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Correctional Corruption

Posted by Rage in the new Political Prisoner Blog: https://politicalprisoner.wordpress.com/

One of my names is Robert James Bartlett, and my Maine Department of Corrections number is 32270. I’m currently incarcerated at the Windham Maine Correctional Center, doing 17 months for violating probation on a conviction of OUI which occurred in 2004. I suffer from a mental illness, addiction and residuals from a traumatic brain injury. Here’s my groove on Corrections in the State of Maine:

While Incarcerated at Kennebec County Correctional Facility in January of 2009, I pulled one of my best friends from a shower where he hadcommitted suicide by hanging. Arthur Brian Traweek was a co-founder of the Holistic Recovery Project, and suffered from a mental illness. We were both successful graduates of the Kennebec county Co-Occurring Disorders Court Program.

Brian was only serving a 6 month sentence, but he’d been threatening suicide since his incarceration in November. While hanging from a sheet in the shower, an officer, Herreva went through our block for a check and actuallyopened the door to the shower room & seemed to look inside. (Apparently not.) After we pulled Brian out of the shower and alerted the guards, it was perhaps 8 minutes before they began performing mouth to mouth resuscitation on Brian. Why? No one could find a “separator:” a 25 cent plastic piece which rests between a victims lips and a rescuers (to prevent infection?) When they arrived, they said that he’d had a pulse. 8 minutes. Now he’s dead.

Brian had tried to commit suicide before, but with his particular illness most successful suicides are actual accidental. Brian counted on the jail to protect him. (To read the full deposition on Brian’s wrongful death, written only hours after the tragedy – click here).

What happened? There was an official police investigation. Nothing came of it. Maine State Civil Liberties Union promised to look into it, but never did.

Carol Caruthers of NAMI did stage a vigil, a candlelight vigil for Brian, right outside our window at the jail. It was attended by people who’d never visited Brian while he was alive. Neither would any of the crowd be visiting any of us who survived. We were treated to a crowd of candle-holding strangers, drinking coffee (which we couldn’t) and smoking cigarettes (which we couldn’t.)

As a fellow inmate said: “Who are these people? Brian never got any visitors when he was alive! Coffee and cigarettes? Why don’t they strippers out there too & call it good?!”

This was while we all faced showering in the same shower my friend had just hung himself in.

I have to throw in a special shout out to Carol Caruthers, who organized the worthless vigil – oh, made the paper, though, didn’t it, Carol? Carol, the executive Director of NAMI, Maine – National Association of Mentally Ill? NAMI did nothing. NAMI didn’t give a fuck. We even asked Carol over & over again to help re-open the investigation! “Please, Carol, Please!! Help us!! Read NAMI’s own reports on those of us with mental illness & addiction, killing ourselves in jail! Help us Carol!”

Carol & NAMI do not care. But they did have that nifty candlelight vigil!

Fuck you, Carol. Fuck you, NAMI.

Brian’s dead.

How many more of us will die, Carol?

Just keep cashing your checks, love.

In the System’s defense – did they ask to become, as Sheriff Randal Liberty so aptly put it recently, “the number one provider of mental health services in Maine?” No, they did not. Jails are for what? Punishment. As Bo Lozoff says, jail is “intended to punish them, pure & simple – to punish, hurt, confuse, emasculate, and eventually break their contrary spirits.” Or, as a friend of mine from Texas said to me before my most recent arrest, “Y’all got only a little over a million people in your whole one-syllable state –  how can your prisons be over-crowded?”

Jails were never designed to treat those of us with serious mental illness or addiction, any more than they were meant to treat cancer or leprosy.

What can we do to change things?

What can you do? Please – get involved. Nothing happens from within, and I guarantee you – all of the powers that be know the truth about Brian’s death, but no one will do anything to change the status quo unless we the people demand it. Call your legislator, your governor – call Carol – at NAMI, Maine. Ask her what time it is. Join the Holistic Recovery Project at http://holistix.atspace.com/wholeness.htm – we have a mailing list there too.

They incarcerate the mentally ill & the addicted, then they release them – untreated – back into your neighborhood.

If the powers that be lived in your neighborhood, perhaps more of us would be sent to rehabs & psychiatric hospitals. Perhaps there’d be money for those programs.

Only you can make it happen.

Please do. Because I guarantee – right now – some twenty-something is sitting in a cell & he’s coming off of opiates & his mental illness is causing him to believe that there’s only one way out.

(Rage has a blog: http://holistixrage.wordpress.com/)

– Rage

Originally posted at https://holistixrage.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/correctional-corruption/

 

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Well,

I’m almost done this bid.  112 days left.

