May 27, 2018

South Carolina Prison Bull

From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


Johnny E. Mahaffey
May 14, 2018

The Novelist Portent


The following is excerpted from my journal -- assembled by Cornell University's Prisoner Express program.

Johnny Mahaffey
BRCI - 323863
4460 Broad River Rd.
Columbia, SC 29210-4012


May 12, 2018

There's a line in the book "The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey: "...there's more than one kind of bullshit. There's the bullshit you know that you know; the bullshit you don't know and know you don't know; and the bullshit you just think you know but really don't." But, Yancey forgot about my favorite -- the bullshit of others that they insist you know!
That's one of the things I hate most about the mentally institutionalized prisoners, especially those who've been in here longer than they were out in the "free" world; their bullshit opinions, and ideology. I can understand the irascible mood that twenty (or more) years in this rut-of-an-existence locale can produce -- but, what I'm talking about is … deeper than that. And in situations such as this lock-down, their various psychological hiccups surface more clearly. They wear their mental status on their sleeves, not even knowing it in most cases, doing things like: random hand clapping; very exaggerated yawns; any possible act to make noise. They will SLAM a book shut, or toss something instead of simply putting it down. They jumble ideas and words, ask simple questions that don't need to be asked (stuff they know the answer to, but they ask it just to ask it and feed their delusions). Behavioral eccentricities you might say....
We have acre upon acre of your garden variety paranoid schizophrenic -- but those are all too obvious -- it's the "rare" delusional disorder that sprouts between institutionalized ears, that's the most dangerous. The most prominent being of the PERSECUTORY TYPE, thinking that the "system" was (and is) out to get them (a disorder that's fostered by the societal, and social isolation of prison; especially here in SCDC with its focus on detention over rehabilitation), they're full of resentment and anger, but not so much as towards themselves as towards others. They blame "America" or the "Republicans" or "Democrats" or "Bush" or "Reagan", the list goes on.
The problem is that the current regime of the South Carolina Department of Corrections of the past TWO decades, in their quest for profit, unwittingly created an environment for prisoners -- that they dehumanize as "inmate" -- that promotes the development of schizophreniform symptoms, especially for those to enter prison at a young age.
This is all part of the bullshit I wish I didn't know.

I try to journal daily.
Diversifying my publications as much as possible, so that if (or when) I'm gone -- my five kids will still have something of me. Some piece of me -- written, drawn, or painted -- can be found at every corner of the globe... from New York, to Alaska, to Japan, and beyond.
And my choice to exercise my free speech also puts my words here, for you, and anyone to read.
In "The State" newspaper ( Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the massacre that took place in SCDC was called "the nation's most deadly prison riot in 25 years, according to the Reuters news agency."
"South Carolina prisons, as a whole, are rife with violence, illegal weapons, and gangs.
"Last year, a dozen [prisoners] were killed in South Carolina prisons, the highest number in years. In one incident, four were killed by fellow prisoners at the state's Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia.
"In just three and a half months of 2018, nine [prisoners] have been slain.
"The prison system is 'a tinderbox that is just getting hotter and hotter,' said Georgetown attorney Ed Bell, who has represented injured or killed [prisoners] and their families. 'The gangs now run the prisons.'"
We're all in a volatile situation -- and South Carolinians, or anyone with a voice -- needs to step us and help, before it's too late.



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