J Kevin Foster
Monday, January 9th, 2012 |
The camp is preparing for an influx of new campers. As I have previously written, there have been a lot of guys who have left as a result of the new crack law change or it was simply their time to go. They try to put all new campers on the beach which means that they have to move existing beach residents into a cube. As you may recall, the beach is more like the pits! It is constant noise and activity 24/7. I was there for a month before I got transferred.
Cellies Can Get You in Trouble
I’ve written recently that it is important to get the right cellie. This is so important that it bears repeating. Any new guy should be looking for an empty bunk in a cell with a guy that he is compatible with. Also, if you are already in the cell, but your cellie has left, then you need to be searching out a compatible guy from the beach – easier said than done.
The wrong cellie can get you in a lot of trouble. The biggest areas of contention are: reverse sleeping schedules, slob vs. a neat freak, a smoker or a cell phone user, personality, interests, etc. We spend so much time in the cell that the worst thing is to walk into your cell and be reminded of a miserable situation every time you look at your cellie. The other big issue is that if your cellie has contraband of any sort, both cellmates get blamed for it. Unless, the responsible cellie takes responsibility by saying “that’s mine and he didn’t have anything to do with it.”
I have seen guys whose cellie did not take responsibility for their actions so innocent guys went to the hole; or, in a worst-case scenario gets kicked behind the fence. In addition, they have not been doing inspections here lately but they can and will. Same thing – if your cellie is a slob and the cell is not cleaned to standards, then you both get dinged. Talk about taking a bad situation and making it worse!
My Cellie Selection Problems
My other cellie sought me out when I was on the beach. His former cellie got released. My cellie was a no-nonsense guy who is looking at going home in the Spring. He didn’t want to get a guy that was going to mess up his release date. I made the request to move into his cell, and it was done. He had the upper bunk, and I got the lower.
I was getting real worried. There was no one on the beach that I wanted in my cell. They were mostly young screw-ups. I talked to two guys that were in upper bunks in other cells that wanted to move in with me. One of the guys would have been one of those incompatible situations so we mutually agreed to nix the request. The other guy is with a cellie who a totally rude and messy slob. This guy is hating life! He previously asked for a cell transfer and got denied. I told him to ask again, which he did and got denied again.
Lower Bunk Pass
You must have a medical reason for sleeping in the lower bunk, and it’s not even based on age. Remember, this is a medical camp so many guys here have chronic health problems. My former cellie had a number of health issues, and even had a lower bunk pass in the past. He should have been able to keep his lower bunk pass but, for some reason, they took it away from him. He recently got his lower bunk pass and moved into another cell leaving me with no one in the upper bunk.
Counselor Makes Cell Assignments
The counselor is responsible for bunk assignments. Some counselors will allow cell transfers if there is truly an incompatible situation. For some reason, my counselor will not. Once you are in a cell, you are there permanently. It may be that she is too lazy and/or she just doesn’t care. Anyway, she won’t move people even though it only takes a minute to make the change in the computer. Ridiculous!
My New Cellie
We had a guy self-report the past week, and he was assigned to the beach. The “self-report” guys are an immediate clue that he is probably either white-collar, or he has a short sentence. This guy fit the latter case. I met him on his first day and told him that he should get off the beach asap. I also told him that my cell was open, and I was looking for a cellie. He should come see me if he had an interest.
It seemed obvious to me that he would be my best chance of getting a compatible cellie. Yesterday, the counselor started calling all the beach guys to her office to discuss cell assignments. There are a few guys that don’t want to move off the beach. I talked to the new guy about telling the counselor he wanted to move in with me before it was too late. The other guys told him that I was absolutely the best choice of a cellie for him. Even though he had talked to the counselor about the transfer, I told him that he needed to submit a written cop out request for the transfer. He did so. The counselor made all the cell assignments, and I rallied by getting a guy that I could live with.
Brandon moved in yesterday, and we covered all the ground rules regarding cleanliness, sleeping, settling all his stuff, etc. We spent a lot of time talking and finding out about each other. This situation is going to work out good.