On Thursday December 1st, DOC spent $18K to shakedown two units. DOC brought extra guards in by the buss load! Literally.
The first unit they hit was G UNIT. The dog program is in that unit. So at about 10 am, a guard brought me Sam from G UNIT. Sam is a two year old Husky/Shepard mix. We spent the day playing and getting to know each other.
Sam is an awesome dog, and he’s looking for a forever home. For more information on how to adopt, please read: Adopting A Dog.
I was expecting to give Sam back at 3:30pm. But to my surprise, he spent the night with my celly (Jesse Bailey) and I. The next morning, we got raided! Sam went back to G UNIT, and all of H3 (my unit), went to the gym. There we sat for 9 hours while our cells were getting TORE UP!
Some cells got hit harder than others. I was actually surprised that my cell didn’t get hit that hard. Everything was moved around, but they didn’t dump everything on the floor like they did others.
These shakedowns are to be expected. I mean after all, this is prison. But the interview tactics was out of line! As we all sat in the gym, DOC conducted interviews with everyone. Or should I say, they interrogated everyone.
As soon as I walked in the little office, the lead investigator looked at me from above his glasses and simply said, “Sit down!”
I said, “Yes sir” and sat.
He asked, “Are there drugs in the unit?”
I said, “I’m sure there is. This is prison.”
He asked, “Who has them?”
I said, “I don’t know. I’m not in that scene.”
He said, “Don’t lie to me. You live in that unit and you know where its at!”
I said, “Sir, I understand your position and objective. But I can’t tell you what I don’t know.”
He responded, “So if you knew, you’d tell me?”
That’s when I got philosophical with him. I said, “What’s done in the darkness will eventually be brought to light. Guys that come in here and tell, eventually get exposed. And that in itself presents a whole host of problems that often turns out worse than a guy sitting in his cell getting high.”
He says nothing as he jots down notes on his pad.
I continue, “So with all due respect, let’s just focus on me and what I’m doing.”
That’s when he says, “You’re getting high. I’m ordering that extra attention be paid to your cell. I’m also ordering that you get tested for drug use.”
I’m thinking, man, this dude is hardcore! I feel myself taking offense. Then all of a sudden, The Four Agreements pop into my head. I remember the second agreement: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
At that moment I start to relax and realize this guy is just doing his job and he views me as a number. He doesn’t care about me or my journey. He’s just doing his job and I just so happen to be within his line of work. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
He quickly snaps back, “That doesn’t mean anything!”
I quietly say, “To me it does.”
Then he asks, “Who do you run with?”
I reply, “No one. But I associate with all types of people.”
“Does that include the White Boys?” he asks.
It would be so easy to be a smart-allic to this guy, and at times I’m tempted. But I stay composed and answer his questions as he attempts to put his own twist on things.
I say, “Yes. And it includes my Black friends, my Native American friends, my Asian friends, and my Mexican friends.”
As he’s interrogating me, he’s looking at a computer screen, reading some type of inaccurate information on me. At least I assume it’s inaccurate, based on his line of questioning.
He asks me, “Do you sit with all these different races in the chow hall?”
I tell him, “Yes.”
He asks me, “How do the White Boys feel about that?”
I tell him, “I’ve never went around asking, but I assume it’s just like anything else in life…some hate it, some like it, and some don’t care.”
Then he asks me, “Have you ever been affiliated with the Skinheads?”
Have you ever been affiliated with the AF (Arian Family)?
“Have you ever attended any Asatru meetings or European events?”
“Nope. But I have attended Native American Pow Wows and Cinco De Mayo celebrations.”
“Let me see your tattoos,” he demands.
“I don’t have any,” I say.
He says, “Either you willingly show me your tattoos or else I’ll strip search you, then write you up you for lying to staff.”
“If I had tattoos I’d gladly show you. But I don’t have any.”
Silence filled the room.
His entire line of questioning was an attempt to tie me to STG (security threat groups) and make me out to be a racist. (please read: Prison Ink: The Art of Hate)
As silence filled the room, he continued to read from the computer. So I took it upon myself to give him some more unsolicited insight on myself.
