Tagged: prison guards

The Two Day Shakedown

 

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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.

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Me and Sam

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.

So I offer him some unsolicited insight. I tell him, “I don’t use drugs anymore. I’m about to get EFV’s with my wife, and I’m in The Dog Program.”

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?”

“No.”

Have you ever been affiliated with the AF (Arian Family)?

“No.”

“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.

 

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Steven Jennings

Hey Man! Those Are My Shoes!

 

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The place: Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, WA.

The year: early 90’s

 

Gordon was entering his 35th year of incarceration for a variety of convictions, including 1st degree murder. Although he stands 5’8” and only weighs 140 lbs., he’s a heavy weight amongst his peers.

Don was entering his 18th year of incarceration for a variety of drug and weapon convictions.

One day the 62 year old Gordon approached the 35 year old Don and said, “Hey man, wanna make some easy money?”

Don gave him a skeptical look. “Doing what?” he asked.

Gordon turned and faced the handball courts, then said, “I got this fool right over there,” he pointed, “that says he can whip your ass at handball.”

Don says, “Who you pointing at? Larry?”

Gordon replies, “Yeah! You know him?”

“Not really,” Don says, “We’ve played a few games, but that’s about it.”

“I know,” Gordon says, “I watched you beat him yesterday. That’s how I know you can beat him. That’s why I want to bet on you!”

Don pauses for a second. Then asks, “How do you know he’ll bet?”

Gordon gets stern and says, “Listen, I already talked to him. It’s all set up. All you gotta do is bring your ‘A’ game and go whip his candy coated ass! Can you do that?”

Don is a little reluctant because he knows he could lose. Gordon watched ONE game that Don just so happened to win. That doesn’t mean Don will win all the time. There have been days when Don loses 3 or 4 games in a row to Larry. And vice versa.

But Don doesn’t want to look like a Chump to Gordon. So he says, “These shoes are trash,” as he shows the left side all blown out, I can’t run in these at all!”

Gordon is wearing a new pair of Nikes. He asks, “What size you wear?”

Don says, “10.”

“Here! These are 9 ½.,” As he slips them off.

Within seconds the shoe swap was done.

As they walk to the court Gordon says, “Win and I’ll hook you up with some of that sh*t.”

Don says, “Sounds good…I got this!”

The first game is a very close game. Don loses.

Before the second game starts, Gordon pulls Don aside and says, “Listen you little f*cker, I’m betting fifty bucks a game here! Now get your sh*t together and win!”

Don wins the second game.

Half way through the third game, Don grabs his chest and falls to the ground. He’s having a massive heart attack!

“Man Down…Man Down!!!!” Larry yells up to the gun tower. The guard calls a medical emergency.

Gordon runs out on the court and tries to untie his shoes that are on Don’s feet. But the guard up in the tower yells, “Get back! Get back NOW!”

Gordon backs up. It’s either that, or risk getting shot. These Walla Walla guards don’t play. They will shot and kill!

Within a few minutes a team of prison medics and guards are strapping Don to a big orange gurney.

Everyone is fairly quiet until Gordon yells out, “Hey man! Those are my shoes!!!”

A chorus of sick laughter ensues as a few dozen sick minds find humor in Gordon’s antics.

Within a few hours the news started to spread that Don died of a heart attack. Gordon never did get his shoes back.

And life in the Penitentiary went on.

 

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Steven Jennings

Lockdown – Day 1

 

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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.

 

Lockdown – Day 2

 

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Steven Jennings

Mushrooms: The Cash Crop

 

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Stafford Creek Corrections Center is located in the Great North West. I lived in this area my entire life.

I am good at two things. Running around in the woods naked. And cultivating psychedelic mushrooms.

Lucky for me, prison has only robbed me of one of these things.

Cultivating a spore comes very naturally to me. Maybe because of my extreme laziness. Or maybe because I love to grow stuff that gets me high. Either/or…growing spores is very easy.

So easy, I was able to do it in prison.

Thus begins the Great Mushroom Caper at SCCC. Quite by accident and not absolutely on purpose, I found myself in quite the little situation.

After spending two years in this sh*t hole in the woods, I began to notice a few things.

First, I was getting very fed up. Somehow I landed in this prison that somehow landed smack dab in the middle of the woods I used to roam. Naked. I live about 10 minutes from this place. I know every dear trail and logging road in this area.

Second, I realized I was working 240 hours a month out in the garden green house for $55 a month! Not to mention the prison takes 60% of that!

Combine those two revelations with the fact that I don’t give a f*ck, and well…you’re about to see what happens.

After two years of working in the green house, I developed a good working relationship with the guard in charge of that area. I would do all the work. He would sit on his ass and get fat. I didn’t bother him. He didn’t bother me.

One day after work I was out in the yard roaming around. My heart skipped a beat when I looked down and saw three Stunzie Mushrooms growing in the grass. I stood at a crossroad as I looked around.

