When I Wore Blues
My Time at Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility; Part I
I was 25-years-old when I was arrested. Before that, I grew up a normal life as Kylee Darryl. My parents, Carla and Don, divorced when I was eight-years-old. I moved eight times by the time I entered high school. I prided myself on consistently maintaining straight A’s in school, and I managed to receive the “President’s Award for academic success,” which a student can receive only in their sixth, eighth, and twelfth grade years, in my sixth and eighth grade years. I did not receive it my twelfth-grade year because I received Highest Honors and a student can only receive one of these awards. I was liked and had a lot of friends, and their parents loved me because I was a good influence. My mom worked a lot to provide a well-off kind of lifestyle. I had boyfriends, I went to parties, and I basically had a normal childhood. I was told I was your “All-American, girl next door” type during first impressions. I was your normal blonde hair, brown eye girl, and I thought I had so many possibilities for my future. Then I met my high school boyfriend, Derrek, who was 21 when I was 16-years-old. He and I were together for five years and in those five years he mentally, emotionally, and physically abused me for about three and a half, almost four years, out of the five. I never thought I would be one of those women. What I mean by that is, I never thought I would stay in a relationship after the first abusive move toward me. When I watched Maury, and saw the women in abusive relationship, I always thought they must be weak and stupid to stay in that situation. Until I was in their shoes. Finally, after five years of abuse, I got the strength in myself to leave Derrek and moved back in with my mom.
A couple of years after the break up with Derrek, I was in another relationship. This was a great relationship. His name is Scott and he and I ended up getting married after dating for about a year and a half. When Scott and I started dating, everything just seemed to click with us. We were connecting on a completely new way. We spent all our time together. I moved into his apartment after dating for less than a month. Everything was going wonderfully until one day. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment and offered our second room to Scott’s work partner, Roger AKA “Animal.” I had noticed some changes in Scott’s behavior for a few days, one of those behaviors being that he would go over to Animal's room, first thing in the morning and be there for like an hour. I decided to follow him over there and see what’s up. I ended up finding the two guys sitting on the edge of the bed facing one another. Animal was looking at Scott. Scott was hunched over with a piece of tin foil in one hand, a lighter in the other, and a straw in his mouth. As soon as they figured out that I had opened the door, Scott had a shameful look on his face. I had no idea what they were doing so I walked into the room a bit further, looking at the configuration of items once again, and asked of the guys, “What are you guys doing in here?” Scott hesitated a moment and then responded, “You… you don’t know?” Scott and I never had an issue with being honest with one another about anything so, I was shocked he asked that and wondered if it was something I should know about. Nonetheless, I did not know at this point what was going on, so I replied, “I have no idea…” Scott took a deep breath and sighed before saying, “We are freebasing heroin.” I was once again, shocked. But I knew I could not show my shock in an outward fashion. Instead, I simply nodded my head and said, “Oh… I see. Can I try?” This put Scott in an awkward position. One thing I had told Scott about Derrek was that he never “allowed” me to make my own choices and decisions. Scott wanted me to be me, but he also wanted to protect me from heroin and its black hole of pain and ecstasy. Scott explained to me what withdrawals were and why he did not want me to try it. However, in the end, he let me make my own decision.
I grasped the straw, or tutor as we called it, and Scott held the foil on a slight angle in one hand, and in the other hand he lit his lighter. The flame from the lighter was placed under the piece of foil. On the foil just above the flame was where a piece of black tar heroin sat. When the flame of the lighter was hot enough, the dope slowly began sliding down the foil. As the dope burned and slid down the foil, smoke would escape and flow up the straw, through my lips, and filled my lungs. I took a small hit because I was unsure how I would react. The taste of the heroin as soon as the smoke entered my mouth was horrendous. I could not fight the look of disgust that appeared on my face. I held the hit in as long as I could, blew the smoke out, and quickly took a drink of Coke. The next thing I know, I fell into the bottomless pit of heroin. The overwhelming and completely engulfing pain that comes with the withdrawals from heroin are what kept me shackled to the drug and using it every day, all day long, for about three years. Even though Scott tried to warn me, there is no way to accurately describe the level of pain associated with withdrawals until someone experiences them for themselves. Most of the time I was constantly high; there were only a few times that I went into full withdrawals due to lack of use.
