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.
I chose this title because the majority of prison tattoos revolve around hate. Not all. But most.
Some guys will get their woman’s name plastered across their neck. So I suppose I could’ve called this post : PRISON INK : THE ART OF LOVE. Because it’s also common to see the faces of loved ones etched in the flesh. Along with their names, birth dates, death dates, anniversary dates, etc.
I’ve seen convicts sporting tattoos of the hand prints and foot prints of their newborns. Just today I saw one that said, ”Family’s gone, but not forgotten.” That was in cursive and on his neck. Then on his left hand was some gang stuff.
So, as you can see, it’s not all about hate. But no matter what, it is all bad. Consider the risks involved, such as transmittable disease, bad ink, getting your ass kicked, infractions, and loosing goodtime.
I just met a guy who got kicked out of The Dog Program because during a strip search they discovered a tattoo of his favorite dog. He told them that the tattoo was old. They asked, ”How old?”
He was honest. He said, ”Over a year ago.”
Book em! It doesn’t matter how old a tattoo is. When a guy comes to prison, DOC documents all scars and tattoos. If you get a new tattoo while in prison, and they discover it 25 years later, it’s a major infraction!
I know this white guy who got “WHITE PRIDE” tattooed down his back arms. The guy who did the tattoo is a black man. When the white fellas (see: prison glossary) found out that a black man tattooed “WHITE PRIDE” on a white boy, they beat the white boys ass.
For months I watched a white tattoo artist sling hate monger ink all over dozens of other white boys. The artist then went and tattooed some gang graffiti on a black man. The white boys beat the artist damn near to death.
Why? Because they felt their new tattoos were somehow tainted because that artist also worked on someone who wasn’t white.
A lot of drama and misconduct goes into getting a prison tattoo. I asked a lot of old timers if they like their tats? Most say no. They regret getting them. And if they could do it over, they would stay away from tattoos.
Tattoos are addictive. Most guys can’t stop at just one. At first they look nice. As the years go by they fade, bleed into the skin, and get blurry. This has a lot to do with the poor quality ink. Guys make ink out of soot and baby oil. As a matter of fact, back in October of 2013, some guys caught the unit on fire as they were making ink. It’s dangerous! On many levels.
NOTE: All pictures were taken from a smuggled-in cell phone. I did 7 months in the hole after I got caught with it years ago. While in the hole I wrote a book called, Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary. Buy the ebook today!
If it ain’t yours, leave it alone. Jealousy is a motherfucker no matter where you’re at.
Back in the mid 90’s there was this punk running around Walla Walla. He went by the name Tiffany.
Tiffany was in a relationship with Shadow. Tiffany is white, Shadow is Mexican. For months the two lived together. Until one day administration broke up the two.
Tiffany got moved into a different cell. Inside his new cell lived Terry. Terry has been in prison for years and has several more to go.
It wasn’t long before Terry was butt-fucking Tiffany and making him suck his dick. Tiffany told Shadow. Shadow was pissed.
Shadow approached Terry out in the yard and said, “Hey man, Tiffany is my bitch. Leave her alone.”
Terry laughed and said, “Her? That punk has a dick bigger than yours.”
Shadow wasn’t laughing. “Just stay away from her, alright?”
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Just how bad is it?
It’s as bad or as good as I make it.
The lying… it’s super bad.
It’s almost an everyday thing.
I pretty much know when my celly is lying. And even when he’s not lying, I question him. I don’t question him out loud, I keep it to myself because I don’t want to cause tension between us.
When my “BS Meter” goes off, I investigate. He mainly lies about what other people say. So I’ll simply go to that person and ask, only to find out that my celly completely and grossly lied. I’ve called him on a few lies already. He gets defensive and hostile. He attempts to clean it up by telling more lies.
For example, he told me that an officer jammed him up because our dog, Yahoo, wasn’t wearing a colored bandana. (We had just given Yahoo a bath and his bandana was off until it dried. Bandanas represent the status of the dog.)
The lie was so elaborate and full of back and forth dialogue between he and the officer. I knew he was lying. So later on I talked to the officer, only to find out that no such conversation ever took place.
Later that day I tried to have a serious talk with my celly. (He didn’t know I knew.) I explained to him that we need to be honest with each other.
I asked if he has ever lied to me?
He said no.
I asked if he was sure?
He paused, then said that he has never lied to me.
