I have been incarcerated here for about 4 years a little over 5 years when including my county time. When I first arrived at this prison in the winter of 2016 I cried as the SUV pulled up. It then hit me like a ton of bricks. This is now my life. I’m a convict in Georgia. I knew hardly anyone in the state. I certainly didn’t have a friend in prison. Come to find I didn’t have a friend anywhere except maybe two people but thats another story. Any who, I tried to wipe my face hoping no one would know I had been crying. I’m taken out of the SUV. The hand cuffs and shackles removed and I’m directed into a small intake building. I was told to strip, squat and cough once I was checked in. I was so embarrassed. It didn’t make it any better I had to shower with 6 to 8 other females. I don’t remember exactly how many. I was told to put Lice shampoo into my hair and given clothes and a clear bag containing toiletries and a few personals. Once done with the shower area I dress in white T-shirt, orange pants, grey sweater, light blue thin coat and too big black boots. As I look at myself I’m discussed. Thinking I went from Fur coats and Gucci shoes to this awful attire that made me stick out like a sore thumb also general population called us diagnostics” candy corns ”because of the orange and white get-up. I am placed in C-unit, C-3 Dorm.
I do my best following rules. I even met what I thought was a nice chick. So time goes on and I’m eventually placed in G.P I have done my best to remain positive. Five years in and I just received my first D.R (disciplinary report ) that actually stuck.
I say all this to say I have asked to be housed with my support system but told I couldn’t without real reason. I was told because of ”hear-say”. Mind you females have been housed with people that they have had fights with, cut, jumped and robbed. I have done neither. I might need to become a problem inmate. Seems thats the way to get things done around here. Especially if you a ”gang” member you get special privileges. The bad are rewarded. The good are thrown on the back burner with no recognition. These are even questions asked at ( staff/inmate ) meeting. I am not a troubled inmate. I’m respectful to everyone, I help people and I am taking the proper steps to better myself as I have expressed to staff but when I did do you know what the Sargents reply was….Thomas, this ain’t the Department of Corrections, Its the Department of Corruption.
So me being “Good” all this time …..DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
Lee Arrendale State Prison
Alto Georgia 30510
Categories: Erica Thomas
Hi from New Zealand. Being in a gang, being corrupt and a problem inmate might get you somewhere while you are inside but those who do that probably won’t be able to fit into society when they are released and will most likely end up back in prison. You are doing the right thing, even though it is tough don’t give up. I live in a seaside city and work at a busy factory. There are lots of walkways by the sea and in the bush which I love to run on. I know that I am lucky to live here but I have had a tough life. Even though I struggle I trust in God and He has done amazing things for me. Take care Erica and stay positive.