08 Mar 09

The Dangers Involved with a Gay Cellmate (Part 2 by 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.

As my cellmate was being cuffed, I paid close attention to his hands, attempting to gauge his size. In here, where cellmates sometimes kill their new cellmates, you have to notice such things, in case the compatibility to live with one another is not there. I noticed small hands, more feminine than a man’s. I also noticed lengthy fingernails, which meant my new cellmate was a homosexual. Then it dawned what the sergeant had meant by asking if I’d cell with anyone.
With my new cellmate cuffed up and my leg shackles off, the escorting officer directed the control tower to release the lock on the cell door. Before I entered, I felt the stares escaping all of the surrounding cells.
The face I saw was of a boy no more than 18. Short with feminine features. Thinly built almost to the degree of a woman in frame. He had to be part Native American. He was light-complected and grew no facial hair, which played into his ladylike appearance.
“Shit,” I said, knowing what drama celling with this individual would bring. I instantly saw fear in the kid’s eyes and posture. A sign that he’d been through a lot.
The officers shut the door, and we were both uncuffed. The bottom bunk was empty, so I knew it was mine. I wondered if the kid preferred the top bunk for safety reasons – harder access to try and hurt or rape him along with eliminating the scenario of being punked for the upper bunk.
“What’s up. I’m Warrior.” I put my hand out to shake, and he followed suit and tried to meet my handshake. Limpwristed. It was more of a hand curtsy.
“I’m Sasha,” he said in a lisp.
Irritated, I asked, “What’s your real name?”
“You don’t mind if I call you Daniel, do ya?”
“Nah, it’s cool.”
“Well, if you don’t mind, it’s been an exhausting day, I’m gonna crash out for a little bit.” I was tired from waiting in holding pens out in the hot sun all day. Normally, I wouldn’t sleep around a new cellie until I was able to feel him out further. Given Daniel’s disposition, I didn’t have much to worry about. I couldn’t imagine how much shit he’d been through because of his sexuality. Homosexuality is frowned upon in the Arizona prison system, yet prevalent.

I woke to dinner. Daniel retrieved the trays from the trap. We both started to eat. With an air of fear, Daniel asked if I wanted some food from his tray. I declined.
I define individuals on who they are and how they behave, not in terms of social background, sexual orientation or religion.
To ease his fear, I explained I didn’t expect or want anything form him. I just wanted him to be a respectful cellie, and I’d be the same. I saw a weight lifted off him, and his eyes welled up a bit. I thought he was going to cry, but he held back.
What he told me, I wasn’t ready for. At that moment I guess I was the closest thing to civility he’d run into for a while. He said how every cellie he’d had ended up wanting something sexual from him since he’s been in the hole. He’d been bouncing from yard to yard because homosexuals are not allowed on the yards anymore. When he wasn’t getting beat up, he was trying to avoid servicing someone sexually, even though he usually ended up having to do so. The kid was in the hole for assault on his lover. He’d got to the point where he offered his food up, hoping his cellmates would eat and be too full to want to mess with him.
I’ve always been quick at understanding someone’s nature and sincerity or lack of. The kid’s eyes told me he’d been through a lot. I had compassion for him, knowing he’d been through more that I could. If I were him, I would have killed the people that harmed me. I was surprised he hadn’t killed himself yet. I recognised he had a good heart, so I decided to school him in prison, politics, survival 101. I stayed up most of the night explaining why the system frowns on homosexuals, and why many prisoners behave like animals around homosexuals.
He asked if I believed he could do the rest of his time in peace. I told him only if he was in protective custody, which was his safest course of action.

The next day was rec. It consisted of being placed inside small fenced-off dog kennels. There were ten kennels side by side, opposite another row of 10.
It was morning still, and I asked Daniel if he was heading out for rec. He said no. I knew he feared the other inmates.
Rec was an hour, so I told him I’d be back in an hour. Again I saw the fear in his eyes, so I asked, “What are you worried about?”
“Those guys are gonna try to get you to beat me up.”
“Look, I don’t know what your issues are, but as far as I’m concerned you’re cool. It’s different in the hole as far as yard laws are concerned. I can play this game like the rest of these fools. Relax, you have nothing to worry about. I’m no two-faced fucker either. I told you I expect nothing but a respectful cellie. That’s what you’ve shown me, so you have the same coming in return.” I then went to rec.

I was the last one brought out of the twenty cells. Cells 2 and 1 didn’t go. Some guys were working out, others talking. Each kennel had a different race, some blacks, some whites, some Mexicans, some chiefs.
I was the only body in my kennel since my cellie stayed in. I took my shirt off to display my ink. To let the rest know I wasn’t knew to the system. I started my workout.
A short stocky Mexican with a goatee and lacquered back hair was the first to make conversation.
“Q-vo, homeboy. What’s your name?”
“Q-vo. Warrior.”
“Orale. I’m Chuco. This is my cellie Sniper.”
“Orale, homes,” Sniper said, and nodded his head. He was young, thin, with a bald head. One arm sleeved in ink, so he was in the mix of prison politics to some degree.

