Chapter 1: “I Surrender!”

By Tony Casson

April Fools Day 2010—irony?

To begin a day so pleasantly and take a pretty drive through the Louisiana countryside with the intention of voluntarily allowing myself to be incarcerated was difficult – unfortunately, no one popped up and said, “April Fools!”

When my brother drove me to Oakdale, I just wanted to smoke my last few cigarettes and talk on the phone. But wouldn’t you know it—with all of Verizon’s much-touted 3G coverage, there was none in Oakdale!

We pulled into the visitor’s lot at the prison and I smoked another cigarette – you’d think I was a condemned man or something, but I guess I had finally gotten a tad nervous.

Jim, my brother, insisted on going in with me, and we sat in the lobby for the final few moments of freedom. We hugged, and he walked out to make the long drive back to Dallas, Texas, where he lives.

Someone asked if I was going to throw out my clothes, and I realized they were keeping NOTHING of mine, except my glasses. I ran back out to grab Jim so he could take my clothes after they stripped me.

The visitor’s lot was about 300 yards away from the office, and I was afraid Jim was going to pull away, so I ran towards him. I’m probably the only person to run away from a federal prison with no people chasing! HA HA HA! YES!

I got him, though, and I handed him my wallet and ID, so at least I would have an identity when I got out—they were actually just going to toss the thing!

We said goodbye, and they led me into the back—to “R & D”, or Receiving and Discharge.

Unlike the movies, there was no cavity search, head shaving or spray-downs with the fire hose. Oh, and no de-lice powder! Nope – just a simple change of clothes.

I’m grateful to my brother. That had to be hard for him.

A few hours, a few questionnaires, a mug shot or two and some fingerprinting later, I was off to the “S.H.U.”

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