Boy, there’s a lot of bullying and saving seats in here.  It’s like kindergarten with these people.  I’m still going to meetings and groups.  I started a writing class; it’s alright.  A little boring.  The one I really enjoyed which we graduated from about two weeks ago was Houses of Healing, a very intense group where you try to find your inner self.  I’ve got about three more classes in Moving oOn, I’ll be graduating the GEAR group.  I’ve got about six more classes in codependency group.  “They” put me in the 18th, I’ll be starting “Seeking Safety”.  I’m in

Sarssm group untill May.  That’s a really good group about trauma.  I’ve got a really great sponsor; she’s got 35 years of sobriety.  She’s taking through this book called “the steps we took.”  She also comes in on Sundays and she’s taking everyone through the Big Book.  April 13th will be my big first year of Sobriety.

Hope to hear from you guys soon.

Miss Linda

Hi,

I wrote back faster this time.

Every night here, I walk two miles on the treadmill.  I’m not rolling out of here!  I’m doing about 14 months on 18 months.

They have a clothes closet so you can wear regular clothes.  Feels so good.  We even get commissary between 7 to 730am.  When I first came here, a very nice woman crocheted me a blanket for my bed.  You’re never in your room, though.  The longest time we’re in our rooms is during visits (4hours.)  They even have a yarn bank (scrap) where you can get yarn to crochet whatever you want.

Next Monday I’ll be celebrating six months sober!  They’re gonna mention it at the town meeting on Wednesday.  I’m flying right by these women.  I go to four AA meetings a week, doing classes, working with mental health, bible study.  There’s still some classes I”m still waiting to take.  I signed up for four more classes.  I”m so happy and I like where I am.  Today, and every morning, I read “My Daily Bread” and daily reflection.

Hope to hear from more of you guys.

Love,

Miss Linda

Hi. Your letter got sent back, because the letter was too big. So here is one with my name.  Send me a letter.

How is all of you?  I have been in for 3 1/2 months.  I be out in April or May.  Miss you guys.  I have money now.  Tell the guys I said hi.  Thanks for the Christmas card.  The Goblin was in here two times.  What is Rage’s real name?

Someone come visit me.  Wednesday: 830pm, Saturday: 545pm.

I am doing pushups every day.  Walking.  I gained 20 pounds since October first.  I wrote new songs.  I have my own cell.  I got turned down for a work release.

Well, write me.

Star Blanket

How are you?  I ended up being told you sent me something a few days ago.  Sorry, the jail did not let me have it, for it was longer than 5″ X 7″.  If you could send it in a smaller envelope I would be able to get it.

Father D.

I love life and everything it has to offer, but my sickness is my addictive personality and the need to constantly do something that’s existing and makes me get butterflies in my stomach.  Like carrying a gun, fighting, drugs, b&e’s, stealing or how about this:  sky diving, playing music in front of large groups of people (riot grrls and others) and the making of good music and shit.  Just a good jam session gets me feeling like that.  I don’t get embarrassed, but I love that adrenaline rush of being nervous and happy and vulnerable with music and in fronts  of people who are expecting good music to come out.  I love it.

I was a functional alcoholic.  I was drunk three years and geeked out for 2 1/2 years  for  everything.  School, work, around the house, during my gigs at parties, recordings at my house.  But I smoked about a pack a day from 9 ½ years old to about 11.  Then it was two packs average.  Until I was like 15, doing pills and large amounts of booze and speed, then it  was maybe three or four nights a week, specially when the meth came in at 18-20.  I mixed it up with adderall 30mg, and my boys  dextros (70 mg) into one big mortar andpestlel grind, ’til it was one big pile of powder.  Then I’d geek out for a week and ½ at a time, sometimes more, depending on how much meth I sold.

I’ll be fine when I get out.  I hope.

Things in the dorm are okay.  Lots of rats.  That’s one thing I hate about it here.

I haven’t done cardio in a while.  Been just weight lifting.  Gained some fat in the meantime.  But as spring gets here I’ll burn some of it off.  I get out the last of June and I am going to Portland.  There’s a boarding house on Cumberland Ave.  just across from the high school.  Not exactly the best location, but I’ll make due.

Taking IOP – the trainer’s a psycho.  She said I’m sarcastic and I put a negative twist on things.  Nice thing to say.

