New Writing From Jeremy: What Really Happened At FCI Milan
From Free Jeremy by Jeremy Hammond
This new piece of writing from Jeremy further details the horror of the of the situation that he endured at FCI Milan involving his alleged assault of a guard. Through it, we have learned that Jeremy (thankfully) at least had a cellmate at least part of the time, but that the situation was, sadly, even more convoluted than any of us on the outside ever could have imagined. Prison truly is cruel by its very nature, and that is something no amount of reform will ever fix. We must strive for abolition if we ever hope for true justice.
– Grace North
One minute, I’m putting the finishing touches on some college homework, contemplating the irony of an anarchist hacker paying extortion prices using the BOP email computers to type a paper on Bartleby and Marx. Ten minutes later, I’m in orange rags, escorted to a cell in the segregated housing unit (SHU). There is a strong smell of pepper spray. My new celly tells me, “Yeah the last people were fighting and they sprayed them down. You’re lucky. I cleaned most of it up this morning.”
The first night in the hole is always the worst. Why am I here?! Pacing the cell in small circles like a character out of Sean Swain’s “Last Act of the Circus Animals”, I play the events back in my mind:
I was waiting for them to call recall, which is when students who have evening classes can go to the chow hall to eat early. When they call the move, I push the door to the housing unit open from the inside. Because there are no windows on the door, I had no idea that immediately behind it was the most notorious asshole cop on the compound, the one who literally embodies the stereotypical pig with a shiteating grin, just waiting to write somebody up. The door apparently bumped him softly, and he immediately gets aggressive, pushes me with his shoulder, and says, “You wanna go?” It’s some macho display of power and pride, trying to bait me in. Not going for it. I look at him tell him, “No, I don’t want any smoke.” We stare each other down for a few seconds and he says, “Let’s go,” and begins walking me up the compound.
“You been anywhere?”
“A few places, Manchester, Greenville.” All mediums, this is my first low.
“Is that where you learned to assault officers?”
“No, I didn’t mean to bump you back there.”
He calls the compound on the radio and we meet with another officer. They talk out of earshot for a minute, and I am passed off to the other corrections officer (CO) and walked to the lieutenant’s office. He also has a reputation for being a hard-ass, but I’ve never had any negative interactions with him. So I tell him, “Look, this is a misunderstanding. I never intended to bump him with the door.”
He shakes his head and sighs. “Yeah, I know, believe me, if I thought it was an actual assault, we’d be on the ground going at it.” This is his way of agreeing with me. “But he is pushing the issue, and now you’re going to have to go through the process.” After taking pictures and my blood pressure, I’m brought to the SHU.
A few hours later, I’m given the shot: a 224 Assault (Minor). The written narrative is even worse than the junk fiction on the SHU book cart. He wrote that after I “struck” him in the “back and foot”, I proceeded to “stand my ground while pressing my shoulder into his.” Reading the shot out loud, the sheer absurdity of it all gives me confidence that the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) will throw it out. Nevertheless, I know I’ll be waiting back here at least a few weeks. I’ve been in the hole on a dozen occasions, so I know how to do time, but it is always harder to digest when you don’t know why you’re locked up and worse when you are accused of something you didn’t do.
[ PDF A copy of the shot Jeremy received detailing the alleged “assault” on the guard at FCI Milan https://freejeremy.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/milan-shot_redacted.pdf ]
I am most preoccupied with the college classes I am missing. I am on track to get my associate’s degree after next semester, and finals are just a few weeks away. And if the worst case scenario happens and I am convicted, my security points will shoot back up. Since I have no history of violence, I will certainly be transferred back to a medium, and I won’t be able to finish my degree. It is infuriating to think that a single cop can put a bogus case on someone and mess up their entire future.
