Monday, March 28, 2016

Dreamed A Strange Dream

Last night I had this dream that was very vivid. I tend not to pay to much attention to my dreams when I can find logical explanations for certain things in them. Like if I was thinking of my kids and that night I dreamt of going to the beach, I would associate one with another. With no real big second thought. Besides, I don't dream often. I haven't had a dream that I remember for about 8 months now. So last night when I had a very vivid dream with all these crazy symbols...I tend to take notice. Here it is.
I was in the passenger seat of some sort of convertible car with my best friend from high school. I had the biggest crush on him them, but never really admitted to anyone, accept just now. Not even my Mother new...sorry Mom. But we were driving and I knew that we were dating. There was some sort of friction between us as we drove and we were arguing lightly. Nothing crazy. Then I looked in the night sky and seen the stars had formed a Star Of David. Or a Jewish star. It was giant, covering the night sky, one whole half of my vision with this very detailed constellation that was brighter then anything else in the sky. The stars detailing this seemed to be closer and brighter then all the others. In the other half of the sky, were three rows of constellations. I initially thought that they were the Zodiac, but I could not make them out exactly, they were symbols though. There must have been about 18 or so, three rows of 6 or 7 perhaps. I was in awe of it and I wanted to inspect it closer. I was drawn to it, but my lover was wanting to get away from it. Obviously not comfortable with what was going on, he seemed to be disgusted with me and my interest. Our argument intensified. I don't remember the details of it but he tried to take me to this house to argue there and get out of the sight of the stars. I ended up going outside anyway once we arrived, I knew that our relationship was secondary to my interest in the sky's happenings.
This was a very emotional dream. I felt at ease the whole time and never scared at any time. I was only mildly annoyed with my lover and his intent and knew that he was only a fleeting moment and quite frankly unimportant. I am highly interested in the symbols and the reasoning for the star of David being so prominent. I don't have any explanation for the dream of the symbols there in.

Any Help? I need an interpretation!

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Or you can email me here enter in my DOC and I will mail you as soon as it appears on my contact list...I'll notice I promise..
Doing What's Necessary VS Doing What You Want: 

Responsibility is what? Go ahead and answer that question. What is responsibility? Is it doing what is necessary to survive? Is it providing a quality of life? What is it and how do you define it?
If I had asked that question of myself 10 years ago, and taken it seriously, I would not be here today. However, I am not here to dwell on what happened, only to learn from it and move on. So I ask myself today, what does responsibility mean to me?
For me I have a duty, a responsibility, to fix what was broken inside. Many people tell me that I am a lost cause. They hear my charges and criminal history and suddenly I am no longer worthy of change. They think that change isn't possible and once you cross a threshold you are no longer rehabilitable. Tell that to the millions of men and women who used to stick needles in their arms for addiction sake. The same ones who were rail thin and ghost pale and skin peeling like paper birch, who are now healthy and beautiful. Tell that to the people who grew up without shoes who now own multi-million dollar enterprises.
Go ahead and tell me that I can't change and that I will leave this place with a good mouthpiece but my actions will be the same as they were a decade ago. Go ahead...
I am going to move on from that stigma. I don't accept that summation. I don't care if you don't agree with me that I can change. Guess what, it's not up to anyone but me. I recognized my problem and got help. I forced the issue of "why did that happen and how do I move forward to ensure it will never happen again." Now I can say that I am no longer that man and I don't give a rip who doesn't think so.
I have a duty and a responsibility to myself and my family and anyone who struggled in the same area as me to not only change but to doggedly pursue anyone travelling down the same pathway. I KNOW what it took to over come that mentality and I can help others stop the process before they create a victim.

Responsibility is doing what you know is right. I know that preventing or attempting to stop another victim-based crime IS possible and I aim to do it. I know that I go on about LGBTQ rights a lot but these two are directly related. I refused to acknowledge my sexuality and it came out in some very bad ways. Anything was better then being gay, even a predator. I would rather be anything but gay. Once I accepted myself, things became very clear. Now I can say that years later here I am not perfect but able to stand. I can help others get there too. My path isn't for everyone, but it is for is yours. 

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469

Friday, March 25, 2016

Correctional Industries VS DOC Employment

Correctional Industries is a 501c3 that employes inmates at a discounted rate to supply services and goods to DOC and funds certain projects like Meals On Wheels and a few others. Overall it seems like a good idea or the heart of it seems good, but when you take a closer look, it's really just a big ole scam.
First, let's start with the most recent details of CI in the news. They were busted for cooking their books and I believe that they are still under investigation in other states. They basically are bulldogging their way into every prison all over the state promising cheaper meals. Here at Stafford Creek I watched what happened here. The individuals involved with the food here made great food for us and made it from scratch cheaper then what CI could provide it for. If the state would have mimicked that, we would have been fed better and it would have cost them less over all. Seeing as how it costs the state $60,000 a year to house each inmate, you would think that cutting costs would be a top priority. I guess its not after all. Because were they have a chance to save money, they choose not to. Go figure.
With the promise of higher wages for Kitchen staff they lured them in and basically gave them $5/hour pay increases to get them to stop fighting and just submit. Now we are going CI in September, or so. 

I just wonder what's more important, saving money or lining pockets?

Jeff Utnage

Body Image Issues: Are They The Same For Straights? 