Beer after beer after shot, my bar tab grows I was there when they opened, I’ll be there when they close what you ask, is a nice Irish lad like me doing wallowing alone, in so much misery it seems the Gods have dealt me, A big hand of shit I can’t make sense of it, and the pieces won’t fit my woman has left me, so I’ve nobody at home both my mind and my eyes, are now free to roam I like to see tits, hanging from shirts and tight little asses, only half covered by skirts these simple things, and a drink or a few cheer me up when I’m feeling, depressed and blue I was in the bathroom, simply taking pics a young woman comes in, and says you want some of this not for a second, I didn’t even have to think I fucked her right there, as she bent over the sink three drinks of Bacardi, were my hydraulic lunch I’m fuckin’ wasted, now it’s more than a hunch I sat down to rest in a booth, then I put my head on the table the bartender hollered, Hey buddy walk if you’re able I toss my beer to the floor, as I head for the door I stumble then mumble, your mothers a whore the night air feels good, and soon I’m awake but how much of this crap, does one man hafta take a friend of mine pulls up, and yells from his car why the hell are you walking, let’s go hit a bar we find one at last, a place to shoot pool but I’m so fucked up, I can’t sit on a stool my friend hears of a party, a better place to be so we stock up on beer, and head out to the country we arrive at a camp, with a big bonfire blazing twenty people or so, sit on lawn chairs lazing I find a comfortable chair, this is partying in style a few pills are passed to me, which I pop with a smile beer after beer, I’m enjoying it here though after awhile, all sights disappear I’m awake before sunup, all covered in soot somehow it seems, I’ve burnt the boot off my foot there’s nobody in sight, but I hear music in the camp I take off my trashed footwear, and head up the ramp there are people in here, that I met last night they’re laughing at me, saying I look a fright I ask if they’d know, where my friend may gone they say he’s passed out in his puke, out on the front lawn I down three shots of jack, and grab him a beer I kick him and yell, let’s get the fuck out of here so with puke in his hair and a beer in his hand he laughs when he realizes, he’s not able to stand I go find the cooler, then drop down beside him I’m just guessing here, but I’d say our future looks grim I explain that we both, need to get back to town he looks at me seriously, with a really deep grin he says there’s no way, he can possibly drive I say no shit, but I’m barely alive We agree to sit there, until there’s nothing to drink it doesn’t really matter, we’re too fucked up to think many cans later, the beer finally gone there’s a big ring of empties, all over the lawn I ask him how, he can get me stranded like this he says aw fuck you, I’m gonna lay here and piss the lawn gnomes have hidden, and so too have crows it seems everyone hides, from us drunken hobo’s

Ever since I was five/ I got pushed to the side/ like I was barely alive/ Dad was a drunk/ mom shot up junk/ I grew up a punk/ thirteen on the street/ tried to complete/ I had to eat/ old fags had green/ taught me to scream/ learned the obscene/ drugs and booze/ nothing but lose/ chased by the blues/ house of correction/ got no direction/ I am an infection/ never knew love/ all push and shove/ no god above/ into the madness/ no pain no sadness/ no joy no gladness/ create my own strife/ cuts like a knife/ no place in life/ on the edge every day/ someone must pay/ headed your way/ stuck in a cage/ increases my rage/ another blank page/ kill all the hogs/ treated me like a dog/ cut through the fog/ home to a slaughter/ your wife and daughter/ blood is like water/ payment is dear/ societies fear/ left rotting here/ thirst for destruction/ living obstruction/ to a life of production…….

Get comfy, it’s a long one!

Hi everyone, it’s sundog coming to you from MCC Happy Camp. It’s my last blog and only twelve more days for me. My stay here is coming to an end. So I really just wanted to recall the year I spent in jail at MCC in Windham, ME.

Although it’s not a real “prison” it’s been close enough for me. You would think I would have seen more fights with eight hundred inmates. Surprisingly, fighting is at a low right now. In the past year I haven’t seen one fight. That’s right. I’ve only heard the fights. Probably around half a dozen or so. Some good but mostly just one or two hits a piece. Last summer that was a shank fight. Slice & dice. That was a little messy, lol. All in all, I have grown stronger both in my physical and emotional state of my well being. I’ve grown tolerances to different foods I’ve had to eat. The menu here is deff better than Cuny County has to offer. And there’s commisary. Thank God we still have outside food. It deff didn’t help with my wasteline but I’m still glad. Keeps the betting going and the trade offs. Some normalcy.

We had wooden doors on our four-person bedroom. It’s about 7ft x 8ft room. A desk and two bunk beds. It’s comfortable with only three. Four’s a crowd. The room’s come with lockers for all four people and Big Blue Bags to put clothes in. It works. I’ve had no complaints in this dorm. I’ve only complained about some of the shitty workers that work here. Well, maybe some even shittier roommates. I can say that the cellmates I’ve had here are just disgusting. Most of them put together would maybe make a set of teeth. You know what comes out of your infested mouth when you have all rotted teeth. Yes, bad fucking breath. Holitosis is a problem. I’ve done good. I’ve let it go except one guy. He really needed to know. You know, he was shocked, he had no idea he had ferocious breath. He also had a problem scratching himself all over until he bled.  Just plain gross. I’ve had some really interesting roommates. If you were schizophrenick you were my roommate. It was a mess if you came to MCC you had to be my roomate and share your crazy mind with me. I’ve had twenty eight ignorant cellmates. The only sane one was Mr. Anderson. He is my current roomie and is actually normal. Thank god or the great Spirit for ending  my time here with a descent guy. I’ve got stories coming at my ears about what I’ve gone through in the year I’ve been here. First. Mr. G. Woz. Great guy. Has a drinking and driving problem like me. 2nd roomie was my good friend, “Rage.” Met him in York County. He lifted my Spirits and taught me how to make flowers. He will be one of two good people I keep in contact with. Great guy.

