Saturday, October 27, 2007

October 21, 2007 - Percy Needs Help!

Dear Sis~
As you know, I'm one of the eight "pod workers" on the row and I'm called upon to clean empty cells, or scrub the showers, or sweep and mop the cellblock floors. So I wasn't particularly surprised when, late last Monday night, a lieutenant appeared at my door, told me they were moving Percy (aka "Crazy Horse") to another cell, and that they needed me to clean up his old cell. I've cleaned up Percy's old cells before and they are really rank; Percy stinks like you would not believe. He very rarely showers and his clothes are always filthy rags. Percy is oblivious to his condition but his funk is so powerful that, out on the rec yards, you can smell him twenty feet away, and if the wind is in your face you'll occasionally gag. Anyway, I thought I was mentally prepared to clean Percy's cell, but I became suspicious when the lieutenant brought me a pair of knee-length rubber galoshes, a plastic apron, a mask, and a pair of long rubber gloves. When I got downstairs I saw the big trash barrel in front of Percy's empty cell, along with several red plastic bio-hazzard bags, a mop and bucket, and the large industrial vacuum cleaner (like a big shop vac) that we use to vacuum up the water when a guy floods out his cell. I was still several cells away when the odor punched me in the face. When I looked into Percy's cell the entire floor was covered in about 2 inches of raw sewage. I don't mean mostly toilet water with a little feces, I mean pure raw sewage sludge. The sink was full of sewage, the bare steel bunk was smeared with sewage and the clogged toilet was overflowed with sewage and toilet paper. It was horrible. If you can imagine taking two full Port-O-Potties and dumping them into a cell you can picture what I was facing. The stench was overpowering and I fought not to vomit. That's when I learned that Percy had been locked in that air-tight cell like that for the last 5-6 days (i.e., his toilet was clogged and overflowing for the last 5-6 days). How a human being could survive (much less not be driven insane) in a suffocating cell like that is beyond me. Of course, Percy is already insane so those conditions could not drive him over the edge. I spent 1 1/2 hours in there; I vacuumed out 2 full shop vac containers full of shit and piss (at least 10 gallons per shop vac container, or 20 gallons total) and I sprayed disinfectant everywhere. The more I worked, the angrier I got as I realized that Percy had been in that cell for at least 5 days (maybe 7 days) and that all the guards and other prison officials had just ignored it, walking past his cell each day, like nothing was amiss. The guy next to Percy had been yelling and banging for 5+ days, demanding to move, to get away from the gagging odor, to no avail. And, when they finally moved Percy, who was covered in shit, they did not put him into the shower, or give him clean clothes, they simply put him into a different cell. He's in cell #2 now, alone and virtually naked (no property, just his shit-covered clothes), totally clueless as usual. And now they have his toilet cut off, along with his sink water, and my neighbor tells me he's begging for water to drink all day long, but nobody gives him any. For the next 5 days after his move, Percy did not go to rec (he always goes to rec) until Friday, when he finally went, and I was shocked at his appearance. Percy always looks bad, but on Friday he looked terribly gaunt, his eyes were sunken and wild, and he was uncharacteristically quiet and sluggish. When he got outside he just slumped to the concrete, laid down, and remained there for the 2-3 hours we were out there (usually he paces, or hops around, while talking to himself). To be honest, he looked like he was dying. I fear for his life, and certainly for his health. Prison officials here are absolutely and totally indifferent to his condition, and it's criminal. If you kept an animal in those conditions you'd go to jail, and deservedly so. I've seen a lot of bad stuff in my decades in prison but that was the worst I've ever seen a prisoner treated (other than outright beatings). It was, and is, a very sad situation; I can't even imagine how Percy's already broken mind processes such things, or if somewhere under the depths of his madness he grasps how cruelly he is being treated. He needs to be in a hospital where someone, somewhere, can have some mercy on him...
Light & Love,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw a link leading to your blog in a Norwegian newspaper.. I really hope they will let you leave the prison as a free man. I live in Norway in which the strictest punishment possible is 21 years (but people are usually granted freedom after a maximum of 14 years), and death sentence is illegal and is something they do in Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia (and the USA...). I believe you when you say you are innocent. However, if you were NOT innocent, they still should have released you by now. You seem like a man who could have contributed even more to society if you weren't behind those walls.
I am very thankful that you share your thoughts on the internet through your sister. And fighting for you and others like you in the USA is just as important as fighting for girls in Iran who are being hanged.

Keep hoping and fighting for your case!!!!

with a hope of your release
Hannah in Norway...