I said, “I know I’ve done wrong in the past. I’m ashamed and remorseful for all that. Today I’m a rehabilitated man. I treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, religion, or crime. I don’t use drugs or alcohol and I always try my best to do the right thing.”
He continues to read and says nothing.
Then to my surprise, he took off his glasses, looked me in the eye, and said, ”Thank you for your time Mr. Jennings. And good luck to you in the future. We’re done here.”
I was shocked! WTF just happened?
As I stood up, he stood up. Then he extended his hand. I felt uncomfortable shaking it. Because this is where all the snitches conduct their business. And this is the man they conduct their business with. But I have a clear conscious. I’m not a snitch. And I haven’t done anything wrong. So I shook his hand and said, ”Thank you sir” as I walked out the door.
For more on this crazy day, please read my celly’s perspective in a post he wrote on Stone City Blog called: SHAKEDOWN (the drug raid)
And oh, just so you know, they never did UA me.
Or strip search me.
Or pay special attention to my cell.
A lot has been going on. I do my best to remain positive and stay upbeat. But I must admit, sometimes it’s super hard. Back in August I was on a softball team that was argumentive, disorganized, and dysfunctional. So I quit.
Soon after I quit, I hear a knock on my cell door. It’s the coach. “Why’d you quit?” he demands! Right away I see he’s hostile and emotional.
I tell him, “Because it’s too stressful and I’m not having any fun. Guys are arguing with each other and we’re loosing too many games.”
He says, “Well then f*ck you! I’m done f*cking with you!” Then he slammed my door.
I immediately get an adrenaline rush. I almost open my door and call him back. But I don’t. I accept it and let him walk away. Because the last time I entertained such irrationality, I ended up knocking out the dude. And that cost me my EFV’s for 5 years. (see: How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years)
Today I’m a changed man. I’ve learned from my past. I try my best to avoid conflict.
So what could I have done to avoid this entire situation? It’s actually quite simple. I should’ve finished out the softball season with a positive, optimistic attitude. Regardless of our record and all the negativity.
I’m getting pretty good at avoiding physical confrontations. However, I need to work on avoiding confrontational situations all together. This has proven to be very tricky. I can be minding my own business, doing my own thing, and then suddenly find myself in an undesired situation.
So shortly after this whole softball fiasco, the Sergeant calls me in his office. He tells me that my celly, Dicky, is requesting that I be moved out.
Dicky is disabled and bound to a wheelchair, therefore we are in an ADA cell. These cells are bigger and have wider doors for wheelchair access. Which means Dicky always has top priority to live in these spacious ADA cells. So if he wants a celly gone, it’s always the celly who gets the boot, never him.
I’m genuinely surprised by this news the Sergeant it telling me. Dicky and I get along fine. So I ask the sergeant, “Why?”
Basically, Dicky said I’m too clean. I clean the cell too much. And that I organize his area when it gets too messy. Which I do. But Dicky and I have had discussions about this. And he said its all good!
So as the Sergeant is telling me all this, I’m confused. None of this is making any sense. REALLY! I’m getting the boot for being too clean and organized. What’s really going on?
Well it didn’t take long to figure it out. As soon as I moved out, Dicky moved in one of his dope fiend buddies. Dicky is an addict himself. He’s a pharmaceutical junky. He goes to pill line multiple times everyday. He keeps hundreds of pills hoarded in his cell constantly. But I guess the legal drugs aren’t enough.
Since I got kicked out, Dicky has been going downhill fast. Some dude ran up on him and in front of everyone and said, “Listen you punk ass bitch, that sh*t you gave me was bunk and I’m not paying you a f*cking dime!”
Wow! In front of God and everybody. Dicky was now exposed. Shortly after that, someone must’ve went and told. Because they suspended his visits. Tore up his cell. Took apart his wheelchair (looking for drugs). And subjected him to a piss test. Dicky refused the UA because he was dirty. Refusing a UA is a Major Infraction. Dicky is now out of the dog program.
