© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

Life Lessons from Prison- The Ghost Class

May 10, 2016


Recently, at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, a sign up sheet was posted for a yoga class. I was excited about this, as I was very interested in participating. A month later, a participant list was posted for the yoga class, and my name was on the list. At 4:30 pm when the class was to begin, nobody showed--no inmates, no teacher, just me. I asked the officer in charge of recreation about it, and he advised me to ask the inmate leader. The inmate leader said to ask the officer. Two weeks later, the same thing happened. Now I was really confused and was determined to get to the bottom of what appeared to be a practical joke.

In the middle of asking everyone whom I thought might know, my bunkie, who is charge of watching my back, explained that I had signed up for a "ghost class" and that I should quit asking questions. I believe the quote again this time was, "It's again not Charlie's way, right away. Not today."

So in today's chapter of "Life Lessons From Prison," I will be discussing what is commonly known here as the Ghost Class.

The yoga ghost class is organized by the officer in charge of recreation at the camp, but the officer in charge of education also schedules ghost classes for language and computer classes. The officers schedule these classes so it appears that they are doing their jobs. They find an inmate to "teach" the ghost class in exchange for some unnamed favor. The inmate gets education credits for "teaching" a "class" which shows he is being "rehabilitated." It's a class that never happens and that no one expects to happen. This is simply part of the Bastrop Camp culture--one element of the big lie.

All the "participants" in the ghost class also get education credits for taking the ghost class which shows they too are being "rehabilitated." It might have been a win for almost everyone, except I really wanted to take a yoga class.

Instead, I got "rehabilitated".

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