What if they want me to snitch on my friends?
This is the ugliest face of the great federal beast. Much of its clandestine empire is based upon beating people down to the point where they turn on their own family members. Under the banner "the good guys" the same sleazy and coercive tactics used by the mafia are employed. Playing rough with criminals to protect our society is one thing, but forcing people to lie (so they can get what they want) is a sad but common practice. The government's snitch culture rewards liars, cowards ans serious criminals. Small time, non violent players are less likely to know anyone to turn in. They are given more prison time. Your choice may be limited to saying what they demand or facing more time.
It is likely that you and your friends will be high pressured to snitch on each other. In prison (FCI) "snitch" is a dirty word. You will not find a single person who will admit to doing this; yet the vast majority did. Those who make the biggest huff about snitches are often just masking their own shame. At the same time, there are those who stood firm for their friends. They are the rare breed who do extra time that they could have gotten out of. Whether or not you choose to make statements against your friends is ultimately your decision. The difference is in your own character. Long after your sentence is over, when you look into the mirror, will you see a person of true substance or just an everyday coward?
There are several ways for other inmates to find out if someone did snitch. This is uncommon but does occur, mainly among gang members, or to find out about some truly puzzling individual. To get more information, inmates who are friendly with staff members can sometimes get them to pull up privileged data. If a person's time doesn't match that persons crime then that person is suspect. For example, if a person received one year for two kilos of coke it looks a bit funny. The other way that inmates get personal info is to demand that a questionable inmate have his/her file (PSI) sent in from outside for everyone to look at. In one case I heard of an inmate who left a computer-rendered file with his parents just in case. That file could be sent at a moments notice.
The feds have known to sometimes renege on their agreements after they get the information they want.
Should I make a run for it?
Your change of getting caught is great. The U.S. Marshal Service is relentless: see their website (www.usmarshals.gov) for current statistics. In 2007 alone U.S. Marshals arrested more than 36,000 federal fugitives and more than 58,600 state and local fugitives. Before you attempt to defy the odds it would be a good idea to consider all of the ramifications. If you are incarcerated you can, at least, still see and talk to those you care about. Even if you flee the country and change your identity your odds are very low. The only countries that do not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. are places that are far worse than Club Fed. Once you are ultimately captured, you will be given even more time.
A good friend of mine ran. Before he left, he told me that he could not bear to be away from his two-year old twins while he was doing his four-year stretch. He managed to hide out with his family for seven years before he was picked up. The twins will now be grown men before he is once again free.
Running can also be stressful thing to put your friends and family members through. Not only will they worry about your safety but agents will stalk them continuously and monitor their telephones.
The Morales Law Firm would like to thank Mad Dogs guide to Club Fed (Instruction Manuel for Newcomers) for sharing this information with us.