30 Apr 08
Women's Incarceration Experiences: Cherry Valentine
Ever wonder what it’s like for a woman to be in a jail or a prison? In this series I am going to relay the incarceration experiences of women, starting with the Cherry Valentine (ex-SuicideGirl member Norah).
“So you’ve been to jail?” I asked.
“Twice. Well, the first time, let me start off with what I went to jail for. I was shopping at Dillard's – one of my favorite clothing stores in the mall – and ran into this girl who thinks I stole her man (who is actually a homosexual). She had this whole Revlon collection in her purse that she decided to start throwing at me. She began screaming, and something in me just snapped. I grabbed her head and threw it into a display case full of I don't remember – it could of been ties for all I know. Then I began to pound on her face. She called me a kike too, so that didn't make me any happier. Luckily for that girl they had cops around and they grabbed me away and brought me up to this office where they asked me to tell the story over and over again. I was in this office for over an hour. A squad car picks me up and it's very embarrassing to walk out the mall with cuffs on, especially when you know a lot of people. So I was very nervous to go to jail cause I had never been.
I was wearing a really nice suit with runs in my pantyhose, and all these African American guys start screaming, ‘Hey baby.’
And I remember telling them to fuck off.”
“Where was this jail?”
“Southeast Texas. In this jail there are two giant men cells and one cell for girls. Then you have three of these individual cells for the really crazy ones they put in these strange straight-jacket-like outfits. One of them got a little violent with a guard and eight of them climbed on this guy and tasered him, then he pissed all over himself. That was pretty entertaining for me. In the women's cell I was in was a group of really nasty larger girls.
I remember one of them saying she was hungry to a cop, and he replied, ‘Your fat ass doesn't need any food.’
They were very mean. One of the girls was taking a pregnancy test and there was another young lady all washed up that had fallen asleep. We had no benches to sit on, just a cold concrete floor, and of course the food was awful. I really didn't like having to stare at these girls taking their jumpers off so they could pee, ’cause there are also no stalls or anything, just one nasty toilet. If you have to go, everyone has to see. That's embarrassing for me. They took the girls in blue jumpers away to their own cells where I was alone until a girl in an orange jumper came in. She was African American and in there for murder but was very nice to me. We had quite a conversation and she made me want to turn my life around. She told me her story and that she had a daughter who wrote her a card on Mother's Day. I felt sad for her. Eventually, I fell asleep after all the finger painting that was done. Then I heard bail. I wasn't in there but a few hours the first time, my father had to bail me out.”
“What about the second time?”
"The second time I was framed. My car broke down so I called my brother and asked him for a ride. Two of my brothers were in the car along with a girlfriend of theirs. I am in this vehicle for not even two minutes, and a cop pulls us over. He arrests both my brothers because they had warrants for their arrest for whatever reasons. The cop is talking to the other girl and I asking us if we have anything on us.
I proudly said, ‘No officer I don't do drugs and you can search through all my things if you like.’
The other girl said no as well. He searched through her purse and opened up a cigarette box where he found a joint. He said, ‘You fucking lied to me, what else do you have?’
She replied, ‘I have a stash in my panties.’
The officer calls for another squad car and they handcuff her. He searches through my things and tells me I can go.
I just start walking towards my brother's telling them I would call Mom when the cop yelled, ‘Wait a second, put cuffs on her too.’
I yelled, ‘For what? I haven't done anything.’
The officer screams, ‘There's marijuana all over the backseat where you were sitting.’
I know there was no marijuana there, and I remembered that my brother just cleaned his car and he said there was nothing back there. So I started talking shit to the cops, calling them dirty, and well, every name in the book as they cuff me. So they take me back to the same place and I am pissed off. I am giving every cop in there attitude. They called me a bitch and threatened to spray mace in my face. It was very strange to be in jail with my family, but comforting at the same time ’cause we could all see each other across from one another in our cells. So we were giving each other messages back and forth. We all tried calling everyone we knew to bail us out of jail. The cops laughed as they listened to me tell my grandmother that were pulled over by a dirty cop that planted marijuana on us. They even planted a crack pipe but charged my brothers for it. That is something my brothers have never tried, so I know that for sure was made up as well. I mean, we're Jews, we aren't into that heavy shit. But our family has been pretty notorious for getting in trouble and we are the only Jewish family in this area so everyone referred to us as the Notorious Jews. I always thought that title was lame. So we all sat in jail all night waiting for someone. I saw another man get tasered like the first time and I remember my brothers thinking it was quite hilarious. In the women's cell there was only me and the other girl that was dating my brother. This girl was only eighteen years of age. But she acted like she had been to jail before. One of the guards came and checked on us and was watching the girl sleep.
I didn't like the way he was looking at her so I asked, ‘What the fuck are you looking at you pervert?’
The cop replied, ‘Bitch you better shut up before we decide to keep you in here longer.’
All night I was arguing with the cops. Luckily I never got into trouble for it. Around eight o'clock in the morning my mother bails us out leaving the other girl in jail by herself. I was still talking shit as I was leaving the jail house but I couldn't help it, I was very angry. If I can help it, I will never go back.”
“What do you think of the jail guards?”
“The guards all had pretty huge egos which really doesn't fly too well with me. When I was being searched it was hard for me ’cause at the time I was very modest and hadn't broken out of my shell. I was nineteen years of age. The female cops were okay I guess.
I got testy with one and she said, ‘Oh so you think beause we are all dressed in blue we are all the same?’
I said. ‘Yes.’"
“What’s the worst thing a guard did to you?”
“I can not remember what the worst thing a guard did to me. Just a lot of arguing going back and forth. Me being a smart ass and the cop not liking the way I talked to him. I can honestly say that I hate cops with a passion ’cause most of them are dirty and when I've needed help several times in the past, they were never there.”
“I read some of your blogs at MySpace. Your attitude is similar to that of my friend in Paradise Valley, Jill Cuomo – funny in a tough way – who I spent some of the best times of my life with.”
“Yea I like to blog a lot. I always have opinions on things but most of the time people don't know how to take it. I don't like to sugar coat things and I just say whatever is on my mind.”
“You were a SuicideGirl member. What happened?”
“Yes, I can not believe SuicideGirls. They said I was too harsh and honest, or well rude to the other girls when people really just took things I said the wrong way. The other girls and I did not get along at all. Hard to believe. But I model for all kinds of sites now so I'm not worried about it.”
"Well thanks, Cherry Valentine, for sharing your jail experiences at Jon's Jail Journal.”
You can check Cherry Valentine’s blog and modelling pics out at: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=133534047
and her horror modelling shots at: http://www.deadlycreations.org/cherryvalentine.cfm
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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood