Why am I still alive?

A thought-provoking question to say the least, and highly depressing, yet it’s the question I ask myself every morning of every working day behind these concrete walls of Fairbanks Correctional Center.

I don’t want to wander off into details of why I am here.  That’s another story of accepting a plea and poor representation from the public defender deal from the district attorney in exchange for my temporary freedom.  When in all reality I should have taken my case to trial.

But her I am on my 3rd and 4th probation violation.  At 5:`15 am the dorm starts to fill with the aroma of breakfast being cooked by the inmates here at FCC.  A far better smell than that of the new inmates’ intestines adjusting to eating three square meals a day.

I’m inmate 498846 and am housed with twenty other females in a dorm.  All 10 bunkbeds are filled to the point that they even had to bring in another bed which is also known as a boat.  There are two female dorms here.  Since my return to jail on the 6th of June I’ve been trying to get myself into a treatment center because I am an aaddict, and I want help and need help.

There are absolutely no rehab programs for females.  I can’t even obtain an NA book for self-help purposes.  That one tool alone can make a big difference on my road to recovery.

9 females in our dorm are Alaska Native, age range 19 to 55 years old.  The majority of the other female dorm is Alaska Native also, all of which are in need of rehab in one form or another.

There have been quite a few reported deaths here due to withdrawals and to the lack of proper treatment the person is held on 12 hour sleep off.

Lives could have been saved by placing them in a detox clinic.  Even if they were alcohol-induced belligerent public nuisances.  Waiting twelve hours for your loved one to sober up can change drastically into funeral plans.

Although the guards do play a part in neglecting proper care for detoxing inebriates, I do take into consideration that their job entitles them to only do health and welfare checks 2 times a day.  The medical cart delivers meds 3 times daily if you are not in the dorm to receive medication that you are billed for due to court or other activities such as recreation then you will not receive them at all.

When I came in I told the check-in nurse that there’s a chance that I will be withdrawing from substances.  I did not receive any medical care until I put in an RFI a week later than after being billed five dollars weight and blood pressure checked I was told they don’t prescribe anything for inmates withdrawing off amphetamines.

I’ve had an injury prior to my arrest.  Hipbone separation that is still healing.  I was authorized a bottom bunk the first week I was here until conflict between a guard and myself.  I took upon myself an unused extra mattress to use to be comfortable.  I was not the only inmate that had done that.  The other female was a younger inmate on an upper bunk.

Due to the disagreement and the nurse had not informed the guards of my medical bottom bunk, I was forced to a top bunk.  Most of the females on the bottom bunks are physically capable of moving to a top bunk.  But now I was told I had to have life-threatening injuries to be moved to a bottom bunk.  The mental health clinician teaches inmates of healthy living while committing adultery.  Not only does the medical staff at FCC lack common courtesy they also show zero interest of inmates’ mental health and welfare.

I’ve sent 3 RFIs asking for treatment applications from my in-house probation officer.  She refused to send me one application.  I had questions of North Star she wrote back it’s nnot going to happen, stop asking.  I had to find out from inmates that I need classification modification before getting considered to going to the halfway house.  My P.O. feels it not necessary to answer my questions.  Every single reasonable question or simple favor like sending a fax I get a negative response.  Maybe the jail should stop wasting money on useless probation officers.  That money could be used toward a shaving bic or trash bags that jail claims are due to budget cuts.

Yes, a razor is more helpful to inmates here at FCC.  Removal of unwanted body hair is good on one’s self-esteem and appearance.

One last minor thing I would like to address is inmate jobs.  After having co’s throw away RFIs I put in for a barber job more than twice.  I complained to the security sergeant and found out that only he was capable of hiring for that job so the job became available again and a c/o hired an inmate again before me this time one with obvious mental health issues.  Let me just add that I was told by a guard on night shift that I was the only one that applied for that position at the time.  The following day I was told someone had been hired.  The folder containing my RFI had gone missing.  Then the new RFI seemed to have disappeared.

When I asked the day shift why I had been passed on being hired being the only one that applied, I was told it does not matter how long you are on the job list.  It matters on who we think deserves a job.  You had a job before your release last time.

The inmates were hoping that I would have got that job again cause when I was dorm cleaner I cleaned 2 times a day every day.  Now we are told we need to clean once a day.  So it wasn’t as if I did a bad job.  I had plenty of recommendations.

Integrating our understanding of the mind’s behavioral development along with our spirituality is now becoming a well-accepted, necessary paradigm for engaging our interpersonal & intercultural problems.

I mention intercultural problems for good reason.  It is not difficult to imagine how a discussion of the brain might enhance your inner life.  Consider Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman in Chapter 4 of St John’s gospel.  Think how Jesus’ self-awareness (albeit not as a neuro-scientist) enabled him to bridge the deep cultural and genderchasm that separated them.

I would like to see federal and state funds go into more rehabilitation centers like OMFRC.  Being isolated from society helps one to focus on the main objective:  sobriety.  These programs and many others need neuroscience and spiritual practices because with those one can transform his or her life and relationships to see how interpersonal neurobiology (part of God’s creation) points us to justice and mercy, two fundamental themes to which scripture calls us.  And we are asked to extend that mercy & justice, especially where cultural brokenness and conflict reside.  God’s kingdom is one of justice & mercy that he intends to proliferate to the uttermost parts of the earth, enveloping all aspects of life.  He invites us to join him in creating that kingdom, in ushering it in until it reaches its fullness in the appearance of Jesus.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you” Ephesians 4:32.  Be kind and generous to one anothere, extending sympathy & understanding toward each other.  The Apostle Paul is encouraging and exhorting the Ephesians & everyone who reads this letter to treat each other with kindness and to sop being unkind, bad-tempered, angry, quarrelsome, evil-speaking & disliking toward others.  We ought to put these kinds of behaviors aside.  There is no room in us for this kind of behavior, period!

There is not a place in our lives for this kind of behavior.  As servants & followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we need to clothe ourselves with His love, and His love will cause us to be kind to others.  It is written that we need to put away all falsehood & speak to others the truth, because we belong to one another (Ephesians 4:25).  This will make the next step possible:  enjoying other people, liking them, and growing to love them with a deep affection.  The more you continue in this way, the more you will grow spiritually & become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ.  So, let us be kind to one another, forgiving those who have done us wrong.  This will bring glory to our God, and others will see that God is working in our life and through our life.  Now go and be kind to others, as God has shown his kindness to you.

“Why am I still alive?” I ask myself.  I ask myself because God has a plan for each and every one of us.

1 Peter 4:  1-2 (NLT)

“As servants and followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we need to clothe ourselves with His love and His love, and this love will cause us to be kind to others.  So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer too.  For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.  You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.”  Although for a period of time we are called inmates aka to some scum of the earth, we do appreciate being kept in prayers.  God bless anyone that takes the time to read this.