Knowing it’s going to be several weeks before I can plead my case to the DHO, I examine my surroundings. All SHUs are bad, but slight variations define the degree of dehumanization. Built in the 1930’s, FCI Milan’s SHU is old and decrepit. Layers of paint and pain are peeling off the walls. It’s a small 6’x 8’ cell with nothing but a bunk bed and the steel sink/toilet combo. There’s not even the standard issue table and swivel stool found in most cells in the system. The fluorescent light immediately above the top bunk is as orange as our clothes and encrusted with toothpaste. A former prisoner had affixed paper to block, or at least dim, the light. The water is messed up in almost every cell and blankets are on the floor to absorb the leaks. Water only dribbles out of the faucet, so plastic spoons are used to give it some pressure. In another cell, the water shoots like a geyser all the way to the door. One cell only has hot water and one day when the hot water was down, the occupants had nothing to drink. The faulty fire alarms go off randomly, often blasting loudly for hours in the middle of the night. The power flickers and goes off a few times. The upper range is so hot, people are sweating in their boxers, while the lower range is so cold people stay in bed under the covers all day. There is a constant argument with the CO’s to turn the fans and heaters either on or off, but no combination can please everybody. The only real solution is to bulldoze this old joint to the ground. The only indication of any modern renovations are the “green” toilets which lock for an hour after three flushes, which most prisoners despise. Ordinarily I support this for water conservation purposes, as prisoners are huge consumers of water, but in the SHU, this system prevents any possibility of flooding the range in protest.
Despite these small variations, FCI Milan’s SHU is run like every other in accordance with national policy. The same Bob Barker orange SHU clothes made in a sweatshop in El Salvador, the same blue inflammable 1½” thick mattress made in a UNICOR sweatshop at USP Atlanta. Life revolves around meals 3 times a day, and showers 3 times a week. The food is standardized across the system: burger Wednesdays, chicken Thursdays, and fish Fridays. The BOP must have some big contracts with certain vendors to supply food that otherwise can’t be sold to the general public, and I’m starting to recognize the brands. Everywhere I’ve been, we get the same cartons of Borden’s skim milk, just a few days before the expiration date, the same bags of Snyder’s potato chips, already expired. In all my years of dumpster diving, I never even heard of expired potato chips, yet I’ve seen these in three prisons so far. The same nasty packets of Nutro Juice sugar-free Kool-Aid. The same brown packets of Deep Rich coffee, on weekends only, but in SHU it’s the orange Deep Rich 97% decaf packets instead. Monday through Friday they allow us an hour of recreation in the “dog run” cages. The SHU rec area at FCI Milan is where they once famously hung a bank robber and there are rumors that he haunts the building because there are strange, loud sounds of metal clanking and scraping at all hours of the night.
In other ways, the SHU at Milan has its advantages over others in the system. Most notably, we are not closed in by a steel door with the “choke hole”, but with the old-school open bars that allow us to talk easily and even pass items from cell to cell. One prisoner designated as an orderly comes by to help people trade food, stamps, or books. Although the book cart is mostly composed of the usual selection of pro-cop junk fiction like Patricia Cornwell and Vince Flynn, it is freely passed around without limitations. We can’t receive magazines, newspapers, or hardcover books. We can receive paperbacks. And, I must admit that for the most part, the CO’s here are not the typical assholes working the SHU that treat us like animals. Some attempt to accommodate us to the extent that they can within the responsibilities of the job. The problem is that their very job supports the system that confines us to these harsh conditions on frivolous charges. They walk the SHU wearing shirts and hoodies with a black and white U.S. flag divided by a blue line, a statement about the need for police to maintain order against the chaos, or something. The end result is us ending up in a jail within a jail in the minimum conditions allowed by low. And for what? None of the people I talk to back here need to be in SHU. To the left of me was an old cellmate. They gave him a 113 drug charge because he had his celly’s Naproxen (Aleve) medication in his locker by mistake. This is medicine that can be purchased over the counter at commissary. The guy to my right had a battery, razor, and coffee pack foil which is used to start a fire. He too had a 113 drug charge. They even locked his celly up, standard protocol when contraband is found in the cell. Some people are back here for more serious charges like marijuana or a cellphone. To put things in perspective, marijuana is now legal in Michigan, and there are more cellphones than people in the U.S.
Others have been in here for months doing dead time with no charge, pending “investigation” or transfer. My first celly got into it with his celly on the unit and gave him a black eye. For days, the guy stayed in the room, not even going to chow, to avoid a CO seeing the injury and locking him up, but he eventually turned himself in. When the cops came around to ask questions they said, “We already know what happened, so you may as well confess.” Thinking he would get leniency, he admitted everything. But as it turns out, his celly never told, and his confession was the only evidence used to lock him up and convict him.
