What Has Happened Now? The Prison Cut Off My Emails.

I’m concerned. Two nights ago I started writing an email to Jamie. I have used http://Jpay.com to write to him for about 7 years. I can send him emails, money and pictures, which is easier than handwriting mail, and getting money orders, although I do send him other things – articles and cards. But when I logged into Jpay yesterday morning, the option to send mail had disappeared. I could only send money. That had never happened before in all the years I’ve been writing.

I called Jpay. The rep I talked to had not heard of this happening, either, and called her supervisor. She told me the prison must have stopped it as a way of disciplining him. To me that says they are out of things to take away from him. There isn’t much more they can take away from you when you are in ad seg. So his books must be gone as well as all belongings, probably his mattress as well. His little fan? In this godawful heat. His food -still on food loaf, which I think they make from garbage. They feed it to them three times a day.

food loaf

So what the hell happened that they would resort to stopping my emails. They would know I am the only one writing to him. Will a snail mail letter get through? Is it also directed at me for some reason because they didn’t like what they read?  I’m grasping at straws.  I just double checked again and it’s still blocked.  My concern is mostly for Jamie because most likely it is a punishment for something.

Melvin, the man in Texas who goes to the prison to visit with him every 4 to 6 weeks was recently there.  He said he was in good spirits.  The cut on his foot was still hurting but it was starting to heal.  They chanted together for awhile.  Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.  Jamie has been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for several years, a practice that is difficult to do on your own.  It’s easy to begin, like deciding to go to the gym, but it is hard to maintain with encouragement, because since it is a practice it is something you do every day.  He has been learning that we are the cause for own problems.  We make the causes.  We get the effects.  Learning how to respond to life a different way takes more than just thinking about it.  If you have an issue with anger there are things that are going to press your buttons and you are going to respond the same way no matter how many times you tell yourself not to.  Actually changing something inside yourself that reflects in your environment takes time.  You make baby steps.  The first step is understanding how you could have reacted in a different way.  We chant – deeply – to change that part of ourselves that causes us the most grief.  It is a life long process.  Most people understand there are benefits to meditation and chanting has the same benefits of that.  Deep breathing calms you and enables you to think.  Chanting is deeper that that.

The universe runs on a rhythm.  We see it easily in the tides.  All life is a cycle.  Birth, aging, sickness and death.  All of nature and all living beings. When you are able to join with that rhythm it brings into your life those things that help you and also those things you need to learn so you can change the things that cause you unhappiness.  When you try to change the things that hold you down the only way to do that is to confront the very things that cause you unhappiness. We never get rid of problems.  What we want is to deal with our problems in a different way that gets us a better result. This is not about asking something “out there” to change your life but instead looking inside yourself to change negative into positive.  Accepting responsibility that there is no one but yourself to blame for the plan you have for your life.  The plan wasn’t decided by something outside yourself.  We make the causes that affect us.  If we don’t change these things – especially an inmate – when he gets out he has little chance of doing things different and gravitates back to the life he had.

So I have to think – What has happened?  Most of these guards have such low life conditions.  We read about prison guard brutality more and more in the media. They have no problem hurting inmates just for the pleasure of being able to do it and get away with it. Did he react to something they did and that gave them the reason to want to hurt him?

All I can do is wait while I send him a snail mail.  Today is Saturday.  I tried to call the prison and no one is picking up the phone. Are they closed on Weekends?  That doesn’t make sense.  They have visiting hours today.  I’ll keep trying. On Monday I’ll try again . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In The Beginning I thought He was Safe in The Hole – Part 2

prison guard brutality
source credit:
a.w.i.p.com

PART TWO

by Sonni Quick

Still, in the beginning at least, I thought he was safe there. But he wasn’t, and the treatment this time in G5 is a lot worse than it was before. Either that or he just didn’t tell me everything so I wouldn’t worry. This is torture. This violent abuse. You get treated in ways no human being should ever treat another human being. When your captors get away with grinding your face into the floor, jamming you headfirst into a wall and split your head open, jump on you and beat you while your hands are cuffed behind your back, you know you have no place where it is safe. These are prison guard brutality is real yet there is no punishment. Why this kind of behavior is not only allowed, but also condoned, makes me very angry. It makes me feel helpless because I know there is nothing I can do to help him. Why is this allowed!?

Some of the guards exhibit worse, insanely criminal minds than many of the inmates, yet they are allowed to leave the building at the end of their shifts and go home. To their wives? To their girlfriends? Do they tell them the brutal things they did to other human beings while they work? Can they go home and say, “Hi, honey I’m home”, and then go outside and play with their kids? Or are their own heads so screwed up by the violence they perpetrate that they instead end up in a bar trying to drink their memories away? Because I know, from some of things I’ve read, only someone who is psychotic would enjoy the things they do to inmates, when the inmates can’t do anything about it.They say they are breaking prison rules. They will get ganged up on by five guys at a time, in armor, who’s sole purpose is to spray them with gas, rip them apart and make sure they are way beyond hurt. Prison politics have their own set of rules that have nothing to do with what is considered breaking the law in the land of the free.

