The culture of the cheats

Convict, John Q.



The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) Hamilton College 198 College Hill Road Clinton, New York 13323 23 November 2014 Re: Essay Based Upon First-Hand Experience Subject: The Culture of the Cheats Dear APWA, Greetings to you. I am writing this communication as a result of your interest in first hand prison related experience. I tend to write about a lot of issues so related but this one will be my first for your organization which I am also returning a completed questionnaire which I will point out that when I put N/A it means not answering for privacy issues or because of complications in relation to the question. Respectfully submitted P.S. If you would like more, do feel free send another APWA information sheet about the subject matters of essays. The Culture of the Cheats After spending a substantive amount of time in prison on multiple terms I have noted a culture of cheating that seems to be an accepted way of getting ahead. The propagation of such is not just by the prisoners who have adopted such practices, but also the officials and rank in file staff who will use fraud and artifice to deceive training advisory committees (TAC) that each warden is mandated to establish. Every so often correctional staff are provided a written examination relative to what is termed in service training (IST) which typically dealing with job-required training, job related training, upward-mobility training and career-related training which is for the purpose of public employees developing the skills, knowledge and abilities required of state employees. Only in numerous cases a test or examination is provided to employees who are able to complete at their leisure without any supervision. Presumptive so that these staff will study and become familiar with changes in laws, regulations and procedures as they become applicable to their duties or post. Instead many of these public employees will obtain the answers from fellow employees as a result of what has become a shiftless indolent practice that circumvents the purpose of the education, instruction and discipline of these public servants. The same shiftless indolent practices this writer has noted in correctional staff likewise appear in prisoners who have even sought to try to encourage this writer to participate in such dishonesty and deception which this writer rejects because it defeats the purpose of the pursuit of acquiring knowledge, skills and insight as a result of study and instruction. It's like no one or more accurately only a few will actually seek to gain useful insights and knowledge gained only through proper instruction and experience. This writer cannot understand why so many will eschew the ability to become informed and acquainted with the details that these prisoners are exposed to in educational and vocational programs in the penal system. This writer has watch prisoners obtain a list of the answers to an exam or test from other prisoners who do not see as the use of fraud and artifice deliberately employed for the purpose of gaining unfair advantage, it is typically seen as helping out a homeboy or ones people a practice that can create an unsafe environment. This writer sees this dishonesty in both categories of people in distinctly different positions the public employee who has a fundamental duty to serve the community by safeguarding lives and property, protecting the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder, respecting the constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality and justice only to find that these upstanding public servants when tested under controlled environment will not demonstrate the required proficiency in knowledge and understanding because just like many of the prisoners they are charged with supervision lack the proper familiarity or conversance or general erudition relative to particular subjects in training categories which at times become quite obvious but the state will never admit its errors irrespective the fact that when one lacks a real knowledgeable understanding of a particular occupation, business, or profession because of indolence and grudging ineptitude as a result of lack of strong impulse or inclination to actually follow an activity particularly, a function or station because of sheer adverse disinclination to do any activity that actually requires the exertion of ones mental faculties assuming that one should be able to get a check even though they don't know the job. This sadly is emulated by those confined because for some strange reason its's not seen as cheating. I sadly have spent many a year in the California prison system. Not per se that I am such a bad guy in my own opinion of myself. But instead I am a product of the environments I have been subjected which in the opinions and estimations of the law enforcement the perception is quite violently natorious which to be quite franks the result of what this writer was exposed to as a child growing up in South Central Los Angeles in the sixties. Do not by any means assume that I seek to make excuses for my circumstances or conditions such is not my purpose yet this writer wants to expound on the bias and prejudice that on several occaisions were exhibited by those charged with the duty of protecting and serving. Imagine a seven year old outside playing and Los Angeles police officers pulling up to the curb and say "come ere nigger boy" and one looks at them like who are you talking too? Looking around not understanding that it's you a child that's hated simply because of the color of your skin. Then as one began to grow over the years these same public servants begin to pick this writer up place him in handcuffs. Drive him across town and drop him off after taking him in an alley slapping him around only to drop him close to another group of kids hollering out some gang epitaph which results in the other kids chasing this writer as he fought his way back to the area he lived. These representatives of the government used to systematically follow and watch at a distance while they laughed and found amusement in this writer's adversity. Several times have members of the L.A.P.D's [77th?] street division pulled such stunts to promote the ire among the petty tribalist whose hood (neighborhood) this writer was set loose in as prey for predatory packs, which as a byproduct caused one to not only become proficient with his hands but hardened to the necessity of being a well respected scrapper and sometimes called upon by others when the going got tough. This writer according to official court transcripts is said to feel no pain! Yet no one concerned themselves with the obvious fact that it was the intent of law enforcement to inflict pain on this writer who tended to change his reaction to such infliction into anger and belligerence which provided berserkers strength to counter the physical force being employed by those clothed in the authority of the state who presumed that the possession of a tin badge was to automatically invoke compliance and fear in this writer. The fact that it did not posed a challenge to some who figured it would be their mission to try to break this writer only to come to realize that I was not going to be an easy task and then the opposite began to manifest in that this writer because he would not break he became a major cause of apprehension and fear since it was believed that he would not wait for God to exact his vengeance but would readily rise in self defense of himself and others began to do the same which as of a result over the years resulted in this writer spending a long time confined in just about