As a gay man I have body image issues. I know this. I don't need a therapist to tell me that. For the longest time I couldn't figure out my problem with my weight. Truthfully, I still don't have a complete grasp. This is what I know, I look down and I see a morbidly overweight man. When I see a picture it confuses me because that is now what I see reflecting back. I see a healthy man. 
Something dawned on me though. One day I started analyzing where my eyes drifted. I found myself comparing my body to women's. Is that strange? I wonder how many other gay men do the same? Is that normal behavior for gay men? I will see a woman in a bikini and I don't get aroused at all, I do stare in wonderment though because I see the tone of the body and I immediately look at my own body to try and figure out why I don't measure up to her. I have to remind myself that I am not a woman nor do I want to be. But I consistently try and compare myself to women's bodies and get frustrated when I cannot measure up. I just wonder how different I am to other gay men and what do you do about it?

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
Keeping Contact 

There are plenty of people in prison, both men and women who don't have contact with family. I mean kids, spouses, mothers, fathers and everything beyond. Just important people to all of us. Because of our mistakes and victimization of everyone around us they have every right to not want anything to do with us. After all, society has standardized unforgiving. Not saying it's wrong, just stating a fact, a reality.
So because of that, our loved ones who refuse contact now have no idea what kind of men and women we are now. Drugs or alcohol or stress or whatever changed our demeanor's and when we come here we are faced with ourselves. Some of us learn, some don't. For those of us that are truly repentant and have seriously done some changes how do we communicate that change to someone that won't talk to us?
My answer is simple. I say one way (because there are several) is to start a journal. Write several journals. I keep three. Since I don't have contact with my kids (regretfully) I keep a journal and whenever I think of them or find some breakthrough in my life that I want o share with them I write it down. I can't talk to them, but one day they will come seeking answers and I intend to have one for them. With real remorse, real change. 
Nothing will ever take back my actions. Nothing will ever redo your past. We have to live with the mistakes that we've made. You do, I do, we all do. What we don't have to deal with is repeating them, or allowing them to define who we really are, the man or woman that you have potential to be.
Just because someone isn't giving you the time of day, for whatever reason, doesn't mean that all hope is lost. People change, have some faith in that at least. You can't change them, they can't change you. But they can change themselves and you should at least give that a chance. Don't write yourself off. 

Just a few thoughts.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469

The best way to contact me is through type in my doc # 823469 and add me to your contact. Follow the instructions as it is the only DOC approved inmate email system. The other way is through the mail system, you know, those things called letters...I know, super old school, but I get them frequently and I love them. So you can write me at

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

I have a new section coming soon for a list of friendly sites, so be patient those of you who are trying to link up sites. My tech lady is Momma bear and she is still learning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Pat On The Back:

Every once in a while you need to recognize your strengths. Yeah, your weaknesses or negatives are still there...and they need to be addressed. But, are you taking the time to recognize your strengths. Like, you may not be the most organized, but perhaps you ARE able to do something else. So drop the negative side of your life for just a minute, it's still going to be there in fifteen minutes. Pat yourself on the back.
You won't hurt yourself, or cause a scene. Just say to your self something that is good about you. I will start, I am good at complimenting people. I like to build up those around me. I don't like it when people are negative or just refuse to be happy. Since I can't "fix" them, I know that I am in control of me and what I do. So I compliment them, I point out something that I find a strength in them. I look for those opportunities. I thrive to watch them kind of get perplexed. Then that perplexity turns to about 2-3 hours of "I am going to talk to you because you seem to care". Then, I listen...relentlessly listen. Because no one else will...

I enjoy that. I enjoy the next day when they see me and suddenly they are different. They smile, they point out something that they like.

Its not the perfect ending, but you know what? Yesterday they hated life and today..well today they found something good. Not always does it end up that way, but it seems to happen a lot.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469

Activism: Forcing The Hard Issues

I wont pretend that activism is easy, it's not. It's inserting yourself into situations that don't want you there. With people that generally don't like you and don't respect your opinion.

Something I have been facing here for years.

So when something happens and it seems as though I am being back burnered again, I assume that it's happening. I don't quit, or give up, I push on. Tired and hurt, but I push on, because that's the right thing to do. Because the men here in this prison deserve a second chance. They deserve to be loved and communicated with. They deserve the chance to rehabilitate and change their lives. If that means that I am the only one who doesn't allow their violent attitudes to scare me and at the end of the day, even when they've been rude, I still tell them that I care...because I might be the only one who has...

Insert yourself into wherever you need to be because you won't be invited. No one is ever going to just hand you a 501c3 and say "thanks for answering our call" No you have to fight, and raise the tough questions, draw the hard line and toe it too. You are going to have to face problem and heartache and failure and seemingly endless amounts of "I forgot you" or "I didn't forget on purpose, it was an honest oversight"

We are nobody's oversight and I wont allow that to be an excuse not now, not ever. We are not secondary problems. We are human beings. We are LGBTQ and proud.

Love you all

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469 humbly...
Writing Out Of Anger: I'm Flat Out Offended

I have been fighting for LGBT rights in this prison for a few years now. The opposition that I have been facing is ridiculous. I have been involved in programs that teach me to be a mentor and a better public speaker and how to teach. I have been taking notes, believe that. 
I found voice through these programs and just being plain infuriated by this system. That doesn't mean that I don't have love for the programs that I am involved with, or the people that I am next to. I have immense respect for the people that I am currently dealing with and the programs that they represent that have helped me personally. Now, let me say this:
I am completely offended by this place. I have been fighting and writing and begging and pitching speech after speech after speech. I engage anyone who will listen and I just won't stop. Not even now I won't stop. Let me tell you why I am so pissed off. It's common knowledge that I am the one who is fighting for LGBT rights here on this compound. If anyone is even suspected of being gay, the whole damn prison tells me. They can't do nothin' without someone coming to me and airing their laundry. It's just the way things go I guess. So when the administration begins making steps to fix the inequality (which I am ecstatic for, bravo!) I find it flat out offensive that the same ones who have been ignoring me this whole time are the ones who are making choices about what these new things mean. Like June, June is now LGBTQ month. It is now a cultural event for this place, great. Also, my proposal to create a peer support group has been approved. So there is this great big meeting, so big that it has to be held in our visitation room. We had one last week and everyone brought my name up and the lady who organized it was like"oops, my bad, it was a clerical error that Jeff wasn't added" everyone was a little offended by it. Including me. So then she said that this week, she would hold another one so that those who were mistakenly forgotten, like me, will be included this go around. So imagine my f*****g surprise when guess who's NOT on the call out? Jeff Utnage.
Mistakes like this don't happen twice. Its obvious at this point that the people responsible for this are against me. They are doing their best to sabotage my involvement.

