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Letters from Hell– Part 8

June 14, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 8. Another short letter. It seems the shorter the letter, the more unpleasant the memories they bring. This was day 32 of 76 of my incarceration and by that time, I was beginning to feel a little institutionalized like my buddy Burgette. A suspension of time and hope. Not really caring about myself, my family, or my future. Just shuffling along behind bars like some kind of zombie. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

June 7, 2006

Dear Dad and Sarah,

Greetings from Cell Block A Pod 9. It’s about 8:30am and I am waiting to be called for my court date. On one hand, I am anxious to find out how soon I can get out of here. On the other, I dread about how long I might have to stay.

I have been up since 4:50 am. I could not get back to sleep so I took a long shower and laid back down and read a while. I had hidden away an apple pie and an orange juice to eat before I go, but my nerves have knotted up my stomach. I will not get lunch today, so I thought a snack before we left would help. Just as well, I guess. I would hate to have to go to the bathroom with leg and wrist shackles.

Last night the guards finally broke up the gang that was headquartered in the cell next to mine. They took the leader (Peanut) and three of his henchman out of our cell block after dinner. The day before his main “captain” was taken away after instigating a fight with one of my cellmates. It all went down within a few feet of my bunk. I thought I was going to get caught in the crossfire, but luckily I did not.

Well they finally called me, wish me luck.

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letters from hell

Letters from Hell – Part 7

June 12, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Part 7 of Letters from Hell. This episode brings you more info on gang politics and practices as well as the exit of my best cellmate. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

June 6, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

Greetings from prisoner # 237458. Today marks one full month in jail. It seems like it has been much longer. No one in jail exclaims – “time flies”. Tomorrow, I have my court date. I look forward to it, yet fear it.

I want to get out of this situation badly.

I got a letter from Mom. It was very short. I will write her but don’t know what to say right now. I can’t imagine that she is very proud of me. I get the sick feeling that Mike (my stepfather) is probably ashamed of me. I’m sure I am not a topic of much conversation. Anyway, I will try to write her something nice and vanilla. Like, I just watch TV, eat, and sleep all day.

The truth is that most of my time is spent watching my back, watching my stuff, and watching my mouth. Things are still getting worse. More members of the gang keep coming in. So much so, that they now fight amongst themselves as well as the general population. Violence is pretty much a daily thing now. TV is rare. Three of the four phones we have access to are broken due to young thugs slamming them after talking with their “bitches".

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Letters from Hell – Part 6

June 4, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to part 6 of Letters from Hell. This is the shortest letter in the series, but brings back some of the worst memories of my time in jail. If ever I need a reason to stay sober; I just have to think back on this. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

May 29, 2006

Dear Paul,

Warning – do not let Nan read this letter. I am so filled with hate and anger I am barely able to write this letter. My last letter cost me 17 items. That is how much they stole from me as I wrote Dad and Sarah a letter yesterday morning. It was the only time I had ventured outside my cell since we got store Saturday morning. I had gone down to the common area so I could have a table to write on. I was down for about an hour and a half. When I came back, I had been robbed.

I know it’s only $20 worth of stuff but it is the only thing you have got in here. It’s not only the fact that I was stolen from and do not have the things that make it the least bit more bearable in here; but there is also the shame that you have allowed yourself to be taken advantage of. A feeling that you are weak.

I was so mad last night that I became physically ill with a stomach ache and the worst headache I have ever had. Worse than any hangover I have ever had.

My head pounded. I could only think thoughts of hate.

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Letters from Hell – Part 5

June 2, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to part five of Letters from Hell. Click here to read all the installments of the series.

As promised there are the joys of ketchup and gas station apple pie. You will have to wait a while for the prison sex. Also, thoughts on my desire to drink or drug. To be honest I never saw any hard drugs in the jail. Only prescriptions they allowed some inmates to have which the guards supervised the taking of. Cigarettes did make it in from time to time but I never indulged out of fear. Several people got in trouble for that (Seg). There was much discussion of making some jail home brew out of orange juice, bread rolls, peppermint candy and whatever fermentable vegetable or fruit that might come available. I don’t remember the science of it but several people said they had done it before. Luckily no one had the skills or gumption to do it while I was there – I’m not sure I could have resisted. I probably would have smoked crack if it had been available it was so crazy sometimes.

Dear Dad and Sarah,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. It’s 9:30am, Sunday the 28th of May. Not much going on here at ****** County Jail. Inmates are waking up for the second time (first time was at 4:30 am for the morning gruel) and the noise of the TV blaring ESPN has just commenced. I hate ESPN. It’s on TV 80% of the time it is available to us.

