Arriving here to TDCJ was as I expected. It involved a lot of nudity and yelling, being told where to stand, where to look, go, speak, dress… but overall I could think of a lot worse. My first week was spent in the “Chicken Coops” which resemble something out of the movie Silent Hill. Rusted metal, and dirty everything, complete with rats climbing on the rafters above.
While in the intake process, you to go to sociology and medical examinations, and orientation, as well as an IQ test. Once you are finished with those, you are moved to be housed in General Population. By that time, you don’t care what or who awaits you in General Population, just as long as you’re out of the Chicken Coops.
Once housed in GP, it was relieving to find that it’s pretty much like a much bigger county jail as far as the atmosphere. Observing, you can see the cliques of guys and who runs with who. Nobody disturbs you though. Over all, I am glad I have finally arrived and that I can now get started on finishing my time.
Christmas and New Years were both alright. We made a spread out of all of our food, and we said a prayer and then gave peace to the man beside you. It brought me joy to see all the men, although lost, still find their way to a merry Christmas, along with myself.
Overall, I feel I have arrived into the belly of the beast. Now it’s up to me to spread the good news that the darkness in our lives can be lit from within. Maybe it will be done in the smallest of ways, by making one of my brothers smile or giving him something to laugh about that day, maybe my words and actions can even cause him to think about his life and reflect on things. Justice, truth and peace are in my hands to share, and now is my chance to stand and act in what I believe in – to light up the darkness.