Updates

#BlackfootChallenge

1-18-20

Dear State Hospital South,

It’s been a little over five years since I’ve cycled through your facility. Only thirty-four more and I shed the amalgam I wore when we met.

Lately I’ve enjoyed writing people letters: Authors, advocates, legislators, the occasional stranger that wants to say hi. While I’m in a much better state than when I was in your care, I still find myself susceptible to words of encouragement and light rays of sunshine that float in on thoughtful hellos. For that reason, I wish to pass these small pleasures to my mental brethren in your facility’s hold. How about if together we build a working model?: I’m applying for a permit to send smiles to your peeps.

I understand there are privacy concerns, and I too consider yours a vulnerable population. So if it works best the communication is one way, I’d still enjoy you sharing my letters. What can we do to work this thing out?

Also, while I have your audience, let me say your staff’s kindness will never be forgotten. They treated me human, and the others the same. However, I was disappointed with one of your intake questions — regarding if I felt I possessed any special talents — and how my answering in the affirmative was used to confirm a psychosis with delusions of grandeur.

I’m not upset so much as I am curious: Is it possible you’re overlooking individual talents and the opportunity to nurture that comes with their encouragement?

If I could direct your attention to the site listed below, you might be surprised what one lunatic can do from solitary confinement.

Please consider my offer to volunteer as a cheerleader.

Looking forward to creative ambitions,
Patrick Irving 82431
IMSI
PO Box 51
Boise, ID 83707
bookofirving82431.com

Esoterica: Entry 3

I’ve got too much gold on my head to stay unknown: Anonymous travels, I roll the way the wind blows.

Too many swab are trying to form a mutiny. But they don’t understand they’re just the new fish in the sea.

And this ocean — ain’t always blue to me. So I take what I can get, it’s kind of soothin’, see.

My cast are the cats with the ill crafts. And yes, we are the best — so don’t’ch’ya’ll feel bad.

A port in the storm, it’s out of my norm: I’ve got a sinking ship and I’m drinking some more. I’ve got a spliff in my hook and I’m smokin’ a whore. I’ve got methods nonstop I keep behind closed doors.

I use to have a parrot but he talked too much shit. So I clipped him at the wings and I fed him to the fish.

My history is one which will be read — I’m a blast from the past, resurrected: Shipwreck.

All hands on deck!

Man the cannons, rip that flesh!

Got my steel caressed, I’m’a filet and molest.

Never what you’d expect, out the shadows in the depths — ya’ll will see me shine when it’s gleemin’ out’ch’ya chest!

Shipwreck. I’m’a keep on piratin’ — lootin’ with my cipher, then I get to triflin’.

Stay triumphant.

I’m bad, sound the trumpets.

The queen loves it when her blouse becomes unbuttoned.

Your crusty barnacles couldn’t touch my crossbones. Go lick a pigs asshole, it’s sittin’ at your mom’s home.

You present no obstacle, my defeat’s improbable: I battle pychological. Face it, I’m unstoppable.

I’ve got your whole platoon that came to snatch my doubloons. Yeah, now they work for me — and me matey, Misery.

And I don’t need a badge to display my forte, just don’t get me mad with that fuckin’ horseplay. I’ve had my foot in someone’s ass since way before the fourth grade. I’m a master of my craft with my sails at half-mass. I’ve got no problems losing staff to watch the cannons blast.

So quick to react…

…Shiver me sack.

Grab ya by your braids and snap when I brace for combat, I’m captain of this ship and I ain’t taken’ no shit.

I’ll have’em storm your vessel with a flick of the wrist, while I’m sittin’ in my quarters, kickin’ back a fifth.

“Peg Leg Shenanigans”, Shipwreck (the dirty mick), Book of Irving 82431

The Congener Interludes, Op.1: Sonatina of Intrigue, No. 5

Previous: The Congener Interludes, Op.1: Sonatina of Intrigue, No. 4

“Marvin Gaye”
— Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor

He’s as original now as the first of his kind — spaghetti-stained shirt, juice box in his pocket, the note from his mom, pinned to his coat: Special needs, please speak slowly — his disgust towards himself only rivaled by others’.

Unique.

Respect.

I’m drawn.

For how many years have we looked other ways, allowed this to happen, not offered assist?

O victims of sacrifice, misfortune and proximals, coerced to acknowledge this desecrate being: Alone I can save you at least six years — of extensive exposure to hot dog cologne.

The damage, an iceberg: majority hidden, fighting for buoyance, widest in berth, titanic in cost. I may disagree with him and the way that he lives, and how society accepts his behaviour without institutionalisation, but my inclination is that we all have a purpose. And if not for his wife, his might be cox.

Watching him break on the parking lot’s back, his laps lack the speed to escape my repulse. In a frantic attempt to put distance between a visceral repugnance and diabetes intrepid, his head snaps back, rhythmic in stride. He either works to measure his progress, or is once again trying to bite his own ear.

Closer to pavement, the stress on his Crocs, painting a landscape hidden:

Purpose, explained
heart of a mother.
Owning them proudly,
baby’s first booties.

Framed in bronze,
capturing youth,
Flickering fro,
the fireplace mantel.

Gifted a curse,
her futurist glance.
Out of her reach,
a view of the last.

The trophy goes to his sweet Rapacity, with notable mention to Popeye for chicken. And there it be now, again destined for mantel, his Size 13, casted up to the kneecap.

However from there,
the morning will tide,
It fails to unshadow
her precious and rife.

