Letters from Kevin Walsh in Maricopa County Jail

A Day in the Life

  I asked Kevin what his daily life is like in Sheriff Joe's stinking jail. This is the letter he gave me.

12 March 2005

Dear Ganesh,

My mail to Laro was rejected by FCI Tucson, not the Madison Street Jail, so I think it is his captors who are interfering with our free speech, not mine.

Life here is mainly boredom, but we do have a weekly routine. Wednesday evening we are handed a commissary sheet, and we order items from it which are delivered Friday evening. Thursday morning laundry is exchanged, and we turn in the set of clothing we have been wearing all week. Saturday night we are issued one roll of toilet paper and two small bars of soap.

Mondays and Thursdays are visiting days on which there are two potential half-hour visits, one at 1:30 PM and one at 8 PM. We are limited to three regular visits per week, so my mother comes twice on Monday and once on Thursday. I am taken down to the visiting center on the fourth floor wearing handcuffs and leg chains. I am chained to a seat and handcuffed to a table. I am given one free hand to hold the telephone receiver, and I use it to talk to my mother, who is seated across a Plexiglas window from me. After visits we are strip searched and gone over with a metal detector even though it was a non-contact visit.

For 23 hours each day we are locked in our cells. For one hour, we are allowed out into the day room to use the telephone, shower, and exercise. The time of this hour varies from day to day and different inmates are assigned different times, so we are not out together.

We are only fed twice a day. Breakfast is served at 8:30 AM, dinner at 7 PM. Breakfast is a plastic bag with one or two pieces of fruit, some bread, two slices of cheese and luncheon meat, a half pint of milk and a few small cookies. Dinner consists of a Styrofoam tray of hot food, usually potatoes, bread, cabbage, some stew containing a small quantity of meat and a small doughnut.

Around 10 AM and again around 4 PM a psychiatric nurse delivers my medicine. Also around 4 PM except Sundays, my mail and newspaper subscription are delivered.

Apart from that at any given time, I may be sleeping on my bunk, pacing on the floor, reading, listening to the radio, or writing a letter. We are not subjected to any kind of propaganda or indoctrination.

I find I spend far more time sleeping than is required for good health. I am also subject to bouts of depression. I fear I may truly be getting mentally ill.

As to those who imprison me, I generally call them officer X, Sergeant X. They are detention officers.




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