CURRENT STATUS

If you have any questions for Andy about the prison system, what it is like, what goes on there, or anything, please leave the question in a blog comment and Andy would be happy to answer it. It keeps him occupied and allow us to learn about the system.

Also, for his friends, he would LOVE to get pictures of anything, so if you have his address, please send them to him, or if you would like to email them to the blog editor, you can do that and he will print out the pics and mail them to him.

He is now attending the class he must take before his release, and he will mention the journal entry memo they discussed that day in class.

Even if you don't know Andy, feel free to comment on his blog entries, which he gets and will respond to.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

TIME AT THE JOB, CAFETERIA AND MEETING NEW INMATES

3/13
It’s about 8:15 am on Saturday morning right now.  I’m at my job, but I’ve got some time to do a little writing.  I’ve been here since 6:30 am.  I missed the 4:30 am breakfast this morning because I slept right through it.  Yesterday morning was the first and, so far, only time that I ate breakfast here at this unit.  It was actually pretty good, filling, and made my day much better.  I wish I would have gone this morning, but --- oh well!  I’ll just look forward to lunch.  I’m not sure what they’re serving.  (Fajitas sure would be good!)
Some of my mail that was originally sent to County has now been arriving here.  Also, yesterday I received some mail that a couple of people had sent to me while I was at the intake unit.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be no more transfers and that all my mail will be totally caught up by about March 22.  I can’t imagine it being any longer than that.   Also, since I have not able been to go to commissary on a regular basis, my envelope supply is down to only 3 left.  I may decide to borrow a few in here, but I haven’t decided yet.  If not, then I’ll just make do with the 3 that I have, and then make sure I stock up next commissary.  I had been using about 15 or so a week, so this “envelope rationing” hasn’t been fun.   I’m sorry if any of my personal friends are wondering why I haven’t written them.  I have actually written quite a few letters that I have sent to my mom in bulk so that she can distribute them to the appropriate people.  I guess, to wrap all that up, I’m just saying thanks for your patience.  It’s still going to be a little while before the mail and everything is normal and routine.”
I did receive a bunch of comments last night from the moderator via Jpay and some Facebook pictures from a friend.  Thanks for both.  I didn’t bring the comments with me to work, so I’ll need to respond to those later.  I hope to completely catch up on all of my writing this weekend.  I’m feeling like I’m behind again.  Being transferred is pretty mentally exhausting to me.  It’s sort of like moving households!  Pretty ironic, don’t you think?  Maybe this can be a new customer twist in the business once I get out.  It’s taken a few days to feel settled each time I’ve been moved during the past month and a half.  I have only exercised once since being transferred here, but when I woke up and came to work this morning I had a feeling of resolve and steadiness that I haven’t felt for a while, so I think I am good to go.  I’ll start my regular exercising again this afternoon and I’ll get a couple of letters finished this evening.  Tomorrow, I should be able to get 4 or 5 hours of good writing in and I’ll be caught up.
I arrived here on Tuesday and was at my job on Wednesday morning. My job hours are roughly 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.  There is one other individual that has my same job and the same hours.  We have decided that only one of us will work on each weekend day.  This weekend I’m at to work today and he will work tomorrow.  Even working that much this weekend may be overkill.  I pretty much finished up in about an hour this morning everything that I needed to complete.  There are a couple of other tasks I’ll need to do later, but it’s impossible to even start on those until after about 12:00 noon.  I think I could probably even go back to my dorm right now and just come back to work after lunch, but it’s honestly much more comfortable where I am. I’m at a decent desk on a cushioned chair in a pretty nice office facility and…. IT’S QUIET!  I just took a stroll around the place and I am one of only 4 people in the whole building.   Two of the others are guards and one is another inmate worker.  During the weekdays there is an inmate co-worker of mine named Blunt, a barber named Rod, and two
shoeshine guys named 4-4  and DZ,  who work at the same time in the same building.
This morning DZ is up here.  He was just in his little area shining some boots for the guards and I just went and chatted with him for a while.  I found out he is in prison for the 8th time.  All of his charges are drug related or induced.  Currently, he is at the beginning of a 17 year sentence for drugs, theft, and forgery.  He expects to be here until approximately 2015. The stories you hear about people in prison being private and not wanting to tell their stories seems to be completely false, by my accounts.  I feel like everyone in here can’t wait to explain to me what they have done, and how they have learned their lesson.  I have yet to ask anyone for this information, but it has been divulged to me by just about everyone that I have spoken to for more than 5 minutes.  DZ just informed me about the details of his life.  He even went so far as to say he was trying to steal a gift card from Best Buy when he was arrested this last time.  I believe the loneliness in here can be overwhelming for most people.  I think that just being able to speak with someone new is refreshing for most of the guys I have talked to. 
DZ just finished shining shoes for the day and went back to his dorm.  Now it’s me and three guards here.  (A new guard came back.)  I’m not sure what your mental image is of how the logistics and movement is controlled in here.  Before coming, I had the notion that all inmates were locked up most of the time and were really only let out of their cells while being escorted by armed guards.  Pretty much like what you see on TV.  This is definitely not an actuality.  First, there are zero firearms within the prison fences.  Second, movement here is not nearly as limited as you would think.  The closest thing to compare it to would be elementary school.  The tank is the classroom. 
When it is lunch time the tank goes together in pretty much a line type formation.  There are 3 doors to travel through from the tank to outside.  Once outside, there are a lot more guards (hall monitors) that make sure you are going to the spot where you need to be.  You would get in trouble by a hall monitor if you had taken off for the gym rather than the lunchroom while in school. Here, the guards are in charge.  Once in the dining hall, there are about 4 more guards that control the food you get and just simply watch over everything and tell you when to leave.  The food is served cafeteria style almost exactly like a school lunchroom, save the fact that we have no choice in what is put on our tray.  There are four or five rows of tables in the dining area.  If you are one of the first people to sit at a table and begin eating, you will have more time to eat than someone who is the last on your row to be seated.  I’m not sure how long we are given to eat, but it’s not much more than 5 minutes.  Each row gets up to leave as a group, puts their tray in a “dirty dish” area, and lines up outside.  
When I go to work in the morning I buzz a guard on an intercom, tell him I need to go to work, he electronically opens my tank door, and I walk to my job.  It is one hundred yards or so outside from my tank to my job.  There are usually other people walking around outside, too, but not always.  I can detail more on this later if many are interested.  Please just let me know.
It’s about 10:00 pm on Saturday night right now.  Overall, it has been a good day.  I have met some new people today and I have been able to do my writing. I look forward to being able to get a good night’s rest tonight and write a lot more tomorrow.  Thanks for everyone’s support, and I’ll write more tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. When does hurricane season start ????? -------------Eddie C.

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  2. It must be quite an adjustment having to rely on USPS mail again! I read on this blog that your friend has to mail blog comments to you, and then you have to mail your written responses to those comments back to him/her. It must take quite a while for all of that mail to get back and forth! Then you had your transfers which, I am sure, interrupted mail delivery significantly. It must feel, to you, like communication is in extreme slow motion, especially when you have been used to cell phones and the internet. Ah, what things we take for granted! Hope the mail situation goes more smoothly now that you will be in the same place for a while.
    Ace

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