Category Archives: Jesse Bailey


Every year our units have a door decorating contest. There are quite a few people who get into the sprit and decorate thier door. Afterwords a picture is taken with you infront of the door.

I like the picture, so I usually put a few things up just so I get a picture because its a easy way to get one with the dog too.

This was the first door I did and got one taken with me and Deedee:


The following year I didn’t do a very good job on my door so I went and asked if I could take one at the door that won.

This guy spent 7 months working on his door in the cell then transfered it to the front the day before judging.


This year Steve and I worked on our door together. Normally its just me. My celly’s don’t normally help. Their to cool to decorate the door.

This year Steve’s wife sent some ideas for us to think about. We tried to duplicate one of the pictures we saw:


As we were making snow flakes and other trinkets for the door Steve asks if we can listen to some special music to set the mood. I said, sure not realizing what I just agreed to.

I put in the tape and hit play. It was Christmas music. I don’t like Christmas music at all, never have, never will! Plus I am not the decorating type either. My mother can cosign for that.

So now I am doing everything I don’t like to do and actually having a liitle fun. But, the music was getting to me. About ten minutes was all I could stand.

As we were doing all this people kept stopping by and asking what we were doing. When Steve started to explain it they kinda got involved some.

Some people made snow flakes. We had the unit paint porter paint the cardboard door blue with the paint roller. All we have are tiny brushes. And another guy made our candy cane out of empty paper towel tube, and painted it too.

Only 5 doors in the unit were decorated. And one wasn’t even a Christmas door. It was a HAUNIKA door.

After it was all said and done we came in third place. Which wasn’t to hard considering the options.

All in all it was fun I guess. I made presents for the kids, decorated my door and as hard as it was for me, to listen to x-mas music too. I kinda did that for Steve really.

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


Every Tuesday we have dog training class as a group. All the dogs and trainers get together and our head trainer hold class to find out how the dogs are doing.

Its a time to show what your dog has learned or hasn’t learned for that matter.

Its a time where she can make assessments and or evaluate each dog. At this time she can either promote a dog to the next faze of bandana color or not.

They all start in red. As they get better at their commands and behavior, they get promoted.

Today Willy got promoted to green. Its just what he deserved. However not all the dogs deserve it. Let alone be promoted behond red.

Today was dog meeting day. Its where the dogs get to meet in class for the first time.

When doing this, you really have to have a good hold of your dog when another dog is comming up to it to sniff. Because you don’t want anything bad to happen.

We let the dogs sniff each others buts first, before we let them go face to face. It prevents dog bites and attacks.

We are doing this two at a time. when one of the dogs went to sniff he decided to bite the others tail right at the base.

Just what we were trying to avoid.

He latched on and started to shake. The handlers jumped to action and pulled the dog off. While the handlers were pulling them apart, the dog that was being bit was peeing from being scared. Who can blame him, his ass was being chewed.

That was the second dog that was attacked by this other dog and the third attack in total so far by him.

This is the animal that needs more work on behavior. It’s also lacking a lot in the over all training too. Doesn’t really listen at all either.

But guess what?! This dog got promoted to the final color. Graduation green! What the Hell!

There has been a totally of 4 training classes so far. And most of these handlers don’t know what there doing. In my opinion only 2 dogs deserve green. Both dogs can do all of there commands off leash and behave the right way.

This is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. Why should that dog be held on the same level as the others that deserve the promotion? All the dogs and handlers should not be treated as equals if there not.

To hell about peoples feelings. If you want something, then earn it! But no, apparently that’s not how this thing is being run.

I have gotten to the point of, ” If you can’t beat them join ’em “. I still take pride in training my dog to the best of my ability. That will never change. My dogs are always top of the class.

I just try and worry about me and what’s at the end of my leash. That’s it.

That doesn’t stop me from Thinking about it. Just acting on it. Sometimes I dwell on it because I get so mad and frustrated. Its so hard sometimes not to let these things rent space in my head.

Just this morning some random guy sitting at a table next to mine at breakfast ask me about the dog program.

He said that he came from another prison dog program. That its nothing like this one. That his was structured, followed a consistent curriculum and inmates were held accountable for their dogs.

I told him that this one used to be like that but somewhere along the line a crack was formed and those thing seem to have fallen through.

