What is the white powder they throw on inmates?
What is the white powder they throw on inmates?
Written : 15 June 1867;
Source : Les Enfants du people. Paris, la Lanterne, 1879;
Translated : for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft : Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2010.
We’ll speak of the prison and not of the prisoner; not of the guilty, but of the torture.
I know Mazas prison
Many years ago we were arrested, a few friends and I It was no one’s fault. A poor boy had denounced us as accomplices in I don’t know what conspiracy and we were taken to prison. Once the information was taken the investigating judge recognized that our accuser was nothing but a madman. Since college, where we had been his friends and where sometimes ten of us had to hold him down during his attacks, he was subject to fits of epilepsy and delirium. We were released. But we had spent several weeks in Mazas, and recently having heard talk of prisons and prisoners I recalled a few of the sensations I felt in the cell and between the walls of the promenade.
The days seemed long.
At 6:00 a.m. the bell rang waking us from our dreams. We always dreamed we were free but we woke up and found ourselves between four white plaster walls.
We had no time to waste on lamentations; we had to take down our hammocks and make the bed.
The damn bed! I had no idea what to do. I never folded the sheets the way Salomon (the guard on the third floor) wanted them to be folded and I never rolled up the hammock tightly enough. My housekeeping earned me the most humiliating reproaches and sometimes the harshest thumpings.
I did pretty well at sweeping.
This was the most pleasant moment of the day. We heard the footsteps of the auxiliaries, the shouts of the guards, and the click-clack of the keys opening and closing the gates. In this silence anything was an event. When someone approached my cell I was moved in the way we are when we’re expecting a visit, and I threw myself on the spittoon the way you throw yourself into the arms of a friend.
In this spittoon, a small bowl of brown clay, was wine, and on top of that a small slice of white bread: political prisoners have the right to bread and wine.
I drank the wine with delight. I dipped my bread in it and made sticks of it. The time passed. I wiped my lips, shook off the crumbs and swept up.
Then I put on my pomade. I have never been as well combed and groomed as I was at the time. I sought out difficulties, ever unhappy with my part, never satisfied with my collar. I had to kill time until 9:00.
I remember well that at that hour we had a goal: put our mess kits on the counter and wait for it to return full of soup.
We had lunch as soon as it reappeared. After lunch we had to wait until 3:00 for a new though already known emotion, that of the mess kit replaced on the counter and passed through the window.
Read? That’s fine for a fortnight, three weeks, a month; then you get tired of it. We can’t even write.
Cite me one detainee who gave birth to a literary work in his cell. You can no longer speak of nature or man when you are far from the one or the other.
The brain continues to work but is no longer fertile. One becomes a mule in captivity.
In the void the brain sags and becomes confused. Boredom arrives, a boredom more horrible than pain; a boredom into which you sink like a drowning man into the sludge, swallowing and the vomiting up the thick and tasteless mud.
You read, but only to keep your eyes occupied. You write, but just to keep your hand busy.
Happy are those who are hopeless. Despair sustains you, but despair itself can’t resist and ends in madness if it doesn’t change into animal resignation from which thought retires in the same way that a dog goes to lay down and snore in the corner.
The dungeons of the Middle Ages, dark, filled with cold water, and full of rats was less horrible. At least it was possible to escape. It was possible to see clearly in the shadows, and it was possible to dig under the stones, to attempt to flee.
Who could even imagine this in Mazas? Through a whole as thick as a pinky every fifteen minutes they could see what the prisoner was doing in his cell, if he’s sleeping, if he’s drinking, if he’s laughing, if he’s crying, and this invisible and silent surveillance is not one of the least tortures, one that never leaves you, never leaves you alone, and attaches your caprices and tantrums to regulations by a thread.
One becomes a child and acts like one in order to kill time, to murder boredom in that loge.
Who has not counted and recounted, losing track of the number, the bricks in a square? Ask the most serious if they haven’t hopped on one leg to distract themselves.
