A 24-year-old Man’s Journey to Folsom Prison

Sept-18-11

After a seventeen and one-half hour bus drive from Chino, California to Represa California, the-Grey-goose-a term that convicts dubbed for the transportation when traveling from the reception center to your final destination.  Suddenly there was a grave-yard at the foot of this winding road leading to the infamous Old Folsom one of the deadliest prisons in California.  As we sputtered up this road a big structure loomed ahead of us.  Picture in your mind a twenty-four year old inexperienced young guy playing like there’s nothing to worry about.  know, I was scared to death!  Mind you, I’m innocent!  Anyway, the gigantic thirty foot doors slowly crept open.  I’d heard many things about Folsom but to actually be there and spend a lot of time there until I capture my freedom was not in my plans.  The Grey-goose slowly entered the pale structure.  As I looked at this monstrosity it looked as if someone took some dynamite and blasted a deep pit and stared building.  We sat their [sic] waiting to be received.  Freddie Jackson’s Rock With Me Tonight was playing, but no one was rockin.

 

Finally, we were taken to this area over-looking the yard people were milling about.  Suddenly, the yard when down everyone sat down.  I strained to see what was going on my heart was pounding my neck was on a swivel and then I saw correctional officers running with a gurney and as I strained to see the person on the gurney was laying side-ways with what appeared to be a pole thrust through his body.  That scared me terribly!  I didn’t know what to think.  I sat down looking at nothing seeing nothing.  Just as quickly a loud speaker announced-resume program-.  Now I know what those words meant, but they had to be a mistake.  Being placed about the track I yelled down at someone asking them what those words meant.  At that moment people were walking around like nothing happened.  I’d just seen a pole rammed through this persons body and the administration just announced, resume program.

 

I got there on a Wednesday and all through the week people were getting stuck with knives.  The following Wednesday another person was killed.  From the very first day I knew I was going to keep my nose reeled to my face!

 

Prison life, then, was a treacherous and violent to the point were eventually a person becomes complacent in that environment.  There’s been many wars fought along racial lines.  Mexicans and Blacks Whites and Blacks.  The cycle of violence never ended.

 

This is just a taste of what I went through.  Until next time

 

Sophie

Always Respect

 

In the struggle

Thaddeus

 

Non-fiction

Grief: Coping w/the Loss of a Mother from Behind Bars

Jesus Don’t Leave Me

By Doc DuPree

 

 

Oh Jesus don’t leave me be?  Jesus lived in mother and oh Lord Jesus a future without her I can’t see!

It was a terrible crash in the middle of the night, two drivers head-on, one without vision, the other in the Light.

Lights & glass smash into steel, Mother holds her bruised breast behind the wheel, whispering her last prayers reeling from pain and leaving her son in Jesus Will!

Oh Jesus please don’t leave me be, Jesus lived in mother and oh Jesus a future without her I can’t see!

My Angel Queen Mother, your precious spirit remains close to me.  You say I am free, but precious mother my dreams started and ended with We!

No longer do your letters come in the mail brushing away clouds and lifting my sails.  No-more do I see your bright and love filled smiles at our visits, nor can I be reassured by your caring voice on the phone, no I am simply alone.

Oh Jesus I saw your light in her, but now she is gone.  I still dial her number, but nobody is home.

Six months later and still no voice on the phone, no mail or visits, all is gone.

Oh Jesus I feel so privileged to have experienced such pure love.  And you Lord who’s symbol is a snow-white dove visit me, and answered my call without a phone, give me your message I am not alone!

Lord don’t leave me, a future through you only I can see.

In memory of Millie Presley, May, 22, 1942-April, 22, 2007

A Saint dedicated mother, active Christian Patriot and Nationalist, Racecar driver, Legendary dancer, Nature lover (especially Pensacola Beach), Shrimp boat Capt on Pensacola Bay (Boat name Ramblem Rose), Folk singer and Artist, Natural healer, Comedian, Good Samaritan, Favorite Hymn-‘One Day At a Time’.

 

By: Tony Owen Dupree 120528-L2111L

5850 E. Milton Rd,

Milton, Fla 32583

 

In The Service Of The King Jesus Christ

 

 

 

Dear Sophie Inchains PO B 2900 South Portland, ME 04106,

I pray this find all well with you.  First, you have my permission to publish the enclosed poem-‘Jesus Don’t Leave Me’.  Please publish with my address?

I also have a question?  I have a Actual Innocence case which I would like shown like 20/20 and others to investigate and air.  I wonder if you would take my legal motion and exhibit pages and scan the pages onto a net cite where I could refer people such as 20/20 to review my case?

I have no family to do such favor and am totaly [sic] indigent.

Please let me know, and please return the poem in the enclosed SASE?

With much love and respect always Tony!

In The Service Of The King Jesus Christ

Keep Up The Great Work!

 

Tony Owen DuPree 120528-L2111L

5850 E. Milton Rd,

Milton, Fla 32583

 

6, 25, 2011

Prisoner Abuse, Bigotry, and Murder in Maine State Prison

The Maine State Prison is plagued w/unprofessionalism and corruption, as well as racial and religious intolerance and prejudice.

I am 13 years into a double life sentence and I have recently decided that silence is no longer an option for me.  I have come to the realization that as a longtimer it is my duty to speak against the mistreatment and abuse of the prisoners I live with.  Especially the elderly and sick.  No longer will I be a silent bystander.

Not all the staff at the Maine State Prison fit into this category.  I would be willing to say that most are professional and realize that a prisoners prison and is their punishment, and understand that it is their job as officers to ensure safety and security; not further punishment.

However there is a substantail [sic] group form the top to the bottom who have their own ideas about how their jobs should be done.  They are very good at covering for one another and act with deliberate indifference.  They use intimidation, threats of violence and retaliation in order to discourage prisoners from issuing complaints against them.  On the rare occasion that complaints are made or acknowledged by the administration they are met with a half-hearted investigation and there is of course never evidence to verify the claims against staff.

Last September I witnessed an older gentleman get his face smashed off of a fence on the way to the chow hall.  Prisoners were told to get on the fence for a random pat search.  The older man looked confused because orders were being yelled by multiple cops including a captain.  Apparently he wasn’t moving fast enough, so the captain grabbed him and slammed him against the fence leaving wounds on his face and head.  When the prisoner later asked for help by other staff to file a complaint he was given the run around.  Does this sound like the behavior of a captain?  What king of example is being set for lower ranking officers?

Who can forget Victor Valdez?  I witnessed the beginning of the ordeal that would lead to his eventual death.  He was being served a write-up for a rule infraction.  He didn’t speak English well and the officer wouldn’t allow anyone to interpret.  I heard victor speaking in Spanish and the officer telling him to shut-up.

No mind you, the officer had an opertunity [sic] to de-escalate the whole situation.  Victor was in his cell.  The officer could have closed the door and allowed things to cool off, but instead he charged in; pushing his panic button to summon more officers and slammed the older man who was sick and on dialysis against the concrete wall.  The last time I saw Victor he was handcuffed with his arms being wretched above his head behind his back and was roughly escorted out of the pod.

Ironically, the same officer who initiated this confrontation w/Victor was in an argument with a prisoner in a pod he was working in months prior to this.  When in the middle of the argument he stood up and yelled, loud enough so everyone in the pod could hear, “I use to jump out of planes and kill people!” does this sound like a stable mind suitable for working in a prison environment?

It is not uncommon to hear prejudice or bigoted comments about a prisoners race or religious beliefs.  When African American prisoners are using the music room in the rec. yard, cops refer to it as Jungle day.  It is not uncommon to hear officers question or comment on whether a prisoner looks Native American when going to Native American gatherings.

The intolerance and bigotry doesn’t stop w/the cops.  It is an issue within the prison chaplaincy as well.  The chaplain and the administration make sure every accommodation is met for Christian services and events to go off without a hitch; while Pagans and others are treated like the bastard step-children of the prison.

Over the last few months staff have been more agitated and disgruntled about changes in Augusta.  They do not like the new commissioner and are stressing about budget cuts and changes in the prison.  So the staff have resorted to playing games to try and instigate and generate tensions among the prisoners.  One of their favorite places to do this is in the chow halls.  They will overfill one chow hall knowing that there aren’t enough seats for everyone, while leaving empty tables in other chow halls.