Well, guess what...I still ain't going to quit. I STILL am not going to quit! I hope to God that the message gets out to these people that I am not just fighting for a support system. This has become a highly personal attack by those who are in opposition of equality. I will respond by not quitting. I am still going to help those around me, I am still going to send weekly kites to administration. I still am going to continue to engage as many staff members as possible. I still am going to blog here and shine light on what is happening in the prisons of the most liberal state in the country. So much for forward thinking. Washington state as a whole may be forward thinking, but Aberdeen, WA and some of the staff of SCCC are obviously still holding on to racism and segregation and homophobia. Otherwise, people like me wouldn't be forgotten...continually.

With Love
Jeff Utnage 823469

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Days Following Easter: Keep Watch For Miracles People

I have noticed a pattern in my life that those around me also noticed, once I pointed it out.

The days following the celebration of Jesus Resurrection are filled with miracles and strange, unexplainable gifts. So I look for them. I say the celebration of Jesus resurrection and not Easter because I know that Easter is a derivative of a pagan holiday. So, I personally am not finicky about the term, however, I know that many are. My own personal view point is I am celebrating the resurrection, I don't care what it's called. Call it "nothing day" for all I care, as long as I get to celebrate my God's gift.
I know that in the bible after Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to many. Hundreds at a time in fact. I think that still happens today. When there is a unified celebration of His resurrection He appears to His people. Perhaps not the same way as 2000 years ago, but He appears in everything. 
I am happier in those days, my goals become easier, my days become filled with joy. I get more emails from my family, I love a little more. Maybe it's just because I expect it, the faith is what breathes life into this theory of mine. I don't know honestly. Maybe it's an unspoken tradition that God set into motion 2000 years ago...who knows. Whatever the case I look forward to late March and April every year because that is the time that I know God is moving. Maybe it's the changing of the seasons and I just want to see something happen. Maybe I am a little off my rocker, but it works for me and maybe, just maybe it might work for you.
So look for it!
Remember, it's never to late to accept Jesus. You haven't done too much sin to push God away. Believe me, God loves us and I am in prison, you know, the worst of the worst. In fact, God loves us soo much! He sent His Son for me. I didn't seek Jesus, Jesus found me. Now He is searching for you, in this blog post. I can show you how to accept Him and be reborn. Just like I was shown. 

Just say, Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that I can't do this on my own anymore. I want to repent for my sins and want to include youin everything I do. I believe that You were crucified and 3 days later rose again and in doing so you saved all those who claim your name and believe. 

Now you just mimick Jesus. He loved everyone, equally. Any preacher who teaches that it's ok to love someone based on sexuality, or social class, or race or for any reason is not a man of God, remember that when you go to your first service. If hate is being preached, that church is poisoned.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520
40 Days and 40 Nights

Time in the wilderness is my thought process for the day. Biblically the people that God used the most were those that were sinners, those that had done bad things. Moses committed murder, David too. Of course, that's not the rule, just a few examples. But one thing that most of them had in common was societal separation. God set them aside to get all other distractions gone. Then once they got their minds right, He sent them forward into society again to do His will.
I am not going to say I am in that group. But I will treat it as if that was me. I will use this time to connect with God and what His will is for my life. While I do that, I get lots of resistance. Both from my flesh and my peers. I used to really hate it when those who were Christians around me would challenge my faith. My fellow peers. I write to tell anyone who is in the LGBTQ community this: They don't matter. Our walk with Jesus is personal and unique. Each one of us has been dealt a set of circumstances and when we view the world we have no choice but to view it through the lenses that the Good Lord gave us. For me, those circumstances are homosexuality. When I watch tv I am looking at it from a gay mans perspective, when I listen to music or do my hair or get dressed or look for friends my sexuality comes into play with everyone of those decisions and circumstances. Likewise, you too. It isn't limited to just our sexuality, that doesn't define us totally, but it is a big part our mentality. We don't think any differently then those around us who are straight. But don't get it twisted, when I see a man my thoughts are different about him then my straight counterpart...are they not? 
So when we have a personal relationship with Jesus or God or whatever your God's name is, we have to talk to Him through our eyes, through our lenses. That's the beautiful part about this "time in the wilderness" He walks with us, He talks with us, He chooses to love us He meets us right where we are and then leads us to a place where we can connect with Him completely and totally.
I once had a dream that I went on a 30 day fast, no food, no water. The reason for this fast was to get one million saved souls. One million converts. In my dream there was this website that they would/could go to to sign there name and I wouldn't eat until one million people got saved. I remember in my dream I was near death, but happy. I was happy that God was using me for something...anything.
That is what I love about my faith. I am not garbage. I hated myself years ago and I still hate that man. I love the man that I am today but it is always a constant fear that no one will ever recognize the man that I am. Only the man that I was, the fearful man who is worthy to be hated, selfish and self-serving. The man that I have become today is a stark contrast. I like the idea that God did that in my life. He transformed me. He took me by the hand when I was alone and thrown away. It's like he stepped down from heaved and said "I know what to do with you, you are not garbage, you still have a use". That feeling is one that I love and cherish. The feeling of, I didn't have to live the way I was and I had a choice. I choose to live morally now, because it's what I want to do. That's a choice I didn't know I had, sounds unreasonable, but very true. 

