Prison Laundry Work (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they naturally concluded Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

The prison where Brandon is at takes in institutional and hospital laundry as a business. Naturally this includes a lot of biohazard human waste. Brandon is now running the washing machines, one of which is large enough to hold 8 standing adult men.

The guy who runs the big washers next to mine, Taylor, was out on medical lay-in, so some rank amateur took his place. How hard is it to run the washers? Only three people are qualified, in a sense: me, Nate, and Dave. Two of those are quality control counters and can’t or don’t really want to run ’em. So, my foreman, Knapp, got our janitor to do it. The same guy who was told on several occasions never to touch a machine, ANY machine, as long as he worked at CI, because he is a disaster-prone idiot. That’s putting it lightly. He couldn’t cut it, he needed too much of my attention, and my work was suffering. We switched, figured he’d have it easier. Now it’s worse than ever. I need to either fix it or quit, because it’s becoming too hard a job to keep up. To make things worse, Taylor went to Michigan (mandatory transfer due to overcrowding) and may as well be gone for good, ’cause he won’t be back before I’m gone. That means I’m on the big washers for good, and Nelson the Idiot Janitor runs my old show. What a mess.

In the end, five guys were taken from our side, our shift, leaving us with 13. Enough to limp along. We’re taking on a new jail contract come Monday, Frackville, which with the reduced workforce is supposed to guarantee us 70 cent bonuses for the duration. A max bonus is great, but juggling my job and keeping in check the inadequacies of my wash counterpart is arduous. I don’t always have time to monitor him and his sometimes ridiculous errors or lack of observation. The twenty-year old, over-burdened industrial equipment needs constant attention and foreknowledge of their individual weaknesses. They are all in different stages of disrepair and a few wrong decisions can break them, cause injury, or both. In correctional industry, OSHA only exists on inspection days. In nearly all cases, liability rests with the prisoner alone. That says it all.

This Friday was no exception. The floor was backed up, 2 dryers were broke down, as was the cart wash. It was so bad, Knapp gave me that days 3 mandatory contracts to do, then said to shut down for the night. I never bothered to memorize the shipping schedule or the mandatories, because getting the work done was never an issue, or I had Taylor riding my ass and trying to micro-manage my work. Anyways, we do what we have to, leaving a ton of work, because anything left wet over the weekend will have to be re-washed. Nothing to do but buffer pads and 1,000,000 pounds of floor mats! Actually more like 1,000. Seriously. With the whole spring cleaning thing in effect, every dept sent floor mats. Normally they get done gradually over the course of the week, but not this time. They all had to be washed and draped over carts to drip dry, some as long as 20 or more feet. One from Medical must have reached 50 and weighed nearly 200 pounds. So big it had to ride in my twin-pocket 450, the other pocket loaded with as much ballast as we could find. (We used old leather boots sent for disposal. This thing was so heavy, when I went to weigh it to balance the load, I got tangled in it and just fell straight over like a tree going down, almost unable to get up from under it!) It took three people to wrestle it out of the machine and most of the crew to stretch it out. The hardest part for me was climbing inside the washer, slippery and humid as it was, to lift the mat up toward the access hatch and push while two others pulled. Difficult, but interesting. By the time we left, the dirty side was littered with mats on carts. I had long lost track of which went where and didn’t care. We barely escaped that place with our lives.

When I got “home” that night of the transfer, they wouldn’t let us shower. That really messed me up, because I was FILTHY. I had been digging in heavy soil loads known as “shit carts” (for obvious reasons” most of the day and I desperately wanted cleanliness. When Nate was taken out I unloaded my plastic foot locker and took an extreme “bird bath” in it. Burn me for a shower! Made a mess, but it was worth it.

Click here to read the Occult Killer’s previous blog.

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Shaun Attwood


Anonymous said...

love Bran's details of this job

ad14456456 said...

there's plenty of detail in this story, but it's next to impossible to understand or relate to it as a lay reader. Too full of jargon and inside details that i think only the writer or his coworkers could relate to, which makes it a bit mundane. A great start though.

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Thanks, ad14456456, for the advice-I will pass it on to my son. I didn't realize myself though I tried to put in some explanation, that we're so used to prison life, situations and jargon that someone not in that place wouldn't understand. I do have to say, though, that that is the reason I read Shaun's blog in the first place-I did not know anything when we first started out, and this blog so well explains prison life.

Sue O. (Bran's mom)

p.s. I included another excerpt of Bran's recent letter in my blog-it is much more personal and general in sentiment

Anonymous said...

This guy came and spoke at my school, everything he says is true, i know that this blog isn't that bad with the information that is in it, but he does talk of fights that have happen while he was there, he explains them in great detail, he had me crying when he was giving his speech at my school.