The journal of Fransisco Gonzalez

"My Jail-nal Joust with Fame and Infamy"  
A Prisoner Journal by Fransisco Gonzalez 


This is the Preface to my Journal for 2009. A strange but catchy little title to grab the reader's attention and keep them immersed in this yearlong project. I hope to be able to learn, teach, and grow with this journal. To readers, grab a seat because I am about to take you on an interesting ride full of twists and turns. A brush with Fame and Brilliance I dare say. Enjoy the ride!


Its not exactly 2009 yet when this project is officially supposed to start. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now, especially the past few days. As I mulled over a few ideas and started to envision what the finished product would look like, I want to write something important, something exciting, and a piece of work that will contribute to the literary world. To some it may be a huge feat but not for me. I'm confident that I will accomplish what many have desired to do for years. I only needed this guidance and I have found it. With that said I will now begin the formal introduction, because after all this will be a yearlong engagement and commitment. Heck, it will be almost a friendship of sorts.

Well, my name is Frank, I'm 32 years old, at least last time I checked. I'm a young man entering his prime in the world of cages and steel. I'm on my 17th year of incarceration for a sentence I received for a Murder Felony(187 pc.) with the use of a fire-arm. My total sentence was twenty nine years to life plus a three year concurrent sentence for escape. I was just sixteen years old with not a hair on my face. It was a kid facing hard time in a political climate that was screaming for more life sentences and harsher punishment for Juveniles. Legally, I couldn't drink(alcohol) or smoke(tobacco) or even drive a car but the law and society was ready to toss me to the dogs and sharks. I became somewhat of a political statement and stepping stone for a District Attorney who was highly motivated by politics and by upholding the law or protecting citizens. It was politics and he was not shy about that known fact.

So I walked in a boy inexperienced and uneducated but today here I am now, a Man, a man on a mission and a date with destiny. Better put, I have a Grand Vision and every step I take will be to achieve it. It's meant to be.

My background is one of a 1st generation Mexican-American with immigrant parents who worked very hard towards the American dream.

I was born August 14th, 1976 in the small agriculture city of Osnard, A beautiful coastal city in California. My parents had just gotten married when I arrived. As their first child I got the bundle of joy breast meat. It was even more exciting for my father because I was born on his birthday. It really was a special momentous event. But I gotta say that was short lived as my brother came along the following year. I quickly became yesterday's news, relegated to throwing out diapers the second I could walk.

Today I look in the mirror to see a straight forward man with strong convictions. I want to say I have a complicated personality but that would certainly be an understatement. As I always say show me a normal person in prison, then show me a sane one for that matter. I'm not even talking about the prisoner's yet! I like to think I'm a good person, benevolent and generous, just don't piss me off. It's the law of the land and I live by it.

I have faith in God the higher power, but I know he only helps those who help themselves. I believe in certain universal truths.

As for my handsome looks, don't get me started...Allright get me started because I got complaints and an ugly duckling story. That will have you cracking up. I got one of those Jerry Springer Show stories, you know the ones, "Look at me now I was fat and you're whack!" I was never one to take much time on my appearance, a pair of sweats and tennis shoes was my M.O. While my brother spent an hour combing his hair, I always found that outrageous. Nowadays I do care about the view, especially when I get those occasional looks from the ladies. Now that's irony because these occasional looks are extremely rare with a capital R for Rarely. I'm in prison and looking hardcore is the fashion.

Tattoos and mugs are in and pretty boys don't make out too good. I'm sure you've heard stories. To make a long story short I'm comfortable in my brown Sure that wasn't always the case but not everybody is born with perfectly chiseled looks. I can hold my own with the pretty people of the world.

I used to have foolish aspirations of wanting to be on one of those Jerry Springer Shows until I realized that I wasn't that screwed up. These people are ridiculous and the people who show up to be confronted are actually no worse than the losers who come out parading with a few muscles or a nose job. I'm telling you straight whacko's, they just let anyone on television these days. If you're willing to make a fool of yourself in front of a camera someone will film it, a technological age run amuck!

Let me see, what other things should I say that will give you a better idea of who I am. Oh yeah, I love to cook and eat well. I love art and do a little bit of it myself. I like different types of music and I'm fluent in Spanish. I'm learning to speak old Latin as well. I love to read and a good book is always the best present for me. I do a lot of writings and I'm fortunate to have a close family and their support.

I'm currently involved with Prisoner's Right's Activism and I work with a couple of non-profit organizations. I gotta tell you it's a hard business caring about this...I was going to use an ugly adjective but rights are too important to be belittled or joked about, especially a prisoner's few rights. It's an important battle and I take it very seriously.

Well, it is officially midnight, so let me gather my bearings for what is the real beginning to this journey...

Thursday 1-1-2009 10:52 PM

Damn! This is not as easy as I thought it would be. It dawned on me earlier that more than 90% of the stuff I see or hear won't be something I can write about. I'm censored by jailhouse policies and the codes of silence. Fuck that! I've had it with silence and the stupidity that I see every day, and to think regular people and the average Joe actually want to hear (about) that kind of stuff. They want to hear the blood and gore that goes on in these concrete jungles.

