Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Visiting Dodge Correctional Institution

My visitation on Saturday, February 26, 2011

(I decided I'd share a visit and possibly more in the future with the readers.)

  Today is my first day visiting “Jon Doe” at Dodge Correctional Institute ( DCI .) This is the first time I have ever even attempted to visit anyone in any prison system. This visit in particular has been overly anticipated.

  I have some rather large piercings that would set the metal detector off so I removed them before I left. This was a chore in itself. When the Dodge Correctional Institute was contacted about the piercings and the possibility of using a wand they said they “didn't have a wand” which I knew was a lie. The officers all use them while looking for contraband at any time needed, you even see them used by some random 'rent-a-security' at music events, but we all have to jump through hoops to get to where we want to be. I made sure I had the least amount of metal on me because, I guess, the rule is that you have three chances to pass through the walk through detector and if you fail, you have to leave the prison property.

  The drive up to Dodge Correction Institute took about as long as I expected. The snow was coming down harder and harder the closer we got. It doesn't bother me much, more of my worries are in others driving around me. It was pretty simple to get there. When you get close you see the watch towers, electric fence, razor wire and all. It is quite obvious you are at the prison. I then parked in the visitation area and went inside the lobby type building.

  Right when I walked into the building the buzzer on the metal detector was going off! It wasn't me walking through the door, it was another visitor walking through the metal detector who was setting it off. Then, they pulled out a metal detector wand and passed it over the guy. I obviously had thoughts running through my head (about them lying about not having a wand when they were directly contacted and questioned on the subject) but I just smiled inside and made a small quiet comment. They determined it was his fastener on his jeans. I assume at this time that they are trying to reveal illegal contraband because they told him he could not go in and instructed him on where he might find pants to buy locally that would pass. The other party in the same visitation, which I assume is his wife, had made it through and pleaded the case that they had never had problems before. By the looks of their age they were probably there to visit their son or maybe a relative or someone closer to their own age but I doubt older. No exceptions here, rejected, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I wanted to walk up and tell him a trick to pass through but I had already taken my own precautions to prevent something causing me from being denied, I didn't want something petty like that getting in the way of the visitation.

  After inside, you fill out a paper with the visitors info and inmate to visit, take a number and sit down. Yes, it felt like the DMV. When they call your number you go up and the visitors on the paper all show their I.D.'s. They then do whatever on the computer, I'm not catching some crazy charge for being curious but they are probably just checking to make sure everyone visiting is on the accepted list. Then you get your I.D. back and you are told to put all the extras you have on you in a locker. Next, you walk through the metal detector. I, as planned, passed right on through. After that you get a stamp on your hand. One which only shows up under a UV black light. I didn't exactly understand the reasoning to this at first. I suppose there is always the chance that someone, somehow, could sneak in without being approved. Next, I went through a door into another room where a guard was sitting behind glass and there was the black light right above me. After he glances to see that you have a stamp (mine just appeared at this time to be a rectangular smudged mess so I can't even tell you what it was) he buzzes you through the next door and I believe there was another door right after that which we got buzzed through.

  The last door led outside into a chain link fence hallway like thing to another gate, which someone, I'm assuming the previous guard, buzzes you through. On the outside of this fence hallway like thing are the electric fence lines. A lot like what you would see on a farm but I would guess they were at least twice the diameter. Probably more, this was just a glance at them. Also they were spaced quite close. Obviously, they do not want to make it easy to slide through for security reasons. I would say they were spaced evenly at about 8 inches apart, a body couldn't just slip through the lines as they are without getting a zap (I do not know what they run through these lines though I'd be curious on voltage and amperage just to get an idea.) The razor wire is still visible. Yes, I am definitely inside the prison walls but, we are now outside....

  I was a bit confused after walking through that last gate. I followed the path and there was a sign directing us to the visitation area. It went down a sidewalk along a road I assume they use to patrol and just plain get around the prison yard the easy way. I asked out loud but jokingly, “Where's the shuttle bus???” After a walk we got to the entrance. If I remember correctly we got buzzed in there too. I was a bit confused but assumed we were just on camera and our tax dollars pay for someone to sit and watch that camera and hit a button when they see someone there. Next is the choice of the stairs or the elevator to go up a floor. Just for others' information, if you are handicapped you are supposed to have an officer assist you on the short elevator lift. Then a door with a light switch. You turn on the light switch to have someone come and let you in. In my head I was thinking, “someone's wake up alarm was just turned on.”

  When the door is opened you enter a fairly large area of a wing in this prison maze. You are told a number to sit at. Each “table” to sit at consists of a small generic looking coffee table and a group of chairs. One chair is sitting on the far side, it is a dark brown chair with a number on it, on the opposite side are a few other lighter colored beige chairs. The dark one with the number on it is meant for the inmate and the other light chairs are for the visitors.

