Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 124 (1/24/15) Her roommate locked her out

It’s the weekend here at Chowchilla. I don’t like the weekends too much. They are boring and you have to hope the weather is good so you can at least program. 
No fog today, but at 6:45am when we were waiting for chow, they had an emergency count. My roommate was heading over to her diabetic check when they made the entire facility return to their beds for a mandatory count. There was either an attempted escape or someone was missing. If it was serious, we could be on lockdown for days. I figured they just lost someone. An hour and a half later, we finally went to breakfast. On the walk back from breakfast, our neighbor announced if we wanted any sleep, we all needed to sign a petition so she can get her meds. Everyone is over this woman. Her roommate locked her out of the cell this morning, so the chaos begins. 
All they do all day is fight, yell, argue, and bicker. My roommate and I usually laugh about it. It’s a “live” daily soap opera. When the crazy lady left for her 8am meds, her roommate threw all her stuff out of the cell and slammed the door shut. World War 3 will be starting once she gets back. But, before she was back, a porter and the CO came over and put her stuff back and told her she would be moved today. The head housing officer will take care of it at 2pm once he got there. But, when she got back from meds, she refused to go into her cell and made a huge scene. She keeps trying to blame her roommate for all the trouble. But everyone, including the officers know what’s going on. She’s been here 3 weeks and has been moved 3 times. The officer yelled at her to sit down and moved her roommate to a different cell.  Our crazy neighbor is still our neighbor, but in the cell alone. We will see what happens. We didn’t get to program today because we were in a non-movement lockdown because of this mornings mandatory count. My roommate got a book and she is sharing it with me. We are both reading it. I am thankful, the books really pass the time. 

“Books make life and time more tolerable in some pretty intolerable times” 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 122 & 123 (1/22/15) "Sick in the Head"

Officially one week. It went by pretty quick. Got another duckett, going to medical today. 
Breakfast was interesting today, as Jewelz and Kali were planning on hooking up after breakfast. They are not in the same cell, but are next to each other (104 and 105). Jewelz was going into Kali’s cell after breakfast. Kali’s roommate was totally uncomfortable with the situation. She tried to stay back and clean tables. But, no such luck. She had to endure their hook up session. 
Then, our crazy neighbor in 101, was back at it again. This time fighting with her roommate. Bitching and complaining that she’s dumb and only 21 and needs to respect her elders. I believe in respecting your elders, but that does not give you a pass to be rude and dis-respectful. Our neighbor is loud, bossy, and condescending. She caused a scene pounding on the door until the CO (correctional officer) came over. She was demanding her roommate be moved. He wasn’t putting up with her shit. He told her the only move she was getting was to Ad Seg (Administrative Segregation). That’s 24/7 lockdown. She kept on arguing and he says “Welcome to prison” and walked away. 
At laundry, our crazy neighbor tried to get sympathy, but no one was having it. No one cares. She is loud and obnoxious. She’s going to get her ass kicked one of these days. 

Day 123 (1/23/15)

Lots of fog this morning. The weather here sucks, because you can be on lockdown or modified program because of the weather and I hate not getting to program and not going outside. 
Trying to keep myself busy. It can be rough at times. I’m working on making a deck of cards. We didn’t get all our program time, but we got some and some is better than none. Within 10 minutes of being outside, it was “yard down”. Two girls in our unit got into a fight over the shower. One threw her shampoo bottle and it hit the other lady in the mouth. The lady went after her. The girl went running until she was cornered. She got in a few good hits before they broke it up. 30 minutes later it was “yard down” again ! This time in 703, the medical building. It was the fire alarm. It was a 20 minute ordeal, but at least I was outside enjoying the fresh air. 

Another day down and off to sleep. Of course our neighbor in 101 was up all night. Sometime around 2:30am, she’s hollering “Medical Emergency ! Medical Emergency !”. She’s sick and needs to see medical. She kept asking the CO what time it was and he kept saying “time to sleep”. She kept at it. I was like please be quiet. She kept screaming “I’m sick, I’m sick”. The CO said “Sick in the head”. I laughed, rolled over and went back to sleep. I’m thankful I could sleep through it, but not everyone was so lucky. Lots of women were up all night because of her and they were not happy about it. The lady in 101 is not making any friends. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 120 & 121 (1/20/15) "They can make your stay miserable"

We got a new neighbor today in cell 101. This woman is off her rocker. She got here 12/31 and didn’t last a week in 502. Then moved to 501, she couldn’t get along with 7 roommates, so she’s now in 503. She has cursed out a porter, verbally fought with our housing officer, and constantly fights with her roommate. Maya and I laugh listening to it, but are so thankful she’s not our roommate. She is constantly screaming “fuck the police”, “screw the cops”, while the others talking about taking a lock to her face, I am thankful for my roommate. We get along great. It can always be worse. “Live a day at a time and do the best that you can”. 

