About Your Host and Straight from the Pen

Straight from the Pen

The funding to create and manage this website came from your host, who worked for $1.45 per hour in the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR).  Those meager wages and good financial management made this site possible.


He decided the concept behind Straightfromthepen outweighed his comfort from channeling his earnings into personal items and release preparation savings. 

[More below on StraightfromthePen concept]

Midnight Express Books created StraightfromthePen.com for your host while he was serving a thirty-five-year federal sentence.  His publisher at Midnight Express Books designed and managed the site for him until his release to a halfway house on August 28, 2018.

About Your Host: Wayne T. Dowdy


Life began in a low-middle-class neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. My parents provided me and my siblings with food and shelter. I wanted more. Today I’m a writer with a unique voice, after having survived serving thirty-years and ten-days of my life inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.

I write openly and honestly to allow people to peek at my transformation in progress. For decades I lived the Thug Life and caused several people pain and misery; especially, my loved ones and countless victims, something I regret.

I don’t blame anyone other than myself for spending most of my life confined behind walls, bars and fences.  I made the poor choices that lead to prison.

Help Returning Citizens: https://straightfromthepen.com/2019/03/18/help-returning-citizens/

Straight from the Pen Concept

The Straight from the Pen concept is a dream, a plan to gather people to help create a social networking system designed to improve the state of affairs.  Prison budgets drain state and federal economies, but more so than that, the prison experience drains life from many men and women and damages the chance of those who wish to succeed after serving time in prison.

Tarnished by the “Ex-Con” stigma, makes it difficult for returning citizens to find jobs and people willing to trust and help him or her get on their feet.  Many of those who go to prison lose everything and walk out of the prison gates without any money, family, friends, and a lot of repressed hate and anger that will destroy them and sometimes hurt others who become their victims.

Recidivism rates soar in America:  In one study of prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% of prisoners were re-arrested within 3-years of release.  A recidivist is a person who returns to old behaviors.  Then in the “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005, Patterns from 2005 to 2010,” on average, 76.6% of state prisoners returned to prison with a new charge.

Federal prisoners fared better than state prisoners.  In an eight year study, “Recidivism Among Federal Offenders:  A Comprehensive Overview” that the United States Sentencing Commission released in 2016, “almost one-half of federal offenders released in 2005 (49.3%) were rearrested for a new crime or rearrested for a violation of supervision conditions.”

[In my blog post, “War and Reentry,” June 4, 2018, https://straightfromthepen.com/2018/06/04/war-and-reentry/
I question the legitimacy of the federal study and show statistical juggling used to convince the masses that the federal system does better than states at reducing recidivism.

In some categories and in a more recent 9-year recidivism study, over 80% returned to prison after release, which shows how severe recidivism is in America and how important prison and criminal justice reform are to our society.  (Read “Breaking News” at https://straightfromthepen.com/2018/06/18/breaking-news/

The recidivism rate is 80.1% for career criminals who automatically fall in the Criminal History Category of VI by having two prior felony drug and, or violent crime convictions.

THE COST of incarceration in America varies depending on the age and security of prisoners.  In the federal system, those rates average between $36,000 for healthy prisoners, and much higher for most of its aging prisoners.

Because of rising health care cost, the cost of my incarceration [did run] close to $100,000 per year.  Wouldn’t it be cheaper to free me? [Free at Last!]

Straight from the Pen hopes to lower those numbers by helping to change the status quo of the criminal justice systems across America and beyond.  Reducing recidivism, crime rates, and the victimization of those who will otherwise fall victim to the recidivist, whether by feeling the pain inflicted from the recidivist or by paying enormous tax rates that supports mass incarceration in America, will make life better for everyone involved.  We can make a difference!

NOTE: I cancelled the following due to the lack of public support: My plan is to find those capable and willing to create two social networking sites called StraightFromthePen.org and StraightFromthePen.net.  The .org will contain links to every state and federal legislature. 

Myself or others will draft bills and letters of support on specific issues of interest to society, and demand a vote from the elected officials to support the bills or issues necessary to change the corrupt system fueling mass incarceration. The supporting letters will caution politicians that a contrary vote will result in a negative vote for him or her during reelection.

8 thoughts on “About Your Host and Straight from the Pen

  1. Thank you for sharing your insight and experiences with us all. My son has recently been sent to La. for incarceration and is trying to find out how to get the stimulus package that other inmates are telling him that they received. He sent in an EIP 2020 for the stimulus but never received it. He did not file taxes in 2019 or 2020 to include the EIP stimulus on line 30. Is this something you can help us with? Thanking you in advance. Debbie


  2. Love The Blog! Having a 27 year old In Pelijcan Bay sheds Much Light on what you are saying. I’ve never been more aware o f just how corrupt the system is. My Son is a registered arsonist, as he put his girlfriend’s suitcase on our barbeque. Since that 6 Mo in Soledad, he has gone back, again for longer. Once years ago for a psychology class, I did a question are, and comparisons on inmates, in custody. It was my finding that, somehow, receividism, declines only with age.


    1. Hi Laura, I’m sorry to hear about your son. He sounds like me in my youth. I was a firebug (more like a lightening bug), too, just never got caught. None of my fires were major but I did love watching flames. I burnt the clothes of my cousin’s wife in our driveway when I was about 14-years-young.
      Two blog posts you may want to read are “The Truth About Incarceration,” Parts I and II.
      Recidivism does decline with age. I have blogs on Recidivism, too. 🙂 Add Recidivism in the Search Box and a lot of stuff pops up. Recidivism Study may yeild better results. I believe it is after 40-years old that the numbers drop, and then down to about 16% after the age of 60. At the end of the day, though, he has to decide he wants to change his life. I write about my transformation process in several essays in Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy ($8.95 on Amazon). Maybe my stories will help him see where he can end up if he doesn’t change. I hope so.
      Thanks again for the comments! I do appreciate you.

      Wayne T. Dowdy


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