Sunday, June 28, 2015

Day 140 (2/9/15) Like I was Human

Happy Monday, and the start of a new week. Need two more ducketts before I can see my counselor. I’m hoping to get one this week and one next week. My friend “Elen” got here four weeks before me and she told me she just saw her counselor and will be out of here in 1-2 weeks. I’m happy for her and it gives me hope, because she got everything done in 60 days. I hope I can as well. 
It was a beautiful day, but due to the gas leak in building 703, everyone had to evacuate and wait for the fire department to clear the building for re-entry. There went our AM program time. It's alright being in 502, it’s not as bad when you don’t get to program. In 503, I would have been freaking out and pacing. Wanting to know why we aren’t programming. 
The view we have from our window let’s us see everything that’s going on all the time. Who needs TV when you have real life entertainment right in front of us every day, all day. Today was laundry and canteen shopping for housing unit 501. In 501, there are EOP’s and women on A-yard. EOP is: Enhanced Outpatient Program. They are women who are “over the wall” (on their way to their mainstream prison) but have special needs. Special mental health needs and that includes a few (hard to house” inmates. It can get really crazy over there. They are currently building the EOP’s their own housing unit. They need it ! Well, the EOP’s shopped today and either the women didn’t pay back debts they owed or they fought over each others canteens, because there were three fights today over in 501. They were all EOP’s. One fight included four women. The second fight was bloody. The first girl they brought out was bleeding all over her face and when she came back from medical, she had scratches all over her face. The last fight after dinner only had one inmate coming out in handcuffs. It was a busy day over there in 501. 
Being stuck inside all day with no programming was a true test of how well everyone in our 8 man cell gets along. To my surprise, it wasn't bad. We all got along pretty well. Janie is a little loud and annoying. Always banging on the windows and yelling down the hall to her girlfriend. She also makes comments about us not being clean enough or always making a mess or some shit. It’s irritating, but I ignore it. But, I can see and sense the tension between Janie and some of the others. But, they just bite their tongues. We will see for how long. Other than that, everyone gets along great and tries to have fun. I’m still enjoying my new housing assignment. 
I got to read some magazines today. In Receiving, you are not only cut off from your family and friends, but the outside world as well. We are isolated, away from the news, TV, and newspapers. I feel like I have no idea what’s going on in the world, so, to read the magazines today, felt a little “normal”. Like I was human. 

Being over here in housing 502, I feel like I have left the black hole and have entered into the light.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 139 (2/8/15) I don't want medical here

We officially made it an entire week with no fog. We had clear beautiful weather all week. I hope the weather stays this way. 
After breakfast we had another medical emergency across the way in room 5. There is a woman in there with heart issues. I guess she had an emergency yesterday too. She feels like she is having a heart attack. The officers yesterday were really rude and mean, yelling at her and and letting medical this was her 3rd “heart attack” this week. They were very irritated and annoyed. I wasn’t sure if she was faking or not. Some woman said she came from mental health. Others say she has stints in her heart. So, her issues are real, the CO’s are just being dicks. Today’s officers were nice. Medical showed up, took her vitals and left. Medical care in here is alright. Not great, but they are required to make an effort. I have heard some horror stories. I‘ve watched the staff during an emergency. They never come running. If you are really dying, lord help you. I heard they mixed up two women’s procedures, did the wrong procedure on each woman. Ms. Dolly was given the wrong medicine, not once, but twice. They could have killed her. I’m thankful I’m healthy. I don’t want any medical care in here. There are too many women and not enough staff. Prego said when she was at the hospital here, it was packed and over capacity. That they had women sleeping in the hallways. Must be why they are using cells for quarantine. CA needs to get it together and reduce the prison population and hire more staff. So much money is being wasted. Prison reform is desperately needed. I have heard all the talk of "Don't get sick in prison, you may not make it out". Crazy. Another day down. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 138 (2/7/15) As good as I'm going to get