Introductions in prison are verbal chess. They are attempts at establishing position and seniority, finding out who rolls with who and who’s connected to the gangs, and if so how far up the ladder they are.
So I played the game with these two. I could tell Sniper was a wannabe, and followed Chuco’s lead. I could tell Chuco wasn’t sure about me, just as I wasn’t sure about him. So we were at a stalemate, though on the surface it all came across as a courteous conversation.
Then the drama began. “So you celled up with Sasha I see,” Chuco said.
“Daniel you mean?” I replied.
“Oh, my bad, Daniel,” he said sarcastically. “You know that’s a violation, right?”

Click here to read Part 3.

Click here to read Part 1.

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Shaun P. Attwood


Chris H said...

Yo yo yo!

What does he mean? What's a violation???

Chris H

Anonymous said...

He is in violation of the hispanic prison rules. You are not allowed to cell up with homosexuals, other races, or molesters/rapists. If that happens, you are to assault and possibly kill that person, or at least make a good faith attempt at it. That is why Chuco (which is short for Pachuco, his nickname) ran it by Warrior. It is going to be interesting to see what happens. Warrior may get the greenlight if he doesn't comply. -Jose in San Diego.

Chris H said...

Yo yo Jose

Greenlight??? As in some one would greenlight an atack on Warrior? That would be inadvisable, I imagine...

Do inmates gt to choose who they cell with? Do you get that much say over who or where you bunk?

Chris H

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Chris,

Yes, since Warrior is in Violation of the code and conduct by celling up with a homosexual, if he doesn't take immediate action to remedy the situation, he could be targeted for an attack. It would make the whole "car" look bad if he continues to cell up. Remember that one incident can have repercussions, and since homosexuality is frowned upon and looked at as weakness, to have a soldier violate that code is a no-no. But then again, I never was in the Arizona DOC, only out here in California, so I don't know if they go about it any differently. I can't call it. But I do know the general guidlines and edicts and that is something that cannot be disputed, is the zero tolerance. We'll have to wait and see what happens. I am sure Warrior is fully aware of the situation at hand, so we'll see where it goes. Warriors best course of action would have been to have his celly roll his stuff up (meaning literally kicking him out of his cell and being transferred to another cell), but we now know that Warrior rolls to a different beat of the drum (no disrepect intended) and I only knew of a couple dudes who went that route and a greenlight was put out on them and they were shanked by the next day. So we'll see... -Jose in San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Oh by the way Chris, in regards to who you cell with, there is a mandate here in California that you MUST be celled with someone from your race. It is for safety reasons. When you hit the pen they classify you before when you are in reception, where during your 90 day observation they interview you and find out who you are, where you live, etc. so that for your safety, you don't get placed in a wrong cell/block/dorm. Basically for hispanic inmates, it is North or South (Norteno/Sureno) based on geographics. Even non-gang members must align on a side based on hometown (i.e. if you live in Orange County and are hispanic, they will classify you as a Southsider and put you with the Surenos). Nowadays half the prisons have SNY (Sensitive Needs) yards so many of the homosexuals and rapists and molesters go to those yards for safety reasons and live without assaults. That is why I think "Sasha" should have rolled up to PC along time ago.

Plus remember there is ALOT of corruption in the prison system, so the gangs who have the power have influence over the guards and concessions are made in regards to cells/celly at times. Also, the clerks make A TON of money moving people into cells and out of cells. I had a homeboy in Donovan named Green-Eyes from Lincoln that was a clerk and his hustle was moving inmates out/into cells for a variety of reasons, father's and sons, those who were sick, ones targeted for assault, etc. As for bunks, I think it would be a mutual decision. I hope that helps. -Jose in San Diego.

Jon said...


In the Arizona Department of Corrections you are celled with someone of your race. Due to cellies murdering cellies so much, the ADOC introduced a like-crime rule, whereby they now try to to cell murderers with murderers, car thieves with car thieves... If you do not get along with your celly, you can request a cell change. A cell change request can take months to be processed, and you may get refused if you've had tickets, or submitted other recent requests. If it's a life threatening situation, prisoners often refuse to lockdown in their assigned cell, and then get sent to the hole.

Warrior is already in the hole in this story. The guards in the hole usually will not do cell changes.

Shaun Attwood

Anonymous said...

wow----residents of the ADOC have cellies in the hole? georgia's hole keeps it solitary. what are the other specs for the ADOC hole? how many stamps a week? phone use? visits? showers? yard times? georgia allows purchase of 3 stamps, no phone or visits and i think 1 yard and 2 showers...

Anonymous said...

It's good to see Warrior bucking the rules. Shows courage and dare I day it morals.