Prison Pete

Thursday, December 21, 2006
  Prison Rats.
I am still residing in my corner cube. There have been no further attacks upon my person. But there have been some further developments.

I had talked to two inmates about the attack the night it happened (Wednesday) and Thursday one of those inmates mentioned it to the officer. The officer called me up to the "bubble" and asked me what happened. I told him I did not want to make a big deal out of it and thought for the time being that the whole thing might be a one time event.

On Friday morning, the officer again asked me if I know who hit me, and I said no. He then told me he knew who it was, and told me his name. The story he heard, (or the one he decided to tell me) is that someone in another unit told this inmate to hit me with a lock in a sock. There has been a name floated about who that inmate is but it still does not make any sense to me as to the cause of the action.

After lunch on Friday, the officer told me I had to go down to medical to be checked out to be sure I had no injuries. I mildly protested to the officer, that this is exactly what I did not want to happen. In the rules of the jungle I reside in going to the staff is just one way that you get labeled a rat.

Off I go to medical, where I am met by a sergeant. I am then asked if I was assaulted. I tell him I do not know what really happened. He asked if when the nurse examined me would there be any marks on me. I knew the sore jaw did not show any marks and the small bruise on my elbow was now almost forty-eight hours old. I blamed the elbow on my maintenance job, and putting in the new steel bunk beds.

This all took place in one of the examining rooms, with the door open the entire time. He then tells me to strip down leaving my socks and undershorts on. Mom would be proud; I did have clean underwear on.

The door is still open to the hall. While no inmates happened to pass during this exam, several staff did. The nurse has me turn around ninety degrees at a time and looks me over from head to toe for any bruises etc. She notes the mark/scab on my elbow and the sergeant says not to worry about that. The exam completed, I dress and follow the sergeant back to his office which is in the same building but down a couple hallways.

The bottom line is that I tell the sergeant "nothing happened" and I am safe where I am. He makes me sign a refusal of Protective Custody form and off I go.

Meanwhile I have changed my sleeping position. I now have my head back up at the far end of the cube. At night I place my plastic chair in the center with some clothes and a plastic bag that has a bunch of empty soda cans. The way I have the bag if anyone bumps the chair, the cans will rattle and fall to the floor.

I also have taken to sleeping with an L&S next to my pillow. What is a L&S, Lock and Sock. At least this time I am going to be ready to swing back.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I am still here. Here being my humble corner cube. I am really tired, and do not know how long I will be able to type this letter. It is snowing for the first time this winter, and they are forecasting some accumulation. I just finished reading an article about Windham ski area in Wednesday's Times.

One of the two guys I mentioned the attack to ended up mentioning it to Officer Lewis, the usual day shift officer. This was just before he was going home. He mentioned that he might have the little TV be "Out of Order" all day tomorrow. I told him since I still did not who did this or why, I did not want to make matters worse by having the appearance of me being a rat and telling the officer.

I have not played my keyboard at all today as I can not afford to isolate my senses. I am currently typing this letter without listening to the radio, and instead of standing at the edge of my cube with my back to the room, I am sitting on my bunk facing everyone. I am going to have to go sit out in the Rec room between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM which is when the dorm lights are out and more than likely I will end up nodding off. At 11:30 PM I will have to come into the dorm, and will be able to keep my light on till 1:00 AM.

I have moved my mattress around so my head is back up at the corner of the cube as opposed to up against the large locker. The reason I moved in the first place is the wall heater is way too much hot air to have my head near. On the other hand, this way I will be better able to protect myself from another surprise attack.

In the past what has happened when a fight occurred that was not caught by an officer, an inmate would drop a note to the sergeant and I would end up in a different dorm.

So where am I safety wise? I have no idea. The casual prodding of a few of the other inmates lets me know that by now everyone knows that something happened. As I said last night I know several inmates saw it happen, but none of them have said anything to me. After I returned from work, I took my shower so as to avoid finding myself in the shower later on tonight.

But after the 3:00 count I ended up helping a few inmates with the various questions they have when trying to decipher department paperwork. Life goes on, use whoever you can while he is still here, do not reach out to help. The real puzzler about this particular incident is that I have not had even the mildest type of argument with anyone here. That sort of leads me to believe that someone has taken it upon themselves to interpret some action of mine as a negative that he must correct.

I signed the consent form today for the rest of my nose job, and only hope it does not occur before Christmas. My nose is finally pain free and I would like to enjoy that for the holidays. Also the time away from my keyboard as I work on putting some of the hymns into the memory would put a real crimp in my practice time.

