Monthly Archives: September 2014

BCCBIC (Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center):Part 2

The officer walks me into an open area. To my right is a window with a CO behind it and a chair in front of it. Imediatley past that is a very small room followed by a row of pay phones. Across from the phones is the nurses center. Then on both sides of the walls are cells marked single cell until you get to the end of the hall. In front of where I am standing is a double doorway that leads to an area similar to the set up that I have just described, only it is about three times as big. It is the men’s side. There is a room connecting the men’s and women’s sides, it is the fingerprinting area.
The cop hands me off to a CO and says, “Watch her. She’s pregnant and ill.” She shakes her head as a sign that she understands and leads me into the room next to the window. There she somewhat strip searches me (although of any jail I have been to, this was the laziest, most half-assed stip search that I have ever been apart of). Next, she leads me back to a bench in front of where I just entered where I sit for about an hour, until I am called to have my fingerprints taken. Now, I go to the window where they do my property intake.mi am given a piece of paper to sign that lists what items they have taken from me, and that I am theoretically going to get back upon my release. There is a time printed on the paper. This time marks when my 24 hours start. This time, six hours AFTER my arrest. I was lucky too. I was able to be walked right into bookings. Often times, weekends, concerts, the Grand Prix, etc. there is a line to even get in the door. I know of many people who waited for anywhere from 2-8 hours to get in the door. Add this to the probably two or three hours they spent at the district police station, and the few hours that it takes once you are inside before your time starts.
Next, I see the nurse. After a 30 second physical. I am allowed to make my call. I call my mother. She isn’t exactly happy, but tells me that she will bail me out if I am not PR’d (released on personal recognizance). A guard yells at me to get off the phone, that my 30 seconds are up, and takes me to a cell. I walk into a cell that is marked that it is for single occupancy. There is probably 20-25 women in there. It is so tight that you literally can not shift positions without making everyone shift.
The next 20 or so hours tick by at a snails pace. Talking to the other women helps pass the time, but I am so sick that it is unbearable. One girl in the sell has ready, but no lighter. A girl in the cell across from ours has a lighter, but nothing to light. The chick with the ready tries to get the inmate who is mopping the floors to get the lighter from her, but he is too scared to do it.
The only other white girl in the cell is a girl about my age (21 at the time). She is in there for prostitution. She said that she is in there almost every week. Usually it is a walk through, meaning that you are arrested for something petty like trespassing or failure to obey police orders and are held for a day and then released without a charge. She was hoping that was what this was, but wasn’t sure as none of us are told our charges until we see the commissioner. She knew that if it was a solicitation charge there would be a bail attached and probably a high one. The city had started a crack down of hookers due to the fact that we had (possibly still have) the highest AIDS rate in the country. The mayor (Martin O’Malley) felt that the hookers were to blame for this. At one point she got into it with another woman because she didn’t want to sit on the floor. “It’s dirty. It’s gross!”, she exclaimed. “How clean theses dicks be that you suck all day?”, the other woman asked. “Well theses dicks get me ready. If this floor goons give me ready, then I ain’t got no problem with it.” You cannot make this shit up people.
At some point in the day, I guess lunch, we are brought food. There are no windows or clocks in booking, and they keep the ultra bright fluorescent lights on 24/7 to throw off any sense of time that you may have. Even if I weren’t puking every 10 minutes, I couldn’t have ate that lunch. Mystery meat all the way. I did drink the juice, so that I didn’t get too dehydrated. I traded my sand which for the apple. I figured that I should try to get something down, if for no other purpose but to throw up something instead of stomach lining.