Jamie has worked his way up the levels to reach certain benefits more than once. It never lasts for long. Jamie has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. He expects if someone makes him a promise to do something they should be accountable to that promise. When that doesn’t happen he gets angry and lets them they are wrong. The more he insists on trying to right that wrong the harder he gets punished. What does that teach him? How is he to learn to trust someone when they use the words, “I promise” yet that promise means nothing? He is constantly judged to be right or wrong so expects other people to behave accordingly, especially when the words, “I promise” are being used. Even through these situations he is expected to remain calm and not get angry? Because if he does get angry it is the excuse to make him feel  more pain and suffering.

Next up the ladder is level G4. On this level you get to leave your cell to go to chow and you get a little time in rec to watch TV. It isn’t much, but it is better than having your food put through a slot in the door. You don’t have to eat so many meals of biscuits and peanut butter, or two pancakes and peanut butter. When you can go to chow the food is at least a little better. Not by much, most of it still look like slop, but you can get a hot meal and there is more food.

I don’t think there is G3, at least not that I’ve heard of. When you make it to G2 you are allowed to make phone calls and you can have contact visits sitting at a table

prison jobs, prison janitor
photo source:
photgraphersdirect.com

instead of sitting behind glass talking on a phone. You can also get a job, perhaps in the laundry or as a janitor to clean the showers. Prison labor is very important to the profit margin of the corporations that own the prison. There is no pay in Texas, but at least you get out of your cell and do something productive, something physical that makes you tired enough to go to sleep at night. Jamie has only made it to G2 once in the years we’ve been writing, and that lasted only a few weeks. He could call me for twenty very short minutes. I was the only person to register my phone. Being able to make phone calls in prison is their lifeline.  Taking that away breaks their ties with their family and they may not get that back.  No one else. No family. I honestly don’t understand how family can just pretend you don’t exist, but it seems to happen frequently to inmates.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I think they will throw him a party when he gets out and then go back to their separate corners and let him figure out what to do next with no help from them.  There is no help now so why would that change later?

It doesn’t take much to get knocked back down to G5 again, A guard can file a case on you for anything they want, real or imagined. Another guard will always verify it is true. It snowballs from there. Inmates aren’t always allowed in the prison courtroom (UCC) when their fate is decided. The guard who filed the case doesn’t even have to be there. Another guard can stand in for him and swear it is true. Guards are always right and inmates are always wrong. It doesn’t matter what the issue is.

When Jamie reached G2 he applied to take a course to study for his GED and also to learn a trade. He wasn’t at that level long enough for it to take place. He has been in prison for nearly ten years and he has never been at a level to complete one program that would show the parole board in October of 2016, they should let him out. Without that they will most likely turn him down because without even a GED, and with at least that he has no chance of getting any kind of job anywhere. I understand that, but if they don’t allow him take any classes doesn’t that seem pretty deliberate? He’s not a hardened criminal. He wasn’t a gang member. He had no other convictions on his record. He was guilty of being black more than anything – and not being able to afford a real attorney. Is he guiltless? No. Does he deserve what they have done to him? Again, no.

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In The Beginning I thought He was Safe in The Hole – Part One

world map of inmates

We have more people locked up in America than any other country in the world,  The US is in purple which means we lock up over 600 people per one hundred thousand people. This map is a few years old. It is actually closer to 700 now. That might no even seem like a lot.  We have states were there a lower percentage, and then there are states that have towns where half the residents are either locked up now or they have been locked up. There is a reason for that.  Many people are now only beginning to see what is going on.  It’s now no longer hidden away.  More and more it’s making it’s way into our headlines.  Do we have more criminals?  Do Americans  have a greater tendency for crime?  No.  It’s just business, that’s all.  Just like the south had plantations and needed slavery to continue because without it the plantation owners would have a money problem.  Who cares if people were tortured, women and girls were raped, men were whipped and families were turn apart?  It’s just the cost of doing business.   They weren’t white so what was the big deal?

Most people really don’t understand the business of prisons.  Aren’t they for locking up bad people?  Well . . . yes.  Some of them.  People don’t thank that for many of the human beings living inside it is a living hell. The sentence they receive in the courtroom is only part of sentence they get. That sentence starts when they get inside and deal with their captors. Those people have the license to be as cruel as they want to be, and their bosses will just turn a blind eye, even if a person dies from the abuse. Prison conditions are not safe for inmates. There is no justice in prison.

