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To my friends in Christ:

I thought I would let you know Lori’s not really speaking to anyone right now for we are still awaiting fo find out who could have done this crap to me.

I don’t know if you heard what is going on but the feds raided the house looking for child porn and they are trying to get me for it.

They found a coup[le of DVD’s in my office that had a mix of all types of porn.  don’t ask me how it got there but it was in a mixture of shit.

Rob is telling the feds it was all me for he said he never used my laptop and that he didn’t use Ares on the computer.  But both Lori and I feel with all of the crap I read and the fact Rob told Lori’s brother ‘s girl friend that he almost go busted for the same thing in Florida.

M lawyer is looking for him, but can’t find him, I guess.  Don’t understand why they can’t for people I know see him.

Tried to call Seth but this jail phone sucks so I will pass on his number to wifely.

I guess I could really use the Lord a lot more but for some how someway I reel I am turning away from him and I really don’t want to.

I love and miss you alot, and all of the church stuff is safe with Lori.  She has most of it but other than that I don’t know.

Fuck man, I just wish I know or should say knew who it is who was looking up child porn, but I don’t really know or have a way to prove it for I wiped all computers but my laptop.  someone did this and someone made discs and now I am fucked.

Hey, I could use a copy of the free list.
God bless and pray,

Father Joel Dudley

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Well, I thought I would take this Sunday afternoon and write to you all.  Well, this week we had some pretty good weather, but this coming Monday, it’s going to be kind of rainy.

Well, this week we had a little excitement in the pod.  One of the guys who was on reception got caught trying to cut himself up and got hauled out of here, and another new guy in here is walking around with two black eyes. (he got disrespectful to one of the longtimers in her and got corrected real fast!)  At least we all found out that he is not a rat.

Yes, they did away with the protective custody pod and sent the p.c.s to Windham, behind the wall.  They still have seg, but I guess they don’t like keeping people in there for any length of time.  They hate doing paperwork in here.

Got a rew new people in here and some old faces have returned.  One guy came back and is doing 2 and 1/2 years for drunk driving.  He’s a good guy to hang out with and talk with.  There are a rew people in the pod that I talk to, I keep the number of people I hang out with small.

Well, right now I’m watching “Dukes of Hazard,” but I’m wondering why they picked Willie Nelson to play Uncle Jessie and Burt Reynolds to play Boss Hogg.  Don’t know if you get the Science Fiction Channel, yet, but if you’re not you are missing some good shows.

Kenneth “Malibu Owl” McDonald

A gentle plop as a fish surfaces to take a mosquito from the air nearby, tells me I have reached my destination, I have been coming to this place, this bridge, over a small river almost forgotten by people, since I was a child, some friends and I learned to swim here. Mastering our diving as we grew older, and all of us had a lot of fun doing it. Here later on we learned about fishing, by trial and error on our own part, also by picking the brains of any locals that occasions by. We learned all of the required fisherman’s knots, the different hooks for certain fish, and the never – do’s of fishing. It seemed each older fellow that came along had one to add to our arsenal of secrets.

At some point in our early teens the topics changed from fish, bikes, and skateboards, to girls, cars, and beer. The bridge became our meeting place. A place to talk out our problems, learn from each other, get over whatever stumbling block one of us was impaled upon. Important decisions were made there. Grievances were voiced and settled there, and alone, sitting on the guardrail, staring out at the powerful river, with a beer in one hand and a fishing pole in the other, I single- handedly thought out and solved every problem that has ever plagued man-kind. Well, I may have missed a few. But I was always proud of my decisions made on that cold and lonely concrete seat.

Once my friends and I were setting comfortable in our lives, with our wives and then children coming into the picture, we returned to the bridge. We hung out together and kept up on our families, events at work, and fish always seemed to wiggle it’s way into our conversations. We taught the boys all how to fish, and only one of the girls were interested. She did well. A real quick learner. The kids all learned to swim there as well. Having fun diving from the rocks along the shore.

Later on they practiced from the bridge itself, and swam back and forth across the lazy river. They learned all that we could teach them at the bridge. Always with eagerness.

