Beloved Readers: Last Days is on vacation, so this week's column was written by a guest columnist.

I am on the second day of a family visit with my wife Sandy and our son Carl, age two, in one of the prison's conjugal visit trailers. After getting up to be counted by guards, I went back to sleep until Carl came and woke me at 6:40 am. After getting him a bottle of milk and changing his diaper, we fixed breakfast. Carl ate some of his food and threw the rest on the floor. After a trailer check by guards at around 8 am., we watched Barney and Teletubbies. Then we went outside and played. For lunch we had grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob. Carl then took a nap. When Carl got up, we went outside and played some more. After eating a dinner of tacos, we gave Carl a bath and he went to sleep. Sandy and I stayed up late and got caught up on things.
Meanwhile, fed up with crappy prison food, about 95% of the 780 prisoners at the Washington State Reformatory boycotted the evening meal of pork chow mein. About once every two years, WSR prisoners protest diminishing portions of inedible swill by boycotting a meal or two. In the past, prisoncrats would promise improvements, the food would get better for a few weeks, and then revert to its usual swillish state. This time the food didn't improve and stayed crappy in the aftermath of the food boycott.

The family visit ended today. Carl was up bright and early. After eating breakfast, we went outdoors and played in the rain. The visit ended around 1 pm, we said good-bye, and Sandy and Carl left the prison. After the conjugal trailer visit, I had to give a urine sample for drug testing purposes.
· · Also: Today was commissary day. Once a week we can order junk food and hygiene items from the prison commissary at inflated convenience store prices. For a change, I received everything I had ordered: Pepsi, chocolate chip cookies, Dial soap, hot chili, and instant iced tea.

Lunch was late because the kitchen ran out of food. Prison food bureaucrats act as if they have no idea how many prisoners will possibly show up for each meal. After dinner I called my parents in Florida, Sandy and Carl, and the Prison Legal News office. At 7:45 pm I went outside for the last movement period of the day. I walked around, chatted with friends, and got some fresh air. I went back to my cell for the night when they closed the yard at 8:45 pm. Since dinner had sucked, I fixed up a cup of soup, with chocolate chip cookies and some Pepsi. TV was lame tonight, so I watched the local news and Nightline, and went to sleep around 2 am.

I slept in today, and got up around 11:30 am. I got my dirty clothes together and turned them in to the unit laundry for cleaning. I changed the linen on my bed. Then I went to lunch, which consisted of a bland, pasty chicken burrito.
After lunch I called a Seattle lawyer to get an update on a contempt hearing against Joseph Lehman, Washington's prison boss. Three weeks earlier, King County Judge Glenna Hall had found unconstitutional a state law which mandates the seizure of 35% of all money sent in to prisoners. Judge Hall had ordered Lehman to immediately "cease and desist" enforcing the law. Lehman, however, has continued to take prisoners' money, because he thinks Judge Hall is wrong. A contempt hearing was scheduled to determine why Lehman thinks he is above the law.
At around 3 pm, I got my mail, including a notice from the Discover credit card company, telling me that even with my monthly salary of $50, I had been preapproved for a $5,000 line of credit.

Plans to sleep in this morning were disrupted by a booth guard who doesn't know how to operate the unit's electric cell doors. Instead of quietly opening and closing the doors, she grinds the gears and makes an incredibly annoying racket. At 8 am, she managed to break the locking mechanism for one tier in the unit. For the next eight hours, in order to get in or out of our cells, a guard had to manually open the cell door with a big Allen wrench type of device. In another part of the cellblock, construction workers were cutting two holes in the concrete walls to install ventilation units. The masonry drills and saws made getting any sleep impossible.
After work I went to the law library and browsed the new books that had come in this week. I answered various questions from library patrons about civil and criminal law, and checked out some law books. I went back to my cell and changed into shorts.
I went outside to the yard to read and work on my tan at the same time. At 3 pm I called an attorney in Seattle to get an update on various prison cases pending around the state. Then it was shower time and back to work, where I swept the visiting rooms.
Due to malfunctioning cell doors in yet another cell block, dinner was delayed by an hour. I missed dinner, as I had a visit with my wife and son. They were both fine. Carl was excited from going to the zoo earlier today. He was his usual active self, running around and exploring everything. They left at around 7:30 pm, as it was Carl's bedtime. I went outside to the yard for a walk, and to chat with friends. Then I got ice and returned to my cell for the night, which I spent reading, writing letters, and watching TV. I got to sleep around 2 am.

I got up around noon. After a lunch of overcooked chicken and undercooked rice, I returned some books to the law library. I went out to the yard to work out and tan. I advised two Mexican prisoners who can't speak English on how to raise issues in a disciplinary hearing appeal, after they had been found guilty of violating prison rules they don't understand.
After showering and doing some reading, I went to work and mopped the visiting room. Dinner consisted of dried-out, overcooked turkey ham. I called various friends and relatives around the country, and my wife and son, then spent the rest of the evening writing the script for my weekly radio show, writing letters, and working on some articles for Prison Legal News. I watched the news, Almost Live, and Saturday Night Live, both of which were reruns. I got to sleep around 2:30 am.

I got up around 11:30 am and went to a lunch of greasy hamburgers. I mopped the visiting room and vacuumed the carpet. After work I went to the yard to work out, tan, and proofread some articles. I showered and went to work, where I cleaned all the tables in the visiting room.
Dinner consisted of soggy cheese sandwiches. I visited with Sandy and Carl tonight. Today was Sandy's birthday. Carl and I took some Father's Day pictures together to send to each of his grandfathers. Carl did his best to avoid smiling for the pictures. Carl and Sandy went home at 7:30 pm so Carl could get to bed. I went for a stroll in the yard and chatted with friends before going to my cell for the evening. I typed up an article and answered mail until I went to sleep at around 2 am. Paul Wright is the co-editor of Prison Legal News, and is currently serving 25 years and four months for Murder One.

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