From: Solitary Watch
The following comes to Solitary Watch from inmate Brandon
Green at Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta One facility. The facility
currently holds 91 inmates in solitary confinement, including the
state’s death row. Green has been in isolation for five years, after a
brief period released from prison before being rearrested. He has been
corresponding with Solitary Watch since February, and has been a
prolific writer, chronicling his harrowing experience in isolation. He
has described his situation, and the challenge of expressing his
situation, this way: “I told my cousin that it’s like he and everyone
out on the street is building a life, a “house,” while we sit holding up
the roof to our past “houses” as it slowly just crumbles. How does one
who is busy building understand how it is to just sit and hold up a
roof? They can’t.” The following is a sampling of his writings. –Sal
Where to begin? How to begin? One fellow captive described Uinta One
as a vortex. It just keeps sucking you in. My first experience of
solitary was in 2004. I was around 21 years of age. I was put in a
shower in handcuffs as they searched my cell and I slipped handcuffs
from behind my back to the front, then was unable to put them back when
ordered to. Thus solitary. My first taste.
I remember crying a lot at first. At night mostly, as the night crept
up on me. My neighbors would want my cookies from my white sacks. And
they offered all these colorful pills. “Green to sleep, red to wake up,”
they’d say. So I fished off my cookies under my door to my neighbor so I
could sleep instead of cry.
I remember paroling in 2006 after I’d done two stints in solitary. My
mom picked me up and just to hear the music on the radio gave me cold
chills. Being so long without music. Mom took me to a restaurant and we
sat down to eat. I got nervous because of all the people, hopped up,
went to the car and waited for her as I listened to music. I sat
paranoid looking in the mirrors at all these people coming and going
from their cars to stores and back. I felt like…like a bad guy. Outlaw.
That no one will know what it was like to sit alone for so long with
just my thoughts.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t imagining my moms “just cried out face” as
she hopped back in the car and drove us home. “How could he,” she
probably thought “after all that time. Does he hate me?”
“How could she,” I thought, “after years of eating all alone, how
could she not know I’d be nervous.”
Neither understanding. Both blaming
the other while feeling guilty ourselves.
It’s been almost five years since we’ve spoken.
I sit going on five years straight in the hole. A sound of buzzing
comes from my exhaust vent because I place a piece of paper there to
create sound. My door is plugged off, with white sacks, except for a
small place at the bottom to allow air and mail. I go through these
periods of extreme abdominal pains, blood shot eyes, dizziness because
of my Hepatitis-C. I’ve not shaved or had a haircut for almost five
years. I do not leave my cell unless guards do a search or I get blood
tests for my disease.
My knee is pulled because of overexercise and pacing. To pace, then
turn, then pace, then turn, really screws up the knees after a while.
We have these sandbags surrounding our doors so we cannot fish. Bugs
get trapped under these and set up little colonies and infiltrate our
cells. Most of these toilets do not flush correctly and most cell
toilets stink with green moss inside the bowls. Most air vents are
clogged and one can taste the city exhaust smoke as one chews ones
Just this week, a captive was antagonized by a guard. The captive
requested mental health. Was laughed at (at his door and over the cell
electronic speaker). He snapped, took all his “fish oil” medications,
pulled his cell sprinkler then proceeded to swallow the metal sprinkler.
He’s been gone days. Probably in section four–suicide watch.
Section one is death row. Sections two and three are general hole,
intensive management unit. Section four is suicide watch with an officer
in section 24/7 with 15 minute checks. All other sections have hourly
Uinta One tortures 96 people in all. 8 sections of 12 a piece.
We cannot see out our doors into the sections because of a metal window
flap that is clipped on. Month back someone swallowed a window clip.
Some captives have been known to stuff shampoo bottles up their ass.
Shove staples in their penis. Head butt the walls. Bite holes in their
wrists with their teeth. Cut out veins with fingernails–I’m guilty of
No phone calls since April 2008. No radio, T.V., magazines, visits,
sunshine. Here in Uinta One we are handcuffed behind the back,
dogleashed, pillow-case over the head, shackled, taken to and from
shower every Tues, Thurs, Saturday. It’s degrading.
Waking up to a nosebleed
Falling Asleep in a nightmare
Growing old minus the growing up
Adolescent at almost thirty
Buried in Cement
Pig mindgames, taxpayers hate, facial hair
Cant kill yourself because they watch
Camera mounted up in the corner
Razor cut scars on inside of elbow
Brain damage, swollen liver, tired heart
Does the crazy man know he’s crazy
Dead people don’t know they’re dead
Do those who hate me count as family
Those who can’t trust me don’t count as friends
King James! Version of the Holy Bible
Verses one of his slaves’ version of peoples liberation
White nation labor aristocrats bought off by King
Off with their heads–Away with their playthings
Give them cowards three meals and smelly mattress
Tuned 24/7 to the new
Lynch mob soda repackaged justice soda
Law and order on can
Inside a caffeinated Jim Crow
Flavored with a War on Drugs
AKA PIG social control quota
Waking up to the nightmare
Falling asleep to the mindwash
Old man at almost thirty buried in cement
Growing old without the giving up