SHAKEDOWN (the drug raid)

It was Thursday morning at 7:10 am just after count. No one is up just quite yet.

And BAM! The SERT team comes in 30+ deep. Riot gear on, sheilds at the ready, pepper spray cans in hand and the drug dog teams right behind them.

They were brought in by the bus load. Literally, there was a grey hound bus parked outside the unit.

In teams of 3, they went systematically to each cell, keyed the door open and strip searched each inmate before sending us out of the unit with nothing but our pants, shoes, kacky shirt, coat and a beannie.

Can’t brush your teeth, comb your hair or even take a hair tie for my hair. It happened so fast I even forgot to take my morning medication for my stomach.

We all were sent out to chow at 7:20am.

I knew from shakedowns I have been in before, it was going to be a very long day.

Not to long ago I just went through a shakedown in this unit. It was back in April this year. And just yesterday they shookdown G-Unit. 2 units in two days.

So after I ate I was then ushered to the gym.

When I got to the gym I was surprised at what I saw. It looked like I was getting in line for a carnival ride. Ropes as caution tape attached to orange posts set up to keep people in different lines for different things.

As I walked up to the door still kinda groggy because I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, and probably won’t get one. The officer asks me if I have any call-outs that I have to attend today. And if I have anything on me I am not suppose to have.

I tell him, “yes and no. Yes, I have work to go to. And no, I don’t have anything on me.”

He says to step over to the wall and then to get to line 2.

I line up with 15 other inmates and face the wall. A drug dog and handler comes over. The dog walks down the line behind us and sniffs each one of us. As the dog & handler keep going, another officer followed behind and started to pull a few people out of line.

Oh man, I hope the dog doesent hit on me! It shouldn’t, but you never know what’s going to happen in here.

The dog passes and so does the Officer. Phew! Close one. On to he next line. Gotta hurry up and wait! Story of my current life.

So I look around for the next line or for another C/O to tell me what to do. Nothing happens, so I just go find a cozy spot against the wall to sit. There’s a lot of commotion and noise going on and I was just want to wait out this long day in peace.

It was cold and I was pretty damp from being outside in the rain. And now I was sitting on the hard concrete floor of the gym. Boy this day is going to suck.

While sitting there I’m listening to differnt conversations happening around me. I over hear that we are all eventually getting interviewed by I&I (internal investigators). Then when we’re done we can go to our call-outs. Like work and stuff.

To me this sounds a little off, but I roll with it and start looking for the area this might be happening in.

I see some guys I know and work with out at CI. So I go over to where they’re standing to find out what’s going on and because it looks like they’re waiting for something.

The rumor is true. After we get interviewed we are able to go to work. So I stay there and wait with them in line.

Its around 8:30 or so, before I figured out where I was supposed to go. As I am waiting in line I watch the front of the line to see what’s going on and how things are working.

People are going through a door after getting their name checked off a list, one at a time.

One guy will leave and after about 5 minutes he’ll come back. Some take longer, around 10 minutes and a few are back there even longer than that.

It seems there are about a 5 to 7 people in total in the back getting interviewed at one time. But its taking forever for the line to move.

Just one at a time.One comes back and one leaves.

I guess I must be at least 40 or so people back. I’m not really sure how many it really is, but its a lot. And everyone wants to get to the front fast so they can leave and go to work. No one wants to be locked in this cold gym all day.

So we are all starting to cram in together and trying to jockey for a better spot every time the line moves.

I reminds me of what it feels like trying to get into a popular club. A bouncer with a clipboard pointing at different people at the front of the line, letting them through the front door and marking names off. While the one hardly moves at all.

While I’m waiting in the line I see some other people I know across the gym sitting on a bench pointing and looking at me smiling. Their probably laughing at me all squished up in this stupid line.

Then I realize what they might be like looking at. Several Sert team members are on a radio looking for certain people. They are pulling people out of line and grouping them all up on the bleachers.

One by one the are pushed to the front of the line and through the door we are all in line to go through.

I hear someone say, “Wish I got pulled out and sent to the front of the line like them.”

I think to myself, that’s not a good thing that happening to them dummy. You must be stupid to want that.

Word gets around that the drug dogs hit on their cells and both cellys are being UA’ed and sent to be questioned right away.

As I get to the front of the line, this guy comes walking back in the gym. He must have been back there for around 20 – 25 minutes.

The longer a person is back there the more they look like a snitch. Why would you need more than 5 minutes? All you tell them is “I don’t know anything. I just mind my own businesses.”

As he walks in, people start yelling “what did you tell them Deputy DumbAss . Why were you gone so long DOC Deutsche Bag .” Then I heard someone say just amongst us, “I hope he doesent know to much or anything at all. It could be all bad for someone?!”

I’ve been in this line for what seems to be hours now.

At 10:52 I made my way into the hornets nest. And it turned out it wasn’t an interview. It was an interrogation!


I was just bombarded with questions one after another. If someone wasn’t expecting this kinda questioning it might make a person nervous. However I was prepared.

It’s really just a state of mind you have to be in. Know what your goal is and stick with a plan. Even if you really don’t know anything. Just say nothing!

Short, simple and to the point. “I don’t know” and “I mind my own business”. That’s what I said.

Then they threw me off by their last and final question. “OK, well, how can we make this facility safer for you and If you were to guess, how would you stop drugs from getting in prison?”

That’s just a set up question. There is no good answer for that question except for, “I don’t know, you seem to be doing just fine at it”.

All in all it was a short interrogation of about 4 minutes 47 seconds. I know because my 2 Buddy’s I saw earlier, timed me. They timed how long I was in line and how long I was in the hornets nest.

They sat back checking out different people times in the hornets nest.

When I got back there in the gym I was expecting to head to work. By the time I worked my way to the door leaving the gym I found out I couldn’t leave. When I got done they had called the last group to CI at 11am. It was now 11:02am. I just missed it!

There will be no more calls for work for the day. Boy that kinda pissed me off. Now I am stuck here in the gym for the duration. However long that’s going to be.

Come to find out Line 2 was the worker line and to be interviewed first. But I don’t believe that it ever panned out that way. It was just a free for all to figure it out on your own.

Just my luck. I was now just minutes late and missed the movement. Now I have to find a place to kick back for the rest of the day or when ever they Finnish this thing up.

(For another perspective of this crazy day, please read my celly’s post: The Two Day Shakedown)

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476

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