Prison Pete

Thursday, September 23, 2004
  An inmate is missing!
It is 8:00 PM and Pipe Dreams is about to start. So I thought I would try and get a letter out to you!

Today has been a very strange day. The one thing true of good old Club Fed is that nothing is for sure. We had fog this morning, so breakfast, which was two small blueberry muffins, a cereal bar, and a four ounce OJ, was served through the food slot in the cells.

The doors were finally opened for the first time at 10:30 AM. Then around 11:00 AM I proceeded down to Rec to type some stuff for the blog. I will enclose the draft, which is typed on scrap. Due to the shortage of ribbon, I used carbon paper as ribbon. I was going to, and still will, edit and then retype.

Why did I not retype you ask? Well, since around 1:30 PM, we have been locked in our cells. The start of this lockdown seems to be the failure to find an inmate that was supposed to go to visitation!

We had the traditional 10:00 AM stand up count so one presumes that since we were let out by 11:00 AM, things were OK. Then they called for those inmates that wanted to skip lunch to head to Rec and then started feeding lunch. This went on to around 1:00 PM.

Sometime after 11:00 AM an inmate was paged to go to visitation. Now there are technically only three places he could be: his housing unit, the Rec area, or the chow hall. For some reason yet to be determined, he never made it to visitation.

Well, by 1:30 PM the powers that be became concerned and ordered everyone back to the housing unit and then we were locked in for a count. Now so far this type of thing has happened once or twice in the six years I have been here, though in the past it was usually the Lieutenant’s office that was looking for someone, and the inmate being sought knows he will end up in the Special Housing Unit so he is "settling his affairs." Mind you, even those times in the past once the count was done and the "missing" inmate was found, things returned to normal (whatever that is here).

Well today once we were locked in they did what is known as a "bed book count". And no, this is not where they read us bedtime stories. Each housing unit has a book with index size cards that contain a digital picture of each inmate and name and number, in pages by room. Two officers go room by room asking each inmate to say his name and registration number. The second officer has the computer list by room number to double check the book. Well, this still is not a first. We usually have a bed book once every couple months.

It is now around 2:30 PM and they still have not let anyone out!

Now around 4:00 PM they have another bed book count and this time there are three staff people doing the count and two of the three staff were supposed to be off duty by 4:00 PM. So now something is truly amiss. We never had two consecutive bed books, and when they force staff to stay past shift, something is very wrong. All because someone did not go to visiting?

Then at 5:30 PM or so the food slot opens and two meat package style wrapped trays are deposited along with two more four ounce containers of orange juice. This is definitely not looking good. Yes, we have been locked in through a meal in the past, but it was usually due to a rumble in the Rec yard or something, and never with two bed book counts.

Dinner was a joke. Thank God for our lockers with real food. The trays consisted of two white bread sandwiches and a cereal bar. Certainly the definition of sandwich is being stretched here. The first sandwich was one small, thin slice of cheese between two pieces of white bread. Nothing else. We are not talking a slab of cheese here. A single thin slice. No condiments either, not on the tray and not on the sandwich. The second sandwich was a piece of breaded truly mystery meat which crunched when I bit into it. I think it might have been fried but it was hard to tell.

I made some tuna salad and shared it with my cellie so that we added it to the cheese or should I say cheesy sandwich.

So now at 8:30 PM as the sun sets at Club Fed, one still does not know what is up, and when the doors will be open again. At this point, my feeling is either a person has assumed room temperature or otherwise disappeared. Both would be a first for this place since even in the past if an inmate suffered some sort of physical damage, knuckle checks were done, never two bed books, which are done without even opening the cell doors!

Unfortunately I still do not know why we are in lockdown mode. Although it may all be over by the time you read this, you might try to look into the BOP.gov site to see if they ever report stuff like this, whatever this is!

OMG...like you said....its Club Fed....NOT Club Med....eat your sandwhich and cut the whining!!
Wait a minute. They have the internet in prison? Wow.
That sucks on what they're allowed to pass off as food. Borderline inhumane. Note the crack above about whining was from a criminal justice major. It takes a certain mindset to be able to walk through life with no compassion for other living beings. I wouldn't even feed my dog two bare slices of bread with a single slice of processed cheese between it - much less a human (felon or not).
just eat your sandwich and offer up the discomfort to the victims of crime some who would love to be eating a sandwich right now but sadly are no longer with us"
... unless of course your in that extremely large group of people imprisoned for non-violent victim-less crimes, maybe then you could find solace that Martha Stuart is not walking the streets ...
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