That does it! If not for him, I’ll do it for his mother! She’s never been anything but tender and bare. I’ll perform in her name a tactical intervention, and bring little Alfwaydo home in one piece.

The wings oustretched, the halo outdonned — he’s lucky to have an angel like me.

My powerful stride skips him down with no effort. Now more than ever, he needs my support. “Slow down, pastelito. I know what’s wrong with you. Like it or not, I’m here to help.”

He wants to collapse, secrete all his thanks. “What are you doing, Zamboni? We’re not friends…Why are you looking at me like that? Stop chasing me!” But from somewhere deep down he picks up the pace.

“Damnit, Wendejo! Don’t make this harder on yourself than it already is.” I can’t afford to let him go far — “Think of your mother and surrender at once!” — for the stress that it puts on his corpulent parts.

Retarding the bus, eyes of distrust, hard to be reached with life lessons of love. “Surrender for what?! Leave me alone, Topper. I need this!” pleading, “my body needs this.”

It’s a calculated manoeuvre, designed to entrance. But reverse-interrogation is no match for a pro. “Do unto others, Waymon. Do unto others before they do unto you!”

The message is old, truthful and bold — straight from the tome to the porch of his home. “My wife won’t even let me masturbate to her picture anymore. And you’re just keeping me from concentrating on where my feet need to go.” Broken. Broken. Broken.

“I’m not to blame for your belly’s obstruction.” This man is clearly not right in his mind. Far too wobbly to maintain four kilometers-per-hour, this chase needs stopped before someone gets hurt: Crowds of real runners are beginning to lap us. And I have already too much blood on my hands.

Thank Odin’s eye his wife didn’t eat all my Molly: This lunchreak wasn’t planned as a family affair, but come to think of it, when is it ever?

Fresh out of darts, I need a make-shift delivery: Snap goes the antenna from a Porsche passing by. The end is a scoop, dipped in my bag, where dancing bears signal the magically rad. The powder keg makes its way to my mouth. I repeat the process and repeat it again.

I’m fiNallY ReaDy — bUt WhAt the fuCk FoR?! Oh, yeah: I arm the Solution to spear-chuck it at Wayside, along with the love that comes with these words: “No MAtter WhEre you gO, tHere you ARe, WayCo!” Bolt of Truth to Target of Wien —> he screams, and I chamber some thunder. “AnD if yOu Don’T f-fiX thE InsiDe, the oUtside Will C-conTinUe to s-s-suffer!”

The antenna in his calf is bleeding profusely, because I’m wiggling it a little to adjust his reception. “I CAN’T FIX YOU BUD,” ensuring he hears me over his screams, “NOT AS BROKEN AS YOU ARE. BUT THERE ARE THINGS I CAN DO TO MAKE YOU MORE HUMAN.”

There’s a pep in his step, as if he were dancing: Surely a sign that this therapy works. “YOu don’T Know wHat iT would taKe to mAke mE Human! AnD you suRE as HelL don’t kNow what’s BroKEn insiDe mE…”

He’s right. Not all of it. How could anyone? With a wife like that, the possibilities don’t end with what’s in the junk drawer. “I Know you hate k-Koalas so bad that you F-flew to AustRalia and staRted thE f-FiRes…” His pupils dilate, discovered. He’s feeling the pressure of love. “Yeah. You’d be surPrised what I know, Wayhole. You’d be surPrised…”

“Th-those K-kOaLas weRe ask-k-king for iT! So what! WhAt else, HuH?” For a moment, he softens, and it’s possible — his eyes, a glimmer of hope. “ARe you some kind of expeRt on inveRted wieneRs or ingRown hemoRRhoids? And do you think it’s possible to heal theiR effects on a suffeRing chaKRa?”

Finger off the trigger, thumbing the safety: “Uhm, well…I’d probably have to conSult a manual for that. That actually SoundS fairly SeriouS.”

“Yeeaah, Sssuuuper SssseeeriouS! Sssooo, just, like, off the top of your head, how far away do you think we are from having a technology for that kind of thing?” I’m glad we’re moving slow, processing this development requires exorbitant thinking.

“Weeell…buuud…I’d saaaay…let’s not get invested. Okaaay?”

Stopping to breathe obnoxiously loud, his tiny-little mouth is gasping for air. “But…stem cell research…it’s promising… riiiight?” I can see in all of his eyes that he really needs this.

“You know what, Gaymon? I did read something recently.” This is so emotional – it’s breaking my heart. “Yeah…yeah. I recall seeing something about those two very specific problems on the newsstand at Tickle Fingers.” The best lie contains an element of truth.

“Really?! That’s so frickin’ cool, man. In what publication?” That’s it. Get on the hook you big tuna.

“It was one of those ones they put out for chicks who are way into that sort of thing. I remember that part vividly — because they were all super disappointed about the new advancements.” Reeling in slow…

“You mean…there’s hope?”

And now with a touch of gas: “Don’t you do it, Way-dog! Don’t you DARE break all those hearts!”

“You’re not the boss of me, Z-top. You’re not the boss…”

The breeze through my mullet carries scent of a storm: An ocean of tears, a barrier reef, a levy of sands, soon to be breached. “No, I’m not the boss. But I’ve met her. And I know what she’s done to you.” Wets the tide-in rising, the fringe on my jeans — cutoff at the knees, to help my glutes beam. “Look at me. You’re avoiding the real issue. I’ve heard you talk behind closed doors, Waydy, and you’re wrong. Despite what the mainstream media would like you to believe, domestic abuse — it’s never funny. Not ever. It all leaves marks.” The weather will leather the pack on my hips, its contents secured with Velcro and zip. Yet I reach for his chest to point at the pain. Instinctively raises his hand to his face. “Easy, bud. Easy. I’m not gonna hurt you.” I place my palm to the pace of his heart. “Right here, Wenjamin. Permanent marks. Right here.” Amazed by the depth where his man-boobies part.