When a random person says things like that I know I am not alone in how I feel about what this program is.

It boils down to I hope this dog doesent hurt another dog or even another person.

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


I heard this and really liked it. Made me think of when the dogs leave. I remember a comment I got asking how I feel about when my dog leaves. This is the perfect little saying.

Don’t cry because its over…
Smile because it happened…

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


Its has amazed me how many people die in prison. I have lived in H-3 unit at Stafford Creek now for 8 years. I have seen many people from this unit die.

There has been quite a few people die at this facility. But at least 8 or 9 just from this unit alone. Two personal friends of mine.

When I first came to prison I didn’t see a whole lot of wheelchair bound people or sickly people either. They just weren’t around. Most inmates seem healthy and capable. At least physically. There are a lot of inmates that are noticeably, mentally not all there. But are in generally good health.

Looking back on it now, I think it was because of where I was located. In closed custody ( max security ). If a person can’t defend them self they don’t last long and or get taken advantage of.

But now that I am here at Stafford Creek in long term minimum security facility I see more of the sick.

But its not just the sick that die. But healthy inmates too. People in there 40’s that are active and healthy. Even kids in there early 20’s too.

Drugs do have apart of it. But not always.

Back in 2012 I had a celly I had been living with for just over a year. In my opinion, Dave was a real good dude. He had a nice family, had his head on strait and most of his priorities in the right order.

He was 44, had 2 kids and a wife. But got caught up in a bad deal a was now doing 35 years for murder. He was just 14 years into his bit, but was struggling with a drug addiction.

Most people in prison are. Look at me. I am too. But I am making the right choices and staying clean.

Just because I am in prison doesn’t mean drugs are not in my life. They are as much in here as they are out there. You name it, prison has it. Just more expensive!

I knew Dave was having problems. When a person has that much time to do at that age. He felt he didn’t have much left to live for. So his addiction took over. Like a lot of people’s do.

It was hard to live with, and watching him do it was tough. I never had the urge to get high and join him in the misery I knew came with that drug.

I really wanted to move out, but without a good reason to put on a move slip and just short of telling on him, I was stuck.

So what I did was. I told the SGT I specifically wanted a bottom bunk. I knew someone eventually was going to go home or leave and that I could move into thier bunk when they left. But I didn’t know how long that would be till that happend. Thats just going to take some time. I am happy where I’m at and can wait. So I did just that, I waited.

After 15 months, that time finally came. And I moved out. It just so happen to be the cell right next door. I was fine with that.

He wasn’t a bad guy. I truly became good friends with him. We were pretty close. He was kinda like an older brother to me in way. He had a lot of knowledge about a lot of different stuff and was an honest strait foreword kinda guy. Plus he did a great job teaching me how to train dogs.

About 5 days after I moved next door. He overdosed on heroin. It was a big scene too. Biggest medical thing I had even seen so far in my time in prison.

Mike, an inmate that lived down the tier had to give him mouth to mouth and pumped on his chest. Dave had been throwing up and it was all over him. The whole time we did this, he was non responsive.

When the medical team finally showed up they used the shock paddles on him to restart his heart. Nothing worked. He died right on his cell floor.

It was very traumatic experience.

The cell was a crime screen for a 2 weeks. Yellow crime screen tape on his door and the window to the cell blocked off. Sheriff’s came in to investigate just like they would any other death on the streets.

Its now Nov. 2016, It just so happeneds that I’m now living in that same cell where Dave took his last breath. Sleeping in that same bunk.

If your wondering if they have memorials in prison for inmates. The answer is yes. There was quite a turn out of people there too.

Another guy that I knew that died was Mike. The guy I talked about doing CPR on Dave. Yeah he got out and OD’ed too, a week after his release.

Same with a kid I knew named Sunny. He lived 3 cells down the tier from me in this unit too. Sunny was only 20 years old. Crazy part about both their story’s was. They both said they were going to get high right after they got out too. I know this because I read both of thier obituarys that week.

Another buddy of mine was found dead in his cell last year. He lived on the bottom tier in this unit. His celly came home from work one day to find him face down ass up in his cell on his bunk. We think he was changing the channel on his TV at the end of his bunk when he died suddenly, because his arm was outstretched toward the TV when he was found. He was 34.