I used to think if Jamie was locked up away from other inmates at least he would be safe. I know being out in the general population, or gen pop as it’s known, can be dangerous. There is wide variety of people locked up and many of them are people with nothing to lose. You can’t turn your back on anyone, or trust anyone at any time. It worried me when he said he was making it up the levels from G5, which is also called Adseg or administrative segregation. I suppose it is a nicer sounding word than calling it solitary confinement, or the hole. When you are locked up there you have no human contact with anyone unless it’s a guard grabbing hold of you either to cuff you or hurt you.

In adseg the guards are supposed to take you to shower three times a week, but that doesn’t mean they will. If you are in a prison in the south, like Texas, there is no air conditioning. It’s like living in an oven. If you have someone who puts money on your books, and if you allowed to go to the commissary once a month, you can buy deodorant. If not, you stink. Being able to take a shower is the only way to get a little relief from the relentless heat and humidity. Taking away your shower is one way they punish you. Taking away food is another. They may substitute it with something called food loaf your dog wouldn’t eat. Or they will take away being able to go to the commissary. Sometimes they even take away all of your property – everything, even your mattress.

Your food comes in through the food slot. Jamie has seen his food spit on before it was given to him, with a smirk on the guard’s face. You are supposed to be allowed outside your cell one hour a day to walk, while shackled, to another slightly larger cage. This is supposed to be your one hour allotment of being “outside”. In this tiny cage is where you are supposed to exercise, if you choose. You are in that cage alone. Sometimes that cage is indoors and you don’t even get to see the sky or breathe fresh air for months at a time. Even the strongest person can easily lose their mind. It has been proven that any more than fifteen days in these conditions like this can begin to alter the mind in negative, often irreversible ways that make it even harder for inmates to reintegrate back into society when they are finally let out.

mentally ill inmates
photo credit:
photos.pds.org

Inmates lose the ability to tell if it is night or day. Lights are left on twenty four hours a day. There is no way of keeping time. Meals are often the same so you don’t know if you are being given breakfast or lunch. Paranoia easily sets in and conversations with people not really there are often the only ones to talk to. Many in solitary confinement will harm themselves physically, either to see if they are still alive or to kill themselves. If they don’t have something that will cut through the skin they might bite themselves to open a vein. If their mind is gone they might smear feces on themselves and on the walls and floor. Living every day in solitude with no one but yourself and your imagination can be pretty rough. Sometimes your imagination is not your friend, but instead preys on your fears, your loneliness and tears down your will to live along with your self esteem.

The effects of living in solitary are worse than most people can imagine. The isolation and deprivation are more than most people can handle. Often the people in solitary are those who are already insane. The mental hospitals were closed down. Law enforcement doesn’t know what to do with these vagrants they find. They can’t keep them at the jail. They can’t keep them in the hospitals. The only thing to do is lock them up. They won’t get the treatment they need and looking them up in isolation only makes them sicker. They can’t let them out in to the general population at this point because they would likely end up hurting someone. So the general thought was to put them in isolation because it is safer for them there. Doing that finishes off what is left of their sanity. There is no thought put into a prisoners mental health. It doesn’t matter. They don’t care.

What does it do to a guard’s mind after witnessing this day after day? Guards also have to work in these units without benefit of AC, wearing heavy uniforms and often protective gear for when they have to move an inmate from one location to another. They don’t care if an inmate are sick. Taking them to medical means more paperwork to fill out. It’s doubtful medical will do anything about it, anyway. So what if the inmate has a seizure from epilepsy? Medical care in prison is only given when they have no choice, and even then it’s substandard. They’ll just let the next guard on duty to take him to medical. Is that how people are cared for when they have a seizure? Isn’t there something wrong with this picture? What happened to the guards ability to care about them because they are human beings? How can they clock out after their shift and go on and have a normal day? Guards don’t care if you get your shower, or if you have edible food or water. Mess with them and just shut your water off for days. If you die because of it there aren’t any repercussions, except maybe they’ll give you a job in another prison. If it’s bad enough you might get fired. But you won’t get convicted and go to prison just because your actions killed a few inmates.

Tempers run high on both sides. The inmates get angry, but they aren’t allowed to get angry. If they do the guards will write up a case on them. No one, not even the warden will do anything about it. They hear complaints all day long about the same thing. Instead of fixing the problems, they just let the officers and the supervisors do what they want. After all, they are just inmates. This needs to change. There is much about our prison system that needs to change, from locking up kids, straight through to solitary confinement. It’s big business and a lot of money is at stake in keeping the status quo.
Many guards, like our police, who have been in the news more often as the people get angrier and angrier at having their family and neighbors locked up. When you ask a child now what he wants to be when he grows up I doubt you will hear the words “I want to be a policeman” anymore. The police used to be a friend of the people who helped them. That changed a long time ago. There is so much corruption in our police force that many of them need to be locked up with the bad guys. I think many begin their jobs with the best of intention to do a good job, but it doesn’t take long to find out that being able to be a good cop is very hard to do. The nature of the job changes people.