I am assuming that this recent trouble will blow over. Officer Lewis will be working tomorrow, and I know if he figures out who the trouble maker is he will ship him out. Of course that could lead to some thinking I ratted the perpetrator out, but since I have told a few inmates I still do not know who did it, hopefully that will act in my favor. And while no one has come forward to name the guy, I think I still have a positive reputation with most of the inmates here. After all I did get them a new TV and keep the electric stove top in working order.

Well that is all for now, if anything occurs overnight I will add a note in the morning. If there is no note, assume I managed to get some sleep and stay tuned for the next update which will leave here Monday morning. At least for the short term I will communicate more frequently unless I do get moved and unable to write.

My mind is about to shut down, and I am going to keep myself awake by plopping in front of TV. That is the safest place to be. The problem with not knowing who the shithead is is he may be out at school or in the Rec yard now and I could safely catch up on some of my missing sleep. But alas, no such luck.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
  Telephone Procedures.
You asked about phone calls. I thought I had explained the system.

The way it works is we can only make collect calls via MCI. Only outgoing calls, no incoming calls. The cost is a $3.00 initial charge and 16¢ each additional minute. The maximum length of any one call is thirty minutes, but there is no limit to the number of calls one can make.

MCI will not place collect calls to certain phone systems. This is due to the federal law that prevents a person’s phone being turned off if they owe money to someone other than their local provider.

I was automatically barred when I tried to call Bobbielou, and I am unable to call your cell phone. I think we are not supposed to call cell phones anyhow but do not see how they can enforce that now that lots of people only have cell phones.

The last time we talked was over two years ago when I was in the County jail. Even though I had to make the call collect, somehow it did go through to your cell. While I need to add all phone numbers to a list of approved numbers, there is not any real checking that goes on.

I think we are limited to thirty numbers total. At this point the only numbers on my list are Mom and Dad, Bobbielou and you. The last two are currently blocked so I get to call only Mom and Dad and do not do that too often as they seem to be outraged at the cost.

The last time I called, Dad first hit 9 for the cost of the call as opposed to 3 to accept. After the message played through it says press 3 to accept or 9 to hear the charges. All Dad hears is press 9 so he press it again and hears the recording a second time.

After it finishes playing he manages to hit the 3, and we finally get connected. The first words out of his mouth before hello are "Boy 60¢ a minute that is rich!" I explained it was 16¢ not 60¢ and he mumbles something about his hearing not being so good.

So there you have the phone deal.

So if someone wanted to talk to a live NY State prisoner they would have to be able to accept MCI collect charges and pay the freight. Again it is an initial $3.00 connect charge and 16¢ a minute. All calls are subject to monitoring. At least in most cases I can send out letters that are not read by staff members.

I do not know what is up with the whole interview thing but I would need to send out letters to you, as any business mail has to be left open for inspection. While I think letters mailed directly to an editor of a news source are treated differently, sending out such a letter would certainly raise a warning flag. The only way I would be able to be completely candid would be to remain anonymous.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
  Stabbing Victim.
I was able to speak to one of the inmates that live in the honor dorm. That is where the inmate got stabbed this past Monday.

It all started when two inmates disagreed as to who was supposed to use one of the weight benches. One inmate tossed off some items being used to reserve the bench, words were exchanged, gang threats came along and by the time the inmates got back to the dorm one of them ended up stabbing the other.

The victim is currently on life support. They have the stabber. It made one of the local TV news reports probably only because someone at the hospital made the call.

The honor dorm is mostly older inmates and has a waiting list to get into. You can not have had any "tickets" for six months prior to getting into the dorm. The only difference one has being in the honor dorm is an oven to bake in, and use of the Rec yard at all times.

The way the yard works is that on weekdays, half the units get to go in the afternoon and late evening one day, leaving the other half with just the early evening. This flops every other day. Being in the honor dorm you get to go at any time the Rec yard is called.

Big deal.

Well time to wrap this up. With the holiday this week, they moved up my commissary day. I need to make out my sheet tonight and pick up my goodies tomorrow instead of Tuesday. I will be cooking two dishes serving six people sometime Wednesday or Thursday.

We are having a special dinner this Tuesday night about 100 Catholic and Protestant inmates and twenty of the outside volunteers that led the bible studies during the year. We are having two entrees: sliced turkey and barbecued chicken. It is supposed to be a step up from our normal mess hall chow. We will see.

Why we voted for chicken and turkey is beyond me. The money for this meal is coming out of the donations collected at services. The funds have been sitting around for a couple years I think. So this will not happen again for a couple years.

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