  On the coffee table like thing is a list of rules. One of them says the inmate is responsible for cleaning the table even though the inmate can't go and get anything from the vending machines during the visit, and in the end, has to be the first to leave. Nearly an oxymoron. It almost seems as they can't really leave their seat until the visitation is over. The obvious idea to me is they do not want any exchanges happening.. drugs, money, cell phone, whatever contraband... When it comes down to it, if anyone had half a brain, they could pass whatever when all the officer's were sitting in there area far off to the corner, joking, laughing, not paying any attention to anything other than their conversation. But, don't forget the two dome cameras on two of the four corners of this large visitation area. The people watching those probably catch most of the passes caught during a visitation. The officers on the floor were acting like the old kids on the playground during recess while in school. Please, if you call your job a profession, then act professional, otherwise just move out of the way for a person that is willing to be the professional that you are not.

  So when he came out he had just gotten finished with Rec. Let's just say when he went in he weighed around 170lbs and when he came to the table he said he had just weighed himself after Rec at 206lbs. I could see it when he walked up. He gained weight and it wasn't fat. That was obvious by how he walked, sat and composure in general. It probably helped that right after Rec he got a 2 hour visitation. Great time to relax! You may look at this and think to yourself that this person is already institutionalized and just preparing to hold his own. This was far from the case. Think, if the only free time you have during the day is about 50 minutes in a gym like scene you would probably make the most use of it. You can play basketball and hope that you become the next prison pro, you can play volleyball and try to place yourself in the US volleyball team and dream about the Olympics, you can walk your laps to work off calories during this time and talk to others walking. The only other choice is you can put the time to use and gain health through working out your body that you were probably neglecting before hand.

  The visitation went fast. Maybe because it was my first time in an institution that size and actually how long it has actually been since I seen him. It was a lot to take in. I caught myself just staring at him with my mind wondering numerous times. Anyways, it seemed like the short county jail visitation was comparable to this much longer two hour visitation at Dodge Correctional Institute which in reality was far longer. Time flew by.

  He had to get up to leave first for some reason. I could see a possible security reason but I had seen many much larger holes in the security. Then we got up and met an officer at the door who opened it with a large prison key. It was basically the same procedure going back through all the gates and doors. When we got to the “black light” we had to show our stamp again. This is where I started to understand the stamp more. For security reason's this would be a simple attempt at keeping inmates from somehow sneaking out with visitors. This security measure is definitely a weak one. As I said before, it was just a smudged mess which could easily be recreated. Just another measure to keep the average person satisfied when it comes to the security of the prison.

  I found myself immediately thinking about when I could possibly come see him again. The time just went by too fast, I haven't seen him in quite a while, he spends almost all day locked up so his visitation time is like a vacation from that cell... I was ready to go back to visit already yet I was just leaving from the first visitation.

  When we were leaving it was still snowing. It had been snowing the whole time. The roads weren't perfect but they weren't as bad as some people made it seem while they were driving down the same road. Even with these conditions, the ride seemed to just fly by. I don't know if it was all the thoughts inside my head or what... I still really don't know where the time went to this moment.

~ “3rd Party”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Many Slurs... Much of Racism.

Written on Friday, January 28. 2011,

   I woke up exhausted today. I tossed and turned all night because my cellmate didn't turn off the lights until about 3:00 AM. Now he wants to talk at 6:30 AM. What the fuck?! I just want some sleep!!...

   I got some sleep before the swamper came around doing linen exchange (sheets and pillow case.) I made my bed nice and neat and went to lunch. After lunch my cellmate got yelled at by our C.O. for messing around in the hall, talking to other inmates and trying to pass something. After checking his file and seeing he has had prior incident summaries, she decided to write him up. Too bad he only got his Rec period taken for five days, now I get to deal with him working out in here instead. Not to mention, he'll sleep during the day more, keep me up more and plain out piss me off more. Oh yeah, there isn't even five Recs before he's leaving so he got off easy. Now he's reading aloud while I'm writing. I wonder if I hit him in the mouth, just once, if I could get away with it? I might find out soon enough.

   Now it's cell clean up time and of course my cellmate got yelled at for trying to talk to the guy across the hall. Then, when the C.O. shut and locked the door, he sat at the trap door talking shit about her. I doubt he'll ever learn. I'm going to try to read my book until dinner. I don't think there is any mail today because it's a staff furlough day.

   I guess I was wrong. Mail was just delivered, but I of course didn't get any. I forgot to write yesterday that I got a letter from my Mom and Dad. Without them I don't know where I would be. Probably dead. But still, no mail from any of my friends.

   Tonight my cellmate was being disrespectful to the swamper, calling him “cracker” and “child molester.” Finally the swamper snapped and told my cellmate he was “an ignorant fucking nigger.” Well, needless to say, this set my cellmate off. He was yelling out the door about “Fuck this boot camp! I'm gonna beat that nigga's ass in the mornin'!” Apparently the swamper's daughter was raped when she was thirteen, so he didn't take well to the child molester comment too well. It took about an hour before the two of them decided to drop the whole thing. The C.O. Let me come out and play cribbage with the swamper for an hour and a half. Then we locked down for the night. I made some noodles and kool-aid. Now I'm going to lay down, read my book and hopefully get some sleep. Until tomorrow....

~J. Doe

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Step Closer...

