax Suicide – he blew it!

Butch_Wagstaff August 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Suicide (Don't Do It).

valthemus August 6, 2012 at 6:40 am

A round of applause for the genius that is "Heathers."

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

If you're in for life, with no chance of parole, it might be a bit late to become concerned about your "success".

Serolf_Divad August 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

One would suspect that, if you were locked up for life, your idea of success would probably involve a metal spoon and a tunnel… I wonder how much dirt you can flush down your toilet each night without it clogging? Two spoonfulls? Three? Not to worry, you've got all the time in the world to make it happen.

BZ1 August 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Geez, I wasn't thinking about that before, but now that you mention it …

Serolf_Divad August 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Well, I guess it's better than his last missive entitled: "What we have here is a failure to communicate…"

tessiee August 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

So much win.

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Charles E. Samuels, Jr. will get you to succeed, Prisoner. By hook or by crook.

MinAgain August 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Just remember, it gets better.

Oh, wait a minute…

Baba_NinjaCat12 August 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm

If it wasn't about making money, Ted and his friends would go on a one way flight over nearest ocean and be magically disappeared. A one way ticket on the Death Flight 666 to oblivion.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Some years ago when I worked for a large computer company, they changed the weekly payroll stub (which for some people was also the check itself if they didn't have direct deposit) to a smaller foldover format. To explain it, a letter was sent to every single employee with the title:

"A Word About Your New Smaller Paycheck"

imissopus August 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

If Andy Dufresne could crawl through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side, then you can too! Metaphorically speaking, of course. I don't want any of you tunneling out through your prison's sewer lines. Those things are expensive to fix and we're running a business…er, ah…

chascates August 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

"I want you to succeed but it's going to take money. Expenses have gone up and contributions from the local, state, and federal government have trickled to nothing. In order for you to succeed or even stay alive this will depend on your making a contribution to this facility. Get the money however you have to but make it out to me, so I'll know it doesn't get split with anyone else. Take care."

TribecaMike August 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

It's all good, just as long as he doesn't look behind the Rita Hayworth poster in Andy Dufresne's cell.

Chow Yun Flat August 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Don't kill yourself. We have a cure for depression, paranoid schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders: lock you away in a featureless cell and keep human contact to a minimum.

Works every time.

mrblifil August 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

You want more success, otherwise there's less of it. Less success is less than more success. Of which people desire more, not less.

fuflans August 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

i don't know what you people are banging on about. i need a tax cut.

Dudleydidwrong August 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm

"Do not lose hope. Solutions can be found, feelings change, unanticipated positive events occur. "

"There will be a Charles E. Samuels, Jr. (for-profit) college starting soon in your cell block. Sign up now. Succeed. Government loans easily available."

mosjef August 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

In that list of celebrity sociopaths, there isn't one that I would "wish to succeed". Success to them means getting out and slaughtering more innocent people. So could we just pass on that Hallmark Moment for a little while longer?

proudgrampa August 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

That is the dumbest fucking thing I think I've ever read.

valthemus August 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

Which is sadder: the idea that a letter like Chuck's would actually help anyone, or the idea that receiving such a letter probably made some prisoner's day/week/year?

DahBoner August 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

I prefer the epic How To Win Friends And Make Shivs Out of Soap Bars

ttommyunger August 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm

True story: In the 60's the Head Jailer at the Clay County Jail (Liberty, Missouri) got raves for setting up a GED type program for prisoners. One of his first graduates was a convicted Burglar and Bad Check Artist named Freddy Jones. Freddy and two of his classmates decided to use table legs on my head and break out (April l9, l965) from the Trusty Tank. Two made it as far as North Kansas City Memorial Hospital and Freddy escaped to the Morgue. I told the Head Jailer, Jim Miller, to be sure and forward Freddy's Diploma to the County Coroner-he could use it on Freddy as a Butt-Plug. 100% snark-free.

BerkeleyBear August 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

You are so saucy!

C_R_Eature August 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Now I'm feeling Fusilli.

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