Eventually, after about 20 hours, my name is called. I am going to the commissioner. So I think. I mean, I am, but first I am taken to another set of holding cells. These are for people about to see one of the commissioners. I think that they had 13 or 15 commissioners on duty at that time. I sit for about an hour and then am lead to a tiny, tiny room. My left wrist is handcuffed to the counter, and the door is locked behind me. The commissioner, a young black guy with long dreads, sits in an office on the other side of bullet proof glass. I can see my booking photo up on the screen (and what a lovely head shot that was too), along with a statement of charges that I have not yet seen. He slides me a copy of my paper work through a slit in the glass. I am being charged with possession of a CDS (not marijuana), which carries up to four years and is a misdemeanor. He reads me what the police said happen, most of which was lies. They said that the witnessed the event which was impossible because they were coming from the Edmonson Village Center, we were in an alley further past where they had stopped us. They hadn’t even gotten to where we copped yet. Also you cannot see into the alley from Edmonson as it is an L shaped alley. Also they said that I handed the dude the money, and that he then handed Aaron the pills. That doesn’t happen. The dealer always gives the drugs to the person who gives them the money. Often there will be four or five people in the car. The person who hands the money,mis probably the person who put up most of the money. You could just be giving. Ride to a stranger to cop, and here the dealer gives this person all your shit. No. If they did that and then the person in your car didn’t want to give you all your shit, you would not want to go back to that dealer. Also, they made no mention of the fact that my husband claimed all responsibility for the drugs. I told the man about these lies. He looked at me and dead panned, “You mean to tell me that the Baltimore City police lied in a charging document?” Ok, good point. He proceeded to ask me a few questions. Had I ever been arrested before? Yes. Did I have any open charges? Yes Was I on probation? Yes. Did I have any convictions? Yes any felonies? No. Any FTAs? No (although I raked up quite a few in the year that followed). How long had I lived at my present address? All of my life. He then told me that he was going to grant me a PR. I was ecstatic to say the least. I asked him if he was going to decide my husband’s fate. He told me that he was. I asked him if he knew what he was going to do, he told me that he didn’t know. I told him that I would greatly appreciate it if he would PR Aaron as well, because I didn’t know this side of town, and my car was impounded. He laughed and said that he would keep it in mind. Just to note, he did PR my husband. He then pushed a button to let a CO know that he was done with me. I am taken back to the cell that I was just in while waiting to have my bail set. After another two hours I, along with anyone else who has been PR’d, am taken to another row of cells on the ground level. This is where you sit for another hour or six while they run your name one last time for warrants and retrieve your property. I have known of a few people who have made it this far, to only then have their warrants discovered. If you were assigned a bail, youa are taken back downstairs to the cells that you were in before they took you to the commissioner cells. Only this time you are on the last cells in the line. Theses are the people waiting to go upstairs to get put with general population while you either wait to be bailed out or sit until trial or your release date.
Anyway, the wait while in the property cells in particularly long and excruciating. You can see the street. You have been told that you are to be release, yet here you stand. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, they call seven women, and one man (Aaron). We are let through a set of double doors after we sign for our property. Aaron and I are both sick as fuck, but happy to see each other. We hug and kiss and hold hands as we walk out the door. The sunlight blinds me, and even though I have only been locked up for about 30 hours total, it feels like it has been a week. We turn on my phone, and call my mom to come get us. I have made through hell and back.