After about two years of using, two years of joining methadone clinics and failing to get clean, Scott and I decided that the only way for us to get clean was to leave our home and move across the country where we had no connections. So, we left California and went to Florida. Within a week, we discovered that our new neighbor used oxycodone and he hooked us up because we were uncomfortable. From that day forward, oxycodone (i.e. “blues”) was our replacement drug for the unobtainable black tar heroin, while we lived in Florida. After a year in Florida, getting addicted to a new drug and becoming homeless, we decided to go back to California and my mother, Carla, said we could stay with her and my step-dad, Bob, while we got back on our feet. Once back in California, Scott quickly got us back in the swing of things. It was me that decided that I wanted to get a little celebratory “dub” ($20 worth) of heroin. Although we had been gone for a year, we knew where to look to get dope. We decided to drive up and down the coast. This area is especially known for drug trafficking, especially heroin. We drove around for less than a half hour before we came across someone who looked like a heroin addict. We talked for a few minutes and then we made our connection. We were in the dope again. However, this time, continuing to make money was not as simple as before. This time our tolerance grew quickly and the amount of money we needed to make daily to support our growing habit was becoming impossible to maintain.
The day I was arrested was a rainy day in November 2011. I was living in a hotel with Scott, and our dog, Dubs. We had built up a tolerance during our last five-month run, and were now free-basing roughly ten grams or more of heroin in a 24-hour period. This way of using heroin is when you smoke the piece of dope on tin foil. This allows for the drug to be inhaled. Scott and I were set on never shooting up. The ten grams we smoked a day cost us a total of eight hundred dollars a day! On this rainy and cold day in November, we had run out of tar and we had no more money. We were desperate and so we contemplated doing something we thought we would never do. At eleven o’clock in the morning, we packed up our truck with all our stuff, checked out of the hotel, and started driving. Silently we went over our limited options: theft or prostitution.
When the police arrived, I was numb. I was in complete shock from the start. Immediately, Scott and I were separated. This is the man who I have not been away from for more than a few hours for the past five years. I knew that in this moment, he would be taken from me and I would not be able to hold him, touch him, kiss him, hold on to him for security. It was also in this moment that I was fearful that because we had committed this crime together that the court would force us to divorce. We sat at the scene for what seemed like hours. The entire time I was in tears and unable to process the current situation. As we drove away from the scene, I knew this was it, this was my rock bottom. I was oddly grateful, because jail would allow me and the husband the ability to get clean.
My first moments in custody were horrible. From the moment the police arrived at the scene, I was extremely cooperative, respectful, and soft-spoken with the officers. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oceanside Police Department Officers were condescending, unprofessional and rude. When I was arrested, I was originally taken to the sub-station in Oceanside, to be questioned and to await transfer to Vista. This sub-station was freezing! Granted, when the police arrived at the scene I was head to toe soaking wet. When a person is completely soaked, and are inside a cold facility, that person is going to be extremely cold. My lips, at one point, began turning blue and my body shivering out of control. Numerous time, I asked the officers to bring me something, blanket, towel, jacket, etc., to no avail. Since I was soaking wet, I thought that they would bring me something to stop possible hypothermia. I was wrong. After asking repeatedly for something with no response from anyone, I asked one final time and I was denied. When I asked why the response I got was, “You don’t like it, then don’t break the law.” Now I agree, I broke the law, but at this point in time, the officers should have been treating me as if I were innocent because of the, “innocent until proven guilty” part of my rights. So, I would consider this denial of something to aid in reducing possible hypothermia, a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Honestly, what does this officer gain by making me shake uncontrollably, by making me turn blue, by making everything unbearable? There is no reason to treat people that way I do not care if they are law abiding or breaking.
