Prison 101:1

This is real. If real offends you give it a skip…

STOP! This material is NOT edited for content. It is not fiction. It contains explicit language and descriptions of real situations. It is not suitable for minors, and may not be suitable for people who easily disturbed…

CAUTION! Language, Violence

I understand being alone: The ten years I was in prison were the toughest time alone for me. Going through the wall at Clinton (There is a forty foot wall around Clinton. Clinton is a Max-Max. Everyone goes there for processing. You sit for a week or so and then go to Downstate; by NYC to be finished with your processing into the system.) was something I will never forget. You are chained leg to leg with the guy next to you. Your hands are boxed, cuffed, and then chained to your waist. The wall is so high you can’t see the top from the bus windows. You are in prison, period. When you get inside you are kept in Admin-Seg so that you don’t get killed, stabbed, raped. It is that bad. So, you sit in a cell in Admin-Seg. The homosexuals are housed there too The racket is ear splitting, like max volume all day long. You have vision only out of the bars at the front of your cell, so most of what you feel, experience, comes to you through hearing. Rough deal.

Eventually during that lock down period of a few days to a few months, you break down and cry. Then you get your shit together and realize you are there and on your own entirely, and you decide you can make it or that you can’t make it. More suicides happen there than anywhere else. You are there. No one checks on you. No one sees you except meal delivery three times a day, and I have known those guys to find someone dead and sell or trade their meal rather than tell anyone. So the body won’t get found until shift change.

Yes, the C.O. Is supposed to make rounds several times a shift, but they don’t because they are chronically short on personal so there is no one to cover the guy, so he can make the rounds.

Once I finished that time in Max-Max I had my prison legs so to speak and I knew I could make it. I reached back to my time on the streets, that was alone time too, completely alone. I looked at it as exactly the same: I am in a place where everyone wants to kill me or fuck me over or maybe even just fuck me. I am going to make it period. I set rules for myself. No cracking in front of anyone; ever. No deep relationships of any kind. No sex. No drugs. Deal with reality every day, no dreamland stuff at all.

Do not count on letters from home, visits from family, kind words from anyone. Assume that everyone has forgotten you. It seems impossible that I could adopt that attitude and keep it for ten years, but I think it is the same as any type of alone. You have that talk with yourself once you have it all sorted out. You make your decisions, consciously or unconsciously, and then you deal with that.

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