Somebody had these and got them to me. It was good to read stuff of Gary’s that I hadn’t read yet, and thank you to the gentleman, who got them to me. I’m not sure when this was written. It had to be way before we got together because he was in Terre Haute when we got together.

Subject: HELP!

One flew over the jailbird’s nest
Health and welfare, Bureau of prison terms style? For Federal prisoners in Springfield, MO. to be examined by a Rheumatologist and treated for Arthritis, I had heard all the usual horror stories about this place from prisoners who’d come here for treatment, and therefore dreaded coming here myself. But my Arthritis is so severe and painful that I had to do something. Any prisoner will tell you that if you become sick or require Dental or Medical treatments in prison you are in dire straits. And, if you have a lengthy sentence, the odds are against you completing your sentence without contracting any one of the myriad of illnesses and diseases that are epidemic in the Federal prison system. If you do contract a disease do not expect the medical staff to inform you of it. There is an unwritten policy to not inform prisoners of a detected disease until it becomes necessary to treat the condition or symptoms. The intent being that “short term treatment” is less costly than “long term treatment.” In many cases this is tantamount to murder because early detection is the key to remedy many diseases. Such is my case, Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sometimes it can be remedied with a simple change in diet. Arthritis is the number one crippler in America and kills thousands of sufferers every year. I began to complain of classic symptoms of Arthritis ten years ago. There is no way that a doctor could listen to the symptoms I described and not tentatively diagnose them as Arthritic in nature. The doctor told me: You exercise too much, slow down, the pain will go away…
I was severely stricken three years ago, sometimes to the point that I could not even get out of bed. I could not walk, brush my teeth or comb my hair. Other symptoms are: Short term memory loss, angst, anxiety attacks, depression, confusion, lethargy and encephalopathy, to name only a few. All are very dangerous conditions to have in a prison environs. All these symptoms are exacerbated by stress and cause one to go totally berserk at the slightest provocation. People avoid me like the plague!
It took three years of suffering the above conditions before a doctor from the “outside world” ordered the Bureau of Prisons to put me on a steroid medication and send me to Springfield for treatment. There is another unwritten policy here at the medical facility, which is to make conditions so intolerable that the prisoners, via attrition, will refuse treatment in order to transfer out as soon as possible. Again, medical treatment is costly. I’ve been here a little over three months and have yet to see a Rheumatologist. They drew blood every two weeks for two months, that’s all so far. The treatment is long and drawn out, part of the above-mentioned unwritten policy of attrition. This policy of attrition is largely reserved for prisoners with chronic and/or incurable and costly ailments such as Aids, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, Arthritis etc…. And doubly so if you happen to be a White racial dissident to the Bureaucratic tyranny of the US Government.
Sensory deprivation, environmental stimulus, i.e. harassment and exasperation are the policy or order of the day at this facility. After arriving at USMC Springfield, you are processed and if you are maximum custody sent directly to the lock-down ward, which is commonly called “the hole.” In this hole the cells are approximately 12 x 7. The walls are bright white painted steel. The ceiling is ten feet up and banked with double sets of florescent lights, which are controlled outside of the cell. There is a video camera in one corner of the ceiling. The bed is a steel or concrete slab set away from the wall and has iron loops for “four-posting” a prisoner in restraints should he become a nuisance or disorderly. There is the standard stainless-steel toilet and sink, which breaks up the majority of the space the bed does not occupy, leaving little room to move about. There is one window, but it is so crisscrossed with bars, steel wire mesh and dirty glass that are practically impossible to see out of. There are double doors to the cells. The first is solid steel, with a twenty-inch window reinforced with wire mesh and bars. Below this is the “Bean slot,” a 5 x 12-inch slot with a heavy steel door used to pass food trays through the door. The second door butts up against this door. It is an open spaced bar grill, covered with Plexiglas on the outside and diamond shaded steel mesh on the inside, there is a slot to accommodate the bean slot. Why two doors? I have no idea. The first one is more than secure. These are the most depressing cells I have been in anywhere! And I’ve been in a lot…
The day here begins at 5:30 am with the ringing of the entrance bell. It announces the arrival of the nurse with the first of four daily doses of medications. This obnoxious bell is rung approximately 50 to 60 times a day and night. For the next 15 minutes one cannot escape the methodical banging and slamming of the heavy steel doors on the bean slots. These doors are opened and allowed to fall to a steel backstop where they bounce 4 or 5 times before coming to a rest. After the medications are dosed at each slot the door is lifted and struck against the locking bar, backed off and then slammed shut. The opening and slamming of these 25 to 30 heavy steel doors is repeated an average of 360 times a day. This thunderous monotony alone is enough to drive a man to berserking bedlam. As if the doorbell and slamming doors were not enough Pavlovian stimuli, our demented tormentors have added the affect of a never-ending ringing telephone…
Lights! Nothing is more raw and aggravating then to spend hours in total darkness and then to have the nurse blind you with a bank of glaring bright lights at 5:30 am. They claim they need to be able to see us swallow our medications, because we cannot be trusted to take them ourselves. Never mind that it may only be Aspirin or Tylenol or that she can’t really see well enough through these doors to tell if the medication is actually being ingested, palmed or simply dropped on the floor. I am so dangerous and such a security risk that I cannot be allowed a Q-tip to swab my ears or a Chapstick for dry lips. I cannot have an eraser on my pencil, which is only 3 inches long and cannot be sharpened… My ink pen is only 3 inches as well, made of flexible rubber and bends when in use. Is it possible that a man who has the cunning and intelligence to fashion and manufacture weapons and other implements out of such mundane items cannot utilize a bit of simple ingenuity to hold back a dose of medicine? Potentially dangerous meds are crushed, put in transparent cups with water, dissolved and then given to the prisoners. I would suggest that the glaring lights are more for the psychological affects. Part of the continuous onslaught of controlled environmental stimulus to create a conditioned reflexive response, which oft times has the opposite of the desired effects on a given individual, hence the iron loops on the beds…
Before 6:00 am, often before I’ve even had the opportunity to urinate, there is a hack at my cell door inquiring as to if I would like to shower. Since I’m used to a daily shower like all normal people concerned about hygiene, and I’m allowed only three showers a week here, It’s a rather fatuous query. When I return to my cell from a shower stall that is filthy of scum, mold and who knows what else, and of course one in which I have no access to the controls of the hot or cold valves, my breakfast is on my bunk. Cold, except for the milk which is warm. I’ve yet to be fed on a tray that didn’t have the residue from the previous meal still on it. More often than not the tray and cover are cracked and broken, even missing parts at times. There is no way to clean and sanitize trays in this condition. The industrial dishwasher will not even remove left over food particles let alone clean in the chinks and cracks where bacteria and other microorganisms collect. We are forced to use a flexible “spork” (A cross between a soon and fork) to eat with. You get a Spork with your first meal and you’re expected to use the same one for the duration of your stay. The utensils at the local Jack-in-the-box are of a higher quality! There is no way to clean and sanitize these sporks in your cell. Remember, this is a medical facility, a hospital, where every illness, virus and disease imaginable exists. We are forced to change cells every 2 weeks. This is not done for security reasons, it’s done because some prisoners won’t clean their cells and others will, so we are rotated in order that the cells get cleaned. Last week I was rotated to a cell that was previously occupied by an inmate with HIV. Next week I may get one of an inmate with Tuberculosis.