Another example of the unprofessionalism of the Oceanside Police Department, was during my transfer drive from the Oceanside sub-station to Vista Detention Facility. This is a drive I have done many times before and it should take about fifteen to twenty minutes and is a mixture of surface street and freeway driving. This drive in the police cruiser was unsafe to say the least. It was clear to me, from the moment the officer placed me in the backseat of the cruiser, that this officer had a real need to show off and express to me what kind of power he as an officer had. Once in the cruiser, I sat with my hands cuffed behind my back, sitting without a seatbelt, on a hard-plastic bench seat, completely soaking wet. As I sat there, the water constantly dripped off my wet clothes and onto the seat which caused a puddle of water to accumulate under me. This puddle caused me to slip and slide all over the back seat with every twist and turn as the officer drove erratically and regularly exceeded the speed limit. While he was speeding on surface streets, he was asking me questions about being addicted to heroin. I was polite and answered the questions I could without revealing sensitive information. The drive that should have taken us about twenty minutes, was less than ten minutes.
At Vista Detention Facility (VDF), the officer parked and escorted me in to begin booking. When I entered, I saw Scott sitting and his officer standing in front of him. I was able to sit next to Scott. This area was where the doctor saw all the incoming inmates to obtain any medications needed and/or prescribed (for us it was our time to inform them of our drug addiction, so we could get medication to help with withdrawals), a urine sample is given, you take your mug shots, and then you are given your wristband and then you are escorted, by your transferring officers, to either men or women holding cells. While we waited to see the doctor, the officers stood there talking to us. Their behavior was extremely power hungry and head strong. One even bragged to Scott and I about shooting an unarmed man seventeen times, and he was proud about it. He even said that the family was stupid for attempting to sue for wrongful death and police brutality. After about twenty minutes, we were processed, separated, and taken to our gender specific holding cells. This is where my story begins.
As I entered Vista Detention Facility's holding cells, I passed through a one-way door that led directly into a holding cell. I was the only one in this cell. Soon I would realize that I was the only female inmate intake for roughly four hours. Immediately after I walked into the first holding cell, the officers told me I had a $50,000 bail, which means the bond would be $5,000, and asked if I would be able to make bail. I was shocked at the amount. As a matter of fact, I was just simply in shock of the situation, I was not fully comprehending the situation at this point. So, I laughed and said, "no, probably not." I sat on the bench that was wrapped around the entire cell. As I was still shivering uncontrollably, I attempted to pull my legs into my shirt to try and get my body temperature up. The officer on duty noticed I was still wet, shivering, and that my lips were blue still. She kindly came over and opened the cell saying to me, “Darryl! Since you're going to be here for a while, let’s go ahead and get you changed into blues and out of those wet clothes. Hopefully help you warm up a bit." I was taken aback and unsure if I could trust her kindness. Thus far, all the officers and staff had been treating me like I absolutely was already guilty. This officer was different. She saw me as a person. She saw that I was wet, cold, and tired. However, I was unaware that changing out meant that I was about to have to do something that I was not prepared for.
The officer pulled me into a room filled with shelves filled with blue clothes organized by size. She led me in first and then she pulled a curtain closed behind her. I quickly figured out what was going to happen, I was getting strip searched. As I looked around, I felt like this room was an odd place to do a strip search. I don’t know why; I always assumed that a jail would have a closed off, private room, specially used for cavity/strip searches. This was a closet. Am I to assume that all police officers are not creeps and that they would never put a camera or spy in on this room somehow? That is a lot of trust that I am supposed to have and honestly, I don’t.