I love you all, anyone who is out there, anyone who is in here. I am trying so hard to be a good brother to you. I want to be a brother to you that is useful, unselfish and loving. I hope that I find my family.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469

Limited Employment Opportunities: Fighting For What I Do Have

Work before being a felon is easy to obtain. I don't care what kind of job I had so long as I was working. Anyone who says that it's too hard to find a job has very little drive or some serious physical limitations. In prison, traditionally it was easy to get job training and prison to prison it differs.
Each one has different programs that are under different criteria. Like the DOC website claims that there is automotive programs, welding programs and classes that offer degrees and specialized training. Sounds good, but in reality, that is only in camp and when its not in camp you have to get special clearances. Like me in Stafford Creek I dont have hub access, which means I can't work Correctional Industries (just wait until I rant and rave about Correctional Industries...those bastards are dirtier then the mob...real talk) and I can't take any programs that are out there because i have technical life. I have to parole out. My charges are like a 95% parole rate as long as I take my required programming successfully. I am worried about my parole, but I am more worried about my job opportunities.
My only real shot in my current prison is the kitchen. Since I transferred here to SCCC from across the state, btw-at Airway Heights Corrections I had hub access and it is also a Minimum Security prison like Stafford Creek, but here the rules are different for whatever reason-my only shot at getting any kind of resume building job training is as a cook. Everything else is mundane. Its hard to convince a potential employer that you are an asset when your previous decade of job training is as a recreation porter and a recycling porter. Neither of which carry any real responsibility. 
So as a cook I learn how to do the most. I can say that I cooked for 2000 people a day and do it successfully. I know all the proper food prep procedures and how to use steam kettles, walk-in ovens and everything in between. But now that Correctional Industries is taking over they willbe consolodating our crews to one shift of cooks, we currently have 21 cooks over two shifts, we will need to be brought down to a more realistic 10-12 and one shift because they are removing one meal a day and giving us boxed breakfast' children. 
Although the meals are going to get less and they will become awful as they are across the state, that is not my concern. My main concern is defending what I have worked for. I don't have any shot, until I move to another prison, at job training. Since I want to stay close to my family I want to stay at either Monroe or Stafford Creek, but my options are quickly diminishing to having to choose between family visits and future employment. A really tough decision because my parole board will determine my eligibility for parole based on how many visits I receive. This helps them deterime how much community support I have. No support, no release. So it is a tough choice to make.
I will be filling my days fighting for my right to get training. In an environment that is as tough as this one is, I can't rely on strength and bullying to get a job as everyone else does. I have to be noticed. How do I maintain that? If you want a good job here you have to be Solid and your buddies have to work there, white or black. But you aren't going to walk in there and get any job unless you are welcomed by the other inmates. It is closely guarded. So for a guy like me to have a job like a cook (a job that is highly coveted) as a gay man and one that doesn't have a solid charge is amazing and a real God delivered opportunity.
Guess I will just have to rely on Him more and more.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469 

Any ideas?

Prison Mentality: What Is Wrong With It?

Obviously having a mentality that is developed in prison can't be a good thing. But why? What's wrong with it. You from the outside looking in, it's plain to see what's wrong, but for those appears as though things are a bit foggy.
In fact, right this very minute as I type this message there is a morbidly obese man hollering about chow times. "I ain't gonna eat when they tell me to eat, I'm gonna eat when I want to eat". Basically he's taunting the day room that he has a few soups in his house and can choose to eat them instead of mainline. Whatever. What I pulled from his display isn't his message but his mindset. Just one example of what I am talking about. 
But that very same display that he is putting on is also the same one the people put on to ostracize another inmate. We all know what ostracism is. But in here it's irreversible. Once your labeled, that's it. Your that to almost everyone. Common labels are weirdos and snitches. Weirdo in here is a bad word, like punk, bitch etc. When you call someone a weirdo what your saying is "I'm better then you and now I am publicly declaring it" That person becomes permanently labeled. Not like out there, if you call your buddy a weirdo your typically just pointing out one of his/hers eclectic behaviors. In here it's socially fatal.
Snitching is such a bad thing because it means you've told on someone for something. Once your labeled that, no one talks to you. What amazes me is that everyone follows this code. What they are saying is "I want to do bad things and get away with them, I want to commit unrighteous acts and have everyone around me turn a blind eye". And here is the amazing part, everyone for the most part does. That is what blows me away, even the co's in here appreciate the "code" of inmates. Ridiculous. I don't like snitches for another reason. Mainly because if you see someone doing something and you run to the police you are weak, not because you are telling on someone but because you could just as easily stop them yourself and not involve anyone else. The bible says teaches that discretion is a precious possession. We can privately talk to people and teach them better ways. No need to make them lose good time and visits and blah blah blah. I won't ostracize someone but I will keep my distance. I have had some real creepy encounters. For instance, one day I shook a mans hand, he was very creepy indeed. He talked like a crack headed smithers off of the simpsons and when I shook his hand, I felt hair. I immediately jerked back and he had hairy palms due to a skin graft. I was very freaked out and if you couple the hairy palms with the creepy voice, well, then you get the big weird factor.
I try to isolate those thoughts though, it's not healthy to place yourself above anyone else and by me saying even that about someone else is simply buying into the established hierarchy of this place. One that is old and worn out and obviously ineffective. 
I write that to write this, I am working on changing that mentality. Me and many other men in here. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. We have done wrong all our lives, our parents taught us the wrong thing, if not them then our Uncles and aunts, our friends and the neighbour down the street. I want to think healthily. I want to stand up for the person that is trying to do it themselves but cannot. But at least they tried. When they do, I aim to make sure that they are not alone. That when I recognize that someone is fighting unrighteousness with righteousness, that I am allied with them. Why, because it's the right thing to do..

