Uploaded by chase fukuoka 61.
Uploaded by chase fukuoka 61.
Frog Gravy is a nonfiction incarceration account.
Inmate names are changed.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
McCracken County Jail, Spring, 2008
Christie has been denied drug court for her nonviolent drug-related charges, and issued a 24-year sentence. Her treatment denial was based on one of three counties wanting her to do time, rather than engage in the rigorous monitoring of drug court.
Drug court is not a joke, nor is it a get-out-of-jail-free card. The person must be employed, and available for drug testing on the spot, at any given time of the day or night. The person calls on the telephone, twice a day, to report to a counselor. In-court meetings are required, as are, I believe, twelve-step meetings. Drug court is time-intensive, and heavy with documentation. In order to be considered suitable for drug court, the candidate must plead guilty to her crime, and must agree to serve a lengthy sentence if, for some reason, she fails to follow the rules to the letter.
Here are ten essential components of drug court, from wiki:
The 10 Key Components
Drug Courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing.
Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety. Participants must waive their due process rights to a speedy trial and sign a pre-emptive confession before being allowed to participate.
Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the Drug Court program.
Drug Courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.
Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.
A coordinated strategy governs Drug Court responses to participants compliance.
Ongoing judicial interaction with each Drug Court participant is essential.
Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective Drug Court planning, implementation, and operations.
Forging partnerships among Drug Courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations generates local support and enhances Drug Court effectiveness.
Drug court is notable in the inmate community for what happens to inmates who relapse. They can end up serving more time than they ever possibly imagined, more time than killers, even. For this reason, some inmates who truly want to get clean and sober, but who have a tendency to slip and slide during this process, will choose to do the time instead. I have seen some spectacular drug court failures. Inmates who get served out on a sentence behind drug court failure consistently report regret.
There are also some wonderful drug court success stories. Here is the site with more information. People who successfully complete the rigors of drug court often become mentors in the recovery community.
Shortly after Christie was denied drug court, she was shipped to prison, and while I was happy that she was going to a better place than the jail, her departure broke my heart. Never in my adult life had I been close to women, but in this disaster situation, I came to love Christie (and Tina) like sisters. Later on during my incarceration, after my fake release on parole, Christie, Tina and I will spend time together in prison, at PeWee Valley KCIW.
I cried when Christie left. Such is the nature of incarceration. You exchange the most intimate details of your lives with each other and then….poof. They’re gone. After a while, you learn not to get too close to anybody. People may think that you are arrogant, but really, it is a simple matter of self-preservation.
After Christie leaves, I keep to myself and write. This morning, I did some standing-in-place exercises. Then I read Wisdom 3:1-12. For breakfast we had eggs, one slice of toast, cream of wheat, sausage and half a banana. I write everything down, inane, meaningless stuff, to keep from coming apart with grief. For lunch we had chicken, one slice of bread, corn, peaches and cole slaw.
Harry is screaming for help from his isolation cell and I am having difficulty focusing on my notes.
One time, Christie and I fashioned chess pieces out of scavenged paper scraps from the cell. We drew a chess board onto the steel table with a bar of soap, and then we played chess. That made my day.
A while after Christie departed, she wrote me. Inmates are allowed to write each other, but I have not been allowed to contact Christie since my release on parole (I asked my officer about this). I miss her, and so I have her letter, and I read it over and over, even now.
She starts with: “What the hell? How come you haven’t wrote me yet?”
I have an answer. The answer is, it is just too painful. All of this. It’s just too much.
Anyhow, I did get a kick out of her description of some of the men who responded to her trick ads:
…some interesting individuals- one in Oregon, NM, Colorado, Maine- is very interesting. He is a marathon runner. Speaks Italian and French- very smart. One from Texas. He looks like he came straight out of that movie “Revenge of the Nerds…”
In prison, Christie, Tina and I discussed Frog Gravy at length. This memoir would not exist without these two wonderful women. Disaster brought us together. Disaster taught each of us a little more about love, and how it feels to lose something that matters to you. It is probably safe but sad to say that disaster taught us each a little more about being women. And I am grateful for the lesson.
Today my husband and I got on our bikes and rode into town, to pay our bills and visit the unemployment office. Due to the unchanging climate change, it is possible to ride bikes all over town, in the dead of winter, and so today, we did not leave our carbon footprint on the earth. At least for a while.
No one will hire me, even to make sandwiches, because of my record. So I wrote Frog Gravy. But that’s another story. Today I read the classified section of the local newspaper, and I saw a horticulture job advertised, and since I got straight As in Horticulture while I was in prison, I figured, well, I’m perfect for the job. So, I made a planned stop at the unemployment office. The place was packed. And dead silent.
After I filled out all of the paperwork explaining my whole life, and after my husband finished paying bills, we met each other on our bikes and began our homeward journey.
I ride a Mongoose with a kickstand and a rusted chain that I bought on sale at Walmart one time. It’s yellow. Yeah. And he rides some kind of a Raleigh dueling-suspension for lack of a better term, road bike. Or maybe it is a mountain bike, but anyway, I got that one from Goodwill one time. It’s silver. Uh-huh.
