Category: The Hole

Day 66 In The Hole

 

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The following journal entry was written as I was doing seven months in the hole for getting caught with a cell phone.

 

Yesterday the grievance got resolved. They gave me back $5.10 for the cost of shipping out that cotton blanket. They said the rest of the items were justifiable. Whatever! At least I got back $5.10.

I’ve been keeping myself very busy. I’m currently reading 3 books:

  1. Angels of Death
  2. Anne Frank
  3. Memoirs of a Geisha

 All 3 are biographies. They inspire me to write my biography. I like the style and format of Angels of Death. Since I’ve been in Seg., I’ve been checking out lots of bio and autobiographies just to learn the different styles and formats.

I’m very excited about my project. I just know it’ll do well and make millions!

When I’m not reading, I’m writing. Today I’ve already written 10 pages.

I read the Everett Herald everyday for up to 3 hours. Then I write the columnist, asking if they want to get involved in a multi-million dollar project. I always end my letters with a quote, “Listen carefully…opportunity knocks softly.”

 

Today is almost 6 years later. No columnist ever did reply to my letters. And I’ve yet to make millions. But the journey is far from over. I’ll never give up! I’ll continue to chase my dreams. And one day it will happen.

 

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Steven Jennings

Day 55 In The Hole

 

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The following journal entry was written on 1-19-09 @ 5am, as I was doing seven months in the hole for getting caught with a cell phone.

 

It’s all about the mind when the eyes are bind. Deep tranquil thoughts about women that are fine.

Olive tone skin smelling like a peach, walking hand and hand on a white sandy beach…

My body is locked up, but my mind and spirit is free. Yesterday I went fishing and caught a nice Razorback.

And right now I have an apple up on the meat rack. I sliced it up super thin. I’m making apple chips lightly covered with salt.

The “meat rack” is two pencils shoved in the vent. On the pencils sits a piece of cardboard from the back of a pad of paper. The “meat rack” dehydrates food and makes it better. For example, when they serve some junk bologna that’s all slimy, I rinse it off, put salt and pepper on it, then toss it up on the meat rack for a good 12 hours or more.

Now I have a nice prime USDA un-approved piece of peppered jerky! The bologna turned out to be delicious after all.

 

 

Steven Jennings

Day 40 In The Hole

 

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The following journal entry was written on 1-4-09, as I was doing seven months in the hole for getting caught with a cell phone.

 

Today I filed a grievance on Sgt. Paulson for adding additional items after I signed to send out my Play Station 2. I’m seeking $12.55.

I also sent James Thatcher a letter requesting he give me back 245 days of good time that CCA took. CCA violated my due process. Therefore, they illegally took good time from me. Eight months of good time! I need that. Do you have any idea what I can do in eight months on the streets? In that amount of time I can make over a million bucks!

 

They ended up giving me back 200 days.

 

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Steven Jennings

The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole:

 

Day 36 In The Hole

12-31-08

Coming to prison is kinda like dying. Except I’m still alive to see all the pain I’ve caused. And no one feels the pain more than a mother.

 

 

Day 39 In The Hole

1-3-09

I tried calling my mom but my numbers are still blocked. In order for me to use the phone, I have to submit a “phone request”. I’m allowed to do this once every two weeks.

When my phone time arrives, they wheel in a huge mobile phone and park it by my door. I get 20 minutes to reach through the cuff port (a slot in the door) and call the numbers on my approved phone list.

The problem is, all my numbers are still blocked. Hmmmm, I wonder why? Perhaps the fact that I just got caught with a cellphone might have something to do with it. If so, that’s fine. But at least tell me something.

I was sanctioned for my actions. And none of my sanctions included loss of phone time. This place is dirty. They don’t follow policy and procedure. They just do what they want.

Kinda like me when I decided to do what I wanted when I smuggled in a cellphone. You reap what you sow. Don’t cry now. Accept it and move on!

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 34 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

 

Dec. 29th, 2008 @ 2am

I tried calling my mom yesterday and found out the prison has blocked all my numbers. That means I can’t call anyone. This week I’ll try to get that fixed. All I can do is write a kite to my case manager. We’ll see!

The hardest part of prison is hole time. Because it makes you think more. Things just pop into mind. Good and bad.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my crime. I wonder how could I have actually carried through with such an act. I think about my family and all the pain I’ve caused. I think about the victims and all their friends and families, and how I hurt so many people.