Police, and prison guards, like their position of authority. It’s addicting. They take advantage of being able to make people do what they want them to do. Prison guard crimes don’t carry the same weight when it happens inside a prison instead of in society. But does that make them any safer to be around?Many think they are above the law because their superiors look the other way, condone their actions and make excuses for them when people die. They don’t have to live through the consequences of their actions. At least until now. Times may be changing. But as long as your superiors are telling you that inhumane treatment is acceptable, and people have no way to retaliate, it brings out the worst in their nature. Many people, men and women who get this job of authority are put into the position of being able to hurt people indiscriminately. Many people end up dead or at least seriously injured. What a perfect job for a sick mind.

Does that mean all guards or police are like that? Of course not. I believe the guards who work with the general population have a dangerous job. They are around many inmates who would rather see them dead. Guards have to worry about these inmates when they get released. Will any of them hunt down where they live and hurt their families? For all the inmates who shouldn’t be there with sentences that were too harsh, there are just as many very dangerous criminals who have life sentences and have nothing to lose if they hurt the people around them. That is why I was concerned when Jamie made it to G2 level, because you have to have eyes on the back of your head. There are gangs who would think nothing of sticking something sharp in you. Sometimes the guards get hurt, too.

The guards who work in the lower level units are different. That fear of being hurt by an inmate is pretty low, and they seem to enjoy provoking them to the point the inmate can’t take anymore and they lash out. If it is your nature, being able to hurt people you control is much more fun and amusing because there is nothing the inmate can do about it. The guards are always in the right and the inmate is always in the wrong.

Sometimes they are put into “The Hole” for only a small infraction of a rule, or for talking back. Sometimes they are put there for their own protection because their life is in danger. Because of the lack of mental hospitals there is no place to put people when they can’t live in society. It doesn’t mean they are criminal. It means they need to be in a hospital, not punished. When they keep them in isolation it furthers their psychosis. If they do harm themselves, they will be taken to medical to be stitched up and then put back in solitary with an increased sentence. It’s inhumane, and the inhumane guards who guard them develop their own psychosis that tells them it is okay to torture and harm the people locked up, and do it with a wink in their eye, knowing they have full power over the inmates, so they better get used to it.

End part one

It’s All About The Free Labor in Texas Prisons

June 1, 2015

Hi mom, I’m doing better today. I got my World Tribune. ( Nichiren Buddhist weekly newspaper) for May 15th. I read the whole paper. There was a lot of good messages and words of encouragement inside.

SGI World Tribune ,Nichiren Buddhist
Nichiren Buddhist weekly newspaper. This is what has helped him stay sane and have hope.

You asked in your letter what I will do to stay busy. Well for starters I’m going to work hard on my temper. I have a lot to think about. I was thinking about what you asked me. You know, about talking to kids when I get out. I would love to do that. I could get on YouTube or Facebook and make videos using a web can and explain to the world what the prison system is like. Because if the families only knew how their family and other people were being treated inside they would understand why so many never make it home. If they make it home they are often in pretty bad shape if they have been abused. How is someone supposed to have a better life if they are scared to be around people?

Families should open their eyes and understand the pain, suffering and all the shit we have to put up with. All because these people have control of our lives more than they should. They have the power to abuse and humiliate us, starve and beat us, which is not part of our sentence. We should not have to live like this. There have been people in here for many years who have never had a case brought against them, but yet when they come up for parole they are still denied their freedom. Why? That’s a damn good question.

free labor at tdcj
photo credit:
tci.tdcj.state.tx.us Inmates can make no money in Texas prisons

But we all know it’s about free labor Texas gets from us. Texas don’t pay anyone no matter what job they do. Why would they want to lose that? They rest of us who can’t work they get paid just for us being here. The Texas prison system says they pay us with good time. However, anyone who comes into the system with aggravated time like me, don’t receive good time. Ain’t that something? For those that do receive it, it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.

