What Was Christmas Like In Prison?
I just want to check in and let you know whats been going on with me and tell you about a few things that I’m pretty pissed about right now.
First of all, I need to apologize for the lack of communication from me the past few months. As you can probably imagine prison isn’t the easiest place to spend the holidays. Its a pretty tough time of year for everyone, pile on that with incarceration and its a quick recipe for depression.
The holidays stopped feeling like the holidays a long time ago. The hardest part for me is knowing that all my family will be celebrating together, and I’m in here trying to make the most out of a crappy situation. Well, last year Christmas fell on the weekend. Sunday to be exact. That holiday weekend was probably the absolute worst holiday I’ve had in all the years I’ve been in prison.
First, I wake up Saturday and it is the coldest day we had all winter. There’s one hell of a winter storm brew’in and the temperature is -20 degrees before the windchill. Slowly throughout the morning, we can feel the housing unit getting colder and colder before finally realizing that the heat is completely turned off.
All the heat registers are ice cold to the touch and that was still the morning. Then right before shift change at 2 pm the hot water also decides to go out as well, and when I go to tell the officer she freaks out on me and tells me not to tell her how to do her job, and that the Control Center was notified at 7 am that the heat was off.
She didn’t believe me about the hot water until a ton of others started coming up and complaining to her about it as well. For the rest of the day, the building only gets colder. By night time everyone in the building is wearing just about every heavy piece of clothing they own. I, for example, was layered in three pairs of sweatpants, one thermal long john top, one fleece sweatshirt, and topped with two fleece zip up jackets and hat and gloves.
The officers kept trying to shut us up by lying to us and telling us that maintenance was on their way. They continued to tell us this until 9 pm at night, until around 10 pm we realized no one was coming to save us.
The Unit was cold, but our rooms were freezing. One room read 37 degrees on the lower level. The problem with the rooms that exacerbate the no heat issue is that none of the windows in the rooms close properly and are not sealed. You see, that particular housing unit is one of two units at this facility that do not have air conditioning, and because of that, all the rooms have windows open so that air can be let through so we don’t roasted in the brick oven that we live in during the summer months. Not to mention these buildings are old as dirt and most of the windows are dysfunctional, in some way, shape or form. That means when it is 20 below zero and no heat, the cold air just comes pouring through and it can get fairly miserable. There’s only so many sheets I can hang around the window to try and block the cold air.
I went to sleep wearing all the clothing that I mentioned earlier and slept under three sheets and two blankets with my bathrobe draped on top over my feet and legs and my winter coat on top over my upper half. The next day some guy did show up and the hot water came back on. I ran to the shower and washed frantically. I washed my body once and washed my hair as fast as I could. Right as I was rinsing my hair the water started to go cold and that was it. On Christmas day, no hot water and again no heat. Another lovely day…but hey, at least I got to wash my ass. They didn’t come back to fix anything until 10 am Monday morning.
More coming soon!