Sep 21, 2020
My Metro West Miami Dade County Jail House Experience
I am writing from Metro West Detention Center in Miami Dade County, Florida. I have been in custody since Aug 5, 2013 until present date. During this time I have experienced enough to foreword this essay.
First, I will write about My experience with the officers. Second, the food. Third, the commissary. Fourth, the rehab courses. Fifth, the trustee jobs and pay. Sixth, the illegal drugs. Seventh, the Disciplinary Report Hearings. Eight, Metro West Detention Center's have's and have not's. Ninth and final, my thoughts of the Florida corrections system.
First of all, the officers. Some officers are fair in a sense that they leave you alone and don't sweat the small stuff. For instance, you want to sit in double chairs and kick your feet up on another chair, and they'll let that slide. Other officers are anal. I like to call these the ones that, "don't have nothing to think with." Where none of that shit is going down. A few officers are rogue and let you get away with all types of shit. Like smoking, stealing from other inmates, fighting in the closet, that he opened just for the inmate to go do that.
Second, the food. Your choice of 6 different meal plans. There is 1. Kosher a T.V. dinner supposedly blessed by a Rabbi. 2. Halal for muslim, is like kosher accept on the Halal there's a lot of peanut butter trays and no pork year around. 3. Veggie, has no meat what's so ever. 4. No salt, is self explanatory. 5. Soft diet, everything on tray is individually chopped up to little pieces in a blender. Some meals have jello on the side. 6. The 2,500 cal is double portions of the regular diet. 7. Regular meal plan is different every day seven days a week and the schedule rotates every other week. Overall the food is tolerable. Very little complaints from most inmates.
Third on the list commissary. The prices are as high as cornerstores in the area. The food quality is low grade processed garbage corner store food. The T-shirts, socks and shoes are made in china, cheap, and of the poorest quality imaginable. The T-shirt and socks are as thin as stockings and the shoes are good for maybe two weeks of walking and running around on the Rec yard or good for one or two games of Basketball, until you rip a hole in the side or the bottom of shoe.
Fourth, the rehabilitation courses. A.A. where a group of inmates talk (2.) about their drinking problems and at the end of class, they all seem to want a drink and can't get to one. N.A. Where a group of inmates talk about their narcotics of choice and at the end of the class some feel like smoking or shooting up and can't. Mental illness/substance abuse, where inmates learn about mental illness & how it ties in with Substance abuse. Inmates also learn how to notice signs of mental illness in themselves and others. Also, inmates learn about all types of drugs and the effects it has on them and their life. DBT, This class is geared towards borderline personality disorder inmates to calm down first, not react or make decisions when angry, anxious or happy. Domestic Violence, Where inmates learn what constitutes as domestic violence and why people do it. Coping skills, where you learn different techniques on how to stop from stressing. Anger management, where you learn to control your anger in a positive, productive way and not a destructive way.
Fifth, the trustee jobs and their pay. You can find Inmate trustee
[in top margin] kite: Note or letter to another cell workers all over the building. There either wearing white scrubs tht indicate they work in the kitchen or regular orange scrubs wearing blue shoes working maintenance or in the dorms, in the clinic, or counselors office and the G.E.D. room. There pay is an extra sandwich or two for a days work. From what I understand before the 2000's, Trustee workers got a pay check every week. Now their pay is food, like slaves in the system. If you want to send a kite, Trustees are the one's that can get it done for you.
Sixth, the Drugs. The drugs in here vary from prescriptions, all the way up to crack. Mostly synthetic weed here in Dade County, we call it toochie. I don't know why people in here would want to do any drugs in jail. For me I stay away from the stuff. I like to be alert as much as possible to my surroundings.
Seventh, Disciplinary Hearings is what inmates are subject to if we violate one of the rules of
[in top margin] Shakedown: Search throughout cell (3)
Count Time: Shift Change for officers
The Box: Cell by yourself conduct in jail. Whether if it's for fighting, threatening an officer or having some type of contraband or whatever else constitutes as an infraction. It's next to impossible to win in these D.R. Hearings, unless you're good with one of the counselors administering these hearings. Or else, you're guilty on arrival. A one-way ticket to the box, this is the jail in the jail, solitary confinement.
My experience in the Box drove me crazy, literally; took me almost three months to acclimate back to myself when I left the Box. I know I still show signs from it. That experience did bad things to my psyche. Anyways, it was tortuosly cold in the Box I was in. Imagine, three count times and three shake downs a day. And on top of that you got to unclog the A.C. vent that blows 40 degree wind into your cell, right before the guards get to your cell. If they see the clog there, they're gonna make you take it down anyways. Then you got to reclog it again with wet toilet paper; it can take 30-45 mins. By the time the cell gets warm enough for you to dose off for maybe 45 min and then its count time again. Imagine doing this 60 days straight. I don't care who you are this will make you not right in the head for awhile. By the way you're not allowed commissary or sweatshirt or sweat pants while you're in the Box. I lost over 20 lbs in those 60 days.
People said I looked like I was talking to myself a lot my first 3 months out of the Box.
Eigth, Metro West Detention have's and have not's. No, we can't see out side the windows they're tinted grayish-white. I think that's a human rights violation and if it is, it seems like Metro West administration just does what they want to do with inmates. No Law library equipped with law books or competant legal aid. Yes, Metro West has access to a clinic that is an extension of Jackson Medical Center. It's equipped with Doctors, Nurses and a Dental department. Yes, we have a very small walled-off Library in the counselors office. The Library is closed right now due to Covid-19.
Ninth and finally my thoughts on the Florida Corrections System.
[in top margin] PBL: punishable by life](4.)
The Florida Corrections System is not only racist, it preys on poor minority women, men and children. After being down going on 8yrs without anything closed on my case; I feel lost in the system. The fact Florida considers a gunshot wound above the waist, that is not fatal, as an attempted murder is disgusting. Anywhere, else in America my case would only be aggravated battery.
This goes to show that Florida Law makers do not care about the people in their own state, particularly poor minorities and only see us as a means to make money for the few. Attempted murder has no statute of limitations, keeping people in jail for years. Leaving families with the burden of paying for Collect Calls ($5.50 for 45 mins) and buying commissary. The problem I believe is the lack of trance sparancy, the law makers, and the prosecutors, have too much leverage to enhance charges to PBL charges that carry no bond. When you look around at all the people that are in Jails and prisons it is mostly Blacks and Hispanics. That's racist!
According to the Almanac 2020 68.9% White 27.2% Black and 18% Hispanic were arrested in 2017 (Arrests by Race and Hispanic origin 2017 p.g.113 Almanac 2020 Book of facts)
In 2016, the number of sentence prisoners, white 401,000 to Black 419,700 (Almanac 2020 Book of facts 2020 p.g.112) with these numbers there is a clear disparity and in today 2020, I know the numbers are mostly the same.
Here's the icing on the cake, Florida population is over 21 million people. 27.3% White 16% Black 26% Hispanic (The word Almanac 2020 Book of facts pg.517)
If white folks are leading in arrest by race and crime, why does the Florida prison system have more minorities than whites? You call it!
I say let's protest against this injustice until there is change.
What you've just read was my experience and thoughts of my time at Metro West Detention Center in Miami Dade County, Florida. First, I wrote about my experience with the officers. Second, the food. Third, the commissary. Fourth, rehab courses. Fifth, Trustee Jobs and pay. Sixth, the
(5) drugs. Seventh, the Disciplinary Hearings. Eight the Metro West have's and have not's. Ninth, my thoughts of Florida Correction System.