Every officer is required to write up a certain amount of cases on inmates. the prison might say that isn’t true, but it is. If they don’t they will be written up by their supervisor. So they have to make stuff up to blame us for. The system is set up so that us inmates can’t win. And this is why so many men of color lose their lives or never make it home. We do have a way to write up officers. We can write a grievance. But get this. There is step one and a step two. There is no doubt that what we write up on step one will be looked over and denied. Every single time. For some odd reason it takes these people 40 days just to deny step one. The warden is the one who does this, of course. Step two goes to the main office in Huntsville. You’d think these people would look into this given that it is part two of a grievance and it has been filed for a reason. Yeah, right. Step two takes 45 days to be investigated. If you add the days together it is almost three months. 85 days which is the same amount of time you get for having a  case written up against you. So they will tell us to write up an appeal against the wrong punishment we were given, taking away our commissary, recreation or our property. No matter what, we will be on punishment that equals the same amount of days it takes to appeal it.

So why appeal it or write it up at all? Because even if we win the appeal we will still would have done the punishment already anyway. All they do is erase the case from our file, maybe. Anyway, I promise you that not too many people win their appeal. One last thing before I end. This is crazy. There is a black lady here who is a captain, and when I say she is dirty that is what  I mean. She’s crazy. She was born in the system. Yes, her mama was locked up when she had her. She told us this. She also has a brother locked up. You’d think she would understand. She said she didn’t give a damn. I wanted to give you something deep about this place. Ill write more later. I’m tired. I’ve been up all day. Also, on top of everything we’re on lockdown again, so I won’t be getting much food to eat.

Till next time, love, your son Jamie

(Sonni’s note: My advice to him is: go through the process any way. If there is a possibility that the case would be taken off his file when he comes up for parole, it might help. I realize that he said that most of the appeals aren’t won, but if you filed enough of them, and they were against the same person you would have your own paper trail that might be useful when it comes time for parole. Food for thought.)

(added later note:  The officer he gave the grievance form to, to file, must have just thrown them away.  He never got the denial so he could file the appeal.  I called the warden and there were no grievances on file from him – but he’ll check on it, he says.  “I can’t have my officers doing that sort of thing.”  He was supposed to get back with me about it, but of course he didn’t.)

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The Normalcy of Genocide

I chanced upon your post today. I,too, write a lot about racism and what is happening in our injustice system and the prison system on my main blog. When I started to read this post the first thing I thought was, nothing has changed. This man, Hitler, was supported quite well by the American government because of the profit the corporations could make. Our presidents Bush – the grandfather – Prescott Bush – his bank financed Hitler. Very little was said to the American people until they were forced to.The world hasn’t learned, because it keeps happening. Very easily Hitler could have been an American and we, the people, would have acted just like the Germans, afraid to do what is right for fear of punishment and the rest would gladly, joyfully, join in. People seem to jump on the closest bandwagon and caught up in thoughts and ideas that are pounded into them through the media.

As I read your post, I saw that you brought this into your article. How different is the mindset of the German population who joined right in on persecuting the jews any different than what the police do to the black population here in the states? The bosses – the police chiefs – the judges – condone the behavior of the police and find excuses for them. They get away with ruining people’s lives just because of the hatred for the color of their skin. It has nothing to do with the quality of the people they throw their hate at. Sadly, people are so influenced by the people around them – the husband who has an opinion the wife feels she needs to support and then teach that belief to their children. The religious right who feels they have the right to hate those who don’t believe the way they do and think they have the right to dictate other’s lives, and it goes on and on. Our only small hope for a change in our police, which will not be supported by the corporations who make millions off incarcerating these people, is the the fact that they have gone too far and people are angry – rightly angry. So they will have to throw a few of the police to the wolves to make it look like they are instigating change, because if some of them don’t have to take responsibility for their action, the level of violence is going to escalate. Will it stop the police from what they are doing, and stop the prison guards from the inhumanity they shower on inmates? I doubt it. But they have to at least look like they are taking it seriously while the corporations continue to make money hand over fist. Greed. Power and control over the loss of dignity of life.

People don’t realize how many of the products they buy are made by inmates. Corporations bid on prison labor so they lobby to keep them full. All of that begins in elementary schools where they lock up 6 times more black boys than white boys. It is their future work force. But we have to keep trying to open people’s eyes to the truth – the truth about themselves and how much they turn a blind eye to this because they think it doesn’t affect them. How many German families thought the same thing?

A Story About Extreme Prison Guard Brutality

May 15,2015

black hands omn cell door, prison guard brutality
sourd credit:
pittsburgurbanmedia.com

First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day. I received your letters. However, things have gone downhill for me.  I’m G5, but I did that so I can stay close to home. I didn’t want them to move me to west Texas.  I’m stressed out to tell you the truth. It’s all too much. I’m losing it in here. I got a letter from Megan  and she’s talking about our relationship as if we still had one. Believe it or not I still love her and care for her. Why? Because she’s my son’s mother. I love and care for you, too, because you are a very understanding woman. Also, you have been here for me at times when no one else has been. She has been better about writing back to me. One for one letters. I’ve gone a long time sometimes without any word from her about my son so I’m glad.

Now let me give you the scoop on me. I’m still in the same place. I might be moved around to different blocks, but not off the unit. If I do get moved I’ll write and let you know. I wouldn’t say that I’m doing too good because I’ve been through a lot the past week. I’ve been getting cases. I’m fine now but I wanted you to know this. 

I want you to write about what I’m going to tell you.  Put it on the blog.  This is about what the guards do to us they aren’t supposed to be allowed to do.  An officer wasn’t going to let me shower. I asked to speak to the other officer working the block.  I explained to her the situation and she told me I would get my shower.  The whole time I am talking to this officer, I’ve got my arm in the food slot to where she can’t close it.  However, she promised me I would get my shower. 

(Sonni’s note:  remember, this is summer in Texas in a building with no AC. It’s very uncomfortable and very sweaty.  A shower is the only relief they have.)

I asked her again and she said she doesn’t lie. I gave her the slot because she gave me her word.  Of course, she lied.  So at chow time, the ranking  officer  Lt Rodrigues was on the block feeding chow.  I call and call and call but she doesn’t answer me.  Even when chow was over I call her but she blows me off.  So when the female officer brings juice I take over the slot and tell her to call her ranking officer.  When she arrives she doesn’t want to talk or hear me out.  All she wants is the slot.  I know if I give it to her she’ll walk off.  So I try to explain.  She tells me she’s going to get a five man team spray me with gas and so on and so on.  It’s what they do.  They spray and send five dudes with helmets and body armor to run in and jump on us.  But get this, She comes with the team and asks for the slot.  I give it to her cause if I don’t she’s got the right to spray me.  So I give it to her.  She has the officers place me in handcuffs BEHIND MY BACK. They put me out of my cell and up against the wall.  They pack up ALL my stuff and take it.

This is why you haven’t gotten a letter from me. They aren’t supposed to do this.  When I gave her the slot she and her team were supposed to leave.  Instead, she violates policy by taking my stuff. I ask her why she’s taking my stuff and she just winks at me. So now I’m upset.  She tells the two dudes that’s holding me on the wall to put me back in the cell. While doing this I’m being pulled and yanked on. This is the second time.  The first was right when I got off the phone after I talked to my mom when she got home from the hospital. The officers do this so they can slam us on the floor while we’re handcuffed behind our backs.

prison guard brutality
source credit:
a.w.i.p.com

Anyway,The Lt sees them pulling and yanking on me and even though I am the one who is handcuffed she tells me to stop resisting.  Then she tells her officers to put me down. One grabbed me by my arm, one by my neck and my right leg. The other two jumped on me causing me to fall head first into the wall and busting my head open.  I felt the blood pouring down from my head.  My face was covered as well as the floor.  I was on the floor with all the officers on me. 

That was another violation. Nothing was supposed to happen without medical, because of things like this.  But medical wasn’t here.  Another violation.  But they don’t care.  So neither do I and I made sure they all heard the threat I made to each and every one of them – because they were in the wrong! Do you know these muthafuckas tried to put me back in the cell with my head busted open?  I wouldn’t let them put me back in so they called medical. At medical they cleaned the blood off me and sent me to my cell.

A little later my head starts bleeding again. I went back to medical. Now I got to see the doctor. Nothing was hurting at the time but now my head and back has been giving me problems. They left me with nothing in my cell. Nothing. I had to set fires and flood my cell just to get these people to talk to me. I told them I will burn this bitch down with me in it if I have to.

They turned my water off for two days. They couldn’t stop me from setting fires with help from other inmates.  I set fires for two days straight only because they ignored me when I tried to talk to them with respect.  I asked, “Is this what I got to do just to get ya’lls attention?”  “I called ya’ll with respect and you ignored me.”  Guess what?  The Lt came down and talked to me and said she was giving all my stuff back that she took.  Well not all, but most of it.  I told her, “If you want to play games then okay, I’ll make you look bad.” They have too many important people that come here from Huntsville.

I have been hurting though lately. Why does life have to be so difficult? I don’t know what the outcome to this will be. I’m sorry.
With love, Jamie

P.S.BTW They have me on what they call food loaf for 16 days. Look it up. It’s some nasty shit. It’s like molded cat food. It’s what I get for all three meals. They are only allowed to do it for 7 days. I’m on a hunger strike.

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Starvation For The Inmates On Lockdown

prison guard at max security prison
photo source: theonion.com

This is a reblog from February 2014.

