Thursday, November 12, 2015

Days 206-211 4/16/15-4/21/15 "Baby Case" & "Over the Wall"

Day 206 4/16/15
No one left today, but we did receive some new bodies and unfortunately one of the women that arrived was a "baby case" (Child Endangerment / Child Abuse) and before she even moved into her assigned room she got into a fight and had to be moved to unit 503 (the two man cells). This woman has a long road ahead of her if they already know she's a baby case. They are going to make her life miserable, and unlike the men’s prisons, the women don’t have the option to PC up (protective custody). Your only option is to go to Ad Seg. (Administrative Segregation) and do your time in the dungeon. That means no programming, one hour outside a day in a cage (like an animal), all meals in your cell, a shower every other day (and if you elect to shower they raid your cell while you shower so most skip the showers and choose to bird bath instead) and 23 hours of lockdown. Solitary confinement, it’s a horrific way to do your time. She’s better off taking her chances in general population, either way she has a long road ahead of her.

Day 207 4/17/15
Even though the new woman with the "baby case" was moved to 503 yesterday and she got attacked again coming back from breakfast. Evil was in the med line, saw her walking back from breakfast and ran up on her. They started fighting in the middle of the yard. Two fights in less than 24 hours of your arrival, Welcome to Prison!

Today is a big day for handing out muumuu’s to go over the wall, as they are handing them out I realize there are none coming to room 4. I am upset and disappointed again. I really wanted to be out of here before my husband’s birthday next week so I could call him, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. As I am trying to be strong and pull myself together to push through another weekend, it hits me like a ton of bricks my friend Sam is leaving, the one person I met here that I trust, that I consider a friend, the only one I could see myself talking to and seeing when we are out of here is leaving. I am devastated. I am so happy for her but I am a wreck. Who am I going to have breakfast with every morning, or share books with, or talk to during evening program, my friend is gone! It was so hard to see her go, we said good-bye through the window, I could hardly talk as I was fighting back the tears. Wishing Sam the best!

Day 208 4/18/15
The full moon was out tonight, and I guess it makes the women here crazier than they normally are. We had a fight during dinner, another after dinner outside the chow hall and a third one in front of our unit.

Day 210 4/20/15
I’m still waiting!!! This week’s lesson is Patience. You would think I would have learned some by now, but no I have not.

“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes like meaningful.”

Day 211 4/21/15
Happy Birthday to my incredible husband, who has held our family together during this turbulent time in our lives; he is an amazing man, super dad, and wonderful husband. His love and support has kept me strong over the last 211 days, Happy Birthday to my best friend and soul mate!

Today was the day, they handed out 22 muumuus and I got one of them! I can’t believe it, the day I have been waiting for has arrived, what a birthday present for my husband, its been a long 97 days in receiving and it’s finally over.

They handed out muumuus late so we are not going over the wall until after dinner. My roommates drive me crazy sometimes, but they are all good women and I will miss them. I’m a little nervous but my excitement and happiness to be one step closer is much more overpowering. I’m packed, my roommates helped me, and I’m off. We say our goodbyes and I walk across A-Yard (receiving) for the very last time. It’s a process as we haul all our stuff to D-Yard, we have to wait for the officers to take role, we all have to go through the metal detectors, then the long walk across the prison to go through a final metal detector and get out housing unit. By the time we get to D-yard and our housing units it’s almost 8:30pm.

As I am walking to my housing unit the inmates are outside for evening and I am greeted with a big hug and huge smile from my friend Sam. I am so happy to see her. I get my room assignment; meet my new roommates, who are not happy they now have an 8th person in their room, I unpack quickly and I’m off to bed, it is the start of the next part of my journey.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Days 199-205 4/9/15-4/15/15 "Tax Day"

Day 199 4/9/15
A big bus from LA arrived today, so lots of movement. They sent 25 women over the wall (move from the receiving yard to overflow to wait for transportation or committee). They have to move women to overflow to open up the beds for the new arrivals. I was not one of the 25 women and as I walk the yard its depressing as I see all these new faces and very few familiar ones.

