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¿Buenos días?

Over a year ago I wrote that a change was coming. Positive change, I'd hoped. I am still hoping for that positive change to happen as Corrections Corporation of America transitions out of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, and Management and Training Corporation takes over its operation. As the change happens I will do my best to write about it so that it gets posted on the blogs for those who are interested. In the meantime I will share a story with you, for your reading enjoyment.

I have reached a point where I'm tired of frequently and repeatedly getting all of my meager possessions torn to bits during searches that occur because of the idiots around me who want to harm each other. As is the problem with modern society, these people focus on treating the symptoms and not the root cause of a problem. So when my neighbor decides to tear down the fixture housing the light in his cell and make knives out of it and I am the one that is awakened at 1:30 A.M. with cops beating on my door and yelling for me to get down on the ground... I ain't going.

Think about the predicament a prisoner is in with situations like that. Unless they want to get labeled as a snitch, they can't say anything about what another prisoner is doing, even though that prisoner might be making a weapon to harm others. For many of you it might seem like a cut and dry decision. It isn't. And in prison everyone pays for the decisions of the few.

So here is the entire group of SORT officers (like the SWAT you see on TV) on the night shift standing outside our door, yelling at me, shining lights in my eyes at 1:30 A.M. ...I've told you, I am not a morning person. The lead officer is of Mexican heritage, so I politely say "Buenos días" to him, jam my door so they are unable to open it, and cover the window so they can't see inside. Now they are stuck outside my door looking stupid.

I'm normally respectful and courteous to a fault, complying when the guards tell me to do something. Respect is a two-way street, though. The SORT officers finally regroup enough to decide the next step in protocol is to open the food port in the door and spray me with chemical agents. I was expecting it. When they got the flap to the food port unlocked and open, ready to spray me with their mace, they were met with my prison-issue pillow. The spray intended for me was now all over them instead. They try the crack all around the door with the same results, because I had been stuffing towels in the cracks. The mace finally did cover one side of my body, but I didn't even notice it at the time.

Now imagine, fifteen SORT officers mingling outside this door covered in mace, trying to decide what to do next. One of them turns to his fellow officer and asks, "So, what do you say? Full gear?" Unless full gear includes a blowtorch, I don't think it would have helped them. Guards just aren't accustomed to this kind of resistance from most prisoners. I finally decided to let them in, since I'd made my point, I felt.

They went in and destroyed our cell, and I hated that for my roommate. He feels the same way I do about the situation though, or else I wouldn't have resisted the guards' intrusion. After they were done with "searching" the room, they had to take us to the clinic because they had used chemical agents. I admit, I was making them angry on purpose, laughing about how they looked standing around before I allowed them in the cell. A couple of them tried to get rough with me, pushing me into the wall, bruising me up, tightening the cuffs on my wrists. I've been through all that before.

After refusing to bother with medical staff taking my vital signs at the clinic, SORT escorted us back up the hall to our cell. On the way back I started telling them how they could have gone about things differently. During the whole time I was goading them I hadn't been disrespectful, but had been blunt in telling them that unless they were willing to go so far as to permanently maim me or kill me, there really was nothing they could do that I'd not been through already.

Before we got back to the cell I started yelling, "HONESTY! LOYALTY! INTEGRITY! RESPECT! THE CCA WAY!" over and over. And then I burst out laughing. They got the point. And as they put me back in my room I told them politely that if they came back in the same way they had come this morning, they could expect the same results. I'm still not a morning person.


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About Me

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Steven Farris is a prisoner who has been incarcerated since a month after his 16th birthday in 1998. Currently serving a life sentence without the possibility for parole, he is seeking to educate the public about the true nature of prison and the widespread and negative effects of the prison industrial complex. Steven has worked with both the National Prison Project of the ACLU, as well as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in furthering this effort.

You can contact him directly at:
Steven Farris #R5580
P.O. Box 1889
Woodville, MS 39669-1889

Check out my other blog . . .


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