...more writings from January 27, 2011

  Later, after chow, I sat here reading some magazines I picked up in the library.  Once 5:30 PM head count was finished the swamper came and asked if I knew how to fold laundry.  By chance, I was a laundry trustee at Rock County Jail last year for a couple of months.  Long enough to learn how to fold a lot of laundry fast.  So, the C.O. came and let me out of my cell to fold laundry.  Both the C.O. and the swamper said if I work out they'll let me out to help every night.  I get to listen to the radio while doing something active.  It passes time much faster.  Not to mention, it's one step closer to becoming the next swamper too.

  I helped him until 8:45 PM when we have to lock down for shift change, head count and lights out.  I made some noodles quick for a snack and laid down to read after head count.  Of course my damn cellmate slept most of the day so he decided to stay up most of the night doing God-knows-what.  Sometimes, I just want to slap the shit out of him, but, I remind myself that I only have fifteen months to go... and he should be leaving next week.

~J. Doe

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Typical Day? Who Knows?

Written on Thursday, January 27, 2011

  Today has been a typical day so far.  After breakfast the swamper came and told my cellmate and I that we had library passes for 2:30 PM and put us down on the list for Rec.  When I went to Rec. today, one of the usual guys I work out with wasn't there, but his cellmate was, so he motivated me and pushed me to an extreme.  I felt like I was about to pass out, but he said I worked harder today than he's seen the whole time we've been working out.  I'm glad.  I should see some serious progress if I keep it up!

  After Rec. we had showers, but since my cellmate wanted to be loud, we showered last.  He's always doing something that I end up getting punished for so the swamper is working on switching my cellmate for someone else.  He said, "G-Class confidential movement in progress."  LOL!  (Basically this swamper is referring to "G-Class" as "gangsta class" or "G" shortened for those a little lost)

  When I came back from lunch I couldn't find my cellmate.  I was kind of curious where he went.  Apparently, he was being loud in the chow line saying, "Niggas ain't fuckin' wit' me!" and a C.O. pulled him to the side and said they were going to write him up.

  He said, "Go ahead, I'll fight it."

  So, the C.O. sat him at one of the front tables and had a Captain (White Shirt) come talk to him.  He walked away with a verbal warning and they told him to watch who he's saying that around, some people get offended by it.

  Now I plan to read until head count and then until 2:30 PM when we go to the library.

~J. Doe

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Family Support Feels Good

...finishing the writings of January 26, 2011

  At 7:15 PM I got to make my call home.  It was nice to talk to my Mom.  It's always nice to hear from someone you care about.  She said everyone is doing well at home and she asked if my sister was approved for visitation as she'd like to come visit this weekend with my parents as long as the weather was decent. I let her know my sister was approved, then asked how my brother was doing.  She said he had some job offer near Middleton.  Apparently it's for a CNC machinist related position, which is his specialty, but the distance is the problem.  I know he hated driving back an forth from Madison for his last job, but hell, if they paid me enough I'd drive wherever.

  My brother was originally the one who asked if I was interested in doing some sort of daily log noting how everyday life is in the Wisconsin Prison System.  I thought it was a great idea and just recently started, while figuring I'd only have a small amount to write about every day.  Well, after starting this and writing daily for only five days, I've realized there is a lot more to write about than I thought.  I just want to be as descriptive as possible so anyone who reads this can get a full visualization of how it's like in here.  I just hope my brother can keep up with typing these for me.  I'm sure I have much more free time to be writing than he does. 

  If anyone has any questions for me please feel free to post any questions and I will respond to them as soon s I receive them.  Or, if you'd like to write to me personally I'd enjoy having a pen pal to communicate with. 

(His address was given but this was before he was told I felt it important to keep it more anonymous.  If you are really interested in writing you can contact me and if I don't see any reason not to give his address information to you I'd be more than happy to offer it.  email:  facebook:  or twitter:   ~ "3rd Party")

  I'd like to let my brother know how much I appreciate him posting my logs for me as I know it will be time consuming.  I hope somebody takes some kind of interest in reading these as well.  I'm not quite sure if something like this would be interesting to other people or not, or if my writing style is even interesting enough.  I guess we'll have to see...  For now I'm going to read some of my book before I call it a night.  Until tomorrow...

~ J. Doe

Friday, February 18, 2011

Exploited Artist? or a Bogus Cellmate?

...a bit more written on Wednesday, January 26, 2011...

  They passed out mail after cell clean-up earlier, didn't get any and honestly didn't expect any either.  I suppose one day when I get something I'll enjoy it that much more due to the surprise involved.  I signed up for a phone call at 7:15 PM.  We only get one per week on A&E status.  Hopefully they have some good news at home... Until then, I am going to cook some noodles and have a cup of coffee.

  Well, while my noodles were cooking and I was standing at my sink having a cup off coffee both of the 2nd Shift C.O.s came to my door and opened our cell door.

  I looked at them and said, "What's up?"

  They replied with "I don't know, you tell me, you spoke first."  I stood there silent wondering what this was all about.  Then they said they were looking for an artist.

  I said "Huh?

  They repeated, "We're looking for an artist, someone who is good at art and can draw."

  So, I turned and asked if they meant the writing and drawing on the wall.  They said that's what they were talking about and wanted to know if I had anything to do with it.  I said, "That was all here before I got here."

  But, of course, they replied saying "No it wasn't, we document any sort of that stuff and there isn't anything about that.  So, how about we get you boys some cleaning supplies and you two can scrub that off so we don't have to document this as being yours."

  Sounded good to me, I sat here and watched my cellmate clean the walls while I wrote about it.  Like I said, I didn't do it, I'm not cleaning it up.  My cellmate didn't dispute this for obvious reasons.  Now he's in the hall scrubbing doors, working his way down the hall.  Doing his best to save face in front of his boys, telling them, "I'm just cleaning for something to do"  I swear, I don't think he's stopped lying since he started to talk.

~J. Doe

I said, "I can't draw without a pencil."  My cellmate opted to tell

Being Gay is Contagious?

Written on Wednesday, January 26, 2011...

  It's been a typical day for the most part.  I signed up to be a swamper, so when our swamper leaves, maybe I can get the position.  It's nothing special really, but it helps pass time and I'm sure it can't hurt for when I get staffed.

  I forgot to mention, I received a visitation list yesterday.  This one included my sister.  So now, both my Mom, Dad and sister are on it.  Maybe they'll come visit this weekend.

  For some reason I was really tired today and managed to fall back asleep after breakfast and sleep until lunch.  After lunch I read for a while and then we did clean-up around 2:00 PM.  The C.O. working 2nd shift today isn't a usual unit worker.  So, he felt the need to do cell inspections during clean up and took our chip bags that my cellmate and I use to cook noodles in.

  Fifteen minutes after clean-up was Rec. from 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM.  While we were at Rec., our other C.O. decided to full cell searches.  They tore our bunks apart and searched our property lockers.  They took anything they felt was unauthorized property.  Including my paper bag I kept all my paperwork in and the salt packets the nurse gave me.  The bag was gone, but I showed them my paperwork from the H.S.U. for the salt and tylenol that the nurse gave me for my swollen tonsils a few weeks ago, so they gave they gave the salt packets back.  Later, I noticed they also took my empty peanut butter jar I used to mix my powdered milk in.  They can keep it, it's not worth the argument.

  At dinner a whole bunch of people were giving the swamper shit because he got a cellmate earlier.  Since his his cell only has one bunk the new cellmate has to sleep on a mat on the floor for now.  They were messing with him because the new cellmate is quite feminine, if not openly gay.  I think I might be one of the few people in here who is straight and has gay friends.  They act as if it's contagious.  I'm not going to get on that subject right now.  The last time I did, I argued with my cellmate for nearly two hours before giving up due to frustration.

~J. Doe

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dropping a Duece and Being Compassionate Towards Others.

...continuing from the writings of January 25, 2011

  Lunch time came before I could shower so I'm first after lunch.  I get a clean towel, wash cloth, underwear, t-shirt, socks and pants.  After showers we had head count and my cellmate got yelled at again for talking.  Then, I laid down, read a chapter in my book and took a short nap.

  I woke up around 2:00 PM and had to use the toilet (#2.)  So, I took a blanket and hung it on the end if the bunk to block the toilet from my cellmate.  Then I tied the sheet to the corner of the bunk and the other edge of the door to block the toilet from anyone looking in the door.  Next, I climb inside to handle my business, always remembering to flush once when I drop one.  It keeps the smell down.  When I was done I couldn't help but notice the 2nd shift C.O. was passing out mail but he conveniently passed my cell since neither my cellmate or I had any AGAIN today!

  Next was canteen distribution, nothing special.  Check your bag to be sure everything you ordered is in it and if it isn't all there you can refuse the whole order until next week or live with it.  Most will just live with it instead of not getting anything.  Sign your receipt and get your Inmate I.D. stamped on any envelopes you bought.

  Afterwards, I just played solitaire for an hour or so, at least until dinner.

  I tossed a bag of chips to the kid across the hall when we left to chow.  (As we have been told previously, sharing is now a no no. ~ 3rd party)  His family hasn't sent him anything so I figure $0.58 for some chips is the least I can do. 

  After chow I had some Ramen Noodles and chips to finish filling me up.  The swamper just came around filling up everyone's glass with ice so that's my cue to wrap this up and lay down while I read some more of my book.  I hope this is as interesting to everyone reading this as it's been for me logging it.

  Until tomorrow....

~J. Doe

Santa, the swamper, Bible study and 'Big Bubba' in the shower!

Writings of Tuesday, January 25, 2011

  Today during 6 AM head count , "Santa Clause", our usual first shift C.O., was doing his usual B.S.  Someone didn't wake up when he yelled 'standing count' so when he came to their cell door he decided to kick on it and yell at them to get their asses up for head count.  It's all fun and games until someone with a life sentence jumps or stabs him for scaring them half to death.

  After breakfast the swamper came around to make the Rec. list and both my cellmate and I signed up.  Rec is from 8:30 AM until 9:20 AM today.  The swamper also let me know I had Bible study in the West Chapel at 9:30 AM.  I'm going to have to rush down there since the building surrounds a half mile long hallway and the West Chapel is at the other end of it from here...

