Them versus us

Higgins, Charles



"Them Versus Us" by Charles Higgins As I begin with this detailed narritive, there's a reason why I go all the way back to the very beginning. I want the reader to understand why, without losing their direction. Yet, with that same thought in mind, I would rather show you that this isn't an extraordinary event. It happens more often than people would like to believe. For myself, infamy had come well before the case that sent me to prison this time had even happened. Although I'd be a fool to lie and say that it didn't solidify that ill-perceived image of me. Yet, I'm not here to talk about my case, that has already been done enough by the media. If you choose to, you can search that for yourself by typing my name and state into Google. I would much rather go on to tell you what happened after I was sentenced. I was moved to be classified at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. I was placed on a short-term observation unit where long-term violent offenders and those in violation of conditional release would go at the time. There were four seperate units with two zones per unit. Each zone had at least thirty-two inmates, if there was no overflow (i.e., inmates being housed on the floor). An inmate would have no contact with seperate units, and the two zones would only be able to interact at meals or recreation. Now if you haven't researched my name and state yet, I'll go ahead and tell you some of what you'll find as it pertains to the story. First of all, I'm an Almighty Latin King. Secondly, I was one of the highest ranking officials in the state at the time of my arrest and conviction. Being an organization member is common enough in street life in general, and those odds double in prison. The Mississippi Department of Corrections already knew everything about me. Regardless of what was all over the media, one of my co-defendants had written to Commissioner Christopher Epps (before he was found guilty of his own crimes "Google it"), about his own fears for telling on me before we got sent to prison. I had two co-defendants and they both told on me to varying degrees. As I was located in Section One on Zone B, the administration at MDOC found it within them to house the co-defendant who didn't write his fears to Commissioner Epps on Zone A. Remember, there were four seperate units, each with two zones. Now I've been in and out of the system long enough to realize that this was a set up. Let us even go out on a limb here and say that this was purely coincidental. An oversight perhaps at an overpopulated place with barely any review. He left three days after I had arrived, so maybe we could reasonably assume that. A month later I was moved to Unit 720 at the same facility. This unit had six buildings with two zones in each one, a hundred inmates per zone. Never mind the fact that there are three state facilities and at least fifteen regionals and/or private facilities within MDOC. Of all the locations they had to choose from, they chose to house us right next door to each other. He was in B1 and I was in B2. Coincidence? I doubted it then and I doubt it even more today. Now they have a fence up separating the areas of the buildings for when they go to the rec yard, but at the time, it was one whole yard where everyone met. No where to run and no where to hide. I won't lie and say that I didn't want to do something to him, or even that I didn't think about it. For me, it confirmed my own suspicions that MDOC did this intentionally. To set me up or him, it didn't matter which. Some may still think that I'm crazy thinking like this, but you probably won't by the time that I finish this story. Having the time to think, and the determination to see clearly, were the only things to save him from me doing something to him. In my eyes, the way that I had grown up on, a snitch is a snitch. Yet I can also understand the degree of it and it's entirety, why he did it. I knew that the other co-defendant, the one who wrote to Commissioner Epps, was the one who told on both of us. All this fool did was inevitably confirm it, telling on me and himself. Now you're going to have fights in prison without a doubt! If you're affiliated in an organization, like I am, on occasion you will fight whole groups of other affiliations. We're in prison and there is a lot of misunderstanding and whatnot. Yet more often than not, one will find themselves fighting among their own affiliation, regardless of which one it is. In 2016, almost four years after my conviction, was the first time that I was stabbed. I was in the chow hall and I got hit about seven or eight times by one of my own. It was all superficial wounds from me fighting it off, as I beat up the one person who was wielding the homemade prison knife. I was taken to a quick medical visit at the nurses station and let go because I refused to cooperate. No inquiry or movement, it was all swept under the rug because I made no complaint. Why should I make a complaint? It's not how prison works. It'll do me no good and it's not my style. Unfortunately, I've got to live in prison for my own poor choices, and you see how well that worked out for my co-defendant. I refuse to live it looking over my shoulder in a place well known for it's personal retribution. In Mississippi, if you don't make a problem, no one else will bother too either. The second time came a few months later, this time coming back from the chow hall at breakfast. I got stabbed about five times before the poorly made knife broke and I was able to fight off two of my own affiliation members. There were no guards, I fought and I fought for my my life. I've been doing it all my life. No stab wounds were deep, so I let it heal and kept my mouth shut. The third time came a few months later, again. I couldn't win, no matter how hard I tried. There was four of them, each with a knife made from the crude materials everyone and anyone can manufacture in prison. The only thing that I could do was fight to keep them from stabbing out my eyes. I was hit mostly in the back of the head by one guy. I was airlifted out of there to the hospital. A few weeks later, after my release from the hospital, they bring me back to the same prison and hold me in a temporary medical cell. The Criminal Investigative Division brings me out to question me and it goes nowhere because "I swear, I don't know who did it." They had four or five Latin Kings on lockdown, waiting for me to tell on them. Regardless that some are taking a personal interest in trying to kill me, I refuse to give them a reason. I know how vindictive people in prison are, and the ones who run it. They were all in lockdown because one of those hard asses told on the others. MDOC wasn't satisfied. I had to go back to a few medical visits to Unit 720. Once, they put me on the zone with the one who got me in the back of the head who they let off of lockdown when I refused to tell. They were trying to set me up, again.

Author: Higgins, Charles

Author Location: Mississippi

Date: May 21, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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