Often, before I choke down the swill that is breakfast, the hack is again at my cell door inquiring as to if I would like to go to “recreation.” Recreation consists of 60 minutes alone in a chain link fence cage on a concrete slab about 12 feet wide and 20 feet long. There is nothing in the cage, no pull-up bar, a dip bar, nothing but me. “Recreation”; consists of pacing back and forth, running in circles or various other excursuses. In approximately 48 hours I can wash the sweat off in my next shower…
When I return to my cell from rec., it has usually been trashed in a shack-down wherein the hack is touted to be searching for “contraband.” Contraband is usually determined by the whim of the petty tyrant trashing the cell; it varies from hack to hack and day to day. But one thing is certain, the hack will not come out of the cell without taking something. Usually something quite paltry, but something a prisoner who has very little to begin with will miss until he acquires a replacement. This is part of the psychological assault upon our senses. Frequently the contraband is an extra pair of socks, a towel or a pair of dry underwear that I had planned to wear in place of the sweaty ones I just “recreated” in for an hour. We are not allowed gym shorts for recreation. The only clothing allowed is a one-piece button up jumpsuit, 1 tee shirt, a pair of briefs (no boxers) and 1 pair of socks. The psychological assault isn’t subtle at all. It is intended to blend in and be part of a “normal”; routine. What the shakedown goons don’t walk off with the ants and fruit flies will, the place is swarming with the vermin. We are not allowed to have, or have access to our personal property, books, photographs, address book etc…. I’m allowed one 15-minute phone call every 30 days. My parents live in Arizona, I have a daughter in Washington, one in Idaho, 3 brothers in Tennessee, and a sister. In 7 months I can call them all, in 14 I can call ’em twice! The Zoggomite dogs are magnanimous bastards, eh? (No pun intended)
After the noon mess, on filthy trays and using my disposable spork, the “liars club” sometimes makes its rounds. The liars club are administrative personnel: Unit manager, Counselors, Caseworkers, Duty officer, Associate wardens etc. Near as I can tell their job is to lie to us, pass the buck or otherwise do the old bureaucratic two-step shuffle. The evening news could air them in the segment titled: “the fleecing of America.” This bureaucracy is the perfect medium for tyranny; the system of checks and balances is nonexistent, as is accountability.
Not a lot happens in the afternoon around here. I do Yoga for medical therapy. The hack comes around with the supply cart. Good opportunity to slam the bean slots again as prisoners exchange their 3-inch pencils for a sharpened one. Exchange their 3-inch, flexible toothbrush and trade out an empty cardboard tube for a full roll of toilet paper. I’ve yet to figure out what security threat could possibly be related to a dead toilet paper roll. Just more prison psychological rigmarole. Or why we cannot have a mirror in our cells? Perhaps they don’t want us to see a reflection that will remind us that we are human beings, men and not animals. Perhaps they’re afraid we’ll act like men; all part of the psychological programming and sensory deprivation. Add to this the debasing indignity of having to exist in close quarters with human refuse that is just shy two chromosomes from swinging in the trees, and the assaultive barrage is virtually complete. They detest me because I’m White. They see the government and their oppressors as White, and therefore erroneously equate us as synonymous. Except of course White women. They sure like the White female nurses and hacks that walk the range. The evenings in here are spent having to listen to the twisted ranting and ravings of these arrogant, obnoxious and imbecilic morons.
Sometimes during the night, long after I have wearied myself to sleep, the hack will turn off the lights to the cell. But he’ll be around every hour to shine a flashlight in my face and count me. I’m awake long before the doorbell rings at 5:30 am, gnashing my teeth in expectation like a Pavlovian dog, dreading its coming. Then the bean slots start slamming. It’s a whole new day on the calendar, but nothing is new in here. All the days are like the one before. And it never ends; it just merges into the next one. This is but a meager example of the extent to which the tyrants will go to secure their rotting throne of thralldom. But it will fall, and I will endure to press it to the pit to which it is reserved. If not, I’ll haunt the bastards from the grave and await them in hell, where I’ll have the keys.
G. Yarbrough