I am a 32 year old, Caucasian male. I am a homosexual and an Army Veteran. I am serving time for a sex crime. I have all of my family members. They cannot provide financial support to me at this time. I hope to get a work detail so I can support myself. I just try to take it one day at a time.
I am in a unit for Protective Custody, which is Level IV. I am in this unit because I am not a fighter. A lot of people in this unit are trying to go home. Some people are in this unit to get their point down to drop to a lower security level. We are often lied to, or "spun," by staff. Usually, it is by custody staff but also by others, such as Library, Medical, and the Grievance Coordinator. Command Staff, i.e. Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains also lie to prisoners. Due to the unit I am in, the turnover rate is low, which causes long waits for job pools.
The food is horrible. It is very bland. It is always some type of processed food. The meatballs are nasty, as well as the fish. The substitute for the meatballs is a soy product.
Currently, we are being rationed on our toilet tissue. We are receiving one roll per person per week. We used to get two rolls per person per week.
Showers are started at the beginning of Second Shift. We are instructed over the PA system to hit our light for in shower. I had a call-out for a class. This class took place during our scheduled shower time. Afterwards, I spent a few minutes with the staff on a one on one. I went to the Control Booth and asked the Officer if I could take a shower. He asked me where I locked. I told him I went to my cell and went in . The door closed. I got undressed and ready for a shower. I pressed the button that luminates the light for my cell. Ten minutes later, I pressed it again. The door did not open after count time. So, I figured that I was not going to get a shower. I went to dinner chow and did not say anything to any staff members or either one of the Sergeants in the unit, during dinner chow, about not getting a shower. I did not say anything for fear of retaliation by the Control Booth Officer. So, I took a bird bath, behind a sheet, with my cellmate in the room. My cellmate was not let out either. He was scheduled to work. I am assumed that we were discriminated against because of our sex crimes.
My family has sent me money from day one, in the County Jail. I was always taken care of. Now, both of my parents are struggling, to make ends meet. My sister has not sent me any money, since my arrest. I do not know much about her finances. My brother says he will help me out. I do not like asking for money that I have not earned. I have not learned how to "hustle". I have tried, but, have not been paid what I am owed by other prisoners.
Our medical copay is $5.00. I read that the national average is $3.47. I is the same amount for Dental and Optometry, Mental Health does not have copay.
Recently, we were approved to use tablets. We use them for music and games. There are instructional videos. They are about the interview process, spirituality, and public speaking. The games help everyone go pass the time more easily.
Being without a television can be stressful. I had one, but one of my many cellmates broke it. It is stressful because it puts strain on the relationship with a cellmate whom has his own television. There are disagreements on what to watch. Also, the search for a book to read. I can request books from the Library, but we are only given five days to read two books. A good way to pass time is to read. I prefer fiction novels. It is a good way to escape your environment. They take you to another world. There are some non-fiction books that I will read, but not many. It can be difficult to get into non-fiction.
I am a light sleeper. Any kind of noise wakes me up. We have toilets in the cell. Just my cell mate putting his shower shoes on, wake me up. There is a "count light" which is controlled by the Control Booth. There are 3-4 count times between 10pm and 6am. The Third Shift Officers also use flash lights. These are usually shone directly in the face. I do no feel safe wearing ear plugs, which do not block much noise because the are cheap. I use a small t-shirt to cover my eyes at while I sleep.
Here is another issue with the food. Protective Custody has a lot of rats, slimeballs and guys with bad crimes against children. We had chili for dinner. It's an okay meal. I ate all of it. But then I came back to the cell. I had this weird feeling in my mouth. I put my fingers to my tongue. I pulled out a hair. Not just any hair, I am pretty sure that it was a pubic hair.
Education just opened up. But it is for prisoners with 2 and a half to 6 years. My state was approved for Pell Grants. I am not eligible because my Earliest Release Date (ERD) is too far away.
I am waiting to be transferred to a lower security level. I have been waiting for over a month to leave Protective Custody. But if fear that if I press the issue, that I will end up in a bad spot where I don't want to be.