It all makes sense now. Dicky kicked me out of the cell because he wanted to get high and sell drugs. And he knows I’m not down with any of that. So he reverted back to his lying manipulative ways to get what he wants. (see: Living With A Compulsive Liar)
When the Sergeant first told me I was getting kicked out of my cell, I was upset and stressed. But now I’m very thankful. It took me over 6 years to get in The Dog Program. By living with Dicky, he jeopardized my livelihood with his sneaky manipulative misconduct.
In a piece I wrote called, Stone Catchers: I Quit!!!, I talk about overcoming these exact type of challenges.
I know what I need to do. Now it’s all about having the strength, courage, and intelligence to successfully cope with any and all situations that come my way.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I quit softball. I temporarily quit Stone Catchers. And sometimes I feel like giving up and smashing out some of these fools. It’s time I quit quitting. Giving up is NOT an option. Violence Is Never The Answer.
MY PRAYER: Please God, continue to give me the strength to endure and overcome. Guide me, guard me, and protect me as I continue my journey. Amen!
I was walking across the dayroom heading to the hotshot with a bowl of brown rice, trail mix, fish, diced apple, jalapeno peppers, and a sliced orange.
As I walked past the officers station I noticed that the H3 Dog Program Sergeant was here in the H6 Honor Unit.
Hmmm…I had a feeling.
I arrived at the hotshot and filled my bowl of goodness with the 180 degree water. My buddy comes up to me and says, “Look who’s here,” as he nods towards the Sergeant.
“I know. I saw her.” I reply.
Then he says, “You should go talk to her about getting into the Dog Program.”
I tell him, “Naw. I’m scared. Plus, I’ve already talked to her in the past. I’ve sent seceral kites. I’ve asked several staff members to put in a good word for me. She knows I want in.”
He says, ”Yeah, but now is another opportunity to express your interest face-to-face.”
I thought about it. He’s right. But I don’t do it. I don’t want to feel like I’m bugging her. I’ll just fall back and let nature take it’s course.
As I’m walking back to my cell with my food, I hear the Sergeant call out, “Jennings.”
I walk over to see her. She says, ”When you get a minute, I’m here to see you.”
My heart beats faster. I immediatly become conscious of the moment. IT’S HAPPENING! After 6 years 2 months…it’s happening. (Being Persistent Towards Goals)
I calmly reply, “Yes ma’am.”
Then I skip off to my cell humming the tune of “Koom-By-Yah.” Not really. But I felt like it!
I get in my cell and set my food on the desk. Then I look in the mirror and have a little chat with myself. I say, “This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. All your hard work and dedication to love is about to reward you with a significant blessing. You deserve this! Now go make it happen, boy!”
I walk outta my cell. The Sergeant is still talking with the unit officers. So I post up within her view and patiently wait.
After 6 of the longest minutes of my life, she looks directly at me and says, ”Are you ready?”
We go into a small office and for the next 25 minutes she interviews me. I feel relaxed, confident, and comfortable.
After the interview she shakes my hand and says, ”Welcome to the program.”
The feeling was incredible. And the first person who I wanted to share this news with was my loving wife. So I immediately emailed Suzie, and I hugged her as I wrote.
* * * * *
The interview took place on a Wednesday. I moved to H3 two days later on Friday. (H3 is one of the Dog Program units)
My new celly is awesome. His name is Tony. He’s been down for 36 years. He’s been in the program for 3 years.
When I walk into my new cell, I’m impressed. The place is immaculate. Impeccably clean, tidy, and organized. Nothing is outta place. His shelves are neat and orderly. His bed is on point. His shoes are lined up perfectly. And all his clothes are either on hangers or folded and stacked in a way that resembles a Department store.
Tony must’ve been in the dayroom and seen me come in, because within seconds he’s standing by my side greeting me with a friendly handshake.
I complement him on the awesome cell and express my appreciation.
He says, ”Well hell yeah brother…is there any other way?”
Well yeah…actually there is. I tell him about Charlie and the first cell I moved into when I moved to the H6 Honor Unit. (Being Persistent Pays Off)
Tony and I spend the next few hours talking as I unpack my property and set up my area. When I’m done, Tony looks at it and says, “Damn! And I thought my OCD was bad.” 🙂
Needless to say, I am very happy and comfortable with my new living arrangement.
