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.
Early in the morning, I was awoken by a soft gentle knock on my cell door. I thought I was dreaming. Then my dog, Yahoo, made it clear that this was no dream. He started barking at the officer who was knocking on my door.
I jumped out of my top bunk and opened the door. That’s when I knew the entire unit was being shook down. There were correctional officers everywhere!
In the past I would’ve been nervous. But these days I have nothing to hide.
From the very start of this shakedown, something was different. It was the soft, gentle knock…opposed to the loud aggressive pounding that usually accompany these shakedowns. Because I’m a dog handler, there is a sign on my door that says:
Do Not Knock On Door.
Respect And Beware Of Dog.
And Follow Trainers Requests.
Wow! That’s different.
After the strip search, I put Yahoo in the outside kennel. Then I headed to the gym, as instructed. We all sat in there for 6 hours as the SWAT team searched every cell in the unit.
When it was all said and done they found tattoo guns, heroin, meth, and porn. Or at least that’s what I was told.
The search report in my cell said, “Nothing found.” It feels good to live a life free of contraband and misconduct. I’ve lived on both sides of the spectrum… and I must say, life is so much better and less stressful when one lives by the law of the land. For a glimpse of my earlier incarcerated years and all the misconduct I engaged in, please read my ebook, Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary.
WARNING: The images within Stone City are raw and uncensored as they were taken with illegal cellphones that were smuggled in by convicts. Many of the stories are graphic and violent. Viewer discretion is advised.
Prison has its own language. To help you better understand, I’ve put together this glossary of prison terms.
5-0 (pronounced “five-oh”) – slang. a C/O, corrections officer
Binky – (n.) homemade prison syringe
Bitch – (n.) A derogatory word used to degrade or belittle someone. The meaning varies depending on the context in which its used. This word is more of a fighting word…meaning, if someone is called a “bitch” they’re usually fighting within seconds.
Call Out – (n.) A daily bulletin posted for all inmates to see. This bulletin consist of the time and place in which inmates are to report. (ie. work, school, medical, property room, religious activities, etc.)
Cat call – (v.) inmate heckling, usually of either a C/O or undesirable inmates
Cell In – (v.) A term used as a directive by staff when telling inmates to go in their cell. “CELL IN NOW MISTER!!!”
Cell time – (n.) time alone in your cell
Celly – (n.) someone who shares the cell; a roommate
Chain – (n.) a group of inmates chained together for transport who arrive at a prison
Check in – (v.) to volunteer to be secluded into Protective Custody
Chi Mo – (abbrev.) slang. child molester
C/O – (abbrev.) Corrections Officer, also “cop” or “pig”
Count – (v.) A time when the facility counts the inmates. Everyone has to “cell in” for count.
CUS – (abbrev.) Custody Unit Supervisor. A high ranking official in charge of living units. (Lieutenant status)
Day Room – (n.) A huge living room where games and socializing takes place. SCCC day rooms consist of 26 tables, 104 seats, a microwave, 8 phones, ice machine, hot water dispenser (180°), and its where the “Call outs” are posted.
Dry cell – (n.) prison cell with no sink or toilet inside the cell
Dry snitch – (v.) snitching without directly snitching; drawing attention to the infraction in a roundabout way
Duck – (n.) a new inmate off the chain; many “waddle” from keistering contraband
Fellas – (n.) a group of solid guys who all get along and respect each other
Hole – (n.) short-term segregation (normally 30-60 days or less)
House – (n.) one’s prison cell
IMU – (n. abbrev.) Intensive Management Unit, long-term segregation
Indigent – An inmate who has less than $10 on his books for 30 days or longer is considered to be “indigent.” Indigent inmates can purchase indigent items as they rack up an indigent debt. NOTE: Indigent items are generic, no name brand items.
Ish – (abbrev.) slang. issue
Keep point – (v.) to watch or be on the lookout for a guard; military lingo
Keister – (v.) to hide something inside your rectum
Kite – (n.) document with an inmate request or question to a staff member; snitches may “drop a kite” to snitch in writing
Lame – (n.) someone who is not a “fella” but also is not a sex offender or a rat
Mainline – (n.) general population, also mealtime or dining hall
Mean Mugging – (v.) to look at someone with an angry expression on your face
One time – (n.) a guard
Paperwork – (n.) a statement of ones criminal history
PC – (abbrev.) Protective Custody
Piece of Shit – (n.) someone who isn’t solid; lowest in the prison hierarchy
Porter – (n.) one hired to do routine cleaning
Pruno – (n.) prison wine, made from decaying oranges, apples, potatoes, etc.
Punk – (n.) someone who performs sexual acts for little or no profit
Rape-o – (n.) slang. A rapist
Re-cop – (v.) replenish the drug supply
Running Store – (v.) to front items from commissary for a profit
Segregation – (n.) 24/7 lockdown
Shakedown – (v.) A thorough search of mass proportion
Shank – (n.) homemade weapon used for stabbing
Shotcallers – (n.) anyone who wields power and influence in prison. Usually the drug dealers, but can be anyone with a service in demand and a lot of charisma
Solid – (adj.) used to describe someone who isn’t a piece of shit
SO – (abbrev.) sex offender
SOS – (abbrev.) slang. Smash on Site
Street to Street – (v.) one inmate’s family or friends sending money to another inmate’s family or friends with no direct inmate involvement
Swine – (n.) pejorative term for prison guard; like calling a policeman a “pig”
Torpedo – (n.) someone hired or assigned to carry out an assault
UA – (n.) urine analysis. A piss test.
Wet cell – (n.) prison cell with a stainless steel sink and toilet inside the cell
Weirdo – (n.) a rat, a sex offender, or someone with some kind of dirty history
Yahoo – (n.) someone who is always running their mouth about others
Yard – (n.) An outdoor recreational area