Day 121 (1/21/15)

Received two ducketts for today. Had testing in the morning and mental health in the afternoon. The testing is to determine what type of job you qualify for. There were women talking about intentionally doing poorly, so they can qualify for schooling and earn milestones to get 6 weeks off of their sentence. I guess you earn time off as well for re-taking the test and scoring higher. I want a good job so I’m not playing games. I’m doing my best. Mental health assessment took 10 minutes, got cleared, that’s another item off the list. After yard today, our crazy neighbor in 101 was getting loud and singing after count until dinner. The officer told her to keep it down and be quiet or she was going to be “capped” (lose your program time, among a couple other fun things). She got louder and started arguing and fighting with him. Not only did she get “capped”, he said “I’ll be in your room tonight”. During chow, he went into her cell and fucked her room up. She was quiet the rest of the night. Some of the correctional officers are decent and respectful, but others are jerks and intentionally look to mess with you. They can make your stay miserable, so it’s best you do what you have to do and get off the receiving yard. It’s not worth it to fight with them. Our main housing officer enjoys screwing with women. But, if you follow his few rules, he’s cool. But, if not, he enjoys “capping” your room. Welcome to prison. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 117 & 119 (1/17/15) "YARD DOWN"

I received my first duckett after breakfast. Duckett’s are like passes to send you where you need to go for the receiving process. Mine was for medical at 10am. It was a quick check. Just checking the results of my TB test. But, it was nice to get out. I should be busy the first couple of weeks with lots of ducketts. You have to go through mental health, medical, dental, testing, labs, and orientation, then the duckett you look forward to the most is the one you get to see your counselor. I just got here, but I’m already looking forward to the day I get out of here (go over the wall). Got to program today, we had long afternoon program. They let us out and I hit the yard. It feels wonderful to be outside wearing tennis shoes and to actually walk. I walked the entire 3 hours. I met and walked with Liz. She’s a 70 year old woman, who is my neighbor in cell 103. We walked and talked a good portion of the afternoon. She’s been here for almost 90 days. I’m really getting nervous about how long it takes to get through receiving. The Sergeant and the handbook says it takes 30-60 days. But, everyone I have talked to, says it’s it’s more like 90 days. I hope I can get processed quickly. Every case is different. 
I’ve read the handbook 3 times now. Tomorrow I’m going to start reading the Title 15, rules and regulations book. Something to pass the time until I can get to the library. 
No fog this morning, so we got to AM program on Sunday morning. The weekends are pretty boring. No mail, usually no ducketts. At least we got program time. I spent the afternoon watching TV from my bunk. We have an ok view of the TV from our cell. It helps pass the time. It's crazy to think I can't call my family the whole time I'm here. Who exactly is being punished here ? 

i saw my first Death Row inmate today. Death Row is in 504 on A-yard. When they are being transported from their housing unit, we have to stop and clear the way until they pass. It was unreal. Like, is this really happening ? Am I really here ? I also experienced my first “yard down”. Whenever something happens they yell “yard down, stop all movement on A-yard”. You have to stop immediately and sit down until they announce “resume normal program”. Yard down could be a fight, altercation, or medical emergency. Another day down at Central California Women’s Facility. 

Day 119 (1/19/15)

It's Monday, but it's a holiday, so another boring day waiting for the receiving process to get started. Did get to go to R and R (receiving and release) today to get a new ID card. The ID maker was broken when we first got here, so they made us temporary ones. I saw all the girls I came up with. Everyone is doing really well and adjusting, One of the girls, she was originally put in 503, the 8 man cells, but she didn't make more than 3 days before they moved her to 503, the two man cells. She's not all there mentally. 
Only got partial program today, but some time is better than no time. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day 116 (1/16/15) 50 women, 8 showers.