I invented a game with pits. I cheated myself, beat myself and when I was sick of cheating and beating myself I passed the pits through the eye of the rod used to open and close my window. Nice work, isn’t it, and profitable to humanity?
It’s true we went to the promenade. Horrible promenade that caused me great fright.
It was the first day. I suddenly hear what sounded like lanyards and the guards shouting, “Faster Gaston! The small door!”
Listening, I guessed that they were making a prisoner run between the guards, who struck him in punishment. I swore that they would kill me before they would make me trot like a coward in that way. I had stupidly taken for the sound of whips the sound of steps. My cell was at the end of the gallery and the prisoners stumbled while going down the steps. The guards asked them to hurry up: “Hey, Gaston, faster!”
This familiarity is already humiliating, and I suffered every time at being forced to run at a sign or under the eye of M. Pez�, our brigadier, like a horse who struts and makes his groom look good.
If at least in this promenade, while imposing silence they allowed the prisoners to see each other, nothing but see each other.
But no, we never saw anything but the guard going back and forth in the wooden tower, and the guard below who passed, running his keys against the bars.
Sometimes, when I was in 21, I found myself before a fountain whose water I heard flowing; around it were a few blue and red flowers, and a breeze bent the blades of grass.
At another corner I saw, lost in the clouds, a belvedere where there was a man in a tunic, a woman with her hair down. They held each other’s hands and embraced.
For two days my heart was full, but it felt so good to cry a bit while thinking of those who always smile at you.
When it rained we sat on a stone on the promenade, or we pressed our faces against the bars of the cage with the gloomy look of mares who stick their heads through the windows of a stable. After an hour we had to run back, close the gate, return a number, and return – still running – to the cell, between the eternal white walls on which the only thing that stood out was the poster with the rules listed, where there was nothing to hold your gaze..
From time to time we had a visit.
It was the inspector who came to ask you how you were doing. We answered, “very well” through pride or contempt. The chaplain also came in, consulted you on the state of your soul. I listened to him for ten minutes the first day and then sent him to see my neighbor, a poor devil in worn out pants, pale and poltroonish, who I had sometimes glimpsed when, heading to the promenade, I pretended to lose my slipper or my pipe. I stopped and had the time to see what was coming up behind me. One day, near the promenade, I said to him, “Hey there, neighbor!” He shook like a leaf.
In the evening he sang, and the refrain of his song reached me like a moan.
On Sundays I frightened him during Mass.
At that moment, when the chaplain of Mazas arrives with the chalice, we hear the keys squeak in the locks, the guards crack open the doors and prop them open a bit. It is through this gap of a few inches that, if we wanted to, we looked at the priest as he officiated. The altar, planted at the end of the galleries that met there in the shape of a fan, one could catch a glimpse of the other detainees in the cells. The others see nothing but they perhaps amuse themselves more. They are free and take full advantage of it.
Every Sunday, from the end of a gallery, at the same moment every time, there could be heard a loud cry, “Hey, Leon!”
The guards took off their shoes and snuck in, trying to figure out the source. They abruptly opened our cells. They never caught the guilty party, whose shout was sometimes answered by the song of a blackbird.
I, a child emboldened by his example and impunity, apostrophized my friend through the opening. I shouted at him, “I laid out some powder. We’re going to explode!” I heard him say, “Oh my god, oh my god!”
To be sure, it was a good day.
Once, when we were chanting the “O, Salutaris” I saw a man reaching through the opening in the door across from me. At the end of the hand was a certain Marseillaise that I’d seen a friend get drunk. So he had been arrested like us. I uttered “hum, broom” in a bass tone that showed him I’d seen him. In a second, without seeing each other or saying anything, we had recognized each other.
But the solitude was no less heavy. Almost all of us being held in secret, we only went one or two times to the visiting room. We saw a relative or a friend there for a few minutes through the bars, locked up as if in a wagon of the condemned.
Such is Mazas, where are sent those who were carried away by their enthusiasm and convictions. I would never, ever send there an adversary, or even an enemy.
It is in this paradise that we remain while waiting for the tribunal to call for you. Sometimes people pass six months, ten months, a year.
