What is everyday life in jail like, when justice turns insane? The author spent an entire year of his life "behind bars" and shares his experiences which melt away the fiction from the reality. Is the fictitious reputation correct that claims a jail actually is nothing but an elaborate and lavish gym which is restricted to these criminal members only? How much invasive and humiliating experiences actually are there from either other inmates, guards, or from the system itself? There might be a ton of questions. Experience the answers and truth through the eyes of someone that has been there. The author will not sugarcoat the reality nor does he want this book to be "politically correct". He is NOT striving to win friends with it. He just tells it exactly how he witnessed and experienced it.
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By Bernie Tocholke
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Bernie Tocholke
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSurviving the Shock
As the Judge's gavel struck the wooden plate, the sound echoed across the court room. It felt as if it jarred every nerve and muscle in my body. "Six months in the county jail!" was the order. A cold and miserable chill went up and down my spine. My stomach went into a knot that threatened to squeeze and vomit out my last meal. It felt like my blood had drained out of my heart which threatened to leave it unemployed, dismissed, and useless. Without the heart, my legs were at jeopardy too.
While still in initial shock of this mental assault, my ears comprehend the sound of a law officer ordering me to stand up. My legs were shaking as I tried to balance my weight on them.
"What do you have in your pockets?" the officer asked.
My mind had gone numb and I was struggling hard in remembering what I had put in them. I was unsure so I reached down to give them an honest response of the contents.
"Keep your hands on the table!" was the quick forceful response. Again the question about the contents of my pockets was asked.
I had no intentions of hurting anyone, but rather was just trying to give an honest reply. Maybe if I touched the outside of my pockets I would be able to remember what I had left in there. Did I have the pen yet in there? Without really understanding what I was doing, I reached to touch my pocket.
"KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE!" was the roar that clapped like thunder in my ears.
It occurred to me then that I was regarded as a high risk criminal and very dangerous. Will they shoot me if I reach for my pocket again? I need to concentrate on what I am doing regardless of all these onslaughts of emotions and thoughts.
Without reaching down this time, I guessed at the contents I must have hidden in my pockets. It is humiliating getting handcuffed within a room full of people! Then without permission the sheriff reached into my pockets to secure the few possessions I brought with me into this courtroom. The freedom which the common people enjoy from minor molestation suddenly is at risk. I could have been violated against if I would have had holes in my pockets. My thoughts troubled me at what might happen to me in just a little while later. How much of the rumors are true which I heard throughout the years about the sexual violations which were done within the jails and prisons of this country? Is this only the beginning of what I fear to be true?
Once my contents were stripped from me, and my hands cuffed behind my back, I was led away. One guard on each side of me grabbed me by the elbow and led me toward the entry door of the courtroom. In that moment I captured an impression of someone within that courtroom which I will never forget. Right there in the viewer's benches of the court was sitting the pastor's wife of a certain cult. The look of complete satisfaction of victory was written all over her face, which burned a vision or an image in my brain which I will never forget. I had a desire to spit in her face as I walked by her bench. It might have removed her triumphant look from off of her face.
My focus became blurred as the past years flashed by me as a movie at extreme high speed. This was the woman who I dared to oppose and now must suffer while she gets to revel in this triumph. She was the most heartless woman I ever knew personally. The child abuse that I had witnessed that she inflicted on her children made me cringe. Shortly before this present moment I had found out that she had also beaten my children too. However, because I had taken a stand against their beliefs, teachings, and practices; they conspired to destroy me. On the surface it looked like their plot had come to a successful fruition. Her expression was a smug glee which added to my trauma. The thought crossed me that I must remain strong within, even though they have gained their victory over my physical body.
I must fight back, but how I could do it most effectively only came throughout the months that followed. As I exited the courtroom, I faced the embarrassment of seeing the hallway full of people while I am shackled and led away. I was only too eager to see the doors of the elevator shut behind us. Instantly fear gripped me as the movement of going down in that elevator suddenly replaced the emotion of the hall embarrassment I had just experienced. We were going lower than the first or main entrance floor. When we came to a stop, I wondered if we had finally arrived in hell? The doors opened. I didn't see any flames or even smell smoke, but yet the haunting feeling of doom was getting stronger. There is a narrow winding tunnel that goes underground below the Judges parking lot on the north side of the courthouse. I realized then that I must be moving north underneath that parking lot which eventually led to the inside of a large garage.
Before getting Wrongfully Shackled, I did not know what the term "Sally Port" meant. Suddenly it dawned on me that I am within the confines of that specific area. It is basically the secure parking area to transport prisoners. Two large doors face toward both the east and two toward the west, and I see them on my right and left side as I get led across this two lane garage. I watch as each Sheriff disarms and then place their handgun in a lock box before continuing further.