I could eat these fully psychedelic, fully enjoyable mushrooms, or I could pick them, smuggle them to work, and watch them expand like a mother*cker! Yeah…I’ll do that!

The next day at work, I smashed bits and pieces of the mushrooms into the dirt between the cucumber and squash plants.

Within two days I had a nice patch of shrooms. I picked ‘em. Dried ‘em. And made powder. I spread the powder up and down three rows of cucumber and squash. Thirty feet long, sixteen inched wide.

That was on a Friday. Without completely understanding what I had just done, I returned to my unit for the weekend.

Monday morning rolls around and for the first time ever, I’m excited to go back to work. I go back to my area and I can’t believe my eyes.

Mushrooms were everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE!!! All I could see was dollar signs.

I immediately devised a multi person process. Always a scary thing because you never know who might tell. But I had to. I needed help with my new-found cash crop. I had to get these things out of the green house and back to my cell.

My buddy Jason works on the trash crew. All trash cans are marked by a unit. That means all trash cans return to the unit they came from. Pretty stupid really! All this does is allow inmates, like me and Jason, to smuggle things from the Correctional Industries area back to the living units.

Back at the unit, my celly was already waiting for the trash cans to roll in. So far, so good. When the time was right, he quickly retrieved a large trash bag that was 1/3 full of psychedelic shrooms!

By the time I came home from work, he was high as a kite laying on his bed. TRIPPIN!

I was high too. I kept a little stash out in the green house just for me. We spent a good 5 minutes just laughing for no reason other than we just pulled off one of the biggest moves in DOC history!

I asked him, “Where they at?”

He gets up. He pulls his blanket back. There they are! All smashed into his sheets and the blanket. We start busting up again! This fool dumped all the shrooms on his bed and then covered them with a blanket. Genius!!

For the next several hours we dried the shrooms with more sheets and two fans. Meanwhile, we went around and collected as many Shiitake Dried Mushroom packs as we could. DOC sells those. They’re legal. We only managed to scrounge up 6 empty bags. It’s a start.

The next day at work, I had Jason comb through the facility trash. He was high as a kite and on a mission: TO GET ALL EMPLY MUSHROOM BAGS.

That day when the trash cans came back to the unit, my celly was waiting. This time he retrieved 87 empty mushroom bags.

By the time I came home from work, he had them all bagged up. We had 76 3oz. bags of highly hallusigenic mushrooms! A street value of $36,480.

A prison value of over $250,000! Incredible!

Before I could sell one single bag I had two guards kicking in my cell.

Somebody ratted me out!

Because of the amount they found, they charged me with a felony.

Now here I sit in the hole facing another 6 years.

Damn it! I should’ve just ate those three little Stunzies growing in the grass.

 

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Steven Jennings

(This story was written in collaboration with my pal, Pete. It is his story, which I helped him articulate into writing.)

 

Sit In The Wrong Seat

 

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Convicts want to control as much as they can. Back in the day (prior to 2004), everyone sat in the same seat at the chow hall. New guys were constantly getting ran off until they found a seat that could be theirs day in & day out. This caused so much drama, that prison officials now enforce assigned seating.

 

Back in 1992, at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, there was a new guy that went by the nickname “Cat Piss.”

Seriously! He introduced himself as “Cat Piss.” Why? Because he cooked so much meth, and he used so much meth, that he literally smelled like cat piss. It continued to ooze from his pores and scalp, even months after he got locked up.

His first day at the Washington State Penitentiary, Cat Piss sat in the wrong seat. Cat Piss is about 6’4” and 200 lbs.

Matt approached him and said, “This seat is taken. Go ahead and finish your meal, but don’t sit here again.”

Cat Piss just looks at Matt, then continues to eat. Matt dumps his tray and leaves without ever sitting down.

Matt is about 6’ and 190 lbs. He is in prison for robbing and stabbing to death a pill dealer. He got 60 years. When he was 27 years old.

The next day Matt comes to the chow hall to find Cat Piss in his seat again.

Matt says, “Hey man, I was nice enough to let you finish your meal yesterday. But today, you need to get the f*ck outta my seat.”

Cat Piss stands up and towers over Matt.

Matt backs up and re-thinks the situation. Then he says, “Look man, just find another seat. I won’t tell you again.”

Matt dumps his tray and leaves again without eating.

A few hours go by, and its chow time again. And sure enough, Cat Piss is sitting in Matt’s seat.

Matt doesn’t say a word. He walks up behind Cat Piss and pulls out a razor sharp 3 inch plexiglass shank. Before Cat Piss can react, Matt has stabbed him in the side three times. Then four-five-six-seven…

Matt has Cat Piss on the ground as he grips his hair with his left hand and drives the shank in & out of Cat Piss’s mid-section.

By the time the guards break it up, Cat Piss has been stabbed over 40 times. And that’s how Matt got the nickname “Slash.”

 

Moral of the Story: Don’t come to prison and disrupt the flow of things. Find an empty seat, and get in where you fit in.

 

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Steven Jennings