When our children reached their teens,  my friends and I allowed them their childhood. The adults willingly being banished from the bridge except on Sundays. Those were family days. That was good enough for us. Each having careers and our adult lives to tend to, and so cheerfully gave up the bridge to the next generation. We had started something.

We continued the Sunday tradition in warm and decent weather for a number of years. Our children continuing on with their children. The knowledge gained, the inner peace and clarity of mind. Has been useful beyond imagination for our many families. The power one feels while sitting there, several feet above the enormous black snake that is wreathing past. It may well be that it’s vast wisdom rubs off on a person…

Since passing the bridge on to the kids nearly thirty years ago, I have come here quite a few times on my own, sans fishing pole, usually with beer, to think, my best friends son was killed by a drunk driver. Then I came here to think. It was then that I sobered to the reality, that no matter how hard one tries to protect their children, their families, shit happens. Bad things sometimes, happen to good people, and there’s just not a damn thing anyone can do about it. A harsh fact to come to terms with. It’s just another piece of our all encompassing reality.

My son called me one night about four years ago. He said he had to talk to me at the bridge. Immediately. So we met. He told me his wife been to the dr’s a week ago for a physical and some tests. The Dr. called her to the office today for the results. It was Cancer, we sat, and talked, and cried, and talked some more. The Dr. gave her a year to live. Pancreatic Cancer. She had lasted just ten months. After the funeral I went to the bridge. It was a warm and breezy afternoon, I thought of her, and then I thought of how so many of my close friends and family had passed on over the last few years. After funerals I like to go to the bridge. Say my good-byes, as if those who have just passed are taking their last ride on river that was ingrained within them. It is how I say good-bye. It adds a sense of closure, finality to it.

Nine months ago my own wife passes on. Again I went to the bridge. More questions to ask the mighty river. And the more answers I left with in my head. The bridge has become a symbol in my life. Of people coming, and going, and so many  changes in life, and when all hope seems lost, it is the place to find the answers. There is always some kind of answer…

Today I’ve come here on foot. It is a beautiful spring day. I’ve brought a small cooler of beer, my rod and tackle, and a notebook with a pen. I have many questions. A whole page of them. I ask the river my questions one at a time. I sip beer and wait for the answers to come. As they do, I put them in my book after the appropriate question. These are all things that I have wondered for quite some time. Only one question left. A theoretical one. Maybe, if all those I loved, and died have become part of the river, will I ever see them again? Because their being gone has left such an aching void in me, that I’d do anything to end that pain. Time passes as I drift in a daze. The suns warmth engulfs me. The answer comes as if a calling from beyond. Yes, I too then, must become part of the river. The sun eases my aches. I slip into the water.

They shot a veteran in Augusta! According to the sunjournal, the Warden’s Service (?), the Cops (of course) and a VA cop (support the troops!) killed James F Popkowski, who was a 37 year old US Marine. Killed him!

Oh, he carried a gun the paper said, “in a threatening manner.” So they killed him. I hope we can link to this story! He had an illness – put a sign on  his lawn that accused vA doctors of killing him by withholding stem cell medicine. I’m going to write out what he’d written (quoted in the paper) in 2008:

“Suicide is like a little devil, always on my shoulder and always tempting me . Concern for the care of my three dogs after I am gone, my dogs being the only thing I feel anything that resembles passion for, is the only thing I think that has kept me from pulling the trigger on the loaded pistol which rests next to my pillow. The best way to describe the mental & emotional issues is that I am numb, passionless. Nothing brings joy or pleasure. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Computer info systems and business management in just 3 years. Now I cannot mentally focus long enough to read a newspaper.”

Good thing the Machine killed him! A veteran! My heart cries for him & his family. Thank you for serving James. This good for nothing convict remembers you, even if nobody else does.

– Rage

Follow Haiku, from Political Prisoners Blog presented by Holsitic Recovery Project

Lethal Dose Haiku

Monkey on my Back Haiku by Rain Man sent to Rage

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

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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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