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469

Being Passionate Is A Must: How To Create Your Own Movement

Bringing equality to the table is important to me. In all scenarios it is necessary. I can't think of one case where inequality is going to work. With that in mind I want to make sure that wherever, whenever possible that everyone who is experiencing forms of injustice can have the courage to change their circumstances. 
I want to explain what I have done to get my facility to take notice of my cause, which is LGBTQ equality. First, I had to fill a void in my life. I was broken and alone. So I attempted to reach out and no matter how many times I wrote other organizations or got on pen pal sites or wrote my little heart out to others, I got nothing. I had to know what I wanted. What I wanted was support. Knowing that, I moved forward. Next, I got as many staff members involved in my struggle as possible. I went to my mental health counselor and then I went to my Sargent and my CUS, then I started explaining my need for LGBT interaction and my suffering to anyone who would listen. 
I didn't just complain though, I offered solutions to what would fix my loneliness. In my case a LGBTQ Peer Support Group that was offered by the facility would alleviate many emotional problems because then I could talk to peers, or people that understood my mindset. Next, I prayed. I know that many of you out there aren't religious. However, in my case I am and I follow Jesus Christ unashamedly and He is a big part of my decision making process now...SO I prayed. I made sure that God was in this process and that I was in compliance with His will.
Then I wrote a proposal detailing my problem and how a weekly group therapy setting led by inmates would solve those problems and what the prison stood to gain from such a thing. In this case, if the men that I am mentoring find themselves and become more self-confident and aware, they are more likely to lower their recidivism rates and be better, law abiding inmates as well. Making us better equipped to do the right thing is always in the best interest of the state...period.
Then, I had passion. I fully committed to my group. I hold myself to a higher standard and don't allow myself to deviate from that. I won't have sex while in prison, I don't date and I don't pretend to either. I am celibate and will remain that way until I can have an appropriate relationship with a man that is going to be healthy with me. That's that. So I have passion and zeal. I won't let it go and whatever you cause is be prepared that it is going to be challenged and ignored. It will be thrown away and dismissed and those around you will tell you that it isn't possible and that it isn't worth all the heartache. They will tell you that they admire your willingness to try, but that you will fail "I hope you don't, but they will never allow you to do this."
Then there are those who thrive on racism and bigotry. These are typically the Special Threat Groups, or prison gangs. They stand to lose the most by equality. If equality and justice prevails, then their entire empire fails. That's a fact. Those who lie hate those who are crushed by it. Well, those of us who are oppressed and forsaken by those who are stronger then us are crushed by hatred only when we allow it to. We can combat it with justice and righteousness, not stopping to their level and forming a prison gang of our own. What we do is force the issue. Get as many people involved as possible and don't accept anything less than what is fair and right.
When you have a cause whether it's #blacklivesmatter or gay lives matter or something that is equally as important to the furtherance of our society as a whole, things like ending racial inequality. Have passion and live as if this is possible. Have optimism and think about it every day in every conversation and every single morning wake up and think about what it will look like exactly. Know every detail.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Freaking Trump: I am so on the fence with this guy!

Now, I know that Trump has gotten himself the reputation as a racist. He has said some real off-the-cuff comments that have made me cringe. I don't know his position on homo-sexuality or gay marriage, all I have heard him say in response to a reporter was "you already know my stance on that". It just so happened that I personally did not.
So this is what I do like about Trump. It's less Trump that I like and more his campaign style. I like the fact that GOP Conservatives are having "closed door" meetings to try and stop him. Why? What if he is what people want? Does that count for anything...what the people want? 
I know that having someone that doesn't like you in charge of you isn't in your best interest...obviously. But from a poor man's standpoint, how can you argue with success being in office? People want that. They also want to know that who they actually going to be in office. Not whoever some mucky mucks in a "closed door" meeting chose as a last minute "oh shit, he's ruining our college teaching on how to politic". Which is what seems to be what is happening. Which is sad. That absolutely makes me sick.
Trump may not be the best choice to run the country and his inability to express clear views on foreign policy is troublesome to say the least. But you can't argue with his methodology, it's reaching the people and highly effectively. Even here in prison Trump is a "hot button" that is getting even us engaged and we can't even vote. Make no mistake about it, we maybe can't vote, but we have influence...believe that.
So whatever your stance is on Trump, his style needs to be repeated by someone who is more capable. We need someone to come in and turn the "money changers" upside down. Basically GOP is sweating bullets because a bigger bully is in town and they don't like it. Now they are crying because they aren't getting their way...what a shame, politicians can't squirrel away another secret so secretly. I like that, Trump or no Trump, I like that. 
Force them to be so transparent that non of them are great candidates. Lets get them all so bare and open that we actually get someone in the White house that is able to be honest...I know, real shocker. I think that is where Trump is unknowingly taking this election. I don't think he wants that, he stands to lose the most if all is bared. But in the future, his campaign will absolutely be mimicked and bravo. Politics is exciting again.

