Secreted within the confines of seclusion

Pennix, Ladaro J., II



Ladaro Pennix CA [no title] Secreted within the confines of seclusion lies another world of isolation, where the inescapable cruel and unusual punishment is a heavy breath that breathes a foul stench into the lungs of such confines, creating a perdition of purgatory that has become a daily torment by the hands of officials (immature with power), who seem to get off on the sadomasochistic antics of subjecting "captive warriors" to physical and psychological anguish as a means to break our spirits into submission. Such confines are called Security Housing Units (SHU)... I have spent 16 years in the S.H.U. and have seen and experienced cruelties that you would not believe is happening in America. I have been confined since the age of 16. I entered prison at age 17 unprepared and ill-equip to adjust to the gravity of the ambiance of my milieu. Because of this I found myself a repeat offender of trouble, trouble that would lead me to a place called the (SHU). The (SHU) is a confinement facility where those who an institution deem a threat to the safety and security of an institution are sent for a determinate time then released back into general population. My first SHU term was quite an experience. I would find myself on the gladiator yards being betted on, ... Staff would call me Tyson ( a homage to Mike Tyson) because my knockouts were direct and deliberate. Though I was fighting to survive the officials staged many fights as a means of entertainment. Some officials who would lose a bet betting against me would come to my cell and jokingly say the'll get me next time. Anytime that would happen; the next time I would go out to the yard to fight, I would be drugged from the breakfast I ate that morning to slow my ability to defend myself. One thing about the SHU the officials are quick to drug you, put pills in your food to manage your behavior or to see you a victim by someone else's hand. Fortunately I was young and well-equipped to defend myself, otherwise I may have not been able to ever write about all this... From time to time I still get drugged by officials fixated on my past and yearn to see me suffer. Yes, I even have medical records showing medication in my system that I am actually allergic to. In (1998) this SHU-term began. What started as two captive warriors horse-playing (slap-boxing) to be specific turned into an all out brawl with the officials. In a misperception the officer in the control booth pressed the alarm button and trained his 37mm block gun at us and ordered us to get down. The captive warrior who I was horse-playing with went to the ground immediately. But I remain standing trying to explain to the control booth officer pointing a 37,, block gun at me that what we were doing was not being engaged in physical confrontation, but just playing around. By this time officers are beginning to run in side the section. I immediately raised my hands, turned to the wall and spreaded my feet apart to show my submission to their approach. Two correctional officers approached me and instead of putting me in restraints just started beating me with their baton. The captive warriors who witnessed this refused to see me become a Rodney King tragedy and rescued me from the attack the officials inflicted. When it was over many staff were injured and we all received an RVR (Rule Violation Report) 115 for the specific act of "battery on peace officers." We were sent to Administration Segregation (Ad-Seg). A place you are housed when you are separated from general population behind an (RVR) 115. Once there, the harassment became a sole purpose to the officials conviction. They would shove our food trays at us. Sometimes throwing it on the floor. They would spit in our food right in front of us. Refuse to let our mail go out. We would get sick after we ate, or sometimes become so drowsy we would pass out right after the meal, groggy with dry mouth knowing the odds of passing out the same time consistently right after we ate was not natural. The verbal harassment from threats to cutting our testicals off, to threats of killing us, threats of beating us in handcuffs, and even threats of setting us up was constant. Pelican Bay and Corcoran have been most known for abusing captive warriors as a means to exact their authority. At that time I was very fortunate to be cellies with a seasoned (vet). The key he told me is to always breathe, that allows you to keep your calm. As a youngster back then it was quite difficult to keep my composure and keep my impulse from acting without the benefit of intellect. But using his method trained a sort of calm in me to digest their negativity and give it back to them in moments of opportune. Soon I would become a freedom fighter... I would fight them every chance I got. If they beat me in handcuff one day I would lie in wait to execute my retribution the next... When I was sent to Corcoran SHU my reputation followed me from Pelican Bay. They immediately snatched me off the bus beat me bloody and threw me in a visiting room holding cell for over a week with no medical attention. Not once did I complain as they laughed and made jokes at my expense. Even when they used racial derogatories meant to incite and arouse I allowed myself to take it all in, store it, and use it as fuel to drive me to another level of numbness. Most of the ones using derogatories were Mexican officials. That was something I didn't understand. How could a fellow minority utter such nonsense when both our forefathers were victims of similar discrimination. Correctional officer or not, I just didn't understand that part. A year and a half had passed since that incident and Corcoran officials were thriving in their abuse. Many staff around here are famous for their abuse and cruelty to captive warriors. Oddly enough a lot of them like myself have slowed down and the young ones are now attempting to resuscitate how the old Corcoran officials once were. I would find my retribution from that beating off the bus in 2001. That year I was participating in Ramadan. I am (not) a Muslim but sometimes participate in Ramadan for the fasting to purge my body from any toxins I may have accumulated. Unfortunately this year was the year of the 9/11 tragedy. Because of this the officials began harassing all Muslims and/or people who they thought were Muslims because they participated in Ramadan. What started out as casual joking from the officials calling us terrorist, esculated into them putting American Flag stickers only on Ramadan participants window. To not feeding us at all for days at a time. We would literally have to fish food under the door from other captive warriors of all cultures because they witnessed and refused to accept the mistreatment we were being subjected to unsolicited. One day an official came to the cell front and said "I bet your hungry. You should pray to Allah to feed you." I really wanted to say to him; "You moron I'm not even Muslim, we probably pray to the same God." But the weirdest thing happened the cell front door to our cell opened right up and every thing those officials subjected me to from day one they received back tenfold. This pattern would repeat itself over and over for years. And yes I have the RVR-115's and 602 complaints to prove it. Though I have changed tremendously my past will not elude me. Today I promote positive change, self-reform and collective work and responsibility. But because many officials cannot get over who I once was they have made it their duty to subject me to not only isolation but subtle antics as a means to harm and influence an irrational response. Not long ago I was relocated to a building considered a disciplinary building for general population (GP) SHU-prisoners. The building itself houses predominately sensitive needs yard (SNY) prisoners who are doing SHU-terms. Because it's predominately SNY-SHU inmates they (officials) send us to this building knowing (we) captive warriors will get no support when the officials engage us with their abuse and/or harassment. Even though I have been disciplinary free for years... everyone around here who are captive warriors know that this building is considered a disciplinary building where officials get away with doing anything to captive warriors over here. By the way I'm the only African American in the section; that speaks for itself. The stories I have about Corcoran are endless. Because I've been in the SHU 16 years I'm well equipped to take you down many roads of this life where human decency has no home and where sensory deprivation and cruelty to human beings continue to thrive in the worse way. I look forward to sharing those stories with you all in the near future. May you all be well in P.E.A.C.E.- Respectfully, Ladaro Pennix

Author: Pennix, Ladaro J., II

Author Location: California

Date: October 17, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 8 pages

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