BCCBIC (Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center): Part One

I have been through Baltimore City’s Central Booking twice, both for the same charge. The only way I can describe this place is hell on Earth. Literally. I honestly believe that hell must be more pleasant than BCCBIC. I have been through quite a few central bookings, and I have seen quite a few of them on various reality shows about jails. None of them even come close to be comparable to the atrocious conditions that exist in Baltimore.
Back in July of 2005, my husband and I were in town copping. I was pregnant and on the wait list for CAP (Center for Addiction and Pregnancy). I was told in no uncertain terms to not try to quite using heroin cold turkey. As bad as my habit was, there was a very real possibility that the withdraws could easily kill my daughter. (I did, however, quite using coke and crack the moment that I found out that I was pregnant). Anyway, we had copped from our usual spot, and the normal amount that we would buy as a gate shot, but the shit was just off that day. It was abundantly clear that this dope was not going to hold us long enough to go out boosting. We had $25 left, and needed gas. We knew of a spot off of Loudon Ave. that had sixes. We figured that we would get three of these, and still have $7 left for gas.
We pulled on to the street and found the dude with the shit and told him that we wanted three. He instructed us to pull into the alley. This alley is a L shaped alley, meaning that no one driving down Edmonson Avenue (which is a main road of sorts) cannot see down it. He came up to our car hit us, then hit the guy behind us. We pulled out of the other side of the alley onto the one-way portion of Wildwood Parkway (for theses of you who frequently read my blog, this was the same on-way section of Wildwood that we were attempting to give Gotti a ride to when we were pulled over and he left his loaded gun in my car). We pulled out and we forced to sit at a red light before we could turn on to Edmonson Avenue.
Before we had a chance to put the pills up, before we had a chance to blink really, there was a car blocking us in, and four Knockers at the car. The were ridding down Edmonson with their doors open, and saw two white people on wildwood and jumped out on us. “Why don’t you make it easy and just give it to us,” the one said. Considering that A) they were just in my husband’s hand and B) a lot of times when they talk to you like this, if you just give it up without a fight, they will let you go, my husband gave it to them, laughing with disbelief at the situation. “I like this dude,” the cop noted.
Instantly they pulled us both out of the car and cuffed us with zip ties. “You all just saved the white boy behind you,” they smirked at us, “we just saw him swallow his shit.” Fucking fantastic. “Those pills were just for me,” my husband pleaded with them. “Please don’t arrest my wife. She’s pregnant. I stopped without telling her. They aren’t her’s.” “You’re pregnant?”, one of them asked me. I stated that indeed I was. “Oh well, they should have you out in no time.”
They put us into the car with two of them, while the other two officers followed us in my car to the Southwestern District police station. As we drove by Loudon, we saw two more cops messing with the guy who served us and another dude. At first they put me into this weird ass bull pen, and then they moved me to a private cell in the back of the police station. It was really, really dark back there. I wasn’t there long before they yanked me out and took me outside and put me into one side of a divided paddy wagon. My husband was on the other side with the men. “Whoa, whoa!”, a cop started screaming, running out of the station. “She’s pregnant! You can’t take her in the wagon.” There are no dealt belts in the wagon, and they notoriously drive very erratically with the intent to throw the inmates all over the place. They pulled me out of the wagon, and put me in a cop car. “Do you need to go to the hospital?”, the officer driving the car implored. “Umm, does that mean that I don’t have to go to bookings? Or that that time counts as part of my 24 hours?”, I asked. “No,” he told me, “your 24 hours starts when we do your property intake, which wouldn’t happen until you get to bookings. After you leave the hospital.” “Oh hell no!”, I stated, “let’s go then.” (For those of you confused, very shortly prior to my arrest Baltimore City got into a lot of trouble with the FBI due to the conditions in BCCBIC. One of the biggest issues was hat people would sit for days before they were ever taken to see a commissioner. This meant days before they were told what they were charged with, and what their bail would be. By law, you have to be taken to see the commissioner within 24 hours, or they have to release you.)
So here I was, approximately 3-4 hours after my arrest, and I was just now headed to Bookings. It took us about 15 minutes to get to Eager Street. The cops pulled up and walked me in. Now, mind you that this was far from my first arrest. I looked around as I walked in, and all I could think was, “This is gonna suck. Be time.”

