22nd July 04 Deadly diseases

My cellmate, David, responded to his hepatitis C result by popping a cocktail of pharmaceutical pills. Shortly after, he had a seizure. His contorted trembling body was carted away, but he survived.

The jail staff did not teach inmates about how diseases are spread. Diseased inmates are housed with healthy inmates. They share nail clippers (1 per 100 plus inmates), hair clippers, tattoo guns, syringes and other personal effects. I witnesses inmates with diseases serving chow. David would probably not have contracted this disease – which may shorten his lifespan – if some simple preventative measures had been in place. David is coming to terms with possibly having to die before his time.

The small amount of money that it would take to put preventative measures in place is surely worth less than David’s life. The average taxpayer may complain about paying for the upkeep of the jails, but the medical bills incurred by David and many other inmates in his situation will add far more to the taxpayers’ burden in the long run. It sickens me that this is being allowed to happen.

Today, I watched an inmate refuse to give a DNA sample. He was surrounded and strapped into a chair. The sample was taken.
18th July 04 Reception Centre

I am a "fish" – someone new to the prison system. Here at Alhambra Unit, I’ve been strip-searched, blood tested, TB tested, questioned, photographed, and ordered to give a DNA sample from the inside of my left cheek. I am temporarily housed in a four-man cell that, unlike my jail cell, actually receives cool air. When I see cockroaches, I know they are imaginary ones. Now that the cockroach torture is over, I am sleeping better.

I have two Hispanic and one white cellmates. They sing a lot. Two of them have hepatitis C. One of them just found out yesterday. He thinks he contracted it during his one-year stay at Durango (one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails). The other contracted it by sharing a needle. He is detoxing from heroin use. They sing their blues away. I joined in with some Beatle songs. A fellow in the cell next door slit his wrist this morning. He was discovered and taken to the Medical Unit.

Everyone here is astounded that I was locked up in the jail’s harshest quarters for so long. They are perplexed as to why I am finding things here so comfortable. I feel sorry for the inmates I left behind. I hope to see some of them – including Frankie – come through here soon. After enduring the jail, those inmates can make it anywhere.


31st Aug 04 Thanks Ste

Thanks Ste Wilkinson (computer whiz kid and family friend) for renovating my blog, inserting my mum’s favourite photo of me from my stockbroking days, and for adding links to Mothers Against Arpaio and a site about Sheriff Joe’s misdemeanours. Ste has also put a comments link into the blog, making it easy for you to give feedback.

I haven’t got access to a computer or the Internet. With a pen refill (we're not allowed a pen as it could be weaponized) I scribble away until my hand hurts. The pen refill is a step up from the jail's golf pencil. I send the blog entries to my parents for typing up and posting. They will forward any emails or comments back to me. It may take a little time for my reply, but I will write back and appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks again Ste, Good lookin’ out, dawg!