Journal Entry: Jeffery John Okeefe-08/14/2023

Journal Entry

To stay current with my journal entries, I will be doing one every day, and as time and mood permit I will backtrack to those first few days in prison where I failed to make any journal entries. Those earlier days’ journal entries are important because they will give insight into where I was at the beginning of this whole, devastating experience.

Today is Monday, August 14, 2023. I stayed home from working in the sewing factory (textile plant) today because I am having some pain in my right hip which was replaced almost 10 years ago. I went to the medical clinic Friday morning at 6:00m to be seen by the medic on duty, who told me it looks to be a hip sprain, but that my primary care nurse would see me sometime next week for a follow-up and probable x-ray. I haven’t really been in much of a mood to work at my .26-cent-an-hour job anyway. The plant manager is typically hot or cold, being nice to employees one day and treating them dismally poor the next. But after all, were just inmates and should not really be afforded much decency.

Prison is a very lonely and isolating place. It’s a place where you are constantly waiting for something. Waiting for a call to chow, or to recreation, waiting for your unit team to hold a team meeting to give you some hope, any kind of hope, waiting for a call for the next 5-minute outbound or inbound move, so you can go anywhere, the library, the chapel, the medical plaza to get your pills or prescriptions, you wait to see your health care provider, a dentist, an optometrist, etc., You wait for the Correctional Officer (CO) to call your name to say you got mail, any kind of mail a letter, a postcard a subscription, just a friendly note from anyone asking how are you doing? You wait for God to answer your prayers and provided just some small semblance of relief from the isolation, loneliness, and despair.

Every day a few inmates I’ve gotten to know always check up on me to make sure I’m ok. I appreciate that a lot and always try to return that gesture when possible. I know I’m not the only one living this quiet life of desperation, others are too.

Yesterday was Michael Santos’s (Author of Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Prison Sentence) 10-year anniversary of his release from prison. I commend him for that achievement and am striving to do even just a little of what he has done to get me through my own sentence, with some dignity and self-respect.