As the officer closed the sheet curtain behind her, she told me to go into the farthest corner, turn and face her once I was there. As I turned to face the officer, I saw her grab pants, “granny panties” underwear, a training bra, and a top for me. With my new attire in hand, she turned toward me and said, "okay, remove all your clothes and place them over to this spot.” I began to remove my clothes and she continued with instructions. "Once your clothes are completely removed, I will search your person. I will look in your mouth, your belly button, your ears, and then once I am done checking the areas up front, you will turn around, bend at the waist, reach back, and spread your buttocks apart. After that is done, you may get dressed into your new clothes. As you are dressing, I will search and bag your clothes and put them into storage. Okay?" I have always been a private person and I also have body images issues, so the process of having to remove my clothes in front of a strange person, and then on top of that having to do the horribly embarrassing cavity search, was complete torture for me. I could literally feel my entire body warm as a blushed and became extremely uncomfortable. Once that horrible experience was done, the officer pulled back the curtain and told me to exit the closet-like room, to walk over to an adjacent wall, face the wall, and await her arrival with further instructions. I did as she asked. Once the officer arrived at me spot on the wall, she stood across the walkway from me and said, “when you walk anywhere under guard, place your hands inside your waist-band and when an officer is approaching you while you are walking the halls, turn and face the wall. Always stay on the right side of the lines that are found on all the floors. I am going to enter in some information into our system while you wait here. I will return with your court date and place you in a holding cell. You will wait in your cell until we can get a CT scan of your chest to rule out T.B. Unfortunately, our radiologist is currently on his lunch/dinner break, so the wait will be at least an hour. Once your scan is done and reviewed, we will place you in a cell within a pod. Do you have any questions for me at this time?” My mind was very cloudy at this point, I was not thinking clearly, and I was very much in shock over the situation. So, my response was that I had no questions.
I was originally arrested on the scene at eleven in the morning. I was driven from the Oceanside sub-station to Vista Detention Facility around one thirty in the afternoon. I finally got my CAT scan done around six in the evening. Finally, at one in the morning, I was awoken from a restless sleep on a cold cement bench seat in a jail holding cell, by a new female guard calling out in a loud, powerful voice, “Darryl!” I jumped awake, quickly sitting up and giving my attention to the guard even though I was still somewhat asleep still. “Get up,” the guard ordered, “you’re getting housed.” This being my first time having any type of contact with police, let alone being in jail, I had no idea what the terminology was. But it was rather easy to deduct what this meant. I stood up, tucked my shirt into my waist band and my hands right after, as instructed by the last guard. As I exited the holding cell, the guard checked my wrist band and then handed me a brown paper bag. Inside the paper bag was a plastic bag filled with toiletries, an extra pair of underwear, a white sheet, a green sheet, and a blanket that was loosely knitted and full of holes. The guard instructed me to grab the bag and to turn and follow her.
The walk was long and confusing to the cell block I was calling home for the time being. There were endless turns and countless hallways and an elevator ride all within a five-minute walk. Finally, we arrived on the block; north side block “N.” As we entered, there was an open space, immediately as you walk in there is a bin that had mats that were roughly two inches thick by five feet long, as we walked by the guard instructed me to pick one up. From there the guard walked me roughly another six feet where the guard tower was off to the right and on the left, there were bullet proof glass windows and metal doors for each of the pods that were labeled alphabetically. At this point, I was instructed to stand on the wall that was part of the guard tower. I stood there for a moment while I was checked in and the pod guard informed the deputy walking me in, what cell to take me to. After a moment, I was escorted into the last pod, “N.” As I walked through the pod’s metal door, there was a paper bag that was right by the door on the outside; as I looked in I saw it was filled with female sanitary pads. The main room for each pod is called the Day Room. It consists of metal octagon tables, I believe there were eight to ten tables, and each table had metal stools, all of which were bolted to the cement floor. On the left side is where “N” pod was connected with “O” pod. In this corner, where the pods met, is where our showers were; one on the main floor and one on the second floor. This is also where the deputy doors were located that allowed the deputies to their hourly checks through the pods. We walked across the Day Room and walked straight toward cell number thirteen. The entire cell was rather quiet as I entered my cell. As I entered the cell, I quickly walked in and then heard the door slam behind me. I quickly took note that there was no one else in the cell, however, the bottom bunk already had a bad mat on it. I did not want to start off my time by choosing the wrong bed. I threw my mat up onto the top bunk. I looked around the cell. There was a metal door with a thin window. To the left of the door, was the sink/toilet/faucet combination which was on an angle in the room. On the adjacent wall, right next to the toilet was the bunks. As you sat on the bunk, across from them was a metal table with two metal stools attached to it. Finally, on the wall across from the door near the ceiling was a thin privacy window. Every piece of furniture was within arms-reach of another piece.
