Excerpt from November 20, 2012.
…Think about it. Being placed in a cell with no access to go out in the open sun or to mingle with others. Your life consists of being in a cell for 22 1/2 hours mandatory each day with the other 1 1/2 hours out on concrete surrounded yard if you choose to go out and walk around or exercise – which most prisoners do not. No contact with others but conversations with those in your section, which consists of 8 cells. Everywhere you go out side of pod you’re cuffed up so there is no threat to correctional officers- its the safest plea for C/Os to work, contrary to what you may hear from the propaganda machine “that is CDCR”.
SHUs (Security Housing Units) can be really depressing places. Many have become ill from one thing or another – sensory deprivation can have deleterious consequences, and does. But CDCR refuses to acknowledge the cruelty of these places for monetary benefit. It costs the California tax payers $70,000 annually per inmate in SHU. So you see, it’s big business.
Close to a decade ago the courts ordered “Receivership” to take over California prison’s health care system because of the severe negligence of prisoner health care. It was really bad: denial of treatments, prescriptions and tests. Under Receivership the health care of prisoners got right. Receivership ended a few months ago back and it didn’t take no time for CDCR medical staff to go back to their old ways. They’ve begun to systematically deny treatment, take prescriptions and refuse to consider patients needs. CDCR officials never seize to find ways to cause psychological and physical distress.
This system was devised to attempt to break prisoners down. But they fail to realize the human spirit is strong and resilient. Human dignity and living in this dignity invigorate the spirit. We all live until our last breath… it’s up to each one of us to determine how we live our lives… we may not be able to control our circumstances (us in SHU) but we do control our attitude towards it. I find purpose in how I choose to live my days in study, cultivating self-knowledge and writing about it, creating pieces of artwork and just making the most of my days. I do not allow this circumstance to dictate how I should fell. They can cage up this body but they cannot suppress my mind nor destroy my spirit… I live it to excel; and each day brings on a new learning experience. Life unfolds in the moment… live the moment to the fullest. Karma can be very humorous because it doesn’t allow for a free ride. And the beat goes on.