May 22nd, 2012
I awoke early in the morning to see guards standing around the prone body of a man. They just stood there as the man wearing only boxer shorts with "ADC" stencilled in orange on them lay motionless and appearing slightly bloated and pale. Not even the rise and fall of his chest.
Forty-five mintues later, I awoke again to see 3 paramedics each taking turns doing chest compressions on the down man, whose body hadn't been moved. I was shocked with how violent the compressions looked. The paramedics were clearly exhausted by their vigilant work. There was no doubt that they were intent on saving a life.
Hours later, awaking mid-morning, I was disgusted and upset - the man's body hadn't moved. Nor had he even been covered up. He was dead. His corpse left in the hallway alone. On display for around 160 prisoners on Barchy Unit. Not in an area we could tamper with (cover) the body and in unavoidable sight. The man lay there for hours until the coroner arrived, did her job and left with him in a body-bag.
He was a young man, with a woman and a child. Guards said he had over-dosed on drugs. Having been on Barchy Unit where drugs were a huge problem, I don't doubt his cause of death. Just as I also don't doubt another young man's O.D. death on Buckley Unit in March.
Seeing guys I know laying dead of their own addiction reminds me that that's not who I want to be, where I want to be or how I want to die. It also depresses me that they're gone and the way they were treated.
To all addicts: we can choose not to die alone, locked up, scared and hurting.
1 day ago