After getting my mat on my bunk, I just wanted to sleep. I was in withdrawals and I was away from the other half of me, Scott. Nothing felt right about today, especially this moment. I quickly figured out there was not a ladder or anything to aid in climbing up to the top bunk. I went into my paper bag and grabbed my sheets and blanket and put them on the bunk. The entire pod felt like they maintained a consistent temperature of 66 degrees, so I was cold as could be. Then I stepped up on the stool and used that as a step up to the top bunk. I folded one sheet into a pillow, grabbed the other sheet and laid it on top of me and then the holey blanket on top of that. I pulled the sheet and blanket over my head to try and dim out the florescent light just above my bunk.
My first night was the worst. The florescent lights are never completely turned out so that the guards can do bed checks more easily, I was up and down all-night vomiting because of my withdrawals, and I could not figure out what time it was because the windows do not allow day light in. Around three in the morning (I am guessing), I became fed up with jumping down so many times to vomit and I determined there was no one who was currently in the cell other than myself. With this determined, I grabbed my things, including my mat, and took over the bottom bunk. This provided me to lazy ability to lay in bed and vomit in the toilet simultaneously. As disgusting as this sounds, withdrawals completely drain every ounce of energy from your body, leaving you unable to lift your head or even find the drive eat.
Each day, I learned increasingly about jail life and how it worked. It was all about scheduling and order. Between four in the morning, the lights were turned on and the guard would announce over the intercom system, which was in each cell and in the day room, that it was time to wake up. Shortly after that, roughly thirty minutes from the wake-up call, breakfast was delivered to the pod. This is when the pod trainees—the inmates that have been accepted into a program that allows them to perform jobs for the jail/guards and in return they receive a small income of $2 an hour as well as an amount of trust and respect—take over and disburse a meal to each inmate. After the food is disbursed, the inmates can eat in the day room or go to their cells. After breakfast is over, around eight in the morning, the inmates are put on lock down until lunch. Lock down is when the inmates are confined to the cells. Lunch and dinner run the same way and after each meal there is a period of day room freedom when you can play board games, cards, watch whatever is on TV, or talk with other inmates. Things are completely different once I am taken to Las Colinas.
For the first week, I was too weak to even participate in attending meals. Luckily, at Vista, this was not an issue. I simply just slept my days away. On the third day of my jail stay, I had court. That day, after lunch a group of us were pulled out of the pod and lined up in the middle area by the guard tower. Here we were patted down and then led through the endless hallways, to the court holding cells. These cells were even more disgusting that normal holding cells. The women have three cells and we had about fifteen of us jammed into each one on this visit.
“Darryl”, a guard called out for me and a couple other women. I quickly stood up and walked to the holding cell iron bar door, as the guard opened it and told me to face the opposing wall. Once all the inmates were out and against the wall, the guard locked the cell back up and walked us to the attorney box. This is where each of us were provided a few minutes before going into court, with our court appointed attorney or our private attorney. I spoke with mine and at the end of the conversation he leaned in and said, “Scott is on the other side of this wall. You guys can hear one another through that door. But he said he misses and loves you.” I was caught off guard, but I was so happy and excited to hear his name. My attorney disappeared, and I quickly jumped from my seat and took the two steps to the door between attorney rooms. I put my ear to the door and waited. Suddenly I heard him, “Babe? Are you there?” “IT’S ME!” I nearly yelled out to Scott. I was giddy. I was so excited to hear his voice. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“I am, I’m hanging in there. Kicking sucks!”
“Yeah I know. I miss you, baby, I just wanted to say that.”
“I miss you too, hubby.”
