Reader, 

Peace be unto the reader of this writing. I hope All is well and you are good in health and spirits upon receiving this. I feel as if I am trapped in hell. This cell my personal interno torching my state of being. I’ve been locked up since the age of 19. My 24th Birthday is a few short months away. I am serving a 20 year sentence for armed robbery. Even after 5 years this is still a foreign concept to me. The practices, politics, comings and goings. This is no way to live. I had the opportunity to change my current circumstances. There wasn’t, isn’t , and never will be a chance I’d take it. I chose to participate in a certain life style knowing the consequences and repercussions that come with it. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the face ( through a mirror) if I didn’t honor that. Even prisoners deserve the simplest amenities life has to offer. My punishment is my sentence not all the extra. Despite outward appearances most of the time I am melancholy. There is a difference between that and depression. I believe my capability to adopt is the sole reason I am sane. It seems at every turn the correctional officers are abusing their authority. They show utter disregard for not only myself but the other ‘piocs’ as well (persons in our care). We just recently had a covid outbreak and most cos?? Were not, are not, and have not wore their mask properly. Some rules while completely unnecessary are understandable. And there are others completely unnecessary, unreasonable and mean only to emasculate ‘piocs.’Example: If I have to poop or shower I am not allowed to cover my window even a little bit. This allows for anyone interested to view me just as naked as the day I was born. I have not been to or received any seg(hole) time since 2018, the beginning of the sentence, yet I am told I need to remain a maximum custody inmate “to be monitored”; Locked in a cell at least 163,5 hours a week. There are only 168 hours a week. We are allowed red day room time twice a week. A lot of the time one of those days are canceled due to staffing shortage. Speaking of, some cos double as rec program leaders, unit managers, chefs, and even a biased, ignorant, and prejudice chaplain. If I want to play a few games of basketball, workout, play cards/chess, get some sun and fresh air, or use the phone to call home, I must fit all of that into that 90 minute period. There are 8 phones to be shared between 26 inmates in that spam. Is there not a federal law stating an inmate shall be allotted at least an hour a day outside of their cells? Not focusing on the negative is a lot easier said than done. Especially when you are locked in a bathroom with a bed by yourself every waking minute. Our room and facility resemble those of a psychiatric hospital. Personally I don’t 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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