Dear mom,

Prison conditions are bad. They are starving us. I don’t know how they get away with this but they do. We can’t do anything about it. They put us all on lockdown again. Not because we did anything but because they want to toss our cells looking for weapons and drugs. One time they planted a weapon in my cell. They put a homemade knife on the sink. I was really surprised and mad when they “found” it. Even if I had made the knife, would I have been stupid enough to leave it out on the sink when I knew they were going to toss my cell looking for weapons? It had to be a guard. They try to get you in trouble and keep you down. It doesn’t matter if you are guilty of doing something in here, they will make sure you are guilty. It’s your word against theirs, and you can’t win.

We’re on our second week of lockdown. There is no  justice in prison.This is the hardest one I’ve gone through. By law they are supposed to feed you a hot meal every three days but they do what they want to anyone in a white suit, which is us. They are feeding us what they call a peanut butter sandwich which is a half spoon of peanut butter on bread. They only give us a half spoon because they are trying to stretch it out to last longer. It saves them money. They stretch it more by adding some really nasty soup or applesauce that makes me gag. But I have no choice. I have to eat it or I get nothing. I’ve heard that it costs $40,000 a year for each inmate, to keep us here. Where does the money go because it sure isn’t spent on us. Once in a while we get a meat sandwich or cornbread. Sometimes prunes or raisens. In the morning we get two biscuits with a half spoon of peanut butter or maybe two pancakes.

This system is built for the inmates to lose. If we think we’re being treated wrong by the officers and they write up a case against us ( make up a case against us is more like it ), they tell us to write up an appeal. First they take away any privileges, like going to the commissary or rec,for 30-45 days. Guess how long it takes for the answer to the appeal to come back? 30 days. It’s crazy. The appeal will always be denied, too. It’s all for nothing. I lose my comm privileges for nothing. I get punished because I appealed the false charges against me. I lose because I tried to stand up to the bullshit. There is no way around the system. All the officer has to do is lie and the next one will back it up or say he didn’t see anything.

But I know now that there are effects for every cause that is made. All the good ones and all the bad ones. These guards in here don’t get away with the things they do. It is prison guard brutality at it’s worst. It’s written into their own lives. They will have to face the effects of so many lies. They don’t get away with the things they do to other human beings. They may get off treating us like dogs, but we aren’t dogs. They may talk to each other about all the things they do to us and laugh about it, thinking they are getting away with it. But we are people. I will do my best to change the parts of me that caused this to happen to my life. I will find a way to make a difference. I will become a better person. I will someday leave here a better person. I will have hope.

It’s a new year and I’m going to do my best to stay out of trouble. I never try to make trouble. It’s always someone else who comes up to fight me. But no more fighting. Nothing. But when you don’t fight back then everyone feels they can run over you. But I’m not going to fight. I want to focus on coming home. I have to raise my level before they will consider me for parole. I’m level 3. I need to be level 1 before it’s even possible. Even then they could still turn me down. They well give me something called a set-off, which means I have to wait another five years before I can see the parole board again unless they want to bring me back up again. This system is built for our downfall. They don’t want us to survive in here. There is no justice for inmates at all.

New chapter excerpt for “Inside the Forbidden Outside”

Free Medical Inside the Corporate Prison Vacation Getaway

It is found on the new blog started for just chapter excerpts. Follow the blog so you will get future excerpts and go to the email address, mynameisjamie2.gmail.com and leave your email address to get updates as I slowly get closer to the end. Boy, this is a lot of work! lol and loving every minute of it

Breaking Prison Rules

jamie Cummings age eight, Jamie Cummings and his son.
Father and son at the same age, with the same name.

Jamie’s bio mom sent me this picture of a much younger Jamie.  Seeing these pictures of him and his son Jamie, side by side, there is so much resemblance.  Both of them are about the same age of eight. I have also received recent letters from Jamie and I am getting the information sorted out.  He is having a very rough time.

Prison guards get away with making his life hell as they do for many inmates, often undeserved. It seems to be the agenda of most of the guards with the approval of the people in charge of them.  It brings out the worst side of many men who enjoy causing people to suffer.  We also read, more and more in the news about the atrocities cops get away with, from beating people to outright murder, and the people in charge of them not only look the other way,  they do everything they can to make it look as though they people they hurt were asking for it.  They do their best to make sure these officers don’t have to take responsibility for harm they cause people.  I hesitate to even use the word offer for these mean because that word denotes respect, and there is no respect for people like this.  Unfortunately it also also brings shame and respect to those officers who are not like this because how is anyone supposed to tell the difference.  Every officer is looked at with distrust and they have brought it unto themselves.

