You are reading a rare, detailed account of everyday life in Stateville Prison.

Click to read Paul's blog quoted on:
To contact Paul, please email:
or write him at the address shown in the right column. He will get your message personally.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lockdown Mystery -- July 2, 2011

On Thursday, the Roundhouse was put on lock down. Prisoners were locked in their cells, and the telephones were taken away. A few hours later, inmate workers were let back out, as were the phones. Two gallery court writs were even let out for evening yard. Everyone thought the cell house was back to normal operations until the court writs were brought back early and all inmates were locked back in their cells. There was no fight on the yard nor any occurrence that was noticed by me or my cellmate. Since Thursday, the Roundhouse has remained on lock down, and I can only speculate from rumors as to why.

Early this week I went on a visit, and when I returned I was informed that Internal Affairs had been in the building. I.A. were in the cell house questioning a number of people in segregation on 1 gallery. Instead of questioning them outside the cell house, as is normal, they were talked to from their cells behind a door. I was told the only exception to this was a sissy. The homosexual that acted and almost looks like a woman was gone for a few hours before he returned. While I.A. was in the building, one person was taken to Seg, and he happened to be a cell house worker.

I overheard a prison rumor that seemed to answer the events of Monday afternoon. According to the rumor, the cell house worker threatened another worker who always is at the sissy's cell door. This man, who I think is a creep and homosexual, spends hours talking to the sissy. I often remark to my cellmate that he is like superglued to the sissy's door. I could understand if the gallery worker who went to Seg said something to him, and this caused an exchange of words ultimately ending with a threat of violence. I could also imagine the sissy telling Internal Affairs about the incident to possibly protect his "boyfriend."

I took the rumor as most likely the truth, and did not bother asking anyone else about the matter. I have a lot more things to do with my time than confirm prison gossip. I keep very busy in the cell exercising, writing letters, reading, and on occasion, watching a movie or TV program. I was not too concerned about the events on Monday. It did not cause a lockdown or any change in my routine. I could still go to yet another visit on Wednesday, and Thursday I went to the yard in the morning.

Thursday was a hot and humid day to be out under the sun working out for 5 hours. I brought with me 2 bottles of water, but even this was insufficient. Toward the end of the yard period, I had developed an enormous thirst and drank the last drops out of my bottles. A couple of barrels of ice water is brought out to the yard on hot days, but I have never drunk from them. I know convicts are not considerate, and they will dip their hands or jugs into the coolers. They will also touch their containers to the nozzle contaminating the nozzles. Despite this, because I thought I was going to faint, I went to one of the barrels to get some water. There was nothing it it but some ice on the bottom. I dumped some of the remaining ice into my T-shirt and set it on my head. Seeing me sitting against the fence rubbing ice over my head and the back of my neck, the tattooed man came to talk to me.

Tattoo jokingly asked if I needed a medtech. I said no, and he asked, "Want a drink of water?" I was tempted to take a drink from his bottle, but then, looking at the carnival freak, thought better of it. While he was there, I began to talk about all his tattoos, and he mentioned that the cell house worker had just recently been put in Seg for suspicion of getting a tattoo. Earlier when I was lifting weights, I overheard men talking about this as well. I told him I had thought he threatened the sissy's boyfriend. He said, "No. That was an entirely different matter." He began to explain.

From what he told me, a black man coming back from a pass told a guard that he was in #113, the cell the sissy was in. The guard did not know any different, and had the tower guard open up the cell door. The prisoner then went on to rape the sissy until later that day when a guard realized they had made a mistake. The sissy was supposed to be in a one-man cell, and the man who raped him was assigned a cell several doors down. The Monday after, while I was on a visit, the sissy was sent to the Health Care Unit and then later questioned. The men who lived in the cells around #113 were also questioned as to what they may have seen or heard.

My cellmate did not go out to yard, but later when the cell house was placed on lockdown, I told him what I had heard. Possibly, the lockdown had something to do with the incident, but it was odd the cell house continued normal operations for four days. When the Roundhouse was let off lockdown during the evening for a few hours, my cellmate brought to my attention that magazines were being passed between the sissy and the person who allegedly raped him.

Prison rape was once common in the Illinois prison system. However, I have noticed that most of the time, sex has been consensual. There are so many homosexuals in prison now and they are more than willing to engage in perversion. Recently, there was a gay pride parade in Chicago that drew thousands of people, including the new mayor. New York state just joined several others in allowing gay marriage. Queers are coming out of the woodwork en mass and the news media almost seems to be not only condoning, but encouraging it. Although most men in maximum-security will hide their homosexuality, it is becoming more accepted. If it were not for increased security, monitoring, and less free movement, homosexuals would be expressing more than just their gay pride.

On the yard Thursday, I noticed a new sissy, and he had his following. He is a mixed race man and had white and black suitors about him at the far corner. They were only talking and whispering in each others' ears, but I am sure they would have liked to do more. I had to pass the group every time I ran a lap around the yard, and if I was not so thirsty and pushing myself to the limit, I would have been disgusted.

