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28th May 2017

I just got done listening the a Town Hall meeting from our new Unit Manager as he turned off the 10 TVs in the cell block and seized the three microwaves for two weeks. He also informed us that our block would be getting locked down at 8:30 pm every night for two weeks.

Why are we being put in electronic time-out and being sent to bed early? Because they found a couple of knives hidden under the fan in the Black's TV room. You would think "Well, why not just shut down that particular TV room?" but that's not the way that these people think. They've got group retribution and mass oppression down to a science. An art form.

The cops here are definitely in their comfort zone and feel like they have a green light from the warden to treat people with disrespect. My new cellie Eddie (60 months for gun possession from Iowa and yes, somehow, friggin good ol' Eddie became a just-about-tolerable cellie) came back from breakfast and told me what he'd just been through.

They've now got a quirky rule (one of 10,000 rules) that you can't bring a laundry bag or books into the chow hall. This becomes an issue when you can only go to the laundry at 6am before breakfast. We have washers and dryers in the cell block, but not everybody can afford detergent, so a lot of people use the laundry. This means they have to go pick up or drop off their laundry bag first thing in the morning. The trick is to get to breakfast early and eat fast so that you can shoot to the laundry after you eat, and then go straight back to your cell block with your laundry bag or clean sheets or whatever. But not everybody has this figured out. So some people go to the laundry first, then they leave their laundry bag outside of the chow hall while they go inside.

The cop that's working the Corridor for this quarter and who stands outside the chow hall is a dickhead. Antagonistic. He took my cellie's laundry bag and threw it into the trash and then he talked mad shit to him. He called him stupid and asked Eddie if he was illiterate for not reading some sign. God bless my cellie because he sucked it up and made it back to the cell block. He was pissed, but he didn't react...and that's not easy. THAT, to me, is what true strength is back here. Not a person's ability to put their hands on somebody, but their ability to not put their hands on somebody, whether it be your fellow prisoners or the cops.

This cop, and the situation that Eddie went through, is why I usually don't go to breakfast. I'm not built for a bunch of drama first thing in the morning. I don't react well under stressful situations with the cops. Call me crazy, but I believe that since I treat the cops with respect that they should also treat me with respect. That doesn't seem to be in their mission statement at this joint though.

You know what the one thing that they fear though? A pen and somebody who knows how to use it. Nobody wants to be put on blast to their boss (the warden) and once they figure out that you're somebody who knows how to do this, they treat you differently. With more respect. At least this has been my experience. Yes, the pen is mightier than the laundry bag.

But, unfortunately, it's also been my experience that you have to be judicious in how you use the pen and you have to pick your battles wisely so that you don't lose your credibility. And when they're wrong and all else fails for them... they just lock you up. It's prison and the sympathy factor for bank robbers (and bloggers) going to The Hole is low. Welcome to my today.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog