Here We Go Again

by Jay Goodman

In the federal detention in Youngstown Ohio, at first, I must admit was a breath of fresh air compared to the 15 1/2 years I didn’t Texas, or the five months I just served in the Ohio state prison for parole violation. But that would quickly change. As I had written in my last chapter, I was hoping after all my years in the craziness of the Texas prison system, I would be moving to a place that would hopefully be a step up. And in some ways it was, at least when it came to licking us down because of the COVID-19. This place has the attitude of they didn’t care about what everyone was saying on the news. After my quarantine I was moved to a cell block with around 100 prisoners. My cell he was from New York, he was good people which was a blessing. If you have someone that’s got some sense in the cell with you, that alone is a major accomplishment. If a man goes to the rec yard or to the day room, it’s much easier to avoid crazy people. But when you are in a small sell with someone that’s an idiot, now that makes life almost impossible to deal with.

My new cellie and I drank a cup of coffee, and he informed me on how the cell block was run. In federal prison everything is divided, there’s black tables, white tables, Hispanic tables, if there’s any other nationalities such as Native Americans, Asians, or any others, they usually just get in where they can fit in. It’s the same thing with the cells. Whites live with whites, black with blacks and so on. To the normal person reading this it probably sounds like a bunch of racist people. But truthfully, it’s hell down on a lot of fights because of the differences between the races. Plus, I would soon see everyone can pick the person they want to live with. Which also held down on fight between cellies. In the Texas prisons a lot of fights happen between cellies, because Texas forced men to live together that didn’t get along. Texas will say you were in prison which I understand. But one would assume every prison system would want to hold down on the violence. I cannot begin to tell you how many assaults, stabbings and murderers I’ve witnessed over my 15 years in Texas between men who live in the same selves together.

So why not allow two men that get along live in the same cell together? It makes perfect sense. So, I applied the federal prison system for making the decision to hold the violence down. My cellie also told me that this cell block was really laid-back. That over all the different races got along really well. Which is another blessing, because there’s nothing worse than trying to live in a cell block where there is constant violence. With a good cellie, and the good news about my new cell block. I was feeling good about my new situation. But no matter how great things are going, it’s still prison and at any given moment things can change.

Even though I already know this, I must admit I wasn’t ready for what was about to come. After putting my stuff away, I went to the day room and called my daughter and cousin. By now the dinner trays were coming to our cell block, after everyone got their trays the officer was helping the other guard pass out the food in the cell block next-door. When all hell broke loose, a man on the second floor ran out of his cell and started attacking everyone around him. At first the people walking around with caught off guard. The people that knew him kept saying what’s wrong with you? But others were saying if this guy makes it down to the first floor, I am going to kill him. Several men ran to their cells and came back with homemade knives. I now this guy came downstairs in around 10 people began attacking him. Once he fell down, they began kicking him, when he was almost unconscious, one guy walked over and stabbed him in his head. By now the officer finally saw what was happening but was too scared to come back in the cell block. When the ranking officers in around 10 other guards came running in, they saw the sky trying to get up covered in blood. When the ranking officer tried to help him, the prisoner hit him in the face.

Now all of the staff attacked him. If this guy had nine lives like they say a cat does, I am pretty sure he lost around six or seven by now. Once again, he was beat almost unconscious. The guard handcuffed him then they dragged him away. They locked every one of us down, once in our cell, I asked my cellie, “what the hell just happened?” He informed me that the guy had smoked some K2 and freaked out. He said that there had been some K2 inside the prison for a few weeks and a lot of people have been having bad episodes on it. He said one guy became so delusional after smoking it that he would hide under his bed until the K2 wore off. Several people had been attacked, stabbed, or almost been killed from smoking this K2 he went on to tell me. I told my cellie how bad K2 was in Texas, we sit there and talked about the damage we saw K2 cause. It’s always amazes me to see the damage K2 has caused over the last 10 years inside the prison system. I was hoping that the federal prison system would be different. As happy as I was to be out of the Texas prison system, I would soon learn that the Federal Bureau of Prisons was corrupt as well. I was also praying that this would be a step up from the violence I just left. But I will soon learn that the drug business inside here was much bigger than Texas. The gangs, the drugs, and the dirty guards were everywhere. I couldn’t help but think, here we go again.


The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez