Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Excerpt From Glenn Langohr's Newest Prison Book: Life in Lockdown

Heart had some court paperwork in his hands and he positioned it at the side of our cell door where the small crack was and slid it in.

I didn’t grab it and pinched Damon’s hand as he tried to reach for it. The paperwork was about an inmate who had 44 counts of Child Molestation. It might as well have been a bomb. It was going to force us to slice part of his face off. I didn’t like the position we were in. I didn’t want to force some kid to handle it, who wouldn’t know how, and I didn’t want to force a seasoned convict to do it who could catch a 3rd strike and life sentence over it.

I waved Heart to the side of the cell door.

He positioned his back against the wall so his ear was inches from my lips at the side of the cell, just like a convict. I asked, “Are you going to help us get away with this one?”

Heart turned to talk into my ear through the side of the cell.  “You didn’t need my help today did you?”

Damon laughed and it forced me to relax. I grabbed the paperwork.

Truthfully, I was in over my head. I wanted enough control of the White inmates to keep us all safe, with level headed policies, like drug debt rules and other regulations to keep us tight, but this level of familiarity with a prison guard was new to me. Was I supposed to ask for dope, a cell phone or tobacco?

I responded, “Yeah but this one is more serious. Someone could catch a life case over this child predator.”

Heart said, “Just don’t kill him and the investigation won’t be serious. We let you guys get away with a lot on the yard.”

Heart tapped on our cell door and went next door.

We watched him get in line next to Mark.

We barely heard Mark say, “It was nice to meet you Sano. The I.G.I is going to take you to the hole any time. Pack your stuff.”

Mark noticed Heart standing there and got out of the way. I waved him back over to our cell.

Damon asked Mark, “Are they taking both of em?”

Mark stayed in front of our cell and shook his head. He was looking next door and trying to listen to what they were saying.

Heart was whispering into the side of their cell with his back to the wall. I looked at Garcia sitting at the podium below. He was watching. He said something into his microphone on his shoulder to the guard in the tower.

The guard in the tower tapped the microphone to signify an announcement. “Attention on the tier. The yard is on lockdown pending an investigation. Mark Grisham lock it up!”

Mark came to the side of our cell and said, “They’re taking Sano and leaving Boxer for right now. They don’t have enough room for both of them in the hole.”

Mark knocked on the door goodbye and walked to his cell six doors away.

A couple minutes later Heart said good-bye to Boxer and Sano and started walking past our cell. I pounded on the door and yelled, “Heart! How long are the White inmates going to be locked down?”

Heart stopped walking for just long enough to say, “Anywhere from a couple days to two weeks. They’ll have a meeting about it tomorrow.”

Chapter 3

Boxer’s Calling Shots Solo for the Chicanos

We heard our Mexican Mobster neighbors’ pound on the wall. I got off my bunk and got on the ground on all fours and banged on the wall back.

Boxer said, “I’m sending my line!”

I said, “Shoot it!”

Before we went to yard and gave Godwin a “soft whacking”, we had sent our homemade wine to their cell to keep it safe.

A line came flying into our cell carried by a milk carton container that had been smashed flat and weighted down with just enough state soap. I pulled the line in and felt it resist and heard the sound of liquid sloshing around. Our vino.

I heard Boxer say, “There’s a “wila” in there “tambien.” Mexican prison slang for a written message also.

I pulled the message out of a slot in the milk carton and handed it to my cell brother Damon.

Damon read it to me while I pulled in our not quite ready alcohol.

“Greetings BJ and Damon, glad you made it back from your mission. As you probably know, Sano is going back to the hole. Do you want to send any messages to your people in there? With Respect, Boxer and Sano”

They were following protocol. Our races were allied together. We shared the same spaces on the yard, we shared the same showers in the building and we even worked out together as if we were in the military and on the same side, at certain influential prisons. We passed messages for each other, fed each other and in general, cared for and respected each other.

Right now, they were asking if we wanted to send a message to anyone in the hole Solitary Confinement.

If we would have known who the “Shot Caller” for the White inmates was in the hole, it would have made us appear very organized and given us even more clout.

It always helped to have a Mexican Mobster on the yard because business was done right and riots didn’t happen, unless they had to. Right now, one was brewing between the Mexican and the Black inmates. Mexican pride was on the line after receiving a beat down six months prior.

We heard our neighbor’s bang on our wall again. Boxer asked, “Do you guys want to read the newspaper? We got the Orange County Register over here!”

I got down on the ground again and yelled, “Yeah, shoot it please!”

I got our line out and pinched it with my thumb as close as possible to the corner of our cell and extended the line with the milk carton far enough to wing it in a circular motion. By holding it pinched to the ground it flew out and under the cell door in an arc that brought it right under their cell door. We heard it whack their wall and I felt it get pulled in further.

A couple minutes later I pulled in the line with the newspaper wrapped around it.

Damon was on the top bunk studying the paperwork Heart gave us.

I gave him some space to get a brain full of stress and tried to act nonchalant by reading our hometown news.

As fate would have it, on the front page of the Orange County Register, there was an article about a friend of mine. His name was Jared Petrovich. He was a youngster at 22 years old.

I knew him when he was a 16-year-old runaway drug addict. He was absolutely harmless. Or he was then.

Now he was fighting a life sentence!

The article stated that he had been to prison for a sentence of a year, since I’d last seen him. Now, fighting another drug addict case for petty theft, he caught a high profile murder beef in our county jail. The authorities were even saying he was a “Shot Caller”, who organized the “Hit”.

But there was way more to the ugly story.

An Orange County Jail Deputy had told some of the Mexican and White inmates that they had a high profile “Child Molester” in their domain, his name, John Chamberlain.

The article alluded to the possibility that a few Sheriff deputies helped the inmates “handle the business” by leaving their watch post for a while.

I knew that part of the county jail. The Deputies had to have helped them by leaving their post. It was impossible for them not to see and hear the attack otherwise.

They were housed in a dormitory setting that was considered “low level” in the F Barracks at Theo Lacy Branch Jail.

I read between the lines and visualized what happened. The Sheriff deputy probably “alerted” way to many inmates about the “Child Molester” living with them, way to loudly, and that presented an enormous amount of stress.

The reason I deduced that it happened that way is because the article went on to state that three Mexican inmates and three White inmates were involved in the beat down that ended in Chamberlain’s death.

The mission had been put together haphazardly.

The Deputies turned a blind eye for to long. By the time they came back to their posts, medical attention was a tad to late.

Even worse, Chamberlain wasn’t even a Child Molester.

He was in jail for “Possessing Child Pornography”.

If the inmates had been more seasoned, they would have forced the Sheriff to turn over the court “Paperwork” to reinforce the claim before acting.

Damon broke through my reading by asking, “What does this penal code reference mean? ANNLY/MOLEST…”

I handed Damon the article to read and accepted the paperwork for Daniel Dennings.

There were 6 legal papers stapled together. The first two pages stated that Daniel Dennings had been charged with 72 charges. There were 44 counts of ANNLY/MOLEST that started on Jan 1, 1994. For the purposes of sentencing Daniel Dennings was found guilty on Jan 15, 1994, then on Feb 1, 1994, then on Feb 15, 1994 and so on for the entire 44 counts. Then his lesser charges were listed that included: Sodomy, oral copulation and lewd and lascivious behavior.

What the heck did ANNLY/MOLEST stand for? My mind flashed images of the worst Catholic priest scenario forcing anal sex on a little boy.

Chapter 4

Mexican Politics

Be sure to buy Caught in the CrossFire and How to Make Prison Weapons on Amazon in Print, Kindle or Audio Book!

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