Happy Birthday to my Dad today. Missing my family a lot this morning. I can’t wait to be off the receiving yard and able to have a job, make calls, and have visits. It is getting much more eventful here everyday. With a window that overlooks the yard, we get to see everything that is going on. 
After breakfast, there was a fight in our unit. We watched from the window as they escorted the handcuffed girl out to the sergeants office. I guess it’s a lot easier to go into other peoples rooms in this unit . After breakfast, Janie's girlfriend “Dreamer”, spent the morning with us until we went out to program. I really wasn’t comfortable with it, because I don’t want any trouble. Not sure how everyone else felt about it, but I just moved in, so I didn’t say a word. Just got on my bunk and read. The other thing Janie did was put her ID in the door, so she can just open the door. I don’t know why, it’s not like she could go anywhere. All she was doing was putting our room in jeopardy of getting in trouble. I’m not sure about Janie, this isn’t her first rodeo and she’s been in all the housing units, including AD SEG (solitary, lockdown 23 hours a day). I don’t even want to know what got her there. 
Before dinner, 503 was walking back from dinner, they were on the path in front of their housing unit when two girls started fighting. All 8 of us were in the window watching. They were punching each other, then took it to the ground, wrestling around in the grass. The officers walked up and told them to stop fighting, they didn’t. So, out came the pepper spray. Fight ended, both girls were handcuffed, and hauled off. We had PM programming tonight, but because of the fight and medical emergency, only got 15 minutes. I didn’t mind, dayroom is not that exciting. Spent to rest of the night, talking, laughing, and singing. I really enjoy listening to Jazy and TT sing. I really like my new housing assignment. There are so many different situations, cells, roommates, personalities in prison. When you get a decent one, you have to be grateful for however long it lasts. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 136 & 137 (2/5/15) Moving Day

A new quarantine moved into 101 today. Taya got to move back to 501 with her cousin and Taboo. Another case of shingles. I want to get off this yard before I get exposed to shingles. What’s up with this place ? So many cases of shingles keeps going around. Maya said they had a ton of outbreaks and quarantine over the summer too. Are they not disinfecting the areas and rooms ? Probably not, because they don’t care. I’d hate to be sick or need medical in this place. They just go through the motions, because they have to by law and don’t want to be sued. 
My Bunkie was a mess today trying to get over Alex. I told her if she has to move, she better tell me, because I’m moving too. 
I didn’t get my shower again today. The porter put this newbie in a muumuu ahead of us and she took 20 minutes. The porter had to tell her to get out ! WTF ! Screwed 3 out of us out of a shower. I am over fighting for a shower and dealing with this unit. It’s time to move on and I may ask for a courtesy move this weekend, plus I think it will be good for my bunkie too. Just thankful for another day down. 

Day 137 (2/6/15)

Got up this morning, like every morning, ready and waiting for breakfast. My bunkie was at her diabetic check when the CO came up to our cell and said “pack your things, we have to move you, we need this cell for another quarantine”. I asked “Do you know where we are moving to ?” He had no idea. I was nervous. I didn’t want to stay in 503, this was my chance to get out of here. When my roommate returned, we packed everything. I told her that everything happens for a reason. She needed to get away from her ex-girlfriend who lived two doors down. This move is just what she needed. When they opened the doors I immediately asked “do we get to go to 501 or 502 ?” The CO said “Is that where you want to go ?” We both responded with “yes”. But, he said unfortunately, you (me) are moving upstairs. We were both very disappointed, no longer roommates, still in this unit, and upstairs. The only positive was we were still neighbors. The CO made a call and pulled my bunkie out. She was moving to 502. My heart sank. I hoped I got to move as well. I didn’t even unpack. I just stood at the cell door. I had heard them talking about what cell they were going to put me in. Oh my God no. I dreaded my new roommate. She already had two 115’s, so I knew she was trouble and not very nice. I stood there waiting, hoping, praying I would get to move too, then the CO motioned to me and the cell door opened. I grabbed my bags so fast and was out of there, off to 502 as well. I met my bunkie (former) in the dayroom of 502, both of us super happy. I was a little nervous about the move, but the pure joy of being gone from that dark, dreary, dungeon of 503, kept my nerves in check. We waited for our room assignments. We both hoped to be on the same program and we were. She moved into B hall and I to A hall. ‘A’ hall, room 4, #3 top bunk. The officer walked me to my room and said room 4 was a pretty good room. I hope he’s right. I heard it’s much better over here. But, I also knew there was a lot of drama and fighting. I wasn’t looking for that, but I was definitely looking forward to to the shower in the room. As I walked in, I immediately liked the room. It’s a large room with an actual door, a window that looks out into the yards. There are 4 bunk beds, 8 lockers, two sinks, two large mirrors, a bathroom, and a shower. There are 8 of us in here, but it’s much roomier than the tiny two man cells and it’s less like a cell. We are locked in, but it does not feel so dark and closed in. My bed is right next to the window. I am able to look outside ! I love it ! I met my 7 roommates quickly before we left for breakfast. Everyone seems pretty nice and most of them welcomed me. There’s Jazzy, she’s tall thin and beautiful. She could be a model. She also has a great voice and wonderful personality. Her bunkie is Smiley. She’s a Mom like me with a Son and Daughter. Then there’s Janie. She has a girlfriend named Dreamer that lives down the hall in room 8. Her Bunkie is Prego. She’s from San Diego and a Charger fan. She’s expecting twins in March. She goes home on March 5th. Then there is Sam. She’s very young, nice, and quiet. She’s always reading. Her bunkie is Ms. Dolly. I love Ms. Dolly. Like me, it’s her first and last time in prison. She’s an older woman.Very sweet and she makes me laugh. Finally, my bunkie is TT. She was on my prison kickball team. She’s hilarious and loves to sing and dance. She’s fun with a great sense of humor. We get a long great and she loves to trade me for cookies. It’s only day one, but I think I got a good room. No one seems crazy or obnoxious. Everyone seems to be respectful and get along. I think the CO was right. I got a good room. Took a nice, long, hot shower after breakfast. Having a shower in the room makes the world of difference. No more fighting for a shower. Time goes by faster when you have 7 other people in the room. Plus, books to share. I‘m very grateful I got to move today. I finished day one in 502 with a second shower before bed. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 134 & 135 (2/3/15) Taboo

The girl in quarantine was released today. I am happy about that. I couldn’t take it anymore. 2am meds, every morning at 2am, the nurse would come to give her meds and she was loud and they would slam the door shut, waking me and my roommate up every morning. So irritating.

Beautiful weather, no fog. Still short staffed, but we are still getting yard time, so, I can’t complain. We got a new neighbor in 101 today. She was in 503 before. She was the one that would always cuss out the CO’s. This should be interesting. After dinner, Taya, our new neighbor, was talking to me through the vent between our cells. She told me she’s been here since 1/6 and already has two 115’s (write ups). Then proceeded to ask my opinion and advice about a girl she likes in 501. That’s where she got moved from. She kept getting caught out of bounds (being in areas off limits, such as other peoples rooms), so they moved her out of the housing unit. She wanted to know what taboo meant, because there’s a girl in 501 named “Taboo”. She’s a lifer and is hard to house. The story is she got mad at her girlfriend in here and in a jealous rage, cut her face and then sewed it up herself before count. So, basically, she’s crazy and Taya really likes her and wanted to know from me if she should pursue Taboo even though her girl from County was coming up soon. I was honest and said “If I were you, I’d stay away from Taboo” but, Taya seems as crazy as Taboo. So, who knows. This is why you don’t get a girlfriend in prison and why I keep to myself and stay out of the mix. 

Day 135 (2/4/15) Prison is a very lonely Place

My roommate and I had talked about how it was smart to stay out of the mix and not get a girlfriend, but Maya (roommate) didn’t listen to her own advice and last week started dating / seeing, whatever you call it in here, Alex. She’s a couple of cells down. I didn’t care, to each their own. Plus, I like Alex, she’s a great girl with a wonderful personality and very positive all the time. But, tonight at dinner, they broke up. Well, Maya got dumped via a note. I feel like I am trapped on a school yard, surrounded by many troubled, young, immature women and I just can’ relate. I was a good roommate and listened and tried to consul Maya. She really fell hard for Alex and was heartbroken. 
There’s a reason for the term “Gay while you stay”. Prison is an extremely lonely place. 