Continued in BCCBIC Part Two

The Dangerous Lie Told About Heroin And Heroin Users

First of all, before I start this post, I want to explain why I haven’t posted in awhile. Back in June, the basement apartment that my husband and I rent flooded. We had to have ServePro out, waterproof it, rebuild the walls that ServePro ripped down, tear out the ceiling. We then put in new lighting to replace the old florecent lights. We repainted everything. Last weekend we finished everything. Put together all of the new furniture, painted everything.
Due to the flood, the trip that we had planned to Ocean City had to be postponed. We finally took the kids this weekend and are still there now. Now on to the post.
There are many lies that go around about drugs and drug addicts. These are usually horror stories meant to terrify kids into never trying drugs at all. The problem is that they portray drug addicts as monsters that are not worthy of any compassion or even worthy of being treated like humans. Also, convincing kids (and adults as well) that the propaganda put out in the media by D.A.R.E. is factual information can be incredibly dangerous.
Let me give an example. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have heard that you are addicted to heroin the very first time that you try it. This is of course not even close to being true. I think that I probably had done heroin on and off for almost a year before I started to get ill. I took a break for about a month or so in that time, and was slightly dope sick, but it was so mild that I just thought that my mattress was bad. (I couldn’t sleep and my back was aching. I never associated this to lack of heroin, and I didn’t get high during that period, so I never discovered that dope fixed it.) the reason hat this lie is so dangerous, deadly actually, is that it gives people a false sense that they are stronger than heroin. They do it once, twice, ten times, and they are fine. Hey are not sick, they don’t crave it, they are good. Since they have been told for as long as they can remember that heroin is some sort of Herculian drug put by Satan himself that hooks you after one bump, destroying your life, turning you into a drug addicted daemon, they feel like they are super-human to be able to do it and not get hooked.
Let me be very clear, you will not be addicted after one use. It tricks you. You get comfortable thinking that you are too strong to get hooked. You will though if you keep using. It is not a matter of some people are not able to get physically addicted. It is true that some people have addiction genes and will become addicted faster than others, but it is a drug that causes your body to become physically dependent to it. You need it to function.
Another lie is that people turn into some sort of Manson disciple, a Devil worshiper who will fuck anyone for cash, rob their mother, kill old ladies all for their next fix. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that there is an addict out there that does not regret things that they have done either while high, or more likely, in order to obtain said drugs. For example, I used to go boosting. I have a extensive criminal record to prove this. As a woman who has been both molested as a very young girl and then raped by my alleged best friend at the age of 16, I was simply not willing to sell my pussy for a high. I have been offered many, many times, but it was just something that I will not do, and I never did. Also, I never used guns ever. Never robbed a bank, held up a gas station or liquor store, never pulled a fun on someone. Actually, I don’t think that I have ever even touched a real gun (you know not a BB gun). Yes, we have a problem, but we don’t loose all traces of our moral compass.
Next lie, we do not leave our children home alone for days on end, left to cook their own dinners at the age of three. My children are almost nine and almost six. Neither of them have EVER been home alone. Also, neither of them can even heat up soup in the microwave let alon cook for themselves. I usually stayed home with them while my husband copped, unless we had a babysitter that we trusted, like my mom or his parents. This is not Breaking Bad. That is not the norm. I know of many addicts who gave custody of their kids to their parents if they knew that they were too addicted to properly care for their kids at that time. Ok, yeah, you can point out that they did not care for their kids themselves, but that is not a good way to look at the situation. It is far better to realize that you have a problem that would prevent you from giving your kids the kind of care that they are entitled to. Most of these parents are still very much involved in the lives of their children’s. They just are aware enough to know that their parents or siblings would care for their kids better at that time.
There seems to be a great deal of misinformation that comes out about recovering addicts. One is the idea that certain rehabs can “cure you” of addiction. This is a concept that is put out there by rehabs. For example, Passages in Malibu, the famed rehab of Lindsey Lohan and other stars. The commercial features the founder of Passages saying, “I used to be an addict, but now I’m not.” No, you are, sorry to break it to you. There is a reason we are called Recovering Addicts. Your brain has been forever changed by drugs. You will never not be an addict. You ca stay clean and sober for the rest of your life, but you will be a clean and sober addict for the rest if your life. It is noxious to make people think that they can spend $30,000 at a particular rehab and bam, be an addict no more. This is detrimental in the same vein as telling people that heroin hooks you after one use. It gives people a false sense of security. If you convince people that you rehab has rectified their “issues”, falsely allows addicts to think that they can get high once or twice without repercussion. Cured of your addiction would mean they the neuro transmitters in your brain have gone back to the way they were before the drugs changed your brain. Unfortunately, your brain never goes back to normal. You cannot be cured. Sorry.
On the flip side, there is far, far too many people who forger treat recovered addicts as though they are about to rob them at any second. I fully appreciate that it takes a little while for a loved one who battled addiction to earn back the trust of their family and friends. The thing is that perception far too often becomes reality. If three years after a person has been sober they are being treated like a criminal, like a “drug addict”, it can often take a person who is struggling with their sobriety and give them an excuse to use again. Basically, if everyone thinks that I am nothing more than a junkie, no matter what I do, I might as well be a junkie. We often give up trying to prove people wrong. Especially if nothing seems to convince them anyway. Especially if they are struggling with severe cravings.
Lies that are told over and over again seem to turn into truths. This is detrimental regardless if it is about addicts or about gender or race stereotypes.

Fire

I can see your fire burning
Open your eyes
And I’ll show you mine
Reach into your deepest corners
Bring about darkest desires
Oh baby, oh baby
I’m much darker
I see you everywhere I go
Far back in the recesses of my dreams
I know that you are there
Somewhere
I never knew the flames inside me
Could burn so hot
You bring about my pain
My pleasure
Everything that I never knew I wanted
You’ve got my heart with you
Did you let me hold yours too?
Burn through the night
With me
Will burn out together