Federal prison is a true hell-hole

King Wildcat

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Federal Prison is . True Hell-Hole I have been to over 30 facilities in my lifetime. The federal prisons are the worst as far as the maximum security facilities go. These places are overcrowded and harsh. I have been to 9 in all: USP - Lee County in Virginia, USP - Hazelton in West Virginia, USP - McCreary in Kentucky, USP - Beaumont in Texas, USP - Canaan in Pennsylvania, USP - Allenwood in Pennsylvania, USP - Coleman in Florida, USP - Terre Haute in Indiana, USP - Victorville in California. But I also have to add the federal holdovers I have been sent to in transit, i.e. on my way to another prison: Atlanta holdover, Oklahoma City transfer center, Grady County jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Plus the New York City Metropolitan correctional facility. A federal facility in Manhattan, NYC. Serious business. All over the USA I have been, and it's been a real eye-opener. I was given 15 years for bank robbery, and it's a prison sentence I won't forget. I have done other prison sentences, adult and juvenile, but none like this. In the federal prison system you are truly just a number. Nobody really gives a damn about you. The worst facility I saw was USP - Canaan. USP stands for United States Penitentiary, the high-level custody prisons. Below that is FCI. Federal Corrections Institution - the medium security facility. The "low" or low security facility is below that. Then the camp, the lowest security. No fences, no towers, no more locked doors. But I am speaking of USP - Canaan, an abusive, disrespectful place in the small town of Waymart, Pennsylvania. Openly racist guards make life difficult for a black inmate. When I was there, there was a thing going on with the worst of the racist guards. Ordering strip searches of black inmates at random, or for just about anything. I was marched down to the lieutenant's office many times, put in a cell, and ordered to strip naked, at the threat of forced strip search, i.e. several large, white guards slamming me down and manually stripping me naked. They would yell to us, "Spread your fucking ass cheeks!" Part of the strip search [was to] spread your buttocks, lift your penis and scrotum, etc. Get dressed. It's a way to degrade and dehumanize you. I put in complaints, no avail. I one day told the warden, he said the guards can "strip search any inmate, and time they want." Later that night I was called to the lieutenant's office, where the guards ordered met to strip for a nude search. 2015, early 2015, USP - Canaan, Waymart, Pennsylvania. A federal bureau of prisons facility, I remember, during a guards impromptu orientation in the laundry room 'warning' us that, if during a pat-down search in which you are directed to hold your arms out to the sides, you happen to drop your arms at all you'll be taken down, i.e. slammed to the ground, and, according to this staff/employee, we could suffer 'broken bones or worse.' I spoke up, saying how I personally better not see staff breaking any inmates bones; I was a target from then on out. Thank the Lord I never got any broken bones. USP - Canaan was terrible, but USP - Hazelton in the town of Bruceton Hills, West Virginia was almost just as bad. Staff gleefully walked around the special housing unit, or "SHU-" a fancy name for the hole/lockdown unit, making racist jokes and comments. The SHU in Canaan was the same, just not as overcrowded. However, in USP - Canaan you would be put on "paper sheets and clothing" for the slightest infraction, i.e. your clothes and sheets/blankets would be taken - by force if need be, and you would be given "paper" clothing and bedding, made out of napkin like material. Those nights of Pennsylvania winter and fall get cold, so it's pretty much torture. 7 days is the average. USP - Hazelton's SHU is so overcrowded that you may not get a cell for days. You'll have to live wherever they put you- in the law library cage, inside recreation cage, outside recreation cage if it's warm enough; you don't have plumbing in these areas, so you are given a plastic jug to urinate in and/or a plastic bag to defecate in. There may be several inmates in these non-cells. As you can imagine, the smell is terrible. The overcrowding breeds panic and violence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. You have inmates of all ages, races, and cultures from all over America and the world, every gang and religion you can name, all packed into these federal prisons, two or more to a small cell. sharing a few televisions and showers per unit. You can rarely get your own cell. In the SHU, they will force two inmates or more in a cell. Many men have been seriously injured and/or killed, stuck in a cell with the wrong crazy, dangerous inmate in the federal bureau of prisons. Staff often tell two inmates close to violence in a 23/24 hour a day lockdown situation to "fight, fuck, or get along." But when violence explodes, you are not given any pass or excuse- you face the penalties. Loss of good time jail credit (more time in prison,) loss of phone use, etc. If the other inmate got hurt or killed, you will face more federal charges. It is a trap, and a dirty, dirty game. You may wonder how this exists in the USA. Well, it does. These black holes exist all over the USA. You hear the private prisons being scapegoated, but that's a red-herring. You're doing better at a private/for-profit prison than any federal government prison at the max level. But they can be bad, too. King Wildcat

Author: King Wildcat

Author Location: California

Date: June 18, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 17 pages

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