So, we’re riding down the street in downtown Paducah, just a stone’s throw from McCracken County jail, where I was once a guest. All of the sudden, my bike just stopped dead. It was as if someone chocked the tires, in mid-cycle.
Stay with me here, this is the truth. I nearly flew over the handlebars. Here is what happened: A one-gallon-sized zip lock plastic bag had entangled itself in the, what’s that thing called? The derailleur. It bent…listen to this…It bent the derailleur, and placed the thing over the top of a spoke in the rear tire, without bending the spoke.
So much for my bike. The wheel won’t budge. We are miles from home. Crap like this only happens in my life, it seems.
Anyway, along came a man named Bill, straight from God, he was, and Bill gave us a ride home. Thank goodness. We need more kind people in the world like Bill! Thank you so much, Bill. We will do our best to pay it forward and we will never forget you.
I may look for another bike at the recycle center, where I plan to take my ruined bike.
So that is why I did not write a Frog Gravy today. You think that’s funny, do you? Yeah. Laugh it up. There’s more. Our African Grey parrot knows it’s gonna be Spring soon. So, his internal clock went off, and he is, once again, sexually active. Thank goodness he is bonded to my husband’s hand and not to me.
Have a look at this video. Laugh yourself sick. Also, if y’all are into prayer, somebody please pray for me to get a job soon. Thanks!
Click on this cool link below.
Video under 2 minutes How to do CPR on an adult.
NOTE: This addresses adult CPR.
From CDC is a statement about one of the major changes in current CPR practice:
“Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a leading cause of death among adults in the United States. Approximately 300,000 OHCA events occur each year in the United States; approximately 92% of persons who experience an OHCA die (1). An OHCA is defined as cessation of cardiac mechanical activity that is confirmed by absence of signs of circulation and that occurs outside of a hospital setting (1,2). While an OHCA can occur from multiple causes (i.e., trauma, drowning, overdose, asphyxia, electrocution, primary respiratory arrests and other noncardiac etiologies), the most (70%–85%) of such events have a cardiac etiology (3–6).”
Please take a moment to view the video. Cardiac arrest is most commonly due to a cardiac-related event, but it can also be caused by trauma, ingested substances or a variety of other issues. A witnessed cardiac arrest can increase survival chances.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, nor do I represent the AHA, CDC or any other organization. I do have CPR and ACLS experience. I welcome feedback and shared experiences.
Here are some steps to take. These steps may not be in the order that you would first consider.
1. CALL 911 or call for help, and do not endanger your life, ie, enter a burning building.
2. The guidelines are now C-A-B and not A-B-C. Circulation is the first priority. Airway clearance is next, then breathing facilitation. In other words, chest compressions and blood circulation is now the evidence-based first-response standard of practice.
These guidelines are from wiki, and are American Heart Association based: Read the section!
1. Check the scene for danger, but if you cannot remove the danger, carefully remove the victim form the danger.
A few things need to be added here. [hat tip cmaukonen]
First if the situation is do to electrical shock, DO NOT TRY TO MOVE THE VICTIM OR TOUCH THE VICTIM UNLESS YOU ARE SURE THE VICTIM IS NO LONGER IN CONTACT WITH THE SOURCE OF THE ELECTRICITY.
Check out the area completely ! Make sure the area is not wet. Water conducts electricity fairly well.
If the area is dry, then attempt to locate a non-conductive pole, either wood or plastic that is dry and attempt to move the source of electricity. And kill it at a main circuit breaker if possible.
Remember it’s the current that kills !
2. Check the victim for consciousness: “Can you hear me?” or “Annie, Annie (or whatever the name) can you hear me?”
3. Call 911 in North America, 000 in Australia, 112 by cell phone in the EU (including the UK) and 999 in the UK. CALL FOR HELP.
4.Check the victim’s pulse. Do not spend check for more than 10 seconds, attempting to find a pulse. If the victim does not have a pulse, continue with CPR and the next steps. Please read manual.
5. Perform CPR for one minute (which is about three cycles of CPR) and then call the EMS before resuming with CPR. If possible, send someone else to get an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) if there is one in the building. CPR=chest compressions.
6.Remember CAB: Chest Compressions, Airway, Breathing. In 2010, the AHA changed the recommended sequence to deliver chest compressions before airway opening and rescue breathing
Steps 7-11 in wikihow detail how to do the chest compressions.
Here is the site again:
It is good to be up-to-date, because the American Heart Association makes changes to CPR every five years or so, and the changes are evidence, study, and data-based.
(added by author: AED- automatic defibrillator device- will examine the patient’s rhythm, and verbally tell the person performing advanced resuscitation when to shock, based on the rhythm.)
Cardiac arrest is classified into “shockable” versus “non–shockable”, based upon the ECG rhythm. The two shockable rhythms are ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia while the two non–shockable rhythms are asystole and pulseless electrical activity. This refers to whether a particular class of disrhythmia is treatable using defibrillation.
