Prison Puzzle Pieces 3
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PRISON PUZZLE PIECES 3 (the third of a three volume series) is a non-fiction account of a corrections officer working in Stillwater Prison in Minnesota after he stopped traveling the country performing standup comedy and improv. Through examples, explanations and experiences, he explains how the entire system works, piece by piece, by presenting hundreds of events that occurred in that dysfunctional little city contained within those walls and razor ribbon. His unique perspectives earned him the respect of inmates and officers; on the other hand his life was in constant danger from other inmates and officers for him doing his job ethically.

PRISON PUZZLE PIECES 3 presents the more humorous side of what goes on in prisons along with some of the more disgusting things that must be dealt with. How the education department, canteen, gangs, Native Americans, towers, unions, liars, smuggling, tattooing, violations, religion, industry, health care, recreation and more all play a role in this dysfunctional society. As in all of these volumes, infamous criminals in the system are presented, inmate grievances & requests written to the author, good & bad inmates, good and bad officers, and many more puzzle pieces. Nothing is embellished. Nothing need be embellished.



Publié par
Date de parution 11 janvier 2017
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781456627829
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The realities, experiences and insights
of a corrections officer
doing his time in
Historic Stillwater Prison
Dave Basham
Volume 3

Copyright 2016 Dave Basham
All rights reserved
Published in eBook format by
ISBN-13: 978-1-4566-2782-9
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
"To protect the identities of those involved, names and identifying characteristics have been changed; and events and accounts may have been left out that are not crucial to the stories and would not affect the integrity of the stories."
Officer Heroin worked on Third Watch and I worked on Second Watch. My first encounter with him was when he needed someone to cover a shift for him. He couldn’t find anyone that would switch with him. Rarely did I ever do switches, but he said he had a family function in a different state. I bailed him out at the last minute by taking his shift.
After this I would see him every once in a while when I was leaving for the day and he was coming in.
Not long after my shift exchange with him, an inmate was found dead in his cell. As this was a juicy story, the grapevine started putting out information rather quickly.
We heard that Officer Heroin had an old friend that was an inmate in B-East. He got Officer Heroin to bring in drugs for him. Nobody could find out how often or how long this had been going on. When the tapes were checked, he could be seen tossing a small black package into a cell. It turns out that he had the drugs wrapped in black electrical tape. The drug was heroin.
Officer Heroin's inmate friend passed the drugs off to the inmate that overdosed on them. That inmate was doing time for murder.
Once Officer Heroin was arrested, he was fired.
All inmate phone calls are recorded. We have some officers that do some pretty good detective work at Stillwater. When they listened to telephone calls of the dead inmate, they were able to find a witness. The witness admitted going to Detroit to pick up the heroin. The dead inmate had coordinated the deal. The witness admitted to giving Officer Heroin drugs and money.
Authorities tried charging Officer Heroin with 3 rd degree murder and a second degree charge of trafficking a controlled substance. By agreeing to admit to bringing in the drugs, the murder charge was dropped and he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. So officially he was only a drug dealer and not a murderer. He did not do his time at Stillwater. I guess that would’ve been cruel and unusual punishment.
When the warden spoke to the media he said, ‘”There's a zero tolerance for anybody smuggling drugs into our correctional facilities, not just staff. The case with Officer Heroin casts a stain on an honest, dedicated group of professionals.”
Every once in a while we would get wind of an officer bringing in drugs or tobacco. For a while there seemed to be a revolving door on kitchen workers getting caught bringing in drugs and tobacco. Some personnel got themselves hired strictly to bring in contraband for their friends, family or gang members.
I always remember how panicked Officer Heroin was to need me to take his shift that night. I think it's a pretty good bet that he had to make contact that night or even drive to Detroit to pick up heroin that night. I'll never know for sure.
There was a chubby blonde officer working in the prison when I started. OK, she was closer to being a round ball than to being chubby. If she had a white beard, she could’ve been Santa Claus. She was rather loud and abrasive at times, but seemed to do her job.
We were in the break room one day when she put her hand on my leg. I just ignored it, made like it wasn’t there and kept focusing on the television show. She started moving her hand around on my leg. It did not produce wood, only the heebie jeebies. I wasn’t attracted to her, but even if I were, we were both a couple of chunks. Who was going to be on top?
She proceeded to ask me out. I have always proclaimed that I have ruled fear out of my life, but man, if this wasn’t fear; it had to be awfully damn close.
