These days has the Colorado Department of Corrections

Dean, Tommy Lee



These days has the Colorado Department of Corrections been under a lot of scrutiny for releasing some very dangerous and angry individuals, but I want to tell you about my experience. I have been striving to turn a very violent and troubled existence around, where I can then become a positive person. My name is TommyLee Dean and I have been overcoming obstacle after obstacle, set before me by all the staff of these prisons, I am in, in order to build a thriving writing career. During a 4-year stint, in administrative segregation (i.e. solitary confinement), at the Colorado State Penitentiary, I decided that I was sick of living such a negative life and inspired to become a professional published horror writer. In spite of all the adversity I face from the system I am in; at this point in my life, I have got one book published and selling for $15.95 upward to $19.95, at amazon, as well as other various sites throughout the internet. Also can it be found on Various e—books, including but not limited to: iBooks, nook by Barnes & Noble, amazonkindle, etc. My publisher is scheduling the release of my second book, a novel, for next year (2017). We are now working on a third book, which is very near its own completion. I have a 6—times best seller of supernatural based books looking at furthering my career. Multiple partially done projects in the making, positive acknowledgment from celebrities, and so much more. In the past, I have done some terrible things: robbing people, shooting people, police shoot outs and high speed chases. I've been on the news and in the papers because of these actions, but have woke up to the realization that I no longer want to be that terrible person and have found writing is my way to clean up. However, the C—DOC continues to fight me, to this day, and I just do not know why. Why would they not, instead, support such a positive life and personality change as this? Would they rather release more angry and frustrated cold blooded killers instead of people actually doing something to become other than criminals? It's insane, right? I know! Within another 10—years, or so, I will be up for parole. Would it not be better that I returned to society as a professional writer? The points of interest I am trying to communicate are 1) another uplifting story about how anyone can change and that it's never too late for a change to the better, 2) the travesty that is this repetitive pattern concerning someone like me, who has been so crappy to society for so long, finding a constructive way to truly change into a better individual, and the indifference of they who work for this prison system serving only to frustrate any steps towards a truly positive change. It's a combination of what the C—DOC does and does not do which discourages positive change at times. One of the earlier situations I found this to be true was also while I was in CSP those 4-years. What had happened was, I got sentenced on this current case and, as I sat there, it crossed my mind that the chances of me dying in confinement were just as probable as anywhere else. This prompted me to inquire as to how I could go about donating my organs if I was to die. Totally understandable was it when mental health came and talked to me out of fear that I was maybe thinking of killing myself; but, it was the following which made no sense. They made it so impossible for me to do this nice, life saving thing, that anyone getting or renewing a driver's license can do. It turned into a similar situation as this with the publishing of my book; I had to literally sneak behind their collective back to achieve this position for myself. After shooting letters out to different colleges and other offices; I got myself as far as getting a letter from a Beverly Fulton, assistant superintendent for administration and court services, in the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, under the Colorado Department of Human Services, dated 01 March 2010. She informed me that the national organ donor hotline had been contacted and was going to inform a certain individual, at the C—DOC, of what I needed to do to donate my organs. I was told to contact this person, of which I did, numerous times, without ever getting a response in return. Eventually, I just gave up because it simply got too frustrating. This ignoring the inquiries of a prisoner following the protocol, they expect us to follow, to the point of that prisoner giving up, out of pure frustration, is a tactic they seem to use a lot. This is the same thing they've done concerning the troubles with me pursuing my writing career; troubles that they create for me. Now, whether I learned my lesson from when I gave up on trying to donate my organs, or I maybe want this positive thing going for me now more than I then wanted that, whatever the reason, to this day have I not given up on this current pursuit. What happens, so many times, is, just like the case concerning organ donation; people give up on their pursuits, out of pure frustration, and (I can personally tell you from experience) in such a vile environment as these