After only six months the face has already taken on the look of alarm that arranges things so we can immediately tell those who are returning from Mazas.
I am putting no one on trial; this is not the work of governments but of philanthropists. In America they lock up living men for ten years. Ten years, ten centuries!
Anthrax hoaxes involving the use of white powder or labels to falsely suggest the use of anthrax are frequently reported in the United States and globally. Hoaxes have increased following the 2001 anthrax attacks, after which no genuine anthrax attacks have occurred. The FBI and U.S. postal inspectors have responded to thousands of «white powder events» and targets have included government offices, US embassies, banks and news organizations.  
History [ edit ]
Anthrax hoaxes were sporadically reported in the 1990s,  including a petri dish in an envelope labeled «anthrachs»[sic] sent to B’nai B’rith in Washington in 1997 that contained harmless Bacillus cereus,    but a spate of anthrax threats followed the 1998 arrest of Larry Wayne Harris, a microbiologist and white supremacist. Harris released what he said was military-grade anthrax but was actually a harmless vaccine strain, but news coverage popularized the idea of anthrax among hoaxers.   In response to these hoaxes, the CDC released guidance for public health authorities for handling bioterrorism threats. 
Post-2001 [ edit ]
Suspect letter with white powder that was dealt with by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management emergency responders. It was a hoax.
In the month following the 2001 anthrax attacks, hundreds of hoaxes were reported worldwide.    Legislation was enacted in the UK in October 2001 so that anyone convicted of a hoax involving threats of biological, chemical, nuclear or radioactive contamination would face a seven-year prison sentence.  The Anti-Hoax Terrorism Act 2001 was passed by the US House of Representatives  but never enacted,  and legislation making terrorism hoaxes a federal offence was finally passed as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.   
Cases [ edit ]
One of the most prolific hoaxers was Clayton Waagner, an anti-abortion activist who mailed hundreds of anthrax hoax letters to abortion clinics in late 2001  and who was convicted in December 2003.   A Sacramento man, Marc M. Keyser, admitted to sending around 120 packages marked as containing anthrax in October 2008, which he says was to highlight the lack of preparedness of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and public for an anthrax attack. He was convicted in September 2009 of five counts of hoaxes and making threats   and sentenced to four years in prison in late April 2010. 
In November 2008, white powder was mailed to temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, causing both to be closed temporarily while the mailings were investigated. There was speculation the mailings were in protest of the support by the Church for Proposition 8. 
Notable recipients of anthrax hoax letters include journalist Judith Miller, author of Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, who received one at the New York Times offices in October 2001. 
References [ edit ]
- ^ Drogin, Bob (8 March 2009). «Anthrax hoaxes pile up, as does their cost». Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Cole, Leonard A. (2009). The Anthrax Letters: A Bioterrorism Expert Investigates the Attacks That Shocked America—Case Closed? . Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN978-1-60239-715-6 .
- Carus, W. Seth; Center for Counterproliferation Research; National Defense University (2002). «Thrreatened Use (Anthrax Hoaxes)». Bioterrorism and biocrimes: the illicit use of biological agents since 1900. Vol. 8. The Minerva Group, Inc. ISBN1-4101-0023-5 .
- Wald, Matthew L. (24 April 1997). «Suspicious Package Prompts 8-Hour Vigil at B’nai B’rith». New York Times . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Bailey, Ronald (10 October 2001). «Anthrax Attack?». Reason . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (12 July 2002). «The Anthrax Files». New York Times . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Tucker, Jonathan B. (July 1999). «Historical trends related to bioterrorism: An empirical analysis». Emerging Infectious Diseases. CDC. 5 (4): 498–504. doi:10.3201/eid0504.990406. PMC2627752 . PMID10458952.
- «The Harris Hoax». ADL . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (1999). «Bioterrorism Alleging Use of Anthrax and Interim Guidelines for Management — United States, 1998». MMWR. CDC. 48 (4): 69–74. PMID10023627.