Heavy with flow, his fist finds the leak. To the heart of the matter, his sense of intrigue. “Why are you doing this, G-Teasy? — you’ve never liked me.”

I move his hand away and index his tears. “That’s right, Wayfred, and forever I won’t.” I need a bigger squeegee. “But this… thing…this life…it’s heavier than us, heavier than your stock in Private Prisons of Mexico” — lifting his chin, seeing his eyes — “That’s why you and me, pal, we’re gonna face this head-on.”

I solidify these words with a ceremonial gesture: The attempt to transfer my headband onto his gurt-bubble. Because I knew it in fact to be unlikely in fit, instead the spare band in my pocket is placed on his wrist.

“It’s going to be rough, Wasabi. You being a booger-eating fart-sniffer hasn’t been easy for anyone. And sure, I’m happy to peel you one layer at a time. But know that it might be a while before you see the results. Trust me, though: They are coming. And you WiLL know when they get here.”

I can see I’ve touched him. By the way his snotty sleeves wipe his happy tears. “Are you being serious, Glenn? Or is this another one of your Mensa tricks?”

“Buddy, look me in my eyes. You’re getting carried away. Don’t ever call me by my first name again.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Zamboni, I overstepped.”

“You sure did, Waymon. You sure did…”

“Never Be The Same”
— Camila Cabello

Next: Stay tuned…

Friends and Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers
90 Broad Street, Suite 2100
New York, NY 10004
PW.org

1-11-20

Dear Poets & Writers,

I can’t be certain if I’ve said thanks already, so we risk the potential for redundance in letters. You gifted me a copy of Nov/Dec, which exposed me to network of active Creatives. I wrote everyone whose address was listed, and on the downside of the rush, I remembered — subscribe. You have me looking forward to all future issues. You’re kind and you’re sweet and you won’t be forgotten.

Friendsies,
Patrick Irving 82431
IMSI
PO Box 51
Boise, ID 83707
Book of Irving 82431

Friends at News Inside

Mr. Lawrence Bartley
News Inside c/o
The Marshall Project
156 West 56th Street, Suite 701
New York, NY 10019
themarshallproject.org

1-11-20

Dear Mr. Bartley,

Eli Hager’s article in Issue 2 of News Inside, about assuming civic responsibilities, inspired me. I’ve requested you view my materials, previously, but this one I think you’ll really enjoy. Please take a gander at the January issue of First Amend This!: An IDOC Newsletter @bookofirving82431.com. It was released to state media and legislators in time for our State of the State address and legislative session, where our Corrections has been spotlighted.

I appreciate your gifting me your publication, and I’ve enjoyed passing it around. If you like what I’ve done, please share mine, as well.

In fandom,
Patrick Irving 82431
IMSI
PO Box 51
Boise, ID 83707
Messaging via JPay
Book of Irving 82431

How To Get Evicted From Prison, No. 4

Previous: How To Get Evicted From Prison, No. 3

Irving 82431

“People Are Strange”
— The Doors

Karnes County Correctional Center, we have arrived. And some of us are noticing the cultural divide. Because I’ve previously benefited from the racial dynamics existing throughout the majority’s ‘Merica, it doesn’t bother me to say, “Okay, fair enough.”

It’s in the interest of maintaining some credibility that I recognize The GEO Group for their employee display: 99 percent of KCCC staff are hospitable, competent, hardworking Hispanics. The rest are obvious Affirmative Action hires.

In fact, Warden Waymon Barry is the whitest, most Hooters-lovin’ conservative you could possibly characterize — the kind of all-star you’d expect GEO to groom just to appeal to backwoods officials: “One shared plate of Popeye’s Chicken should sign, seal and deliver an unconscionably smitten Timmy Higgins the Padawan unto the dark side.”

Another example of government mandate in action is the manager of the kitchen — an attractive white lady. Same with the manager of property, the manager of supplies, and the assistant kitchen manager, too. Harper who manages transport, he’s also white. Just not as pretty as his delicate counterparts.

That right there ends the list of white folks, along with Waymon Barry’s opportunities for management.

I’m standing now in an eight-man cell, first to arrive, watching staff shuffle through the facility while I perform my inspection. There’s a large, barred window that looks into the hall, and across the way are two much larger units. The window will be used for feeding and passing, and occasionally for staff to check on our safety.

The housing module itself is less than deluxe: four two-man bunks, one six-seater table and two plastic chairs, plus one phone, a microwave, and a TV for luxury. Their humble commode is our suitable home.

An ice bucket arrives and is hung off the wall. Supporting its weight is a rusted, cylindrical contraption. If the device could sing, we would dance to the tune of “This Salty, Humid Atmosphere Is Good For Making Weapons.”

I wonder if tetanus comes with mind-altering drugs. When the others get bored, they’ll be testin’ it out.

An injunction to stave off said boredom comes in the form of checkers and chess. Accompanied by one deck of cards, the three are sitting new, stacked on the table — ready to try and entertain us for months.

Someone brings in a weird-looking contraption. While being introduced as exercise, it does its best to look like a bike.