One of the black men in the entourage around the sissy is a man I particularly do not like. On a yard months ago, he tried making conversation with me. During the course of our talk, but what was mostly a monologue on his part, I mentioned that I was 18 when I first came to prison. I had misspoke, for I was 20 by the time I was convicted. In any event, after I mentioned that I was a teenager in the penitentiary, he said, "I sure wish I had known you then," with connotations that I did not appreciate. I replied, "I highly doubt you would have." He probably was thinking I was a scared, gullible, young man that might have been open to his sexual advances. He could not be more mistaken.

This black man continues to go to and from protective custody preying on vulnerables and sissies. On an evening yard a month ago, he was on the small protective custody yard next to X House and not far away from the yard that F House prisoners, including myself, were on. My cellmate overheard him yelling to another black man, and talking about me. The man he was talking to goes by the name Horse, and is mildly insane, and I also suspect a homosexual. Later, Horse came to the area where I was lifting weights. He tried talking to me, but I ignored him. He began to talk to himself, which is not uncommon here. When my cellmate came by, I told him jokingly that I needed protection from the bug. Although I was kidding, I kept my eye on the weirdo.

I noticed the white sissy, who was allegedly raped, had been keeping his cell dark the days before he had some company. I reasoned he was doing this so the prisoner who goes by the name L.P. could trick a guard to let him in the cell and they would have some privacy. Cells that have a perforated front and plexiglass instead of rectangular windows like my cell, are difficult to see into. When the cell is dark, it is almost impossible to see in, unless you have a flash light. My take on what occurred is there was no rape, but possibly, the sissy said this to avoid getting into trouble.

Because the cell house did not go immediately on lockdown after the two homosexuals were found in the cell together, my cellmate and I thought of more recent incidents. The only thing we remembered was that on Thursday night, two men who were cellmates were brought downstairs to Segregation. First, a man who went by the name Manchild was removed from his cell. Manchild is named so because that fits his persona. He has the mind of a child, but has a thugish adult body. He is commonly in fights, however, we did not witness any. Possibly, he was fighting with his cellmate, but neither one appeared to be injured in any way.

Recently, I spoke with the man who manages the use of the telephone. I asked him if he was aware why we did not have access to the phone. The guards are saying we are not on lockdown, but "restricted movement." If F House simply has restricted movement, why can't we talk to our family and friends? There is more to this situation in F House than two homosexuals being together and a man possibly getting a tattoo. Restricted movement is a euphemism for a full lockdown. There is no movement in the Roundhouse but for visitation. Guards continue to do all the work without assistance from prisoners, and there is no access to the telephone.

A few weeks earlier, a different cell house worker was sent to Seg. According to word-of-mouth, he was given a disciplinary ticket for making telephone calls for other prisoners. Every prisoner has an access code they must enter before making a call. This is so Internal Affairs is able to better identify callers and also so prisoners can be punished with phone restrictions. Apparently, prisoners are not supposed to make calls for others, although I have never heard of someone being put in Seg for it. I doubt the denial of F House phone privileges is because of this cell house worker going to Seg. It probably has to do with the administration trying to keep a tight lid on whatever they are investigating. There is an unusual amount of silence about why the building is on lockdown.

Usually inmates are able to determine why they are on lockdown, especially if whatever the cause is, is in their own cell house. Information travels quickly amongst prisoners, and even guards will talk about the matter. However, no inmate or guard apparently knows what is going on. I asked one guard today who was passing out trays if he knew. He said he had not the slightest idea. He went on to add that he wished the lockdown or "restricted movement" would be over soon so he would not have to carry all the trays up flights of stairs. The guard was sweating a lot, and I offered him some napkins, but he pulled out a rag to wipe his brow.

Under this administration, it is unusual for cell house workers not to be out during a lockdown. Commonly, a few are let out to help with feeding the cell house and picking up trash or other work that is required, and guards do not like to do this. There is speculation that cell house help in F House is under investigation. Two workers have gone to Seg in the last two weeks, and there could be more. The reasons are unclear to me. The reasons for this lockdown remain a mystery.


  1. Do you live in the same part of the roundhouse as Juan Luna? You two never see each other anymore, except that one contact the day which you blogged about already?

    I just finished reading a book about Brown's Chicken, Palatine. The author was defense attorney Dennis Shere, and it was called "The Last Meal". They didn't mention you by name, but I could tell who the author meant by what he said, and I paraphrase; ... a young man who was briefly considered a suspect but was then later convicted for 'his role in another brutal but unrelated murder that occurred nearby'.

  2. Interesting. How are his books selling?

  3. Just this past weekend I watched a Nat Geo documentary on youtube about Stateville it focused mostly on the roundhouse but they did show a short scene of the 1/4 units building.The reason I mention this is during the documentary they interviewed an openly gay man who looked very much like a woman,he was housed in the roundhouse in a single man cell and he said he had been raped before.I wonder if this is the "sissy" you speak of. I hope things are as well as they can be for you Paul. I miss your posts and I know many others do as well.


If you choose Name / URL, you can write any name and you don't need a URL. Or you can choose Anonymous. Paul loves getting your Comments. They are all mailed to him.