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17: Long Road to Milan

On November 12, 2021 I was sentenced by the drama club of DC to 30 days incarceration. I could not believe it. My wife and I took a short trip to Georgia from the DC Courthouse to avoid the media circus that I seem to attract when I'm at home. Because I was arrested ON Jan 6, I was covered by every major national (and international) news publication, as well as the local media. Reporters were hanging out in front of my house for about a week after my arrest, hoping to get a glimpse of this suburban terrorist. We were not going through that again.

I truly thought that my sentencing would result in probation, and coming home would be a turning point into getting on with my life. Instead, I had to look forward to a horrifying experience. I spent several days in disbelief, with a side of anger and resentment towards the injustices of our government towards all Jan 6ers. It's a cruel fetish to knowingly arrest protesters for "picketing", and try to get them sentenced to prison. I don't understand what it would be like to be that type of person.

There were many questions to be answered, so I compartmentalized my emotions so I could focus on getting ready. Compartmentalization is a valuable skill, one I had honed as CEO. When would I serve my time? Where? What can I bring with me? How does this even work???

My attorneys told me to expect to hear in a few weeks. In the meantime, I needed to get smart really quickly. I wish I had the sources at my disposal to share for those of you still facing this daunting reality. However, I found some really good write-ups from individuals who had been through the system.

When it comes to minimum / low security prisons, there is very little danger of any violence. One writer spoke of the fact that he made many friends in prison, and that the people that are there are more like you than one might think. I'm there for a petty misdemeanor, someone else may be there for some other (relatively) minor infraction. So, while I don't know anyone, there's a good chance I'll meet some people to spend time with and learn the ropes.

in mid-December, I was told that I needed to report to Milan FCI, in Milan, Michigan. This is a low security facility. So, no prison camp for me. I needed to report by January 5.

I haven't really brought this up before, but I'm on several medications. Some are for physical health (blood pressure, etc.). However, two are for anxiety and depression. I saw these medications as critical to my mental health during the most stressful upcoming moment in my life. These medications are taken daily, and wear off throughout the day. I had my attorneys try to work with the prison system to ensure that I'd have medications available when I arrive. This ended up postponing my arrival date by 30 days, so we could find a solution.

I wear glasses, which I assumed would be fine. What was less obvious were my hearing aids. They can technically connect to a phone (for changing volume, or environmental settings). I bought a cheap pair just in case. However, I was able to keep my regular hearing aids, and I brought batteries and supplies as well.

Now that I knew where I was going, I went to That's where one can find information about every prison and facility, including Covid restrictions, how to send mail and money to inmates, statistics from safety evaluations, and a handbook. It's a good resource. However, like learning a foreign language, it's all theoretical until you go there. It looked like they had worship services, an outdoor recreation area, and a library.

The Covid restrictions at Milan were as follows: upon arrival at the facility, all inmates will spend 14 days in quarantine before being placed in the general population. Similarly, all inmates will spend 14 days in quarantine prior to being let out of the facility. For those of you playing at home, that's 28 out of 30 days where I would be in quarantine. Good grief, what a waste of time and taxpayer resources.

The new year came, and there was no new news about my medications. We were getting different stories based on who called, and where they called. My date was pushed out another 30 days. I was extremely frustrated at this - I was ready to get on with it and get it done. So, I called the Milan facility directly. I will say that it was really good for me to do that. I explained my situation (that I was a voluntary surrender). I learned that I better show up before 1:30 in the afternoon because if it's any later, I'd be placed in Special Housing Unit - SHU. NO ONE WANTS TO BE IN SHU. He said it's because the intake officer leaves at 3:00 and it takes about an hour or so to be taken in.

As for my medications, I spoke with the head of medical at Milan. She was no-nonsense. She was polite, but said that they won't do anything about meds until I show up. I should bring a list of meds I'm on, and they'll get what they can through their pharmacy. The prison, as you can imagine, has strict control over the types of meds they prescribe.

I figured I knew all I was going to know. I officially had until March 5 to report to Milan. I called them two weeks earlier and said I'd like to get started sooner. The officer said he'd never heard that one before (chuckle). I figured if I'm just sitting around waiting, I could be sitting there and getting things over with.

Tuesday, February 22, my wife and I left our home in Inverness for Milan, Michigan. The weather was terrible, Chicago traffic is terrible, and I needed to get there by 1:30. It was a miserable drive. With a one-hour time change working against us, it became quite stressful. However, once we got to the middle of Michigan, things smoothed out and it was clear I would be there on time.

We arrived at Milan. My wife did not want to see me walk in - she wanted to preserve my dignity. So, she dropped me off in the parking lot.

And I walked in.


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