This past Friday I was awakened at 4:30 AM
and spent the day on the road with twenty other inmates heading to one of the Medical Prison Facilities for a CAT scan of my sinus passages. The trip took roughly two hours each way, during which we were all handcuffed, chains around our waist attached to the handcuffs, and another chain about 18" long between the cuffs on our ankles.
I am not sure if you can find a picture on the web (Google "Black Box & Handcuffs
"?), but not only do we wear the handcuffs, but they put a black box between the cuffs that locks the cuffs in so that they are on the same plane. Kind of like the stocks
of old except in this case instead of our arms being held apart, they are within six inches of each other.
This nifty little black box was allegedly designed by an inmate. I had seen these black boxes while in Club Fed
, but they were only used on inmates that were subject to special treatment
due to some type of rule infraction. Here in New York every inmate wears them anytime they are taken out of a facility. It is almost impossible to rest your arms in a position where one or both of your wrists are not pressing against the edges of the cuff.
Once we arrived at the medical facility we were placed in a large holding area that seats around fifty inmates and were relieved of all restraints with the exception of the handcuffs (minus the black box). We now get to "hang out" in this room for five to six hours while inmates from several different prisons see various specialists and get CAT scans. The room itself looks a like the scene in "Awakenings
" (Robin Williams, 1990) with all those zombie-like patients aimlessly wandering around the room. Too bad they do not provide, or allow us to bring, a book.
By the time Saturday's class came along, I was pretty wound up. I did make it back from the trip on Friday just in time to make the law class (6:00 PM) and had my dorm officer get permission for me to be a half hour late since I needed to get something to eat.