Journal Entry: Michael Kidwell-11/17/2023

Journal Entry

9 days in the “Zoo”

Some of you reading this will be able to relate: I do not look forward to the weekends at all. Weekends here are slow arduous days. Weekdays have a nice rhythm and seem to tick by fairly well but the weekends… they slow to a miserable crawl.
I am starting to put together a routine but as of right now they still haven’t done A & O (Orientation) so I can’t even get a job yet and they aren’t sure when they are gonna do it. I have signed up for a couple of FSA-credited classes that will start next month and 1 ACE class. I go to N.A. on Sunday nights and so far that is the highlight of the weekend. I really enjoy the open candid sharing in a 12-step meeting. It feels more like freedom in that room than anywhere else here.
Yazoo City Low 2 is a “Low” security prison pretty much in name only. It is housed in a “converted” medium prison so it is all razor wire and fences and controlled movements and slamming steel doors. Three huge grey concrete buildings 4 stories high house 1400 inmates. I have started spending my mornings in the Education building. There aren’t any classes for me to sign up for but hopefully, if I hang around enough I will end up with a job there. The library is small (very very small) but I have found one other person who is actually pursuing his 3rd college diploma. I spend my mornings in that classroom reading because it is decibels quieter than the cell block.
I have asked my family to help me sign up for Upper Iowa University. My friend says it is a great school and works well with our situation. It also sounds like they have changed some laws and we are eligible for Pell grants.
The commissary here which is normally a bright spot for inmates is a chaotic affair. The list is very small compared to the other places I looked at online and the “OUT” of stock items take up an entire page and include things like Tablets, MP3 players and watches. So my only activity when Recreation is closed is reading. I finished a sci-fi book called Red Rising that was pretty good and I just finished On The Road by Jack Kerouac – It has inspired me to try and embrace this journey more by writing more of what I see. Hopefully I’ll have some good stories to pass on to you soon. Until Next time – take care and be well.