Friday, February 19, 2010

#54 Prison talk; NC Prisons (retro)

Prison Talk: NC Prison

I was reading a story about the “Joe the Plumber” and smiled when I saw that this guy who was looking for attention got it…and far more than he could bear. It is a reminder that if you SAY you are something, or someone, you better BE that person, else you may be seen as an idiot or a liar.

I have to apply that here to my blog as well, because I never want to mislead anyone, but I warn any reader who takes the time to read my stuff, you are getting my most sincere writing. If I am happy, I will be happy, if I am pissed, I will blog about it. If I am disappointed, you will read that in my works.

I’m human, so you’re gonna have to deal with that if you are going to understand the difficulties of being an ex felon. Some of you will need to understand that when you deal with your loved ones.

Someone asked about the prisons I was in, I know I touch on them a lot during my blogs, but I can run down the prisons that I have been in. If you have been following my blogs enough, you know I spent about 17 months in county jail before going to prison. So technically, the incarceration starts there.

Like most inmates in North Carolina, we go to a processing prison to start the actual incarceration. For me, it was Craven Correctional, in Vanceboro, NC. Lots of people have this idea that once the judge gives you the sentence, you go straight to prison…not exactly. In fact, I wrote about Craven in my first book of “Grades of Honor”.

From there, and after processing, I was transferred to Pasquotank Correctional, in Elizabeth City. From what I understand, it is now a close custody prison, but it was mixed when I was there. The “Big House” of PCI housed close and medium security inmates, of which I was one (medium). Personally, I liked medium custody better than minimum, which was where I went after a time at PCI.

But strange enough, my “promotion” to minimum security was still at PCI. You see, Pasquotank houses two separate camps, almost a stone’s throw apart…literally. I spent quite a bit of time at Pasquotank before transferred out under some very suspect situations. My second and third “Grades of Honor” books cover much of this stay.

From there I was sent to Tyrrell Prison Work Farm, in Columbia, NC. I know most folks have heard of Columbia, South Carolina, but very few ever heard of this very small town, which isn’t too far from Pasquotank. I stayed there for awhile until again, some very controversial things happened which ended up in me getting shipped out again.

From Tyrrell Prison Work Farm I went to Sanford Correctional, in Sanford. I think this was one of the better camps I have been on, but I would not be there too long. I was shot out of the camp on a state car to Guilford Correctional…and the hole.

If you have not read all my blogs, you are missing a lot of things here. And don’t think that the blogs I have here are all my writings. What is available here is less than half of what I have written on prison issues, so there is much you may not really know. So it might be easy for one to assume that me getting moved around was by request.

It wasn’t. I was literally being kicked out of prison to prison. This is called retaliation, and prisons do this a LOT more than you think. Whenever a person is seen as a “troublemaker” the prison tries to get rid of him. Now, if I was a trouble maker that started fights or argued at officers, they can easily stop that by throwing me in the hole. But what if the inmate had legit arguments? How would a prison prevent an inmate from arguing valid points? Easy, you ship him out and make him somebody else’s problem.

This is what happened to me several times. Not once in all of my time in prison did I ever request a transfer. Most guys would do anything to get a transfer, and many prison camps rarely honored them. Yet here I was, getting moved around without a request, while others were on the camp for months or longer, and never getting a transfer.

But my visit at Sanford resulted in me getting put in seg in Guilford Correctional, and I was facing some stiff charges that were less than honest. Again, I have blogged about that before, and in the end, I beat all those charges and was supposed to go back to Sanford. But at the last second…LITERALLY, the plans changed.

I was actually on the prison bus ready to go back to Sanford when they came and called me out the bus and changed my destination. By DOC rule, if you beat a charge, you are supposed to be sent back to the prison you came from. I should have gone back to Sanford, but somebody didn’t want me coming back. So I ended up going to Robeson Correctional, in Lumberton NC.

There are actually 2 camps there, but we’re talking about the honor grade, or minimum custody camp. It was a decent camp but after awhile, some other things broke out and I ended up being shipped AGAIN to another camp.

Again, I never requested a transfer, but there are things in prison that nobody will tell you about, and stuff most inmates don’t want to talk about. But trust me when I say this, there are times in prison where an inmate CAN be right, but totally ignored by the prison.

So from Robeson Correctional I am shipped to my final destination, Dan River Prison Work Farm, in Yanceyville, NC. There are two camps there, but I am talking about the minimum security prison. I was there for a time and actually enjoyed it, but saw problems there as well. I would have probably been shipped away from there too, except my release date was very close. In fact, the prison tried to convince me to ship closer to home before my release, but I lied and told them that my family was already told where to pick me up, which was at Dan River.

So those are the prisons I have been in, each one as different as the next. Some prisons look the same, like Dan River and Tyrrell Prison, but every prison works by different rules (in theory). I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to writing another prison book, but if I do I will be able to share much more on what happens in prison.

Some might wonder how I remember all that, since I have been out awhile, but I wrote a journal while I was in prison. I have a few stacks of material that I have written that easily reminds me of times, places and people, making it very easy to document what happened. Maybe I’ll share some as we go on.

Anyway, gotta go.

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