In the hole

July 28th, 2008 - 3:59pm by Badger
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...Things will be a little tougher than I had hoped when I get out for another reason. I had planned on working at UNICOR until I got out. This would have allowed me to save another $1000 or so on top of the $1500 I've already got stashed. Due to unforeseen events in June (see below), that's no longer possible. Now instead of making $200+ per month, I'm an orderly (janitor) in the unit I live in making $16.80 per month. Here's what happened:

June 2nd, lunchtime
Out of 1100 people on the compound, 900 or so did not go to lunch. According to the BOP, this was a food strike. They locked the whole compound down for 3 days. I did not go eat. Not so much because I cared about the supposed issues the food strike was about, (I didn't even know about it until just before it happened), I had laundry to do so was not going to go to lunch anyway. (I normally miss 2 or 3 meals a week.) Even if I had not had something else to do, I would not have gone though. I did not agree with the reasons for the strike, but I was not going to go against all of my friends and the people I live with. I did not think things would get as out of hand as they did.

Anyway June 5th, they finally let us go back to work at 1:00. Even though the food strike had nothing to do with UNICOR, the head of the factory fired the entire business office. We were told we could not be trusted anymore and that whatever machine job in the factory we could do, we would have to take. We were the only ones in the entire prison to be treated like this. The head UNICOR guy is #3 in the prison hierarchy and it's my belief that he was simply angry at the inmate population and took that anger out on the inmates that are closest to him.

Since I don't have any experience sewing and only have a few months left, I decided to quit instead of taking a job on the floor. Unfortunately, rather than being allowed to quit, I was told that I was being fired from the factory completely -- me and one other office worker. When I tried to find out why, I was told I would be given the explanation in writing. The next day when I showed up for work, (yes -- in prison, even when you're fired, you still have to show up for work until you're given a new job somewhere else in the prison), I tried to find out more information, but was given the cold shoulder by the UNICOR cops. I couldn't even get them to talk to me, much less offer up any info! That afternoon, they called in one of the other office workers and told him to start training his replacement. There was apparently a big argument in the office in which he said that he thought it wasn't right that he should have to train a replacement if they no longer "trusted" him to be back there. And that the only way he'd do it is if they make it a direct order. He came back out onto the factory floor and five of us went up to talk to him to ask what happened. 20 minutes later, all six of us were in the hole.

They gave him 2 charges: one for causing a group disturbance and one for disobeying a direct order. (Even though the only thing he did was ask them to make it a direct order.) The other five of us were held for a little over a month for investigation of "conduct which disrupts, most likely causing a group demonstration." I was in for 35 days! After a month I was fired from UNICOR. The day after that my investigation came back clear. 4 days after that I was put back on the compound.