Question Time with Warrior
Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
I’d like to answer some of the reader questions now, and to all those who follow Jon’s Jail Journal, “Hello! Thank you for all of your support.”
To Anonymous who asked about prison “home surgeries and other medical procedures.” Sometimes it’s better to perform your own procedures than to go to Medical because it takes so long for Medical to see you, and also to avoid getting into trouble for stuff such as fighting for having certain injuries. For example, I was once stabbed in the armpit with a piece of fence shaped like an ice pick. Since it was a puncture and not a slice, it couldn’t be stitched. It had to heal on its own. I used an empty lotion bottle plus a pen tube, and boiling water with salt and pepper to flush the wound clean. A trick an old-timer taught me. It healed.
To Leigh: Yes the holiday season does bring about problems and violence. It amplifies what already exists. The media is a constant reminder of what holidays traditionally are, yet reality here is certainly otherwise. We are absent children, loved ones, good food, and memorable moments, and these are things some prisoners will never have again. It’s a hard reality.
A lot of prisoners deal with depression through drugs, anger and violence. Their inability to cope makes these avenues of escape more attractive. Emotions are infectious, so imagine 500 to 1000 prisoners all feeling this way. One slight may lead to a fight, then a riot, and so on. This occurs every year.
As for the medical process, a prisoner submits a “Health Needs Request.” I’ve enclosed one so that perhaps Shaun can send you a copy. Whatever need you have determines who you will see: dentist, doctor, psychologist, eye specialist… However, getting seen is no guarantee you’ll get treated. If it’s cheap and easy you may get treated. Also if it’s “necessary” i.e.) the prison might get sued if they don’t treat you. With “might get sued” defined as: does this prisoner have the knowledge and resources to sue us, if not then we can screw him over.
The commissary does provide some basic health items for us to purchase – ibuprofens, cough drops, sinus pills – but the quality is so poor that they do little to alleviate any symptoms.
To Crazy Cracker Girl who asked what are my greatest strengths, and how they came to be. I believe self-knowledge. When we know ourselves, we know that the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves or allow others to place upon us. There is an idea of Plato’s that I love. He said that education is not a process of putting knowledge into empty minds, but making people realize that which they already know, that certain truths are inherent and universal in all of us. I believe this to include compassion, understanding, good character and strength of will to list a few. However, we decide whether to put these truths into practice, part-time, all of the time, or not at all. For me, self-knowledge meant making peace with my past decisions, history and life. My education was the streets, and that’s OK despite prison because I’ve learned that things can always be worse. Once I understood my propensity for bad, I recognized my responsibility to be good. Our individual journeys in life teach us what we need and where we go from there is up to us. I don’t know if this answers your question, but it came to mind.
Thank you for your questions! If you have any more, please add them to the comments and Shaun will mail them to me.
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Our friends inside appreciate your comments and questions.
Links to more prison stories by Warrior:
Warrior v Big E.
Rapist on the Yard
Bucket of Blood
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