Crime is common happenstance where I come from

Cooper, Kista R.



1 Crime is common happenstance where I come from and though an outsider may not think it to be so, it is. Small town Southwest Virginia is usually the last place that anything occurs. Lee County is just a backwards little place. Churches dot the countryside and believers gather faithfully. One enemy is onthe rise here and that enemy has invaded with a vengence. Methamphetamine manufacturing and use is simply destroying our young and I for one loathe it! To know my charges you might not think so. I was charged with 1 count of Distribution and one count of conspiracy to distribute, Methamphetamine! In my defense here is how it all started. There was an old friend of mine who was living out of her vehicle with her young daughter. My heart went out to her so I told her she could stay at my house. That was mistake number one! I was well aware of the things she was doing although at the time I had told her, not at my home. Being single and trying to care for my own Grandson was a struggle for me but it was of no comparison to the hardship place upon me because of my oldest daughter. Becoming addicted to this horrible poison. I cant begin to explain the mental anguish I was going through. I simply didn't know what to do or where to turn. She would come to my home and be (Let it be said my grandson is 17 and the woman's daughter is 16) so out of her mind on that junk it would cause me severe grief. I called the rescue squad on more than one occasion. My mind was so distraught trying to deal with her I neglected what was going on in my own home. That was mistake number two. I pleaded with my daughter. I bargained with my daughter. Then, I got angry with her. All the while my hate for the people who pushed that poison grew. During all this commotion going on at my home the woman and her daughter continued to live at my residence. Her daughter and my grandson were best of friends and I truly felt sorry for her. Often times the girl would stay with me while her Mom was gone doing only God knows what. The devastation I saw in her life caused me to sympathize greatly with her and I knew if not for me she would have no where to go and once again be homeless and hungry. My heart simply could not allow that to happen. I remained strong for a time through all of this but soon more and more people invaded my home, to allow that to happen was mistake number three. Soon all of the stress I was dealing with put me on the wrong path and though I had stopped using actual drugs a long time befor, all the aggravation of my daughter playing with such a dangerous poison and my home being invaded I fell back into the same 2 old destructive pattern that God had delivered me from. That was mistake number four. Although I allowed the things occurring at my home to happen, I felt powerless to stop it. My "I don't want anyone to be hurt or mad at me" attitude landed me in jail headed for prison. One of the woman I was letting live with me, her friends stopped by one day wired up for the D.T.F, and Boom! It was all over. The video showed that I was not the one selling anything but my lawyer said "Guilt by association." I lost my grandson, my daughter, my home and my freedom. All because I was distracted and tormented by pure poison. Methamphetamine stole my life and I have loathed it from the beginning but that just goes to show you how far its reach is. I am ashamed of my charges. On the streets when I was free I could have been an advocate against Methamphetamines and as far as my facebook page goes I certainly was. Which is why it is such an embarrassment to be caught up in its wake. Upon entry to the jail, I began to see more of the moral decay upon the human existance. The living conditions at the jail in the medical unit are repulsive. Now you would think that Medical would be the most sanitary place in the whole jail, not so! I was there for almost four days. The cell was not clean when I was moved there and it was never cleaned not one time during my stay. The commode when I entered was black inside on the stainless steel. Piles of old food crumbs lay enter-mingled with mounds of dirt up under the bunk. Vulgar writing covered the walls and the stench alone was enough to enduce vomiting. I asked, personally, though I had the flu, for the cleaning cart to no avail. Officer Spurlock has been written up for his conduct toward inmates held in Medical but none-the-less, he is still the officer who works day in and day out. I overheard Officer Lawson say that he made it a point to make the inmates that are on suicide watch miserable. Needless to say, South-west Virginia Regional Jail has a huge suicide attempt and completion rate. Nurse Absher was told to give me a urine test because of medical issues I had been having and instead of having my urine test sent to the lab, she threw it out, issued [illegible] for a yeast infection and never treated the actually on-going problem for which I am still having issues. I suppose it to be a bladder infection that will or has turned into worse. I complained for six months with burning, issued Flagil for a yeast infection and never treated the actually going-on problem which I am still having issues. I suppose it to be a bladder infection that will or has turned into worse. I complained for six months with burning, sereing pain in my breast that burned through to my back. The Doctor ordered a mammogram/ultrasound in January through Nurse Absher, who once again caused an issue by not ordering the test. Yet another month went 3 by: The test was eventually ordered again and they found masses one inch big on each side and have ordered a follow up in three months. God willing everything will turn out fine. Which is not the case for my daughters half sister who was here for at least eighteen months. She complained of things wrong with her repeatedly and the Medical Department would chalk it all up to saying she was a hypochondriac. She died! It turned out to be lymphoma she was 30 years old. If she were my daughter I would sue. They would make jokes about Mandy and say "She's been seen over 35 times." A simple blood test would have solved the mystery. When I was moved over to the work pod I never dreamed I would have an actual waterfall over my head but I did for seven months. The roof leaked so bad we had eight milk crates lined with black trash bags and one five gallon, bucket on top of my bunk alone just to catch the rain water pouring over my head. On two separate occasions I slipped into the water and hurt my ankle. Only one incident report was made. The return air vents are covered with dust and lint. I personally have made several requests on the kiosk to maintenance to fix the problem also to no avail. Black mold is another issue we inmates have to deal with. Breathing and lung issues are numerous here. Any number of the inmates here would gladly be part of a class action law suit. This jail is privately owned and that is mostly by the Judges in this area. Not long ago this very jail lost a lawsuit over not allowing religious material to the inmates. Well nothing much has changed now they make you donate the religious material to the jail. They wont let you put it in your property even though it is yours. If you dont have someone who will come to the jail and pick up your religious material you must forfeit said books to the jail. I feel they should put it in your property. It is yours, after all. I feel soon they will find a way to interfere with our first amendment right. I sincerely dread that day. Should it happen during my stay I fully intend to stand firm on my belief. I will never allow the powers that be to take away my ability to learn about and worship my Jesus, my God. I suppose should that happen it will be solitary confinement for me. Though it was my own fault for being put here by allowing the things that happened under my roof to go on, I am still a member of the human race and it is my God given right to worship however I choose. This Nation was founded on religious freedom and just as our fore fathers sought freedom from England to serve and worship however they choose I will do the same 4 should that ever be the case for me. I was sentenced to ten years in prison for what I allowed to go on in my home while enduring major duress from the Methamphetamine explosion in my small town. While seven years were suspended I will still serve three. As for the woman who actually sold the poison, she was offered 16 months which she turned down. I wasnt offered a plea. She will most likely beat the charges since I have already plead to the ones against me because my lawyer said I had no other choice. Upon entering the jail I have asked for the application to be printed off for a writ of Habeas Corpus. They let me use the computer & see the application but will not print it off for me to fill out, in relation to my case. Every aspect of defense should be made available to any and all inmates to defend their selves. Here it is not. That is just one more declaration of moral decay upon our society. Once you are convicted of any crime here you are subject to these conditions, all I can say to you is this, never! And I mean never! Ever, visit Southwest Virginia it is a trap and you will most likely end up here at the regional jail. While there remain a few faithful caring members of the powers that be here, the majority are only here for a paycheck and could careless about you as a human being. True they did not put me here, but it is my belief that I am entitled to good medical treatment and decent living conditions. I feel that in order to have a job in corrections there should be an accountability for how inmates are treated. To an extent there is, however untold hundreds of unfair treatments are bestowed upon inmates who feel they simply have to accept the unfair treatment, I will not! My voice will be heard, no matter the cost. Kista R Cooper 3-19-20 P.S. Today they fixed or are in the process of fixing the roof.

Author: Cooper, Kista R.

Author Location: Virginia

Date: March 19, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 8 pages

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