Randy Halprin

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January 2015

Randys Journals

1/24/2015
It´s been a while since I've been exposed or witnessed someone being gasses.  In terms of use of forces by the guards on inmates there havie been few and  far but mainly because some of the new types of chemical agents they use  are a heavy deterent. From what I've been told it is like being hosed dawn  by napalm. One guy they call
" Big Country " was gassed last year and said  his nuts were on fire for three days. THREE DAYS! So, I was a bit surprised  at even the effect from a good 40 yards had on me...But I really was pisses at how it all went down.

Apparently last night Scott Panetti, a documented paranoid schizophrenic and a guy who not long ago recieved a stay of execution for that  very reason  had an episode and accused the guard of giving his mail to another inmate.  Words were exchanged and the guards accused Panetti of threatening; her.
So, the next day officers showed up to take him to F-Pod, where they house  inmates for disciplinary reasons. He refused to come out of his cell.
So, the use of force team was called into action. Now, protocol is for  the Ranking Officer in charge to give orders to the inmate to submit to a strip search and restraints ( handcuffs). By all accounts, at this  point Panetti - began to get naked and go through the strip search. After  he put his boxer shorts on he placed his bible on the food slot before  submitting to handcuffs. The use of force team considered this an act  of aggression and began to hose him down with the chemical agents...
I thought the justification was complete bull shit. A freakin' bible.  Now, I'm no holy roller and everyone knows that part of Panetti's schizophrenia is rooted in biblical grandeur and delusions. I testified to this
point years ago on behalf of his legal team. He just wanted to take his bible  to F- Pod with him and there was no justification in gassing him. Period.  To be quite honest, it pissed me off.
So, that was what went down today. But here's the thing...it is really an indictment on how they handle people with psychological disorders back her and in prison in general. It is a joke. The Psych Department is a joke. When they're having a major, incident with a person with mental disor  they are supposed to have someone from the psych department come down and  try to talk to the individual;see what the issue is and calm them down and  find a non aggressive solution to the problem. They NEVER do this. It is a recipe for disaster, especially when the officers, that work here have no training whatsoever in dealing with the mentally ill.
 Most of them are young and cocky and think it is a game. Lets wire up the crazy person! I remember while waiting on my trial in Dallas County Jail back  in 2003 and there was this guy down the hall who would wrap himself up in
toilet paper and mumble to himself all day. The guards thought it was cute  and funny and so they would poke and prod him sending him to nonsensical frenzies. Then one day he pulled out his own eyeball. Really funny stuff,
there, assholes... This is a pet peeve of mine. My brother suffers from  schizophrenia. I am a functional depressive...I've looked in the face of illness and fortunately, I was able to somehow ground myself and
and pull myself from the brink. I take these things personal and wish society
especially American society would stop treating the issue like a big fucking joke  and do something to address the problem. Ih the free world, in prison.

Peace


1/29/2015
Geeze what a beautiful day! I came in from being outside and Jesus Harold
it was awesome. 77 Degrees? In January? The guy I was outside with
wanted  to play basketball and I was, as they say, down to boogie and we ended  wing 60 games...
Unfortunately, I lost-34-26...I was on a roll, but couldn't finish the job. Really, aside from the horrible , defeat, I just  couldn´t believe how picture perfect the weather was. It was a dream.  I´m going to sleep good tonight!

Peace

1/30/2015
I was a bit surprised to see Ms. Cox today. She's a Salvation Army minister  who has been seeing inmates for well over 30 plus years. One of the great  things about her besides her passion and compassion for prisoners is that she is not the preachy type. She leads and lives by actions and if that  brings you to the 'Lord' then great but she's not going to judge you or condemn you. The world needs more people like her.

She typically pulls me out about once a month. Usually the first week. I  had already seen her the beginning of January so to was a surprise. The previous visit she had mentioned that the Salvation Army was letting her go...She was fighting the decision, but today it looks like it was all but  a done deal. I understand their ( Salvation Army) decision because she's  in her 90's...Yes, 90's!!! I though, she looks and moves around with the  energy of someone half her age and they can't be responsible or liable  should she get in an accident etc. while working in the capacity of the SA.  I mean, it's the logical thing from a business sense. I don't think anyone  she visits is comfortable with the idea of her traveling alone from Dallas to Livingston either so I understand and honestly, now, every time I have
accepted a visit from her I do feel some sense of responsibilty should any  thing happen to her. It would make me feel like crap. So...I get it. But  this is her passion, her life's work and she truly feels she can't be replaced  and probably she can't! Who on earth has a legacy like her? The dedication?  I know the guards think she's probably mental and that the guys she's visited  just see her because they want some food and a soda from visitation, but the  truth is many of us have contributed to her cause and help by donating books/ comics etc or even money from our own account to help pay for her trips.  Every year I make a donation to the Salvation Army in form of toys/books  for kids at christmas. I don't disclose that to toot my own horn, but it's  because of the love and kindness she's shown ME. I didn't even begin to visit  her until me and my ex split...I was really depressed and up until that point  I had turned down any attempt by any minister to visit/talk with me. But  she caught wind of our separation and requested to see me...I can't put into  terms what that visit did for me. How do repay an act like that?

So, these are her last visits, I believe and she will be sorely missed. While her visits will be missed, her energy and encouragement and the belief that all of us here have a redeeming quality to us, she will most definetly live on in our hearts and souls. She will be missed.

Peace


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