Happy First National Juneteenth! *cheer (for the end of slavery)*
Also, I got my first visit in 1.25 years this past Thursday. NDCS finally removed “all” covid restriction on visits a week an a half ago so my parents tried to come visit last week. When they got here they were turned away because they hadn’t made an online visiting reservation a week ahead which was one of the covid protocols. When they said they had removed “all” restrictions, I assumed they meant all but apparently the online reservation a week ahead is not a standard requirement for visits. My parents promptly made an online reservation for this past Thursday and it was nice and quiet. There were only 4 of us with visits and all the others only had one visitor so we were well spaced apart and my dad could hear easily because there was no background noise. My parents and McKarious came to see me. I was so happy to see them again and to hug and kiss them. *big smile* I didn’t notice at the time but I must have been extremely excited because I was emotionally exhausted the next day. Luckily, I have plenty of time to nap when I want in here. *chuckle* I guess not seeing my loved ones for over a year had more of an impact on me than I thought. I’m glad they are coming again next week. *smile*
I have to say that, even though it made for a very pleasant visit to have so few people there, I disagree with the new reservation policy. It puts an obstacle in the way of people getting visits that some may not be able to overcome. For instance, my parents are retired and McK has a very regular work schedule, but many people may not be able to know when they will be free a week ahead. Or perhaps they are elderly and aren’t computer literate enough to figure out how to register online for a visit. I wrote the Inspector General and suggested he track the number of visits each month in 2019 compared to now to see if they decrease. The reason this is a big issue is that the single most predictive piece of data for reduced recidivism is the number of visits someone has. More visits equals reduced recidivism. So, if NDCS is decreasing overall visits, they are increasing recidivism.
I’ve also been thinking about plans for activism once I am out. I want to start an organization to promote corrections reform and the first issue it takes on should be something where we can make a big splash to create a high profile media presence. This past month has been Pride month and I’ve been hearing a lot about the history of Act Up and their direct action protests. The most high profile protest they ever did was modeled on the sit-ins from the Civil Rights movement. The Catholic church in NYC was seriously fighting them on condom distribution so they staged a die-in during a catholic mass. Once the priest started speaking, several people stood up, walked the the aisles, and laid down and “died” while someone rushed the pulpit and repeatedly shouted “your killing us.” Though this pissed off many catholics it got a ton of media coverage and seriously hurt the churches reputation to this day. The two lessons I take away from Act Up’s most successful protest are that a direct action needs to be dramatic and inconvenience people.
I thought about what topic in corrections is currently a national topic which has been discussed in NE. The answer: administrative segregation (or the hole). It causes long term psychological damage to people while doing nothing to make a person safer to integrate into the prison population let alone the community at large. There have even been some baby steps in NE. They have banned the uses of ad seg for juveniles, pregnant women, and people with mental illness.
With the topic chosen, I starting thinking about a direct action that would be dramatic and inconvenience people. I landed on the idea of taking over parking spaces, putting up (temporary) chain link around the spot and setting up a bunk, sink, toilet, etc to simulate a cell and have someone sitting in it with a banner saying “I lived here for X years.” We could stage it with 4 guys, one on either side of the Capitol building, to get the attention of the Legislature. Or it could be done around the governor’s mansion. Or even more “inconvenient,” it could be done in a parking lot downtown during tailgating for a Cornhusker’s game. *evil grin* I’ve even recruited my first participant who has spent a total of 2 years in seg.
Switching topics, they recently showed the movie Promising Young Women here. I remember having heard about this ultra-woke-feminist movie where a crazy woman reclaims female power by terrorizing guys by pretending to be drunk, letting them pick her up and make advances on her before she springs her trap on them. I figured it was some feminist/horror style movie where she goes psycho because of abuse she’s suffered and takes revenge out on all men by killing them but that couldn’t be further from what it really was. Yes, she was traumatized before the movie starts but [SPOILER ALERT] she never kills anyone! She unleashes her anger in far more thought out and psychological means. I really enjoyed the movie but it was interesting to observe other guys’ reactions. Being in a male prison, there aren’t that many woke, or even enlightened, guys here so most just said that she was a crazy b**ch rather than looking deeper as the cause of her actions.
An interesting coincidence was that another movie was playing on FX all this month that I liked to compare with Promising Young Women. I never caught it’s name but it was a Liam Neeson move where he played a snowplow driver who’s family was killed. Can you guess how he reacted? LOL! He systematically killed everyone responsible. Such a difference between a hyper-masculine and feminine revenge story. *chuckle*