My real name is not important

Diente, Luis

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Sept.18, 2017 To Whoever Concern: This is Me My real name is not important at this moment. I was born and raise in Puerto Rico... for personal reasons I emigrated to United States. My first time was when I was 16 years old. Went to Orlando in Florida, by the time I was 19 I had found myself in prison. This is my 3rd ride behind this walls. I have being lock-up this time for a little over 12 years, in the following lives I wrote my opinion about the correctional system in the State of Florida, which is a monopoly of economic and social class. My opinion is base of what my eyes with the rest of my body have experienced in the so called "Justice Department of Correction" {D.O.C.} for the past two decades. Since Florida is a state of the south the social race is real divide on the justice system as for the correctional system. I have to remind you that from Central Florida all the way to the south of the state is full of emigrants. This is the way you will get classified on the Penal System: A) 1st by your skin color, B) 2nd by your race or nationality, C) 3rd by the county you were living. The whole staff from the Administration of D.O.C. display and describe themselves as a "family," even thou they do have internal race issues the prison population have more. The oppression by the Government Administration on prisoners have specialized in dividing the population, same as on the outside. Once you get groups divide is easier for total control. This oppression have build a mental barrier between the prisoners that had made collapse what we really stand for. I report it most of the times since I had went through more bad situations with prisoners than officers. Even though I had learn how to stay "under the radar" it have be times when I was spray with mace or gas, beat in hand-cuffs and shackles on {had broken bones} and put in solitary confinement with no clothes, food or water, that is besides being verbally abuse or threat almost every single day. If prisoners would stop looking their skin color or where they come from and realize we all wear the same type of uniform and learn how to come together in the struggle I believe we can make a change. Not every correctional officer comes to work with a negative attitude, some of them just come to get a pay check, but at the end of the day, at the end of the story you can count with one hand the ones that will risk their jobs for our well being and rights. Most of them feel that having a D.O.C. uniform they are invincible when their bodies are made out the same anatomy as mine. The farthest you go to a prison in the north of Florida usually the more racist they are. The majority of prisons have lack of education programs as a matter of fact in the beginning of 2017 I received a vocational certificate in a certain institution with the name of this the prison in capital letters across the middle of it. I believe that if the prison system expand the educational programs and work hand in hand with the Classification Department it would be of great benefit to the prisoners to occupy their minds! Plus is a good set-up for those that have release dates. The small portion of Florida Prisons that have any educational program most of them are restricted for prisoners with long sentences or "lifers", forgetting that some of them could get released by the court at any given time. The Classification Department is one of the worse ones in D.O.C. (besides taking a cigarette break every 10 minutes) every classification worker should have present on their minds that is a "social worker, not a judge or a state attorney. I have in some occasions a few of them that have denied me visits or phone #'s on my list based on their personal opinion and not according by the rules. A few of them that knows what really their job is and try to help us get so much request and petitions from prisoners that sometimes loose their energy because as much as they want to help us they realize that the system does not. I personally being accused of my charges without them looking on my file or case report. One time in a certain institution my file was missing from classification office for almost a whole year without him taking notice of it. Some of them just don't like you or help because of your skin color or nationality. The Mental Health Department is full of jokes and politics, mental health counselors have their picks of who they like or who they want to help, most of the time is base on your race also. The majority of their work consist of filling out paper work that goes to the Central Office in Tallahassee. 95% of the counselors do not really care about our mental status, all they want is to put you on medication and fill out one of their forms about the program so the service can continue getting federal funds. I think that if they really care they will be the first ones to realize the damage of the mistreatment we get by their administration and the mental disorder that solitary confinement causes. Is there types of counselors in the system A) the ones that forget they are civilians not guards, that supposed to give us treatment, not to suppress and oppress is with the D.O.C. rules and their personal rules they like to make, B) the ones that don't care if you kill yourself, all they do is sit and put ink on papers and C) finally the ones that try to help us and end up creating a bond with us, let's not forget that by the reprimand of the administration it would never be the same speak to an officer as to talk to a civilian that have no D.O.C. uniform. The solitary confinement, lack of communication with our love ones {especially those that have no family in the state} can create a feeling of loneliness that would end up in a great depression. Me, myself have created an imaginary friend on my wall that I hang-out with. Mental Health Doctors and counselors should be able to treat us as patients not like criminals, we should be able to build a trust with them so we can feel free and comfortable exposing our problems, secrets and sins. I do not expect them to take my problems home with them the same way I do not expect from any staff member at any Institution to bring their personal problems on me. Remember that one day you might see me laugh and the next one cry, or I might put a mask and look happy mean-while I carry a broken soul. If any counselor reads this "Please step-up in your game" Whoever has a good spirit carries a clean conscious. The medical system department is own by a private company, as you might be guessing that company throw a certain % to the State for letting them operate. Any sick-call have to be by filling out a sick-call request, is a charge of $5.00 and it takes forever, most of the time you might get lucky and come out with a few tylenols. Like everything around here, you have the ones that do their jobs and you have the ones that doesn't care if you live or die. Some nurses conceal or cover the physical abuse we receive fro the guards and falsify the paper