Each time that happens the fuse gets shorter and shorter. People no longer trust the police because they have proven time and again they can’t be trusted. These people who outright lie about hurting people will have to stop because the people are demanding it.  Police – prison guards – those that think they have a license to indiscriminately hurt and kill are people cut from the same cloth.  They are the legal criminals. Whatever it is inside them them tells them it is okay to choke and kill people or shoot them in the back, or in the prison to torture them to death or to deny them medical care and they die, aren’t going to get away with it.  They will [pay with their own lives in one way or another. These people have extremely flawed human natures and need to be feared.  If I were a black man being pulled over by a cop knowing there was a very good chance that I would be, at the very least, beat up or killed for some trumped up charge that they thought I was reaching into my waist band for a gun I wasn’t carrying, I, too, would take the initiative and run.  Why would he even have to think these thoughts?  Because he has known of it happening time after time.  They know that a black man can be put in a police van alive andf when it arrives at the station he is unexpectedly dead and they don’t know why.

What Jamie is going through now, at the hands of the guards, which I will write about soon, needs to stop. Any human being can only take so much being locked up 24 hr a day, being denied the ability to breath fresh air, taken to the shower once in awhile, maybe.  It’s inhumane.  It’s cruel.  It’s unnecessary.  It’s wrong.  Rec, if they give it to him is being taken to a small indoor cage not bigger than his cell to walk around in, and is now being threatened with being taken to another prison far away – and for what??? They said they had no OPEN BEDS to give him.  Huntsville Prison is a big prison and they have no open beds??  This is a set up. They took away his hard earned privileges of being able to use the phone, walk to chow, go outside for rec, get a janitorial job, because he argued back to a guard  because what the guard was saying was wrong.  Jamie broke a rule.  In other words, he defended himself.  They took everything away he had worked hard to get for the past few years and stomped on him for it.

Roller Coaster Ride With Prison Guards at The Controls

rollar coaster

(Sonni’s note: This post was written in 2012 when I was at a different blog site and it never got the attention it deserved. The things prison guards do to the inmates that cause the inmates to have a life of hell needs to be known. There are different types of prisons. Minimum security. medium security and high security prisons. Inside that you have solitary confinement,(ad seg) the G4, and G2. You have to be G2 to have phone privileges, have a job, which in Texas all labor is unpaid, go to the library or apply for any kind of class or trade. prison guards make sure you stay down, even if they have to invent something and it is your word against theirs. It brings out the worst in their nature, knowing they can pretty much do anything and there will be no repercussions. So I decided to re-blog this post today.)

I’m trying to hold on to this roller coaster ride, but the speed is gettin’ too high for me. Not everyone can make it through life by themselves with so much pressure on them. When you have so much build up there’s no telling what will set you off at any given time. It’s just like with these officers. Yes, they take my food, and it pisses me off because I try my hardest to stay focused to succeed and be successful at getting out of this place. But it’s a no-win thing here. The system is built to help officers only. If we, as inmates, would have the system on our side Texas would owe a lot of money for lawsuits due to officers beating up on inmates and going against policy. We go on a 45 day lock down next week. If they take any food from me again I’m going to lose my level and start from the ground up again. I’m going to write my brother. Lord knows I don’t want to, but I got to see if he will send some money before Thursday because it will be out last commissary before lockdown. Due to the fact that I am in Ad Seg, we go on lockdown four times a year. Every 90 days and 180 days. The rest of the unit goes on lockdown every 180 days. Like I said, the system is built to help the officers. All they have to do is babysit 4 days on and 4 days off. They make $2,300 to 2,400 a month. All they have to do is feed chow and run showers and rec. But they are so lazy, when we do get rec they only run 4-5 people in each section and there are 6 sections. It’s 84 cells in all. Then, when they stop everything, that’s it. No one gets nothing, not even showers. All they get is chow. Get this, they are so lazy they will give dudes an extra tray of food to keep them from having to make the effort to do their job and take them to shower and rec. It’s because they just want to sit there on their asses. Look, I put all this in this letter because I feel that you out of all people would understand me. If I went too far please let me know. I just wanted to express some of what I’ve been holding in. And no, I don’t get anuff to eat, mom. Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands.

( Sonni’s note: November 1, 2014. Not everyone reads from the beginning of the archive of posts, so you may not realize that Jamie calls me mom it is because that is what I have been to him for the past 8 years. Sometimes the difference between making it and not making it is knowing that there is someone on the outside who cares about you. The above letter about treatment of the guards is a recurring theme in many of his letters. There are good and bad guards and there are good and bad inmates. If I can affect his life in a positive way then all of this has been worth it. When we die, the only real legacy we have to leave behind is the effect we have had on other people, good and bad. I may not be read about in history books, but who I am will be passed down in the book of life.)

It was quite awhile after I wrote the above before I began to write the book about his life. It started out with the title of InsideOut, but was recently changed to the working title of “Inside the Forbidden Outside” There are 3 random chapters posted here on this website and you can find one here.  Please let me know what you think. Your support is vital to it’s success, which means success for Jamie when he gets out.