Wow! I'm back in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It's been eighteen-years since I've lived in Brooklyn, and now my prison stint brings me back to the city that molded my attitude, my educational aptitude, and my tenacity.
MDC Brooklyn is different from all other prisons I've experienced. I began my prison sentence in FCI Memphis, TN, (a medium-security prison) with life and double-life sentenced men. My security level dropped and I was sent to FCI Texarkana, TX (a low-security prison). To date, FCI Texarkana is the most well run prison since my incarceration began. From Texarkana, I requested to be transferred closer to home and was sent to FCI Fort Dix, NJ (a low-security prison), with a lot of open space, nature and trees, but also limited programs for education and rehabilitation.
Therefore, now as my security-level has dropped to its lowest possible level (minimum) and my custody is "out" classified, I've been sent to MDC Brooklyn as a cadre. This is suppose to be a camp facility (minimum-security) for me, so why was I greeted with the phrase "Welcome to Hell!" by the cadre inmates?
It's been two days so far and I've noticed huge differences or changes to the way prisoners are to exist here. This is not what I envisioned a camp facility being.
Here are a few observations:
1. Prisoners are indoors all day. We are not allowed outside of the prison. The recreation area is a room with a mesh screen window overlooking a roof but without any view of anything else.
2. Staff escorts are necessary for any movement within the building. Prisoners can move around without staff at any FCI (low, medium, or USP) prison.
3. Prisoners cannot seal outgoing mail, unlike at a low-security prison.
4. Commissary is limited. Prisoners can only shop two times per month with a reduced spending limit of $290 total.
5. Security cameras are absolutely everywhere. There are more cameras here than at FCI Memphis (a medium-security prison).
6. The building contains pre-trial prisoners and transit prisoners, who work with sentenced inmates at certain jobs.
7. Visitation is only on the weekends for Cadre prisoners.
These are all stark contrasts in my new environment compared to where I have earned the privilege to be. I'm patient and observant so I will take more than two days to really analyze this latest change.
Once gain, crime doesn't pay out fairly to those in the punishment phase of criminal actions. Think before you act.