prisons, that frustration has a tendency to fester. These are the people released on society who go out and do terrible things. Things that very well could of been diverted way back at the time this individual was interested in doing something good and constructive; some- thing that might of and very well could of changed their life, decisions, and character. It's understandable that not all people, who get out and do bad things, do those things because of the indifference that frustrates many of us. Many really are just bad people who are not looking for change. But, what percentage of those who got out and did bad things is made up of they who might of changed, for the better, if not for this suffered indifference? If 10 out of 100 could of changed through an opportunity C—DOC discouraged them away from, that's a 10% drop in recidivists. I concede that 90—people doing bad things is still a problem for the citizens of our Mile High, but it's not 100. If those 10—people turn away from crime, crime rates go down and they are 10—people less the overall citizenship has to worry about. The question to here ponder: how many people might there be, like me, who truly are trying to achieve positive things, leading to positive change, but give up, out of frustration, and rejoin the ranks of those bad people who never want to change? I was one of those bad people for a very long time so, it's hard enough for me to change without the additional discouragement from my captors. There being times when I find myself having to suppress this old self, and the way that self used to think, when I talk down the thoughts of trying to literally kill one of these cops, in here, because of this frustration sometimes becoming so overwhelming for me. I feel like no matter how hard I keep trying to do this something positive, they don't want me to achieve such positivity in my life, which leads to me wanting to show them just how negative it can all get. I've gone as far as sizing some of them up in order to perceive the most vulnerable one to provide the least challenge to me achieving this horrible outcome; I've mentally mapped out areas to provide me the most time in accomplishing this kill. Then; I catch myself and consider how far I've come in my writing career. Yet, are there other times I find so much hate in all the opposition my writing career faces, and, again, do I feel the need to teach them a lesson. Thankfully I am able to recover and convince myself of how much further I might be able to go, in this writing career, with the help of the right people and with the right opportunities. I know I can do this as long as I remain tenacious and keep a positive head. It really is like having an angel on one shoulder and devil on the other. Every positive achievement does strengthen the angel, but the devil is not down and out because, not only is it so strong from all the wrong doings of my past, but those negative thoughts now, and perceived threats to my trying to change for the better, also adds to the little sucker's strength. It is so hard at times and, though I'm not saying I'll go back over to the dark side, what I can say is that I understand why some guys do. Someone once told me that they were with Evan Ebel in the same ad seg pod. From what I understand, Evan was as well trying to pursue positive goals at one point. He wanted to take college courses. I personally know that, all the idle time, provided by CSP, leaves a person ample opportunity to do something positive for themselves; CSP being where I first started writing and completed most the material for my first book. The thing was, C—DOC would not allow for him to utilize all that idle time for something positive. His mom even presented the idea that, if the books were going to be a security concern, the school would be willing to send loose leaflets. And still, C-DOC would not let him do this. I guess that when his sister died and the staff, there at CSP, wouldn't let him talk to his family, over the phone, because he was on loss of privileges status, it really injected his person with a pretty heavy dose of enmity. I'm not saying this is for surely what led to the awful tragedies after his release, but isn't it just horrible that there's the slightest chance things could of turned out differently if he was allowed the opportunity to better himself and yet he wasn't? What Evan did, after his release, was shot and killed two—people. It's a pretty big story, here in Colorado, since one of those people was the main executive director for the C-DOC. Evan then ended up in a shoot out, with the police, down in Texas, where he lost his life. You see, for his whole time in confinement, he was treated like a caged dog continuously poked with sticks through the bars. When an angry dog gets its chance,.it tends to bite! So, not only was his parents condemned to burying their daughter, but they had to bury their son as well. I do not know him personally, so I can not say if there are more siblings, but how tragic a story is this?! Those poor parents. Literally is there no word to reference their sorrow. Really, there isn't: When a spouse dies, the remaining spouse is