Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

Watch Out!! Close Calls In Prison...

You must strategically pick the unit where you live for the people there. This is like living IN AND ON a chess board

 

April 11, 2021

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If drugs are found in your cell, you are assumed to be responsible for them, even though they belong to a cellmate.

Freshly showered and just used my one phone call for the day. It's quiet. Nurses just came to do daily routine temp checks on us ladies in this unit under quarantine for day #13. My, I'm deeply distressed by this confinement. Badly. I appear calm. I want to scram! Cry. I've hit a mental wall. I have no more patience left. My mind is doing its thing and reminding me of all I've seen while in these women's prisons. I've witnessed one gem of a tale after another. Even when you're doing the right things and living within the rules, you can still have a serious and unavoidable close call...

I'm strict about only telling you what I've seen. I love the feeling of telling you what my eyes have seen. I Imagine your eyes reading and your mind putting together the pictures I lay out.

In here I've had a visual account of what most people can't get their mind to grasp. I once saw a woman come back from a contact visit here at CIW. I watched her sit down on a toilet and pull out a stash of drugs the size of a soda can, from her butt hole!! Fascinating. The stuff was wrapped in clear plastic wrap, with a layer of tobacco under it. Seeing it done so casually impacted me in many ways. I take life very seriously. Just because I'm a "Criminal" or whatever does not make me numb to seeing raw, real things that happen in front of me.

Years ago, I had this one roommate. I looked over and she was making a homemade needle for slamming drugs!! She used a BIC PEN, and a piece of a shower shoe I was wearing to make the PLUNGER for this needle !! My shoe that was just touching the floor!! I've never been an IV drug user. She had no shame!! I did not stay around her long. I did not yet have my addiction. But I still knew to get away from drug fiends heavy in that life. We had nothing in common. Even in my addiction, I used alone. It saved me lots of problems!

So, back to the mail. Yes, it USED to happen. Those days are over. When it was happening, there were many different ways. I never personally did this. Way too risky!! Not worth it if you get caught. My addiction never made me that bold. People outside would melt down meth into thick liquid and soak a post card in it. Then let it dry and repeat this process until up to an ounce was [missing words]. Then write over it and sent it to prison. Prisoner receives it, and either eat the paper piece by piece or soak it in water, then shoot it up!! Many times the prison narcotic dog would run through the mail room and catch the drugs. Now they have totally stopped this altogether. I'm truly surprised it ever worked...

You NEVER truly know someone or what they're capable of in this place. People have no honor. So, Another roommate tale. This one I would not have pegged her to be involved with drugs. I'd never allow that close to me or in my own cell? Well, this girl was filthy. Bad hygiene! A BUM. I helped her out with hygiene items and we were cool. Man, she was huge and ugly too. So one day the Warden sends officers to search my cell. We were stripped out, drug tested, the works. Afterward, we're told that one of us in my cell got drugs in the mail. I didn't believe it. About a month later received her write up for narcotics in the mail!!

She swore she had no idea where this came from or who sent it. I don't to expect her to tell me about her drug hustle! You must be vigilant! See, at this prison they apply the theory of "Constrictive Possession". This is legal and damaging!! Meaning just by living in this cell you are responsible for what's inside this cell. Whether you know about it or not!! They hold both people equally accountable! Scary! I immediately made her move! This was my warning. She could cost me my chance at freedom! Drugs are a criminal DA referral for which they will take you back to court and add time!! I freaked out as you can imagine!! I was scared! For me, this was an nightmare! A close CALL! I don't mince words! I WARN every roommate! If you're doing anything illegal or against the rules I'll tell on you! Not in this room!! This is not the place! I'll give you a chance to move or I'll tell on you before I let you jeopardize my future!! I set hard boundaries and I enforce them without apologies.

I apply all of what I've seen and learned over my years in. I'm no Dummy! You see, a lifers path to freedom is a delicate one. You must guard it fiercely!! Instead of making excuses for making mistakes, I make smart decisions, I'm assertive and do not care about hurting "feelings"!! I now live with and around those are on the right path also. Yes, her feelings were hurt when I made her move. You must strategically pick the unit where you live for the people there!! This is like living IN AND ON a chess board!! Position yourself carefully. Choose a roommate even more carefully.

So they sent the drugs to the lab and it was confirmed drugs. Many times I have seen both people in the cell charged and taken to AdSeg just because they lived with the person who was doing something wrong!! It's a two-person cell! So who you choose to live with is crucial!! It can cost you. So, it must be well thought out. You must learn from all you see in here, for it all repeats!

Sometimes roommates are just placed in your cell for "institutional needs." However, if you are not okay with them, ask or tell them to move or move yourself!! No one room or cell is worth your safety! Just leave. I used to think that my cell was my own property. No more. I think differently!! When people are involved in drugs, IN PRISON, they are like a black hole that will damage anything it touches!! Stay away from a prison dope fiend. For they will pull you down with them!

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