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REC.

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Rec. Oxford Dictionary. An abbreviation for recreation.

Activities done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be fun.


Rec. Urban Dictionary. A fight.


Whenever I get locked up. I've never gone out to rec.. For one, it's too early in the morning. The guards call for rec. at 7:30 in the morning. Here at Nassau County Jail is no different.


For two, I've always been a loner. So I prefer the privacy of my cell instead of standing around a bunch of inmates talking shit.


I've been here for 5 months now. And by this time most of the guards as well as my fellow inmates who have been here with me for a while all knew that I skipped rec. everyday. But on this particular morning I had to go. My reputation was on the line. And in a place like this. Your reputation means everything.


Yesterday I had a run-in with the 'bosses' of the cell block. Particular the one named Shy. Shy's not only one of the shot callers of the housing unit, but he's also good friends with, and second in command to the top 'shot caller' in the dorm. Tremain. They know each-other from 'the town'.


My reputation here, is the tall quiet dude who stays to himself, stays in his cell, never causes any trouble, but carry's himself well, handled himself well in a few situations, and never went out to rec..


The issue with Shy came after I'd written a petition to the captain in charge of our housing unit.


Our cell block was always cold. freezing cold. Guys would watch TV in the day-room area with the sheets or blankets from their cells wrapped around them. But our cells were even colder. It got so cold in our cells that we nicknamed them 'ice boxes'.


So after weeks of hearing prisoners complain about the cold but not doing anything about it. I decided to take actions into my own hands and do something about it.


During my time there, I'd learned that the best way to get things done is to file a complaint to the unit captain. Near the 'bubble' (the guards command post), There's a medal box with a deadbolt on it mounted to the wall. The box has a thin slot in the middle of it like a mailbox in-order to allow us inmate's to slide the papers through.


Every Tuesday morning the officer in charge of that stuff came, unlocked the deadbolt, gathered up all the letters and delivered them to the captain's office.


In the complaint I used a quote that I'd heard an inmate say about how cold it was.


"It's so cold in here that when I read a book in my cell, my fingers would get so cold that it's hard for me to turn the pages. To keep reading I have to put the book down, place my hands under my blanket, let my hands warm up, until they are warm enough for me to hold the book and turn the pages."


But I knew in order to give the note more of an impact, I'd need a majority of the inmate's to sign it. So I went around the cell house gathering signatures. All of the 'lower class' inmates signed. The quiet ones, the weak ones, the inmate who kept to themselves. And in no time I had about ten signatures.


Although I didn't need all 50 inmates to sign, I thought that the names of the inmates with well known names, who had been here the longest and who have dealt with the captain before would drive the point home even more.


The 4 of them, including Tremain and Shy were all sitting together at a table. These were the guys with the most power with the cell block. They had the best jobs (kitchen), got special treatment from the guards, got in certain contraband like cigs and weed from time to time. And were known for being loud and always ready to fight.


But I'm no slouch. Even though I'm not from Long Island and didnt know anyone here. Did time in other jails outside of were I lived. I have been in and out of jail all my life and lived by the jailhouse rules faithfully. Plus I've been here several months now. Had several good interactions with them, and had a good reputation in the cell block. All of these factors made me feel comfortable enough to approach them with my idea.


I walk up to them and explained to them what the letter to the captain was about and my plan to send him the petition to cut the air conditioning down in our cell block.


After I finished talking I laid the petition, along with a pen, in the middle of the table and asked them to sign.


Tremain was the first to speak. "Oh you tryna start a riot."

The other of the four said "Man I ain't signing that shit. Them mutha fuckas gonna retaliate. they be watching niggas." Shy said, "Word. They gonna take down everybody name on this list and right up charges against us for trying to start trouble."


The fourth guy simply said "Na, I'm not gonna sign it either."

I had no idea what they hell these guys were talking about. I've dealt with idiots who were full of themselves before. And learned a long time ago that arguing with them or trying to convince them of anything would be a complete waste of time (not to mention a potential danger). So without saying a word, I took the pen and petition and walked away.


I may have walked away but I was angry. Very angry. These guys walk around talking shit all day actin like kings. Claiming to be 'leaders', but won't even do something