Update: Despite the qualifications in this message, David will be able to respond to all letters. He’s got more time on his hands so please write to him!
Happy belated New Year! I’m still doing OK in here, and rounding the first corner on my time right about now — 1/16/20 is exactly 9 months before my release.
They moved us out of EMTC, the only facility for sentenced inmates on Rikers, on 1/7/20. Despite the fact that we moved literally across the street to RNDC (C-74), the process took over 12 hours, well over half of which was spent in holding cells with no food and no working toilets, or handcuffed together in the back of a bus. So that was fun.
RNDC is better by some measures, and I’m starting to settle into a new routine here, which is great because that’s what makes the time fly. The main drawback is that this facility is used to house adolescent detainees, not solely sentenced inmates like EMTC. Some of these kids are likely to do long stretches upstate, and looking to make a name for themselves within the prison system. They often don’t have the same incentive to behave as folx who are going home soon, and we’re mixed in with them in the visiting waiting area and on the visiting floor. I haven’t had any problems and I don’t plan to, but it’s an extra source of stress for those of us sentenced inmates who get visits. It’s also probably illegal (it’s definitely illegal for them to house us together), but of course the DOC does what it wants.
I was able to stay on top of my mail and actually respond to everyone who included a return address up until about Christmas. I’ve had so much love pouring in it’s impossible for me to respond to it all! I’ll write back as much as I can, but if you don’t get a response, please forgive me. Please keep it coming! Every letter I receive brings a smile to my face — and as a bonus, I can use it to line my paper-thin mattress. And THANK YOU to everyone who’s taken the time to drop me a line. It’s been really humbling and helps keep me sane.
I’m still staying safe and staying busy. My new schedule in RNDC seems to allow me more time to work on writing and translation, so I’m trying to take advantage of that.
Take care out there. See you soon!