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Letters from Hell – Part 4

May 31, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Part 4 of Letters from Hell. This letter is rather self explanatory. Jail is a depressing thing. Click here to read all the published installments of this series.

May 25, 2006

Dear Dad and Sarah,

I hope both of you are having fun in the sun at Disneyworld. I am alive and well, experiencing my own type of E-ticket ride in an upside down Magic Kingdom.

I’ve been incarcerated for 19 days now. Time moves very slowly in jail. A lot of people here sleep most of the time, getting up only to eat or do the little cleaning duties we must do. I would say some people sleep about 18 hours a day. I think they are really probably clinically depressed. One inmate was removed due to not eating and not getting up to do anything. They took him away for a couple of days and then he was back. I heard they had to force feed him and give him an IV for re-hydration. Some people that have been in for a while claim they sleep so much because that is the easiest way to do “time”.

With the noise and light always present it is very hard to get quality sleep (you get used to the smell). I do use earplugs and wrap a towel around my eyes sometimes, but the earplugs make my ears feel funny (itchy) afterwards and the towel usually unravels during the night.

I am sleeping more than I did in the free world, 8-10 hours a day. I usually go to sleep around 12 midnight, and then we have to get up a little before 5 for breakfast. After breakfast, I (and most others) usually go back to sleep for a couple of more hours till 8:30 or 9:00. Between 9 and 12 noon is usually when I start writing my letters to you and Paul. After a noon lunch, I usually lie down in my bunk and read for a couple of hours and then take a nap for a couple of hours until dinner which is at 5.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 3

May 29, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.

LTR

letters

Part 3

 

Welcome to the third installment of Letters from Hell. Things start to heat up a little in this letter as the first of many thefts and confrontations begin. I was a little worried about the racial content of the letter but have decided to post it as is. I hope I do not offend anyone. As you will see in later letters there is an equal amount of “badness” reflected in all the races within the jail. One thing that anyone who has been in a long-term stay in a correctional facility will tell you is that it is a very racially tense and segregated place. Everyone there has to pick a poison and there is really no choice. It’s just the way it is.

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Letters from Hell – Part 2

May 27, 2010

This is a special treat, I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This will be a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page.

letters

letter

Part 2

Welcome to the second in my series "Letters from Hell". Despite what TDA said in the prelude to Part I this one is not quite a doozy. More of a description of my surroundings again. There are some doozy letters that are coming up as the summer and jail got hotter and the inmate crowding escalated. I do introduce an inmate that will be the subject of many letters in the future – Detroit. As you may have guessed Detroit is from Detroit- aah the originality – he has a very sordid past of gang banging, drugs, and death.

May 18, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

Greetings from cell block A. I hope this letter finds you doing well. I am doing fine and staying out of trouble so far. I get my first “store” this week. That’s what they call items ordered from the commissary. I ordered me some real shoes – they are like white boat shoes – they cost $9. I also ordered 2 pairs of boxers, 2 pairs of socks, and a t-shirt. A fellow inmate gave me a thermal underwear top and so far that has been my prize possession. You wouldn’t believe how chilly it is in here. For food from the commissary I ordered 3 honey-buns, 7 orange juices, 2 beef-sticks, 1 pack of cookies, 2 packs of m&m’s, a ½ box of Club crackers, 3 bags of cheetos, 3 bags of jalapeno bites, and 2 bags of hard candy (root beer and jolly ranchers). I also ordered some soap, shampoo and deodorant.

Now the big thing will be to keep my “store” from being stolen. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Everyone in my cell has said they will look out for each others store, but I have been told there may be thieves among our own ranks.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 1

May 25, 2010

This is a special treat, I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This will be a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page. Please stayed tuned for part two, its a doozy!

Letters from Hell
letters
Part 1

As you may already know from my past postings, I spent 76 days in a county jail last year due to my addiction and actions. This is where I became sober; this is what finally gave me my longest period of sobriety in 30 years. Recently my family gave me a treasure trove of artifacts from my stay in jail – many letters that I wrote them during my incarceration. After speaking with TDA he asked me to share these letters with you and I will as a reminder of what I’ve been through because of drinking, a warning to those who are still drinking and what awaits them if they go down the path I and so many alcoholics have, and as a way of putting these letters to rest (maybe I’ll burn them after 5; no 10 years of sobriety), they are not something I would share with anybody without the protection of anonymity.

The following is the content of the first letter I sent, 10 days into my jail experience – I have only changed the names to protect the innocent (and not so innocent – including me):

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Casual Criminal Stupidity

October 25, 2008

photo by XurbleAfter ordering takeout from Del Taco, a Colorado couple were surprised to find among the taco sauce and other condiments a small bag of pot. They notified police who then arrested 26 year-old Dennis Klermund at the restaurant, it goes without saying that he was also fired.

