It’s taken me almost two years to write this introduction, to nail down what this blog is about. When I began writing at the suggestion of a counselor in November 2010, it was meant as an outlet and a means of examining my addiction. And then, while navigating the judicial process with its whirligig of lawyers, court appointments, and probation officers, the blog became a travel log of sorts, a defendant’s guide to the federal justice system. I gave no thought to the site’s direction and always assumed it would be abandoned after my incarceration to collect dust in the bowels of the Internet. I never anticipated it would evolve–with the assistance of my family–into a portrait of prison life.

A friend asked what I hoped to accomplish with this blog. He suggested it might bring comfort to the families of those incarcerated; that it might educate an indifferent public on the illusive world of prison; that it might raise awareness of disproportionate sentences, flawed sentencing guidelines, and arbitrary mandatory minimums–tall orders, for sure. But I never intended to take on such responsibilities. My only desire–and the blog’s only purpose–is to tell my story.

A Brief Timeline

On May 30, 2009, ten days after my twenty-second birthday, an undercover FBI agent noticed a user of the online file-sharing network GigaTribe sharing child pornography with other members. In November of that year, the FBI showed up unexpectedly at my office and questioned me for an hour in an empty conference room. I cooperated, answering all of their questions, and was indicted ten months later in September 2010.

It was while on supervised release, after pleading guilty in November to one count of transporting child pornography, that I began to write.

On March 30, 2011, twenty-two months after the investigation began, I appeared before a federal judge and was sentenced to twelve years in prison with life probation. I surrendered the following month to a medium-security facility. My release date is set for 2021.