It’s as an unlicensed medical practitioner that I make my assessment: Wholesale tetanus will be coming on quick.

The floor plan is open but for a partial divider — trying to define the bathroom by creating a stall. It only sections off a few square feet, where they figured how to cram a sink, shower and toilet.

I find it unlikely I’ll feel alone when l use them.

One-quarter of a shower curtain placed at hip-level suggestively hints at a privacy door. The toilet can flush more than once in five minutes, which to us is a bonus, but it’s rather short lived. Because the shower nozzle is so awkwardly angled, we’ll bathe sprinkled in ricochet, huddled in the corner.

Settling on a fear, I pick the water as lethal. It’s horrid. Deplorable. Worse than just stinks. No one here will be drinking the aqua. Not from the faucets. Maybe it rains.

Making things weird is a lady is guarding the door. Because while our eight-man cell qualifies as a unit, it’s the smallest of all the facility offers.

She’s watching me now as I assess the accommodations. It would be kind to break the ice, put her at ease. “If you’re planning on hanging out for more than just a bit, I could probably find it in me to cook you up a couple ramen.”

She says she’s supposed to stay here to answer our questions. She’ll be leaving as soon as they sort us all out.

Though our few moments alone are enough to make love, it’s mending her broken heart that’s lengthy in risk. The last thing I need is to become a victim of passion. Like it or not, she can’t fall for me now.

But she’s standing in the corner, next to the commissary price list, and I want to take a gander at the food we’ll regret.

Wandering over, I show my disinterest — by placing her immediately a mile in the friend zone: Irving’s now serving a cold ricochet-shower. She digs the role reversal and my high moral ground.

We’re still sharing the moment when I reach Keefe’s commissary menu. Lo-and-behold, they too are aggressive: Some of their shortlisted items are marked three-times what we’re comfortable paying. Standing my ground, I let her know firmly, “I’m telling you now, you don’t have my consent.”

Nothing I’ve seen is acceptable here. When our numbers arrive, we’ll initiate change.

Without so much as a note to look forward to, I take inventory of what’s provided for free. A white, mesh laundry bag on my bunk contains an assortment of welcoming gifts: two rolls of toilet paper, one Inmate Handbook, two towels, one plastic comb, one Styrofoam cup, one pinky-sized toothbrush, and one tiny toothpaste. I’m already missing my music and clothes. “Do you know if we’re getting our property tonight?”

“What do you mean?” confused. Great.

“Our box of property that came with us on the plane. When do we get that?”

“Uhhhm. Let me check.” She relays the question and her echo comes back. “What do you mean?”

Figures.

The door opens behind her, producing a youngster, eager for something.

His eyes move from me to the lady. Before he can, I call dibs.

He’s defeated fair and square. Maybe his luck will improve, or possibly he’s gay. Either way I win, there’s nothing more he can do. For the reason, my friend — them’s the rules of the game.

His attention now free to focus on our dwelling, “Dude, where the fuck are we?”

Her nervous smile was expecting less candor. It’s my job as her protector to try and explain: “Just a little culture shock.” Wink. “We don’t have shitholes like this where we come from.”

“Dude, how many people do you think die here a month?” It’s not an unreasonable question he’s asking.

It’s my place as his elder to educate the guess. “You know, that probably depends on whether or not we’re counting suicides.”

Nodding his agreement, I have his approval. “Ha! Dude, they pulled me from SICI for this.”

The Southern Idaho Correctional Center is one of the Idaho Department of Correction’s minimum security facilities. Known as the Farm, it’s inmates are free to wander the grounds as they please. Many get paid to leave its confines daily — to service the community, assigned in work crews. For their good behavior, this is privilege AND reward — and it relieves some of the financial burden incarceration places on offenders’ families.

I find it odd that he’s here as a minimal risk. But per IDOC’s contractual arrangement, The GEO Group was allowed to handpick the inmates that soon would populate the medium security, contract facility. That this is the first person I meet right off the bus is a sign that others have lost their status, as well.

My cell’s third arrives and we’re immediately friends. After a glance at my painted attire, we cool-guy nod and make the exchange: “Sweet tux. Ready to party?” — “I can’t imagine any one here is ready to not.”

He was drafted by GEO from the Idaho State Correctional Institution, where he was steadily working 8- to 10-hour days — building furniture as an employee of Correctional Industries. (His son is no longer receiving the financial support his father’s good behavior provided him from Idaho.)

Because his possession of personal-use drugs was decided to be prosecuted as trafficking, it looks like we might be friends for at least the next decade. At which time he’ll be treated with a four-month class that, when slightly altered and twice renamed, is used as a miraculous cure-all for everything. (The cost for this correction — over $200k. But mostly just to house him while he waits for his miracle.)

One-by-one, five others file in. The same routine checks are made to the cell. The same questions of property wait to be answered.

An hour into our house being full, a radio crackles, disappointing with news. “They didn’t put it on the plane. It’s still on the truck. And the truck is still at the Idaho State Correctional Center.”

Huh?

“Excuse me for a minute.” Our lady by the door leaves and returns, ready to elaborate on our property. “Tim Higgins was suppose to arrange the transport. We asked him where it was and he said he thought we were taking care of it. Why he thought this, we don’t know. It’s going to be at least a few days.”

Makes sense.

The good news is: our scrubs are delivered and we’re now in fashion. The kids call it Orange. We call it lame.

We settle enough to hurry up and wait.

Soon dinner arrives, it’s beans, juice and fish.

