Tag: segregation

Just like in prison – To divide is to conquer.

With all the hate going on in the world, it can be hard to keep a good outlook and positive attitude.

In prison it was much the same way – the overall feeling of hate and disrespect and ongoing oppression could get to you if you weren’t careful. You had to stay mindful to keep your head in the right place, and not let the hate become part of who you were. You had to choose to rise above it on a daily basis.

If you ask me, this hateful attitude everyone is carrying around is turning our country into something like the divisive atmosphere of being in prison. Think about it.

There is a lot of segregation and racism in prison. Racial groups keep to their own and don’t mingle much with others in prison. Even if on the outside world you are a guy with friends from every walk of life, when you are inside, you pretty much have to stick to your own. Ask anyone who has done time, they will confirm that this is the case. You have to choose who you are going to hang with, then stick with it.

And guess what – prison authorities prefer to keep this atmosphere of segregation alive and well, because to divide is to conquer.

If all the racial groups were to get along, then the prison population as a whole becomes stronger, and more powerful, and therefore harder to control. If prison authorities allow racial tension to keep simmering and even encourage it in small ways, then those racial groups act as small communities within the prison. Small communities that don’t get along with the other small communities, and constantly vie for power and status within the prison. Constantly worrying about each other rather than the bigger picture. The end result is the authorities do not have a large, strong group of inmates to worry about controlling. Instead, they have several small, less powerful groups of inmates to manage.

I can’t help but reflect on that, with all the hate and division going on in our country. Isn’t this attitude of division making us weak? Are we still a force to be reckoned with internationally, if we can’t even all get along as a country? Aren’t we weakening the overall force of the U.S. by spending so much time and energy on hating and pointing fingers at each other? We should be focused on uniting in the things we do have in common – like keeping our freedom from terrorists and the others who wish to take our power. This bad attitude of division that seems to grow by the day and seems to be fueled by politicians and the media is weakening us and is a danger to our freedoms.

Just like the prisoners in a prison, our strength as a country is diminished by allowing hate to keep us segregated and isolated in groups. Time to grow up and take note folks, because you better believe our enemies are taking note of this situation and know just how weak we are becoming as a country when we spend so much time and energy on hurting and hating each other rather than uniting for the common good.

But hey, what do I know? I am just an ex-con and a convicted felon. By law, I can’t even buy a firearm to protect myself and my family. So I hope we keep it together as a country, I need us to, my freedom is at stake. Peace out.

Life in prison – settling into the everyday routine

So this is the real part of being in prison. It’s not the being scared of the unknown or the fear of losing freedom. It’s the knowing that you aren’t going anywhere, day after day after day. It’s being bored and stuck and trying to make the best of  the bad result of your own bad decisions.

After getting through intake, I was put into General Population and I thought I might be staying there, but I was moved again to another facility. The new place is much farther from home too, so I won’t be getting many visits. That is a disappointment. At the new unit, I was first put into “Ag Seg”. This is short for Aggravated Segregation and they put everyone new there at first while they figure out where they should be placed. At first I thought to myself, “so this is solitary…”

The first day in Ag Seg wasn’t so bad, after all, I hadn’t had any privacy in awhile. But then I realized just how quickly I could lose track of time and run out of things to think and do. I had one book to read that I was rationing. I was scared if I finished it I would be with nothing to do at all. The guards in that area played their radios, and I could hear it. It was nice to hear music but sometimes the songs made me really sad. My room was small, I had a bed and a toilet, basically. Not much else. The light was a little dim so reading and writing were tough on my eyes after a while. I thought I might be there a day or two, and I prepared myself to wait it out, but in total I ended up being there for over a week.

Finally, I was moved to General Population. My dorm area is smaller here than it was in my last unit, so it feels a little more crowded, but there is work out equipment in the rec yard here, so that is an improvement. There are 2 televisions, but they are controlled by a group in here so we watch what they want to watch. Also, the tables are controlled too, so I have to write sitting on my bunk, which isn’t as easy. Other than that, I haven’t had many issues. It is a little more intense than at my last place, and people are more segregated by race here. I hate that part but it’s just the way it is here. It’s not really a choice.

I have been assigned a job doing yard work cutting grass but there isn’t any right now, so I have a lot of time to myself. I exercise every day, doing 1000 pushups, 500 situps and running and other routines daily. I play dominoes and watch tv, read and write. I am waiting to get into some classes.

It’s so strange finding myself living this life and more strange that it is starting to feel… normal, in a way, to have this same routine every day. I get a few letters and look forward to mail time, it’s definitely a highlight to get mail. What I see ahead of me is a lot of boredom and time to pass. I can see how it would be easy to fall into what others have said, and just let this time go by without doing work on myself while I am here. I have to find a way to focus on keeping my mind set on improving myself and getting my discipline in place for when this is behind me.

Now that the unknown of intake and getting to my unit is behind me, it feels like a waiting game. I have my people I hang out with and I have my routine down. I could give a bunch of details about the days here but most of it isn’t really that great and it would feel more like complaining. I feel I am sitting back for a minute and seeing what is next, and how I choose to make the most of this place I am locked up in. Anyways, if anyone has some comments or suggestions as to how to stay on the up side, I will be happy to hear them.

Till next time ~ Peace, Love and Noodles