Well New Year's has come and gone along with all the other holiday's. Christmas is always the longest drag for me. After a week of listening to Christmas jingles (which seem to begin right after Thanksgiving) I start getting extremely annoyed. The radio station's up here in Pelican Bay state prison are the worst culprits too, and we only get two stations up here so it really sucks. You know I was getting ready to blame the holiday blues of incarceration, but actually I didn't like Christmas on the streets either because I never got what I asked for and sometimes I didn't get anything at all.

Friday January 2nd 2:07 PM

Today I had another rather strange day.

But before I get into that I want to share one of my Poems that came to me in a sheer moment of Brilliance. I was writing to a good friend of mine when I thought of it. So I wrote it down in the religious card I was sending out.

"Enigma's Day" 
	I've thought of many beautiful things I could say 
	But only God knows the way 
	Today, tomorrow, yesterday, and everyday is set 
	While me and you can only sit and 
	Trust it to be Okay. 
	Have faith my friend the Sun is Shining on Us 
	And from me to you is the Eternal Spirit 
	That dwells in All...Frankly Speaking 2008

It was just a bit of inspiration that I wanted to share with you as well. As I always tell my nephews aspire to inspire and be that positive influence with each person you come in contact with. Be that Reflection of Another's best qualities.

As for my day, it didn't start accordingly and as I thought to myself this project is going to be harder than I originally thought. One of my maxim's came to mind. "If it ain't hard it ain't fun." People sometimes get taken aback because it sounds like I want to do things the hard way. But on the contrary, people are always saying life ain't easy, and since it ain't easy then, let's make it fun!

I've considered many angles in doing this in a way that it's never been done before, because the last thing I really want to talk about is the sounds of prison that I wake up to every day. Those things are all too familiar already, "Don't Drop the Soap!" how I live is probably what many want to hear, but I probably don't do anything different than every other prisoner across the country, I'm not the BirdMan of Alcatraz or Charles Manson, nope, I'm just me, just a modest guy not doing the modest time but living it up in the greatest way. That's my attempt at rhyming which is interesting considering that I have never considered my self much of a Poet. I love to write and short stories have always been my forte. And now that I'm looking at things and looking at the Big Picture my goal should be to become a well rounded writer, a true writer in every sense of the word.

Now about my day, I had a doctor's appointment that ended being combative. I've been fighting with this prison for adequate medical treatment for more than three years and I'm currently litigating my case in the federal courts. The other medical staff have become aware of the possibility that they can get dragged into a court-room, so they will lie, withhold information, and act downright hostile.

What was different today than any other day? I actually got some support from a doctor who was familiar with my case and it was completely unexpected. I don't know maybe I was just surprised by the whole situation even though I don't think it was all fortuitous. I've worked very hard just to get what I have coming, and it's not like I'm getting anything extraordinary. People would be shocked if they saw how atrocious the medical treatment really is. They are actually killing prisoners with their Negligence and Malpractice. It's Outrageous!

And for those who claim we're lucky to even get any medical treatment at all, read your Constitution this isn't the barbaric dark ages. After all, we live in a time where incarceration and the prison industrial complex (PIC) is Big Business. The least you could do is take care of the product. I really wish someone could give me the statistics and comparisons of the life span of an average U.S. citizen vs. the life span of an average prisoner. I doubt many prisoners live to see their sixties. The oldest prisoner I've ever seen was almost seventy one years old and he was living on fumes, rolling around in a wheelchair. That's no way to live!

Sunday, January 12, 2009 3:45 PM

Cold and Chilly

The new year came and went. Damn, how time flies when you least expect it. Things have gone as well as planned but that's mostly because of my lack of proactivity. That, and sometimes small things can distract me which is a bad habit. I tend to want to micro-manage things when I'm in the middle of something. That's something I have to work on because my litigation work suffers when I get distracted by minor stuff.

I recently made the list. The list is something I've been doing for the past few years. I sit down and write down what I'm going to work on for the year. It's almost like resolutions, but I prefer to just call it the list because I can update every couple of months and mark off the accomplishments. This year's list wasn't all that great compared to past ones. There was a-lot of things on there that dealt with mostly self-improvement which is not very flattering. It's not easy to admit, even to oneself that there is room for improvement. My list goes like this:

Work on my Health 
	Do not be passive or take cheap shots from others.. 
	Be more consistent... 
	Get a prison job 
	Read more books 
	Work on any weaknesses 
	Be more alert and aware 
	Commit to the journal project 
	Renew the "2 cent campaign" for prison reform. 
	Exercise and get physically fit 
	Continue my writing campaign for my release 
	Write a book

Those things on the list just seem so typical, like it's something I usually do anyways. I'm going to have to seriously review it and make a new one because I'm just not satisfied with this one.

Lately I've started thinking of a phrase I coined a few years ago: "PRISONERS ARE NOT 2ND CLASS HUMANS" frankly speaking.

This stemmed from the fact that I was physically tortured in 2005. The ordeal lasted almost 3 years. It's a long story that I will save for another time because my case against the state is still in court. When it's all said and done I will get my justice for what they did to me. They will not be allowed to get swept under the rug like all the other stuff they have gotten away with. Society doesn't realize that torture doesn't just happen abroad in places like Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay. Torture happens right here in the face of Democracy and on America's front porch.