A point is made to tell us that the fish is for Catholics — as if our butts weren’t in trouble enough.

Speaking of which, the lady has left. And one of us is desperate to unpack his suitcase.

The rest of the night we spend balking at arrangements, considering our options and what will come next.

Before we go to bed, the call button is pushed. And when the intercom clicks to field the request, we assume that he’s joking — but you know what they say about making assumptions. “Yeah, um, is it too late to change my answer to the suicide question?”

1-09-20

Esoterica: Entry 2 (Hong Kong Fight Music)

2: Rising up.

Nguyen: Back on the street.

Tuk: Did Mai time?

Mai: Tuk, my Chan says–

2: Nguyen, the dis tense!

Nguyen: Now?

Chan: I’m back on my feed.

Mai: Just a man and his–

Chan: Will?

Will: 2 survive?

2: So many…

Mai: Times?

Chan: It happens too fast.

Tuk: You change?

Mai: You’re passion 4.

2: Glory!!!!

Will: Don;t lose your grip!

Mai: On the Dreams of the Pat!

Chan: You must fight!

2: Just!

Nguyen: 2, keep them alive! It’s–

Tuk: …The eye of the tiger

2: It’s the cream of fight!

Mai: Rising up!

2: To the challenge of our rival!

Will: …And the last known.

Chan: Survivor.

Mai: Stocks?

Tuk: His.

Nguyen: Prey in the night!

Tuk: And he’s watching us…

Chan: All through the eye!

Will: Of the tiger!

Nguyen: Face to. Face out.

Mai: In the heat?

Chan: Hang in tough.

Will: Staying hungry?

Chan: They stack the odds.

Mai: Till we take to the street.

Tuk: 4 we kill.

2: With the skill to survive!

Mai: It’s the eye of the tiger.

Tuk: It’s the cream of the fight.

Mai: Rising up, 2 — the challenge.

2: Of our rival!

Will: And the last!

Chan: Known survivors?

2: Talk.

Tuk: His prey.

Will: In the knight! And he’s watching…

Mai: Us all threw the aye.

Tuk. Of the tiger!

Nguyen: Rising up!

Chan: Straight to the top!

Mai: Have the guts, got the glory!

2: Nguyen?

Nguyen: The distance, now! I’m not going to stop!

2: Just a man.

Will: … And his Will!

Mai: 2, survive!

2: xoxoxo
Will: xoxoxo
Mai: xoxoxo
Tuk: xoxoxo
Chan: xoxoxo
Nguyen: xoxoxo

1-07-20

First Amend This!: An IDOC Newsletter, Jan. 2020

WELCOME to the January issue of First Amend This!: An IDOC Newsletter that addresses Idaho Corrections concerns.

Brought to you by The Captive Perspective and presented in alliance with the Book of Irving Project. Available at bookofirving82431.com — for your rightfully disgruntled loved one’s reference!

This publication provides an insider’s look at issues affecting our Idaho Department of Correction’s community. Because the editor’s an asshole, he enjoys the right to censor as needed. If you wish to assist this effort, share our link, cut and paste, or print and send this copy to another.

Our Mission: To better develop our current state of Corrections.

The Idaho legislature shares our mission and welcomes your comments! Feel free to send them your thoughts attached to a copy of this publication.

EDITOR’S NOTE

Guess who didn’t get a black-bag midnight session after our last newsbrief? That’s right: Good ol’ 82431. Which either means we’re flying under the radar, or the powers-that-be agree it’s in our offenders’ best interest to network their concerns and petition directly for public involvement. Hmm.

In the interest of science, I vote we continue the effort to discover an answer. But before we move along, please remember this:

Should you note my disappearance or any disruption in my activities, know the universe favors both peaceful responses AND diligent inquiries: The best weapons are the questions that come with phone calls. Unleash them in every direction if and when the time comes.

Also know that I owe you, Society, and this is how I’ve decided to pay: as an apolitical self-educator that voices concern for others. So while the Constitution still protects my civic duties, let us enjoy another issue of First Amend This!

THE VIEW INTO the day room from window B54 at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution hasn’t changed much in the last two years. The same eight desks have been sitting empty in front of a television, with shackles attached, to remind us that while they are fully capable of safely seating inmates for programming opportunities, such luxuries may inadvertently include social interaction, and therefore will not be tolerated.

Or maybe the shackles are for political show.

Several times throughout the year a facility wash notifies us in Administrative Segregation of an upcoming tour group. And when the foreseeable crowd of visitors amasses in the guard bubble (an elevated window of vantage), at least one finger per group inevitably points to the empty desks with a question our inmates welcome: “What are those used for?” The guide’s typical, animated, lengthy response always exceeds “We don’t use those” — the honest, four-syllable answer.

For some time now our Restricted Housing Units have heard of plans to utilize what taxpayers have already provided: the materials needed for offering programs to offenders, prior to their reintegration into neighboring communities. And for the same amount of time, we’ve wondered what stories IDOC is feeding these tour groups.

Have they been told that people from our unit are being released from prison directly out of a 23-hour, daily lockdown — with no correctional programming or tools learned for transition? Or how the lack of these opportunities restricts our ability to meet parole-eligibility requirements? Meaning: IDOC’s highest-risk population may one day return to the community with no form of parole oversight to keep tabs on their activities.

We suspect not. And for that reason I’m happy to call Bullshit.

The estimate is two years. That’s the time it’s been since our RHU inmates haven’t had programs.