  Bible study was honestly quite enjoyable.  The Chaplain definitely knew how to apply the Bible study to the current real life situations letting everyone relate to it that much more.

  Afterwords I came back to my cell and got ready for showers since they had already started them.  For the record, 99% of the showers in the prison are NOT like they show in the movies.  We each have our own stall with a shower curtain and there isn't some guy named 'Big Bubba' hovering over you trying to take your manhood.  I'm not saying it hasn't ever happened to someone but, if it has, it was likely consensual.  Anyhow, we get 5 mins to shower.  So, get in, lather up, rinse off... no time to enjoy the hot water.

~J. Doe

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nervous About My Assessment and Evaluation Then We Throw A Staple Into the Mix!

..continuing from the writings of January 24, 2011

  I went to chow for dinner and had meat loaf, a bun, sweet corn, baked potato and sliced peaches.  At dinner a guy sitting at my table said he went to his P.R.C. (Program Review Committee) and got staffed today.  I asked him what he got staffed as and he told me, he got staffed as medium and will have to do 6 months before he can be reevaluated and go to minimum.  This is making me nervous now, since I've been told all this time, by all sorts of people, that I'd for sure go to a minimum.

  I'm currently serving an eighteen month prison sentence followed by twenty four months of extended supervision for felony OWI (5th offense.)  Now don't think anywhere here that I may be minimizing or glamorizing over the seriousness of my offense.  I just want the facts to be known.  I understand completely that I could have injured or killed someone when I was driving under the influence of alcohol.  That, I won't dispute for one moment.  But this is a factor in my case.  The reason I had my heart set on going to minimum with work release is because of the nature of my offense and my criminal history having no violent content whatsoever.  My attorney, along with a number of people along the way, all have been telling me I will go to work release in minimum.  While I was in Rock County Jail waiting to be transported to Dodge Correctional Institute (D.C.I) to start my Assessment and Evaluation (A&E), I received a notice at home that my student loans were now due and that if I defaulted on them I would no longer be available to receive any student loans or grants to attend college and finish getting my degree when I get out.  Right now I am really hoping and praying that I get staffed to minimum with work release so I can pay off my loans while I'm incarcerated, get my foot in the door at a job that I could grow from and go back to school and finish getting my degree so I can start my career.  That would play a huge part in preventing me from drinking or re-offending. The majority of my stresses are due to financial problems so starting into a career that I enjoy could ease a great deal of that stress.  The only thing to do now is keep on praying and wait I suppose.

  They passed out canteen order forms after dinner today.  We typically order on Monday and receive our order on Tuesday in Unit 7.  While on A&E status I am only allowed to order $20.00 weekly.  So, I put in am order for some coffee, Ramen Noodles, cereal, a couple of bags of chips, shampoo and conditioner and some more envelopes to write home and to keep mailing my logs to be posted.  This could get expensive!

  Well, after filling out my canteen order form and signing my funds distribution form I pulled a staple out of last week's form and stuck it into the papers and bent it into place.  I then slid it under the doorway.  The swamper then took it up to the C.O. who only a moment later came to investigate how we managed to staple our canteen slips.  I told him how I did it and he just replied "Really!?"  He was either surprised or didn't believe us so he walked away and asked the swamper if he knew how to staple papers like that.  The swamper just said, "No because I just usually use a stapler."  So, the C.O. came back and opened the door and said, "Put your chairs in the hall, I need to search your cell because I could never forgive myself if you really had a stapler and I didn't look."  Oh well I figured.  I didn't have anything to hide.  So, I got patted down and sat on my chair in the hall with my cellmate while he dug around in the cell, looked under the mattresses and looked in our property box.  Of course there wasn't any stapler.  What the hell would I want with a stapler?  Anyhow, no contraband in here.  That pretty much sums up the day for now.  Off to bed, I'm sure there will be more tomorrow.

~J. Doe


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rec, Cell Clean-up and Thinking About Family and Friends

Writings of Monday, January 24, 2011

  Today when the swamper came after breakfast neither my cellmate or I had any appointments but we both signed up for Rec. at 7:30 AM.  I was laying on my bunk for a while and when it seemed close to 7:30 I got up and got ready for Rec.  Made my bed, put on my shorts and my Rec. shoes and told my cellmate to get his ass up and get ready.  He didn't listen and before you knew it the C.O. was yelling to us, "Be sure your bunks are made, shirts are tucked in, shoes are tied and you I.D. is on!  You can step out for Rec!"  Well, lets just say, my cellmate couldn't get ready in time and got sent back for not tying his shoes.  I, on the other hand, went and worked out for 50 minutes in the downstairs Rec. room.  Maybe a dozen people were down there and damn near any exercise machine you could ask for.  After Rec. I took a short nap until lunch.

  After lunch we had standing count, then the C.O. had shift change.  Then came cell clean-up.  They open four cells at a time to let us sweep, mop and clean our toilet, sink and anything else you may touch that can use sanitation.  My cellmate likes to talk to everyone while I clean.  He's just too distracting and loud.  They keep warning him to quiet down and that he's so close to going to the hole for being loud and disruptive.  I try to tell him to calm down because a rule violation might get him kicked out of boot camp before he goes.  I hope for his sake and mine, that he takes them seriously so he will go to boot camp by February 2nd.

