A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PRISON

Wakin up in the morning under paper thin white knitted blankets, sleeping on white sheets, on these new 6 inch gray plastic mattresses.

The 1st thing I see, is the bottom of the top bunk & the dim yellow of the count light just comin on at 6am. Depending on the time of the year I might wake up earlier to do prayer, since prayer is based on the time of sunset. Right now, the sun is setting late, after 7am…

We know when that count light comes on, there ain’t no leaving the cell to use the communal bathroom, until the light goes off, because it will mess up the head count.

1st thing you do when you get up, is grab the face towel, toothpaste and toothbrush & head to the bathroom, since they are communal bathrooms with 2 or 3 gray colored stall, 2 urinals and 5 sinks, there is a chance that someone else might be in there, or multiple people…I use the bathroom, brush my teeth & do wudu (washing hands, arms, face, feet) so I can go back to the room and do my prayer…

I put my key in the lock on the light colored brown door & walk in, sometimes my celly might stir a little bit, but usually he is a heavy sleeper, either way I try to close the door as quietly as I can. Put my toothbrush & stuff away, grab my prayer rug off the top shelf, throw it on the floor & pray…Since the morning or Fajr prayer (fajr is daybreak in Arabic) is a short one, I put the rug back on the shelf, plop back on the bottom bunk & cut the t.v. on, I really don’t watch it, it just keeps the room from being so dull & boring. If my celly is awake, I turn on my lil desk lamp, sometimes I start reading a book, waiting till the clear count so I can go to breakfast, other times I just lay there staring at the wall thinking about what I have to do for the day.

Other times me and my celly talk a little, or I just stare at the ceiling trying to fully wake up and get ready for lunch…by this time it’s about 6:40,6:45, or 6:50 am, the place is starting to get loud as people wake up and get ready, you hear all the toilets flushing, it’s amazing how many people have to take a dump that early in the morning, most people courtesy flush, but it is pretty gross when you wake up and the first thing you smell is someone’s dookie wafting down the tier…You see cat goin down to the microwave to heat up the 1st shot of coffee, or the shot they didn’t finish last night…the officers come on duty at 6am, so they down their reading the log book to see what the last officer made notes about the last night, if anyone did anything suspicious, went to the hole, got in a fight, went to medical, was making too much noise, loitering in the bathroom, that kind of stuff. Now the cop is doing his/her 1st tier check after count, walkin by the room, lookin in the windows…1 cop in particular named Reese like to shine his mag light in on people’s face who are sleeping…

The laundry porters do last call for the laundry that is going out in the morning. You get a white laundry bag, they got 2 big plastic bins on wheels that look like white recycle bins you see in front of Winco or something…You put your whites (tee shirts, drawls, socks) in the white laundry bag in on bin, and your khakis (2 short sleeve button ups and 1 long sleeve button ups, khaki pants or khaki jeans) go up in the other bin…Then they call the day’s 2nd movement (at 4:30am the morning kitchen workers is the 1st movement) the cop announces on the p.a.: “work call movement, tool room outside work crew report to B side dining hall, 7am kitchen workers report to work and 7 medical

At between 6:50 & 7:am, unless there is some kind of recount or emergency, they start the movements, the cop on the unit yells out “Count Clear” then a few minutes later, the movement control cop, who works outside on the breezeway, announces over the facility wide P.A. system: “7 o’clock work movement is now open, tool room & outside work crew report to B-side dining, 7 o’clock kitchen wokers report to work, & 7 o’clock medical movement is now open.” Then a few minutes later they cops says: “Laundy workers, report to P-building access point with laundry carts.” Then a few minutes after that the cops says: “C.I. Laundry workers report to C.I”

Since I have to take medicine for my bladder condition, when they open movement I have to go to pill line, which is a window in the medical building where we stand in line to get the pills that the nurse hands out.

Before I leave for pill line, the dayroom is just opening up, the cop at the desk turns on the lights, the phones and people line up to get on the Jpay & check they emails & look for music to purchase. Since there was a fight over the jpay earlier this year, about who was in line and all that jazz, in our unit they instituted a policy where we are supposed to put a lil card with our name and picture on it, so everyone knows who is in line & there ain’t no dispute over it.

You see people still making their first cup of coffee, some of the people who don’t go to breakfast, you might see them at the microwave or hot water shot making a bowl of cold cereal or oatmeal, they either got from the latest food package, or off the store.

