In the last couple of weeks we have had another 40 or more new arrivals. With new arrivals there usually is new drama. With new arrivals it is just a matter of time before the deuces are hit.
The word Deuce is the term inmates use when a body alarm is pressed. All officers have body alarms. The term deuces came about because officers use to call 2 2 on the phone when they needed assistance.
Anyway, if a body alarm is pressed on the rec yard the tower throws out a concussion grenade, and a loud recording starts repeating: “This is an emergency all inmates stop your activity, and get down on the ground.”
A few days ago I watched two men who fought like mix martial arts fighters keep fighting while the whole rec yard was kneeling on the ground watching.
Yesterday the concussion grenade went off early in the morning on the 8AM activity move. After the officers took the people away to the Special Housing Unit ( SHU) aka t”The Hole,” we had a yard recall. We remained in the units all day because the inmates did not get on the ground fast enough when they were told to.
Earlier this week I had a few intense moments on the rec yard. I recently returned from having a hip replacement . For the last seven years I have been a volunteer Suicide Companion. It is a program ran by the psychology department. While I was away for seven months, all of the white inmates who were a suicide companion either transferred or quit the program. I spoke to several people, and they told me they stopped doing the program because the new doctor was difficult to work with.
Last week ago a couple of men spoke to me about being interested in the program. I told them it would be a good thing for them to do. Several days ago the I saw the two men, and they told me they withdrew their name from the Suicide Companion Program. I asked why, and they said they were told if they sign up they may have problems. I ask who told them that and they were reluctant to say who. They did say it was a gang member.
A few days ago while I am on the rec yard I spoke to a couple of “shot callers” for different “cars.” They said they did not have a problem, but the a couple of gangs did. So I ask them tell me who is the main one having a problem with understanding that this is a good program.
I went and spoke to the guy. His perspective is that no one should pick up the phone and ask an officer for help. It is the same as telling. He called it a rat position. As I was telling him my perspective several other different gang members come over because they saw a potential problem. When they came over several of my friends came over.
After all was said we finished with handshakes and everyone had an understanding that it is okay to become Suicide Companion.
Being kind to people is a path that all should take. It is important to have compassion in our life. The ability to empathize with another and to feel what it may be like walking in another one’s shoes is a great quality.
Compassion and empathy will bring us closer to the truth. The truth is we are all just part of God’s play. When we are true to ourselves we lose all the fear that inhibits us from being and experiencing the Supreme Truth.
Life is good!