We’ll here is a very long update:
A few days ago, Rara was transferred to a different section of the jail. Frankly, from all accounts, it’s worse. Rara isn’t doing very well. For the first time, she called me crying. She is now in what they call the tank, with 30 other females. Luckily she knows most of them, so has some seniority with any newbies. She’s still well liked, but there seems to be one woman who thrives on causing trouble. It sounds like she’s attempting to create factions and fights, pretty much like you see on TV.
The biggest problem is the guards. They’re more angry and cruel. They intimidate and swear at all of the inmates. As she told me how they treat everyone, I began to see a new perspective on the disposition of prisoners and their psychological health. Possibly, the entire reason why people become repeat offenders. Before, when they were in the other section, everyone was cordial and obeyed the rules. Now, there are fights between inmates and guards. They have the option to go to educational classes or church, but none of the woman want to go now, because they’re strip searched every time they come back. They’re forced to eat their meals within five minutes and if any of the inmates get in trouble they all do. They often lose privileges, like day room (where the phones are located) and mail. Which is why you should write and send your letters ASAP, or they may not get to her. On Monday Rara signed the papers to agree to the deal to do 3 years in prison. At the end of the month the judge will sign off on it. And from then, at any point she could be transferred to prison. All research indicated that she will be unable to contact or receive contact for up to 7 weeks. Afterwards there is a long, arduous process to clear people to visit or send letters. But even then, if she gets into a work program (that will help cut down her time) she may not be able to receive any contact.
On the bright side, from the sound of it, the prison is much nicer than her current situation. All of your donation have been very helpful. Anything currently available, or received from now on, will go to purchasing her things when she gets to prison. You’d be surprised what they can get.
As for me, some of you already know, but I’ve been keeping it a secret. About a week ago I was on the verge of being homeless. I needed to move and find a place within my budget. On the very last day I managed to find something. I won’t say it’s a hovel… in fact I feel bad about complaining. One of my roommates is 20-year-old kid, who seems happy to be here, having come from worse. Actually, it seems like all 6 of the people here are less fortunate than myself. It puts it in perspective when you think you’ve hit the bottom.
If you follow me on my blog, you’ll notice I’m writing. It’s a sort of therapy, or a lay over until I can start thinking deep and big. I’m also about 14 pages into a new novel. I write on my 15 minute breaks, when I’m waiting in the laundromat or mooching off free WiFi. Rara always said I write best when I’m angry.