Letter to the Public from OSCI: There are things that need to be said, and things that need to be heard

Written August 3, 2018

People of the Freeworld,

I am in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU), seg, the hole, jail, the box, etc. There are things that need to be said, and things that need to be heard.

Why am I in seg? I’m officially being investigated for facilitating access to the Internet from a computer with no network connection, it’s airgapped. Why or how they think I’d be doing that is lost on me. The work I was doing was authorized and no less than six staff know the facts.

This is day three. Why am I still here? Ya got me!

So, lots of changes have come down since the lockdown. Post-lockdown only 2 units on rec yard at a time (i.e. for each slot). Each yard has 3-4 units.

Rec yard schedule changes:

8:00 am – 11:30
12:45 pm – 4:20 pm
6 pm – dusk
8:00 am – 9:30 am
9:35 am – 11:05 am
1 pm – 2:15 pm
2:45 pm – 4 pm
5:40 pm – 7:10 pm
7:15 pm – dusk

Other changes post-lockdown:

  • Schedule personal laundry with locked door
  • Potted houseplants discontinued
  • Library periods shortened by 5 mins
  • Strip searches after visits
  • Inmates cannot use restroom during visits, if they do so, the visit terminates
  • Visiting room tables are cut to 12″ tall
  • Training kitchen is only open twice per week (NOTE: OSCI policy was changed after this letter was received by Milwaukee IWOC)
  • Inmates no longer deliver training kitchen food to tables
  • No photos at visits
  • No games at visits besides cards
  • No sharing food on visits – if your mom can’t finish her order it goes to waste
  • No pockets on pants or shirts
  • No beltloops on pants
  • Inmates no longer retain the envelope that letters come in, unless it’s legal mail
  • Inter-library loans are discontinued

There are probably more things but I cannot think of them off hand.

I forgot to tell you about the drain flies in my last letter. The kitchen and serveries have these flies that live in the floor drains. They look like giant, fuzzy fruit flies, a sooty grey-black color, and leave a dusty streak when crushed. These flies land on everything, going from floor drain to food to counter. Mmmm, yum, so good.

I’m currently on temporary lockup (TLU) status, and not doing actual seg time. Now, I get less property than if I were being punished. It took a day to get my address book, notepaper, and envelopes. I have a rubber cup with what what looks to be earwax and mold on the exterior bottom, a 2″ toothbrush, a ben that consists only of the ink resovoir, a deodorant, and soap. For a bed, imagine a 2″ thick foam mat (the upholsterer’s foam used in furniture) laid on concrete. My sink and toilet are, at the foot of my bed, stainless steel. There were two books upon my arrival, one on christian life, the other on the youth of a foster child. My food is lukewarm by the time it arrives. The water tastes strange.

All-in-all, this hasn’t been so bad. I know I’ll get something out of this. They always find something, and I did have contraband: towels, books, extra mug, extra toenail clippers, and stuff. No weapons, porn, drugs or alcohol.

I’m done with the computers until I finish program! I’m really tired of working on sanctioned projects only to have Security shit bricks because they weren’t in the loop and I’m the one shafted. I’m just doing what I’m told. It’s their ignorance that’s causing these problems. I’m done.

My program may be secured anyway. If they keep the investigation going long enough, I won’t even need to be found guilty of anything; I’ll be cut. My facilitators investigated this several months ago to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. Why now all of a sudden? Could it be the complaint claiming Security Director Emil Toney destroyed the pagan chapel groups altar contrary to established law? I don’t know.

Usually, if they find any contraband in one’s property, there is an automatic ticket (conduct report) issued. I had lots of contraband, and no ticket, yet. That indicates they are going through my property looking for something.

My facilitators haven’t come talked to me yet either. That’s strange too. Everyone else I’ve seen sent to seg, they talk to them the next day. I think my facilitators are batting on my side, though.

I feel weak, helpless, and impotent. Seg can give a person the sense of being forgotten in a hole. I am alone, physically, but hear others pounding on doors, screaming for officers attention, crying, and such. I can catch glimpses of the man across from me.

I get headaches almost daily. Mild, but it’s pain that wears me away. My body aches from exercise. My feet hurt from pacing barefoot on concrete for 10 hours. I smell rancid from sweat. Yoga feels good, though.

We have clocks, now, mounted to the ceiling outside the cells. Each cell has one. What a difference it makes being able to know that only 7 minutes have past since the last time I looked! Wow!

I have some good earplugs that I keep in most of the time. They make a world of difference, too. Nice.

Currently, I’m reading Starhawk’s “Dreaming the Darkness.” I think it’s her first book. A lot of guys say she’s this feminist-nazi type, but I find her books comforting and caring, and sincere. Her beer can principle makes sense: if you say you’re for a clean world don’t step over the beer can, pick it up, and don’t do so because you feel guilty, but feel empowered to have done something that helps the world heal. It’s about integrity. Doing something small is still doing something.

And, I honor those doing something. I try to make the world a better place every single day. I wish people good tidings, say thank you, and help where I can. I’m being punished for helping, but that doesn’t deter me; I’ll just change the way I’ll help.

Good news, the training kitchen cancelled my chicken order so I’m not charged the $5.50. They didn’t used to do that. If you went to seg, they wouldn’t cancel or refund your money.

People, peace love and joy be unto you.