It happens, it’s everywhere around here. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 133 (2/2/15) OVERHAUL

Perfect weather again today and on 1st watch status again. They keep sending more and more women to prison, yet they don’t have room for them nor do they have the staff to run the prisons, it’s ridiculous. We are so overcrowded and the length of time it takes to go through the receiving process is unacceptable. The CA Department of Corrections desperately needs an overhaul. “Civil dis-obedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world. In the face of poverty and starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient, while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem”. I hope when I get out I can make a difference. Share my story, help others, and have a voice for reform. Sometimes, I doubt myself. Can I really make a difference ? Can I ? Will I be able to help others ? Then I remind myself, why not me ? We are all capable of helping. We are all capable of putting in the effort. We are all capable of greatness. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 131 & 132 (1/31/15) Quarantine

Our neighbors in 101 have to move. The CO came over and said “I have to move you, I need the cell for quarantine” What !? A medical quarantine is moving next door. I can’t imagine being stuck in one of those cells by yourself with nothing to do, never getting outside. Everyone is dying to know what the girl in quarantine has. Rumor was lice, but you don’t go to quarantine for lice. Then we heard TB. Rumors run wild in here. I mean, what else is there to do ? We eventually found out she has shingles (adult chicken pox). I heard the nurse talking with her tonight before dinner. Wonder how many people ended up getting it ? 

I was 3rd in line for a shower tonight. We get 45 minutes to shower. That's for all of us. It’s usually not a problem, but tonight, the girl ahead of me, took a 30 minute shower. I collected my ID and moved showers. The girl came up to me and said “Did I take too long ?” If you have to ask me that, you know you took too long. Then she has the nerve to tell me the shower is open with 5 minutes until unit recall. She has a lot to learn. I was mad and her talking to me made me even angrier. It’s called shower courtesy, try and have some. 

The fog finally cleared and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend. I hope it stays like this. 

Day 132 (2/1/15) Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday ! Beautiful weather today. Looking forward to getting outside today. We have not had an am program all week, because of the fog. But, we are on 1st watch status. They are short staffed, so no program again today. Guess all the officers are home having Super Bowl parties. I remember Super Bowl Sunday’s. It was so much fun. Seems so long ago. I miss my family so much. 
For the first time ever, we had all females working our housing unit. It’s usually always male in this housing unit. In county it was 90% female deputies working. Here in prison, it’s 90% male staff and 10% female staff. Just an observation. 

Well, another week comes to a close. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Days 128,129,130 (1/28/15) It's easy to lose hope

The nice weather ended, back to fog again. I officially hate the weather here (Chowchilla, CA). Another fog day, no programming for us today. No ducketts either, another boring day inside, Boredom is definitely one of the hardest things about prison. 
On the way to breakfast, we had another two women on suicide watch. It’s sad to see and a little shocking, but I can imagine, never been to prison before, or you have a really long sentence. It’s easy to lose hope and give up. There was a girl on the top tier, she’s 20 years old, she is here for attempted murder, she was sentenced to 36 years. She tried to hang her self from the top tier with a sheet, but the CO’s were able to stop her. All the young lives I see in here, too many women caught up in drugs, or with the wrong man. All it takes is one bad decision and your life changes forever. There is a woman here that was a runner up for the TV show “America’s Next Top Model”. She’s traveled the world and experienced things that people could only dream of and now she’s here in prison. It’s so easy for your life to get out of control and turned upside down. No one plans to come here. 
“Life is a process of making mistakes, learning from them, and making wise choices. No one is perfect, but we can become better with each new day when we are ready to learn”

Day 129 (1/29/15)

Our crazy neighbor in 101 is back. She’s not back in cell 101 but back in our housing unit. She didn’t make it a full 24 hours in the other unit. Guess she ran her mouth too much and a couple of girls jumped her. She got into a fight and got kicked out of 501. There are women here that don’t care, they will fight over every little thing, especially when you run your mouth and are dis-respectful. Rule #5: Mind your own business and be respectful of others. 

Day 130 (1/30/15)

Another really bad fog day. I have never experienced fog like this, ever ! I’m getting sick of the fog. Tired of not programming and getting stuck inside all day. I appreciate the sun and fresh air a lot more. 

I got more mail today. Another postcard from my Husband and one from my Mom. Also received a duckett to pick up books / property tomorrow morning. Everyone said the mail was 3-4 weeks behind, but it’s actually not bad at all. The book my Husband sent, was perfect timing. I finished the book I was reading and due to the fog, the library was closed this week, so it came just in time. Another day down. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 127 (1/27/15) Scared to death

I had orientation / PREA this morning. The presentation is done by three girls from “over the wall”. They work in the counseling office. One of the girls was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 16. I couldn’t believe it. She is now 30 years old. She is a very positive and beautiful young lady. She lives life to the fullest and makes the best of her situation everyday. It’s amazing an inspirational. She said there are drugs and alcohol “over the wall” if you want that or you can do positive things and better your life so you are a better person when you get home. She is never going home, but tries to better herself everyday. 