either a widow or widower. When a child loses his or her parents, that child is an orphan. But, the loss of a child is so sad that there is not an English word to label the surviving parents. Think about it. Yes, it's that sad. Might a little compassion for a prisoner have maybe saved these poor people such burden to suffer this thing twice? This situation with Evan's release did lead to some minor but much needed administrative segregation reform, here in Colorado; but, how bad do things have to get before punishment is replaced with true rehabilitation? The scary thing, for me, is that my rap—sheet shows proof of the type of violent criminal I have been and am capable of being. I'm not saying that, at this moment, I'm thinking of doing something crazy when I get out, but it just scares the crap out of me to realize that I am totally capable of doing crazy stuff and C—DOC threatens the only thing I find correcting this darker side of my person; my budding writing career. I do not believe this that is of so much concern to me to be frivolous in nature. It isn't as though I am trying to convince the public of all the injustice, I suffer, every time I receive a tray, in the chow hall, a smite bit on the cold side. I seriously believe that those of us,in here,actually taking action to become successfullat whatever it is that will draw our interest towards the positivity of something constructive in a life that is otherwise full of destructionfshould not have to worry about being interrupted by this system that proclaims the safety of the public to be its number one concern. A system that might give permission to something if backed into a legal corner and left no other choice, but then plays semantics with what their permission really meant once the coast is clear and they have the chance to discourage once again. In a world where street cops are under so much scrutiny for their police brutality and are being forced to take empathy classes in some cities, these prison cops are obscured in the shadows of their prison towers where they lack the empathy it takes to help some of us change for the better: people, such as me, who need to change because I truly am a vile threat to the society I could Very well be back in after another 10—years or so. 10—years to practice a new found positive way of thinking and work on the writing career that is the main backbone of this. 10—years of working on making it as much a part of my character as has been the bad personality so embedded due to a lifestyle lived for 30 to 40—years. That lifestyle and negative character so hard to overcome because of all the time it's been a part of me. I need to practice being a good person; I need to practice this serious career I seek, and make advancements in, because it is that career of which helps in my transformation. I do not need discouragement and unnecessary obstacles set before me by they who should be most supportive of any positive change we, in their care, are making. Now days I am the most proud of this which I try to put all of my energy in. I know that not everyone might like the stuff I write (splatterpunk/ horror), but it is therapeutic for me to get all of the darkness out of myself in such a positive manner as to write it. On top of that; I get paid for it, which makes me a living and abolishes any excuses the old self could feed on to regress my person back to what I used to be. This, in itself, being the uplifting side to this whole story: the change I really have undergone and the pride I feel in that alone. But, not only is it this change and the pride it brings me, it is also the creativity and drive, behind it all,that also matters so much. My work really isn't much different than some of the things on TV today. Those things such as The Walking Dead, Bates‘ Motel, The Omen, or any other craze that's now out there in the free world. My first book being: TommyLee Dean's Brain Pulp. The ISBN: 978-1-312-96771-7. The back—cover—promotion reads: Within these pages you will find explicit and raw details reflecting such vivid imagery of violent, sadomasochistic, murderous, devilish, anti—authority sickness. All of this riddled with freakish, mind—bending, subcultured, dark humor, love and lust lost, and so much other jumbled brain pulp. Fiction inspired by a rough life full of hostility, hardship, and so much more. No holds barred creativity. Not for the timid at heart or easily shocked. But if you seek horror and the extreme, it's here in this book. My next book, the novel scheduled to come out in 2017, is entitled: Lou Cifer. This is what I predominantly spend my time doing. I have traded in the old actions of running in and beating some other prisoner to a bloody pulp, at least once a month, for this new way of taking up a good majority of my time. In the last 5—years, I've been back out in general population, on these prison yards, I've ran in on one guy and that was one of those unavoidable situations that sometimes arise in these places. I'm doing really well, I do believe. Add the 4—years I spent in administrative segregation, before this, and it's been 9—years I have only had one incident. Back on the 14th day of