Society can no longer ignore the 2.3 million prisoners in this country. It has become a severe problem bred by the richest elite in this country. The few at the top who benefit from the status quo only want to see more prison's erected and cash in on the big business of incarceration. In California the CCPOA (California Correctional Peace officers Association) has become an overtly Powerful Guards Union who is known to flaunt its political muscle, influence, and cash to run the opposition right out of the state capitol (Sacramento). It truly has become a scary organization run by thugs with a Badge. It is shocking to see what they do to their own who don't fall in line.

A few years ago a politician Gloria Romero (D) (L.A.) came down on them after a Correctional Captain committed suicide after he involved himself in serious criminal conduct. Before putting a revolver to his head he left a lengthy suicide letter that implicated several of the Brass and the Ward of the Old Folsom Prison. Gloria Romero got on television and fired away at the guard corruption and called for a Legislative Investigation. Shortly after she received death threats, (I'm sure blue-collared criminals had nothing to do with this.) and no sooner than that the whole incident was stamped out by the CCPOA. A propaganda machine that then threw 11 million dollars at the Democratic candidate who ran against Governor Arnold Shwarzaenegger during his re-election bid. My question still is still where in the hell did they get 11 million dollars in a year where they are complaining for higher wages and benefits. As they were renegotiating their contract with the state, they're Union is throwing around millions of dollars in the political arena. All this didn't get much attention as as we speak there is a three judge panel that wants to put a population cap on the prison system because it is severely overcrowded. They started shipping California prisoners to states like Indian and Arizona but a lawsuit quickly put an end to that plan which was more like a recipe for disaster. Those are the horrible conditions we face today as prisons have become overcrowded. Disease like MHRSA outbreaks and Hepatitis have become rampant. The quality of the food served leaves much to be desired. As I reach me second decade of incarceration I only see gloom and doom for the next generation coming in that gets younger and younger, and dumber and dumber(and I'm not just talking about the prisoners either,) yards have become more volatile and hostile. Hotheads and cowboys from both sides trying to prove something only make for precarious living conditions. For the most part, prisoners just want to do their time without hassles or the gun firing at them.

As the times are changing and I become an elder in the crowd I can only try to share the wisdom in the hope that other prisoners don't fall into that bottomless pit of despair and hopelessness that is oppression.

Well folks, that is my entry for the day. There is much work to be done before another calendar page falls away...stay tuned.


Hectic Biotic! It's still Hectic and as I continue on this rollercoaster of a year I can only maintain my equanimity. As I look up the words, Hectic, Consumptive, or Feverish can't describe how my year has been going. I've had strange experiences, some good experiences, and teh way out experiences.

I've been to almost every corner of this Pelican Bay State Prison. And now I'm back in a place I had conquered, a place full of foes. "Veni Vedi Vici," an old Roman proverb, comes to mind. I've seen injustices adn I have suffered them, but I've conquered them.

I got moned a few days ago and went from bad to worse. Maybe worse for them as they now feel my huge presence. Like awakening the Sleeping Giant, they messed with the wrong man. I'm in the best poisition in the most dangerous prison in the state. My firm position held, and even in the face of my greatest challenge I can still walk in honor and integrity knowing that I stood up for what I believed in. "The truth, I have a hard enough time beating them with it, why start lying?" Frankly speaking, it's one of my favorite lines. Every time I write a complaint I start with those simple lines. As I face a sub-culture of corruption surrounded by a morally corrupted society, I as a man, soldeir, brother, and son can do more than live a life of vegetation, of just existing in the world.

I will do what I do, the correct way! "VENI VIDI VICI!"


Hecti-fied! Just when things were going great another snag in my year. A week ago I was moved from the Ad-Seg and I was put in one of the worst places, the psych unit, where I was TORTURED! As soon as I got here they (staff) were up in arms. They immediately felt my presence. I had some serious interviews and even a phone call from the State Inspector General. It has gotten extremely dangerous and now I'm finding out that getting my basic medical treatment can actually be hazardous. I should be out of here soon and out of this God-Forsaken prison. When I leave I'm puytting all the bad things behind me, and this nightmare ordeal.

Lately I've been having a hard time writing in the Journal as I have attracted more attention- the unwanted kind. They got psychs focusing on me trying to see what makes me tick. They watch my every move and try to manipulate circumstances. They fear it, they fear the truth getting out beyond these walls. I'm a man with great abilities and they recognize the potential threat that I am to their subculture and status quo.

There are some things that have happened that I can't talk about and things that I can't go into detail due to ongoing investigations.

I don't fear it! I've lived in this treacherous world for nearly 17 years. The closer I get to exposing them, the more they start turning on each other. My last couple of articles have spooked them to the point where they resorted to making me look bad by saying I'm the hard case. The fact is they abuse prisoners and the prison has turned to a psychological war zone. There have been a few deaths and the violence...the violence is what it is.

I have my whole future ahead of me! In honor and integrity, Mr. Frank Gonzalez.