One day, a CO tells me to pack it up, I’m being moved to another cell. I’m like, WTF why? He tells me, “You’re really doing us a favor. Just ride with it and we’ll remember this.” I’m thinking okay, I’ll play ball, never know if it will come in handy down the line. I’m escorted to the other side of the SHU and I recognize my new celly from RDAP. “Thank God! I was praying for a celly.” He’s a big Jesus freak, a “true believer” in the drug program, and not handling the SHU very well. Under “SIS investigation,” he says he has no idea why he is back here. He is stressing hard, red in the face, and pacing the cell panicked. So I spend time talking to him, calming him down, encouraging him to get into a book or work out. Though I tell him I’m not religious, he keeps quoting the Bible to me, and I entertain him just to keep him in a good mood.
The SHU can be hard, especially if you don’t know why you are back there or what is going to happen. He said he told the psychologist he wanted to hurt himself. One guy from the FDC tried to hang himself. Another has covered himself with his own shit on at least three occasions while I was here. The head psychologist walks around, more often when there is a crisis. She hands out Sudoku puzzles and pamphlets on stress management and coping with time. Some of it is good, such as developing patience and endurance to overcome difficult situations like this. But, overall it tells you to simply accept your charges and conditions as outside of your control. In the section entitled “Resentment”, they say most of us “have met people like this, they seem angry at life,” that they are mad at “an entire system – such as the courts, the justice system, or prison staff,” and that it “doesn’t matter if the wrong is real or imagined.” This is the same psychologist that told me that, in regards to RDAP, if you go to SHU for whatever reason – even if you have charges dropped, even if your celly had something in the room and both of you go to SHU but you are released because he took the rap – you will still be “clinically teamed” and “set back” an RDAP phase, because you likely did something wrong anyway. She was also the one who locked up my old celly with the medication, knowing full well that if the shot sticks, it would cause him to lose the year off he earned having completed RDAP. Even if BOP psychologists are genuinely concerned about the welfare of those in SHU, there is only so much they can do, because they work for the system that is inflicting the damage, and have no power to stop the bleeding.
A week passes. Though I am on the docket to see the DHO, there are no hearings this week because of “Thanksgiving” so we all are just sitting for now. I get into a nice routine: eating, reading, sleeping, and working out. Whether I am in general population or the SHU, I don’t skip a day; one day I do upper body pushups and dips off the toilet, the next I do a lower body cardio routine of squats, sit-ups, jumping jacks, planks, and a variety of stretches. I make a few origami models and write letters. I find a few gems in the book cart. I read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut, and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevensen. I receive the monthly Friends of AK Press books: Zooicide and Feminism in Motion. When I’m tired of reading and laying in bed all day, I pace in small circles, lost in thoughts and memories.
One day, a CO comes to bring me to the property room. All of my stuff is emptied on a table. My inventory receipt says “Property Found Unsecured” and so much is missing. My MP3 player, my chess set, clothes, and dozens of various borderline contraband objects that took forever to collect. Any food item that was opened was thrown away. I’m given a confiscation form. By policy we’re only allowed five books, so they confiscated the rest. I went HAM last time they tried to do me like this, but I shelve this issue for now, believing that I am likely to beat the shot and be released and where I can track down my missing stuff.
In SHU we are only allowed soap, toothpaste, shower shoes, and a radio/earbuds. I had some earbuds in my “locker buddy” but it appears the CO who packed my property didn’t bother to go through it. When the CO isn’t looking, I stuffed a bag of yellow Keefe coffee in my pants, but when I am patted down on the way back to the cell, it is discovered. “Hey, can’t blame me for trying.” He laughs and puts it back on the shelf.
With a radio and no earbuds, I wait until commissary comes around, which sells cheap earbuds. But they are out, along with multivitamins and AAA batteries. A friend passes down a set, along with the homemade antennae made from headphone wire wrapped around a long stick made of paper with the end attached to the headphone jack. Someone passes some other headphones for me to fix; there is a short at the jack. Soon I am fixing up headphones and battery packs to allow AAA radios to use AA, using nothing but rubber bands and staples. Michigan has the best radio stations. I can listen to shows like the Progressive Underground and get NPR news. George H.W. Bush holiday? Teargassing the Caravan? Terrible.
My celly did not get his property yet, so I let him listen to his Christian shows and AM talk radio which he enjoys. It seems to calm him down. The next day he’s like, “Alex Jones says there are 50,000 illegals in Tijuana throwing rocks and George Soros is behind it all.” I get up, “WTF? The cops killed someone with rubber bullets, they’re gassing women and children, you support that shit? You some kind of Trump supporter?” “Um no man I guess I don’t know what’s going on down there…” I hand him a Crimethinc article a friend sent me called “Turning the Army Against the People”. He reads it for a while, gives it back, and gets back to the Bible.
Later that night, the CO’s bring someone in. Everyone is like “On the new!” They’re eager to see who got locked up, why, and to hear the latest gossip from the compound. It’s my old celly. He’s going to the outside hospital to get his teeth pulled. It is standard protocol to lock someone up the night before for “security reasons”.
“Hey! You need something to read? To snack on?”
“No, I’m good. Hey is so-and-so back here?”
“Yeah, that’s my celly back here. He right here.”
“Yo! He’s a rat! He got up there in RDAP and told on a bunch of people, then they punched him up!”
Everybody’s ears perk up. “Woooh!” “Oh hell no!” “Yo Big Germ, you need to investigate that one!” I look at my celly, who heard it all. “No! I didn’t tell on anyone! No one punched me up!” “Well, you gotta get up on the gate and defend yourself.” But he wouldn’t do it. I’m thinking now. It’s awkward as hell. It’s not a good look to be in the cell with a snitch. A convict is supposed to buck, to refuse, to kick him out.
I flash back to five years earlier when I was at MCC NYC in the SHU for a tattoo shot. I was walked down the range, saying what’s up to all the people who were still back there from the last time I was in the SHU. “Yo! Germ! What’s up!” The CO stops at a cell and cuffs the guy inside. “Yo! You don’t want to go in that cell! He’s a rat! He told on so-and-so!” Inside the cell, I’m looking at the guy. He’s young, thin, and so scared he won’t make eye contact, won’t leave the corner of the cell. “Hey man,” I tell him, “they say you’re a rat!”
“Um…No. I don’t know, I’m not an anything, I just want to read my Bible.”
“Yo! Germ! Beat his ass!” they’re shouting in the hall. The CO is just standing there, so I tell him, “Hey, you gotta switch us up. I can’t be in here with him.”
“Can’t do it.”
“Look! I’m gonna make him stand in the corner all night! Get him out of here! Why would you set me up like this?”
The CO walks off. Sighing. I get on the bunk and chill out for a minute. Suddenly, I hear frantic scribbling sounds. He gets up, slides an envelope through the side of the door, and says, “CO! CO!” The others on the range begin mocking his high pitched voice.
“Hey man…Mail doesn’t go out until Sunday, so what are you doing?”
“CO!” The CO comes by, picks up the envelope, reads the letter, and walks away.
“Yo, Germ! He just did it again! He just told!”
“Hey, man, what was that letter all about?”
No reply, no eye contact.
A minute later two CO’s come by “Hammond, cuff up.” They take him and put him in the next cell over. Hours later, a lieutenant comes by and gives me a new shot: “threatening”. The guy said he felt his life was in danger. The shot quoted me saying I would make him stand in the corner all night.
“Hey man! Why’d you lie and say I threatened you?” I tell him through the paper-thin walls.
A week later I see the DHO, but he’s cool, and drops the tattoo shot because it was written up incorrectly. I get hit for the threatening but it is reduced to a 399 Most Like Refusing a Program Assignment. I’m out of the hole, but lose commissary and phone privileges.
I think about this and consider my options. I don’t have solid proof about this guy, but a close comrade put him out there on the range and he wouldn’t defend himself. But if he told, and was punched up, wouldn’t the guy who punched him also be in SHU? One way or another, I’m either going to be released, or get moved to the disciplinary segregation (DS) range.
Back at Milan, when the day finally arrives, we are cuffed and escorted into the property room adjacent to the lieutenant’s office where the hearing takes place. I spot the bag of coffee I tried to snag last week, but it was not an opportune moment. They call my name and I’m brought into the room. The SHU lieutenant and another CO are sitting around a speakerphone. The first time I saw the DHO years ago, he showed up in person. Later on, it was video chat. What’s next, a computer algorithm? He reads me my rights: “Your silence may be used to draw an adverse inference against you”, “the right to be present throughout the discipline hearing except during a period of deliberation or when institutional safety would be jeopardized”, “the right to have a full-time member of the staff who is reasonably available to represent you”, etc. We do not, however, have the right to a lawyer.
I give my well-rehearsed presentation: “I did not intend to bump him with the door. It has no windows so I could not have known he was on the other side. I never pressed my shoulder into his.” The whole situation was blown out of proportion. The CO didn’t even “hit the deuces” and call for all available officers which is protocol for handling assaults. I wasn’t even cuffed until I entered the SHU!