work on our medical files. The ones that step-up, do their job and report any abuse against us usually end up leaving their jobs behind due to the harassment they receive by the administration. For the prisoners that have Hept. C knowing that is a new treatment to over come this the Florida Governor Mr. Rick Scott took away the annual % for that cause, which means that if you have Hept, fever or any infection you must be at the point of dying in order to be treated. {90%} of those cases that the out come -- death. I also think that since Florida has so many Institutions {more than 120} ain't no reason that if you are from Miami end up all the way in north Florida or vise versa. For those that have families the communication or visits with them is essential and of great importance as much for the personal spirit and for the love ones. Sending prisoners to do their time far away from home is a way to block communication which create a feeling of loneliness and poor expectations for the following day or weekend since it's going to be the same routine of today as it was from yesterday. Every phone-call is $2.35 for 15 minutes and most of the time the call got disconnected before that time. We fill out a phone list of no more than 10 #'s every six months, but have to be approved by classification, something that has always create a problem, the phone system also belongs to a private company "Secure," that also pays the state a % for their performance inside the Institutions. If your family have a # change you will have to wait the six months before trying to add that # in your list. So, me personally always try to get a cell-phone. All court sentence are based on restriction of freedom from society, not physical or mental punishment, besides it should be used to rehabilitate the offender. The job of the Correctional Officer is really base in not letting nobody escape and the safety of prisoners and all staff members. Their duties do not consist on charging their "egos" on us because they have a uniform. They need to remember that uniform is not a shield and their body anatomy is just like mine... they will bleed also. Those civilians that work inside these walls need to understand that they only get pay by doing the job they apply for... teachers, nurses, counselors, social workers, etc., if they feel they can give orders and act like officers then they need to fill out another job application as a Correctional Faculty Member. On the other hand, gangs affiliations inside the prison have grown a lot in the past decade, creating a lot of internal conflicts. Most of gangs wars are over insignificant issues that escalate to levels that end up costing lives. Prisoners tend to affiliate by race, usually white prisoners are seeking protection except those ones that belong to radicals sect. Black prisoners go by from where they from most of the time but on my personal opinion the Latinos are the most united, it doesn't matter which one you belong or what country we from at the end of the day we all united by the same language. The lack of recreation on the yard and programs constitute to the addition of violence and drug use in the prison population since they don't see what else to do. The drug use has raise also and since the administration have impose harsh punishments for failing drug tests {60 days solitary confinement and six months of visitation suspended} a large group of prisoners have absorb the using of synthetic drugs like K-2 {synthetic marijuana} and "Flake" {synthetic cocaine} since they can not be detectable in the drug analysis. This types of new drugs have caused major problems in the prison population -- from hurting themselves or others to performing major negative actions that would lead them in further problems, even murder. In some prisons the major gangs have put a stop to prisoners that brings this kind of dope for three major reasons -- A) we losing soldiers in confinement, transfers or deaths, B) mind and body get so deteriorate that our brothers end up losing their loved ones, C) major and constant check-downs which cost a lot in property destroy or contraband. The classification system as long as two people have about the same amount of time they are "mean to share a cell" knowing that most of them are gang rivals. I think that if you put them with their own kind it will be less of problems because we take care of our own, from orientation, sharing and sanctions. Is a lots of gangs leaders that have a clean and clear conscience and most of the time is hard to meet and bring together bright ideas for the difficulty to get together. The times we have try to do that we all got put in solitary confinement and transfer. Now I do have seen situations when the Gang Unit Sgt plead to the "leaders" to get together for a "Truth Peace" on war zone time. Do not forget that "every father correct their childrens". Is all types of characters, feelings and personalities inside these walls, this is another world, only the strong survive. "Do the right thing" that's what the officers tell the snitches, forgetting that today he told on me but tomorrow he can go to your superior and tell on you. "OH, I don't do nothing wrong that they can tell" well guess what?? They will make some shit up!!! Also is a lot of gay and lesbians officers working in prison, gay officers choking prisoners while we shower, doing strip searches, etc... Lesbians females working at the visitation area feeling and touching your mothers, sisters or wife body when they come in. They shouldn't be allowed to work in those areas since become a every day "kaos". It would be a really good idea if the Secretary of D.O.C. or the General Inspector whenever they show up in any given Institution for inspection do it without notice of the arrival because then the staff at the Institution will be covering everything up. Also that when they coming, to do it without the officers of that same prison so we can be allow to speak with them without suffering retaliation from the same administration. Most times they walked them so fast that you only got to see a shadow. The author if this essay, which is me have being in a Mental Health Treatment Unit for the past six months for attempt to suicide, the last time I was put in solitary confinement was on a frame up Disciplinary Report, due to that incident almost all my property was missing including all my legal work and my "time frame" on my appeal process is due in November 2017. I have no family in Florida and have a "Natural Life Sentence" for a crime I did not commit. I try to wake up every morning expecting the same wishing it could be different. For some of us "life has no meaning". This is a small portion of what I go through every single day. I am in a struggle. I am a soldier of life, when is time to declare war I set it off..... I make history at any level. Sincerely: Florida Prisoner - Luis Diente

Author: Diente, Luis

Author Location: Florida

Date: September 18, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 8 pages

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