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.
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.)
#1) SNITCH ON SOMEONE
Snitches get stitches…bitches!
If you tell, prison is hell.
#2) SIT IN THE WRONG SEAT
Convicts want to control as much as they can. In the chow hall everyone sits in the same seat every day. If you’re new, this could be a problem. Sit in the wrong seat and that could be reason enough to get your ass kicked.
(After decades of seat related issues, DOC finally implemented assigned seating. DOC is much safer because of it. Thank you DOC.)
#3) DON’T PAY YOUR DEBTS
Gambling is huge in prison. So are drug debts. If you wanna shoot heroin, snort meth, pop pills, and smoke a joint before you bet on professional sports, dominoes, cards, and dice, well then you better have a fat bank roll. Pay up or get beat down.
#4) LOOK AT SOMEONE’S VISITOR
Keep your eyes on your own. If you get caught looking at someone’s visitor, whether it’s their mom, sister, grandma, whoever, and you could end up looking at someone’s boots up side your face back at the cell block.
#5) CO-SIGN A PIECE OF SH*T
If you say he’s an alright dude and he turns out to be a rat or a sex offender, guess who gets beat up along the way? YOU!
All that dead skin, hair, and lint has to land somewhere. And it’s usually in front of someone’s cell. Mad Dog Killer ain’t going for it. Mop that sh*t up, or get mopped up. The choice is yours!
This is a story about Moody.
Moody is a big ol heavy set ex-Marine. In 2004, he was dishonorably discharged for being a jackass.
Upon discharge, Moody took his military skills and applied them to the drug trade. Meth to be exact. He was pretty successful, making about $20K a month.
Today he’s serving 27 years for murder 1. In 2006, he shot and killed a Tacoma man who owed him drug money. DOC policy says inmates who are convicted of Murder1, have to serve 4 years in maximum security before they are eligible for medium/minimum security.
The Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla (AKA: The Walls) is maximum security.
Stafford Creek Correction Center (SCCC) in Aberdeen, WA is medium/minimum security.
Walla Walla is a rough, violent, hardcore place.
SCCC is a mellow, easy breezy, facility that has one of the lowest amounts of violent incidents in the country.
So after 4 years of Walla Walla, Moody comes strolling into SCCC with his chest puffed out like he’s Billy Badass! This was back in 2010.
Right away I didn’t like him. But I was nice and respectful towards him. Mainly because I didn’t want him to give me cause to beat his ass. I was applying tactics and strategies that help me get along with people I don’t care for.
Over the next couple of years I watched Moody bully the weak. He’d spit on people, pull their hair, slap their faces, threaten to stab them, and be very verbally abusive.
I was amazed at how long this went on. SCCC is full of snitches. There were a few times when someone went and told. But Moody always seemed to talk his way out of it. He did go to the hole for three days after he threatened to stab a guy in a wheelchair. But for the most part, Moody was getting away with more misconduct than I’ve ever seen.
It was only a matter of time before the law of attraction caught up with him.
The first big blow came in the form of a rumor. Someone came in from Walla Walla and told everyone that Moody was getting buttf**ked by his cellies back at The Walls. It was also said that Moody ratted out his cellies then checked into PC (Protective Custody).
What a turn of events! Moody’s status instantly dropped down to the level of sex offenders and rats.
Of course Moody denied it. But too many people started to confirm the rumors. The damage was done. The prison population deemed the rumors to be true. As a result, a lot of people stopped associating with Moody. He was forced to find his place within the exact crowd he bullied. He became the leader of the weirdos, the weak, and the lames. (see: Prison Glossary)
One day he got into a heated argument with one of his minions. This argument took place all down the breezeway and into the chow hall. The longer it went on the larger the audience grew. No one really likes Moody. Not even his weak minions.
They were now verbally ganging up on him. Moody found himself out numbered. That’s when he crossed the line and started calling them punks and bitches (knowing they weren’t going to do anything about it).
But one did. The minion replied, “At least we didn’t check in at Walla Walla, or get humped in the booty…Moody Moody.” The minions all laughed. As did several others.
Moody snapped! He grabbed his tray of food and hit one of his minions right in the face with it. Food flew everywhere! Some even landed on a C/O that was just a few feet away.
They cuffed up Moody and the guy with food all over his face. As they were escorted to the hole, the minion shouts, “Typical Moody, pulling a PC move in front of the police!”
Within three days, the minion is back on mainline. Moody stayed in the hole for 30 days. The day Moody gets out, someone confronts him. This someone is a known badass. Moody clams up. He only picks on the weak.
Dude snatches Moody’s ID off his chest and throws it in the urinal. Then he pisses all over it.
Moody runs to his cell and slams the door. Everyone is laughing at him. An hour later Moody comes out. His ID is still in the pisser. He grabs it with his bare hand and washes it. Then he returns to his cell for the rest of the day…skipping dinner.
The next day I see Moody sitting at a table all by himself. I sit next to him. He instantly gets defensive and says, “Leave me alone, I don’t want to hear it, I’m not in the mood!”
“Relax”, I say. “I come in peace. You look like you could use a friend.”
“I don’t have any friends in here”, he barks.
“That’s because your mean to everyone and your always in a negative, bad mood”, I say.
He says, “No. It’s because I’m in prison and everyone in here is a two faced back stabber.”
I roll my eyes. “Come on man! Be realistic with me. I just wanna give you some food for thought. But you gotta take it seriously and be realistic. If you do, I promise you, your life will be so much easier in here.”
“I doubt it!” he says in a dejected voice.
“Do you wanna hear me out?” I ask.
“Feel free”, he says.
“Just be nice to people” I say.
We look at each other for a few seconds. He’s waiting for me to say more. “That’s it?” he asks.
“That’s it!” I say. I continue, “I challenge you to be nice to everyone you encounter for the rest of today. Just try it and see what happens.”
He says, “I doubt it’ll do any good at this point”.
I ask him, “Would you at least like to try? Just to see if anything comes of it?”
I can see he’s at least considering it. I say, “Go over to that table (I nod towards a table of three) and say, “good afternoon gentlemen, would you guys like to get a friendly game of pinochle going?””
Moody gives a sarcastic chuckle and says, “Yeah right. Those guys hate me.”
“So what?” I say. “You gotta start somewhere.”
After about ten minutes, I finally talk Moody into doing it. To Moody’s surprise the guys accept his offer.
To this day Moody has no idea I set up that table of three with a few of my Christian friends. At first they were skeptical and didn’t want to do it. One guy even said, “It’ll never work because Moody would never approach us like that.”
I just said, “You let me worry about that. Are you guys down if I can get him to approach you?” They agreed.
For the next 90 minutes I saw a side of Moody that no one had ever seen. He was smiling and getting along with others. I wish I could say that was a turning point in his life and he’s a changed man. But the truth is, they moved Moody to a different unit where I hear he’s in constant turmoil.
The point of this story is simple. Moody lives a conflicted, hostile life because of the way he treats others. NOT because he’s in prison.
Peace and harmony can be found anywhere. It all starts within.
My desire to help Moody came from a place of love and compassion. I saw he was struggling. I knew I could help. I wish it could’ve been longer than a 90 minute card game. But at least a seed was planted.
So now, every time I see Moody in passing, I remind him of “cause and effect”. I point out that card game to illustrate that peace and harmony is waiting for him if he wants it.
As of today, Moody still struggles.