I am still fighting my good fight here. In fact, when the planning for my own group has started to take place, the program coordinator intentionally left me out of it. Even other people involved in this process were like "Where's Jeff, he is the only one qualified and willing to lead the LGBTQ side of things" there was little response by her..kinda upsetting, but with support from people like you...we can force the issue that those of us that want equality and help...should get it. I know this is off topic slightly...but that is the name of the site I want a voice in this prison that speaks and protects the LGBTQ community from further damage and harm. We should get equal access to leadership and mentor ship and shouldn't be stopped by any program coordinators religious or "other" agenda...

With Love

Jeff Utnage

keep fighting!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Ready For Love?

What are you ready for? Me personally I am ready for many things. The one that is on my mind the most? Love... I don't know why or how, but that is the topic that frequents my thoughts. I imagine what it will be like to finally be in love with another man. Finally be able to express my feelings openly and unashamedly. 
I sit on my bunk and think about my future lover and what we'll do and the places we'll go and the things we'll say to one another. Then I think about my current circumstances and the hope kinda fades, well, not kinda, it does fade. I hate that.
What kind of relationship can be developed in a prison visitation room? Can it be healthy? I want to try. I think about planting a big ole' kiss on my imaginary boyfriend in front of everyone in the visit room like straight couples do. I know that when people do that everyone glances and then goes back to their conversations. When I do it think about what they'll say when two men do it. Will staff intervene? I imagine so. What if my lover is transgender? Will they let her in dressed how she wants? Will they make her dress as a man as her body's sexual organs? I think about this and the outage already builds to protect the pride of someone who isn't even real, and I get upset about a situation that doesn't even exist.
I have no idea if I will be able to date while I am in prison. I sincerely hope so. Only time will tell. I can tell you one thing though, I have taken the time to inventory the problems that brought me to this place and have taken the time to individually fix/repair the problems until my whole thought process has changed.
I hope that is enough to counter my past. What must I do to prove my worth? What must be done on my end to prove that I am no longer that man that brought me here? Can anyone tell me? Will I ever be anything different than the monster in anyone's eyes? I think about it often. This monster wants to love someone and I want to love the completely and honestly. Maybe my love is just to much right now. Maybe I am married to Jesus and He wants me all to himself? LOL!

that's my thoughts...

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Write any time

Inmates Deserve Better:

I would call DOC a failing system. Let me make my point clear. We made a grave mistake. One that should have been avoided and not done in the first place. We are people that committed crimes and that was wrong. There is no way to cut it that makes it ok for us to commit crimes. Period!
Now, here is the problem, what led us to do crimes is the problem that needs to be addressed. The first penitentiary was created so that people who sinned (or committed a crime) can go to a quiet, isolated place to become penitent with God. Thus the term Penitentiary. I believe in God, but I also believe that God gave us brains to understand science and reality. Going and talking with God is never a bad idea, but blaming Him and expecting Him to fix something that is in my control is idiotic.
No, what needs to be addressed and where the system is broken is in psychological care. For many of us, not all, but many of us we want help. For whatever led us here. Drugs, assaults, sexual deviance''t matter what is was. I believe that anyone who wants it can be rehabilitated. So long as they are willing to put in the work and understand what's up.
Yes, there are men who need to be locked up because they are gone. But there are plenty of men who are locked up away with them that are actively learning those tendencies because they need to survive. You can separate yourself from that with effort, but it can be very dangerous in many cases. The violent react violently. That's that.
The system needs help. It needs it's own doctor and physician. When we want help, it should be available. Teach us a trade, give us counseling that is focused and accessible. When we refuse to change, then give up on us. When we don't want to fix what led us here, which admittedly, there are many who plan on getting out and doing drugs again. But there are many who want to change and don't have any idea how to do that. Parents and communities didn't teach them those skills. They followed a violent Uncle, or Brother or Father or influential Neighbor. Or just a childhood mentality. There are many reasons.

anyway, I hope that people get involved and ask questions. Why are these men being thrown away when we are not garbage. We are your fathers and sons and brothers and neighbors and we want help. I personally wont accept my past life as a viable future. Meaning I refuse to leave this place the same man I came in. I have changed and I won't allow any other thought to enter in that tells me different. I will never forget my past, but I certainly won't allow it to define me. What does define me is my future. Believe that!

With Love,

Jeff Utnage 823469

I want to hear your thougt's and views. The whole point of this website is to engage people into conversation about prison. I am openly gay and that has an impact on how I view prison and what it means for me. For instance, it's illegal for me to engage in homosexual activity. Like holding that right? What do you think?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sinning Less: Making An Effort

It's one thing to follow the teachings of Christ, it's another to say your a Christian. Yet another to go to church. Church doesn't make you a Christian. Following Christ does. Saying your a Baptist or an Evangelist or a Lutheran or a Methodist makes you those titles, not a Christian. If you say that you are a Baptist, you are not a Christian you are a Baptist. Now I know that many will not like that...but really think about it. Christ laid forth a set of principles and values to follow. That is Christianity. Follow those then you can say "I am a Christian". However, when you insert additional rules and regulations and clothing regulations and blah blah blah to the mix, then you are creating something new...right?

Anyway, I am making a conscious effort to be someone who is following the teachings of Christ. Not just say it, but do it.

Just food for thought.

