GOING TO JAIL: THE INCARCERATION EXPERIENCE
I had heard stories and jokes about things that can happen to sex offenders in jail, especially skinners, those convicted of offenses against children. Early on I had been exposed to the venomous taunts and rage of two punk toughs when I was being transported in a sheriffs wagon. I was glad of the heavy metal grill separating us. Years ago a close friend in a similar situation was viciously beaten with chains and thought he would be killed. He has scars on his scalp. I always felt a bit uneasy the times I was at Fraser Regional but I usually felt fairly secure at Ford Mountain. Not long after I arrived I was approached by this guy who told me that if anyone bothered me to see him. Later I heard that someone who had been hassling sex offenders had been given a beating by inmates who disapprove of such things. About half the inmates and most of the older ones and those with longer sentences were in for sex offenses. In most cases inmates may be ignorant of what you are in for, theres a lot of bullshit dished out, but everyone knew about my crimes, and once again my picture was in the newspapers the day I arrived at Ford Mountain.
I did however get harassed a number of times by other inmates. Occasionally I heard, was meant to overhear, comments by inmates expressing their outrage at people like me. Once I was sitting in the unit lounge along with two others. One of them had a newspaper in his hand and pretending to read from it said aloud to the other, "It says theres this old guy who sexually assaulted an eleven year old boy. Can you imagine anything that sick? And it says hes here at Ford Mountain." I said that was very interesting and could I read it. He made an excuse not to let me see the paper. There was of course no such article. A similar incident occurred a few months later with a career inmate reading aloud an imaginary incident and expressing his disgust. It may be an old tactic to use on SOs.
The harassment continues but bothers me less. I get some support when I berate those who bug me. Some of the worst are MDOs, Mentally Disordered Offenders, and they are very childish. One morning I had floor sweepings pushed in my room by this big husky oaf Parker. He also shouted at me while I was on the phone saying I had talked while he was using it earlier. In a different mood he would come my room to beg chocolate bars and hot chocolate. While I could counter his verbal abuse he was aggressive and a bit erratic, and I wanted to avoid violence. He wasnt particularly liked by anyone and harassing me may have been a play for status. The worst thing he did was slashing my laundry, my prison reds and bedsheets. After I took it out of the dryer and came back to my room I, door open, went through my laundry finding that every single piece had been slashed. Three guards doing a count came by and stood in the doorway. I was angry and let them know but didnt mention my suspicions. They said that they would see that I got new clothes in the morning. They contacted the Bubble, and said that they would go through the surveillance for the previous hour to see who had entered the laundry room. I never heard anything back.
A unit meeting was called. They are rare but it was the second one today, the first was to choose a new unit rep which was the first time Id known anyone to be consulted. I thought the guards just appointed them. Some guys felt that I should not have told the guards and I was asked if I wanted to move. I recognized the intimidation but said no. The suspect called me a "Rat". There were those who were vigorously defending me including the born again Christian. I was upset by the incident. Usually I was pretty good at sloughing off things and getting involved some work projects or reading, but it was difficult to deal with this irrational, vicious hatred that self justifies any nasty action.
Things came to a head a few days later in the Kitchen. Someone behind me in the dining hall had been sporadically throwing food at me. This day it was sausages and one was wedged between my back and the chair and another landed on my tray. I put one in the empty space beside me and an inmate whod hassled me making some comment so I said to effect that the sausage was about his size, which brought a few chuckles. Then a few veggies landed on the table and I flicked off a green bean which landed on a nearby table. The guy across the aisle became loudly indignant, "You better not flick that at me" I got up and stood over him and asked where he was coming from. It was quite a scene and a guard came over. He asked to see me after and I explained what had been happening over the last few weeks. The guard, the senior one on duty asked me for names and said they would ship the ones that were hassling me. I didnt know the names of the worst and he said he would keep an eye on things. Their stated policy is to ship any inmates who give others a bad time. I do not think it is a firm policy. As it turned out the instigator and the guy who pushed me down were released the next day.
I had thought that with the previous incidents and the two being released that things would quieten down but the taunting continued. Confronting them doesnt seem to do any good. The harassers are almost always in groups and laugh when I do, and call and spit after me when I turn to leave. One cold day in the coffee line up I was hit with a snowball and a plastic mug. I couldnt see who threw them although there were maybe sixty around at the time in the quad between the admin and the Kitchen. At lunch people were throwing food at me again, and for a while a guard was stationed at the back of the hall and it stopped. At roll call after, on my way a group sitting on the porch of the Sheen Shop made chicken sounds. I turned and asked who was the wise guy. They laughed. One was an older guy, sort of a friend although he wouldnt have been involved. A friend has advised me to report the men to the guards. They would likely be shipped to Fraser or so I thought. One problem is that I dont know their names, and could identity only a few of them. Being falsely accused myself, I dont like risking doing the same to others. I have gotten to the point where I may take further action. Twice I have put myself in others faces and it has had some effect.
There was one guy in his early thirties who I met when I first came here and regarded as a friend. He likes to fool around, teasing, horseplay and painting your clothes. My boots have green toes and my jacket has stripes and his palm print. I went along and was glad of the acceptance it showed. He even said I was a good sport. But he has no idea of when to stop and did not like it when I said that enough was enough. At one point he started teasing me about a tick I have where I move my neck like my collar was uncomfortable - in fact that may trigger it. He would make chicken sounds as he saw my movements as like those of a chicken. I explained that I had this tic since I was a kid and that there was nothing I could do about it. He kept it up going, "Puk puk puk caw" all the time when he would see me and in the line for coffee and meals. A couple of das ago I confronted him, and he told me to fuck off and said he didnt believe in punching out an old man. Others began doing the same thing. Today a bunch of guys including some tough types began doing the same thing in the coffee line up. Later in the Hobby Shop where I work he started in again and I confronted him. I asked him what he had against me. He replied nothing. Yesterday I suggested he could have a hilarious time making fun of crippled children and the blind. Today he started in again and again I confronted him. He pushed me knocking me over and said that if I didnt leave him alone he would flip out. Two others were present but pretended not to see anything. I wasnt hurt and half an hour later he returned and said he was sorry. I assume someone must have talked to him. He said he would stop baiting me and we shook hands. I hope thats the end of it but tonight hes baiting a Native guy whos chanting in his room.
While more bullying than the usual harassment, I got bumped from my place in the telephone line up one time. When I protested the guy said, "My muscles are bigger than yours."Jail Journal menu
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