Yes the story is funny, but it also serves as a great example of how casually people break the law and risk arrest, fines, jail, injury and even death that are inherent with drug and alcohol abuse. The above idiot was so nonchalant about his drug use that not only did he goof up an intended drug transaction; he left the rest of his dope and paraphernalia in his work locker where the police dogs promptly found it. Duh!

Before you laugh too hard at this moron, try a little introspection yourself.

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The Snake… in the grass

October 23, 2008

Alabama football icon Ken “The Snake” Stabler was acquitted of drunk and reckless driving following three hours of testimony at a municipal trial this week in Robertsdale, AL. He had been arrested there earlier in the summer after narrowly missing a police officer who was writing up another vehicle (reckless driving) and then admitting to drinking but refusing to take a breathalyzer test. As you can see from the video, the police officer that arrested him displayed both professionalism and courtesy during the arrest while Stabler at best sounds and acts addled. If convicted he faced mandatory jail time because this would have been his third conviction of driving under the influence.

I am always hesitant to doubt the wheels of justice but his repeat offender status, obvious impaired state in the video, and the police officers testimony make me wonder if his football stardom of yore and almost idol status in Alabama became more important in this case than justice In what looks like a cut and dry case, an obviously star struck judge ruled that the prosecution did not prove their case. Bah!

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Bad News Bares Tatum’s Disease

June 2, 2008

Tatum O’Neal, who at ten in 1974 became the youngest person to ever win an Academy Award as supporting actress in the movie Paper Moon, opened up to the public about her abusive past, drug addiction, and subsequent recovery 30 years later her book A Paper Moon.

Arrested for possession of crack cocaine, headlines this weekend bared her struggle with addiction once again to the public.

Growing up in the 70’s, to me Paper Moon was a boring black and white movie. I will always remember Ms O’Neal as the precocious Amanda in the Bad News Bears. Although it’s seriously doubtful that Walter Matthau had anything to do with it, the above scene with young Tatum and Butterworth the alcoholic serves as an apt analogy to the availability of drugs and alcohol in Hollywood party scene. She was exposed early and often enough to drugs and alcohol that a substance abuse problem was almost a given, her story is sadly similar to most child actors who grow up in this caustic environment.

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A Mighty High Wagon Indeed

May 31, 2008

Russell J. Simon Jr. was convicted and sentenced to prison in 1987 for burglary and assault. According to the books he would write later, No Way but God’s Way and Inside the Walls, his incarceration was the result of a dysfunctional upbringing and chronic alcohol/drug abuse.

He experienced a spiritual awakening after his release and developed a personal recovery program that was so successful that he began promoting it as a motivational speaker. Focusing primarily on a youthful audience, Simon’s program Ten Seconds Can Change Your Life Forever focused on a message of personal accountability and making informed decisions. His website states that he speaks to over a quarter of a million teens and parents yearly on the subjects of drug/alcohol abuse, addiction, and violence. This is probably a well inflated number since I found very little info online of recent speaking engagements, but at least in the past he had earned a reputation as an effective and passionate speaker.

If I had heard of Mr. Russell before this month, he would have probably been highlighted in a post with a TDA salute. The chances of that are nil now that he has been charged with attempted murder and sexual assault during an alcohol and meth fueled relapse rampage.

It must have been a mighty high wagon indeed that Simon J Rusell Jr. fell off of because he struck the ground with a spectacular crash.

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Alcoholic Arrested 972 Times

May 6, 2008

In addition to having a penchant for James Brown and Bruce Lee, Henry Earl of Lexington, Kentucky also seems to enjoy sleeping off his frequent drunks in the Fayette County Jail. Frequent is actually an understatement, Mr. Earl has been arrested 972 times, mostly for public intoxication after his streetside singing and kooky kung fu perfomances.

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Too Many Times It’s Just Too Late

April 18, 2008

I think this is a rather inventive way to remind people of the perils of driving under the influence even though it probably begins to lose its effectiveness if it is “viewed” too many times in one sitting. It has been my experience that once someone has started drinking it’s a little too late for logic and reason.

It’s reminiscent of many things addiction related, the good things tend to occur too late to do much good. The alcoholic finally gets sober only to lose his license, job, and family. The addict gets clean and then faces a much reduced lifetime battling hepatitis or HIV. Catastrophe or incarceration are often the catalysts for sobriety and conversely triggers for relapse.

It’s never too early to curb your drinking, speak to a loved one, or even just to pull up stakes and move to a safer environment. Do it now while you still have a choice
before it’s too late.

(H/T AdGoodness)

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