Jesse Bailey


Its has amazed me how many people die in prison. I have lived in H-3 unit at Stafford Creek now for 8 years. I have seen many people from this unit die.

There has been quite a few people die at this facility. But at least 8 or 9 just from this unit alone. Two personal friends of mine.

When I first came to prison I didn’t see a whole lot of wheelchair bound people or sickly people either. They just weren’t around. Most inmates seem healthy and capable. At least physically. There are a lot of inmates that are noticeably, mentally not all there. But are in generally good health.

Looking back on it now, I think it was because of where I was located. In closed custody ( max security ). If a person can’t defend them self they don’t last long and or get taken advantage of.

But now that I am here at Stafford Creek in long term minimum security facility I see more of the sick.

But its not just the sick that die. But healthy inmates too. People in there 40’s that are active and healthy. Even kids in there early 20’s too.

Drugs do have apart of it. But not always.

Back in 2012 I had a celly I had been living with for just over a year. In my opinion, Dave was a real good dude. He had a nice family, had his head on strait and most of his priorities in the right order.

He was 44, had 2 kids and a wife. But got caught up in a bad deal a was now doing 35 years for murder. He was just 14 years into his bit, but was struggling with a drug addiction.

Most people in prison are. Look at me. I am too. But I am making the right choices and staying clean.

Just because I am in prison doesn’t mean drugs are not in my life. They are as much in here as they are out there. You name it, prison has it. Just more expensive!

I knew Dave was having problems. When a person has that much time to do at that age. He felt he didn’t have much left to live for. So his addiction took over. Like a lot of people’s do.

It was hard to live with, and watching him do it was tough. I never had the urge to get high and join him in the misery I knew came with that drug.

I really wanted to move out, but without a good reason to put on a move slip and just short of telling on him, I was stuck.

So what I did was. I told the SGT I specifically wanted a bottom bunk. I knew someone eventually was going to go home or leave and that I could move into thier bunk when they left. But I didn’t know how long that would be till that happend. Thats just going to take some time. I am happy where I’m at and can wait. So I did just that, I waited.

After 15 months, that time finally came. And I moved out. It just so happen to be the cell right next door. I was fine with that.

He wasn’t a bad guy. I truly became good friends with him. We were pretty close. He was kinda like an older brother to me in way. He had a lot of knowledge about a lot of different stuff and was an honest strait foreword kinda guy. Plus he did a great job teaching me how to train dogs.

About 5 days after I moved next door. He overdosed on heroin. It was a big scene too. Biggest medical thing I had even seen so far in my time in prison.

Mike, an inmate that lived down the tier had to give him mouth to mouth and pumped on his chest. Dave had been throwing up and it was all over him. The whole time we did this, he was non responsive.

When the medical team finally showed up they used the shock paddles on him to restart his heart. Nothing worked. He died right on his cell floor.

It was very traumatic experience.

The cell was a crime screen for a 2 weeks. Yellow crime screen tape on his door and the window to the cell blocked off. Sheriff’s came in to investigate just like they would any other death on the streets.

Its now Nov. 2016, It just so happeneds that I’m now living in that same cell where Dave took his last breath. Sleeping in that same bunk.

If your wondering if they have memorials in prison for inmates. The answer is yes. There was quite a turn out of people there too.

Another guy that I knew that died was Mike. The guy I talked about doing CPR on Dave. Yeah he got out and OD’ed too, a week after his release.

Same with a kid I knew named Sunny. He lived 3 cells down the tier from me in this unit too. Sunny was only 20 years old. Crazy part about both their story’s was. They both said they were going to get high right after they got out too. I know this because I read both of thier obituarys that week.

Another buddy of mine was found dead in his cell last year. He lived on the bottom tier in this unit. His celly came home from work one day to find him face down ass up in his cell on his bunk. We think he was changing the channel on his TV at the end of his bunk when he died suddenly, because his arm was outstretched toward the TV when he was found. He was 34.

He just got news from the courts that he was given 22 years back from his 46 sentence. He had allready done 18 of it. He had just 6 left. He was getting out soon. But yet he died in here. Yet another causality of prison.

Older people are a little harder to notice when they die. Because they are moved before it happens. Usually they are transfered to medical and past away there. They get moved to medical just days before they kick the bucket. I guess that way its not so noticeable when they die. Its like they just disappear.

There are two guys right now in this unit that have cancer and are dying. They are literally just waiting to die.

One is so bad he has a push walker so he can walk to the chow hall so he can eat. The other one in wheel chair bound and has an oxygen tank strapped to the back of his chair. Both are in terrible shape.

I just heard today that 2 more people died yesterday. One was sent to the local hospital and died there. The other died one of the other units.

Don’t know how or why they pasted away, their just gone. I don’t know if they were old or young.

Its sad to see people like that. Knowing they have a release date but will never live long enough to see it.

To this day I still feel bad about Dave. I feel like I could have done more to save his life. I feel like, if I never moved out I could have done something sooner to save his life.

But I guess that’s what he wanted. He knew the risks. At the same time, this was his ticket out of prison early.

I have always said, just because someone passes away, doesent mean they die. That person only dies, if they are forgotten. Don’t ever loose the thought of a friend or family member. As long as they are remembered, they will always live on in your heart. If you talk about them, other people will remember them too and live on through them.

R.I.P. DAVE, I will always remember you.

If you have any questions or comments that you want to ask or share with me. Feel free to contact me at

Jesse Bailey
DOC #879476

Categories: Jesse Bailey

2 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on God in the Max and commented:
    Oftentimes I don’t know what happens to the guys when they leave jail. Sometime I know they are going to prison, or being released to a program, or to the streets. Occasionally I’ll hear about someone who has died. In addition to the causes of death that I might hear about regarding a co-worker — traffic accident, cancer, aids, heart attack, stroke — some of the guys I’ve meat have died due to violence or drug overdose.

    I was going to write my own blog post about this, but Jesse Bailey gives you a view from the inside — raw and insightful. Please read his words and think on the men and women who die hidden from society.


  2. I write a man 75 years old in a MI prison he has cancer he said he’s refused treatment, he’s been inside since before there was a McDonalds, In my opinion he should have paroled decades ago. He is ready to die says he cant do anymore time. My cousin just got out did 20 years in Fed prison he told of seeing prisoners die in the hands of CO’s. As merely a pen pal I think about my prisoners dying and the only way I will know is if my letter is returned. My pal’s name is John, yes talk about people living or dead as if they matter good story.

    Liked by 1 person

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