Entry 15: STDS in prison & Prison Budgets


Today, a few wonderful women, a few not so pleasant, and myself, can heave a sigh of relief. There is no HIV, Hepatitis C, or Syphilis in this clandestine crook.

I wasn’t too concerned, being of the mindset that I would have felt something if I had an issue. Entering the doctor’s office, he asked me to shut the door and have a seat. My temperature soared. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. My stomach tightened. Without sitting, I asked, “Is it AIDS?”

He looked up from the file, met my eyes, and shook his head.

Alas, I am clean. I was a little disappointed by the negative Syphilis results. That would have put me in league with Al Capone! I could have applied the mental deterioration associated with Syphilis to all of the mistakes I’ve made. And, it’s curable.

Today I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and after nearly bruising my fingers, admitted I couldn’t squeeze any more toothpaste from my mini-tube (it’s smaller than a tube of chap stick). I asked the guard for more. He told me to purchase some off of the store. I told him I had no money. He said that meant I had no one to look good for.

Just an average day in the clink.

The only books available in quarantine are religious, and I’ve learned that you must pick a side. I sent a kite to the chaplain (who is in charge of all religious material) asking for some Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist literature. I received a Bible and some Christian pamphlets on why other religious are false. 😛

Once I get to prison, I will have access to the library. Inmates will also rent out their personal books for items or food. If you want nonreligious books in quarantine, you must have people on the outs send them directly from the publisher.

A friend ordered me books (so thank you). The books arrived ten days. The mail room just hasn’t given them to me. I’m sure the mail room is understaffed and, I think it’s fair to say at this facility, unconcerned with a timely delivery. I even hear they won’t hand them out because it’s easier for them to simply lock them in a locker for me and let the prison deal with it when I arrive. I hope that’s not true. Days are crazy boring here.

Prisons are broke. We all know this. Spend a week here and you’ll know why. There are two CO’s assigned to stare at each inmate’s tray as we walk to our seats. Potatoes are served with every meal, and if a guard notices even five small spud cubes too many, he will yell, “Tighten up the right side!”

I read a book by Paul Pilzner titled Unlimited Wealth. Mr. Pilzner was an economist under President Reagan (I think). In this book, he explains the economic rules for a society. A predominant one states that in order to sustain, society must keep the working class broke. I won’t get into why. We all have IQ’s over eighty.

He also claims that when people run into financial obstacles, the first thing they do is look to cut spending, which to him, goes against the realities of economics. In his opinion, people should maximize their purchases (sales, bulk, coupons, comparable items for less), but, more importantly, look for ways to increase their income.

Every time I hear the state is cutting funding, it is always to prisons and schools. Of course taking money from schools is ludicrous, and assuredly why our county is in decline and our prisons are full, but apparently we don’t care.

I once talked to a nurse in Jamaica who proudly claimed Jamaica had a lower infant mortality rate than America. She also said, with equal pride, that it was their goal to surpass the United States in math and science.

Do you remember when we had goals as a nation? I do.

For anyone who has not visited the beautiful but impoverished island of Jamaica, let me assure you, they should not best us in anything that requires financing.

The baffling fact about all of the budget cuts (excluding the main one, which is the politicians’ kids are not affected), is that the majority of the people who make these fiscal decisions are not economists. They’re just politicians.

Regular Joe’s who most-likely grew up privileged.

Years ago, I was at the bar of a nice restaurant and spotted a friend from high school. He was out with family and friends. Upon seeing me, he excused himself and joined me for a few drinks. He had just earned his Political Science degree and would soon start his first meaningful job.

He had aspirations in politics, or perhaps that was his father, a successful business attorney.

I asked him what a Political Science degree entailed. He shrugged in between hurried swigs and glances at his party. He said that it was nothing, just bullshit. That he hadn’t learned anything anyone with common sense didn’t already know.

I wonder where he is today? I’m sure either very successful, or dead by his own hand.

So schools are important, but I’m in prison, so we will discuss that.

Now, I’ve given it no thought, but on my to-do’s will be finding ways to make money off of inmates and sharing it with you.

There are talented artists in prison (yes, that brings up the left brain/right brain conspiracy theory, but we will save that for another time, perhaps another blog.)

There are men in here who can charcoal sketch you to perfection in minutes; painters who never fulfill the demands of inmates and CO’s; guys who knit blankets in exact detail of any photograph they are handed.

I would like to get a tattoo below my ribs of Max Cady. But not in prison. I’m clean of HIV and Hep C, and plan to stay that way.

So you give an inmate fifty cents an hour and open a tattoo section to the public. Fifty cents an hour is a fortune in prison, considering that one of our best paying jobs is the kitchen, which pays seventeen cents an hour!

Charge normal rates and bam, we just added profit to the state using inmates.

Consumers now know where great artists are. Also, inmates can pay regular prices for tattoos with state supervised sterilization.

Hey, maybe your cousin, unbeknownst to you, snitched on the tattoo artist’s homeboy and you catch a shiv in the neck. Unlikely, but the odds being small don’t diminish the value it adds to your story every time you describe where you got your ink, and from whom.

Here’s to hoping they can start earning off of us inmates so that they can afford to give me a miniature tube of toothpaste named Maximum Security, which I doubt contains fluoride and costs, at the most, eight cents. Because contrary to the officer’s assessment, I do have important people to look good for.

P.S. I guess it is time for a disclaimer. These are all my thoughts as I see and recall them. I have no way to research or verify facts. For now, everything I write feels like an exam on my own wisdom (I love exams), and at some time we will dedicate a post to my errors, though I fear it will be brief. ;-P

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205 clicks to the paypal and zero donations. I’m not sure what the normal rate is, but I worry my paypal isn’t working. If not, please let me know. www.paypal.me/helpaprisonerrebuild (sorry about sideways picture)

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