He just got news from the courts that he was given 22 years back from his 46 sentence. He had allready done 18 of it. He had just 6 left. He was getting out soon. But yet he died in here. Yet another causality of prison.

Older people are a little harder to notice when they die. Because they are moved before it happens. Usually they are transfered to medical and past away there. They get moved to medical just days before they kick the bucket. I guess that way its not so noticeable when they die. Its like they just disappear.

There are two guys right now in this unit that have cancer and are dying. They are literally just waiting to die.

One is so bad he has a push walker so he can walk to the chow hall so he can eat. The other one in wheel chair bound and has an oxygen tank strapped to the back of his chair. Both are in terrible shape.

I just heard today that 2 more people died yesterday. One was sent to the local hospital and died there. The other died one of the other units.

Don’t know how or why they pasted away, their just gone. I don’t know if they were old or young.

Its sad to see people like that. Knowing they have a release date but will never live long enough to see it.

To this day I still feel bad about Dave. I feel like I could have done more to save his life. I feel like, if I never moved out I could have done something sooner to save his life.

But I guess that’s what he wanted. He knew the risks. At the same time, this was his ticket out of prison early.

I have always said, just because someone passes away, doesent mean they die. That person only dies, if they are forgotten. Don’t ever loose the thought of a friend or family member. As long as they are remembered, they will always live on in your heart. If you talk about them, other people will remember them too and live on through them.

R.I.P. DAVE, I will always remember you.

If you have any questions or comments that you want to ask or share with me. Feel free to contact me at

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


Being – open minded can be really tough sometimes.

Most of us are brought up in set beliefs and values and throughout our lives, tend to surround ourselves with people who share the same values and beliefs.

It can be difficult when we’re faced with ideas that challenge your own and, though we may wish to be open-minded, we may struggle with the act of it from time to time.

I’d like to say that I’m fairly open-minded person, but, like most people, I do have some pertty strong views about specific topics and find it hard to sway from those opinions no matter how others might try to persuade me.

And though I still struggle with being open-minded, all the time, I do my best to stop and think about what’s happening and how I act.

Of course, I fully believe that having strong beliefs can be a wonderful thing and I believe we should all stay true to what we believe in. But having strong beliefs doesn’t have to mean having a closed mind.

It can be tough to do sometimes. I have always found when I open my mind, I have reaped a lot of rewarding benefits.
There is much to be gained from opening the door to your mind and letting new ideas and beliefs come in.

When you open your mind, you allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts. Things that challenge the beliefs you currently have.

It can be very liberating to look at the world with an open-mind, how you think and view the world too.

One of the scariest things about seeing the world through an open mind is making yourself vulnerable. This vulnerability can be terrifying and exhilarating.

Your admitting you don’t know everything and there are possibilities you may not have considered.

Making mistakes isn’t always a bad thing. It can be beneficial too. When you allow yourself to see things from others perspectives, you allow yourself to not only recognize potential mistakes you’ve made, but also make new ones.

Doesn’t sound like much fun, but it is a great thing to fall and get back up again.

It provides a platform on which you can build, piling one idea on top of another.

Everything you experience can add up, strengthen who you are and what you believe in. It’s very hard to build on experiences with a closed mind.

I have gained confidence because I have learned to have and live with an open mind. I’m not confined by my own beliefs nor am I confined by the beliefs of others.

For that reason I am able to gain confidence as I learn more and more about the world around me.

For some, being open-minded is easy. It comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, having an open mind can be more of a challenge. Something they have to work on and make an effort to obtain. Some people, it’s just plain off the table. There’s no enlightenment at all.

Its not always an easy thing to do (believe me most people struggle with this), but the effort to think like this and embrace new ideas will be worth it in the end.

When your able to take part of the benefits that comes from opening your mind life will become much better. At least it has for me.

If you have any questions or comments that you want to ask or share with me. Feel free to contact me at

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


There are a few newer trainers in this program. What I mean by that is they have only had 1 or 2 dogs so far.

This specific trainer I am talking about is one of them. This is his second session in FreedomTails.

He has had one prior dog so far. However his celly was the primary trainer on it. For lack of better words they didn’t and still don’t agree on what to do or how to train the dog.

Each session a dog is given to a cell with two people in it. One person is considered the primary and the one responsible for all training.

However in our cell, Steve and I work as a team. Regardless who is designated as the primary, we both take responsibility in getting the dog where he should be. We take pride in knowing we did the best we can together.

So this last session he sat back and let his celly do it all. He let his celly either train or not train the dog. He just hung out with the dog when he was home from work and in the unit.

Needless to say the dog was a mess and didn’t do much. Didn’t come when called or stay when told. Didn’t heel very well at all and generally had bad dog mannors. Jumping up on people when the dog greeted them, was always under foot and always was begging for food or a treat.

This guy received his dog 3 days ago. This will be his first primary for training a dog. He was excited.

His dog is young and beautiful. She is pretty active and looks to be hyper. I think he will have a great time with her.

The first day he had her, he asked a few of us experienced dog handlers if they would help him.

Normally we would be all over helping him. But watching how he was with the last dog, some of us were sceptical of helping him. I know I was. We weren’t excited to help him if its going to be a repeat of last session.

One dog handler took to his request but put a stipulation on it. He has to do the work. Meaning the senior trainer will show him how and what to do with his dog but will not touch the other guys dog. Its a watch and learn process only.

This was said because some people in this program want other people to train their dogs for them so they can just hang out and have a pet. And or take all the reward for the training. Or even worse, after we do the work for them, they don’t keep it up and then the dog regresses and forgets it all. Then it has to be retaught again.

So this guy that asked for help from us in a way that made us all kinda laugh.
He said he wanted help because he didn’t want this dog to turn out like the last one did.

That is totally understandable. But you have to put in work. The dog will be as good at doing things as you are at teaching it.

Within the last 3 days he has been able to teach his dog to sit, down, heel and stay.

His celly is hating all of it. He is such a sour person. All I have heard him say is negative things about the dog and his celly. “The dog came in and knew all of those things.” “Its pree trained.” “You got it easy.” “They are doing all the work for you.”

Its all him. he’s done it all. Its so much fun to see him succeed at this. The dog might not do it great like willy yet. But in a few weeks I believe the dog will be awesome.

It funny to hear him talk about himself and say things like. ” I feel like I cheated some how.” “It can’t be this easy.” “I haven’t even used any treats to teach her anything. Just this ball.”

Its funny to think I do this every time with my dogs and people are always talk smack about it. Its really just not that hard. Just takes a little effort to do it and then keep following through with it and keeping up the training.

The word consistency is something people don’t really understand when it comes to training a dog. That’s really the trick. Consistency.

I so cool seeing this guy teach his dog all sorts of stuff. To see him get so happy when the dog listens is cool. I wish more people here were like that. To bad there aren’t more moments like this.

I see good things in this new guys future with this dog!

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476


Today I came back from work early to hang out with Willy. What I find out is that another dog came in. Again I get excited to see what breed it might be this time.

As I was taking Willy out to play/train I saw SGT. McCarty our trainer in the rotunda of the unit with a dog and Angry Angie standing next to her.

Looks like Angry Angie is getting his long awaited dog.

As I walked through the rotunda I said to him, ” looky looky Angie’s got his cookie. Bet your happy now huh Bud?”

He turned around to look at me. He had a child-like grin on his face, shook his head up and down and slightly giggled.

This is the same guy that was thoroughly pissed off the day before walking his Buddy’s dog around out side.

Total attitude 180 from the day before to receiving a dog the next day.

A little history on him. He has been locked up for 36+ years now. Needless to say he is an older, more disgruntled, poor me, nothing is good kinda guy in his late 50’s. He’s been alone for a longtime. He’s also been through a lot in here.

I think its great for him to have the chance to care of and recive love from something like a dog. But this is prison and some people are just fucked up in the head and just aren’t right. Some people will never change.

As long as I have known him he has had a lot of mood swings and been very confrontational with people.

I believe that having an animal does bring down anxiety and help with peoples moods. It can be soothing and therapeutical also.

But there are people out there that still shouldn’t have an animal. Hes one of them. At times it helps him, but he shouldn’t have one all the time.

I like this program and all sorts of people should get a chance at it if they meet the requirements for it. If they do become apart of FreedomTails and later they are seen unfit to contine or mess up. They need to go.

But some people just seem to fall through the cracks. That just sucks!

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476