I had a discussion with a corrections officer this week about how dirty federal prison seems to be. He stated that the first thing He does when He gets home from work is to take a shower to “wash off prison”. I explained to him that I do not have that luxury. When I step into a prison shower it has trash, hair and bodily substances all over it. I do not feel clean when I step out of the shower. To be frank, the showers are disgusting. If you are a clean freak, you would have a difficult time in this environment.

Washing Off Pensacola Federal Prison Camp

Washing Off Pensacola Federal Prison Camp

Not only is the physical environment unsanitary, so are many of the prisoners.

They engage in conduct that many people in the real world would find undesirable. Last Monday, I experienced a full dose of such behavior. In the morning before work, I was sitting in the nearly vacant television room watching the news. A gentleman sitting behind Me kept sucking mucus through his nose at about 80 decibels. After five minutes of listening to the disgusting sounds He was emitting, I concluded I really did not want to watch the news. At lunch, I encountered more disgusting behavior. I was eating and a prisoner was walking between the tables and He sneezed (without covering his mouth) all over my arm and tray. As you can imagine, lunch was officially over!

Later that evening I came back to my housing unit and a large man was sitting in my chair talking to one of my cellmates.

No big deal except this man was covered in open sores on his legs, arms and neck. He either had shingles or some type of staph infection. I left immediately. Later I returned with chemicals from the bathroom and cleaned my chair. There are nasty infections in prison. A gentleman who arrived in Pensacola with Me has had some type of infection since last August. (10 months). He claims to have had 17 rounds of different antibiotics and He is still sick. He has open sores on his neck and face. No one wants to sit near him at meals or in the library. As you can imagine, I go through allot of hand sanitizer!

My “gross out” Monday concluded with me brushing my teeth over a sink covered with hair and the guy standing next to Me blowing his nose into the sink.

I deal with all of this by telling myself that this is simply part of the punishment I must endure for my actions. I realize, some day I will go home and wash all of this away.
Obviously, I am getting excited about my anticipated departure date from prison. Unfortunately, my anticipation seems to affect the passage of time as the more excited I get, the slower the clock seems to move. I guess I am like a child waiting for Christmas. The more you anticipate it, the longer it takes to arrive.
Waiting for early Christmas!

Ken Flaska

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