People are half dead early in the morning, comin out the rooms lookin like zombies, so cats is to tired to even wash they face & brush they teeth…& you can smell the funky morning breath, I hate that, it is disgusting….

The ones who are awake, some of them start making noise at 7am, down there playing dominoes and cards before they even got some food in their stomach, I could never understand that…Usually after breakfast is when the gambling tables open up, the dayroom turns into a Las Vegas Casino, I personally don’t gamble, because 1–it’s against Islam, and 2.–I don’t like the idea of handing another man things that I bought with my money, when I loose & 3.–gambling leads to a lot of fights, especially when people can’t pay on time, they rack up debts when they know they are leaving, then the bounce without paying, and some casts will refuse to pay what they owe, & 4.– I don’t like being in debt to people, to me it’s an uncomfortable feeling, especially in an enviorment where you never know what could happen 5.–for the reasons listed in #3 is why I don’t like people owing me either….anyway, when the “Dayroom Casino” opens up, it gets loud & rowdy, people talk crap to each other, taunt each other, yell and scream when they win, cuss & fuss when they loose, brag about how good they is or how bad the other cats at the table is, they pound they fists on the table, then you got the cop yelling at them to keep it down…they got a policy at every prison in Washington that you can’t have more than 4 people at or around a table at a time, so most cops don’t enforce it, but some do, so all you hear them yelling all day is: “4 to a table” some even say corny things like: “Disperse” it’s like come on, are you serious “disperse” is that how you really talk?

After I go to pill line, I got to breakfast, we call all means “mainline” we call the dining hall the “chow hall” & the cops some times refer to meals as: “chow”. They call the mainline unit by unit, every unit has 2 sides, A pod side & B pod side, they call 1 pod inside the unit at a time…how do they do it? The movement control cop calls the pod officer on the phone and tells him/her to send his/her pod for mainline, then the cop yells at the top of their lungs: “Mainline”, at dinner they divide the call in half so they say: “1st half mainline, ok end of 1st half.” About 3-5 minutes later they yell:
“2nd half mainline” then a couple minutes after that they yell: “Last call mainline.”

Breakfast is usually the same thing the same day of every week, example:
Sunday, it’s called a boat, or a box, it’s a pre-packaged, inside a brown cardboard container wrapped in plastic made at Airway Heights Prison in Spokane,WA…It has a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, 1 bran bar, sometimes it could be apple or strawberry, 1 little box of cereal, lately it has been corn flakes, it used to be raisin bran, 1 three quarters of an oz. packet of powder milk, & 1 either orange or banana.

Monday it’s breakfast burrito, the inside is potatoe, soy/meat, powdered egg, some other stuff I don’t know what it might be, then 1 pint of MedowSweet milk, 1 banan, 1 butter brickle cupcake, 1 serving of watery oatmeal, lately though it has been, I am not sure if it is malto meal or cream of wheat, it is so watery I can’t tell, 1 scoop of butter, some fake salsa, that is also really gross, nothing spicy or salsa about it basically it is just cut up watery tomatoes and paste

After breakfast, if I don’t have a call out (appointment) I usually go back to my cell and read, sometimes I write, sometimes I sleep for a couple hours until lunch, then I have to go back to pill line to get some more medication.

After breakfast, is when it starts to really get rowdy in here, cats is now awake, like I said the gambling tables open up, the chess tables open up, & it’s on in cracking.

Also usually doing the morning is when the maintenance comes in and does their shoddy work when something needs it. Right now, this guy named Rob 1 is fixin up the tables, he is sanding them, & painting them. So far he is doing a good job, the tables look good for the 1st few days after he is done, then they start to get wear & tear, partly because the paint is cheap, also because cats is disrespectful & intentionally mess up his good work. Some of the tables he did have chess boards built in to them, some of the others have big logos of dominoes in the middle, and some of them have the logos from playing cards in the corners, the spades, the clubs, the diamonds and the hearts, they look really cool, the tables are different colored, there is green, blue, purple, maroon, & black. Also the other unit painter, I don’t know his name, is painting murals around the unit. Obvioously the unit manager Stella Jennings is trying to spruce the place up, & make it aesthetically pleasing. The other unit painter told me that she has been travelling around the state checking out other prisons and what paint they have….
Hidrolic West wanted me to ask y’all to check him out on instagram

http://www.jonathankeenangordon.name/jongordon

Jonathan Gordon
DOC #793350

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