My environment! Real as it gets!
I am currently in the Missouri Department of Corrections at Potosi Correctional Center. I am being housed at a prison which my state defines as a level 5 institution. Which is the most secure of our classification system. Our state has five of these institutions for people with anywhere from 8 years to life without parole and this particular prison of oppression also houses the state's Death Row prisoners. Outrageous if I may say, because i found myself here for one reason alone, accumulation of minor write ups.
Housed with murderers, rapists and well humans I should say who have messed up and got way too much time. Why? Because this state and many other states would just assume to warehouse us for many years than try to help us. My environment is as real as it gets and here's why.
There are six housing units on this prison yard and they break down like this: one house - supermax (where I am at right now we'll touch on that later) holds 22 people and two suicide cells (no cameras in these cells) we have showers in our cells in one house and the temperature stays so cold it's quite unreal, which I believe is to punish the ones who are at times in the suicide cells, which they also use for punishment/strip out/dry cells.
Then there comes two house, the worst house on the yard! This house is also the hole or segregated/oppression house. It has 3 wings A-wing consist of 30-double bunk cells, a total of 60 people. B-wing 32 single man cells and C-wing 30 single man cells. This house is out of control when it comes to custody officers. What is known to any and every prisoner is if you're in two house you must stay on your toes, especially during the 7:30am to 3:30pm shift when the 5 "C's" work Culton, Clubbs, Conrad, Comer, and Copeland. These oppressors are treacherous because they will deny you food, exploit your mail, ruin you property, free-case you, retaliate on you with frivolous write ups, and these five rogue oppressors have backing all the way to the sergeants, lieutenants, captains, majors, deputy wardens, and the top oppressor, the warden.
The things they do come natural to them: deny, abuse, exploit, deter. But all this doesn't stop on their shift, it goes on 24/7, especially on weekends. What we refer to as the good ol' boys, because we're in a little prison in a little town, where damn near everyone knows everyone and they're all related and friends.
I just watched a comrade refuse to be put in a hazardous environment man-handled by these people all except Copeland, who was the Bubble/Control Unit officer, maced this guy, pulled him out of his cell, and as soon as they were in a blind spot where no camera could see, he was slammed on his face/neck and shoulder. He is two doors down now in a cell that floods during showers.
But wait, there is more. Let's examine why I am in a supermax cell. On September 11, 2009 I was given a medical lay in to receive a brown bag with my trays. Everything was going like it should, then comes Sunday evening dinner tray pass. I didn't get my brown bag, was told they would order it, they gave me an excuse as I would get it later. I believed them, later came and went. This started at 4pm, it turned into 10:30pm. Still nothing so I covered my window in an attempt to see/get a Sargent, a custody count came by, they didn't even see me. The sign in my window said I wanted a Brown Bag. I was told by one officer "your beat" the other said "wan-wan". So I did get quite angry and decided to make the sprinkler head come alive and flood my cell and the walk. Yes, I know, stupid but can't change it now. Well, anyways my cell started to flood and here com the oppressors. 4 or 5 blue shirts (foot soldiers) and the sargeants two or three of them. Now I'm not exactly calm so maybe I warranted 2 or 3 but 8 or 9, c'mon folks!
So I remained in the cell for about 20 minutes with oily/nasty water pouring by the gallons until I was given the directive to "cuff up"! I complied only to have the handcuffs slammed on my wrist. My door was opened and I was jerked out, put in a restraint hold with my arms lifted above my shoulder and practically drug out of the wing into the rotunda, I was doing everything I could to walk, well needless to say, on the way out of the wing I was slammed into a door frame causing a pretty nice cut across my right collar bone and a swollen eye/cheek, but they aren't done with me yet. So far this was witnessed by quite a few. As I am being escorted out of the housing unit to medical I assume as soon as we are in another one of the blind spots I was slammed on the concrete causing quite a few inflictions. Left shoulder all scraped/cut up, left knee split open. Right side below my armpit a few scrapes. Right eye/cheek bone nice and swollen and cut open. Does this seem unreal? Believe me it's not.
After they did the usual stop resisting shenanagins twisting my shoulders and wrist to points of probably near breakage I was lifted up and forced to walk bent over at a rapid pace into medical. I was sat into a chair while a nurse used some type of water and gauze to treat/first aid the multiple bleeding wounds. All the while I was having my wrist twisted when I made the comment. I'm not trying to resist I was told to shut up and twisted harder, again lifted up and walked say 500 feet to one house, put into the suicide cell, even though I'm not suicidal, completely naked. Searched forced onto a concrete slab onto my busted knee, almost over. Door shut unshackled and handcuffed. Phew I still have cuts and scars still healing due to improper medical care and the Good Ol Boys. I'm telling you as real as it gets this is not unusual, quite typical. People getting slammed, spit upon, mace bombs thrown in on us, riot cans of mace used, forced to subsist in freezing temperatures stark naked, it don't stop, and when we try to organize and let our oppression be known about we are placed on limited property where we don't have access to paper, pen or envelopes or stamps. This is outrageous. I ask myself why all this because we want our civil rights and we want our state issue (things we are entitled to) food, clothing, bedding, legal.
One more instance and I'll be through for now. We have a chapel library assistant who was said to have been doing it for 3 years. Well just recently he was in the fabled two house and accused of bringing in contraband. No way, no how would he have if you knew this guy. Now we in two house have no chapel access.
Now back to the housing unit breakdown. Three house A-wing: 46 cells all double man cells, general population. B-wing: 23 double man cells, general population, the other 23 the hole. That's 3 holes total! Crazy huh, and they all stay full, then we got 4 house with two wings 46 cells apiece, single-man A-wing sensitive needs unit, B-wing protective custody unit, 6-house with two wings general population, 92 double man cells total. 5-house - the honor house full privileges, no 22 hour lockdown. The ones who make no noise of the oppression are the ones who get to stay there and the ones who lay back and don't do much of anything good or bad.
We are trying to get the ACLU involved in our struggle within. Grievances are met with excuses as to why we're in the wrong. Seldom are they remedied inside the institution, and occasionally when they get to central office and when they are this prison doesn't follow up. It's chaos, it's surreal, it's downright bullshit!
Thanks to Under Lock and Key I know this is happening abroad and all around the U$. We must stand united. We will win!