The DHO stops me and asks me to leave for a minute. Back in the property room, I’m talking with other prisoners about their cases as a few more are called into their hearing. The DHO appears to be in a good mood. A few have their shots dropped or reduced to less severe charges. I’m still eyeing the coffee, but a safe opening still has not presented itself yet. I’m called back into the room.
In a cheerful tone, the DHO tells me, “Ok, I understand the door pushing part was unavoidable. I’m not concerned with that. I’m worried about what happened afterwards. The officer wrote that you pressed your shoulder into his, and I have no reason to believe he is lying.” I think to myself, this is one of the disadvantages of having a DHO come from a different prison. Everybody at Milan knows about the CO who wrote me up. While the DHO looks at all your previous shots, he probably isn’t looking at all the grievances filed against the officer. I tell him that I never pushed him, that as it is written, it is not even possible to “stand my ground” while simultaneously “pressing my shoulder into his”. But don’t take my word for it, check the cameras. Even if the tape didn’t capture the alleged pushing because it occurred in the sheltered door enclave, the camera would certainly prove that the officer did not “attempt to create a distance” as he wrote in the shot. He peacefully walked me across the compound. If he lied in one aspect of the shot, it is grounds to expunge the entire case.
Sounding as if he is interested, the DHO kicks me out of the room to review the footage. Back in the property room, I’m talking to other prisoners who had their cases heard. Convicted, but no Disciplinary Segregation time. They’re going back to general population. The bag of coffee is still sitting on the shelf within reach, but a CO is nearby and in a talkative mood. “Kicked you out the room again? Might be a good sign!”
I’m brought back in again and the DHO begins. “The video evidence is inconclusive, and we can’t get into specifics.” Not able to see the tape for myself, I am supposed to accept the only objective evidence that might clear me is “inconclusive”. We’re back to a “his-word-against mine” situation, and in prison, the cop’s word always wins.
Appealing to his sympathies, I explain “Look, I understand the severity of an assault on staff charge. I know I caught a number of shots in my first few years, but I calmed down, made it to the low, and began programming. I’ve been shot free for two years and I’m on track to getting my associate’s degree in the college program here. If this shot sticks, I will certainly be shipped back to the mediums. I have every reason to be following the rules, not getting into conflicts with staff. I don’t know why the officer freaked out over what was obviously an innocent misunderstanding. I know that in prison, if I had a negative interaction with him in the past, he wouldn’t cut me slack if a situation like this happened. But that’s not the case here, I never even talked to him before. Maybe it was pride, that he felt disrespected that I pushed him with the door, and he felt like he had to get in my face all aggressive. But I did everything I was supposed to do. There was nothing I could have done to prevent this from happening.”
The DHO interrupts, “Are you alleging staff misconduct?”
“Umm…Well, he wrote that I pushed him with my shoulder, when in fact the opposite occurred, he pushed me, and said, ‘You wanna go?’”
“So you’re alleging staff misconduct.”
And as soon as I said yes, the DHO’s entire tone and demeanor changed, and I knew the decision had been made.
“Ok, well I will be forwarding your complaint of staff misconduct.”
“Well, I was hoping that this could be resolved without having to come to that…”
“No, it’s too late now, I’ll be forwarding your complaint.”
By telling the truth about what happened, that the officer had actually assaulted me, the DHO felt like he was boxed into a conviction. A cop must always side with another cop, especially when physical force is used. It is crucial that they protect themselves by securing a conviction. They just rubber stamp the lie all the way up and down the bureaucracy.
“I’m finding you guilty, that you did commit the prohibited act of 224 Assault (minor).” As he’s reading me my sanctions and telling me my right to appeal through the Administrative Grievance Process, I’m shaking my head and looking at the SHU lieutenant, who, in his eyes seems to be communicating that he also recognizes the injustice and absurdity of it all. I lose 60 days phone and commissary, which I could care less about. But I also lose 27 “good time” days. That’s a whole extra month in prison. Though we were supposed to be receiving 54 days off a year, in practice the BOP only gives us 47. The watered-down First Step Act does expand it to the full 54 days, but whatever benefit I would have received is now gone.
Back in the property room waiting for a CO to escort me back to my cell, I decide it’s now or never. Even though I am cuffed behind my back I manage to grab the coffee off the shelf and stuff it in my boxers. Back in my cell, I sip on a cold cup of Keefe. At least there are small victories.