I’m not easily surprised either, but I was now. When you walk into a prison, you’re not thinking about getting a date. Well, some are, but I’m not.
I just ignored her and made like I was totally engrossed in the television show. She started laughing and stated that I was making like I didn’t hear her. She got that one right. She said she guessed that she got her answer. She got that one right too. She left, but the heebie jeebies hung on for awhile.
It wasn’t long after this that she wasn’t around anymore. I found out that she had been escorted out of the institution one day. Word around the prison was that she had been having sex with a homosexual inmate for the past two years.
You might think, why would a homosexual want to hook up with a woman. Well, there are plenty of supposedly straight guys in here hooking up with other supposedly straight guys. In here it doesn’t matter their persuasion, some of these guys just want someone to fiddle with their junk other than themselves.
The way this affair was discovered was by the usual method, a snitch. In this case, the snitch was a blackmailer. The snitch blackmailer was a black male. Not that that is relevant, but I liked the way it sounded. When he found out about their goings on, or comings on, whatever you want to call it, he saw opportunity.
He wanted some cigarettes. He thought that he could force her to bring them in for him by threatening to out her. He told her that if she didn’t smuggle in cigarettes for him that he would snitch her out. She didn’t succumb to his demands so he snitched off her snatch activity.
I know that’s not the greatest word to be using, but once again I liked the way it sounded and it made me laugh. If you are still reading now after all the other things you have read in this book, it shows that you are able to deal with life’s realities and darker sides. It shows you are as whacked as the rest of us working here. It shows that you could handle being a corrections officer.
Her having her jollies with that gay inmate for those two years just showed that I shouldn’t have been flattered when she asked me out. If she’s hard up enough to screw a gay inmate, she’d be hard up enough to screw me. Yes, that sounds real flattering doesn’t it? Once again my instincts saved me by delivering me those heebie jeebies at the right time.
During my first couple of months working in the prison, an inmate passed by me as I was working the door post. As he raced by me in a perturbed manner, he angrily stated, “You have to do something about that.” He was pointing back from where he came. He was up the stairs before I could ask him what he was talking about.
I observed no problem in the flag area. There were just a lot of people enjoying their afternoon socializing. I observed the inmate on the second tier acting irrational. He was talking to an inmate next to him and pointing to me.
As he was coming back down the stairs, I motioned to him to come over. He stated again that I have to stop “that.” He would come toward me and then turn around leaving in the middle of his incomplete sentences, so I was unable to understand what he was trying to tell me.
He was halfway up the stairs when I ordered him to stop. I went to the stairway and he came down a couple of steps. I told him he had to settle down. I guaranteed him I was here to do my job, but he had a responsibility to inform me of what he was upset about or I couldn’t help him.
After I got him to settle down, to quit interrupting, to quit running off and to listen, he rationally informed me that he was upset that the people on the flag were too noisy. I informed him that I would check it out, talk to the sergeant and do whatever was possible to solve the problem.
He said he was worried about being outed, that they may have seen him talking to me. I informed him that I would try to handle it in a way to avoid that from happening.
As he was going back up the stairs, he said something about a fight possibly breaking out in this group where he came from. I watched from where I was and saw no evidence of this. A short black inmate was one of the loudest and most animated of the group, but nothing to suggest that trouble was brewing. I believed this to be a ploy to get some action by punking out the new guy, me.
I had been in this cellblock for a short time the day before and didn’t notice it to be any noisier now. I thought about radioing the sergeant, but really had no actual problem. The group was close to me, so I decided to walk toward the group to see if that would change anything. Nothing changed. They didn’t seem to try to cover anything up, as someone who is guilty of something would do.
A couple officers saw me move toward the group and came to my location. They jumped all over me saying that I shouldn’t be as far away from the door as I was. Had I not been so new to the job, I would’ve jumped right back at them. I was not far from the door and there were no inmates between the door and me.
The presence of 3 officers coming from different locations caused enough curiosity so that the group was focused on us. This caused their chattering to die down without us ever saying anything to them. This was good for the inmate’s safety that talked to me.
The officers and I moved back closer to the door where I filled them in on what was going on. No officer had tried to quiet the place down and this was their regular cellblock, so I had no reason to believe the volume was excessive. However, I felt

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