Hello to all of Felix’s followers and supporters! It has been many months since my last post, not much had changed except for the fact Felix got a job cleaning the bathrooms and a class opened up in horticultural. It was something new, he enjoyed learning to plant seedlings and take care of his little plot of land. Other than that, the normal operations of daily life in prison remained the same minus the violence, fighting and yelling he experienced in Florida. His dorm is treated differently due to disability prisoners housed in it.
Life also got better for him when he was given a new counselor, Ms. Smith, who had a profound impact on him. She shared with him much wisdom and treated him with much respect. It changed his thinking, for that I am most grateful. Felix wrote a long email a couple weeks ago and lot of it he said he wants to share with you all – about Ms. Smith, what he has learned in VA and other thoughts: “I have a counselor now, Ms. Smith, who treats me like a person. She looks at me as a person and she talks with me and not at me. She does it all with authority but does not push her authority around. She is a people person. That in itself can make a deference in the decision a person makes on a day to day bases especially when confronted with such harsh place. Friday, March 24 I had my yearly review and she told me I have improved scene I arrived here and I am doing really good. She gave me a plan for the next couple of years to accomplish with me also entering the reentry program and finally being released. That is hope. That does not mean it will happen, but it can. Most important that tells me, Felix you are somebody, we care and we are going to do everything possible, from our end, to make that happen.
She sat and spoke with me like a person telling me that I allow other people, staff included, to determine my actions and decisions based on what they said or did. Meaning someone would say or do something and I would react or respond when I did not need to. She said Felix you allow other people to control your actions and it does not have to be that way. Stop and think, before you respond or react. You must think of the consequences of you decisions before making them.
I told her that is exactly what I am learning now. Here in Virginia I can do that but I had to learn how to, this is what they thought me. But most important they removed the violence and gave me breathing room to clear my mind.
34 years in Florida decisions had to be made in a split second just for survival and consequence never came into play. It was life or death, everyday and all at the orders of guards. Virginia is doing right to help its prisoners must also be known. The ADA here is outstanding, Mr. Marano really cares about the deaf and blind people and helps in every way possible and the interpreters are here all day everyday, I mean they are really here. Not like Florida, thanks to the wonderful staff here at Greensvill today is my last day of medication, that’s how much I progressed. My headaches are gone also, my stomach problems gone. As of this day I take no medication for anything.
Here in Virginia I have not seen a single fight in one year, why because of the professionalism of the staff. I am not saying things don’t happen, just not in the impaired pod and nothing on the scale of Florida. There are some problems but nothing like Florida. If I could rate the two states from 1 to 10, I would give Virginia a 10 and 2 thumbs up and Florida a negative 2 with a shame on you.
It also helps with a good support team like I have. Pat, you’re the best, I would not be alive today if you were not a part of my life, and the same goes to so many others. I truly owe my life to you all, thank you for believing in me when no one else did.”
However, working with his new counselor Ms. Smith has ended as Felix has been transferred to Powhatan Correctional Center to take a job, full time, in the Silk Screen Plant, making signs and labels. He is so excited. These are Felix’s words as to what he was told about Powhatan: “The best part mom, what do you think it is, i get to pet a cow, that’s right, that is the place where the milk is taken from the mama cows and put in machines and then bags, I am going to love this, plus they have a print shop, a wood shop, a screen print shop and tag plant and many others and the place is very small, that is the part i love and very clean and respectful, plus Mr. Marano is going to be there.”
Remember the post I did where Felix said he wanted to pet a cow and that he had seen a real horse? That was at Marion CI in FL about 4 years ago. Well, that request to pet a cow may soon come true. The little things in life we take for granted is truly a big deal in Felix’s life. By the way, Mr. Marano is the Virginia ADA Coordinator. I have been in contact with him numerous times and he is truly a caring, patient person for the job.
Felix’s new address is: Powhatan Correctional Center, 3600 Woods Way, State Farm, VA 23160. Don’t forget his DC# 1805390. I know he will like to receive some mail at his new home. This is a new phase in his life, a new venture, but to always remember this is still prison. In his 35 years as a innocent man, Felix does not give up. He has found a new venture to better himself and prove to people in general, the parole commission/clemency board specifically, he can be a productive citizen and worthy of being a free man. I will keep you all apprised of any new developments in the legal area of this case.
Before closing there is one thing I would like to ask everyone, is there such a thing as communities for the deaf – apartment housing for the deaf, a neighborhood where many deaf live and work? And if so, will you email https://deafinprison.com/ let me know where? This is for general knowledge too, because many deaf are getting out of prison around the country and not all deaf returning to society have families to go home to and need someplace with other deaf to start a new life again. Really appreciate anything you might know about.
I wish everyone a fun, safe and blessed summer.