Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-01/10/2024-Journal #1

Journal Entry

Welcome to my Journal. I will be writing every few days from Lom Poc(POKE). Separately I will be writing a weekly blog about more significant matters, whether it be about prison life/needed reform, my journey to address my shortcomings and taking responsibility for my actions, to the justice system and reforms we desperately need. And anything else that comes to mind:)

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and reaching out to the fam for updates. I can only do one email at a time until I have everyone’s address and no copy/paste or spell check, so Betsy will copy/paste these for me every few days and forward to you. She will also upload to Prison Professors Talent on my page for me.

As I’ve heard from several inmates, experiencing what first time inmates like myself who self surrender is brutal and I can agree with that! The Prison system is a bureaucracy intentionally, and I truly believe what and how they do is intentional, though I don’t yet understand why?

Regardless, after a rough first 36 hours, I’m starting to get settled. The inmates are generally polite, and once they figured out I’m not a sex offender or snitch have been very welcoming. Everything is race based, and 50% Hispanic, most illegals enjoying a dumbed down/lower quality version of an All-inclusive resort but probably better than what they left home from. Poses a real challenge for the Bureau of Prisons if this continues, rest Hispanic to be 15% ten years ago.

Unfortunately for me, I’m in a low security facility that was just converted from a medium security, so a lot of medium security habits by the guards and staff. But I hear its not as bad as other low security ones like nearby Victorville. I just heard today this was the place everyone from Alcatraz was transferred to when it was shut down years ago, you can imagine what that means in terms of facility back then, let alone now. Good news is I hear my case manager and counselor for my unit are better than most which is good.

On day 3 today. it felt more normal, understood how to call and email, workout, shower, and make instant coffee in my room as none at breakfast:) Email is 15minutes at a time, and then break for 30 minutes, phone 15 minutes and then a break. Problem is really waiting for access, 6 phones for 220 people, so I pick times like breakfast or lunch or 2-3 when most people are out on activities or napping.

Cells are about 7×12 feet, with half the cell taken up by 3.5 feet wide bunkbeds with air mattresses. Then we each have a locker which is effectively a night stand 2×3 and 3.5 feet tall. Small old little sink and toilet and that’s about it. Amazing what my cellmate can store under the bed, between badland my mattress and wall and under storage cabinet etc.. 11 years of practice helps I guess…..

The Unit itself is 3 stories high, with 20 cells on each floor. There are two sides looking inward, with about a 20 foot separation between sides. The floor on the first floor is where everyone site, or looks down from their second and third floor 18 inch balcony and watches TV. We have 4 sections, Mexicans have their 2 TV’s whites , blacks, and gangsters from Mexico. Nobody better sit in another section that’s for sure!

Daily routine is coming into shape. Cell door opens at 6 am, breakfast at 6:20. I skip and make my instant coffee in the cell , make my bed, take my computer login papers and get on a computer for 30 minutes. Just like home, wake up slowly:) Then read for an hour. Then off to library from 8-10. Back to Unit, lunch at 11, rarely go. Everyone eats in 10 minutes and gets back to their unit. Then we either watch TV, get on computer/phone or read in cell. 1-3 is next movement time. I got the yard and workout as we have a nice half mile track and rockpile which they call our workout equipment. Basically lots of out door gym equipment, so rusty and built for outdoors. Shower at 2:30, then lockdown 3:30-5 and count they call it. 5 PM doors open and watch a little TV, lots of sports lately of course, dinner at 6, then TV/reading/email until 9:30. Doors lock and count at 10:15 and stay locked till 6.

Sunday made church service at 8 and was terrific! 4 person band, 3 guitars and a drum using a coffee table:) and the chaplain gave an encouraging message of based on Philippians 2:1-2. Ironically as Kip, my pastor, just sent me a quote last week on Philippians 1:17, but both basically address the Apostle Paul being incarcerted sharing the message of love, hope and being humble, just Like Jesus. I don’t think both verses were a coincidence!

We also had our first lock down Sunday from 12:30-2 as a gangster and Black guy got into a fight, annoying given it was the end of the first playoff game:) Turns out all the guys like sports, its on constantly, and there’s all kind of betting going on. More about prison currency another time! Amazing underground I’m learning about……

Today being Monday I got to experience the med lab and get a dental inspection which was a non event. Other than there is a holding area with 2 gates and they kept us standing for 90 minutes as the guard didn’t want to let us out for some reason, so we had 30-40 guys waiting for urgent care jammed together making each other sick as a result. Seeing lots of people getting sick last few days am I can see why given the sanitation standards. Just thankful I wasn’t here during COVID in 2000, locked down for 2 straight weeks, shower every third day, meals only in the cell as I’ve heard.

That’s if for Journal #1

Praying for Liberty and Freedom and to see my FAM BAM and friends soon BJ