Today I got my hobby order…and it only took 2 months to arrive. Apparently they were holding my order because a compass/ruler I had ordered was out of stock and wouldn’t be available till Sept. Luckily, I was able to convince the guy in charge of hobby order to call Triarco and see what was taking so long, otherwise I would have waited till Sept. to get it. We canceled the compass and they were out of the 200 sheet pack of origami paper I had ordered so the package was pretty light. At least I got a 40 sheet pack of origami paper and my drawing board, which I am currently typing on. *smile* 4 other guys had ordered stuff with my order to minimize shipping costs, which is another reason I was impatient to get the order. Lynn and Wheels have already paid so I just have to collect from Alio and Danny. I won’t have to order much canteen for a while at least. *chuckle*


On Friday they moved a few people around and ended up with the cell above us empty so they brought in a new arrival. It turned out to be Mark who had been another state inmate in Columbus with me. He’s a skinny, mid-20s, bearded guy who has had difficulties in every facility so he gets moved around a lot. He went to Columbus because he had a conflict with a group of latinos in OCC and I think he was in OCC because he had a conflict with someone in the bunks at NSP. He’ an SO and had been civilly committed for a while and at least started the Regional Centers’ program at Norfolk, NRC. We got along in Columbus so I welcomed him to the gallery and gave him some pointers though he had been in TSCI before. He filled me in a little on other guys from Columbus.


Patrick, a young white guy who was indigent and rode trains around the country with his (under age) girlfriend, had served his full year sentence in county and got out while I was there, then he got re-arrested for a registration violation and was back in when I left. He had gotten out again and was still around Columbus. Ben, a young latino guy who had gone through boystown and was mostly homeless so lived with his (under age) girlfriend, had finished serving his year sentence and was out. While I was there he had continued contact with his (now legal) girlfriend but it was not emotionally healthy and I constantly advised him to distance himself from her.

Not only did she get him arrested for a felony and forced to register as an SO for 25 years but she was pretty emotionally unstable (who’d have figured a 16yo girl would be emotionally immature *rolls his eyes*) and just about every phone call they had ended in shouting and cursing. Mark told me that once Ben got out things went bad with his girl (Ashley, I believe) and not only did they break up but she put a restraining order on him and he was furious at her. I did tell him that the relationship wasn’t going to last and that she had already done enough damage to his life but he just couldn’t distance himself from her. I hope now he can and will. Jim, a guy older than me that was mentally handicapped, got forced out of the pod because he couldn’t get along with people and was still in jail awaiting trial. He was trying to be found incompetent to stand trial and get sent to the regional center in Norfolk but either way he’s going to spend the rest of his life in the custody of the state.


Friday night after lock down Mark got moved out of F gallery. Apparently someone stole some of his stuff, and he didn’t have much so that’s pretty low. I think they moved him to C/D. Saturday evening they moved someone else into the empty cell above us, cell 21. The new guy is probably early to mid 20, very frumpy looking, and was walking around the dayroom holding an ice pack to his face. Someone beat him up pretty badly in one of the other galleries so they moved him in here. Both of his eyes are completely black now, like a racoon. I haven’t talk to him but given his physical appearance and his somewhat awkward behavior I expect he’s been picked on most of his life and it’s not going to be any better in prison. My cellie told me that this new guy got a visit from his mother Sunday morning. When she saw him with 2 black eyes she began to cry…and I nearly did when Robert told me about the scene. Everyone is someone’s kid. I wish the guys in this gallery who cat call and make lewd comments at the female staff here would stop and think of that. They are someone’s daughter. How would those guys feel if someone did that to their daughter?

I’ve been trying to improve my environment. Prison is designed to be punishment but it could also encourage self-improvement. A month ago I wrote a kite to the warden suggesting that they make some arrangement for those who want to see the eclipse to be allowed to sign up to go out at that time. Usually, only 1/3 of housing unit 1 would be out to yard at the time of the eclipse so most of us would miss out on a once in a lifetime educational opportunity that happens to be going right over Tecumseh. The warden wrote me back “TSCI will be putting out a notice to staff and inmates regarding this event.” Does that mean that they will be making arrangements for anyone who wants to view it to get out for it or does it mean that they will be canceling yard due to safety and security issues from the eclipse? Also, were they planning something before I suggested it or did my kite prompt them to take action? Hmm, I guess we’ll find out on Aug. 21st. *smile*


I also heard that the Lincoln blood bank was low on blood and that the Lincoln police and fire departments were having a competition to see which could raise the most donors. I wrote the warden suggesting that they do a blood drive here, and they could even make a competition between the different prisons. It would allow us to contribute to the community and be a good PR for NDCS. The warden wrote back “Mr. Heist, thank you for thinking outside the box and your willingness to help the different communities. The same request was already brought up and after checking with the Red Cross, I am sad to inform you that inmates are not allowed to donate blood per the Red Cross. The reason for the Red Cross is due to the enhanced chance of inmates having illnesses.” Darn!


Prisons usually focus on punishing bad behavior rather than encouraging positive behavior. I wanted to get TSCI to focus more on rewarding good behavior so I write a kite with a suggestion. They have trouble getting everyone to lock down on time for count at 10AM and 3PM and they often have to come into our gallery (at least) and threaten to write people up to get them to lock down. I suggested they encourage good behavior by playing some popular TV series at 10 and 3 so everyone will go to their cells willingly. Of course I suggested Game Of Thrones, which I happen to want to see. LOL They said “your request will be considered” and CCed the assistant warden. *smile*