During the course of our conversation he lied to me several more time. It was like a domino effect, one lie inspired the next lie. He lied to cover up lies. Finally I told him that I talked to the officer, and I already knew the truth behind that lengthy, lie infested conversation we just had.
I got the feeling that this man really believed his own lies, because he attempted to convince me that he DID talk to the officer, and the officer DID say that. He wouldn’t budge! There was NO WAY this man was going to admit he lied.
So I said, “Let’s go talk to the officer together.”
He said, “Let’s go!”
I opened the door and we both started to head out. For a split second I started to think, “Man! Did the officer lie to me?” I mean, THATS how convincing my celly was.
Then, all of a sudden, my celly said, “Wait! Stop! Come back in here.”
We came back in and shut the door.
He said in a low defeated tone, “He never said that.”
I was super cool about it. I told him it was no big deal and let’s move on. He apologized for lying and assured me that from now on he would be honest with me. I shook his hand, told him all is good, and let’s move on.
Since then, he has lied to me numerous times. And if I can’t prove it, he doesn’t budge. So for the most part I just let him lie without calling him on it. But I must be honest, its frustrating and extremely annoying.
Last night I came back from the shower. The second I walk in he says, “Rollo started to chew on your shoe. I took it away from him.”
I have OCD, I know EXACTLY how and where I set my shoes. I looked at my shoes and they were untouched. My celly is disabled. There’s NO WAY he’s going to line my shoes up the way I do.
I KNOW HE’S LYING…AGAIN!!!
I’ll spare you the big ol lie infested conversation that ensued. But I will say that I called him on his BS. Along with several other previous lies. The flood gates opened!
It didn’t go well and now I feel animosity towards him. And I’m sure he feels animosity towards me. In the past, I would’ve made his life hard with verbal abuse and constant disrespect.
I called my sweet wife and told her what was going on. She offered me advice and help on how to handle this. She then remembered reading what my celly had written in a post on Stone City Blog. He wrote that he used to be a pathological liar. It instantly made sense.
The next day I was extra nice to him. Then I asked if we could have another serious conversation. He said yes. I commended him on his Stone City Blog post, and how he admitted he once had a lying problem. I offered to further help him in overcoming this problem.
We talked for a long time. He told me about his childhood and abuse, and why he lies. As we concluded I told him that this is the perfect opportunity for us both to evolve and overcome. He agreed.
It’s been a couple weeks since that chat. He hasn’t lied since…at least not to me.
If I feel he’s lying, all I have to say is, “Are you being truthful?”
He and I both agreed that by saying that, it’ll take him to a place of truth within, and will allow him to recognize and focus on his desire to be a better man. This also benefits me as it allows me to deal with issues in an appropriate manner.
So just how bad is it, living with a compulsive liar?
It’s as bad or as good as I make it.
I choose to make it a good thing, and to turn it into something that will allow us to both learn and grow.
For those who don’t know, IMU stands for “Intensive Management Unit”. It’s basically long term segregation. Some guys spend years, even decades in IMU.
So the question is, “How could a filthy, dirt bag, scum-of-the-earth inmate get a jelly-filled powered donut while in IMU?”
Well the answer is actually easier than you think. All the inmate needs to do is cover his window, cause a disturbance, and refuse to comply with directives until his demands are met.
But he shouldn’t get too crazy with his demands. He should keep it simple and reasonable. For example, he should demand a jelly-filled powered donut. This is more than a reasonable request. The simplicity of this demand should result in success.
It’s a win-win for everyone. The inmate gets happily fed, and the S.E.R.T. squad doesn’t have to suit-up and commit controlled acts of violence.
It makes a lot of economic sense as well. Jelly-filled powered donuts are way cheaper than canisters of pepper spray, and all the extra pay that goes to each and every S.E.R.T. member.
Although this post drips with jelly-like sarcasm and powdery satire, it is based on an actual episode that recently took place here at Stafford Creek. An inmate covered his window and refused to comply with directives until he got a donut.
Prison officials can deal with this in one of two ways:
#1 – They can spray him with pepper spray, bum rush his cell, beat him up, and drag him out. Then uncover his window for him.
#2 – Give him a donut.
What do you think they should do?
Some guy just got his jaw broke and was hospitalized. The other guy is in segregation. The dispute was over JPay. Ever since JPay has issued the new JP5, there has been a rise in the number and severity of assaults and fights.
