Commentary: Why I’m a Better Criminal

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By Nathan Blalock

We talk about injustice daily. Well not me, you. The public, the media of this great country. I’m already part of the conversation without saying a word. I’ve been in the California Prison system since 1991. I’ve been studying my captor for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve learned how to be a better criminal. I also understand how to feel less about committing crime, emotionally that is. Remove the human aspect of what is being done, and who it’s being done to.

See, I’m just another number in the system. Being a number makes it easier for the corruption and abuse. These are daily events within California Dept. Of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CDCR. Some cases are national headlines and turned into movies. Corcoran State Prison S.H.U. staged and bet on fights between inmates. Officers even killed a few losers. You would think everyone involved would at least lose their job as a correctional officer. Didn’t happen. I’ve spoken to the bookie personally. Call it part of my advance studies. That’s old news, reported on, filed and available on the internet somewhere. Unless C.D.C.R. hired scrubbers, at taxpayer expense no doubt.

All of us numbers aren’t incorrigible. We try to change, to help others we don’t know. We donate what little money we can to groups such as the Special Olympics. This is done through fundraisers. Normally a deal is made between a restaurant and prison reps. Often there is a back deal made and in the end the restaurant makes a huge profit, and the prison reps get a kickback under the table. This is a form of racketeering and price gouging, but we numbers don’t care. We’re a captive audience. We do care about the money we raise being embezzled by the warden. The man was arrested and charged. Clearly a crime.

However, he’s not in prison. He isn’t a number. He just gave some of them obedience back and got a better job. Is that justice? That’s part of Choosing Your Crime 101. Basic Criminal Studies.

These people, correctional officers, which includes all of those in administration positions, are sworn to protect you the public, and its numbers. Yet it took multiple complaints and a class action lawsuit before the abuse of elderly and disabled numbers could get some protection. This didn’t come from anyone in C.D.C.R., but a federal judge. We’ve all seen the video of the caretaker abusing the disabled. Cut the camera, turn one abuser into eight or more using weighted metal rods. When the victim heals enough to file a formal complaint it falls on deaf ears. The warden’s ears shouldn’t be shut to complaints from so many disabled that it became a class act lawsuit. Of course, this lawsuit is paid for by the public. Why not save money and stop the abuse? Now a federal judge orders the abusers to wear bodycams, and they protest. Of course any criminal would. A bodycam is a recording of evidence. Correctional officers will need to correct the laws and rules they break. The warden, head of the gang, should be responsible for each case and charged with assault.  Instead, he gets a transfer and is warden at another hot spot for corruption.

His new thing is stealing money from the state using Covid. In doing so the lives of the numbers are at risk. Medical policy isn’t being followed when it comes to an inconclusive or positive test. There should be a second test according to medical memos. Second tests cost money. Numbers on quarantine, in a building on quarantine are packed and moved less than 3 miles to another building. Each number moved costs 30 thousand dollars. Sometimes it’s 20 numbers at one time. There hasn’t been an outbreak of Covid unless the governor announced something about excess Covid money. Every number placed in a gym without adequate facilities for the number housed.

Numbers who did not have Covid mixed in with those who did, can now catch it. Numbers get deleted, excuse me, die also. Each of these cases is or should be an attempted murder. Every officer involved should be a conspirator. Criminal Studies 187, cover-up.

Numbers are victims of terrorism. You may say so! Numbers learn to be…because of how we are treated. Knee on the neck, punches and kicks happen inside prison. Abuses done by the Green Wall Gang. Correctional officers whose color is predominately green, work, move, and function the same as those who flag red, or blue, street gangs. A large number have a high school diploma. The larger portion make 80 thousand plus full benefits. Add another 5 to 20 thousand in illegal gains from drugs, cellphones, tobacco, and other smuggled contraband. Another 10 to 20 thousand in false documentation creating overtime situations, members of this gang do well. This activity goes without prison time if caught. In fact it can get one a promotion.

Remember the Special Olympic embezzler? Promotion to a better job in headquarters.

The Green Wall Gang isn’t just inside prison. Some work parole, others are now branching out as special C.D.C.R. response members. A vest stenciled “POLICE” and they’re in your neighborhood. You should be asking, how is that possible? A few courses in or at an unknown college whose credits aren’t accepted anywhere else. This is of course paid for by you the taxpayer. Ask yourself do you really need another high school educated gangbanger adding to the injustices already done? These Green Wall Gang members should stay in the delusional power realm of C.D.C.R, where they can embezzle, smuggle drugs and abuse a disadvantaged population. Where they make 2 to 3 times more than a college-educated teacher and teach numbers like me how to be a better criminal.

Nathan Blalock is incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison in California.  Published in conjunction with Vanguard Incarcerated Press (VIP).  The piece has also been submitted to the Prison Journalism Project.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave Hart

    Wow.  No comments.  Wow.  This is arguably one of the most articulate indictments of the so-called criminal justice system I’ve ever come across.  Thanks for publishing it.  Many years back, I was on the labor side of union contract negotiations and was in a coalition of state bargaining units that included state bargaining Unit 3, teachers in the Department of Corrections.  One of the members of the Unit 3 team frequently referred to his employer as the “Department of Corruptions” and the feeling was shared by the dozens of his members that I happened to encounter at meetings throughout the state.  This is just so deep and so unrecognized by the public.  I would say it is probably more intractable as a political issue than water resource allocations.  It’s a quagmire that every politician wants to avoid at all costs.  Thank you, Nathan Bialock for penning this is in plain, unvarnished language.  It appears to me that if ever there was someone behind bars that deserves a chance at redemption outside you’re a good bet.

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