An update now that I’ve transferred to the general population! Please note my new address, although I will likely to moving soon, so I recommend holding any mail until further notice in case it gets lost in the process.
After my CCI counselor read off my whole history to the committee (from my felony arrest to every incident I was involved in through my incarceration), Warden Davey began to explain that after 9 years and 7 months he was releasing me from the SHU and lowering my custody level because I haven’t received any rule violation write-ups for quite some time. Thus I will be transferred to the 270-designated prison that’s closest to my area. He followed that up with the expectations he has of me and the Captain told me to go pack up because I was to be immediately moved to the General Population (GP) yard here at Corcoran, no longer a SHU prisoner.
With that I went back to my cage and packed up all my property and relayed it to the building staff who inventoried it (and surprisingly didn’t take a thing). Soon after they came back to get me, and I said all my goodbye’s to those I built solid friendships with. My property was packed up on a golf cart and we took a ride through a maze of buildings, stopping several times to pass through multiple gates. When we finally made it to my destination (3A GP yard), I was helped off the cart and put up against the wall, my handcuffs were removed and the officer said “you’re free, and I won’t put handcuffs on you unless there’s something wrong. Go ahead and remove your property from the golf cart and put it in a push cart so that you can push it to the building you’re assigned to”.
This was the very first time in 9 years, 7 months that I have ever been next to an officer without handcuffs on, and it really felt weird because both of our psyches had been so scarred with the idea that I would attack him. But my brief apprehension passed, I loaded the hand cart and made my way to 3 building, where I was directed to cell 230 on the upper tier. I unloaded my property and put it in the cell I was assigned and which I will be occupying until I find a permanent home.
Immediately I began to notice all the small things that are now available to me in the SHU, like electric and cable TV plugs, a light switch, a clear, full size mirror where I could see my whole face, a proper shaving razor, boxes of plastic bags, lockers. In the SHU we put our electrical and cable cords through a hole in the wall so an officer could plug them in on the other side, and we had no light switches – all the lights went on at 6 AM and were shut off at 9 PM. When we are locked in a single man shower a razor is handed to us, which we have to rush to use and turn in before we exit the shower. Boxes and plastic bags are not allowed.
On my first morning my door was opened and my name was called over a loud speaker to go out to medication pickup. I walked with a group of guys and we all walked a good distance to the clinic and back to pick up our medication. In the SHU a nurse came to the door and gave everything to you. The walk was beautiful but everything felt surreal, as though I was in a fog. The reality of it all still has not set in. My neighbor was also in the SHU with me, he’s a Mexican from southern California, and he and his celly had an extra hot pot which they let me use. As soon as I got in my cell I filled it with water and made my first cup of hot coffee in 9 years and 7 months. In the SHU we’re not allowed to have anything hot in fear that we would throw it at an officer. Man it was beautiful enjoying my first cup of Joe. At lunch I hooked up my first hot top ramen soup and had a hot lunch. On Saturday we had chicken – first piece I’ve had with a bone in 10 years. In the SHU they serve small nugget-style pieces because they’re afraid we’ll make a knife. On Sunday I had my first real egg. After breakfast they called for Church – I’m not cleared yet to go to services but as soon as I am I’ll be attending. In the SHU they have no form of religious services whatsoever – looking forward to getting my God on!
In the mornings we have four hours of yard time and and hour and a half in the dayroom in the evening. I’m not eligible yet for this either but should be in 10 days. However, I don’t know if that will happen before they send a bus for me to go to whatever prison I’ve been promoted to.
I’m still getting used to having my door opened and me freely exiting through it. I quickly learned to be ready and on point at my door for medication pickups twice a day because I don’t want to get caught off guard with my door open and me not ready. All of it is a lot to get used to but I’m working my way through as reality continues to sink in. I will continue to keep you all updated – keep me in your prayers as you will always be in mine.
Aaron Ray Scott, H30536
CSP Corcoran 3A-03-230
Corcoran, CA 93212