***

I’m in a tight little box with just me and my thoughts. When my thoughts get too intense, I force myself to switch gears. I seek the positive aspects that are within painful situations and thoughts.

For example, I’m thankful no one died. I’m thankful that I have a release date. I’m thankful that I won’t die as an old man in prison.

Despite my situation, I’m so lucky in so many ways. And that’s what I like to focus on.

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 30 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole…

 

Dec. 25, 2008 @ 4am

I spent a hour cleaning my floor with a bar of soap and a wash rag. Then I moved my mattress to the center of the floor. It’s gotta be at least 20 degrees warmer down here. Because up on the rack, I’m against the exterior wall where it’s -40 degrees outside.

Today I was supposed to leave the hole. But two days ago they told me I’m not getting out and I’m now on Ad Seg status. Which means I sit in here until they say I’m ready for mainline. That could be awhile. Some guys sit on Ad Seg for 9 months to a year, or more.

So at this point, I just don’t know. I’m fixing to find out…..one day at a time.

Now back to my book.

 

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 27 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

Journal entry from 12/22/08:

I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I’ve started writing my first book, “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary”. But as I write, I’m not sure how to structure it. I need to check out more books so I can find a format I can follow. Until then, I’ll put my writing on hold.

Today a Case Manager came to my door. He said they found some PS2 games in my property and I need to send them out. I asked if I could come see him next Monday when I get out. Because I want to go through my property and send out other items too. To my surprise, he said yes.

I want to send out my little see-through digital clock. Why? Because its time to get a new one. This one you can’t see in the dark and it sucks. But it sure would make a nice gift.

***

The real reason why I wanted to send out my clock is because that’s where I hid a tiny memory card that had over 300 pictures on it. The clock was see-through. So you could see inside it and you could clearly see the memory card. But I had it placed in such a way that it looked like a natural component on the small circuit board.

Sometimes the best hiding spots are in plain view. Although I was confident that no one would find it, I wanted to hurry up and send it out just so I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Being sneaky and manipulative takes its toll. Especially when my conscience is constantly telling me to stop being bad and start doing the right thing.

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 23 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

Journal entry dated 12/17/08:

Today was exchange day for jumpsuits. I have one of those really nice orange ones. Nice and thick. Zips all the way to the neck. I like mine big and baggy. I tuck the bottoms into my socks. It’s like lounging in my PJ’s all day. Love it.

I’m laying in bed when this mean guard comes by and kicks the door. He startles me. I look up from my bunk. He says in a curt voice, “What size jumpsuit do you need?”

I say, “3 X” as I get up and walk to the door. He eyeballs my body from head to toe, then says, “You’re getting a 2 X.”

I know about this guard. He’s well known for being a complete jerk. He comes to work on the war path every day. He never smiles and he dislikes every inmate. That’s probably why they have him working in the hole. Because he causes a lot of problems out there on mainline.

I respond by saying, “Oh yeah, that’s what I meant to say…2 X. This one here is a 3 X, and it’s way too big.”

I really wanted a 3 X. but I’m not going to satisfy this guy with an argument I can’t win. I know the type of reaction he was expecting and wanted. He wanted me to beg and plead for a 3 X. Most guards don’t care what size we get. We’re locked down 24/7…what does it matter? But this guy loves to “power trip” and create drama. He does it every day!

As he stuffs a 2X through the cuff port, I say, “Good looking out.” He slams the cuff port and moves on. I laugh to myself. That was NOT the reaction he wanted. I flipped the script and made it seem like “Mr. Hate-an-Inmate” just did me a favor.

***

I remember this incident very well. Instead of getting upset and stressed, I somehow found a way to get laughter and satisfaction outta the deal. That jumpsuit situation had huge potential for stress and anger.

Situations occur. It’s the thoughts in your mind that dictates how you respond. If I desire peace and happiness, yet I’m constantly stressing and in turmoil, it’ll never happen.

But if I put in the work and condition my mind with peace and happiness, only then will I be able to respond to situations from within that positive capacity.

“Stress is a choice”

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 20 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

Journal entry from 12/5/08:

Today I prepared two grievances and two tort claims. The grievances are on Sgt. Paulson for not letting me choose which excess property to send out. Paulson has 3 boxes of my property that he says I HAVE to send out! Yet he won’t tell me what’s in the boxes. I’m confused! There’s no way I have 3 boxes full of excess stuff.

I asked him, “May I have an inventory sheet that lists all the content in the boxes?”