Day 200 4/10/15
It’s been 200 days of waiting! Waiting to be transferred from county jail to prison, waiting to leave reception and “go over the wall”, then I’ll wait for transportation, and then again wait to see committee. This is such a long slow process. I am tired of waiting.

Day 203 4/13/15
Still Waiting!

Day 204 4/14/15
90 days officially in receiving. I’m over it and so ready to go. There are days I feel like I am losing my mind. I can’t wait to get out of here.

Day 205 4/15/15
Tax Day! As you pay your taxes know a big portion of your hard earned tax dollars help to pay for the mass incarceration rate and prison boom in America. With 2.2 million Americans incarcerated its costing tax payers a lot. On average it costs $50,000 a year per inmate in the state of California. This is a lot of money that could be spent to better use like education, health care, roads, libraries, public parks & beaches. This is money that could be spent on resources for the poor, addicted, and mentally ill. It’s astounding with less than 5 percent of the world’s population we hold nearly 25 percent of its prisoners. Don’t let the rehabilitation fool you, our criminal justice system is a long way away from actually rehabilitating inmates and helping them to not re-offend. Currently it’s just a lot of talk about reform and rehabilitation and very little action. As you mail in that check to Uncle Sam today take a minute and think about, is our government spending your hard earned tax dollars wisely?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Days 194-198 (4/4/15-4/8/15) Rule #12 "I Didn't See Anything"

Day 194 and 195 4/4/15 - 4/5/15
Another weekend to power through so I can get to Monday and hope I get out of here. We got our program time in this morning, but C and D were not so lucky, 5 minutes into the start of their program the alarm is going off. There was a fight in 501. They haul out the girls in handcuffs and resume back to normal program. Then Mala whose girlfriend Evil (who just moved in next door) is outside our window, Mala and her girlfriend are now on opposite program times so Mala is freaking out in a jealous rage. She is a total psycho and a real catch; rule #1: Don’t get a girlfriend! After she finished her crazy tirade outside our window she returns to the yard and gets into a fight. These two are going at, and as the cops get there they let them fight giving them a ton of chances to stop but they don’t so out comes the pepper spray. That puts an end to the fight and everyone’s program time. Only 30 minutes in and the yard is recalled (recall-have to go back into our rooms).

Sunday is Easter so to get in the spirit we made Easter baskets out of lunch boxes, and dyed Easter eggs using soap and Kool-aide. I was prepared to stay in all day because of the holiday, I figured we would be on first watch status (1st watch is the shift from 10pm-5am, with only one officer on duty), but I was pleasantly surprised with our 3 hours of yard time today.

Day 196 4/6/15
Monday the start of a new week, please let this be my week! I told myself I wasn’t going to think about it, but that is easier said than done. I had an appointment today, that was a nice escape but when I got back, I walked in to my roommates talking about rolling Nay Nay out of our room. (Rolling Out-you are either told to move out of the room or they pack your shit and throw it out of the room, basically you are looking for a new place to sleep) My roommates have not been getting along with her lately and the tension has been building up. I just stay out of it, because it’s too much drama. I just want to get off this yard. Jessie and Lizy decided to switch beds to make Nay Nay mad; this is only going to bring more tension to our room. We will see how this turns out.

Day 197 4/7/15
Well I am still here! Just waiting! My friend Helen from San Diego finally left today, after 17 weeks and 118 days in receiving she is finally on her way!

