The life of a Texas prisoner

Cox, Don



The Life of a Texas Prisoner December 2001 12-21-2001 Perhaps you have wondered what it must be like to be in a Texas prison. Let's face it: the food is bad, never hot living conditions, health care, television programs sports or very violence, t.v shows. We are subject to harsh treatment by prison staff, and face extreme violence from other prisoners. I can tell you first hand it is no fun. Prison life is very stressful. There are long lines to wait in eg chow, commissary, neccessity, pill-window, mailroom most are outside when it is 10 degrees or 0 degrees You have to stand in that line to get into the chowhall, or commissary or the mailroom. Then there are unwanted cellies you have to shack with, televisions we at time can't hear or at other times it is way to loud. There is mail call anxieities hoping you will get a letter from home or a friend or word about your case, etc We get almost no quite time and never no real privacy eg. The noise we have to put with 24 hours a day are: steel door slamming, officers keys rattling, steel locker box door slamming - which scare you half-to-death Inmate yelling over some type of sports event, dominoes slamming. Officers yelling out over the intercom: get really for chow - take your cups and spoons at 3AM - drop for chow, so and so you have a visit or for kitchen workers or maintenance workers turn out for work. School or vocation get ready at 4 am and at 4:45 drop for school or 4:45 vocation at 6 am count time get up and be at the door with your i-d. 8 am count is now clear drop for day room, outside rec, or inside gym. 8:15 school turn out get ready for pill window at 2 am drop for pill window at 2:45 am or at 5:30 am all janitor report to work. This list could go on and on. This is done 24 hours a day. Living in prison in extremely close quarters is really hard eg....just a lot of men with a lot of noise - bad sounds and bad smells. Most T.D.C.J units do not a/c - as for me i am glad - but others cant handle the high heat, trying sleeping in 90 degrees to 110 degree heat is almost impossible. To cool down you use an old prison trick. Get a empty plastic bag and fill it full of ice and put it on you. The only problem is if you dont have any money to buy a plastic bag you sweat. However the jaintors sell the bags and ice to the biggest and toughest inmates. They but it and sell it to others for a really big profit. If you do not have any money they exchange bags of ice for sex. Bend over or drop to your knees. Prison life is full of stress. Researchers in the past have likened living in prison to high-stress, high-stakes environment as college athletics, Wall Street brokerages and even battlefields. While no one would call being in prison the modern day Battle of Verdun. it is so much of a stretch to see how the common, and annoying frustrations we deal with here day to day can coalesce and have adverse effects on our health. Prolonged exposure - 30 plus years - to high levels of stress has been liked to all sorts of malodies -- hypertension, heart failure, stroke, going crazy - you name it. It is also known to cause changes in mood, making you cranky, aggressive, anxious, or depressed. However did you know stress also effects such basic cognitive functions as attention and short-term memory? I remember asking myself how the hell did I get here? I am not a wimp or am I a cry baby. However all I am doing is stating a honest and true correct report of life behind razor wire and concrete walls. Who's to say the punishment fits the crime, when the people doing the sentencing has no earthly idea how it feels to be locked away in prison for a long time. Does the judge, D.A, sheriff, police, jury board of pardon and parole, governor, or anyone see how a person changes overtime? Some of us are truly very remorseful for the problems we have caused not to mention the great cost we have cost the taxpayers . Whether in prison or on the streets of suburbia all humans have imperfections. We all have our flaws. There is one thing that is needed inside prisons throughout the world and that is to help reform inmates, and it would be a enormous benefit to society as a whole. Why? Maybe some of us who do get out can help others before they head down the wrong path. Just like the good witch helped Dorothy in The Wizard of OZ. She told Dorothy to follow the Yellow Brick Road to get back home. You may not want to belief this coming from a so called Low Life, scumbag dirtball, Texas inmate but there is goodness inherent in some of us housed in state and federal prison. Sometimes I actually feel buried alive in here. All I just about do is eat and sleep. There is so much we could do eg fight fires, build the mexico and U.S. wall - but are not allow outside to do anything. Our minds are stagnated with a whole lot of wasted time We have 3,600 seconds in a hour 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day to sit and watch on television: hund if not thousands of men, women, and children getting shot, raped, stabbed and etc etc. Yet we are forbidden by T.D.C.J to have just one education channel. Were the mind goes the person follows good or bad. Many moons ago a state senator walked through a Texas prison said, "Wow! look at all these men just laying around waiting to die. What such a wastes! We all live and function in a world based on and judged by our appearance - we must never judge by the eye but by the heart - we create categories and labels as we judge one another. Friend always look at your own moccasin tracks first before you speak of another faults. We also make tidy little explanations in life for our own failures or mistakes never just admitting we our humans. Offenders that do get out of prison are instantly labeled, ex-cons, trash, lowlife, scumbags, dirtballs, misfits, outcast, career criminals, and etc. For the most part they despise us. They think that we are 100% worthless, dangerous and in no way capable of changing our old sinful ways. They are shamed of us afraid of us and would love to forget about us. Who in the world would want to give a job to an ex-con? We are at the very bottom of the social ladder. Like the bottom of a well used out-house with no ladder to get out. Dejected, courage, and confidence gets lost along the way with a mingled blend of not knowing how to get back on one's feet. It is the hardest thing in the world to do try putting yourself in some elses shoes. Spent 10-30 years locked away in a prison and get out with no family no friends no help, no job, no money no car, no food or no clothes and no place to go but back to the streets. Wow you try it! Being locked a way in prison the whole wide world moves on but you do not. Time is weird in prison because you do not see a lot of change. You are stuck in what ever year it was when to came to prison eg. the things that was going on in year 2001 - the year I came to prison - is not the same as 2017. The celler phones have change electric cars, internet the way you buy things and etc. Facts. I am wrongfully convicted of my charge but I do not expect you or anyone to take my word for it. If I could get a new trial all my evidence will be heard this time. The media made me out to be someone I am nothing like at all The Waller newspaper said "Killer sentenced to 99-years in prison" The court left out very important facts and made up an entirely different story at the end. All my evidence should have been heard the first time they got a lot of facts wrong and that changes history. Because people believe everything they either hear or read in the newspaper or see on television! Noone should be able to fabricate stories of what they believed might have happen and ignore all the real and true evidence! If I would not have been intoxicated I would in no way be writing this or be in prison. Alcohol is a very poisonous and a very dangerous drug yet is 100% legal. Why? Money! Alcohol manufactures are getting by with "murder" but if I can help make a real difference in prison and in the world while I am fighting for my own life. It has been said, that alcohol enable people to get the best looking men or women or alcohol makes you the life of the party or alcohol makes you do things better. No! No! it does not. But it does make you less ashamed of doing things badly or doing bad things. Alcohol depresses people's convictions and removes the restraints that goven behavior. Alcohol frees individuals to behave in ways that are 100% destructive and damaging to themselves and to others the commitments to do what is right and avoid what is harmful and destructive is blurred and distored. Seeing the beauty of decency and purity vanishes care and concern for others is lost in the fog of forgetfulness and harm and injustice replace what was once right and just. Although there are many who would defend the use of alcohol in the final analysis it is defenseless! Sorry for the sloppy handwriting

Author: Cox, Don

Author Location: Texas

Date: December 21, 2001

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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