Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

[This was written while in prison on May 21.]

Today is my 47th birthday.

I asked if the COs will hand deliver a birthday cake to my room and sing a cute birthday jingle while wearing party favors.

Or maybe "Barbie" will jump out of a cake in the visiting room. "Barbie" is the inmate assigned moniker for what is generally considered to be the most attractive, and nicest, female CO. (Although, in a prison with 700 males inmates, even Rosanne Barr would be in the running for the nickname.)

No such luck.

However, if everyone who reads this will send me a birthday card, maybe we could swamp the mail room. :)

[UPDATE: Well, I wondered how come I never received any of those cards.... it was because my wife never posted this while I was in prison!! It doesn't really matter now but since I wrote it, I figured I would post it anyway.]

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