As you can imagine, prison is full of many unhappy people. Many prisoners hold anger and resentment towards family, friends, attorneys, prosecutors and judges. They want to blame someone else for their situation. I also hold some anger and resentment as well. However, it is not directed at any third party, I am angry with myself for making the choices I made that placed me here. I am working through my self-resentment one day at a time and it is slowly fading from my mind.

Being angry with yourself or others brings stress, tension and depression. As a result, I live in a stressful environment comprised of depressed individuals. Trust me, this is not a happy place! Over the past 20 months, I have witnessed several prisoners boil over and reach their breaking point as they could no longer restrain their anger and frustration. I have seen a prisoner break a phone after receiving bad news over the telephone. I have seen a prisoner read a letter, climb in to his bunk and cry for an hour. Things that happen in the outside world have a bigger impact on me and my fellow prisoners as we have no control over any outside situation and have plenty of time to sit and think about it.

Last week, a prisoner, “AA”,reached his breaking point. AA was close to finishing a long drug sentence and had 5 months left to serve. He received some very bad news that pushed him over the edge. First his sister was murdered by his Brother-in-law who later took his own life. Next, his spouse filed for divorce. This was too much for AA to handle. He went to work off compound and got into an argument with his supervisor. His supervisor told him to get into the work van as he was taking him back to the compound. He went nuts. He kicked the side windows out of the van. (destruction of federal property). Corrections officers were called to pick him up. When they arrived, a physical altercation occurred. (assault upon a federal officer). AA was taken to the local county jail that serves as a SHU for our camp. Two hours later, Corrections officers had to pick him up from the local jail as He had assaulted the local deputies. (assault on a police officer). He was then driven to Tallahassee Federal detention Center that has a proper SHU for dangerous prisoners.

Instead of leaving prison in November, AA is facing new charges and the loss of his good time. He could get an additional 5 years for his actions, and serve that time at a higher security institution. AA is suffering the consequences of reaching his prison “Breaking Point”.

Ken Flaska.

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