JPay upgrades the handheld devices from the JP4, to the JP5. Thousands of inmates pay for that upgrade. They then all get their new and improved device within a few weeks of each other. Now everyone wants to link-up their new device at the JPay kiosk so they can download all their music on their new JP5.
JPay’s software is so old and cheap that it causes the kiosks to freeze up and run super slow.
The logins are limited to 20 minutes. In that time, inmates are only getting 2 or 3 songs. A lot of these guys have over 1,000 songs!
In an already volatile environment, you can imagine the frustration and anger this creates.
There’s now a feeding frenzy mentality revolving around the JPays. Everybody is trying to log on all day, everyday. And because these guys are only getting 2 or 3 songs per login, there’s no end in sight to this unnecessary, totally preventable, madness.
The remedy is quite simple:
*Pre-load the JP5’s with everyone’s music.
*Upgrade all software and technology to the best money can buy. (JPay can afford it. They’re a multi-million dollar business!)
Until something changes, JPay will continue to be the cause of numerous assaults and fights. I just hope that DOC will hold JPay to a higher standard before another jaw gets broke…or worse.
My days fly by. I’m always busy.
I’d say that 90% of my days are exactly the same. And if you think about it, your days probably don’t differ much either. Ever heard of the saying “Same sh*t, different day?” That applies to us all, no matter where we are.
Sometimes in the midst of your busy day you’ll experience something quick, brief, and full of inspiration.
Here is a little story I’d like to share:
At 10AM I was in the gym doing my cardio class. After class we had about 5 minutes before movement was called back to the unit. That’s when Andy from H4 approached me. I met him about 4 weeks before I moved out of that unit.
So he comes up to me with a big smile on his face and says, “Dude! Since you moved I’ve heard so many stories about you,” as he laughs.
His smile and laugh is infectious. So I’m smiling, too. I say, “Oh yeah? What did you hear?”
“Lots of things,” he responds while trying to stop laughing.
“Like what!?” I demand with a smile.
“Oh I don’t know! Like dumping a dirty mop bucket all over a table full of sex offenders, farting on people’s heads, shoving cellies under bunks, knocking people out, you know…things of that nature.”
He continues, “…I was surprised at all the war stories. The Steven I know is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”
Wow! I reached out and shook his hand and said, “Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m on a new journey these days.”
Then movement was called and everyone left the gym back to their units.
That brief little conversation left me feeling good and inspired. All the positive seeds I’ve been planting in my mind and in my actions are showing.
It’s just one example of YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Therefore, it is my desire to always sow: love, truth, compassion, respect, and understanding. It’s only a matter of time before the universe responds.
Here are a few key points in the book, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen:
*As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
*In life, you do reap what you sow.
*Life’s experiences reflect your pattern of thought.
*Cause and effect.
*Think in the right way.
*Powerful weapon inside yourself.
*You are the master of your own thoughts.
*You hold the key to every situation.
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.
NO…not me! Silly readers. This is a story about my buddy, LeeRoy.
He and his wife decided to get a little frisky during a visit. And she literally got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. His cookie jar! She was going for a cream filled chocolate bar! And it was all caught on camera.
I’m sharing this because I know some of you ladies who visit your man in prison know exactly what I’m talking about. The little touchy-feely under the table. Sneak a grope here…sneak a grope there.
My advice is…STOP IT!
It’s not worth it. And trust me, it’s only a matter of time before you get caught.
LeeRoy used to work on the OUTSIDE work crew. That job paid $7 a day and allowed him to leave prison grounds. A novelty job in here!
He got FIRED! Because he violated the “No hand jobs in the visiting room” rule.
He also got kicked out of the Honor Unit. Apparently they frown upon hand jobs too.
All because he received a WAC 137-28-260 Serious Infraction. The rule violation was a 504. It states: Engaging in sexual acts with others.
Not the type of write-up you want in prison!
I’ve been in prison for over 21 years. I’ve seen this time and time again. Couples get too comfortable. They get away with inappropriate touching for years. Then it happens. Busted!!!
So stop while you’re ahead. Stop touching his tally-whacker under the table. You WILL get caught. I’ll hear about it. And I’ll put you on blast as I blog about it.
Thank you and have a nice day.
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.
(This story was written in collaboration with my pal, Pete. It is his story, which I helped him articulate into writing.)