We have been on “ICS” since Tuesday. ICS stands for Incident Command System. Whenever we are put on ICS, it means that the entire yard is on lockdown due to an incident. In this case, it is because some fence ties are missing and they want to attempt to find them. In order to do this, all living areas will need to be searched thoroughly again. Such is life. Imagine police force showing up at your home randomly with a search warrant and completely going through all of your belongings. That is the only comparison that I can give to you. It is violating, but it is a necessity. All I can say that do not come to prison because all of your privacy goes out the window. Strip searches alone will teach you that. Somehow, I have become so accustomed to strip searches that the whole process doesn’t faze me anymore.
A proper strip search begins with you taking off all of your clothes and standing naked in front of officers. You pull your ears back, open your mouth, lift your tongue, show your hands, lift your arms over your head. Then you reach down, lift your penis shaft and then your scrotum. To complete the search, you turn around, pull your butt cheeks apart, squat and cough. Once completed, you can get dressed again. We call it the “Happy Dance”.
Rumor is that staff searched dorms 4,5 & 6 yesterday so we should be today. All that remains are dorms 1, 2 & 3. I live in dorm 2. They will spend the most time here as dorm 2 has the worst reputation. Dorm titles and come over time. Sometimes they re not a big deal, but on this yard, they are. Even I have never been on a yard where the dorms remained so true to their reputations.
The breakdown is as follows:Dorm 1 – A large majority of young inmates. The day room is always full of card players and dice throwers. They have issues remaining in compliance but try. Very few of them work and they sleep in a lot
Dorm 2 - We are dubbed “the Zone” and are the most violent, active dorm on the yard. Dorm 2 is unfortunately where the murderers and severe physical assaults happen. The majority of the guys who live here have done a lot of prison time and do not tolerate much. In order to live in Dorm 2, you have to know how to do prison time.Dorm 3 – Known as the crack house. Everyone just about smokes spice and gets high on everything you can think of. The majority of drug dealers live in that dorm as well.
Dorm 4 – Rejects. When and if someone gets into a fight, they are moved to Dorm 4. A lot of alienated guys who are loners live there as well. The overall energy there is odd and hard to describe.Dorm 5 – MVD Inmates. The Department of Corrections has a contract with the Motor Vehicles Department stating that they will have a round-the-clock call center manned by inmates. All the inmates who work for MVD live in Dorm 5. They make $.90 cents an hour.
Dorm 6 – Swift Trucking, The Department of Corrections has a contract with Swift Trucking Company that has inmates working on and rebuilding their trucks. They make around $4.00 an hour. The guys who live in Dorm 6 are all deserving and think that their shit doesn’t stink. They like special privileges and they typically get them too.If you are curious as to why I live in Dorm 2, it is certainly not because I am violent. I live her because the few friends that I do have, live here as well. I have also been in prison so many years now that I have learned you are better off around guys who have done this for a very long time rather than around new inmates. Again, I know how to survive here.
So at this point, I hope that they get the searches over with so that we can go back to normal operations. I have not spoke to mom or Joe since Monday but they are both aware that when I do not call for 48 hours, that we are on lock down. If I do not call after 72 hours, then they will typically get on the phone and find out if I am okay and see what is going on.“Friendly Perceptions”
I spent the better part of yesterday writing letters to men I do not know. I received 4 letters from people who have read my profile on writeaprisoner.com and I decided to write them back. There were two other letters from guys who wanted to know how big my penis was – in the first letter? That tells me so much! There is really no big update on any one pen pal right now. Nothing consistent – and that’s okay. If ‘that guy’ comes along, then I will welcome it and if not, then I am getting to a place where I am truly okay with it.The writing does serve up as an excellent distraction though. A part of me will always insist on quality over quantity. Joe is always saying that I need to make other friends, expand my circle. But I am not exactly sure how to do that from in here. Let’s be REAL. I seriously fucked up and made a terrible decision. Because of my actions, I wound up in prison for a total of 16 years. That is my reality. I am not without blame here and the stigma that goes with me because of it, will never go away. That said, the people who will be comfortable associating themselves with me will be few and far in between.
I know that if I was outside these walls, people would never assume that I have been in prison for this long – or at all. I do not have that ‘convict’ look, I can socialize well, I’m articulate, worldly etc. Still, as soon as I acknowledge that the fact that I spent 16 years of my life in prison, the entire perception of me - will change. This, I know.So; would I like to meet new friends or have someone special in my life? You bet. Will it happen anytime soon? Probably not. Will it happen at all? Maybe.
For now, I am blessed to have the people that I do have in my life. I love them all tremendously.