Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day 214-218 4/24-4/28 100 Days in Prison

Day 214 Friday 4/24/14
It's been officially 100 days in prison and I have survived so far. The hardest part is over, now I just need to get on that bus to CIW. Going over the wall and waiting to trans-pac is annoying, you can't settle in or get a routine going because you are leaving any day. You are a temporary resident, me moving into this room for my roommates is like having a guest you don't know crash on your couch for 1-2 weeks. Then I leave and the next guest off the street moves in. I can imagine it gets very old fast for the women that live here. I'm just a guest in their house and I understand the disruption so I am respectful of that and I think they appreciate it. I have so much respect for these women, I'm going home in a few months, serving only 13 to 15 months; these women have many years to go and some may never leave. When ever I get down I have to remind myself it can always be worse. I understand I am one of the "lucky ones", I can't imagine not having an out date and not knowing if I'll ever get one. To watch some of these women make the most of their situation is very inspiring, on the outside we take so much for granted. I took so much for granted, the loss of your freedom makes you appreciate life.

I am very thankful for my room and the roommates I have on D-Yard. Some women are not so lucky, not all the women here make the most of their time, some are miserable, others are very mean, and some are just down right crazy. The poor lady across the way got in a room with two lifers who don't allow the other roommates to be in their room at certain times (the majority of the day) they can't use the restroom at certain times, no laying on your bed except for sleeping at night, no naps, its insane. There are other rooms you are required to take 3-4 showers a day, scrub the brick walls everyday, some over the top stuff, not all rooms are so crazy but some of the stories they tell on A-yard are true. The other strange thing I had to get use to was the living in the dark, they cover the windows and never turn on the lights. They only turn the lights on during mandatory count, this is the majority of all the rooms. I finally realized that its so the officers can't see in the room when they walk by and do their checks. D-Yard is just strange, I can't wait to get out of here. I have grown on my new roommates, especially Blue who was determined to get me a courtesy bed move this weekend but she has now reconsidered. I know she won't admit but I think she is starting to like me.

Day 215 Saturday 4/25/14
I have been enjoying my first few days, being able to be outside most of the day is amazing. I have made friends with Chris my new workout partner, she came over the wall with me and lives in my housing unit, so we eat together, workout, and hang out during the day. She is going to Fire Camp as well, she is from San Diego, is 39 and a mom of two just like myself so we hit it off right away.

We had our Saturday and Sunday all planned out, a weekend outside all day and go figure it rains and to top it off they are short staffed. Back to modified program, I finally get "over the wall" and I am not only stuck inside but I have to be in my room all day. I had a morning phone call and so did Chris after our phone calls to our family we both sat in the day room together and talked for hours, the officer didn't even care he let us stay out there until shift change. It ended up being a nice Saturday and the time went by quick. Chris and I have a lot in common and its really nice to meet someone with the same goals and work ethic. I am thankful we met and are going to camp together.

Day 216 Sunday 4/26/14
The rain has passed, it was beautiful outside, and I enjoyed the sun all day. After I returned from evening yard they were passing out dukats and I got my trans-packing dukat! Super excited I am off to R&R (receiving and release) tomorrow to pack my belongings and will be heading to CIW on Wednesday.

Day 217 Monday 4/27/14
I was up early, off to breakfast and back to my room to pack. I was at R&R by 8am with all my belongings. There were a lot of us, not only were they trans-packing for tomorrows bus to Folsom, our bus to CIW on Wednesday, they were busy with property boxes as well. It took a few hours to get seen and packed but it feels good to know I am two days from leaving.

Day 218 Tuesday 4/28/14
I said goodbye to Sam this morning at breakfast as she is on her way to Folsom today. I am thankful for the extra week we got to spend together and that I got to actually say good-bye this time. I enjoyed the rest of my day working out with Chris, getting ready for Fire Camp. I got my dukat, I'm officially leaving tomorrow morning at 4am, I am so ready!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Day 212 4/22/15 D-Yard

Day 212  4/22/15
I went "over the wall" last night, I am no longer in receiving. I left A-Yard (receiving) and am now on D-Yard. D-Yard is where they send the overflow, due to the overcrowding they need beds in receiving so they move us out of receiving and into overflow while we wait for transportation. You usually go over the wall to over flow when you are scheduled for the next bus to CIW, Folsom, or McFarland. The standard wait in overflow can be 1 to 2 weeks, I heard others have waited 3-6 weeks (usually due to medical holds or other issues). I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am out of here in a week.

D-Yard is where they house the long timers, most of the women have 15 years or more, many have life, including L-WOP's (Life without parole). I met my roommates, two are serving life sentences, one has 10 months left on her 15 year sentence, two are doing 10 years and one with 5 years left on her 8 year sentence. The one with only 8 is here because she got caught at CIW with cell phones and picked up new charges that gave her an additional 2 years. Then there is Bee and she is in overflow waiting to go Folsom. I make 8 and this is a 7 person room, Blue my bunkie does not like to have a bunkie she is a lifer and this is her room, she has been down over 20 years so what she says goes or you move out. They are not really happy I have moved in but they are not mean, well except for Tiny she totally hates me and is seriously crazy, she seems to fight with everyone in the room so I am not taking it personal.

When you are on A-Yard you hear all these crazy stories about when you go over the wall there are lifers that will make you pay rent, scrub the bricks, not allow you in your room at certain times, all kinds of stuff, some of it is true but as Blue went over the room rules I got assigned a pretty normal room, the rules are basic respectful rules. I am super clean so that is easy, I'm quite, keep to myself and Blue hates "couch potatoes" no problem there because I hate sitting around and being stuck inside. I will be outside every minute I get. The best part of being on D-yard is the yard opens at 9 am and I can stay out all day long.

Receiving is a dump, because it is not permanent housing, so it is not taken care of and you are not allowed any amenities. On D-yard the rooms are much nicer, more kept up and cleaner. We have outlets, light switches (we can control our own lights), the mattresses are double the size, and we have pillows.My roommates have TV's and radios, we also have a table and chair in our room, the floors have epoxy on them rather than hard cold concrete. We get to use the phone everyday, we can do are own laundry once a week and my favorite we get to go outside in the evenings after dinner.

There are 4 housing units on D-yard each houses 256 women a total of 1024 of us on D-yard, we are not separated or segregated by security levels all levels are housed together, low level ones are housed with high level fours. They open the yard around 9 or 10 am you can go outside or be in the day room (day room has tables, TV's, benches, and phones). A majority of the women go to school or work during the day, I was actually surprised by how many don't work or go to school (it is due to their security level). The yard closes at 3:30 and we all lock down for mandatory count at 4 pm, then we have dinner At dinner they don't rush you out of the chow hall in under 15 minutes, you can stay and eat. The food is the same but you get larger portions (but I actually  think the trays are just bigger). Then the day room opens back up around 6-6:30 pm and the yard opens from 7-8:30 pm.

First things first we got new clothes, no more oranges. I never want to wear orange again. Over the wall you are in blues, light blue shirts, jean pants, blue sweatshirts and state issued tennis shoes. They are much nicer and more comfortable than the oranges in receiving. You can also order and wear your own clothes, shorts, t-shirts, sweat pants.

I spent my first day outside with a couple girls I met that came over the wall with me yesterday, that live in my housing unit. I got a phone call into my family, that call was incredible I had only been dying to make it for over a month! Then I spent the evening walking and talking with my friend Sam.

The days definitely go by a little faster over the wall. Now I am just waiting for that trans-packing dukat, (my notice that I am on the next bus out of here). I have been endorsed to Fire Camp so I will be going to CIW (California Institution for Women in Corona CA) for training.