Unexpected Caregiver

Misunderstood Ms. Thurman seemed to rub most people the wrong way. She was brusque, no-nonsense, and completely professional. From inmate to CO alike they largely thought she was just mean and bitchy. In my capacity as her clerk in the library, I worked the longest and most closely with her, and am therefore more qualified […]

Not A Seizure

I felt helpless, terrified. My heart bashed in my chest and clambered into my throat, making it difficult to breathe and a terrible chore to think. Processing what I was seeing was an impossibility as my brain had leapt into panic mode and rendered me woefully ineffectual. The five other men standing over the supine […]


“If he tries to do anything just holler and I’ll come running. Okay? Now, what you’ll have to do is get ahold of him from behind. Around the neck. Just get both arms around him like a bear-hug and squeeze that neck and hold onto him for dear life. I’ll run in and crack him […]

Next Year

Junior had been locked up for twenty-three years. He began serving his time at age sixteen. Prison was what he knew, much more than the real world beyond these gates and walls. Good Guy Junior was a hospice volunteer, which meant that he sat with and cared for terminal patients in the healthcare unit. I […]

All Just People

  I had broken the rules, been a bad boy. At least the officer said that I had. Usually a simple accusation is enough to prove guilt. Another reminder of just who is in charge behind these prison walls. It would not be a particularly merry Christmas for me. Or, so I thought. Feeling Unfestive […]

Prison Justice

  Fortuitous My cellie went to seg, and I couldn’t have been happier. He was loud, lazy, obnoxious, messy, and he stank of sour body odor. Rarely a day passed that didn’t find me biting my tongue and swallowing my ire over his constantly grating behavior and personality. Oftentimes I longed to take all of […]

Dental Debacle

  After weeks of unrelenting pain, so insistent that I had long since begun to believe that I would never again be free from it, and stubborn refusals on the part of the dentist to fill the offending cavity, I finally relented. I opted to have it removed. Caretaker The old man had a gruff […]

Field Trip to the Birdcage

  “Damn! You look good, girl!” “Yeah, but shake that ass!” “C’mon up here, baby. I got somethin’ for ya!” The misogynistic exclamations came out in frantic staccato bursts, one on top of another from all directions. Many of them included much more lewd and graphic descriptions of just how exactly how the individual intended […]

Smoke Day

“I really don’t think we should be in here,” I said, hoping for someone in authority to agree with me. “What?” Officer Medet replied, a mixture of confusion and fear as evident on his face as the huge swath of scar tissue that covered his neck and cheek. The marks were the results of him […]


Initial Impression When I first saw Butterball he was wearing only his tighty-whiteys and a bath towel casually draped over one shoulder as he walked from the shower to his cell fifty feet away. His pronounced belly drooped over the distressed elastic waistband to such a degree that it was perfectly clear where his nickname […]