October 22, 2014

In the last three years of my stay in prison I’ve never been harassed by guards so much until now. Ever since I was placed in this cell isolation unit and made to wear this jumpsuit, guards stare at me more, make rude disrespectful comments, constantly stopping me on the yard to and from class or chow to frisk me, ask me what I’m doing, why I’m on cell isolation, making more comments in an attempt to get a of me. Being recognized and labeled as a trouble maker by prison staff is something I’ve spent my entire sentence working hard to avoid, following every rule, disconnecting myself from nearly everyone within the system in an attempt maneuver through my sentence with ease. Upon my arrival back to the unit from horticulture one of the guards working was asking me if I had any drugs on me, taking a deep breath, sighing in frustration, pausing before saying something stupid I simply said I haven’t used, touched, or even seen drugs in over three of the most productive years of my adult life. Fortunately for me that’s all it took from me to get this particular guard to believe me because she also worked in my previous unit from time to time, knowing that I was always in my cell staying out of trouble. The guard even knew about my blog and asked me if I was still writing in it. Of course I told her how important it is for me to continue writing even now more than ever with these trials and tribulations I’m currently being faced with. I told the guard that it was most likely my medication that caused a false reading for T.H.C. , she told me that she used to work for a probation office and it was so common for a person on my medication to test positive for T.H.C. that it was almost guaranteed to happen every time. What really blows my mind is how a guard with zero knowledge or experience in the medical field knows more about my medication causing a false positive then the doctors in here, or any other prison official for that matter. Why isn’t this kind of information more openly shared between parole, probation and prisons alike? What’s even more worrisome for me is the greater possibility of this happening again in the near future. Now that I’ve had one urine screen test positive I’ve been flagged by the system. The prison is more likely to give me another urine screen, probably after my ninety day sanctions are over with, at which time I have no doubt that I will test positive again and every time after because of my medication. The next positive urine screen will be double the punishment, two weeks in the hole and six months on cell isolation. This is very stressful for me, knowing what could be in store for my near future and the fact that I don’t deserve any of this. The only thing that sets my mind a little at ease is what the guard said when she told me the probation office she worked for already knew of this occurrence with my medication. I only hope that my probation officer will have this same knowledge and information upon my release from prison, alleviating me of one less concern for my future freedom and success.

Steven Dybvad

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