He said, “I’m not going to inventory every single item. All you need to know is its all excess and it all needs to go.”

I say, “Okay. Let me see what it is and I’ll let you know what to throw away and what to send out.”

He acts like I’m being un-reasonable. Like my simple request is just TOO MUCH! Then he says, “You know what you’re allowed to have and not have. You know the limits.”

I say, “And you know you’re supposed to follow policy and procedure. Now go inventory my shit and give me a copy!”

At this point I see I’m dealing with a crooked cop who doesn’t care. He lacks integrity big time. He says in a loud voice, “You’re refusing to sign? Alright. Fine. It’s all getting thrown away!” He turns and walks away.

I feel like pounding my door! Cussing him out! Flooding my cell. But I don’t. I wait for shift change. 2 o’clock. I contact Sgt. Bienusa, I give him the run down. He acknowledges that Sgt. Paulson is wrong. The next day Sgt. Paulson comes to my door. He has an inventory sheet. It’s long! I’m amazed to see that they are enforcing EVERY single limit!

The limit on soap is 2 bars. I have 6. Four of them must go! What? I have never seen any prison enforce that! The list goes on. I have to send out extra: dental floss, tooth brush, shampoo, deodorant, razors, lotion, a pair of shoes, my Play Station 2 and all the games, and a bunch of food. They’re stripping me to the bare minimum! Oh well, easy come easy go.

Sgt. Paulson asks me what I want to send out. I go over the list and say, “The PS2, all the games, the shoes, and all the unopened hygiene products.”

He writes everything down on his form. He slides it under the door. I sign it and send it back. He asks what I want to do with the rest of it. I say, “Donate it.”

He says, “Okay.” And just walks away. What a JERK!

After he walks away, he goes and adds 9 more items to the list! One of the items was a prison issued blanket! That’s crazy! I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a mattress and pillow too. They charged me $18.55 for shipping!

So that’s what I’m fighting right now. We’ll see what happens. My prediction: I’m burnt! Why? Because I’m an inmate. I’m wrong, they’re right. Period!

***

As I reflect back, I remember the hate I felt towards Paulson. My thoughts towards him were all bad. I thought about acting a fool. But lucky for me, I was evolved slightly beyond that point. But still, the thought entered my mind. Why?

Today, here is my answer: Because I was neglecting my mind. I wasn’t constantly feeding it with intelligent, positive, productive thoughts. Therefore, my mind was left to its own demise. Which was an abundance of useless thoughts that have never served me well.

The concept is simple. When I cultivate my mind with intelligent thoughts, it automatically weeds out all the wrong, useless, impure, destructive thoughts. After years of aimless thinking, it’s hard to just flip a switch and change. Change is a process. As I proceed, I discover that I am the master of my soul and the director of my life.

MORAL: The key to a happy & successful life is controlled thinking.

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

Day 15 In The Hole

 

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I am sharing the journal I kept while I did 7 months in the hole.

Journal entry from 12/10/08:

Well today I went to my hearing and get 30 days in the hole. I lost 45 days of goodtime.

I get out of the hole on Christmas day. I’m very excited. I was expecting to get several months in the hole. 30 days is not bad for getting caught with a Blackberry Pearl 5150 cell phone! Yes, it was sooo worth it. I got my first taste of modern technology. (internet, pics, vids, selfies…all that!) I’d spend hours in chatrooms. I met tons of women who really liked me.

I’m a little sad. But I don’t wanna be sad. So I’ll focus on something else. Like origami.

I just finished making two stealth bombers. I’m learning from this book I have. It’s very challenging. The first one I completely messed up. But the second one looks much better. Will there be a third? Nope. I’m done with all that! I felt like giving up before I finished the 1st one, but I stuck with it despite my impatience and frustration.

***

As I reflect back on this, I remember what it was like in that cold cell. I remember starting to feel sad. I could’ve allowed my thoughts to really beat me up. And to some degree, I did.

But right now as I write this, I realize that suffering & sadness is always the result of wrong thinking. Suffering and sadness is an indication that an individual is out of harmony with themselves and their situation.

For example, if I’m in the hole stressing about my cell phone and all my girlfriends, then that means I’m out of harmony with myself and my situation. Those things are gone! And there’s NOTHING I can do about it!

However, if I change my thoughts, I then eliminate the material that creates wrong thinking. And that’s what I did. I switched gears from feeling sad and started thinking about something different, like origami.

MORAL: Happiness & harmony are created by proper thinking.

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings