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TranscriptóShawna on Solitary

Iím going crazy!  [Iíve had a] bad couple of days.

You know what?  Iím being tortured!

It sucks!  Are you kidding me?  Sometimes itís hour by hour I have to pull myself through.

It breaks you down, you become more sensitive, and when your only contact with other human beings is fuckiní bitch COsÖ[corrections officers]

Itís like have somebody come up and poke you in the middle of the forehead and tell me how long you can stand that until it starts driving you fuckiní crazyÖbecause thatís what it feels like to me. 

Itís like, no human contact, except through the trap, or when I get to see my attorney. 

And then you get a CO that has an attitude or a power trip, you know, that just fucks with you, you know, because they can, andÖitís HARD!

You know, I think a lot of people say, ďOh, Iíd love to have that time to read a book, to have some me time,Ē but itís like, yeah, but I donít think youíre meaning for going on 9 months!

All the books hereÖtheyíre all about murder and crime!  I wrote something about that.  And people wonder why inmates leave jail enraged and then become worse criminals than when they came inÖ

I have some pretty good theories on that.  When you isolate someone for long periods of time, and then their only choice of reading material is books about murder and crime, I mean, itís kind of like an inundation, you know!

And then society canít figure out why people leave jail so angry and then re-offend.  But then, maybe after you go through a prolonged period, you get this rage of being mistreated, and you like fall through the cracks here. 

And I think what amazes me too, is that in prison, itís like a Holiday Inn!

(In jail) youíre innocent until youíre proven guilty; in prison, youíve already been condemned and judged, but in prison, they have more rights than what they have in jail!

The thing is, I worked on a campaign for sheriff, I was the Chief of Policeís campaign manager, I have a lot of friends who are cops, I used to be 100% on their side, and I used to feel real judgmental towards criminals, and the system, and this and that, but I think now that actually coming and living on this side of it, itís like wow!  What an eye-opener for me!

Iíve been on status now [Administrative Segregation, usually solitary) for 7 months, and I didnít do anything to deserve that status, [she obeyed all the jail rules] and second, they have me on Isolation status, and that means that I am not allowed to talk to another human being!  And this is going on 9 months now.  So, if they want to keep me on status (Administrative Segregation), they need to lift the ISO (Isolation)!  It is torture, and itís a bunch of bullshit, and you know Iím not gonna sit here and be a willing victim!

Just like, every day, you know, itís like a struggle, every, every day, a constant struggle, just trying to figure out whatÖ

If you could just imagineÖlock yourself in a bathroom, take all your stuff out of that bathroom, you have nothing, and stay in there for 23 Ĺ hours, and only allow yourself 30 minutes to come out, and thatís the time you have to choose to use the phone or take a shower, and then you have to go back to your bathroom, shut the door and lock it.  Do that for just 2 days, and then you might get a taste of what Iím going through, going on 9 months. 

Iíve already accepted the fact that Iím going to be here for 10 months.  I mean, honestly, Iíve already accepted that, OK?  I know, but I have to; if I donít, it will just make me even more crazy, if I donít surrender to the fact that this is what itís gonna be.  I mean, hey, if something else happens, then itís a blessing, but if nothing else happens, then it is what it is!

Itís nice that I can call youóit really helps, to have a conversation with somebody.  And I really, really, appreciate it probably more than you ever know! 






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