Hello world. I was incarcerated in August of 2010, but didn’t reach D.O.C. until March of 2014. I’m coming up on five years in D.O.C. and things are steadily changing. There are a myriad of changes going on, but I’m focusing on specific ones for a reason. As an incarcerated person, I notice everything around me because I have to. Sometimes, people like myself tend to make connections between events that are happenstance, however sometimes, the connections and the logic behind them really make you think. Because this issue was raised to me by multiple people on the outside, I felt I had to shed some light and let you decide. As imprisoned men, it should go without saying that masturbation is a must to release tension since there is no sexual contact with women. Prisoners used to be able to order pornographic magazines. First, magazines with penetration were banned. Then, all magazines with nudity were banned, but some didn’t care because they were still able to order nude pictures of women from vendors. Soon though, that was banned as well. All remaining magazines and pictures became contraband and were being seized upon discovery during cell searches. Plus, they have regulations on the pictures we can receive from the street. I’ve had pictures turned away because my fiance` was showing cleavage. I was told that was partial nudity even though nothing else was showing. When I read the actual regulation, it said no pictures showing the areola, nipples, genitals or anus, however I wasn’t allowed pictures of a woman in a bathing suit on the beach. Why? We are all grown men (some older than those making the regulations) who’ve had sex with women, so how can you remove images of something we’ve already experienced? How is this part of making us better? Are we not going to see any women when we get released or something? Are we not supposed to have sex or watch pornography? Next, rated R movies with female nudity were then banned. It’s extremely rare that a movie shows a man’s genitals, so that isn’t an issue, however D.O.C. made no regulation against movies that show a man’s ass. That’s a regular thing now. We’re supposed to be able to request movies, but they pay no attention to the requested movies because I’ve been requesting movies for over a year and very few of them are shown even though I request the PG movies they say we can have. Then, there are the visits. Most visitors to prisoners are women and the policies they are making are becoming a deterrent to them. They can’t be on more than one visitation list at a time, meaning once you sign up to visit one person, that’s it. If you want to change, you have to request to be removed from that list, then wait a year before you can be added to someone else’s list. When you actually get to the prison, the search they give you is near humiliating. One prison, Augusta if I’m not mistaken, made a policy that women can’t wear tampons to visitation. Prisons are now putting people through body scanners that turn out visible pictures of their whole body, including their private areas and whatever they may be carrying. Women especially don’t want to be going through this and are concerned about what’s happening to the images when they leave. These factors combined make a woman think twice about visiting, even if it’s a dearly loved person they’re visiting. Virginia didn’t have conjugal to begin with, so that couldn’t be taken, but if Virginia did have them, I’m positive they’d be taken by now. I’ll move on to the female C/O’s. With all the other things that are taken from us regarding women, the female C/O’s are trained to basically not see us as people and the same goes for the women in administration. They are trained to see us all as predators and I know because I’ve been told by multiple women. Therefore, we can’t even enjoy a simple conversation with a woman because of her trained disposition. For the few women who have a strong enough mind to judge a man by the content of his character instead how the state conditions them to think, they are often put under investigation for fraternizing and fired if they are seen on camera talking to prisoners too long or too many times even if they aren’t doing anything wrong. In actuality, they all SHOULD be talking to us and getting to know us because as a correctional officer, how can you truly correct or help someone who you have no idea what their personal struggles are? Isn’t it their job to help and protect us? Maybe these things don’t seem like much, but let’s couple them with the treatment of homosexuals in here. Gay people are treated very differently. They are often moved to the front of the line for things and they are almost always looked at as the victim in any situation, which means they are frequently believed over everyone else. From what I’ve personally seen, they receive special treatment in just about every way. They get cell changes faster, they get medical attention faster and their word holds more weight in situations between prisoners. Not to mention C/O’s and administration generally treat them better. I’ve witnessed all of these things myself and drawn my own conclusion. It’s an emphatic yes to my title question. Everything I’m seeing, to me, is the systematic elimination of the female factor for the prisoner and special treatment to homosexuals. Who knows? Next there may be some kind of regulation with females and the phone system. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic or anything close to it because I’m not. I’m just assessing all the factors of this situation. Another person’s sexual orientation is none of my business, nor will it effect how I treat anyone as long as they understand and respect that I am and will forever be straight. At the same time, I wouldn’t try to make a straight man gay or a gay man straight. Why is D.O.C.? So, combining everything I’ve said, what do you think? Peace.
Categories: L.G.B.T, Rodney Fenner
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