The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Short eyes

Having been largely absent recently from the discussions here and from the topic posts, I thought Foruminants might like to know what life is like for one who has offended the peace and dignity of the State of South Dakota to a felonious degree.

My friend Randee Peterson, owner of, has allowed me to set up in his Spearfish office. This has been an enjoyable experience. Most days, I check out of the Work Release Facility (WRF), on North St (Rapid City) just north of the Civic Center, at 8 am, and drive to Spearfish.

The WRF is an old Catholic middle school; it still has graphics of Tweety, Sylvester, Wile E., and Bugs on the walls. It currently houses about 60-70 (hard to get a count because the prisoners all work different hours) folks in various stages of their punishment. We’re each charged $18 a day for the privilege of getting out to go to work; those looking for a job pay $6 a day until they score work somewhere.

In WRF, the IHOP is known as the International House of Probationees/Parolees. Outback is another place that seems to hire work release folks.

At work, I spend some time every day processing prints ordered by the folks I photographed in Spearfish Canyon during the Rally. That was a fortunate gig; it’s provided me with 95% of my income since the Rally. Aside from that, I go out and call on businesses I think would benefit from exposure on Yesterday, I made 55 sales calls on motels and campgrounds in the Rapid City area.

Most days, I get back to WRF about 5:45. I eat breakfast and dinner there; I hesitate to call what I eat there food. The Penn. Co. jail prepares the meals and sends them over on trays in a hot container. The jail also makes sack lunches for those who want them. That’s what we get in return for the $12 we pay in addition to the standard charge of $6 per day everyone in jail is supposed to pay.

Evenings are spent reading or watching TV (two sets available for the bunch of us) or playing cards or chess. I’m getting’ pretty good at partnership spades, but am 1 for 20 at chess games.

Last night we watched New England beat Buffalo. Someone remarked that O.J. was likely watching the game in a common-room in Nevada, just like us.

My out date should be Oct. 1, if my night count is accurate. Gettin’ short. Send lawyers, guns and money.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bob. I found this informative. Keep up the good work and good attitude.

Taunia Adams said...

Hey, Rosa!

Next time, go to the back of the bus when you're told.

Or become an icon.

Your choice.

(Love ya! And thanks for this, I love your humanity.)

Michael Sanborn said...

There's a story in today's Rapid City Journal about how the County is running out of space.

I suggest that release all victimless, non-violent criminals and make them report to a PO the 24-7 thing and free up the facility where we now house Bob and all the others and let the County use that space for the offices they need.