Part 2: Human Trafficking
In Genesis 1:28, it was written instruction for Adam to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, put it under his power, and rule over every living thing that moves upon the earth. In modern day, this is man aiming to climb the ladder, gain power and control, and rule with external power.
But what about the other side of Adam that we don’t mention? If we mention the exterior, we must speak on the interior? Continuing in Genesis 2:7, it states that God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. So the interior spirit, soul of the man, was built first. So what does that mean?
This means we can not discuss the external without discussing the internal, for we all have the duality of Adam in us. Without discussing both sides, we are being “5 Sensory Humans” (ruled by our 5 senses) vs “Universal Humans”. Universal Humans is the new wave of consciousness. It composes our 5 senses, but it also includes, intuition, hunches, guidance, right ideas, all the things guiding us from the inside. We must begin to shift in a collective effort to reflect on each experience and remain present.
In my previous writing, I wrote that I was being held at the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City, OK before completing my transfer to Texarkana’s prison camp. I described the external physical transfer process in the writing “Human Trafficking”. This manuscript will take you inside my spirited mind to reflect what I was feeling, saying to myself, and thinking during that process.
I’ve read and seen documentaries regarding ‘illegal human trafficking”, where they describe when humans are kidnapped, they are sometimes taken on distant journeys through what seems like a maze to confuse the capture on their whereabouts. I experienced the exact feeling while being “legally trafficked” through federal prison.
After we exited Con-Air in Oklahoma, the government essentially has a private landing strip, and trafficking hub into the transfer center. We landed, taxied to a gate similar to an airport, then we were marched in a single file line with our hands and feet cuffed.
The hallway is long and wide, and I felt like I was walking into an airport. I began daydreaming while walking taking my mind off the situation, imagining I was with my wife and kids strolling through the airport getting ready to go on vacation.
I have heard stories of illegal human trafficking victims who state they take their minds to a place other than where they are when being harmed. Sometimes this is made easier by drugs often forced upon them to take, but the same thing happens inside prison for a lot of men.
I found it very interesting that by the time I almost completed my check in and arrived at the nurse, she handed me bag full of prescriptions with my name already on it. I had been prescribed medication for anxiety and sleep awhile back, but I’ve become less dependent on those substances. The fact that she was forcing me to take the bag really without a choice, I remember thinking damn, what am I about to encounter?
We see 2 long benches along the right and left wall measuring a good distance. The lead officer instructs everyone to sit down along the right side wall except for the first 10 people. The first 10 move up before being instructed to move up onto the “platform”.
This platform is a man made stage using red milk carton crates standing us 2 feet off the ground. It felt like I was being put on display. I remember thinking, does this happen to human beings who are being sold into the trafficking ring? Are humans put on display for their captors to view them before deciding where and who will take them?
I did not have a pleasant feeling being paraded on this platform. Our handlers knew where we were headed, they knew what unit we were to be placed in, they knew the security level of the inmates they were housing together, they knew how many days we may be there, they knew the meals we were going to eat, and knew they could listen and see all communication we had with contacts in the real world.
For people free, you may not be able to feel the agony in those liberties being taken away from you, of not knowing what’s ahead, or having someone make choices for you that you may choose differently if you had the power, but you don’t. Throughout the process, I soak up each experience, similar to a sponge soaking up water. Each event drenches the sponge full. Me pouring out my thoughts across these federal computer keys, wrenches the sponge dry, rendering it ready to embrace and learn what lessons need to be learned in the next experience.
On this platform, 10 officers were sitting on the floor behind the milk crates, and 10 officers stood in front of each crate. In unison they went to work removing the irons from our feet and wrist. The floor officer instructs, left foot, on the ball of your foot. This was so he could quickly insert the key and unlock the iron cuff and proceed to the other ankle. The officers were compassionate to try and be careful, but after having irons around your waist, wrists, and ankles for over 12 hours, the skin is very tender to the touch. These are callouses I don’t ever care to build up. Almost in unison, I was restraint free and it felt good.
During the check in process, they give you the daily necessities for survival such as a sheet, blanket, toothpaste, toothbrush, and liquid soap packs. We then head up a series of different elevators, hallways, and proceed through numerous doors to arrive at the steel door to my unit 3C. I thought to myself, even if I had an internal tracking device to let my family know where I was, once they were on site, there’s no way in hell they would be able to find me in this place.
Entering the unit, I was very conscientious of my environment. I can instantly feel tension, and odd energy permeates the air. The unit color pattern struck me odd. The cell doors were painted a salmon pink, then outlined in aqua green. I remember taking note of a familiar smell of burning paper. This was an instinctual recognition of inmates using paper as a burning wick in order to light cigarettes, or other inhaled substances.
