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.
Ah yes, the joys of prison. I was sitting in the dayroom playing cards, when all of a sudden, two guards came up to me. One said, “Mr. Jennings, come with us.”
I said nothing. I set down my cards and stood up. The guards escorted me to the back of the unit. That’s where the holding cells are.
I was ordered to strip naked. As I stood there naked in front of two guards, one says, “Run your fingers through your hair.”
“Mouth”, he barked.
I opened my mouth for inspection.
I bent my ears forward and turned my head so they could see behind them.
I let him look up my nose.
I raised my arms.
I separated my penis from my testicles. Then I lifted my testicles.
“Turn around, bend over, and spread ‘em.”
Finally he said, “Feet.”
I showed him the bottom of my feet.
At this point, I’m shivering as I stand on the cold cement. My clothes are in a pile on the dirty floor. One guard reaches down and grabs my socks. He turns them inside out and inspects them. He hands them to the other guard, then that guard hands them to me. I put them on. As is. Inside out. As this process unfolds and I’m getting dressed, I finally ask, “What is all this about?”
One guard lies and says, “I don’t know.”
I ask, “Well then who knows?”
He says, “The Sargent.”
“May I please speak with him?”
“I’ll let him know you wanna talk with him,” he replies. And with that, he locked me in the holding cell and they walk away.
About thirty minutes later, here comes Sgt. Lopez. I ask him what’s going on. He says, “Someone dropped a snitch kite on you.”
Right away I know he’s lying. The timing is off. It’s 5:30 pm. There’s no way they’d be doing all this now. If they really did get a snitch kite, they would’ve received it by 9 am. And they would’ve reacted right then and there. Like they did the time someone dropped a kite on me saying that I had pizza and pie stacked sky high in my cell. (Wanna hear that story? Okay, that’ll be my next blog.)
So I ask Sgt. Lopez, “What did the kite say?”
“I can’t tell you that,” he said.
“Okay, what did it say I was doing?”
Again, he refuses to tell me. Instead he just says, “We’re searching your cell. If we don’t find anything, we’ll let you out.”
After two hours, they let me out. My cell is an absolute wreck! They went through EVERYTHING. I ask more questions, but they tell me nothing.
Now usually when things like this happen, the inmate has a good idea as to why. But in this case, I had NO IDEA. And to further complicate matters, I know these guys are straight up lying to me. Especially Sgt. Lopez, who has a history of being a liar.
The next day I go into the Correctional Unit Supervisors office. AKA: CUS Shannahan. I tell him what happened. I then ask why. He pauses for a second. Then says, “Where’s your cell phone?”
I reply, “I got caught with that back in 2008 and did seven months in the hole.”
He says, “Yeah, but you got a new one. You have someone holding it for you. Where’s it at?”
“I promise you sir, I do not have a cell phone.”
I’m a little surprised at his honesty and openness. So I ask another question, “Why do you think I have a cell phone, I mean, what brought all this about?”
Again, he’s honest with me. He says, “The mailroom read a letter from Suzie, and she was talking about your cell phone.”
At that moment, it all made sense. I had an honest explanation for everything. Except for why Sgt. Lopez felt the need to lie and display a lack of integrity. His lie could’ve put people at risk. What if I were an inmate who had a suspect in mind as to who was dropping “snitch kites”? And what if I would’ve went and picked a fight with that guy? Hey, it happens. This is prison. I’ve seen guys get beat down over NOHING!
Here’s what really happened:
Suzie and I were near the beginning of our relationship, getting to know one another through writing. In a letter, she asked me, “What’s the longest you’ve ever done in the hole?”
I wrote back, “Seven months for getting caught with a cell phone.”
The mailroom didn’t read those first letters of our conversation. They just happened to read the follow up letter that said, “You sneaky man, how did you get a cell phone in prison?”
And that’s all it took. The mailroom called up Sgt. Lopez and the rest is history. They were just doing their job. Except for Sgt. Lopez, he chose to lie and put all the known rats at risk. That is, until CUS Shannahan soothed the situation with honesty, which is why we were able to resolve this false assumption of me having a cell phone.
“Honesty is the best policy.” Especially when it comes to DOC staff.
My first book, “Stone City – Life In The Penitentiary”, will be available to buy soon. In it, you can read all about the cell phone I got caught with back in 2008. And even get a first-hand glimpse behind prison walls…with the pictures I took on that very phone.
Drugs make people do crazy things. So why do most states sell the most addictive drug to inmates? Prison is full of misconduct. By allowing drugs, the misconduct only escalates.
On 2-25-13 Ryan Mayer #843607, an inmate at SCCC, was being promoted from a long term medium facility to a short term minimum facility. His last stop before freedom.
The transitional process means a week stay at the dreaded Receiving Units in Shelton, WA. (aka: The R-Units). All inmates filter through the R-Units before they reach their new destination. The R-Units are loud, filthy, and over crowded. Inmates are not allowed to bring anything with them. And since Ryan is addicted to coffee, he decided to smuggle some.
Anytime inmates are transferred, they are strip searched. So the only place to hide the freeze dried Keefe Coffee is up their ass.
The night before Ryan was due to leave, he got a hold of some latex gloves. (the guards use these gloves when conducting official business such as: strip searches, cell searches, etc…). Ryan uses these gloves to package coffee in and then shoves it up his ass.
Here’s How To Get Caught…
Ryan was sitting in the dayroom BS’ing with his buddies one last time before he leaves. The announcement blares over the PA system, “All inmates on the outgoing chain, report to the property room at this time.”
Instead of following the other two outgoing inmates, Ryan goes into his old cell.
But why? There’s nothing in there for him. He’s completely packed up, and his celly is at work. He has NO reason to be going back into that cell. Except to shove a few homemade keyster packs of coffee up his ass.
A guard see’s him enter the cell. The guard waits about 90 seconds before he slowly walks to Ryans cell. As he looks in, he observes Ryan bent over sliding something up his ass!
Immediately, the guard calls for back up, “Breaker, breaker. All officers be advised, I have an inmate sticking foreign objects up his anus.”
Within seconds, a swarm of officers rush to Ryans cell, put him in handcuffs, and haul him to the medical unit.
At medical, they make him sh*t in a bag. Out comes one finger of a latex glove. It’s covered in feces. They wash it off and cut it open. The big bust of the day: A few grams of freeze dried Keefe Coffee, and one set of ear plugs.
Prison officials demoted Ryan back down to medium custody. He is no longer eligible for minimum custody. He’ll spend the rest of his 60 days sitting at SCCC sipping on Keefe Coffee.
Moral of the story: No matter what the drug is, drug addiction is bad. People will do whatever it takes to get their fix.
Remedy: Don’t do drugs.