  Cell clean-up is finished and the C.O. just passed out a huge stack of mail.  Unfortunately nothing for me.... making me start to wonder about some people.  It's hard to not let your imagination to run too wild and start thinking about all the things your friends are doing while you're in here.  The majority of the time you find out what you were imagining was far from the truth, but one can't help but to imagine.  I will say one thing, you hear from your real family and friends that's true.  When you're locked up you find out who your real friends are. 

~J. Doe

Sunday is a Day of Rest... and Loneliness

Writings from the day of Sunday, January 23, 2011,

  Today nothing really special happened.  Three meals as usual and that's the only time we got out of our cell.  The swamper came around this morning and asked my cellmate if I wanted to go to church.  He told me I 'wasn't on the list.'  I finally got my 'Institutional copy' of the Bible on Friday after asking for three weeks.  I'm glad I now had my own.  Now that they finally got that distributed to me maybe they'll finally call me out for a different church service sometime this week.  Only time will tell....

  There was no mail distribution today since no one gets mail anywhere on Sundays.  Hopefully something comes tomorrow.  It's always nice when you get mail when you're in prison.  Even if it's someone cussing you out, a lawyer responding to a legal claim or someone who actually cares.  At least when you get some mail in prison it reminds you that you haven't just been locked up and forgotten.  So, for those of you who are reading this and know someone in jail or prison, take a few minutes today and write them a letter.  Let them know you are thinking about them.  I promise you, you will brighten their day significantly.

~J. Doe

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Evening Comes Along With a Headful of Thoughts.....

the final writings of January 22, 20011...

  For dinner we had sloppy joe's, potato chips, green beans with gravy, cake and a roll, with another carton of milk.  After choking down my meal and coming back to my cell the night was pretty slow.  We had standing count at 5:30 PM.  Then, I had to start writing this since my cellmate decided to take a break from his rapping and fell asleep.  I wrote a few pages of this log and then started to make a snack.  I made 2 packages of Ramen Noodles.  One Chili and one texas beef, enough to keep me satisfied for now.  While the noodles cooked I read a few chapters in my book.  Then, after eating, I wrote a little more in here on and off. 

  I often catch myself laying on my bunk daydreaming of all the 'what ifs,' the 'could'ves, would'ves and the should'ves.'  I know that is the point in prison sentences to some extent but, dwelling on these thoughts for so long gets to be sort of self-destructive.  I allow my mind to punish itself for so long but I try to distract it by reading or writing before I allow my mind to spiral out of control and send myself into a negative thought process.  I played a few games of solitaire, read a little more of my book and wrote some more.

  Unfortunately my cellmate had to be woke up for 9:00 PM standing count.  Now he'll be up all night!  I'm just glad he leaves soon to boot camp.  He definitely needs it!  It's now 9:30 PM or so.  I forgot to mention that the swamper comes around between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM giving everyone a cup of ice and toilet paper if they need or want any.  I think I'm going to read a little of my book and try to get some sleep before my cellmate gets into telling his 'tall tales' again.  I guess impressing my cellmates with stories filled with lies and exaggerations just was never my thing.  Anyhow, I'll write more tomorrow for those who are still interested.

~J. Doe

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Clean shower with a Dirty Outcome! !

Still continuing with the January 22, 2011 writings.....

  Now it is 1:30 PM and time for showers. They start us out one cell at a time.  We get clean clothes, towel and washcloth.  They go through the rotation today starting at cell 1 and finishing with Cell 15 since 16 is the swamper and he gets a shower whenever he wants.  Today there was a slight change of plans.  Cell 13 finished their shower and apparently one of them left their dirty clothes in the shower area so the swamper told him to pick his shit up.  Well, the guy who left his things in there told the C.O. to let him back out so he could take his dirty towel down to the dirty clothes bin and pick his things up.

  As soon as the C.O. unlocked this guy's cell the guy started yelling, "Yeah bitch ass motherfucker, talk shit now! I'll beat your motherfuckin' ass you punk ass bitch!"  All this while he is walking down the hall towards the swamper.  Then he chased the swamper into the linen closet threatening to 'beat the swamper's ass.'  Next, he left the linen closet, picked up his dirty towel, went back and threw it in the swampers face yelling, "You're lucky I don't beat your motherfuckin' ass you punk ass bitch!"  Then he went back to his cell and the C.O. locked him back in.  About 3 minutes later this same guy somehow popped his trapdoor open and started yelling again. "You punk ass bitch ass motherfucker!  Talk that shit now you racist bitch!  You Italian motherfucker! W.O.P motherfucker!"  Then the C.O. came to his door and told him to back up so he could close his trapdoor.  Instead he stuck his arm out of the trap and said "You ain't closin' shit!"  So then the C.O. called the 'White Shirts' (higher ranking officers) to take care of him.