- Leask, Alexander; Valerie Delpech; Jeremy McAnulty (2003). «Anthrax and other suspect powders: Initial responses to an outbreak of hoaxes and scares». New South Wales Public Health Bulletin. Csiro Publishing. 14 (12): 218–221. doi: 10.1071/NB03059 .
- Harris, Paul (21 October 2001). «Anthrax hoax chaos». The Observer. London . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Kasindorf, Martin; Toni Locy (6 November 2001). «Anthrax hoaxes persist despite arrests». USA Today . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Murphy, Joe (21 October 2001). «Spore hoaxers face jail terms from today». Daily Telegraph. London . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- DePledge, Derrick (14 November 2001). «DeWine proposes tough law on anthrax hoaxes». Cincinnati Enquirer . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- «H.R. 3209: Anti-Hoax Terrorism Act of 2001». Govtrack . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- «Violators of Military Hoaxes Act could receive fines, prison time» (PDF) . CID Lookout. U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011 . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Eggen, Dan (10 December 2004). «Measure Expands Police Powers». Washington Post . Retrieved 10 December 2009 . [permanent dead link]
- «S. 2845: Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004». Govtrack . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- «US anthrax hoax suspect arrested». BBC News. 6 December 2001 . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- «Man is convicted in anthrax hoax case». Associated Press. 3 December 2003 . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Clarkson, Frederick (10 December 2003). «The quiet fall of an American terrorist». Salon. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011 . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- Walsh, Denny (18 September 2009). «Sacramentan convicted for sending anthrax hoax messages». Sacramento Bee . Retrieved 10 December 2009 . [dead link]
- «Calif. man convicted in nationwide anthrax scare». Salon. 17 September 2009 . Retrieved 10 December 2009 . [permanent dead link]
- «gsn.nti.org». Archived from the original on 2010-04-30 . Retrieved 2010-04-27 .
- «White powder sent to Mormon temples». Associated Press. 13 November 2008 . Retrieved 14 October 2011 .
- Herbert, Bob (15 October 2001). «In America; Living With Fear». New York Times . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
External links [ edit ]
- Ronson, Jon (5 October 2002). «Hoax!». The Guardian. London . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
- «Anthrax Hoaxes: From Baghdad to Las Vegas». ADL . Retrieved 10 December 2009 .
Retrieved from «https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anthrax_hoaxes&oldid=1124723984»
- 2001 anthrax attacks
- Hoaxes in the United States
- 2001 hoaxes
- All articles with dead external links
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What is the white powder they throw on inmates?
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Contraband trends: Recent incidents at jail, prison reinforce how officials have to stay on top of the drug game
Published 7:34 pm Thursday, August 8, 2019
Lt. Michael Clem, left, explains some of the jail’s central control room equipment during a past tour of the Boyle County Detention Center. Clem was the investigating lieutenant in the case involving several who were arrested for a contraband scheme at the jail. (File photo )
Prison and jail officials are finding it increasingly harder to keep up with creative ways inmates are able to get contraband into secure facilities, and it’s changing the way they have to do their jobs.
Recently, three inmates at Boyle County Detention Center were charged, along with four “outsiders,” for allegedly being involved in an organized scheme get drugs in.
On July 29, an inmate at Northpoint Training Center in Burgin was treated for a suspected fentanyl overdose; two correctional officers were also treated in the incident.
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“That’s the thing with cases like these,” says Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford. “It not only affects them, but it can affect jail staff, too.” The DOC said the two Northpoint officers “began experiencing symptoms that are commonly associated with fentanyl exposure, including dizziness, nausea and elevated heart rates,” after searching the inmate’s cell. However, there was not enough substance found to be tested.
Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford says that just as drug trends change, so do the ways inmates attempt to get them into jails and prisons. Most recently, seven were arrested and charged in a contraband scheme involving drugs being “launched” over a wall into an outside recreational area. (File photo by Bobbie Curd)
The inmate was given Narcan, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, by the prison’s Fentanyl Response Team, as well as taken off site for medical treatment, along with the two officers. The day following the event, the DOC confirmed all those involved were “back to normal.”