Tony and I should have our first dog together by January 20th. I’ve participated in a similar Dog Program in the past and absolutely loved it! I am very excited!
Until next time, live with love & compassion and watch your world transform for the better.
For more info on the Dog Program:
Some people just wake up in a bad mood. Especially in prison. So if your celly is a violent felon, you better beware of the things that’ll set him off.
As Tommy wakes up to a new day, he sits up in his bunk. He stretch’s out his arms and yawns. The yawn turns into a moan. The moan turns into a growl.
Then all of a sudden Tommy hears, “Jesus f*cking Christ! Are you serious!? Every god damn morning I have to wake up to that bullsh*t?”
That was Tommy’s celly. His name is Jerry. I kid you not. Tom & Jerry are cellies.
Tom is a sawed off heavy weight who stands 5’7” and weighs 260 lbs. He’s stocky muscle with a decent layer of fat, but by no means is he fat. Jerry stands about 6’1” and weighs 165 lbs. And he has a smart ass mouth.
So Tommy jumps down from his bunk and with one continuous motion he rips Jerry outta his bunk. As Jerry hits the floor, Tommy pins him against the wall then drops both knees on his chest and stomach. The impact knocks the wind outta Jerry.
Tommy presses his face against Jerry’s face and asks, “Would you rather I wake you up to this instead?”
Jerry was still trying to catch his breath as he lay flat on his back. Tommy stood up and placed his foot on Jerry’s neck.
Then Tommy said, “Listen you stupid mother f*cker, I know you’re in prison for rape. You like to victimize women, huh? And now you’re starting to cuss at me!? I don’t think so!”
Jerry grips Tommy’s foot with both hands to relieve some of the pressure. He struggles a bit, then grunts out the words, “Let me up!”
Tommy presses hard on his neck…”Shut up you b*tch!”
It’s still early. Tommy is in his boxers and he has to piss like a race horse. So he does…all over Jerry’s face. He screams as the hot piss burns his eyes.
“Shut the f*ck up you rapist, before I stomp your face in.”
Jerry is weak and in a haze due to a lack of blood flow to his brain. He’s on the verge of passing out. That’s when Tommy reaches over onto Tommy’s bunk and pulls his blankets onto the piss soaked floor.
Tommy barks, “Clean yourself up…and wipe up the floor too…boy!”
Jerry slowly rises to his feet as he wipes the floor. The second Tommy turns his back, Jerry rushes him. Jerry side steps him as he smashes his elbow onto Jerry’s face. He falls to the ground, knocked out cold.
The impact cracks open his head. Blood flows and mixes with the piss. Tommy gets nauseous and passes out. As he falls to the floor, his face lands in the area of Jerry’s cock and balls.
Just then a guard walks by. It looks bad. It is bad.
They both go to the hole.
Two days later Tommy gets an infraction. It says he knocked out Jerry with sexual intent. Tommy is found guilty of this bogus infraction. He spends 16 months in the hole.
After that 16 months, Tommy is released to general population. They put him in a cell with a homosexual named Frank.
The very first thing Frank says to Tommy is, “You don’t have to knock me out to suck this.”
Then Frank unzips his pants. Tommy snaps and kicks Frank square in the nuts so hard that they both rupture! Frank is rushed to the ER.
Tommy goes back to the hole. This time for 32 months!
Moral of the story: Just be kind to people. The law of attraction is one that will not error.
Right now I am writing this blog from the HONOR UNIT!!!
The laws of the Universe are ones that cannot error.
Once I realized self-consciousness, I then gradually discovered one law after another. As I discovered these laws, I wasted no time setting them in motion. I am on a never-ending journey to conquer my environment through my knowledge of the Universal Laws.
I can’t believe I’m actually in the HONOR UNIT right now. Actually….yes I can believe it.
All I had to do is embody the truth and constructively use the law.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to live free from bondage. I have never been happier. My life is so good right now. And don’t forget…..I’M IN PRISON!
