Saturday, January 19, 2013


DAY SIX: Prison Diary January 8, 2013 Solitary Confinement Okaloosa C.I., Crestview, FL

Here we are on Day Six, a Tuesday, much like Day Five, with a few differences. The noise reverberating against the concrete walls, steel doors and stairways is unrelenting. Never stops, nothing to say. On Day Five I spent several hours composing and rewriting my grievance appeal of this false d.r. to the warden, who rarely, if ever grants  anything. My situation is more crucial because I am spending 30 days in lockup "on the house," strictly on the word of an obsessed civilian prison employee who went way beyond her limited authority - abused it and violated the law many times, but no one supervisory over her apparently cares what she does. There is much speculation as to how she has gotten away with all her actions over the years, which I won't go into now, except that this camp is far from Tallahassee or any cities of consequence, and many people are close-knit for generations and interrelated. The movie, "Deliverance," comes to mind. Where is Burt Reynolds when you need him?

The Big Event in the evening of Day Five was shower time. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Tonight there are no showers for this wing, approximately 88 prisoners in two-man cells, close quarters. And it can be a long, musky time from Friday night until Monday's shower! The air gets very musty. Most have no money to buy deodorant, shampoo or soap. And for those who pace their cells for hours like zoo animals, working up a sweat, it can get awful.

Besides the thrice-weekly showers, the only other big event are the three meals a day. I've written about the paucity of food available on a budget of $1.54 a day, but actually they serve those in lockup better than those on the compound. Since a majority of the kitchen workers rotate in and out of lockup for stealing food and other nefarious infractions, those workers who dish out the confinement trays are generous with the serving, and don't "shake the spoon," prison parlance for a nasty server who loads up the serving spoon with the correct serving, then shakes most of it back into the serving tray for meanness. They might be in lockup next week, so mostly they are looking out for themselves and others.

Years ago at Raiford, a big smart-aleck prisoner on the serving line intentionally shook the spoon on Junior Bullard, a legendary chain gang fighter. Junior pointed his finger at the guy. A day or so later Junior caught him on the compound and pounded his ribs. The next time Junior went through the line when the smart-aleck was working, he gave Junior a double serving.

Today I spent hours writing out details of this incident to my lawyer, "renowned civil rights attorney," William Sheppard, as the newspapers describe him. I've been so busy with legal paperwork that I haven't been able to keep my goal of a poem a day while I am back here. I've completed three so far, that I'm fairly happy with, and hope to catch up when I've caught up on the paperwork. No books to read, no newspapers, no magazines are available, except for a Bible, but not even St. Paul would read the Bible all day for a month. As long as I still have pen, paper, stamps, and envelopes, I'll be okay, but that is running down fast.

Now it is time to wash my socks. Hurray! They don't issue socks in lockup. I came in with my personal socks, as well as tee shirt and boxers, and have to wash them in this dribbling sink if I want to maintain my own hygiene. The state isn't the least bit worried about that. Perhaps I'll get a letter in the mail with papers printed from internet sources, something interesting to read. A couple of old friends send me such things every so often.

As for now, arrivederci, buenos noches, and good night. See you tomorrow.


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