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Update on living in PC at TSCI, 11/17/2019

We got a new warden here at TSCI this past summer. His name is Wasmer (sp?) and he worked in the California and Florida corrections systems and most recently was an assistant warden for an ICE detention facility in Arizona. Before all that he was a Marine so we had expectations that he was going to be a pretty harsh, rules oriented guy and he has stepped up enforcement of some rules like segregating PC and GP even to the extent that they can't be in any of the Education classrooms at the same time; morning classes are for GP and afternoon ones are for PC.

However, he has also followed through on a promise he made at the first HU 1 (PC) inmate council meeting he attended. He said he was going to switch the morning shift in the kitchen to all PC workers. It took him longer than he said but he eventually followed through and now the morning shift (breakfast and lunch) is PC and the evening shift (dinner) is GP. At first, a lot of the GP guys through a fit even though no kitchen worker lost a job. All of the GP kitchen workers just moved to the evening shift rather than working doubles. The GP issue was that PC people were making their food for breakfast and lunch and a lot of them feared we would mess with their meals. HA! Well, we've been dealing with that fear since there's been PC. I figure it is the cold-war era MAD theory, Mutually Assured Distruction. If they mess with our food at dinner now we will mess with theirs at breakfast/lunch so no one messes with anyone. *chuckle* One big up-side is that the food sent to HU1 for meals is prepared much better now. Hmm, I wonder why. The warden has also been changing up the menu and making some improvements to several meals so overall chow is better now.

One thing that hasn't improved is rec. time at yard or gym. It used to be that every gallery was scheduled for 1 hour yard, twice a day, and we got to go to gym every other day. There were issues with lots of cancelations due to being short staffed. Supposedly to address that issue they changed to each wing, A/B. C/D, E/F, now gets one block of yard time either in the morning, afternoon, or evening and the schedule rotates every month. Yard is supposed to be for 1.5 hours so at best we still would lose half an hour of yard time. Gym is now only for scheduled events like leagues or if you request a hair cut but you can't just go to gym to use the weight machines to workout. Even if the new system were working perfectly you would have significantly less rec. time. You also only have one shot at yard a day which might conflict with other things. For instance, C/D currently has afternoon yards for the whole month but if you are in Education classes, which are in the afternoons, you will have no available yard times, except on weekend. Plus when you go out you are out for 1.5 hours with no access to a restroom so more and more guys have taken to pissing in the corner of the yard because they have to go. Finally, there is no way to use the weight machines or bicycles at the gym because it is only for leagues now. Those are the drawbacks if the new system is actually working. What has actually been happening is that we've missed even our 1 yard a day at least half of the time since the system started, which is what it was supposed to solve. So there's been no gain, only loss. A big disappointment.

Another change here at TSCI is that the Club Manager, Gigstad, found a better, private sector job and quit. That has been messing with the clubs and some programs a lot because her assistant, Johnson, is now overwhelmed. For instance, Toastmasters has lost our twice a month mentor meetings and our monthly newsletter meetings but at least our regular meeting are still going on. Gigstad's leaving really threw a wrench in the works of the IPS (Intentional Peer Support) program (both PC and GP) though because she was the staff person doing the scheduling for it. Now, not only are staff now making referrals for the program, but even when they are no one is getting scheduled. I'm afraid IPS may die before it even gets going. AW Cruickshank has up post a sign across from the holding cell in intake telling people they could ask to speak to IPS if they wanted to but when my friend Wheels went to holding (twice) and asked he was told that the program didn't apply in holding...in spite of the sign being posted right there. So there doesn't seem to be any staff buy in, there are no referrals, no staff is handling scheduling, and people who want to request meetings aren't allowed to yet because its only by staff referral so far. *sigh*