It was a beautiful day today. Warm and sunny. Spent the entire afternoon program outside. I ran into my friend Ellen, from County. She’s on the opposite program, but was coming back from medical. So, we walked together for about 30 minutes. It was really nice to catch up and see a familiar face. After dinner, they had 5 open beds in 501 they had to fill. They were asking for volunteers to move. I want to move, but I’m comfortable with my routine and roommate. So, we decided to stay. Plus, our crazy neighbor in 101 volunteered and we did not want to be in a room with her. She can’t get a long with one roommate, what makes her think she can get along with 7. My roommate and I both agree she will be back in 503. Once our crazy neighbor left, that opened up a bed in 101 and the housing officer was doing lots of moves. He moved a girl into 101. The second the cell door opened, she left her stuff and was refusing to go in. The CO came back and said “come on, just one night, get in there”. The woman was scared to death and almost in tears. Then the crazy jealous girl that was in the cell says “Hell no. She’s the one that got me moved”. The officer was like “Are you serious !? Fine, come with me”. The officer was so irritated. 100 cells. What are the odds that two women that had to be separated almost end up back together !? Our crazy neighbor was on another jealous rampage tonight. She is crazy. 

I got mail tonight, I couldn’t believe it. I was expecting anything so soon. I received two postcards. One from my Mother in law and a photo postcard from my Husband. I immediately started crying. They were tears of joy. That photo postcard meant the world to me. Now, I have a picture of my family and knowing they are ok, is huge to me. I love and miss them so much. It’s hard not being able to talk or see them. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 125 & 126 (1/25/15) These Women are Crazy Jealous

Uneventful Sunday. A lot of fog again this morning. But it burned off and we got to program this afternoon. Spent 2.5 hours outside. On our way to dinner tonight, the CO told our neighbor in 101 “don’t shut your door, I’m coming in” as he was putting his gloves on. She was getting raided again. The CO looked way too happy. He enjoys messing with her. 
Woke up again in the early morning. The CO’s were moving someone in to room 101. She was not happy and didn’t want to go in. The CO’s told her she didn’t have a choice. Have no idea why she got moved. Either fighting with her roommate or maybe her roommate was on suicide watch. 503 is used for suicide watch. It’s overcrowded here, so they place them in cells by themselves with nothing but a blanket and a sweatshirt / sweater looking dress. They post a nurse outside the cell for 24/7 lockdown and observation. You would be surprised or at least I was, with how many people go on suicide watch. The other day I saw two cells on suicide watch. There are times it certainly feels like there’s not much to live for. 

Days 126 (1/26/15)

Start of a new week. It was a beautiful day today. Clear blue skies for once. It’s usually foggy and cold. I miss and appreciate sunny San Diego weather. 

On our way back from breakfast, our crazy neighbor got into it with another woman. Arguing about keeping her up all night with all her yelling. Our crazy neighbor kept running her mouth. It's the same everyday. “Women are going to end up in 504 (Ad Seg) or Heaven they keep messing with me”. It’s irritating and I can’t concern myself with her non-sense and drama. Our new neighbor in 101 is just as crazy, but jealous crazy. Today when the top tier was out programming, she was going to bust down that door and kick some girls ass for following and flirting with her girlfriend. Rule #3, don’t flirt or mess around with another woman’s girlfriend. Half the fights, drama, and problems here are over “domestic” issues. The green eyed monster lives BIG here and raises it’s ugly head and these women are crazy jealous. Jewelz is still on this yard because of the fights she’s been in (been here 7 months). Her last fight was bad. A girl messed around with her girlfriend when they were in County. When the girl got here, she talked shit and rubbed it in Jewelz face. So, when the girl was in the shower, Jewelz busted in and started kicking her ass. Smashed her face into the wall and because the girl in the shower was naked, the officer didn’t feel comfortable just breaking it up. She hurt the girl bad. Caught another case and will be on this yard for a while. It’s just smart to stay out of that drama. It only brings trouble. This afternoon, they handed out muumuus. If you get a muumuu, you are going over the wall. My neighbor and walking partner Liz, got a muumuu. She’s going over the wall and then transferring to CIW. I’m so happy for her. I am going to miss her, but she needed to go. Now, she can talk to her Husband and Daughters. I miss her already.