Monday, February 18, 2013


DAY EIGHTTEEN: Prison Diary January 20, 2013 Solitary Confinement Okaloosa C.I., Crestview, FL

Twelve days left “in the hole.”

Sometimes you see and hear pitiful things in here. One of the worst parts of the “open population,” in the housing areas, is the incessant noise. If you can’t tune it out, all the chatter, you’ll have no peace. I’ve written some of my best works in the middle of the buffalo herd, so to speak. The relative quiet of confinement makes it easier to sleep, not having four guys sitting on a bunk three feet away gabbing, or standing next to your bunk and yelling at a friend 60 feet away.

When the heat is off, you can talk to the guy next door, or downstairs in the cell beneath you, the vents being open. If the guys next door and downstairs want to carry on a long conversation, you can’t help hearing whatever they’re talking about, through the vents.

Next cell to mine, sharing the vent, is a young Haitian who talks on and on to his friend down below. As I write this they are droning on and on. What I wanted to tell you about was how this Haitian kid views his imprisonment.

He said, “You know, I don’t like it here, not in the box, but I got a bunk to sleep in, and a room, and a sink, and a toilet, light, warm food every day, a doctor f I get sick. My grandma in Haiti don’t have any of that. She was living in a tent when I left. You know how she gets water? It ain’t funny. Least I’m not living on the street. If I get sent back, well, we’ll see.”

It gives you something to think about. You wouldn’t want to be in the Port-au-Prince prison. People do live better in many American prisons than their families in impoverished Third World countries. That doesn’t give our people the right to treat their fellow Americans in prison any way they choose, though.

This morning I am reading about Samson in the Book of Judges, Chapter 13-17, in the Old Testament. Samson was in prison, too. Interesting stories, with parallels to today’s world.



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