I said goodbye to Toni at 4am. I thanked her and wished her luck. Then I fell back to sleep until breakfast. Breakfast is around 7am. Much better than County breakfast which was at 4am. I was sound asleep when they called for breakfast. I was so frantic and rushing out of my cell for breakfast, I forgot my ID. You never go anywhere without your ID. So, I had to tell the officer and ask him to open my cell. He was not happy at all. I spent the morning cleaning and putting my stuff away. Once settled in, I wrote my family. I enjoyed the cell to myself. The unit I’m in is 2 man cells. 50 cells on the bottom tiers and 50 cells on the top. The cells are very small with bunk beds, a tiny desk with a stool, shelf unit attached to the wall, and a sink and toilet. It’s very tight quarters. We program in the AM and the afternoon, we alternate days. Today is AM program. But, when the fog is heavy, no programming. Today was very foggy, so no programming. 
You get a lunch box right after breakfast, so you eat lunch whenever you want. 
I had my lunch around noon when I got a new roommate. I was hoping to not get a new roommate until Monday, but no such luck. There is very rarely any open beds around here. 
Maya is 22 years old and from Fresno. She had to do a 90 day op in receiving back in July, before she as sentenced, so she’s been through this. She’s “normal’ and nice. Her and I should get along fine. I am thankful for my roommate, we are both on the same page to stay out of trouble and get through receiving as quick as possible. If you cause trouble, you lose your program time. If it’s serious, you get write ups (115’s). The more problems you have or cause , the longer it takes to get through receiving. Every 115 you receive, guarantees 30 additional days on “A” yard (receiving). I want out of here quickly, so I don’t want any trouble and there are plenty of troublemakers who don’t care here. 
Got called for laundry this afternoon. Out of my muumuu and in to “oranges”. 

After  dinner we had evening program. It’s 30 minutes long. 50 women, 8 showers, yeah showers are going to be a fight. Another day down. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day 115 (1/15/15) Central California Women's Facility

Finally got transferred. I wasn’t even prepared. I was in bed about to fall asleep when the deputy told me I was being transferred. At first thought, I thought I was moving housing units again, until it registered. I didn’t have time to be nervous. I had to hustle and get ready. at least I had over an hour to get packed and ready. I had to mail out all my stuff, donate my books, and give everything away. Then, at midnight, the deputy walked me to the holding tank, where I waited with 3 other girls until the van showed up around 2am. There were 8 of us. They put chains on our hands and ankles and loaded us into the van. It was a 6 hour drive. One stop in Kern County to use the restroom. I was awake for the first hour or so, then slept most of the way. We arrived at CCWF (Central California Women’s Facility) around 8am. Then the receiving process began. First we had to change out of our clothes, then we were searched, and then issued a muumuu and sandals. You have to wear these the first 24 hours until you are issued a set of orange state prison clothes. Then it was paper work, fingerprints, meet with the sergeant for housing assignments, photo ID cards, property, TB test, and medical check. We were done about 2:30pm. Then we waited to be housed. Due to the heavy fog, everything was behind. We finally got housed around 7pm. I got assigned to 503. 503 is two man cells and buildings 501 and 502 are 8 man cells. I was exhausted and ready to sleep. I met my roommate Toni. A 54 year old woman from LA, that was leaving tomorrow for CIW (California Institute for Women). She was very nice and gave me a rundown of how things worked, helped me make my bed, gave me clothes to sleep in, and left me a bunch of her stuff. 
I climbed up on the top bunk, settled in and fell asleep quickly. Day one was down. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 113 & 114 (1/13/15) Things are about to change....

Day one of work today. Started the day off with inspection. Inspection is every Tuesday at 5:30am and it’s much stricter in this dorm. Our dorm passed and I passed my first inspection. Then off to work at 6:30am. We did laundry exchange over in 5A and 5B, the “High Power” aka "High Security" inmates. Then back to the laundry room to sort, wash, fold, and put away all the clothes. Then, load up all the carts for tomorrow mornings laundry exchange. It was a long day on my feet, but I loved being busy. The time goes by so much faster when you are busy working, rather than sitting around. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be working, even if it’s for a short time. Working in laundry, we get real coffee and get to listen to music. It was a great first day. After dinner, I had my visit with my Son, which was wonderful. Staying positive, being patient and never giving up eventually brings good things. 

