Prison Bookends


m220217555September 5, 2005, Bridgeport Jail – mid-afternoon, I met my first DOC counselor, a short, overweight, 30ish white woman who projected an air of wanting to be anywhere except in a windowless office in a jail that should have been bulldozed under (and the ground salted) thirty years earlier.

“My clothes were thrown out when I went to the infirmary, I need pretty much everything,” was how I started after she nodded in my general direction and sighed deeply.

“Okay, put in a written request for whatever you need.”

“Great, could I get some paper and a pen?”

“Can’t give you those – do you want some toothpaste?”

“No . . . I need paper and a pen.”

“Just buy some in commissary.”

“I don’t have a commissary account, I just got here.”

“Oh, okay, you need to make out a request and note that you’re indignant.”

“I’m also indigent.”

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