March, in 2011, I set off on this journey to accomplish publication. At this point, I had been sitting in CSP, since 2008, because, at Buena Vista Correctional Complex, 4—friends and I were caught on camera busting some guy up into a skin sack of bone fragments and blood clots. It was at this time, in 2011, I had just started a 32-year sentence for aggravated robbery. This was the second aggravated robbery I have been caught for and the fourth time I had been sentenced as an adult. My first sentencing, as an adult, was also for aggravated robbery and 25—years prior. I had been in and out of prison, since then, and was growing weary of this particular lifestyle. This weariness had incited me to begin looking for an out. I started to send 3—years worth of writings, to various addresses in the literary world, looking to get something published. It was on this 14th day of March, in 2011, when I sent a short story and 2 prose writing pieces to Henry Rollins Publishing. I have admired Henry for a long time. Growing up, I would listen to my Black Flag tapes so much they would wear out. Plus; I have read some of Henry's works and enjoyed his books very much. Recalling a time, in the past, when I saw a list of various writers published by Rollins Publishing, in addition to the aforementioned, led to Henry being the first choice for me to send my work to. Henry responded by writing back and telling me that these days he keeps his press busy enough with his own works of literature. He furthermore expressed that he thought I was a great writer and should hang in there. This was the kind rejection I received on the 19th day of April 2011, but I did not see it as a rejection. Instead; I perceived the promising fact that Henry Rollins gave a positive acknowledgement to my work! I figured that though I was not published nor professional, I was an acknowledged writer through the very first piece I ever sent out. It would be later in my pursuit, after so many SASES had gone unused by so many editors never heard from, when I would come to understand just how truly special and unique that response from Henry was; an already established writer and poet, who has achieved various other ,accomplishments in his life. A response that I cherish to this day. It was the 26th day of July, 2012 (16—months from my first contact with the world of publishing and literary art), I received a publishing contract from my present publisher. It was this same day when the mail room, at the facility I was in during this time, made the first move, of many, towards stepping all over my first amendment right. They rejected the publishing contract and wouldn't let me have it, casting me head first into this continuous struggle I suffer, against them, to this present day. It might sound unfair of them and that's because it is, but I've still been making progress in spite of their attempts at muddling. Plus, some of the material making up my third book is simply awesome because of the inspiration their constant interference gives my work. It has been said that fiction imitates life; my writings are no different. Writings that come from this person who has been in trouble with authority figures since my first day of school. This individual who's first run—in with ol' Johnny Law himself was when I was 7—years of age. The reality being that courts became a factor in my life when I was 13—years—old. Me; this guy who has been in and out of prison, for various serious charges, since the age of 19. Molested, beat up and stabbed; shot 4—times by the police, attacked by a K-9 unit, tazed, and gassed. We're talking cell extractions, full security restraints in place until my shoulders lthrobbed like bad toothaches, while locked in an observation cell for 48—hours, where I suffered the aroma of all the piss and shit spread with the same mop used for who knows how many weeks or months. Add all this to an overly active imagination, influenced through all the horror stories and scary movies I grew up enjoying so much, and there you have it. This is my prison experience, influenced by one day of finally waking to the fact that all the hostilities, of a rough life lived, and the negativity of so much bad experience, acting up and acting out through so many years of prison on and off, has got to lead to something better before it simply leads to a life wasted. I choose to allow for it to lead to this something better and hopefully someday, if and when I do get out again, I can live off these present labors, that are this new found prison experience, and never revert back to that nasty individual I once was for so many years of my time here on planet Earth. You reading this, right now, being one more accomplishment in my writer's portfolio, showing that the sky is the limit, for this prisoner, my dear friend... the positivity in a life so destructive for so long. TommyLee Dean

Author: Dean, Tommy Lee

Author Location: Colorado

Date: April 28, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 14 pages

If this is your essay and you would like it removed from or changed on this site, refer to our Takedown and Changes policy.

Takedown and Changes Policy
Browse More Essays