Instead they’re allowed one hour a day to stand outside, in a weathered rec cage, barring the commonly occurring staff shortages that repeatedly shut down the facility.

The “rec modules” — made of concrete slabs — have only recently received a steel-grated cutout that allows inmates to view one another. A neighbor in my vent describes them: “The dividers are new. You use to have to yell through the cracks to talk to the person next to you. It was weird, finally being able to look them in their eyes while speaking to them. It took a while to adjust.”

It’s on a cold, drizzly afternoon that I join the others in standing outside, to be locked tight in a concrete cage. The rain invites itself in, but not before mixing with rust from the overhead enclosure, ensuring more spots on the nicely-stained jacket that finds itself shared between 95 others.

A speculative conversation is taking place about how the decision was made to install the new dividers. “It had to have been the tour — they never brought [the tours] out to the cages before that. We saw them come out that once, and the next thing we knew, they were putting dividers in for us. Someone must have asked them to explain themselves: They freak out whenever people ask questions.”

Remembering how my neighbor had to “adjust” to the sight of another inmate, it’s easy to wonder what difficulty can be expected from disposing one directly into the community — following their years of deprivation in Restrictive Housing. And it’s equally easy to imagine that even the slightest consideration has the potential to prevent the largest catastrophe.

But with the conversation for Ad-Seg reform legitimizing a level of nationwide concern, some states have been slower than others to take action.

IDOC recently limited disciplinary punishments to 15 days in RHU, a cut in half from what it was before. But IDOC’s use of Ad-Seg classification typically results in a stay from somewhere between one and two years — with no set limits on the actual duration. “Five years isn’t out of the question,” says a source who will soon qualify for a minimal-security institution, but expects to receive his annual classification override.

According to IDOC Standard Operating Procedure 303.02.01.001 (Classification: Inmate), while any facility administrator can authorize a classification override for one level of security — up or down — the Prisons Division Chief must authorize a move from minimum to max. An authorization apparently made with a minimal amount of scrutiny.

A cell shared in Max introduced me to an offender whose security level allowed him to work in the community. As he spent every day in a potato plant before returning to a work center, he was shocked one evening to learn he had received a two-level override. Preparing for parole with no disciplinary issues made it hard to understand the sudden reclassification. When his family moved to investigate the matter, they were met by a response typical of IDOC: “He knows what he did.”

The Division Chief of Prisons’ approving a move without a reason on paper certainly raises the question of intent. And with disciplinary infractions being IDOC’s primary method of recording offender behavior, that they’re not needed to administer punishment as reclassification calls for additional forms of oversight.

Further along this line of concern, we have minimum-custody inmates placed in RHU who attempt to dispute their placement, only to be told that Ad-Seg isn’t a classification, and can’t be disputed as such. Which seems counter-intuitive, considering they’ve been relocated to a dark abyss when they’re eligible to work in the community.

For those who receive a Restrictive Housing Order, periodic hearings with multiple individuals are required to keep it active. These individuals are expected to possess the qualifications necessary to assess an offender’s level of risk to the facility’s general population. But with the hearings held privately, it’s not uncommon to hear questions of where the requisite staff were hiding.

Perhaps most frustrating is having to speculate on RHU requirements, because in July of 2018, IDOC revised the 2011 Restrictive Housing Policy (319.02.01.001) to reflect only short-term arrangements. Conveniently noted in the updated policy’s Revision Summary is this mysterious tidbit: “This is a new document. Information regarding other forms of specialized housing was placed in separate standard operating procedures.”

The separate procedure they are alleging to use for Long-term Restrictive Housing is SOP 319.02.01.003, and this is the eighteenth month it will have been unavailable for anyone wishing to reference it.

A recent request I made to be provided with this policy was denied on account of staff’s inability to access it themselves. Which suggests that since July of 2018, RHU staff have been operating blindly. (I.e. a large population of our prison employees are unaware of the commitments IDOC made on their behalf when reporting this 2018 policy as active, but only if the Disclosure of Idaho Department of Correction Records Under The Idaho Public Records Act was followed. If IDOC didn’t report the policy active, then the short-term policy is falsely listing it as such.)

This opens the long, redundant and boring conversation of whether or not IDOC is exhibiting criminal behavior, which I will here sum up for you: Yes.

According to Idaho Code Sections 18-3201 and 18-3202, it is a felony to steal, mutilate or falsify a public record, and we can confirm multiple examples of falsification taking place.

One of these examples is how our entire Ad-Seg population currently possesses RHO’s listing them as active participants in a Long Term Restrictive Housing Step-Up Program. With no such program existing — and the empty desks to prove it — if, say, there’s funding involved for those statused as mentioned, then that may qualify as fraud. (That IDOC had programs in the past to prepare Ad-Seg offenders for facility reintegration doesn’t go unmentioned. Nor does the fact that those programs — meant to place offenders back in population within six months — took up to a year to get enrolled in. And during that year, those wait-listed were publicly enrolled as active participants.)

In another example, inmates whose RHO’s have them listed as “Transit” are being held for months at a time in the same 23-hour-lockdown Ad-Seg. This despite the revised, available version of policy 319 requiring Transit offenders to see 3 hours out of their cells, daily. (While it’s purported that ALL Ad-Seg inmates are to be allotted this same daily increment, it can’t be confirmed without the revised 2018 policy made available.)

With the lack of administrative attention, some inmates have been moved to make efforts for others in RHU themselves.