Things are about to change...big time.

Day 114 (1/14/15) 10:38pm

Went to bed and was told I’m being transferred to Receiving (Chowchilla) tonight. I’m totally not prepared. It’s Wednesday ! Of all the Tuesday’s I got ready (5 to be exact) and I go tonight. Go figure. It’s too late to call my Husband and kids. They’re going to be confused tomorrow when I don’t call. I’m nervous, but I’ll be ok. The start of part two of this journey begins.....

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Day 112 (1/12/15) No Drama Here

It’s Monday, the start of a new week. The sun is out and I’m in a good mood today. I’m positive what the week might bring. I have a visit this afternoon and have decided I cannot let others get me down. I’ll make the best of each day and ignore the negativity. My morning was good and so was my visit with my Husband. When I returned from my visit, out deputy told me to “roll up”, I was moving. I spoke to the hiring deputy this morning. and she said she’d look into it about me being able to work and she ended up picking me ! I had to pack up quickly and head over to my new housing unit, D1. My bunkie was at school and I didn’t get to say goodbye. I left her a note. I felt guilty leaving her behind, especially because I was helping her study for her GED everyday. All she had left was math. I helped her pass the English/reading and writing exam. All we had left was math. I collected all my stuff and headed over. I was excited. I can’t believe I actually got called to work ! I signed paper work and watched a quick orientation. Got a new uniform, a badge and tennis shoes. I love the shoes ! No more plastic sandals and the uniform we wear are cut out of much nicer material, so they are much more comfortable. I really wanted to work in the kitchen, but I got assigned to laundry and I’m not complaining. I work Monday thru Friday, 6:30am - 2:30pm. I can’t wait to get started. I am no longer in cells. The housing unit is dorm living. We have our own cubicles. I’m down a hallway of 5, cubical #14, at the end. We each get a desk, chair, bed, and shelf unit. We have an unfrosted window in each cubical. Then we have a double mattress and pillow. The dayroom chairs are cushioned and there really isn’t any more lockdown. I am looking forward to enjoying this housing unit. 
My first evening here was really good. Most of the women are nice. No drama here. Dinner is later in the day. We even get the remote to the TV. There is a microwave, soda machine, and vending machine in this unit. I slept great with the two mattresses. This is much better than 3D. The best part, is there aren’t any issues, bickering, or negativity. I am enjoying the peacefulness. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day 110 & 111 (1/10/15) Chaos and Problems are growing

I was frustrated still being here, so I reached out to the Sergeant to see if I could work and/or participate in programs here while I wait to be transferred. To my surprise, I got a response telling me that I was eligible to apply to work and program. I wasn’t guaranteed anything, because it would be based on behavior and charges, but I was happy to possibly get a chance if I had to be here a few more weeks. I’d like to do something to pass the time. This week really dragged and has been a little hard. I wrote a request to the hiring deputy and plan on re-applying to work on Monday. I’m hoping it works out, as the chaos and problems grow here, I don’t want any part of it. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, the start of my 3 visits in a row and the end of yet another week. 

Day 111 (1/11/15)

Happy birthday to my best friend I’ve known since we were 13 ! We still keep in touch and we’re still friends even after she found out about my current situation. Happy Birthday !

It’s raining out today, which means no walking to the chowhall or going outside. We passed inspection today, but only because the corporal was nice enough to re-inspect a bunch of cells because they didn’t pass. The entire unit could have been locked down. Thank goodness we were not. But, it was frustrating to start the day off that way. 
One of the new girls flushed her towel down the toilet last night and when her roommate used the toilet this morning, their cell flooded. So, that was a mess and it affected our dayroom time and really irritated the corporal. Of course the girl didn’t care and was laughing about it. That is, until the corporal made her clean it up. It was a rough start to my day. I was a little depressed, but after my visit with my Daughter, my day turned around. I was happy. That visit got my spirits up and through the day. We got late night, no fights tonight, but we did have to lockdown 20 minutes early because of a select few couldn’t be quiet. The deputy warned us, but there are always the few that don’t care and ruin it for everyone else. There were a lot of upset women who didn’t get to see the end of the movie. The problems are brewing. There was talk of another fight. Cuba, the girl that got into that fight a few weeks back, was threatening to kick someones ass again. She was able to stay in our housing, I knew that would be a problem. Seriously, if another fights breaks out, the entire unit is going to suffer and I’m not going to be happy about it. Maybe I’ll be out of here soon. At least another week is down. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Day 108 (1/8/15) Things are getting out of control