Confused I enter into what I thought would be my home for the next six months. Later I find out that this is only the jail's admittance area. There are small cells on either side of me. The Sheriff unlocks one door and gestures for me to enter. I step inside and my cuffs get removed. The door slams shut behind me shuddering down within my soul. Doomed! This can't be true! Is this the worst nightmare or are these things actually happening? Fear is such a small four letter word compared to what I actually was feeling. Confinement is an emotion which has a swarm of emotions all wrapped together to become the worst terror that my life has ever experienced before.
My mind gradually becomes aware of my surroundings. I am in a room that is approximately eight feet wide by about fifteen feet deep going away from the door. Part of the concrete structure of the walls is a continuation of the benches all in one piece, which are on both long walls. Then the feeling of amusement and horror is combined as I notice the toilet! It has the appearance of neglected and very dirty stainless steel. The amusing thing about it is how it is constructed. There is no toilet lid. The back tank is also your drinking fountain. How convenient! A person could sit down on the toilet facing it, and accomplish two tasks at the same time. They could take a dump and a drink of water as a unique multi-tasking ordeal! Two buttons get pushed in for either flushing the toilet or for producing a stream of water out of the fountain. That same fountain is also the faucet to wash your hands if you feel that sanitation is of any importance in this place.
However, there is nothing to dry your hands with, once you feel you have succeeded in sterilizing your hands without any soap. The only option is the half used roll of toilet paper lying on the floor and partially unrolled. I walk over to the toilet that is right there in the open, and look back toward the door. From that position a person can easily look through the shatter proof windows in the door. Male and female guards walked past the door as I evaluate the situation. Taking a dump in this place means that the person is on exhibit while doing their daily duty. Realization hits me that my only option against that intimidating task is to hold my bowels for six months! I wish for that not to be true.
I sit down on the concrete bench to ponder my predicament. While I try to force my mind to go through the motions of thinking, I immediately noticed the unpleasant sensation of the cold temperature coming from the concrete into my back side. Wow, what an option! You need to choose from either standing six months or from giving the hemorrhoids the worst torture they have experienced since they claimed their territory of existence.
Suddenly there is a commotion across the hallway in another cell. I walk to the window to see what is going on. A teenager is yelling at the guards asking them at why he is being detained? He is cussing at every guard that is walking by. I notice how he gets his first warning to remain quiet and to sit down on his bench. Instead of obeying, he displays more pounding on the window followed with verbal profanity and obscene sign language. The guards at first keep walking away from his window avoiding a confrontation. The rebel must have thought that he was pretty tough in his own mind by how he was carrying on with his actions.
I am a poor evaluator of what illegal substance he was influenced under, since I have never allowed myself to become knowledgeable in those areas. I have never even touched any illegal drugs or substance. I have not even smoked a cigarette or ever been drunk in my entire life! However, I could see that this rowdy individual was either high or drunk.
The guard came a second time to his window and forcefully told him to shut up or they will teach him a lesson. With that threat, he responded with an outburst of gestures and language as he did before. Ironic how a gesture of a single finger is supposed to have such miraculous power to strong arm the guards into submission beneath this boisterous user of it! The amazing thing is that the guards didn't seem at all to get physically wounded by all this heavy "bird" artillery. They just walked away, but I noticed that a command was given amongst the guards. I watched with anticipation! Excitement is about to happen.
Sure enough, the organizing only took a few minutes. I saw a half dozen guards heading for this rebel's cell, armed with protective padding on their body. The character was right there at the glass daring them to open the door so he could beat all of them into a heap, cussing them with words of everything he could think of. I watched as they prepared. One man unlocked the door and swung it open as the rest stormed in to activate the challenge. They were out of sight maybe thirty seconds from my view. Suddenly all of them exited that room, quickly slamming the door shut behind them. It was not even five seconds, and the rebel was slamming the window and cussing his cell intruders louder than before. Comments about what he thought of them were flying fast with all the flare of hand and finger gestures included. I waited for round two which was bound to happen.
I did not have to wait long. The repeat of the first instance happened again, except the guards disappeared much longer to complete a much more thorough job this time. This time the guards walked out of the room slowly. It was several minutes before this wanna-be rebel approached the window again. This time he was crying and pleading with the guards. "Why", was the word he repeated several times, asking them of why they were detaining him. Then he tried appealing his cause by saying he was not a bad kid, because he played football in school! I was amused watching this extreme transition within just one hour. One hour ago he was an unconquerable fighter that had two fists, each of them were instant death to anyone that dared to challenge him. The guards within two training sessions changed him into a pathetic sobbing boy that just wanted to go home to mommy.
There is an advantage to identifying the situation quicker than this young man did. Why did he not have enough sense to know that it is impossible to win this "game" on their turf, using their rules, and with them having all the far superior manpower and weaponry? How can anyone even think they can win if the guards brought out the high pressure water hoses, stun guns, rubber ball guns, or tear gas? Only the ignorant will try it once and realize that it is an impossibility to win at their "game". So just sit back and enjoy this home to the best of your capability. Focus now on when your release date is, and wish the time away in between now and that date. It is a portion of your life that was taken from you, and it will vanish away forever regardless if you are innocent.
