At Folsom, James has been written up for minor infractions—"He's just like any other inmate," says prison spokesman Floyd McIntosh, "not a model prisoner, but average." Yet the singer, who meditates daily, says that he's trying to stay out of trouble. When not working as a file clerk in Folsom's receiving area, he writes songs in the 5-foot by 10-foot cell that he shares with another inmate. "Writing music," he insists, "gives me a focus and a center."
He has also found stability in his relationship with girlfriend Tanya Hijazi, 26, who served 15 months in prison in connection with the assault incident and is now a student at Pierce College. The couple have a son Tazman, 4, and plan to marry when James is released. "People look at us like we're Bonnie and Clyde, but we really love each other," he says. "She's my best friend and soulmate." Adds Hijazi: "I think we'll center on family life. Rick has reached an age to settle down. No one partying will be welcome in our house. We've grown out of that."
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