Today was a little easier than yesterday. I just have to accept the fact that I’m still here and make the best of it. Plus it helps that last night, my Son told me he was happy I was still here. Hearing that on the phone just warmed my heart. If he’s happy I’m hear, then I’m happy. 
In the past two days, we have gotten a lot of new people in our housing unit and it’s not good. I feel like this unit went to hell in a hand basket over night. We have a bunch of loud, rude, and annoying ladies in here. A bunch of them love to talk about themselves. Guess what ? I don’t know you, we are not friends and I don’t care ! I’m not your lawyer, do not ask me for legal advice. I’m not your therapist, don’t tell me about you family and home life issues. I’m not your friend, so do not ask me for advice. I’m not your doctor, do not tell me about all your ailments and I’m not your personal trainer, so no, I don’t want you walking with me today. I just mind my own business and prefer to be left alone. I couldn’t get away from these newbies fast enough today. I am tired of being punished as a housing unit because they can’t follow simple rules. The deputies need to step up and start rolling the problems out of the movement dorms. Send them to lockdown dorms. They don’t care, so get rid of them. 

Day 109 (1/9/15)

Finally, chocolate cake for dinner. We haven’t had chocolate cake in weeks. It’’s one of the little things I look forward to. Helps me get through the week. 

I’m on the phone with my family last night, when we get sent to lockdown again. Another fight. This time, next door in “C”. The fights are starting to get out of hand here. That’s 5 fights in the last month. 2 in our housing unit and 3 next door in “C”. I guess a new girl just moved into “C” and had a bunch of her psych meds (Xanax), not sure if she was cheeking them or saving them, but she had them and was selling them for commissary items. A bunch of women paid her candy bars and chips for the pills. I guess she didn’t pay up or pay up to everyone she owed. It was said she stiffed 3 Mexican ladies, so she was assumed racist and someone kicked her ass. They fought, we went on lockdown the rest of the night. One girl was moved into our unit and put on a 24 hour lockdown (great move, another problem in our unit). The entire 3C dorm is on lockdown today and I saw them roll out four women into 3E/3F. Things are really getting out of control here. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Day 107 (1/7/15) I Waited and Waited, Nothing

We locked down at 9:45pm. Night count was over, lights went out. I waited and waited, nothing. I stayed up and wrote a letter to my Husband and after the second walk through by our deputy, I knew I wasn’t going. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. How can I still be here ? I got ready for bed and just laid there in dis-belief. 
I woke up this morning and just the thought of being here another week brought tears to my eyes. Then, the reality of another 4 weeks here killed me. They say the bus comes every week or every other week. But, I have been here and have watched 3 prison runs and they are every 4 weeks. So, by not being on that bus means, I’m stuck waiting another month. There is no guarantee I’ll be on February's run. This isn’t right. I am so upset. It’s not that this place is so horrible, the point is I’m not eligible to work or participate in any programs and services because I’m a Department of Corrections transfer (basically means i’m headed to Prison). Yet, they won’t transfer me and now I’ve been here for so long, it’s going to jeopardize my chance and opportunity to be eligible for programs and schooling once I eventually do get transferred. I want to go to fire camp and by them holding me here, my window of opportunity is closing. That is infuriating to me. Either transfer me or let me work and / or program here. You can’t keep denying me services and refuse to allow me to transfer. I was told over a month ago I could not participate in the Book Legacy’s Program here, because I was told I wouldn’t be here long enough. I’m still here. I could have participated in November, December, and January. It’s becoming ridiculous. All I keep seeing is the tax payers money continually being wasted. For example, there is a girl here waiting to be transferred, she should have went Tuesday, but she’s still here. She has 8 days until here release date. Everyday she is held past her release date, they have to pay her. They are going to pay to transfer her to prison, process her, and then release her. It’s just a total waste of money. It’s totally absurd. It does not seem like they have a very well run system. But, I am sure the salaries of the ones in charge of the prisons and jails systems are outrageous. 

I hope people read this and realize what’s really going on here.