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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

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.

So this is it! this is where we end this abundance of methamphetamine methodical, metaphorical provendidems! my tongue flaps around with the gift of gab as it spits out riddles through my finger tips and into this pen, which they hold, and acts as if it were a scalpel in the hands of a lyrical surgeon… as ink bleeds from the words that are cut into the paper, like it were skin, done so with such lucidity, that if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for, you’ll be lucky to see the swelling around the few words that have become agall from constant picking and scratching at, like verbal scabs. I can dance around in my head with the others who reside there, while looking out these two glossy eyes of mine, that glare at themselves in the liquid reflection down at the bottom of the bottle. So I figure the best way to end my never ending is to tell you this last nothing!: “though they try to say and convince you that we live in the same world as they do, what they don’t understand is that they only exist in our world because we allow them to!! without our blessing, they would become undone back to nothing!!”

Hey, I heard that Ken Topel, the head nurse over in Dorm 4 is responsible for negligence leading to teh death by pneumonia of old man Spenser down in Dorm 6. Is this true? If it is would anybody out there care? Why does a health care professional, someone who could work anywhere, end up here, at MCC? Even Lewiston’s better than this. Why? There’s gotta be a few corpses back there, right Topel? When you got hired here & you told your boyfriend, didn’t he squeal: “Praise God, Ken! You got a job! Don’t they know about the ‘accidental death’?” and you said, “Baby – they don’t care!”

I hope I don’t catch a cold!

I love you, Meriki! Always!

– Art Vandelay
MDOC# xxxxxx not provided

My dad blew his brains out when I was twelve.

I was finally diagnosed with deep depression, I’d have to say in 2000.

So then I was in prison, & I got put on Geodone, which worked great. Got out of prison & couldn’t afford the geodone, ’cause it was $800, or some crazy amount. (They gave me some meds when I left prison, but not much).

So I wasn’t on geodone, but coming off it I got so physically sick – I mean, I didn’t want to go off it, you know, but once I finally was off of it, I didn’t want to get back on it & have to go off it again.

Before geodone I self-medicated. After geodone, well, street drugs are cheaper. So I got back on dope. Since I got off geodone – well, I just keep going back to jail. I ain’t been back on the street long enough to do shit. When you get depressed  & shit, I guess just go back to doing what you do.

My name’s James Clark. My MDOC# is 7493. My favorite color is black. Black & white. I like gunsmithing and rock and roll & I love my two kids. I’m doing 9 months on a 4 year sentence for OAS.

James Clark
MDOC# 7493
17 Mallison Falls Rd
Windham, ME 04092

Hi,

My name is Bruce. I am currently serving 2 years in the Department of Corrections for a crime that I had committed due to a mental illness that I have.

The Department has yet to give me any real help for this and a lot of other people are having the same issues.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

– Bruce Holt
MDOC # 69031
17 Mallison Falls Rd
Windham, ME 04062

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 had committed 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 actually opened 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

– Robert Bartlett
MDOC# 32270
17 Mallison Falls Rd
Windham, ME 04062

The Correctional System is the largest treatment provider for those of us with mental illness and/or addiction. We encourage you, dear reader, to get involved in the political process or nothing will change.

This blog is a place where inmates can express themselves and communicate in some fashion with the outside world.

If you include their MDOC#, you are encouraged to write any inmate at:

17 Mallison Falls Rd
Windham, Maine  04062

In collaboration with Holistics Recovery Project, we hope this blog brings more attention to correctional facilities and the beings within them.

Thank you & be well.

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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.

Only your vigilance on the outside can guarrentee that justice goes on on the inside.

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