Brian Matthews


Song Pick: “Knock ’em Dead, Kid” by Motley Crue”
I admit that I’m very critical against DOC, and in my opinion my criticism is well founded. But as evinced heretofore, I don’t only criticize, but also compliment. There are some (very few) positive aspects of DOC which should be brought to light. While specifically disclaiming a schmoozefest, here’s one of those aspects.
Over a period of twenty years imprisonment, I’ve had a number of prison counselors, and with each one, you deal with their individual personalities and traits. In my opinion sometimes those personalities and traits are malicious and conniving (Viola Gorham), and sometimes those personalities and traits are laid back and ‘whatever, dude.’ D. Denzer.
Sometimes you get the coolest counselor in the prison (V. Gamroth. [Side note: BOOOOOOOOO to SCCC administration for arbitrarily confiscating Miss Gamroth’s status as a counselor]), and sometimes you get the most technical, by the book counselors that justify every deprivation of human dignity because “Policy” says so. J. Tatro. Sometimes you get the really helpful counselors that seem to care about their jobs and their caseloads alike, R. Alexinski, and sometimes you just get compulsive-lying pieces of shit whom can’t stand themselves and take it out on you because it’s convenient (won’t name them here cuz although I might be vocal, I’m not stupid. There are more than a few, though.). But sometimes, sometimes you hear of an encounter with the fable counselor whom operates on a superior level.
My current counselor, Mr. Mike Andring, is one such counselor. From our first encounter he has consistently shown me respect at all times he has always dealt with me courteously, even when having to deny one of my requests he has posted door hours but is always available for his caseload he always has a good attitude with everybody he is very upbeat, and makes sure his work is always timely he always takes his job seriously, and always treats his caseload’s needs/concerns seriously if he can help he will, and if he can’t he’ll let you know he is open to learning new aspects of his job he counsels his caseload on a case-by-case basis he is always fair in his interactions with his caseload and listens to the concerns expressed to him he keeps his word to his caseload–if he says he’ll check into something, he will he works well with his co-workers and his caseload and he’s a Seattle fan–Mariners and Seahawks both.
Nobody I know of has anything bad to say about Mr. Andring. Nobody. How do I know? Cuz in researching for this article, I asked. Every person I talked to whom is on Mr. Andring’s caseload, or whom have interacted with him in any way otherwise, only have good things to say about Mr. Andring. That categorical statement also includes other DOC staff. Not to schmooze, but bottom line is: he’s the man.
When you’re on your game, you’re on your game. What can one say about Mr. Andring? He’s either the most competent, superior-functioning counselor I’ve yet to come across in the corruptional system, or he’s the most skilled, cold-hearted sociopath known to mankind and he’s got hundred and hundreds of people absolutely fooled. My vote is for the former. And so is the vote of a lot of other people. So does that make him the most popular person amongst the worst people of society? Gotta give you a fuzzy feeling there, right? To be honored by the scourge of society. But the long and the short of it is you have to give recognition where recognition is due, and Mr. Andring deserves recognition for his public service. He is–hands down–the best prison counselor I have been, and am likely to ever be, assigned to. Hats off to him for his excellence as a prison counselor. He definitely makes a positive difference in the prison system others would do well to emulate his humanity.

Brian Matthews
DOC #796769

4 replies »

  1. i can’t help thinking that you sound like someone who should now be out of prison. anyway, thanks for the follow. Barking in the Dark will always endeavor to inform, agitate and, above all, amuse. continue…


  2. Encouraging to hear this. I guess like every walk of life, every type of job, you have people who are good/bad/lazy/dedicated, etc. Prison service is no different. Good to hear though that there are some exceptional individuals out there.


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