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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Editor Note: Paul taken to Round House

About a week ago, guards came to Paul's cell and told him he was being taken to "seg." One guard packed up Paul's belongings and took those, too.

Paul had no idea what was going on or why he was being taken. He was not taken to seg, but to the Round House. Paul later learned that an "investigation" is going on and that he is to be held in the Round House for several weeks or until the investigation is over. The video above shows the Round House, although the video is somewhat dated.

Keep in mind that at Stateville, the rules are petty, so being investigated and severely punished does not mean a prisoner has done anything actually "wrong" in the real world. Prisoners are thrown into seg for having a packet of ketchup. It is that absurd a situation.

Paul's mother heard from Paul and passes along this information:

He was sent to the Roundhouse, 1st floor, which is for those being held while investigations are being conducted. (IDOC has been challenged in court, and it was upheld that they can do that.) In the same building are the Seg cells, but they differ in that those cells have solid walls and solid steel doors. The investigation cells actually have windows that open, and bars that face the center of the Roundhouse.
Another difference is that Seg prisoners are kept alone in cells. Due to overcrowding, IDOC now puts 2 men in the investigation cells.  Paul was put in a cell with a thin, young, black man who only spoke in whispers. Paul felt safe. He was given a filthy mattress, which he refused, so he is trying to sleep on a steel bed. Internal Affairs took everything he owns! He was NOT allowed to pack a "seg bag" so he didn't even have soap or toilet paper! This black man gave him some of his, so Paul felt less anxious about him.

In the morning, he enjoyed looking out a window and seeing the sunrise. When a guard came to give them breakfast, Paul recognized the guard and the guard was very surprised to see Paul in there. The guard tried to find out why and what was going on, but all he could learn was that I.A. suspected Paul of something, along with a Mexican worker. I.A. took both of Paul's boxes and even some of cellmate's stuff. No one knows what's going on--I.A. also investigates guards for wrongdoing so there's no friendliness between them.

The roaches are so bad that Paul said one wall looks like its moving! The bugs run over your arms and onto your food! The cell is filthy too, along with peeling paint, etc.

A few hours later, Paul was cuffed and taken up to the 2nd level of cells without explanation. He was very anxious as to who he'd be placed with, and was relieved to see it was a black man with dreadlocks who he knows and gets along with. (Thank you, Lord.) That man was soon going to Seg because he was just given an official disciplinary ticket for having chow hall food. He too was first sent there "under investigation". He told Paul they can hold you for 30 days. If I.A. doesn't find anything to write you a ticket about, you are sent back to general population. This man gave Paul a pencil, paper and even a stamped envelope to write to us. He also gave Paul soap and a towel.  Just then there was screaming and much commotion. Nurses were running. Guards were running. The first man Paul had shared a cell with on the 1st floor had a razor and sliced up the man who replaced Paul. Blood was everywhere. His face was sliced badly, and his arms were slashed too. Apparently, the quiet black man was schizophrenic and just snapped. Paul realizes it could have been him.
The missing blog post was in Paul's property box--and he didn't get a chance to mail it. (That's the one about his trip to the hospital.)

Back to the nice guard who's trying to find out more for Paul, he says to Paul, "I hope you didn't write something stupid on your blog." Paul was surprised, and asked, "Oh, do you read my blog?" and the guard says, "Lots of us read it. It's interesting to us. You write about our place of employment! And you tell it like it is. I hope I.A. isn't reading it."  Paul was really surprised to hear this! (I am too!) 

Paul is OK for now. He has no idea what I.A. is looking for, but his boxes are full of legal stuff, his clemency petition, a blog post, copies of posts that I sent him to edit, etc.

He feels he's stuck for the 30 days. We cannot visit him until October 12. By then, I.A. has to either let him go back to general population, or charge him with something 

Thanks for keeping Paul in prayer--God is protecting him.

UPDATE: Word is that Paul was given 3 prison tickets - one for gambling, one for misuse of government property, and some other one. Gambling? Paul reads the Wall Street Journal and makes detailed stock report charts. We think that might be what they are talking about, although that is an educational activity that has nothing to do with gambling.

Basically, there is someone (or a few people) in the prison who like to harass Paul for writing his blog. They use these tickets as an excuse to take away his pencils, paper, and stamped mailing envelopes -- the tools he needs for his blog-writing.

The same thing was done to Paul less than a year ago. They took away his things and never gave them back. Then, Paul was given a bunch of tickets, and a bogus "hearing" was held with one prison official finding Paul guilty on all charges. The charges then were that he had more items that allowed, such as extra food or envelopes. Keep in mind, he is required to keep all his belongings in one box, so how much extra could he have?

1 comment:

  1. Why did the editors take down the more recent editors post? There wee a lot of good comments on that one.


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