Hannah Gibson, safety director with the DOC, said the department has “trained select officers to respond to any powder substance suspected to be fentanyl that is found in the institutions or encountered by staff in our Division of Probation and Parole.” The first training held for responders was in September of 2018, she said. She says when an inmate is suspected to be on a substance, they are seen by medical personnel to determine if emergency intervention is needed. “Then he is placed in the restrictive housing unit on either constant watch, or a 15-minute behavior watch, depending on the extent of the situation.” Gibson said in every case, an internal investigation is opened immediately to ascertain the drug type and how it was obtained. The DOC says there is no update on the investigation concerning Northpoint.
Wofford said although the Boyle jail doesn’t have a specific “team” for fentanyl overdoses, “there is protocol we follow, with a nurse and EMS. But we do keep Narcan here in case there’s an exposure to fentanyl or an overdose.” Wofford said those who have never had to deal with fentanyl before don’t understand its incredible strength in incredibly small amounts. “Think about it. It’s used to tranquilize elephants,” he said, so it should be no surprise that something as small as a dime-sized amount of the white powder could have a deadly effect on humans. “It’s very easily absorbed by the skin,” he said, which means extra precautions are needed by officers to ensure they’re not exposed. Although the drug is usually added to other drugs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl can also be released into indoor air as fine particles or as a liquid spray to be absorbed by the body. Employees at the Boyle jail wear gloves when doing searches or pat-downs. DOC requires each cell to be searched once every seven days; the jail has implemented each cell is searched every three to seven days, Wofford said. Northpoint Warden Brad Adams said that during searches, pat-downs or even just entering an inmate’s cell, the powder form of fentanyl “could already be aerosolized or inconspicuous, at that point, potentially exposing the unaware officers by inhalation and absorption through the skin or mucous membranes.” He said it has not been determined that the officers were exposed to fentanyl in this incident at Northpoint. “There was not enough of the powder to field test or send to the lab.” Some of the latest trends, Wofford said, include inmates taking suboxone strips and camouflaging them. Suboxone is a brand of buprenorphine, used to treat pain as well as addiction to other narcotic pain relievers. It can be administered from a small strip that dissolves on the tongue. “They take those little film-like strips of Suboxone, take a piece of paper and will draw and color in crayon on it, and melt the strip down into the crayon,” Wofford said. Afterwards, all they have to do is scratch it off and heat it up, and it delivers the drug. “They have a lot of time to figure out how to get things through,” he said, when they live behind bars 24/7. “It can be hard to be proactive, just like in the case of the balloons. Thank goodness we had staff that were doing their job and found these items.” With the seven arrested in connection with the contraband scheme at the jail, Wofford said balloons were filled with substances and thrown over the walls of the jail into the outdoor recreation area. Chief Deputy Chad Holderman previously told The Advocate-Messenger that after an almost month-long investigation, the jail has evidence of two incidents where the scheme made way for drugs into the jail, with a third attempt that was in the works. Wofford said launching baggies filled with drugs over a wall isn’t even the half of it, and brought up cases such as the one from 2014 in Jessamine County. An inmate was charged with murder after his cellmate died from an apparent methodone overdose. The inmate charged had been out on work furlough and was able to smuggle the drug back inside — by soaking his underwear with it. “And then there’s the roach poisoning …” Wofford said, exasperatingly. In September of 2018, a sheriff in Polk County, Florida held a press conference about how inmates were getting synthetic drugs into the jail by receiving legal documents and letters, sprayed with the substances. They were also using roach poisoning, such as Raid. The papers were passed on to inmates, who either smoked or ate them. Friends and family members of inmates were arrested in the incident, as well. Wofford said he was thankful that sheriff held the press conference; it’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing trends of drugs, he said, not to mention trends of getting them into jails and prisons. “We do continued training. We talk to other jails. If we find out a trend here, then we let other jails know, and they’ll tell us what they’re doing,” he said. “We have to constantly share with each in an open network, to be aware of these new and dangerous trends.”