Adventures in food, filth, molesting doctors and heat, at High Desert State Prison

You asked me to tell you what it´s like here. Nothing has changed from the last time I was here, except to get worse.


There is no such thing as a hot meal here. None of the established laws or rules governing the preparation, etc. are observed, leaving much of the food inedible, unless one is starving and has no choice. Forced to eat the ice cold rubber like artificial eggs, the ice cold pieces of meat covered in grease, and the other bullshit, which is probably only one notch above the slap fed to pigs.

The filth is unbelievable. Since I´ve been here, I´ve had to live with a mysterious stench that is ever present in this cell. Here again none of the laws / rules are observed. No cleaning supplies are regularly passed out. When one demands something to clean his cell, and he finds a c.o. willing to give it, he is given an old filth covered toilet brush, and a sponge that is so filthy it smells of death and one would not touch  it on a dare. The coldest part is you get this with no sort of cleaning powder, no soap or cleaning liquid. So I assume spreading the filth about with water alone is what counts for cleaning here.
Even when the inmate “trustee” mops the floors outside our cells, it smells like he´s painting the concrete with death, or some sort of bionic mould so powerful that it breaks into your cell and hits your head until it begins to ache.
We get a shower every 3 days. And again this is another adventure in filth. As the showers are so filthy, everyone knows not to touch the walls, that are covered with a slimy film and mould.  Even the space on the cage door where we set our towels is only kept clean by the previous towel to be put there. Tiny gnats (flies associated with filthy places or rotting fruit) and other bugs attracted to the filth swarm about. It is truly disgusting.
Yard time
If we are lucky, we get outside 2-3 times a week for an hour. There are 8 crudely built cages in a row outside the units. No running water, no toilets or anything. And no way back inside once you go out. So you must gauge whether or not you´ll be okay without using a toilet for an hour. And one would think as men this would be made a little easier due to some of our natural equipment / ability to relieve ourselves in public without very much embarrassment. At least for urination. But this is not allowed, for various reasons, some more obvious than others. It may sound a little humorous, but in the summer with temperatures regularly topping 100 degrees and more, you must decide between dehydration and being able to hold it. And there is no telling when the guards will leave us out there to bake for several hours…
Medical care? Molestation you mean…
I told you about my visit with the doctor, how it was as if he tried to molest me. Which seems to have become a common thing. If not for some genuine perversion, then to humiliate and embarrass the inmates so that they will not call for medical care. Just the word of these things gets around and what previous aversions to calling for medical care are now added to tenfold. I do not know this doctor´s name. But both guards present, c.o. Robinson and c.o. Portillo, noticed how this doctor tried to press himself against me, and even tried to grab my crotch to “check my ear”… And when I averted these attacks, my exam was ended. I can´t say whether this “doctor” has discriminated against me for averting these attacks and in fact calling attention to them. I was able to do so without much drama. I have not filed any official reports or anything. But recounting this occurence to the other inmates, they all knew exactly which doctor I was talking about. So it´s definitely a common thing for this behaviour.
And referring back to the conditions, things have actually gotten worse. The toilets only flush once (briefly) every 20 minutes now. To which I say: conservation is good. But I personally believe health and sanitation take precedence. Because the flush is so weak, often not all of the contents are removed. And when trying to clean one´s cell, this is also another complication. Also, we are now only allowed one (1) roll of toilet tissue per week. Regardless of any accidents or running out. And the guards will tell you: “Use your hands.” They can´t give what they are not given. So as you can imagine, soap and toilet paper are big money makers in the privately run prison canteen. Which is a whole lot of other issues.
Bottom line: this place is a dungeon, just as bad as ESP. Each with its own unique brand of bullshit, violations, dehumanizations, etc. Except here most will not stand up, most are but children. I´ve never seen so many kids in prison. I am surrounded by them. They all are hungry for the truth.
Marritte (High Desert State Prison, Nevada)
Cop. Marritte Funches, March 11, 2010