Then we had the horrible experience in Dorm 3 where everyone hated me and made my life miserable. That only lasted for two months. Long enough. I wish bad things to those who went out of their way to make me uncomfortable. RIP Dorm 3. I won’t be back. Dorm 3 actually had the best showers here on the compound. Nice & Private. Next in line was your first Schizo Mr. Wade (I had sex with my daughter in-law) McAlpine. Remember he was the one with eight feet of hair? Blah, talk about gross. Send Schizo was Larry Rollins. He was a complete mess who couldn’t stay out of his own way. Good luck with the lawsuit Larry. I didn’t like you but you have a good case. I’ve had the priveledge of having a belimick kid in my room. Actually taught me to like myself again. I could have been worse. I could have an eating disorder like him. I feel bad for him and the life he has to deal with on a daily basis. Next group of soldiers I had the great pleasure of meeting was A. Walsh, Z. Clark, and G. Lemire. They put me in with a bunch of pillheads. They were posterboard pillheads. No thanks. I didn’t do any. Only two schizo’s in that one. The other one had a tattoo on his face. Although I’m a huge fan of tattoos I don’t think the face is the perfect place. Yuck! Second group after that, was psycho Archie Maloon and bigot Roman Mank. I was in a bad room with even worse roomies. One day I came home from work to find a “Hate Faggots” waiting for me on the desk from the Lonely Loser. Roman Bigot Mank. Had you both left life with Anderson is awesome. What a class act. Something you know nothing about. To Ernie Androse, Joe Tripp and Joel Cashing, you’re a bunch of Skinners and I hope nothing good ever goes your way! Thanks for calling me faggot and to Ernie who wanted to beat my ass because I was clean. Pusshead.

I wish all of my roomates Karma. What comes around, goes around. Be ready for your horrible lives. Xoxo – muah – from yours truly.

Now onto the staff. The MCC fans will not be pleased but I could care less. Obviously I will not be bustling the nice ones. To the bad COs, you just suck!! Only Kitchen COs Dawn, Rob and Sloan and Tom: You Rock. Thank you for everything. Thank you for treating me like a normal friend. MUAH. Also, two thumbs up was Ms. Rose. My fav. You rock girl. Love that strength. Next who gets an honorable mention definitely McCloud and Liibby. You’re good at your jobs too. Good luck. To the best nurse ever Elaine – great good at what you do too! To the best med nurse – LINDA. Thank you for being great at your job as well! I still miss Bevan. To Debbie, you’re cool too. To everyone else, find a different job because you’re useless. Bigots should not be allowed to work here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Crawl back under the rocks you came from. I deff wish you the most bad luck. Names will not make this list because of retaliations. Just know that there’s a long ass list.

To all the wonderful Authors. I have enjoyed reading your books. Maine squeeze by Catherine Clark. Sharing  Sam by Katherine Applegate. All my love to Ms. Chelsea Handler. Thanks for the laughs. You rock. James Patterson also left his mark in me.. Will Cross ever make time with his family? Will Kyle Craig ever get caught? Every time I read a book I expected it to happen and it’s always been continued. To my all time favorite Stephanie Meyer. I love you and the series. MUAH. A weird read “The Man who Ate the 747” by Ben Sherwood. He really did eat a plane (for love). John Grisham. Can’t go wrong with him. Thank you for making me a real love for books person.

Thank you to the Native American Program. I’ve learned so much. And met a couple cool dudes. Thank you for the sweat lodge and all the visitors. AHO. Special thanks too Sister Maryann, you’re an angel. She chooses to work with inmates every day. Great gal. Great job.

To: Mr. Merrill, thanks for nothing. You made my stay here a litlte worse too. Ba-BYE!

Yes, I have learned my lesson for drinking & driving. Never again. I’m sorry I put you through this mom. I love you and I’ll be home very soon!

A great big yummy THANK YOU to all my penpals who have written me.

XOXOXO

Love you, see you on the outs,

Love,

– Sundog

Raymond Munson
MDOC# 83366

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

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