20 December 2005
Thank you for your latest news updates. Good Solstice to you!
That was interesting speculation about someone using balloons to short out electrical transmission lines. I think balloons would rise too quickly and be to be practical for that sort of sabotage.
Interesting about your chili consumption habits. You must have strong taste buds and strong stomach. I would suffer very severely if I tried your kind of diet. I don’t see how you could stay on it in prison however.
I ended up shaving my beard after the first lockdown was over. My main worry was that my visitation privileges would be denied for an unauthorized beard and that my mother would travel all this way from Phoenix for nothing, as she did on the 4th.
Another inmate in this run, “Rabbit”, grew a beard during the first lockdown. Thus far he has not been disciplined for that. I told him that if he wanted a beard legally, he could apply for a shaving waiver on religious grounds, as it is written in Leviticus 19:27 “You shall not cut the corners of your beard.” Unfortunately I found a flaw in that, as the very next verse, Leviticus 19:28, says, “You shall not tattoo yourselves.”, and he (and most other inmates) has tattoos.
I was allowed back to my inmate job in the Programs Department today for the first time since 2 December. Things had changed. We are required to get a pass from our boss Mr. Holler, to leave the room to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water from the fountain.
One thing I like about the Substance Abuse programs we offer is that they are non-spiritual and non-religious. They are called “Thinking Straight” and “SMART”, and they are secular alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The Programs Department does deal with AA as well, but the sessions are conducted by volunteers from outside of the prison.
I didn’t read anything about the big lockdown in the Arizona Republic, nor did I hear about it on the radio. Inmates who have televisions, however, told me that there was a story on Channel 4 (Tucson’s NBC Station) claiming that body armor and firearms were found in the prison. I find that hard to believe.
On Tuesday the 13th we were allowed out of our cells to eat in the dining halls. On the 14th we were allowed on the recreation field for outdoor exercise. I was not, however, allowed to return to work, although some inmates were allowed to return to their jobs those days. Inmates will not be paid for work they would have done during the lockdown, during the lockdown a civilian contract maintenance crew was brought in and corrections officers were required to work in the kitchen and transport our laundry.
I don’t know exactly how long it takes for weather balloons to reach the height at which they burst, but I would estimate it takes several hours. That’s usually for how long they transmit data.
We are issued two rolls of toilet paper every two weeks free of charge. If we need more, we can purchase it from commissary, but the free supply has been enough for the needs of me and my cellmate.
Also free of charge, we are issued the following items of clothing:
3 pairs of orange pants
We have the option of buying other items of clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, sweat shirts and shoes. I bought a pair of shoes for $23, as the orange shoes I was initially issued were wearing out, but I have not bought any other items of clothing.
The orange jacket we were issued is thick and warm, and I was required to wear it on two mornings in late November when the low temperatures in Tucson fell 30 degrees F. The guards didn’t require me to wear the jacket outdoors on the other mornings since then. I am satisfied that the jacket we were issued are adequate protection against the rigors of a Tucson winter.
As to the conditions indoors, the cells are heated, and the temperature is comfortable. We are allowed two blankets during the winter. I was only issued one, but I find one is sufficient to keep warm at night, so I have not tried to obtain another blanket.
On the evening of the 14th, we were told we were on lockdown again, because an inmate had assaulted a guard. We remained on lockdown the 15th and were let to go to the dining hall on the morning of the 16th.
On Sunday the 18th were taken off the recreation field and placed in lockdown because there was a fight in the dining hall. On Monday we were taken off lockdown again. I don’t know how many more lockdowns we must endure.
I hope all is well with you. For some strange reason I am not looking forward to my release next month. I want to get back home and be reunited with family and friends, but somehow I feel my ordeal is only just starting.
My mother told me that Agent Ray Lebeau of the Secret Service contacted my brother and returned my weapons to him. My brother has said he will sell my guns and give me the money. Since I am now a convicted felon I can never lawfully own firearms again. I have asked that my brother keep my Japanese sword. It is an historical relic (it was a World War II officer’s sword), and I would like it to remain in the family. For the next five years, as a condition of my probation, I may own no weapons of any kind. At the end of that time however, my brother may give it back to me, as Arizona law does not forbid convicted felons to own swords, nor does federal law.
The return of my weapons seems a good sign to me. It may mean the Secret Service is closing the books on my case. One weapon that will not be returned to my brother is the .45 automatic with which I tried to kill myself. That was in the custody of the Phoenix Police Department, not the Secret Service, and under the terms of my plea agreement it's forfeit.
My greatest concern about release is where I shall work. I used to work in apartment complexes, and many of them will not hire convicted felons, “violent” felons in particular.
The thugs at the Arizona State Prison opened and INSPECTED this letter. They have opened a number of other letters kevin sent me. But this is the first time they opened the letter and stamped a red INSPECTED on it.
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