Nov. 29, 2010
From Victory by John Mccallister (author's profile)



Dear Blog-site,

I'm not sure how to approach the public about my life. So, I'll start with an introduction of myself. My name is John. Most call me $lugger - due to my problem-resolution "issues." And, of course, the fact that I'm born & raised in Louisville, KY. Guess it goes hand-in-hand.

I was referred to this site by a "potential" friend of mine...still not sure of his/her intentions. So, we'll play it by ear. I'm a thoughtful/respectful person. So, I feel obliged to consider this persons' thoughtfulness.

I'm guessing this site may have my vitals posted along with 'the all-so popular' mug-shot. If not, I'm 24 yrs old & currently incarcerated in S.O.C.F. (The 'Luke), a maximum-security prison. I've relocated 3 times & finally trapped myself in the worst prison in Ohio because of my 'problem-resolution issues.' Guess you'll have 'that' when surrounded/secluded with criminal-minded individuals.

Some of us become so stagnated in the atmosphere, that we fail to realize that we're making no progress. The environment we're forced into is far from rehabilitation. Rehabilitation starts with willingness. How can 80% of these guys change when they can't think for the future? Let alone, be honest, willing, & have a sense of self-respect for themselves? Sometimes I have to step outside of myself because I do the same thing constantly. I'm just blessed to be able to see it. I'm an honest person. No lie! ;-)

I became so 'fed-up' with the everyday stress this place causes, that sometimes I can't 'force' optimism. Guess that's why its called 'hard time.' I like challenges. Thats exactly what life is. The way I perceive this, is if one can overcome the moral & physical challenges of a place like'll make life 'that' much easier in society. 'Normality' almost sounds surreal once one becomes stagnated, mentally, in this penitentiary environment. We start to believe 'this' is normal. Its almost sickening.

Here I stand. Never will I fall again. I've been to the 'bottoms' in life. 'THAT' is sickening...but strength. My life has so many trials that failure isn't an option. In every negative, there is something positive if you dig deep enough, depending on your perception of life. Optimism is a 'must' in a place like this if you want to stay sane. Somehow, I've managed...even though the odds are against me. An environment like this will do one of two character, or demoralize you. The choice is left to our discretion, minus the dissoluted environment.

What do I do in here? I try to keep my circle limited & only associate with others when needed. Those I 'do' embrace, I give my love/loyalty to. A business oriented person, such as myself, associates with others regularly. That forces me to stay in the 'mix' of things. You'll have your ups & downs. It's all about strategy in here. Sometimes you need to use muscle because swallowing your pride & biting your tongue, & 'using your head' just doesn't suffice. And I refuse to be disrespected on any level. Respect is something I take very seriously. I'll give any person my utmost, unless I have reason to do so otherwise. I expect nothing less.

Through all of the headaches in here...I still smile. I close my eyes & take some deep breaths & think of all the little things I took for granted when I was free. Those are the things that mean the most.

5 yrs in on 7! Almost there. To all of those reading this, don't worry about me. I'm an intelligent & strong man who refuses to let this place break me. I have a little wisdom in life, nevertheless, not wise enough. I take heed to any type of knowledge or advice that may be given. Feel free. As long as it doesn't jeapordize my integrity, I'll gladly accept. To all of you...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Take care,

John McCallister

P.S. Feel free to ask any questions.


Replies (2) Replies feed

NatomaBishop Posted 13 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 13 years, 4 months ago   Favorite

Thank you for writing. I'm glad you did. I'm curious what you think of rehabilitation in the Ohio prison system. Is prison set up for you to succeed in the long run, or is it a type of college for criminals?

It's interesting that you say prison becomes 'normal' to someone who has been locked up for a number of years. Do you remember, or how would you describe who you were before being incarcerated...over time did you notice a change? How does the outside world look to you?

Can't imagine what holiday's are like in Luke but I hope you had a good Thanksgiving ;)


Maddy_hamblett Posted 8 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 8 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
Dear John,

My name is Mady and I'm from Australia.

Reading your letter you're a very insitful and mindful person, it's impressive how you have maintained such a peaceful mind. Though I am confused how prison becomes normal? I could never imagine being in solitary or in prison. I hope you are well and to know someone cares even though you might be on the other side world.

How was your Christmas and new year? what did you do? Did you manage to call or see your family?I hope you don't mind me asking.

In Australia the sun is warm and feels like energy when it touches your skin, and there's a cool breeze in the air that makes the leaves sing. The native birds wake you up at 7.30 in the morning and everything is so still at that time.

What are your hobbies? Do you like art or drama? Do you play an instrument?
I'm curious about you as a person.

Be well and smile. I hope to hear from you.


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