My next thought was how in the heck inmates were getting lighters through the various strip searches. Searches where you are completely naked, oral cavities checked, you go through numerous metal detectors, and given property from the facility to wear. After getting settled in, I learned how inmates who smoke can use a computer, or tv power cords, combined with another metal object, and create enough of a spark to ignite a wick to burn. This was my first time witnessing this type of ingenuity inside federal prison to make a simple “lighter”.
After settling into my cell room 325, I meet my “cellie”, (roommate) whom they call Hopkins. It was a strange first encounter, but nevertheless we got along fine. He had been incarcerated for 24 years with 6 more to go. He was serving a 30 year sentence for a violent crime. After hearing his sentence, I thought about my mentor Michael Santos who served 26 years on a 45 year sentence. I asked Hopkins if he had ever heard of Santos since he had been down for so long, and most inmates have seen his books and literature inside prisons. He told me he had not, but he asked that I inform him about Michael Santos, which I did.
What was really going through my mind was you have a 30 year sentence, and by the looks of it, he was very comfortable doing his entire time inside prison. He was very sharp on surviving in prison, and I learned a few tricks from him, but his outlook on life was completely different than a person who was preparing himself to be a contributing and thriving member of society upon his release. I thought how in prison, I see many different characters, but I consider it to be 3 buckets of men.
1st Bucket- Reading, writing, exercising, discussing plans for the future, working on inner self. 10%
2nd Bucket- Fence straddlers. Part time doing things in the 1st bucket, the other half not. 20%
3rd Bucket- Given up on life. Content being imprisoned. Speaks of engaging in criminal behavior once released. 70%
*Percentage estimations are solely my opinion*
My first 4 days at the transfer center, I slept in my issued clothes, socks and shoes. I purposely slept on the top bunk with my back against the wall so I could see anything in front of me. This place did not let the mind rest.
On my 5th day at the transfer center, I was awakened at 3:00 a.m. with the sound of a flashlight banging against the metal door saying “Hudson, pack out, you are leaving in 1 hour.” Music to my ears! I was already dressed, and there was nothing I was going to take with me except pieces of paper I had scribed my journal notes on, and a few books I needed to have purchased.
I think I stood by that door for 45 minutes. I’ve heard very recent stories of guards getting busy with early morning transfers and forgetting some inmates by accident. No way in hell I was going to get left! The guard passed my room in route to somewhere else when he saw me standing in front of the small window. He gave me a confirming nod that he has not forgot about me, and he came back to set me on my way.
In closing, these are my final thoughts on legal human trafficking of inmates. Speaking from a personal point of view, I am in prison for a white collar crime that I am guilty of, but the Bureau of Prisons has PATTERN scores that rank an individuals recidivism level with a scoring system that I feel is actually beneficial. In summary, the lower your score, statistics show you stand a good chance to return to society and bode well. A higher score shows you have a tendency to do the opposite. My score is virtually 0, but the problem is while being trafficked on transfers, you are placed in units with men who have some of the highest scores for sometimes very violent crimes.
One “administrative remedy” I feel would be easy to administer is to allow for Low PATTERN score inmates who are in camps to be issued transfer furloughs and have their family come pick them up from the current camp and take them directly to the next approved location. If an inmate is deemed suitable for self surrender upon starting their sentence, then he or she should be deemed suitable for furlough transfers, as long as the inmate has not had any disciplinarian infractions to red flag their risk factors. When I inquired about a normal furlough transfer from Beaumont FCI to Texarkana FCI, I was told “we do not do furloughs in Beaumont.”
Furloughs saves the system money from expensive logistics, bus charters, flight costs, and housing costs. It allows the inmate who is still under custody the liberty of partial freedom which actually incentivizes inmates to do the right thing and make better choices. It sends a message to others entangled within the conviction web as to what is possible when one makes responsible choices. So many inmates leave prison with diminished social skills. Erasing the human trafficking factor for the right inmate population is a small, but viable step that is easily attained, and metrics substantiating my claims can be capitulated by doing a soft program launch in a specific region before casting out a national net.
I have a strong mindset, but that’s because I prepared like a maniac before self surrendering to prison. I took courses offered by Earning Freedom advocates, I participated in weekly webinars going over large and small details of what to expect and problems I might encounter. I spent countless hours in my local library studying The First Step Act and understanding programming for Earned Timed Credits once inside. I spent weeks preparing my Release Plan which proved beneficial, and I separated myself, with a great first impression meeting my case manager. I do not speak of those things to brag, but to say I anticipated a hard road ahead before I learned what I learned, and the road has still been difficult, but I felt prepared to handle any situation I encountered.
My deepest thoughts as to why inmates are trafficked through the system is not because of money the government makes off the humans cranked through it’s machine. Why would the government need money? They have all the money. It is about keeping their foot pressed down on the souls of men and women to systematically break there will, and force them to give up.
When the inmate is suppressed into submission, they tap out, and this equals a win for “The Bureau of Prisons”. They have gained a “repeat customer” for life. Maybe GENERATIONS…..