Jeff Utnage

Reinventing Yourself: Don't Be Afraid

I work with someone who used to color their hair. They would come in and there would be some new streak. Nothing intense or crazy, just a simple streak of color. As if to say "I may be here, but I have a wild side to" however, the streak of color didn't match the personality that everyone else seen. So it must've been something inside that they were expressing.
I asked them the other day why they haven't done anymore streaks of color lately. Just the natural hair color, in fact, the reason I even noticed it is because for the first time I noticed grey hair...The person simply responded, "yeah, I should recolor my hair" a little embarrased. That's when I brought up the hair streaks. The response was something that goes along with my attitude of reinvention which was "I used to streak it, but that isn't me anymore"
Why not? What happened? I didn't ask, it's not my place or business, but I think of myself and my own situation. I liked the fact that there was this unaplogetic, I don't answer to anyone and I am not afraid to reinvent myself or to evolve into better me. I like that attitude and thought process. Its one that I employ into my own life and my own situation. I cannot be defined by my past. Why, because I was not satisfied with it and nor will I be, ever.
Something that I hav thought about alot is my kids. I don't talk to them, not because I don't want to, but because I failed as a Father and the state now holds me to that standard. No second chances for me, despite how bad I want one. So I have no choice but to change. I have to change because one day they are all going to come to me and ask me what happened. I WILL be able to look them in the eye and tell them that I am sorry, that I didn't waste the time and fixed what needed to be fixed.
Lip service is in effective and non-fruitful. So I will be able to show them through my actions. I will never be satisfied with my current situation or goal. I will forever look for the next goal, the next achievement. I WILL rise above, I WILL NOT be content with being the man I was and the only way to prove that is to be something different. Like the person I work with I am unapologetic about my new self. I won't hide it, or allow anyone to shame me about my past. I do that just fine. So back off, that's my job. No one will make me feel worse that I do. But no one can bring me out of it but me either. So watch me become something. Not for my kids, but for me. Because I deserve it. But so do they.

And so do you.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

How will you reinvent yourself? I want to know!

Bridging Gaps: What Will It Take?

I find myself attempting to me more tolerant as I become more self-aware. This prison, all prisons, breed hatred and contention. When there is a problem, segregate, when one person does something, his whole race is thought to do the same. It's expected. I hate that. Here is my big problem, what makes any of us think that someone else is not allowed to make mistakes? What makes us so special? How completely ridiculous that we expect everyone around us to be perfect but when we make mistakes we say, "oh, forgive me". Hypocrites! 
We all make mistakes, we all do things that offend someone else, we all say things that jeopardize our good standings with our neighbors. Unless we hermitize and never socialize, which is NOT how God made is it? We watch television about those who recluse into the forest or the mountains and envy those who are isolated and listen to them talk about "society" being broken and "people" being to hard to deal with and their selfishness. I say those who recluse are weak and apart of the problem at large. If you don't like something you should change it! At least try to be apart of the solution.
It's not ok to quietly slip into the darkness and hide or justify reclusing becuase your unable to deal with the problem. Here is how you change the world around you: YOU CHANGE! You decide that you are not going to accept cutting in line as an alternative, you decide that you are going to lend what you have and you are going to allow people to walk on you. I know that sounds anti-everything-you've-been-taught. But, it's true. I have heard pastors ad preachers say, give unto others but don't allow them to walk on you, or to use you. 
I say, God says in His Word to Bless those who spitefully use you...Tell those who are acting like children, "despite me feeling like your using me, I am going to lend this to you anyway, why, becuase I believe in you" Don't just say it, mean it. 
If we would try to edify and uplift those around us those around us will naturally try to live up to that expectation. I have tried it here in prison and it works. By telling others " I know that you are a strong man, who has a will that is iron clad, you are able to overcome this and I hope that I can help you do so in some way" They will naturally include you in their road or pathway or whatever situation they are in and show you the side of them that is caring and beautiful. 
I challenge everyone to try this method. I don't mean give out all your belongings. I mean, when someone tries to cut you off instead of freaking out, let them in and bless them. When someone wants coffee faster then you, tell them it's ok to go in front of you and then say it in a relaxing way that you are ok with this. Don't look down your nose at them or make them feel small, tell them "You are in a hurry, I hope that you will do this for someone else in the future...go ahead of me."
This isn't some romantic "save the world" idea. This is a basic way to interact with humanity and be apart of a solution. Everyone that we come into contact with are potential allies and friends that are able to help us through our tough times. By being nice to someone who isn't expecting it, we could prevent the next mass shooting, or suicide, or victimization of another. This is taking an active role in fixing the problem. 

With Love

Writing Address

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Be Kind

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trump: Is He What I Thought?

I see all the negative media that Trump is getting and it makes me wonder of he is a good choice for candidacy anymore. My original thought was that he may make America a better place...but with all the coverage on his sponsorship by the KKK and his stance on the Wall and othe things of racial nature...I wonder anymore if he's really worth it. I fully beleive that he is more than capable of making the USA a great financial entity again...but at what cost? 

If you follow me at all you know that I am pretty religious, or at least try to follow Jesus Christ as closely as I know how. I can't say that I beliece Trump does as well...that's a big deal in my book. 

Something to think about at least. I have much to ponder. Oh, and HUGE thanks to 

LAGAI/Queer Insurrection out of San Franisco for publishing my plea for help.

I want to make it clear that my facility is stepping up o the plate and honoring more than I ever thought they would so fast. They have added an LGBTQ cultural event in June and they are adding LGBTQ to their cultural diversity groups through Redemption (an inmate led prison reform program...very cool program that will change the doubt) and they are still considering my group support they ARE listening and bravo to them.

It takes courage to stand up for what is right. Even though many staff members here are very obviously racially bias and homophobic very publically, our Superintendent is not allowing them to dictate her actions and programming bravo.


With Love

Jeff Utnage
Education in Prison: Reward or Necessary?