But the Laws of The Universe doesn’t know I’m in prison. These laws are automatic. The powers within can be used for good or bad. That choice is up to me. My thoughts, acting through Law, can and have changed my living conditions.
The FREEDOM I feel from within prison is unbelievable. Yesterday I cried tears of joy. Then I got sad. Sad because it took such a devastating blow in order for me to reach this level of serenity.
Right now I am in a cell with a 70 year old man. He is an old war vet. He shot his gun in the air to scare off a few teenagers who were trespassing on his property. The cops were called. He shot a few more rounds in the air. That poor choice cost him 13 years.
He might die in here. If you let him tell it, he will die in here.
In my 21 years of prison, I have never seen such depression. This man just lays in bed and hopes for death.
He has gone through 25 cellies in 2 years. I haven’t even had that many…and I’ve been down for 21 years. No one wants to live with him. And now I see why.
As soon as I walked in, I had to walk out. The cell stunk that bad.
I went and talked to the Sgt. to see if I could get a different cell. None were available. I had no choice but to move into this FILTHY cell.
The floor was like walking on sand. The walls were dripping with dried up gunk. Dust and grime was everywhere. And this is my new home….in the honor unit!
I immediately had to control my compulsive thoughts. Stress wanted to enter. Disappointment wanted to enter. I realized the power of NOW…and had to make a choice. Do I want to use the POWER of LAW consciously or unconsciously? Do I want the LAW to work constructively or destructively? The choice was simple.
I took a deep breath and entered the cell. The old man immediately sat up in his bunk.
I said, “Hello, my name is Steven. I’m your new celly.”
I extended my hand. His frail hand shook it. I noticed the sores all up his arm. He said in a shaky voice, “I’m Charlie.”
“Nice to meet you, sir” I said with a smile.
“There’s nothing nice about this place” he responded.
“Yeah, I hear that! Especially when you have to spend 43 years here.”
His eyes lit up. “Mercy!” he says. “How many people did you kill?”
“None!” I said. “They gave me 43 years for 4 counts of Assault. That was 21 years ago.”
I told him all this to give him some perspective. To show him he’s not the only one with reason to be depressed. To let him know that I’m carrying some weight too. Now maybe my words will have more of an impact on him.
I made up my mind that I was going to subjectify positive thoughts and set Universal Laws in motion.
For an hour straight I talked to old Charlie. I let him do most of the talking. He told me he used to live on a sailboat. I told him my dad lived on a sailboat and I showed him pictures.
I treated this man with compassion and respect. As a result, he opened up to me. I even made him smile a few times. Meanwhile, all my stuff is outside the door. But I NEED to clean before I bring it in.
So I ask old Charlie, “Do you mind if I clean the cell before I bring in all my property?”
“Sure….go ahead” he said in his old voice.
Right away I realize this is a breakthrough. Because a few guys gave me a heads up before I even entered Charlie’s cell. They said he’s old, grumpy, negative, doesn’t shower, doesn’t clean, and gets upset when his celly tries to clean.
When I realized what I was up against, I thought, “No wonder they sent me to the honor unit. They knew where I was going. It all makes sense now. They’re testing me.” (I could be wrong, but the thought did cross my mind)
For the next hour, I thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected the entire cell. Charlie just layed there and watched me. I continued to make small talk and crack jokes.
I’d ask, “Are you ok? Am I bothering you? How ya feeling?” And every time he said he was doing fine. So I kept scrubbing!
The next day I talked to the Sgt. He asked me about Charlie and how it was going. He was shocked at my answer. He said he had NEVER seen Charlie smile. I said, “Oh, yeah, well I’ve heard him laugh.”
The Sgt. called me a miracle worker, expressed much gratitude, thanked me several times and shook my hand. I walked outta his office feeling better in that moment than I could ever feel had they put me in a clean cell with a rich, easy-going youngster.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still looking to move as soon as a bunk opens up. But while I’m in here, I’ll continue to use the power of law for all things good. It feels great knowing that I can change my conditions by changing the way I think. And I can apply this to every aspect of life.
So guess what’s next? Yup…The Dog Program! I will get there. Never underestimate the power of being persistent.
Have a nice day.