Signs and symptoms
Cardiac arrest is an abrupt cessation of pump function in the heart (as evidenced by the absence of a palpable pulse). Prompt intervention can usually reverse a cardiac arrest, but without such intervention it will almost always lead to death. In certain cases, it is an expected outcome to a serious illness.
However, due to inadequate cerebral perfusion, the patient will be unconscious and will have stopped breathing. The main diagnostic criterion to diagnose a cardiac arrest, (as opposed to respiratory arrest which shares many of the same features), is lack of circulation, however there are a number of ways of determining this. Near death experiences are reported by 10-20% of people who survived cardiac arrest.“
I thought it would be nice to do something akin to a ‘See-One-Do-One-Teach-One’ series of helpful topics for the lay public.
Frank Lloyd Wright:
Frog Gravy is a nonfiction incarceration account.
KCIW PeWee Valley, 2008-2009
Do not be fooled by the term. ‘Jailhouse lawyers’ are sometimes, in fact, attorneys or paralegals. At the very least, jailhouse lawyers are knowledgeable about criminal law and criminal procedure. Jailhouse lawyers aid in civil matters as well, and they are invaluable assets in the inmate population. In prison, the jailhouse lawyers have probably received some formal training, and their client advocacy and work product often surpasses that of outside lawyers. I remember reading one remark out of the Court of Appeals, where an inmate was arguing incompetence, and the court pointed out that his pleading was more articulate than some of the things they see from real lawyers.
My first goal, on arrival at the prison, was to pursue legal training so that I could help fellow inmates in producing various legal pleadings. I viewed inmate legal assisting in prison as roughly akin to ‘ditch medicine’ from a legal perspective, in that I could envision no better place to get legal experience than in the trenches of prison. Unfortunately, the legal aid training program was eliminated shortly after my arrival.
People who cannot afford to retain counsel, and that is almost everybody, receive court-appointed counsel for the handling of their cases. The public defender lottery is hit and miss. Since public defenders handle many cases, and many egregious cases at that, they do tend to have the best experience. That they handle so many cases, however, can lead to ineffective assistance of counsel.
The right to counsel on appeal ends when the direct appeal has been decided. Then, to pursue the state habeas (in Kentucky this is called a RCr 11.42 Motion to set aside the conviction), which generally amounts to an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, is something that each inmate must do without counsel. Most inmates, many of whom cannot read or write, do not have the faintest idea how to do that. That is where the jailhouse lawyer comes in.
While the appeal is pending, the jailhouse lawyer may function in the capacity of a legal adviser.
Jailhouse lawyers at PeWee helped me file some open records requests. I wanted to know, for example, if the Commonwealth was hiding an exculpatory blood test. I was initially told that the lab in Kentucky sent my blood to a lab in Pennsylvania. This was the same thing as being told that the Commonwealth did hide an exculpatory blood test. Later, the lab frantically retracted the statement, and after that, my open records requests for bench notes, Fedex shipping requests, and for police procedure for handling evidence were summarily denied.
Still, I was grateful for the help and amazed, given the tiny law library that the legal aid department had to work with, at the quality of work that the inmates did do in prison. In the beginning, I mistook the jailhouse lawyers for prison staff. Inmate attorneys in prison maintained honor status and held coveted jobs, as well as the best of dormitory housing.
One inmate lawyer was shy and studious in a way that made me initially think she was condescending. After getting to know her better, I got the impression that she was chronically depressed, and sick with remorse for her crime. She was a teacher, who had taken a young student to Mexico, with plans to marry him. This did not sit well with the boy’s family and so, she received just two years more than I did: ten years. At some point, she appealed to the higher court for sentence leniency, but her appeal was denied. She is free today, after having served 85% of ten years.
The other inmate lawyer who was extremely well-written and articulate was serving time for murder and had been in prison for twelve years when I arrived. While I did not interact directly with her in the legal aid department, I admired her intellect and her strength. In my first job on landscape, she was my boss, and it was several weeks before I realized that she was an inmate. One day, she came before the parole board for parole. The board deferred her for twenty years. Her voiced concern on receipt of this devastating news was for her family.
I was so shocked at hearing of such a lengthy deferment that I asked my friend Christie (from McCracken) about it. Christie told me that here, in prison, I would likely see lengthy sentences, life sentences, and deferments that would amount to life sentences.
In the prison setting, jailhouse lawyers are the last bastion of hope for inmates who seek conviction reversal, and they are the go-to lay experts on ineffective assistance of counsel.
Given that in-house training programs are disappreaing due to lack of funding, where does this leave the indigent, the illiterate, and the mentally ill incarcerated?
The Supreme Court recognizes the importance of jailhouse lawyers:
The term can also refer to a prison inmate who is representing themselves in legal matters relating to their sentence. The important role that jailhouse lawyers play in the criminal justice system has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has held that jailhouse lawyers must be permitted to assist illiterate inmates in filing petitions for postconviction relief unless the state provides some reasonable alternative.