Day 198 4/8/15
The tension in the room finally erupted. I’ve been a little depressed lately so I’ve been really quiet and to myself just trying to patiently get through the waiting. I don’t really know all the details of what is going on except that some of my roommates were talking about Nay Nay at breakfast and she found out or overheard them. So when we all returned from breakfast she decided to call them out. The screaming match started, it was so lame I just ignored them and got my laundry ready. I am days from leaving and I don’t have time for this BS. Then it escalated from yelling at each other to getting physical. First it was Nay Nay and Lizy that fought. Then more screaming and arguing and next up were Nay Nay and Jessie started to go at it. Nay Nay is on the ground I think she blacked out for a minute, there is so much commotion going on the porters come down the hall to see what was going on. With the porters there, I got them to open the door and as soon as that door clicked open I grabbed my laundry and got out of there and I didn’t look back. They can fight it out all they want, but I want off this yard, and my priorities are getting home to my family. I’m not picking up new charges, I’m not going to be a witness (Rule #12 “I didn’t see anything”), and I am not getting a 115 because these girls cannot get along. (115-is a write-up and depending on the offense you can lose your good time credits). Smiley is still in receiving because of a big fight in her room she’s been on this yard for 10 months.

I went outside and stayed outside as long as I could. I was gone a good forty minutes before I headed back to my unit with my laundry. When I got back to my housing unit, ISU (Investigations Service Unit) was there raiding room 7 in our hall (H-Bang’s new room). The drug dogs were there, they tore that room up (mattress and all). We waited in the day room until they were done with the raid. They didn’t find anything, they talked to everyone is room 7 and then left. It is said that someone saw H-Bang crush up a Tylenol with codeine and sniff it. Someone snitched about drugs in that room and that is what brought on the raid. Once I got back to my own room the fighting was done and over with. We will see how long that will last.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 189 -193 3/30/15- 4/3/15 The Waiting Game, Will I ever get out of receiving?

Day 189 3/30/15
Start of a new week, this is week 3; I should be out of receiving this week. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Happy Birthday to Whitney! Today is our roommate’s birthday, we made her a card and a cheesecake (graham crackers, sugar, creamer, and sierra mist) you would be surprised what you can do and make with creamer. After dinner we played some old fashioned birthday games. We made her day as she has not heard from her family and it’s been 5 weeks here. It’s a small percentage of women who have the love and support of family and friends while incarcerated. I know I am very fortunate and I am very grateful for my family.

Day 190 3/31/15
Today is a holiday, Cesar Chavez day, surprisingly we are fully staffed today, must be the  extra holiday/overtime pay the officers get that they decided to show up for work for once.

Day 191 4/1/15
Today is April fool’s day, you can’t ever believe what anyone in orange says around here, but you really can’t believe them today. Some of the porters thought it would be funny to hand out muumuus as a joke. I didn’t find the joke funny at all; women are stuck in receiving for 3-6 months just dying to get off this yard. The entire process of waiting for a muumuu is torture; you get your hopes up everyday just to be disappointed again and again. The odds are never in your favor, there are 3-10 muumuus given out with 256 women in the unit, it’s like the lottery you want to win so badly but you are more likely to be struck by lightning than winning. Women wait weeks for a muumuu, 6, 7, 8 weeks after seeing their counselor and everyday they wait and hope it’s their turn to leave just to be let down day after day. It’s cruel and unusual punishment; this whole process is pure torture. We all eventually leave receiving the question is when!?!

My friend Piggy from San Diego left today, she's been here 112 days, she’s finally off to Folsom.

Day 192 4/2/15
Officially 3 weeks since I saw my counselor, I was really hoping today was my day to go, but I’m still here. Another day of disappointment. I just want to be able to see and talk to my family, I want to be productive with my time, receiving sucks and they leave us in limbo for way to long. Today was bittersweet as Adrie left today, she had been in receiving for 113 days (7 weeks after she saw her counselor) she needed to go, she deserved to go, but I will miss her as she was my fire camp workout partner. We pushed each other; vented to each other, supported each other and now she’s gone. I hope to see her soon; maybe we will end up at the same camp.

Day 193 4/3/15
Today was a rough day; I expected to be out of receiving by now. I tried not to get my hopes up to high, but it’s hard not to. It’s hard being so far away, with no phone contact, no visits with my family for almost three months now. I’m so ready to go, and one of the girls I came up here with from San Diego just saw her counselor on Monday March 30th and left for fire camp yesterday. What an unbelievable painfully slow process this is. I'm still waiting!