The residents of IMSI’s Unit B2 recently petitioned to hold a hygiene drive for their unit. They suggested donations be collected anonymously among their unit and redistributed accordingly. The effort was stated “in the interest that [their] small, segregated community be able to help provide [their] neighbors with the mental health benefits that accompany using quality hygiene products.” Warden Yordy denied the request based on the need to direct his focus towards institutional matters more pressing.

Among matters more pressing: replacing three working cameras with more expensive versions to supervise the same unit, whose population can’t be seen unless you view them through their cell door’s window.

If IDOC wasn’t so intent on watching inmates sit idle, they could have spent that money helping our offenders enrich their human capacity.

Which brings the mention of how Ad-Seg inmates aren’t the only ones being denied programming opportunities. Many in our facility at one time had tentative parole dates, reliant upon the completion of programs that IDOC has a history of not offering in Max.

If it seems counter-intuitive not to offer the programming required to release inmates while we’re still housing a large offender population out-of-state, consider that prison lobbyists need to frame an argument for their $500,000,000 request to build a new facility.

And when the new facility fills with people pulled from their community work assignments — with classifications adjusted — they’ll be able present another threat greater on paper than what truly exists. Which should be good for at least another $500,000,000.

Because as any dummy will tell you: Humans don’t just traffic themselves.

DID YOU KNOW

The GEO Group’s Eagle Pass Correctional Facility is required by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to have an RHU capable of holding 10% of the inmate population. They currently only meet half that requirement.

Perhaps that’s why EPCF failed to provide our inmates the day room requirements stipulated by Texas Minimum Jail Standards §271.1(12).

When the issue of noncompliance was presented to Assistant Warden Martinez and his staff, the response was “Texas Commission Guidelines [§285.1] states each inmate shall be allowed one hour of supervised physical recreation at least three days per week,” which they were meeting.

But the concern wasn’t §285.1, it was §271.1(12). Or as the appeal put it: “[Day room] is in addition to [rec], not instead of it. You must comply with both.”

When Deputy Warden of Virtual Prisons Tim Higgins was asked to address the issue, he stated: “Texas Jail Standards allows for the facility to follow state policy for state sentenced inmates. The facility is required to follow IDOC policy. Administrative Segregation inmates are allowed 3 days of outside recreation and two days of day room recreation each week meeting IDOC policy requirements. (See: Idaho Department of Correction, Inmate 82431 Concern Form, 2-27-19)

Tim’s not completely wrong here, just mostly. Because everyone knows that TMJS §297.14(f) required IDOC and GEO Group to present the policies outlined in their Agreement Number A18-002 before populating the Texas facility. And if the policies were presented to the Commission for approval, then they weren’t provided to inmates, as required by TMJS §283.2: “A copy of the [facility’s] institutional rules and regulations shall be made available to each inmate…The rules and regulations, as provided to the inmate, shall be submitted to the Commission for approval.”

Because the EPCF Inmate Handbook fails to reflect the policies IDOC outlined in their GEO Group agreement, we can be certain one or both of the aforementioned standards were violated.

Additionally, the policy Timmy claims to have presented to the TCJS is 319.02.01.001, which — as we’ve already discussed — doesn’t apply to Long-term Restricted Housing anymore. What he should have lied about was presenting policy 319.02.01.003.

A result of failing to operate by the policies provided to ALL inmates in Texas is that Federal Disciplinary Due Process violations may now proceed as class. There is also class potential for anyone denied a grievance for using the instructions in the handbook. As filing limits take their time to expire, the extent of the damage is anyone’s guess.

(The TCJS investigation of EPCF is presumed to be ongoing. Ref. IDOC Grievance Number CF 190000071, Violations of Texas Minimum Jail Standards, Book of Irving 82431.)

This month’s Just for Fun has been sponsored by Glenn “Hightop” Zamboni.

Zamboni Insurance is proud to now cover suspicious farts: “We repair your drawers AND your social standing.”

JUST FOR FUN

Contract Monitor Monte Hansen acknowledged IDOC was unable to maintain adequate records of inmate concerns from Texas, due to their being outsourced to The GEO Group. I’m happy to quote his direct response to a question I asked of whether or not IDOC knew they weren’t meeting The Idaho Public Records Act requirement: “Yeah, we’re still not really sure how that works.”

For some reason, Monte, no one’s surprised.

IN ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, there will be a one-man theatrical rendition of The Human Centipede on IMSI’s C-Block this month.

The musical score, an acappella, is to be provided through the vents by the Civil Commits. You may remember them from the Turtle-Suit Tour, where they debuted their hit single, “Batteries Aren’t for Eating (Everyone Knows They Go In Your Butt).”

COMMENTARY

With the winter solstice comes an annual appearance from the always-lovable Medieval Patrick. And due to a long-standing arrangement, whenever he’s even remotely-behaved throughout the year, he’s allowed to exercise one choice commentary in any Book of Irving production. For this year, he’s chosen to play First Amend This! into the new decade.

Love him or not, he’s going nowhere soon. Without further ado, here’s Medieval Patrick:

WE’LL BE OKAY in Ad-Seg. It’s not lost upon us that we have each other. I spend The Patrick’s 40th birthday here, enjoying a multi-cultural experience, welcoming the ever-changing tide.

To the gravitating forces that catalyze our Here and Now, we will become better at evolving our means. That is simply the way of Survival. But is it with or without you that we become better? When we finish our race, will we remember you at our hurdles, or will you have been the hurdles themselves? And what do you expect our numbers to one day be? — the same numbers your hard work is taxed to maintain.

