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.
On 5-27-15, I was sitting in the chow hall enjoying some oatmeal and milk when all of a sudden sirens went off. These sirens are known as “codes”. They blare across the air every radio carried by DOC staff.
As the sirens fill the air, four guards run out of the chow hall, and the fifth guard stops all movement.
At first, no one knows what is going on. Other than something is happening in G-UNIT. It could be a medical issue. Or maybe someone is refusing to follow a directive.
After about 10 minutes, it’s clear that the Mexicans are going at it again. One after another, they are being escorted in handcuffs to the hole and to medical.
All their T-shirts are stained with mace. Some are torn, others are bloody. The bloody ones are in route to medical. But the majority are going straight to the hole.
The only two units in the chow hall is G-UNIT and H-6. After about 20 minutes, a guard yells, “H-6, go back to your unit…H-6 ONLY!”
I’m not in the unit for 5 minutes when I hear another code go off. This time they are fighting in the chow hall. Then another code goes off! Now they’re fighting in H-2!!!
The Northerns have coordinated an all-out attack on the Southerns! This same thing happened last year too.
The prison goes into immediate lock down. As I write this, I am locked in my dry cell (no toilet, no water).
All this started at 7:45am. It’s now 9:10am and I gotta piss like a race horse.
Lucky for me…I stay prepared for these events. I have a 2 liter full of water…and two empty Foldgers jars (one for peeing & one for pooping). I’ve never had to use the pooping jar. But I know guys who have. I just hope my celly isn’t one of those “oh, lets poop in a jar” type of guy.
But as for peeing…I’m about to fill that bad-boy up right now…this is ridiculous!
I’ll keep you informed, play by play as this thing unfolds. The last time there was Gang Violence we were locked down for 3 days!
– 11 AM –
We just got room service. They gave us two frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a brownie, chips, and an orange.
I boiled water in my Brushy Creek hot pot. Then I flipped the strainer up-side-down and put it into the boiling water. That provided me a surface above the boiling water. Now I have a steamer to thaw and heat food.
Oh…BTW…I didn’t have to pee in a jar. I’m in the honor unit now (H-6). They treat us a little better in here.
Every hour we are allowed to use the bathroom and get water. All I have to do is slide a piece of paper through the door jam. This is called ”flagging”. It lets the guards know to “let me out!!!”
From 1pm-3:30pm, I took a good nap.
– 4:30 PM –
A gourmet dinner was served. One frozen bologna sandwich, frozen oatmeal cookies, and a 1oz. bag of original Sun Chips!
As I write this, Nick (my celly) and I are boiling the bologna. We have the bread thawing on a warm towel that covers the hot pot.
We have our flag out as we wait to go get more water and use the bathroom. Sometimes it takes the guards 15-30 minutes before they get to turning their keys. But that’s only because this is the Honor Unit. The last time this happened I was in H-4, and they kept us locked in for up to 6 hours!
That’s when dudes were pooping in jars and trash cans! Ewwww…..gross!
– 6 PM –
Two letters from my baby just came sliding under my door. Her letters are so comforting. I’m about to hop up on my bunk and read them.
Then I’ll watch game 5 of the NBA playoffs between Houston and Golden State.
And just so you know, the bologna sandwiches were absolutely delicious!!!
– 7 PM –
A memo from the Superintendent just came sliding under my door. It looks like this:
MAY 27, 2015
TO: All SCCC Offenders
FROM: Pat Glebe, Superintendent
SUBJECT: Facility Lockdown
This morning at approx. 0745, the facility had an event which caused us to go on “lockdown” status. While it is relatively easy to place a facility on “lockdown”, it is never as easy to come off “lockdown” status, as we need to ensure the safety of both staff and you, the offender population.
We have many staff working on getting me information that will help me make decisions as we move forward. As of 1600 today we will remain on lockdown status. I will re-evaluate the lockdown status with my management team in the morning.
As of right now:
* Dinner and breakfast meals will served in cell.
* We will work on a phone, showers, and a JPAY schedule should the lockdown continue.
* EFV, gym, yard, library, Law Library, and programs are closed until further notice.
* API event that was scheduled for 5/28 is cancelled.
My goal was to get 1st place this year. I got 3rd. Last year I got 2nd (see: Christmas Door Decorating Contest 2013).
The 2nd place winner was Mark Till (see: Mark Till). But he was sooo mad that he didn’t get a picture taken standing by his finished door. He felt the contest was rigged.
I love my 3rd place door!
The tree is 3-D made out of layered cardboard. It is strung with real popcorn, and I made the lights out of plastic spoons. The coffee table has milk and cookies on it. And I wrapped empty cardboard boxes as the 3-D presents under the tree. As you look out the window you’ll see a snowy landscape, a snowman, and Santa flying across the sky with his reindeers. But you can’t see all that because I covered my door with pictures of the people I love…my wife & family.
Even though my door placed 3rd, it’ll always be #1 in my heart 🙂
I just thought this door was kinda funny, so I thought I’d share it. A couple of inmates painted it, but some of the staff deemed it to be inappropriate. They said it depicted gang violence. (The red snowman is a Blood. And the blue snowman is a Crip.) So they took it down. In prison, there is a serious side to everything.
The most violent gangs in prison are by far the northern vs. southern Mexicans. The California prison system won’t even put these two gangs in the same prison. It’s either one or the other. But that’s not the case in WA DOC. The Washington prison system houses everyone together.
Over the years I’ve seen many northern vs. southern gang fights. The southern always has the upper hand because they have more members. Time after time I’ve seen northerns get jumped, beat down, and then transferred on to the next battle ground. It’s on-going.
Just recently, here at SCCC, a couple southerns beat down a northern. They all got caught and went to the hole. But the northerns who stayed in population were still very pissed off. They all were on high alert.
The second I would walk into the chow hall I could feel the tension. The instant I stepped into the yard I could feel the tension. Violence was on the horizon and everyone knew it.
Since the southerns outnumber the northerns 4 to 1, the northerns had to plan their attack. They waited a few days and let things calm down.
Then, on Feb. 20th at 4:30pm, it happened. A group of northerns attacked a few unsuspecting southerns as they sat in the G-Unit dayroom. The northerns had shanks taped to their hands. They were out for blood!
Anytime there’s a fight in prison the officer pushes a button on their radio. This is known as the “panic button”. It sends a loud siren over the airwaves. Everyone can hear it. Including inmates.
As the G-Unit officer hits the panic button, all available officers go running to G-Unit. This loud siren is also a cue to a group of blood thirsty northerns in H2. They know that back-up is busy in G-Unit. So they make their move and attack a few southerns. Again, all the northerns have shanks.
As a second siren blares over the airwaves to this second fight, it also serves as a cue to the northerns in H5. They attack the southerns. And just like their homeboys in G-Unit and H2, they have shanks taped to their hands too.
On this goes, the southerns met their match. A lot of blood was spilled.
THE AFTER MATH:
The prison went on lockdown for 3 days. Most of the cells at SCCC are “dry cells”. That means no water, sink, or toilet in the cell. For some, this was hell.
In order to use the bathroom, we had to put a sign in the window. Then wait until the guard made his way to that cell. In some cases, that took over 6 hours. Some guys were shitting in their garbage cans. I’m sure their cellies loved that!
All meals were served to our cells. There was absolutely NO movement!
Visits were canceled. That sucked for me because Suzie, my mom, and Austyn all had plans to come see me.
Meanwhile, the guards did a sweep on the facility. They gathered up all the remaining northerns and southerns regardless if they were involved or not. They all went to the hole.
Now here we are a few weeks later and everything is just peachy.