Everyone who had their shot expunged or didn’t receive any DS time is being released back to the compound. My celly, who never got a shot, was also released. I didn’t receive any DS time as part of my sanctions, but I wasn’t kicked out with everybody else. The next morning I am told I am being held “pending transfer” and that it will be a few weeks. But I know that if they do decide to transfer me, it will be months.
The Clown Parade comes through for their weekly dog and pony show, and I am prepared. I give a nice presentation to the Warden, asking him to consider putting a “Management Variable” on me to keep me at Milan so that I can finish my degree. The Prison Education Initiative college program is only at six federal prisons. It expires soon and is being considered for renewal. It is the best thing FCI Milan has going for it, and they want to see some graduates. Programs like this are the very purpose of Management Variables. They can keep me here if they want.
One day, when they are bringing around everybody’s mail, the CO comes to me and says, “Hey you received a bunch of books in the mail but we had to put them in your property shelf.” WTF?! They had previously told me that I could receive books, so I told people to send me something to read, but apparently now they are implementing a new policy where SHU prisoners can’t get books in the mail. When the bigwigs come around again for their weekly Clown Parade, I ask the Warden about this. “What’s the institutional-security, orderly-operation whatever justification for this one?” His new captain, some military beefhead who in his first month at Milan had already began implementing other negative changes around the compound, interrupted all aggressively, “It’s none of your business. No books in the SHU except the book cart, period.” I would have snapped back at him if the Warden wasn’t right there, but thinking that because they were still deciding what to do with me, I chose to let it ride.
More than a week goes by, and I’m still sitting on some dead time, singing the same old song, washing socks in the sink. The fire alarm keeps blasting. That guy keeps covering himself in shit. Next week is finals in college. If I’m not out there, the whole semester will have been wasted. What is the point of my continued incarceration? Or any of us back here in the SHU sitting on dead time?
Sadly, there is nothing unusual about this incident. It wasn’t in retaliation for the nature of my case, or the tweets I put out, or the FOIA requests I filed, or my involvement in the recent lawsuit to stop the new BOP prison in Letcher County, Kentucky. A single power-tripping pig wrote a bogus shot and the system backed the lie. This happens every day in hundreds of prisons across the US. They hope that each incident is not brought to the public’s attention, that we just accept it as inevitable. I am strengthened and inspired by people who wrote me, and are advocating for me, pressuring FCI Milan to do the right thing. Reading an ABC Zine someone sent me, I come across a poem written by Eric King, also in solitary at another fed joint across the country. “Can I let loose my spirit/Let it flourish, watch it destroy/Can I refuse to be submissive/To any state or movement…Can I live one time?” I think about how I have gone out of my way to behave myself over the past few years. I kissed so much ass in RDAP to get the year off and they still expelled me. Even then, I layed low, so I can try to get this college degree, and now they are trying to transfer me. It’s just another reminder how their system of carrots and sticks of punishment in the name of rehabilitation is all messed up. It’s one of the first rules I learned going to jail: it doesn’t matter if you are guilty or innocent, when they can slam you all the same, so you may as well go all the way with it. I make up my mind: if they are shipping me back to the medium, if they take my degree, if they take a month of good time for a lie, I will make them regret it; I’m going HAM. It’s going down like Bartleby. I would prefer not to cuff up, not to stand up count. Send the goons if you gotta. I refuse to accept that which they say cannot be changed.
POSTSCRIPT: Thanks everybody for advocating on my behalf to pressure the BOP to keep me at FCI Milan. Many of the CO’s walking by told me they were well aware that there was a campaign underway. Unfortunately, the BOP did decide to boost my points and transfer me to a medium security prison. They got me out of there quick. While many others had been languishing in the SHU for months awaiting transfer, I was on the first flight out of there. When I got to the transfer center in Oklahoma City, they put me in the SHU for the holidays, which is apparently standard protocol for people who had a staff assault charge, foreshadowing the type of negative stigma that can come with a shot of that nature in your jacket. I’ve arrived here at my final destination at FCI Memphis. Having spent years at FCI Manchester in southeastern Kentucky, I was not excited to be returning to the south eastern confederate Trump region. Either way, my journey in the BOP is in the home stretch, and wherever they put me, I will continue to stay strong in high spirits. – Jeremy Hammond