if not all forms of lock down in the [asu/shu/mcu?] that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have devised. This however this writer must emphasize does not make him a bad guy, it simply demonstrate that one can be honed through adversity with the capacity to resist abuse and as of a result become a magnet of sorts to law enforcement with the propensity to abuse the authority of the state. This writer as of a result has become a man of particular principal and mettle who after so many years come to see this new breed of so called active security threat group members the new California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations term it uses to label primarily self professed gang members in this day and age of 2014 which according to article ID "classification" section [83378?] "Documentation of Critical Case Information" subsection (c) "Gang Involvement" allegations. Which in this day and age anyone can be a gang member from the most hardened to the softest. Homosexuals to informants and it has become customary for prisoners to freely tell this to prison officials "I'm an active gang member" which is then reflected on a CDC form 812-A and at some point institutional gang investigators will pull these [cats?] and interrogate them wittedly and unwittedly in an effort to further fill their intelligence files with the information they gather in the course of their questioning. Normally to validate a prisoner it takes three (3) independent sources of information or items that are supposed to contain factual information which you guess it usually is "self-admission" "tattoo's" and then these characters tell on their own associates/members or write some stupid stuff on a wall naming all their homeys or even putting such stupid stuff on paper and sending it out in their mail to be photocopied by investigators or kept in their personal property to be found during a search such as material that is deemed as documents evidencing gang activity such as membership and or enemy lists, constitutions, organizational structures, codes and training material "gosh sounds like a law enforcement training manual" only its relative supposedly to specific gangs. How ironic that its basically in most cases the result of self admittance or one of a so-called homey telling an investigator what he wants to hear. This is what makes individuals become caught up in the circle of security threat group (STC) per is [CCR &3375?] "classification process" subjection (g) which is documented on a CDC form 128-6. Classification chrono as enemy, gang, or disruptive group [concerns?]. In addition 15 CCR [&3375?].2 "administrative determinates" subsection (h)(9)(ENE) and (h)(11)(GAN) administrative determinates being included in ones classification. The CDCR collects intelligence on prisoners in multiple ways in California, however the most prominent is the prisoners capacity to tell on himself for the illusive promise of belonging for some sense of mysterious security by this numbers something Ghengis Khan demonstrated in 1200's in meaningless against determined forces. Then some expect others to fight their battles for them because they are to [craven?] to deal with it on their own, and lack the capacity to stand on their own two feet. This writer has grown up around many of the recognized urban terrorists of South Central that were for the most part feared and held in awe by guys who never really had to become proficient in unarmed combat but are quick to try to gang up on one that they can intimidate or sneak up on yet scared to death of law enforcement. This writer has observed the characteristics of pack animals on nature and national geographic and the nature of many of the so called gang members that this writer comes in contact typically has the nature of the hyena. Bold in a group when the prey appears to be weak or insured but quick to tuck its tail and break wide when someone can pose a real possibility of a threat to their own personal well being and security becomes obvious. Law enforcement and correctional officials and staff are quite familiar with the type and know that they can typically use these individuals to their advantage in the collection of intelligence on others til one outlives his usefulness or become compromised then they are simply moved to a new location or fresh turf to be used some more unless the character are so exposed for being an agent provacateur that they become fearful for their life and has an enemy under every rock. In the course of this writers confinement there has been times in which law enforcement/correctional officials/staff have tried to sick their agent provocatieurs (AP's) on this writer because he has incurred official ire however due to the nature of the predators who finds that the prey presents a more significant danger to the AP than the said is willing to risk, the problem then devolves back into the hands of the handlers creating a situation that even though this writer is well over an half century but still possess the physical ability thus a challenge. When the AP backs up, then the only other thing that is done is an attempt is made to locate a new crash dummy or the official/staff will have to manufacture some misconduct violation to lock this writer down. Over the years lots of lock down administrative segregation (ASU) security housing unit (SHU) and management control unit (MCU) time has been spent in the California prison system which this writer unlike see's as only another location of confinement in which one is less likely to be coerced or influenced by privileges. This writer is one of the few who have elected to alleviate most means if not all of the coersion out of the hands of prison officials leaving the only means of harassment is by abusing human or state sponsored constitutional mandates which only as a by product worked to further insure that this writer became even more proficient in his understanding of statutes and procedures thereby easily being able to discern and identify abuse of authority under the color of law something that over two decades ago a judge opined that this writer had procured enough legal knowledge to become dangerous and some prison officials have taken the view that this writer lays in wait for their staff to make what is termed by them as a mistake and this writer will pounce on it. Efforts over several decades to try to categorize this writer as a prison/street gang member (Security Threat Group) (STG) fails miserably denying the attempt at justifying the continuous lock down of many of the last solid prisoners in California. From time to time attempts still occur, however for every action there is a reaction in which this writer has come to the understanding that he can fight on paper almost as proficiently as he can still physically and that writing is a very powerful tool which this writer incorporates the practice of writing in his daily activities in addition to reading, keeping both skills relatively honed. Which others in these confines focus their attention on nefarious activities that correctional officials can only wish that this writer would indulge but instead continues to pay attention to all that goes on in this unnatural environment which forces one to be around people with unsavory characteristics who seem to not have any for of honor about themselves and only care about trying to somehow "come up" as the idea of the capitalist ways and means has morphed into being. John Q. Convict

Author: Convict, John Q.

Author Location: California

Date: October 15, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 7 pages

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