“I don’t want us to get caught by the guard doing this, so that we can keep doing it whenever we have court, so I love you and I’ll see you in court wifey.”
“Okay, babe. I love you more! See ya.”
Shortly after ending our conversation, the metal door opened, and a guard called out, “Darryl, time for court” and I stood and walked out the door and stood facing the wall. The guard gave me instructions, “Okay, step through these doors when they open. Wait there until the other set of doors open. Another guard will meet you and walk you to the court room. Any questions?” I shook my head, no. I stood against the wall with my hands and feet spread as the guard checked me for court and then sent me on.
While in court, the judge increased Scott’s bail and lowered mine, before setting our next court date. The women inmates that were being housed in Vista were taken back to their pods after every five inmates had gone to court, so I was lucky enough to go back to my pod after court.
I fell into the routine rather quickly, although I did not eat really anything because I was constantly throwing up everything I ate or drank, and I was sleeping pretty much all the time. However, after about a week, I got the strength to finally take a shower. I decided to shower first thing in the morning. The shower had no door and was in the front of the pod so that you were still visible from the guard tower. The shower water was released by hitting a button and it would only run for about thirty seconds, and it released freezing cold water. I grabbed my toiletries bag and noticed that everything in there was basic and probably would not work properly. Nonetheless, I had to shower. While I was in the middle of my shower, I heard a guard approaching. You could always hear the guard's foot steps followed by the jingle of their keys on their hip. I did not pay any attention to it because I did not think that what was about to happen would ever happen. As I was completely nude and washing my body and hair, the door that connected the two pods opened and a guard came through. I was completely shocked and all I could think to do was to attempt to cover up my personal areas. As I covered my breasts and groin, the male guard coming through the connecting door looked over to me and said, “hi!” lightheartedly before continuing with his walk through. I quickly finished my shower, got dressed, and returned to my cell. I was mortified that the guards could do whatever they wanted here, because…who would believe me if I complained about it? Not to mention that if I did, the guards are like a brotherhood, they all have one another’s back, so I am sure I would be mistreated somehow. So, I decided to not say anything.
I stayed in the custody of Vista Detention Facility for ten days. During that time, I was shocked at how helpful, understanding, and caring the other inmates were towards me. I am a very quiet, introverted person. So being in jail all alone, I was very uncomfortable, and I was coming off heroin, so I kept to myself. By the second day, the inmates were stopping by whenever we had dayroom time to come check on me and hope to get me out of my cell. It was completely different from what you see on TV shows, or from how people describe jail being. Trust me, it was no walk in the park, but the inmates I did my time with were very sweet and seemed to just be women who made dumb mistakes.
After my first week in jail was behind me, and I had been to court twice, I was finally settling in. I was given medication twice a day for three days to help me manage my heroin withdrawal symptoms. The medication just allowed me the ability to sleep, I still had horrible nausea and vomiting from the beginning, but my pain was manageable. After the medication was done, sleeping all the time was impossible and my vomiting and nausea remained. I was still unable to keep any food down, so I was very weak. However, I could not stay in my cell, and just my cell, for any longer. So I made my way out to the day room and took a seat at one of the metal octagon tables. At first, I was alone. I sat and just watched TV for about twenty minutes and then I got light-headed and had to lay down. For the rest of the day, when we were not on lock down, I would go into the dayroom for a little bit at a time. Eventually a few girls and I started talking and they would even come to my cell so hang out, so I could stay on my bunk and lay down if necessary. We would sit and just talk like we had been friends for years on the outside. It was so nice to be comfortable enough to connect and talk with people.
One day, while we were on lock down, the guard on duty in the tower must have been bored because he got on the intercom that connected to each cell in our pod and said,
“Hi, ladies. I am bored. Does anyone want to talk?”