  When the White Shirts showed up things went downhill fast.  First, they asked what the problem was.  The guy replied "The problem is the punk ass swamper dude was talking shit!  He needs to get fired!"  The White Shirt told him that he can't be in the same unit as the swamper now and they'd have to move him.  He said, "I don't give a fuck about going to no hole!"  The White shirt started, "Well you're going to have to back away from the door and place your hands through...." But, before the White Shirt could finish, the guy stuck his arm out making the White Shirt jump back. 

  The White Shirt now says, "No! Step back now and take your chair, bring it to the door and set it down facing away from the door.  Then I want you to sit down in it facing away from the door too.  Then place your hands on the back of your head interlocking your fingers."

  "What? Are you scared or something?" the guy says.

  "No, I'm not scared," the White Shirt says, "but you are not being cooperative."

  "Oh, I'll cooperate for you" the guy said.

  When the guy was still standing he backed up to his door.  The White Shirts handcuffed him behind his back and then he started struggling with them so they slammed him down on his head.  "Stop resisting!  Are you going to cooperate and walk or are we going to have to get the chair!??" one White Shirt said.

  "Yeah motherfucker, I'm gonna motherfuckin' walk," the guy replied.  Then the guy said, "and when I see that motherfuckin' swamper I'm gonna spit in his motherfuckin' face!"

  So then the White Shirt got on his radio and requested for "one spit mask and the chair over here."  A minute later another C.O. wheeled in the restraint chair.  Then they picked him up off the floor and forced him into the chair.  He struggled the whole time they were trying to secure the straps.  Then he started shaking his head around wildly.  One of the White Shirts had to 'secure his head' apparently by putting him in a rear naked choke hold.  When he stopped choking the guy thirty seconds later they slipped the spit mask over his head holding his jaw closed and covering his face so he couldn't spit on anyone.  The White Shirt got on his radio again to "clear the hallway" and wheeled him out.

  Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me.  It comes to show you one thing, disobeying direct orders and being combative only gets you one thing, extra time in solitary confinement.  You can't possibly win here and if by some wild chance you did you'll never get away with it.  So really, what's the point?

  Anyhow, after the incident was over, the C.O. just unlocked our cell doors and called us out for chow like nothing had happened.  Just another day at DCI, right?....

~J. Doe.

Rec time and weights.

  ...more from the writings of January 22, 2011

  When we usually come out and pass the C.O. at the front of the unit we're supposed to tell the C.O. our cell number and upper (A) or lower (B) bunk and we can continue our walk to the Rec. yard.  Only today, the C.O. (Santa Clause) either thinks he's funny or is having a power trip because he's making everyone pull their socks up, which isn't a huge ordeal but it's not part of the dress code.  Either way, if you want Rec you have to do it today.

  The Rec yard is about a hundred yards down the hall and like usual, we get there first.  I take advantage of this by getting on the weight lifting machine I want to use.  When upstairs, I usually get to work on my upper body (shoulders, arms, chest, abs and wings.)  For the most part the people working out keep their same routine too.  We rotate through everyone trying to use the same machine and keep each other motivated.  Pushing each other to push harder and lift more.  The 50 minute Rec. period seems to be over in no time at all.  Then it's back to the unit, locked back in our cells.

~J. Doe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Make Your Bed Quickly ;-)

still continuing from the same January 22, 2011 writings

  When we go anywhere outside of the unit, other than at chow time, our bunks must be made and all blankets folded and tucked under the mattress.  I personally keep things easy by keeping mine made military style aside from using my second blanket to cover with while sleeping.  It makes for a quickly made bed when I need to.  I just flatten out the wrinkles in my bed, fold my blanket and put it on the front on my bed.

  So after standing count I fold my blanket and look over my cell to make sure it looks neat enough.  Then the C.O. yells, "Seven! Be sure your bunks are made, your shirts are tucked in and you're wearing you I.D.'s! Step out for Rec and close the doors behind you!"

~  J. Doe

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cellmates and Standing Count

Still continuing from the writings of January 22, 2011

  After breakfast this morning the swamper didn't come by since Rec wasn't until 12:30 this afternoon.  I went back to sleep until just before 11:00 AM when my body's natural clock told my ass to get up and get ready for lunch.  So I sat up, slipped on my shoes and made a fresh cup of instant coffee just as the C.O. made his rounds to unlock the doors prior to lunch.

  After slamming my lukewarm cup of coffee the C.O. yelled, "Seven! Chow!"  Then it's back to the chow hall for lunch.  For lunch we had a slice of ham, a roll, pineapples, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas and your choice of either a carton of milk or a glass of kool-aid. Pretty good by prison standards in my opinion.  After being rushed out of the chow hall and getting back to the unit we got locked in our cell.

  I tried to read my book but I kept getting interrupted by my cellmate rapping and trying to talk to me so I gave up.  After sitting around for a while listening to him rap about shit he won't ever have I get ready for Rec.  I take off the regular boot looking shoes, switch the pants out for some shorts and throw on the Chuck Taylor's (some generic converse all-stars.)  These are the only shoes allowed in the Rec yard.

  I finish getting ready in time for a quick cup of java and the C.O. yelling "Seven! Standing count!"  Then it's the same process as at 6 AM only we get held up because my cellmate is talking.  The C.O. yelled at us about talking during standing count.  How he gets distracted, forgets what the count is, has to start over and even forgets to unlock people's doors for Rec (his way of threatening to take our Rec) and makes everyone stand longer all because my cellie doesn't know when to shut up.  Luckily the C.O. recognizes it wasn't both of us and still unlocks our door.

~J. Doe

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recreation (Rec) time Intro.

Continuing from January 22, 2011

  If it is one of the designated recreation days for our unit the swamper comes around to make a list of the inmates who want to attend "Rec."  Unit 7 has Rec Monday through Thursday and on Saturday.  Monday, Wednesday and Saturday the Rec is held upstairs in the big gym.  I can play basketball, volleyball or lift weights if I like.  So far I have stuck to lifting weights every chance I can get.  It's too bad there is nearly 150 inmates at Rec at the same time when we're upstairs.  That's 150 inmates, 1 basketball court, 1 volleyball court and maybe 15 different exercise stations.  Can we say crowded?  Tuesdays and Thursdays we have Rec downstairs, but only our unit is down there and not everyone goes.  Downstairs you can only lift weights, but for maybe the 20 inmates attending there are nearly 25 different stations to lift at.  It's much more comfortable.  Rec only lasts for 50 minutes at either location.

~ J. Doe

The First Writings....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

   So today is officially the first day of my daily logs.  I will be trying to recap the last month while here at Dodge Correctional Institute (DCI.)  Sorry if at times I seem sort of vague while describing my daily routine as it is quite redundant.  Today was only slightly different.  I'll explain in a moment here.  It started off when I was awoke at 6 A.M. by a Correctional Officer (C.O.) yelling, "Seven! Standing count!"  We then have to get off our bunks and silently stand away from the door while the C.O. walks from cell to cell turning on our light to count every inmate in our unit.  I am in Unit 7 which only has 16 cells, 15 of which are two man cells and the last is a single cell for our unit "swamper" or inmate worker as they are more commonly called.  Next we all get ready for breakfast.  Pants on, shirt tucked in, shoes on our feet and I.D. badge hung around our neck.  Sometimes while we're doing this the C.O. walks the unit unlocking the cell doors.  Then we wait...

  After a short time a telephone will ring by the C.O.'s desk followed by him yelling once again.  This time it's "Seven! Chow!"  Then we all exit our cells, shut our doors and walk single file out of our unit, down the hall and down the stairs to the chow hall.  We get a napkin, a knife (plastic of course) and a spork just before getting our tray with our luxurious breakfast of a fruit cake, bran flakes, two pieces of toast, one serving of peanut butter, 6 oz of grape juice and Waupun Dairy whole milk in a 1/2 pint carton.  Now this is where the race begins.  You would think since the breakfast is so small we would have plenty of time to eat and still have time to spare, but no.  The C.O.'s conveniently time every meal so you have to nearly choke to finish the food on your tray before they yell at you saying, "Let's go fellas! We need this table!"  We usually finish our milk on the way to dumping out tray and walking out.

  As we exit the chow hall there is a C.O. who is waiting to pick out inmates and randomly pat them down for any contraband.  After another groping we walk up a flight of stairs and down a hall to our unit.  We enter our cells and close the doors behind us.  Typically a few people get yelled at during this for passing magazines, books or a canteen item we paid for ourselves.  This is where everything we've been taught since birth goes out the window.  People raise their children to share, then one day they land themselves in prison and get yelled at, wrote up and sometimes taken to Solitary Confinement (The Hole) for doing just that, sharing.

  After we are back in our cells the C.O. comes around locking us back in.  I kick off my shoes and lay back on my bunk, usually trying to go back to sleep.  Sometime in the next thirty minutes the swamper comes and opens the trap-door in our door and tells us if and where we have any appointments at any of the different areas of the prison (i.e. H.S.U. for any doctor appointments, dental, A&E/Psych, A&E/CIP Orientation, A&E for staffing, Library or Law Library, etc.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

("hello, world")

I am the "3rd party." I plan to post in this blog as little as possible but I also felt the need to at least introduce myself... as little as an introduction of another anonymous person does. As it has been said in the description, names of people in this blog will all be changed for everyone's safety and well being. If you do not think this is necessary then maybe you should follow this blog for that fact alone and feel free to share any feedback. For those who understand the necessity then you too are more than welcome to follow and give your own feedback as well.

The first entries of this blog will go back a bit as we try to catch up. I hope this does not get too confusing.

I offered to write this for a few reasons but one thing that really stuck in my mind is that maybe, with this blog to look back on, the true author can grow from it. In addition I hope it can keep others, if only one, from following a path that will put yourself in the same situation.

I'll add that others also mentioned that just writing this while in the prison system will be therapeutic. I agree for a few reasons but one that comes to mind is how it is commonly said that jail and prison systems breed criminals. I have to agree with this to a point. Think about it, you throw a bunch of people convicted of crimes together to... well... basically hang out for days on end. What do they have to do? Probably talk crime.

Well let this blog breed a different breed. Let it be therapeutic. Let it lead the author and others on a different path.

~ "3rd Party"