There are two different sides to the "should we educate prisoners" coin. One side says no we shouldn't reward them with educations, while the other says yes we should. Here are the reasoning behind both.
The nay-sayers, which in my estimation are mainly lawmakers and yuppies, say that prison is a place of punishment. It's our "time-out" place where we go to think about our past mistakes. Effective...for a few minutes. Put your kid in the corner for five minutes and that works...try it again for a few days and seewhat happens to him...not a good idea folks! IN fact, that's called abuse.
So the basic idea is that we should come here and have no rights, eat slop and sty in our houses and not socialize and not have friends or family visits and blah blah blah. Be extremely restricted to basically deter the next generation. Lock us up forever! I get it. 
On the other side, we have those who say that educating is the smart thing to do for everyone. Here is why:
USA spends $80 billion on incarceration. Each inmate costs $60,000 annually to house. Washington state's recidivism rate is 34%. That means that for every 1000 inmates that get let out every year, 340 of them aregoing to create another victim within their first 36 months. Now, it costs $5,000 to educate an inmate on average. Studies show that educated inmates have recidivism rates of 5%. That means that for every 1000 of us that are released, 50 of us will create another victim. What seems better to you: 340 or 50 victims?
Still think that you should lock us up and throw away the key? Still think that an "iron fist" is the way to go? Do you know who else thinks that way? Hitler does the Taliban and other extremist groups. They are generally referred to as vicious and brutal. Yet that is the thought process of many lawmakers who want to lock everyone up and never have to deal with them again. But when it's a person in authority who is modern and American, it's the right thing to do. When it's overseas its extremism and brutal??? WHAT!
No! Here is the deal folks, one day we are going to be out there, amongst you. Shopping side by side with you, driving on the freeway with you, our children going to school with yours and ordering the same food at the same restaurants and interacting with you all. You better hope that we get fixed what needed to be fixed other wise inmates will retract to their original states of mind. Which is fear and hatred. Every person in the world has a vested interest in lowering our recidivism rates. Our time in prison is not easy, it's psychologically straining and the corruption is hard to navigate. This is the only place in the USA that still promotes segregation. Whenever there is a problem with inmates, the first thing they do is segregate us? When the new staff arrives and gets a list of who is here they get 4 peices f "vital" information Our names, our DOC numbers, our housing assigments (what cell were in) and our race. That's fact.
Even our school teachers and kitchen staff and employers here get that information. When Correctional Industries gets all the important information about us, that's what they get. Our race? Why is that important in modern culture? You tell me?
If we are willing to get college educated and it lowers our recidivism rates by 29%, why wouldn't you want that? We are human beings and will be out there. Not all of us are going to be monsters forever. We get second chances and when we are given them, we take them and flourish. I can prevent someone fom committing my crime again. Why wouldn't you want that? One less victim in the world by me being educated is well worth it in my estimation.

With Love

Jeff Utnage

God's Time

If I take the time to count all the times I knew God was real...I would run out of time! It was recently asked of me by a new friend how I knew what was next. How did I know that there is a spirit world? Where was I going after this life.
I told him this, that my life begins when my flesh perishes. That I don't begin eternity until my spirit sheds this mortal body and puts on immortality. That's when my life begins. This plain, this existence is to teach me that God gave me free will. That I must CHOOSE to love God almighty and to want to love Him in return. When I die, then I start living. So to die is to live and to to die. Then he wanted to know why I KNEW that.
Easy, because how many of us have seen something supernatural. I am not talking about a situation that can be explained by coincidence. I mean something tangible. Unexpected. It's easy to trick the brain. Just close your eyes in the dark and you'll see all kinds of stuff that isn't really there. However, what if you aren't expecting to see something and you see it. What if more then one person see's the same thing? When I was younger I made a suicide pact with a friend and in act a ghost stopped us. IN fact, we were going about 85 in a Pontiac Bonneville and driving straight into oncoming traffic trying to have a head-on collision with a semi. This giant deer, ghost white, must've been 9 feet tall and had an antler rack that was 7 feet in length...yeah, huge! It ducked down and ran straight at me at about the same pace as the car, which was 85. It was a natural reaction to swerve out of the way of the giant monster deer elk thingy that was ghost white and bigger then anything I have ever seen...we didn't die that night and thank God we didn't...God intervened for His name's sake and I know that it was supernatural and not a trick of my simple mind...God is real and that's that.

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
stafford creek correction center
191 constantine way
aberdeen, wa 98520

Doing Right

In 2012 I was incarcerated and got a tattoo, one which I was infracted for. I was the typical knucklehead who just wanted to get covered in tattoos and admittedly still do. However, I haven't gotten one since 2012 and won't until I am released and here's why.
I have three children and my youngest heard that I got in trouble for getting new ink work done. I then told my mother that the next one I was going to get was a letter that my oldest so sent me. It was the only piece of mail that I received from him and it said "One fish, two fish, red fish blue fish. Dad, I want to go fishing with you, love, your son." then he drew a little pond with a boy fishing with his father below that. Then, at the same time my other boy had a letter that said "dad, I love you, do you still love me? When are you coming home, when are you ever coming home?"
It broke my heart. By this time, I was already on my road to recovery and self-change and finding God. God was very much in my life. My plan was to forever remember those two precious letters by inking them exactly how they looked on my body. My youngest heard of my plan and then made it very clear how he felt about it. "Dad, why can't you do the right thing? You always do the wrong thing, just wait until you get out, then do it. DO the right thing"
That's the last I heard of my boy. It's his last request to me. So I promised Him through God, Jesus in fact, that I would do that. I would do the right thing from here on out. Out of the mouths of babes...I do it for him, I do it for me. I do the right thing now because my kids lost me. They didn't do anything wrong and when they see me again and stare me in the face and ask me what I did when I was gone...I will not tell them I did nothing.

I will honor my son's only request of me. 

Jeff Utnage 823469