My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 14

Imagine being locked in your bathroom with a total stranger for two weeks.  That is the only way that I can describe this experience thus far.  Not horrible…but not exactly a lap of luxury.

The biggest surprise of the day was actually being called to medical for clearance so that I could finally get out of here.  It was a surprise because I was informed previously that the Doc only comes to the SHU on Fridays…and today was a Monday.  But, I’m guessing that the lockdown screwed up the schedule a bit.  I’m not going to complain.

First up was the dentist…just a basic examination; no cleaning, etc.  Then I was taken to a room where I met the infamous medical staff…there were several in the room, yet it was difficult to determine who was actually in charge.  One woman I gathered to be a nurse — she checked my vitals as well as took DNA (blood, you perverts) and fingerprints.  Another gentleman manned a computer, clicking checkboxes that would ultimately summarize my condition (or lack thereof).  The third gentleman I soon understood to be the Doc…primarily because he seemed the most happy…and he did the least amount of work.  And he kind of looked like Kenny Powers.

He asked me if I had any hallucinations while in the SHU, etc., to which I replied, “the only hallucinations involved being stuck in a bathroom with a total stranger…did that really happen?”  He chuckled and then walked out of the room.  He did say prior to his exit that we was going to “type a little e-mail” to get me out of here.  Thank God.

I’ve noticed a common occurrence while visiting with the medical staff or any other professionals that didn’t seem to spend permanent time at this facility.  They would always ask me if I came up from the nearby camp (as opposed to the medium-low facility which I have actually been designated).  I suppose that they are judging me as they see me, but one thing that I’ve learned in life is that people can surprise you…and first impressions aren’t always accurate.  While maybe my overall profile is suitable for the camp, my specific crimes wouldn’t allow me to enter the camp as a first point of entry…but that’s not to say that I can’t get there eventually.  I just have to mind my Ps and Qs and stay out of trouble.  We are all held here on some sort of system called Custody Points (this hasn’t yet been fully explained to me); the general idea is that based on your background, crimes, length of sentence, etc., you are assigned a certain number of points.  One of three things can happen with those points:  1) they can remain the same if you basically do your time but without contributing to the prison or attempting to “rehabilitate” yourself…thus keeping your here at this facility;  2) the points can go higher if you consistently get into trouble or are charged with more crimes…thus shipping you out to a higher-security facility; and finally, 3) your points can be lowered if you find a job, stay out of trouble, enroll in various programs, etc., which would then allow you to request a lesser security facility…or even a same level of security in a more desirable geographic area.

When I was returned to the SHU, I learned that the lockdown had been called off and we were soon receiving our regular hot meals again (this time, spaghetti) as opposed to the frozen bologna sandwiches that we first received at the onset of the lockdown.

Tonight, I read Jack London‘s “White Fang” from cover to cover.  I had read it when I was much younger as part of required reading in, maybe, the 7th grade, but I can’t imagine that I fully appreciated it for what it was.  There is so much of it to admire — from the daring and exciting opening, to the majority of the novel told from the wolf’s perspective, and to the charming and heartwarming finale.  A must read, especially, for animal lovers…


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