I was shocked. However, my celly (what cell mates are called) and I had been talking and having a good time, so I was in a good mood, a lighthearted mood. So she and I started joking about the situation. Every couple of minutes the guard would come back over the intercom and repeat, “Hi, ladies. I am bored. Does anyone want to talk?” After the fifth time of this guard asking to talk to someone, one of the inmates responded, “What would we have to say? Why are you trying to talk to inmates anyway?” To which he replied, “I know you must be bored too, and I just want to talk. I am really bored, ladies. No tricks.” Obviously, nobody believed him. However, I had to mess with him, so I said,
“Okay, so what’s up?”
“Hey! Nothing…what’s up with you?” he quickly replied. You could hear the smile on his face.
“Nothing, obviously, chillin’ on a metal hard ass bunk. You?”
“…yeah, I guess that was a dumb question. This is just awkward, I guess.”
“So… who am I talking to?”
“Hahaha… I’m not going to tell you who I am exactly. You know what cell I’m in and that is all that you need to know.”
“You don’t trust me?”
“…Dude, no matter how you slice it, right now, you’re a cop and I’m an inmate.” I could not tell if he was serious about the trust question, but I responded with the truth.
“True. Well, my name is Deputy John Effin. You don’t have to tell me who you are, I get it, but I just wanted to introduce myself.”
“Nice to meet you, Deputy Effin.”
“You can call me, John.”
“So, do you have a boyfriend?”
It was then I realized that this guy was actually trying to connect with me. He seemed very sweet, but I was joking with him and plus I have a husband. As soon as Scott popped into my mind my heart dropped and reality hit me. He and I are in jail. Are we even going to stay together?
On our third day in custody, after we had gone to court, when I went back to my pod, I grabbed a few sheets of the jail provided mail writing paper and started writing a letter to Scott. It was while I was writing that I decided to write a letter to Scott every day that we were apart. I also knew that even though Scott and I were being housed in the same facility, the mail still most likely had to go through the United States Postal Service instead of going directly to him, so I called my mom and asked her to send him an email when she was putting money on my books (“putting money on the books” means someone who is on the outside uses a credit card to deposit money into an account for the inmate specified to use to purchase phone time, food, toiletries, etc.). When speaking with my mom, she told me that Scott’s dad had called my mom, and he told her that Scott had asked for his ex-girlfriend’s phone number. This was that last thing that I heard about Scott, and I did not receive any piece of communication from him while I was in Vista Detention Facility.
When this all came to mind while I was joking with this officer, I instantly thought about how police will attempt to turn people against one another when there are multiple people involved in a case. Remembering this, I kept strong for the remainder of my time at VDF and my response to the guard was interrupted by another inmate deciding to make a move on the guard. I was happy to not have to continue with that conversation.
On my tenth day in custody, I had about four or five other inmates in my cell, visiting with me. We were having a great time, laughing, talking, when suddenly, the loud sounds of our laughter were interrupted. We all could tell the intercom had come on and a name had been called out. We just could not make the name out. One of the inmates that was in my cell called out, “Who Dep?” To which the guard replied, “Darryl! Roll up.” I was filled with happiness and then I thought about what the deputy said. "Roll up"—that meant I had not been bailed, I was not going home. It meant I was being transferred. I called out, “Roll up, Dep?” “Yes, Darryl. Roll up. You’re going to Las Colinas.” My cell was filled with screams of joy. These women were over the moon happy for me. I, on the other hand, nearly burst into tears. The girl I had become closest with, Les, leaned over and said to me, “This is a good thing. You’ll be in dorm living, with a yard you have daily access to, and classes you can take. It is a much easier time.” I looked up and smiled at her, still fighting tears when I said, “but my husband is here. He is right on the other side of that wall.” It was then that everyone understood my sadness. Together, the girls gathered my belongings and helped me carry my paper bag filled with clothes and candy my family sent me, and my mat to the end of the pod. Les asked the guard at the door, “Can I please put her mat away for her. She has been coming down from heroin and still is very weak.” To which the guard replied, “Sure. Thank you.” After Les put my mat down, she walked toward me as I was walking toward the wall and placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “Hang in there.” Leaving those girls was hard; they really helped me out a lot and they were very sweet.
This is when my real jail experience begins.
TO BE CONTINUED…