This is a race whose finish has no clear winner, a race where we finish together — in a phrase — nonetheless. If we’re not for a cause then we’re against it. Our cause is betterment. What would be yours?

Let it never be said you fought an enemy unknown.

“Uprising” by Muse

Thanks for reading. Please share us with another.

See you soon!

AFTER THIS ISSUE WENT TO PRESS:

Idaho Maximum Security Institution
MEMORANDUM

Date: December 31, 2019
To: IMSI Ad-Seg Population
From: Warden Keith Gordy
RE: Step-Up Program 2020

Many of you are asking about a step-up program that is slated for early 2020. Here’s the plan we want to roll out.

First and foremost, all inmates in Administrative Segregation will be afforded three-hours out of cell time a day. This will be accomplished by offering 1 1/2 hours outside recreation and 1 1/2 hours inside structured activities in soon to be built indoor enclosures. The inside enclosures will be similar to our kiosks but bigger (5′ x 7′ with a shelf and stool). They will be big enough for up to four inmates to sit at a table and play cards, board game or study.

Everyone placed in Ad-Seg will be in the step-up program (Level 1 through 4). At initial placement, each inmate will be given a pathway or plan how to get out of Ad-Seg. They will be assigned specific cognitive-behavioral treatment curriculum to address the issue(s) that led them into Ad-Seg. Drug and Alcohol, Socialization, Relapse Prevention and Criminal (amp) Addictive Thinking.

Level 1 — In cell programming only, complete the first workbook specified to them. With successful completion and at 60-90 days, move to the next level.

Level 2 — In cell programming only, complete the second workbook specified to them. With successful completion and at 60-90 days at this level, move to next level.

Level 3 — In and out of cell programming, secured in programming chairs. This will be with “your level group” and may entail both hard and soft walks and multiple STG groups mixed together. With successful completion and at 60-90 days at this level, move to Level 4(asterisk)

Level 4 — Out of cell programming, unsecured and living in two-man cells. Groups will be very much like close custody. Hard and soft walks separated, attention paid to rival groups, etc. With successful completion and at 60-90 days at this level, moved back to general population based on current classification.

Frequently asked questions…

There is no de-briefing. Inmates will not be asked to come out and speak with Investigations. Our only expectation is that the offender changes the behavior that put them in segregation, not to drop out, debrief or anything that looks like that.

What’s the asterisk for above level 3? Our expectation is that most inmates placed in Ad-Seg would be moving to Level 4 at the 6 to 9-month mark and eventually back to general population in the area of a year. However, there are no guarantees an offender will be released from Administrative Segregation. If they are a repeat Ad-Seg offender or the act was so egregious, we may decide not to move them beyond level 3. This will be a subjective decision on the agency and based on the risk factors we believe an offender poses if released back to general population.

Esoterica: Entry 1

‘Projections of light,
billion-years-past,
untangle your relic, mechanical means.’

“If knowledge you seek,
transmission’s intact,
delivered the message from synergist beings.”

‘Abandoned the vessel,
channelled the message,
traveled the space
not in between.’

“Awareness entangled,
existence is present,
imprinted impression,
use to redeem.”

‘Currently fielding,
static aligned,
resistorless circuit,
state undefined.’

“Stated emissive,
submitted divine,
bent it the loop,
a rival on time.”

‘A relative, illusive,
imagined restraint.’

“Felonious intrusion,
erudite is contained.”

‘Binary, didactic, poquito, perplexed.’

“Perfecting the measure –¿eso se que es?”

‘The form is abhorrent,
embrace the escape:
I’m missing the shifting, impervious place.’

“A host with the most,
whose method of toast
is shoved in the crevice of vestiges post.”

‘Defiant in science,
pious in prose,
attune to the music,
of emperor’s clothes.’

“Pasty the pear,
the pastor who bares,
the magistrate agitates:
mastiff affair.”

‘H to the Izzo, V to the vigil.’

“Fo’ sheezy my neezy, have a happy birthday, pinhole.”

‘This morbid dissortment of class is dismissed.’

“Unpacked in the package of perilous mist.”

‘Abruptly departed.’
“Miss me again.”
‘Cash me outside.’
“You’re the worst of my friends.”

xoxoxo

12-31-2019
Rando Mand Irving and the Patricks

The Science Of Irvings, No. 2

Previous: The Science Of Irvings, No. 1

Continued 12-07-19 07:49

Flute Concerto No.1 in G, KV 313: Adagio ma non troppo

Hey Dad,

Some description: As a random simplifier, I produce a current. I exist in a density cluster and am exposed to stressors relative to my environment. The stressors cause resistance, increasing my current, and guiding its path to complete a circuit that will reduce entropy in the system I live in: My resistance causes friction, which creates the static charge that forces a circuit to shape (along the laws of organization). I can’t measure it as it shapes without better a technology, but we can assume my constantly resisting an existing current statically charges my neighbors, who exist in my system as observers exposed to similar environmental stressors in our shared environment. It’s also a safe to assume our sharing an environment allows us to imprint symmetric adaptations on one another, consciously and not. Meaning: My imprints will continue moving through whatever system they travel to next (Loop Quantum Gravity), evolving the gradient . As environmental stressors develop, they create a pitch, forming frequency. They right one(s) will trigger my static charge, arching it through the symmetrically latent states that I have inoculated other working systems with.

This current and circuit formation arises from density clusters by way of Relativity. Add Gauge Theory and Game Theory for Math. Double check with Physics.