Aug. 1, 2013

Listening to "Undead" by Hollywood Undead

From Prison Dad by Robert Pezzeca (author's profile)

Transcription

July 8, 2013: 7:00am (listening to "undead" by Hollywood Undead)

I'm sitting here in the 80 degree heat in my cell. My cell is on the 3rd tier so it's really hot up here. I was reading an article about prisoners in another state and how they make alot of money working in the prison making baseball bats. Then there is another prison in the southwest that makes saddles and these prisoners are paid up to $10 an hour to do this job. But another reader asked the question, why do prisoners need money? The author of the letter said they know nothing of prison but they thought everything was provided for prisoners at the taxpayers expense. This is not true. In my state, you pay for everything or you get nothing. The only thing thats free is 3 meals a day. Jobs are very limited in prison, especially here. In a prison of 2,000 men, there are less than 800 jobs available. The pay scale begins at 19¢ per hour. The most you can make is 42¢ per hour but thats only for the main jobs and as a lifer. I'm not able to get any of those jobs in the clothing plant. In prison if you're poor, you can't use the phone, you can't buy hygiene products. Something as simple, and necessary, as brushing your teeth, you cannot do unless you pay for it. They eliminated collect calling so we must pre-pay for every phone call we make. There's no getting around it. If you want any extra food, vitamins, toiletries, writing supplies, sneakers, everything has a price. Phone calls cost between $5-6 for 15 minutes. But if you live outside of Pennsylvania, the cost doubles. It's cheaper for me to call my family in Italy, yeah Europe, then it is to call my aunt in New Jersey. Tell me how that makes sense. Prison is a business. They are out to make big money. Each year, the PA D.O.C. (Department of Corrections) makes over 60 million dollars in sales from the prison commissary and the telephone. That's over 1 million dollars per week. That's insane. A small percentage (less then 5%) is placed into the account of the I.G.W.F. (Inmate General Welfare Fund). This fund pays for all recreational equipment. It pays for almost all the salaries for the jobs the prisoners have. Our small salaries in here are not paid for with taxpayer money. Taxpayers money is used to feed us and pay for the guards salaries. Right now this prison is short over 20 guards. Every day guards are taking on overtime, at the taxpayers expense, and making $30+ an hour. When over time reaches a certain limit, it then goes to double time. A guard on my block was doing mandatory double time last week. For his first 8 hours he made time and a half. For his 2nd 8 hour shift he made double time. He worked 16 hours. For those 16 total hours he made over $500. My monthly salary for my prison job is 14-16$ per month. It's not even enough to pay for my monthly cable bill of $16.50. I could go on and on but I think everyone understands. If you don't have money in here, people who care enough to help you, then you are truly screwed because in this state, they won't help you at all. It costs $11 to buy a pair of rubber shower shoes that you just wear to the showers so you don't go barefoot. I see plenty of guys who can't even afford them. Who wants to go to the shower barefoot and get athlete's foot &/or other diseases? Not me. It's a community shower with 100 people in it at 1 time. I also recently learned about something by watching a news program. This was on Good Morning America. Anyone reading this, do yourself a favor, check it out:

www.missingmoney.org (or .com)

I wasn't sure if it was .org or .com. I know 1 person who went to this site and found money they thought they lost out on. Never hurts to check and if I can help someone else, I'd like to. Plenty of good people have helped me in my lifetime. I hope everyone understand why money and support are crucial in prison. I did the math. I forego some things I would like, extra food, coffee, new sneakers, just so I can purchase more writing supplies. I like to write, I write alot. Carbon paper (for typing) is not free. Almost 5 bucks for 200 sheets of typing paper. They're (prison industries) out to make money and they have perfected it. The person who wrote the letter asking why prisoners need money probably won't be reading my blog but I hope I have shed a bit of light on the subject for everyone else who is reading. I am enjoying writing this blog so I hope you keep reading. I hope you enjoy reading it, and don't forget, I need your comments. This is how I come up with ideas on what to write. And as always, I will respond to all comments, positive or negative. I like to talk. Thanx for reading. Take care & God bless. Ciao.

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CJP Posted 5 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post. There are many things wrong with the prison system in the UK but I am glad that what you have described doesn't happen here. I hope it changes in America soon because the point of prison isn't too make money it is to reform offenders.

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