They know that by causing a brawl or potential riot in one of the most volatile places in the prison, they can better argue or quell any questions about over-staffing.

I could go on.  But I feel I’ve made my point.  Change is coming and I welcome it.  Prisoners will most likely lose some things with this new administration and I’m fine w/that if it means we won’t be at the mercy of this circus sideshow that has been running this prison for far too long.

I do know that the only way to ensure change is if we all speak out against staff abuse, treats and bigotry.

Silence and passivity have not worked in our favor!

-John

5-13-2011

Note from Sophie: I am attaching two links to articles about the murder of Victor Valdez that happened in 2009.  The courts ruled in favor of the prison, and inmates remain at the mercy of the murdering guard.

http://www.maineprisoneradvocacy.org/M-PAC_decries_AG_s_ruling_on_death_of_Victor_Valdez.pdf

http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/105972-prison-obituary-the-tragedy-of-victor-valdez/

Remorse

“Remorse”

The screams began again.  It wasn’t a dream

this time.  I heard them, walking, I saw

them, the shadows, reflecting from the granite

walls.  That stare.

The remorse.

It was never her fault.  Tied an bound,

Helpless.

I thrust the blade.

In and out.

Blade of flesh.  Deep.  Hot.  Bleeding.

The screams began again, so sweet.  So young.

The feeling.

The air filled with damp musk, shadows rose

and fell.

Ghosts incarnate.  Distant karma.

Flames danced.  Caged.  I reached but no longer

felt.

The screams began again.

Silence.

Sudden.

Eye wide…open.  Darkness,

Remorse.

–Tilley

A Letter from Lockdown

5/6/2011

Dear Blog Readers,

Its been over three weeks locked down in this cell 24 hours a day. The prison personal moved me today to a place they call enclosed. This part of the prison holds inmates with years and years of time. These people are the more severe inmates that commit murder and aggravated assaults. I understand there are less punks over here and there is more respect for one another as the inmates live together for longer periods of time.
Nothing has changed from the 24 hour lock down status. I do have a chair now to write my letters, there are people walking outside of my cell, playing cards, and talking about working out. There is different scenery outside my small window. I now look down upon the front entrance of this building. The ground is dug up as some inmates will be planted flowers.
I feel nervous and uncomfortable about this change. Often dwelling in the same cell for weeks without any communication at all makes it hard to break out of my quietness that has consumed my being. My eating, sleeping, reading, and writing schedule has been changed, and there are new guards to learn about as there are good and bad ones; ones that want to help and ones that don’t care.
Institutionalization becomes very easy to step into as there is very little self responsibility to make money, eat, work, etc. Everything is done for you. I need to be careful not to fall into such destitude [sic]. I will remain locked down until classification deems me okay to interact with others. It should be in the next two or three weeks.
My grandfather past away around midnight last night. My mother called my case manager up about an hour ago to inform him, to inform me. Its hard to deal with in here. I have not talked with him sense last year at this time. We lived together when I was released from prison 3-30-10, my grandmother died the day before on 3-29-10. It was hard living with him and I moved. Last week my mother told me he didn’t have much longer to live, I wrote him a letter saying he is a wonderful person and a great grandfather. I wrote maybe one day I could be the man he taught me to be. I was hoping to receive a letter back before he died, but none came. I’ve been asking the prison personal for a phone call to my family, they say maybe in a while.
There is a part of me that wants to call, but another that doesn’t. I know my son will be there that I have not talked to for months, last time I heard from him was on my face book [sic] page where he left a comment saying his mother got my police record and he never wants to talk with me again. So if I call the family it will be hard dealing with my grandfathers death plus the possibility of talking with him. Its overwhelming and sad.
I have a lot on my mind today as I’m dealing with personal emotions that I’m not sure how to handle, this new move, legal issues that may help on releasing me sooner then the 5 year sentence, and the gut twisting feeling of where my life is at 36 years of age. The positive side of all this, is it can only go up from here.
Anybody is welcome to respond and/or write me at the Maine State Prison I will respond back by letter or blog.
Henry Jacques
807 Cushing Road
Warren, Maine 04864-4600
(The original letter has an RIP to Henry’s grandfather whose name has been removed by typist.)