We are here now, Jail things. (The use if the term *Things* after select nouns, has been quite fascinating of late). For those who think a jail is one of those words I try to use to hide the meanings of others, it is not. So Jail/ Prison in this case is not Tahiti, it is not the Timam local, it is not porn, it is not Super Mambo, it is not the mental turmoil that we under go through, it is not that private addiction that we face, no. I mean the jail where criminals are kept. Jail, jela, prison, penitentiary, guardroom, cell, kibuyu, rumande, etc… This is with all the security that comes with it. Where people found guilty of minor crimes are held or those awaiting legal judgment. This institution is designed to securely hold people convicted of various crimes. Now, in these places, we have a variety of criminals. From the chicken thief to the one convicted of robbery with violence.
Do not get lost yet, I am giving a general overview of prisons. I am yet to get to my case. As you would expect, those who have committed the most grievous of offenses spend longer than those who have committed less heinous offenses. This can be to such an extent as life sentences. For one to be a criminal. They have to be “successfully” accused of violating a criminal law. However, for one to be in prison, they need not necessarily be “Successfully” accused of violating a criminal law. You got what I mean there, right? We have innocents here as well. This is whereby punishments for crimes are established and ensures the proper regulation of investigations and the prosecution of those accused. It is also important to mention that the term “Penitentiary” is also the same as prison to some extent. The only catch with this ‘sweet’ term, is that back in the day, somewhere in the 1700s, the bigwigs back then believed that prisoners would become remorseful (another term for remorseful is “penitent”) if they could study the bible in solitary confinement and thus help them reform their behavior. Therefore, it is generally agreed that the role of prisons throughout the world is to punish criminals by restricting their freedom.
Jail or Prison? The jail is a facility used to confine adults who have short-term sentences, as well as housing individuals awaiting trial. Prisons house long-term offenders. Now, Cb here is in Jail. My offence, I said I am yet to mention it, or never. You have seen the movies and most of what is here is there, or probably the other way round. Some of what is there is here. I expected things from novels and movies. Things that never happened here, for instance, there were no mug shots, there was no pressurized naked bath on entry, there are no communal baths, there are no lines for food, there was no clothes exchange, I am not in a DOC labeled overall and there are no wardens with canes and stun guns, standing all over. However, there are armed ‘guards’ outside the perimeter ready to shoot incase of any stunts on our part. The kind of jail I am in is somehow of a special kind. I cannot tell it all as it is otherwise I will be transferred to a real one like Kamiti, before my time. There are several complexes of independent jails, complete with two cells each, a laundry and lavatory section and grounds the size of two lawn tennis courts, complete with a high wall with an electric fence and the razor sharp barbed wire. There are several of these in this establishment and each can only house at most eight inmates at a go. I do not know if you get what I mean?
Think of it as a gated community, only that it is a jail-gated community. Now for bungalows or alternative, we have the jailhouses. Several of these are what make up this jail community. I will not be disclosing its exact location though. However, you would not even realize it exists. The difference between this establishment and the others is that it is officially unofficial. It is an establishment for people who work in highly regarded places, secret assignments, and foreign criminal on transit and thus the inmates cannot be in other establishments to avoid constant hustling from people in various positions in governments, security systems and other classified institutions.
Inmates here are well sorted, as I realized. It is classy in a way. Maybe that is because I am so positive about my experience in this place. Shower time is a personal affair; you are alone in your own time. Most of the time is spent reading. On my part that is. My new family likes passing time with poker. I have never been confident with my poker skills, but I know, I am good. No gambling is involved though. We receive newspapers on specific days and we have the choice of picking which papers we want to read. I have a special liking to the free issues inside the dailies. Politics via the media is alarmist, and these publishing houses have found puppets in readers to deviate them in the way of the bigger manipulators of our society.( A reason I do not do conventional news) I am not a fan of politics. Maybe someday in the future but I can hold a sane conversation when one arises. I also have several novels on my kindle and digital editions of various magazines on my devices. These keep me busy. What else, there are no gays. So forget about “… pick! The soap brother, the soap…” crap that happens in the movies. Actually when I started saying that the inmates were well sorted, I meant they are comfortable. I later realized that the whole condom verbal drama on admission was a ploy to tease and depress me. Inmates who need their significant others to come “sort them” out get the privilege over the weekends or public holidays depending on who is on duty and how good you are with “local arrangements” and “talking nicely” to the wardens. There are no dry spells here. So far, I have not needed any of that. I am well distracted.
The food. It is awesome. Breakfast of bread, coffee (Dormans, first grade with milk) and eggs is served around 7 am. I know you all know Kahawa No 1. That is the kind of coffee we have. Only that now the brand is Dormans. Lunch at midday is an awesome rice, buttered mashed potatoes, beans stew separate and beef stew separate and soup. We also have a fruit every day. Balanced all the way. Dinner is served at 5ish in the evening. The only disadvantage is we get hungry early I the night. Therefore, we sourced another dish where we serve food for “Lunch” the term we gave for 11 – midnight meal we have before we retire for a night’s sleep. This meal is ugali, beef and cabbage made the right way. We do not queue as they do in those movie penitentiaries. As I said, this is a special kind of place and so each jailhouse has a max of eight inmates. We are like a family, a big brother house of sorts. So come mealtimes, we are allowed to serve ourselves, but under the supervision of the wardens. I forgot to mention that we also get coffee in the evening as well. Do you know how much hot beverage you have in a day? My cup is 500ml. That is a liter of this stuff by bedtime. Snacking is allowed since we have visitations or we can send the wardens to buy grub for us. So in between these meals, I have been having biscuits, cookies, crisps, and all these other things that I have not been having in my ordinary time. That was one of the realizations while in here, my life out there was so controlled, but under the control in these walls I have the freedom to be who I am and enjoy the finer things in life that I usually restrict myself. To an extent, it’s a big shame on my part. That was a snack too.
So you see, I am in Jail, but I am not in “jail”. That is why; I am not for lamenting over my perceived hardship in this place as well as all the “His life has come to an end” mentality that most want to instill in me. As long as my positive mental attitude is concerned, it is enough to fuel me for the entirety of my sentence here. When I am bored of writing, reading, or chatting, I skip rope and do some few mild cardio related exercises. I gotta keep fit, you know, life is still out there waiting for me…
Inmate – Part Three