Chapter TwoHolding Pen Before Jail!
After that ordeal you try to sit on the cold concrete bench. Instantly you find out it had not warmed up even one degree with all the activity across the hall. You get up and walk back and forth in that small room similar to a caged animal. You must force your mind to think about things away from this place. Disassociate yourself from reality. Your mind drifts to your family. How is it going to affect them when you are not there? There has to be somebody that depends on you being there on a daily basis. How are they going to fill in the void for the next several months when you will not be there? Are they depending on your income? You think about your bank accounts and what will happen to them in your absence. You prepaid your insurance for six months and it is now only in the second month of the term. There is nobody else on the policy that could cancel it. You had also just undated your cell phone and have a two year contract on it. You will default on that contract too. If you have a mortgage payment, you might as well kiss the house "Good bye"! What bank would just defer payments for six months or until you get out?
Worry forcefully takes over as you wonder on all of these issues. Your mind drifts back to your family and wonder what would happen if one of them had an accident or a heart attack and only had a few hours to live. The jail would not release you so that you could see them alive for the last time. They would not even release you for the funeral of your loved one. All these thoughts create the anguish and despair to make this place the mental torment that most people never fathom it to be. The typical thought of what jail is like is mostly a physical captivity in a place that is plush with exercise equipment and other luxury things that the common person rarely enjoys. Until now you have seen none of it, and you never will in this jail.
A very small door inside the big door opens, and the guard is pushing a Styrofoam container through the opening followed by a small carton of milk. Taking the items you sit down on the bench and open the surprise package. There is a white bun, a little bit of corn, and something else that fills in most of the other area in the container. You came on the good day! Normally it is a bologna sandwich in a plastic bag with a small bag of raw carrots. If you are a picky eater, you will lose weight in this place. It is beneficial to eat whatever is set before you and just chalk it up every so often as a "Fear Factor" tryout or practice.
After you finish enjoying this fine dining, the door opens and the guard is calling your name. Handcuffs are placed on you again before you can even exit the holding pen. Once the cuffs are in place you enter the area that you have watched through the window in the door for the last couple of hours. There is a room in a half moon or semi-circle shape, where some female officers sit inside that are doing office work. The guard that brought you out of the holding pen cuffs you in front of their glass room that appears to be bullet proof. The secretary behind the glass passes sheets of paper to you along with a pen and tells you to fill them out.
A word of advice is that in filling those sheets out, fill them out COMPLETELY! If you have any health issues, even of the least importance, write it on the sheet. If you forget to mention that you have a certain occasional health condition, later when you desire to have medication for the health condition which does not happen very often, you will be denied any relief. If you occasionally have allergies or asthma, you better mention it. Once you sign that you have no other problems, it will be hard for you to get anything outside of what you mentioned on the sheet.
After you have signed the intake forms, the guard comes and leads you over to the scale and the mug shot area. The scale to get your weight is uneventful since it happens often in the free world. Next is the unusual event of getting your fingerprints, handprints, and the side of your hand which is opposite of your thumb gets printed. That way if you karate chop a door down, they will have your prints to make you responsible for it. A female guard takes your hand and rolls each finger across the glass followed by the rest of the positions of the hand. Now face the camera for the infamous mug shot, along with another side shot! The guard cuffs you back in front of the bullet proof glass to log this information in. "What is your shirt and pants size?" followed by "What is your shoe size?" are the questions you get asked. "Do you need to make a call?" Finally after being in the holding pen for what seemed a half a day, you finally get to make your one phone call. (I think you or the person receiving the call must pay for it. I do not think it is free.) How much information like phone numbers do you have logged into your memory? Remember that you have been stripped from all your tangible items like cell phones or small notepads with all your important names, numbers, and addresses. Do you have enough information stored in your mind?
Excerpted from Wrongfully Shackled by Bernie Tocholke Copyright © 2012 by Bernie Tocholke. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Surviving the Shock....................1
Chapter 2 Holding Pen Before Jail!....................7
Chapter 3 Downtown Jail....................13
Chapter 4 CON AIR shuttle....................21
Chapter 5 KCDC – Welcome to Kenosha County Detention Center....................27
Chapter 6 Is This Fiction or Judicial Conspiracy?....................41
Chapter 7 "Living Free", E-West....................47
Chapter 8 Illegal Immigration Dorm, F-North....................67
Chapter 9 Huber Dorm, F-South....................83
Chapter 10 Medical Joke....................93
Chapter 11 "The Hole"....................105
Chapter 12 Let's play church!....................111
Chapter 13 Big "Underground" Business....................115
Chapter 14 Invisible Shackles....................121