On the Road Again

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m at the Fox Minimum Correctional Institution (FMCI), a facility in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS).  After we had gotten on the bus we first stopped at Perkins restaurant in Black River Falls, WI.  We waited an hour on the bus while the guards ate.  I talked a bit with the inmate who got on with me who was also headed to FMCI, and like me was headed into a future only only God and somebody in the Department of Corrections (DOC) knows.  I was awaiting entry to the ERP Program at Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), which when completed I would be released.  He was on his way to a pre-release program of some kind.  En-route we made a stop at the medium security at New Lisbon, where we picked up several inmates.  One of them, a heavyset man, I’m guessing was in his fifties, foolishly announced to everyone in answer to a question he had been in the hold for “cheeking” (hiding meds in your mouth to take or sell later) medication.  He had no idea why he was on the bus.  It became obvious to us we were now on our way to Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI), a maximum security facility, thanks to the signs along the way.  We got to Wisconsin Dells, and in one block I saw IHOP, Applebee’s, 2 buffets, and a U.S. Cellular. I so can’t wait to get out sometimes!   We got to CCI and the only one to disembark was the “cheeking” inmate.  You couldn’t help but feel bad for him when you saw the look on his face as he realized he was being sent to a max security prison and I’m told one of the toughest in Wisconsin.  I said a silent prayer for him as I thought he might need it.  We moved again and as we arrived at the entrance to FMCI, an attractive female guard was at the gate which got everyone chattering.  Once we were clear, we were taken to intake and our restraints removed.  There was no strip search this time which surprised me.  Inside property, due to our “transitional status”, we were told we could have shoes, shorts, sweatpants, and shirt but only 1 of each. In addition some canteen, paper, pen, envelope and hygiene was allowed.  No electronics. I was fine with that.  After all, a day or two is all I’ll be here right?  What was selected was put into a paper bag for each of us, the boxes re-taped, and we were back in the van.  We were taken to Unit 9.  I went up to the guard’s desk and looked around.  The layout was similar to the barracks at JCI only that the bunks were divided into cubicles so that there were 4 each to a cubicle, 2 on the left side, 2 on the right side.  It had the same open air shower, with a row of sinks, urinals and toilets.  I got my bunk assignment, the top one of course, and a bed roll.  My bunkmate is of Indian descent and faith and was friendly.  On my way to my bunk I saw several inmates I’d known at Jackson Correctional Institution (JCI), who were quick to say hello.  To be honest, I wasn’t happy though.  I have a social anxiety problem and I hadn’t been in tight quarters like this ever in my incarceration. I always needed a space to go to get away from everyone and that wasn’t here.   I wondered to myself if I should go ask to go to the hole but quickly dismissed that.  I have to cope because at MSDF I won’t have a choice if I want to get out.  Still, had I had a TV or radio it would have been easier.  Anyway, my bunkmate offered me tomatoes grown out of the garden here and I watched his TV with him for awhile.  At about 9 pm, I laid down.  I tossed and turned all night getting up 6 times.  I”m sure my bunkmate didn’t like that at all.  But I’ve just got to do this.  Some are telling me here it might be 30 days before I get to MSDF.  God, I hope not, but if I’ve learned anything its that I or people here don’t know anything and I’ve got to trust the Lord and keep an open mind.  Nothing is ever set in stone except for God, and I’ve really got to get to why that bothers me so much.

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