Anatomy of a Search

Hello again and welcome to Muninn’s Roost. I loathe to sound like I am whining, but a friend advised that people who visit this site may wish to hear more about this place and how existence is within in it. So upon that friend’s very trusted advice…

I was “searched” yesterday. Let me apologize in advance for having to get a bit graphic with some aspects of this occurrence, but I feel that to get the true idea across at least some of that is needed. For without the purposeful demeaning elements, it loses something.

A search is something one really needs to experience to fully appreciate. And I am not talking about one that is staged for a television show here. I am talking about the “real deal”. Something the guards call “tossing a cell” or “a shakedown”.

It begins with a noise, lot of it. Ten to fifteen guards standing at the foot to a block getting excited over the idea of tearing through cells. Some cycle the mechanism of their handcuffs over and over… it makes a loud zipping and clicking noise. Those disposed to nervousness may begin to feel mild to severe paranoia here depending on their sensibilities. Then there are those of us who feel anger and go on the defense.

Then the door to the block bangs open…

Carts roll in on noisy wheels to put things on that are taken away for arbitrary reasons far too myriad for space to allow a description of. Large trash cans are dragged in to throw away things deemed as trash or my favorite term: “Nuisance contraband,” which anything can be labeled.

The guards stop at the first cage closest to the door, open “the trap” (a small metal door covering a slot in the door through which mostly food is passed through) and the occupant is ordered to strip and hand the gloved guard their clothes. (The guards wear rubber surgical gloves always; they don’t want to touch us with their hands.) While naked the man is ordered to show them the inside of their mouth, to raise their arms, lift their scrotum, then ordered to “turn around and squat and cough”. Some comply with this degrading demand… I just continue to turn until I face them again and demand my clothes back. (I simply must draw the line someplace.) Some can be insistent… in which case I get other clothing and put that on. Some may call over a sergeant and tell them I am being “non-compliant” (like I ever would be compliant) and the sergeant usually tells them to back off a bit.

Then the person is chained and removed from their cage. (Some use metaphorical terms like “cell” or “room” or even “house”… I don’t kid myself, I live in a cage… like an animal.) A team of guards then enter the cage and proceed to tear through what little property the person has. This is not done in a polite or nice manner as it is on the aforementioned television show. (There are no cameras present.) And after they have touched, moved, perhaps thrown everything in your cage… you are brought back, the door closes behind you, the chains are removed, and you are left, sometimes having to walk across your own legal work strewn all over the floor, to try and figure out what might be broken or if something has been stolen from you.

It takes anywhere from two to eight people about ten or fifteen minutes to turn a man’s pitiful existence upside down. And while you are waiting for them to get to you you can hear them in the cell next to you. And again as you try to re-organize what little life you have, they do it to the next person in line.

It takes a while to recover from such a thing. First (after I figure out best as I can what is broken or missing) I just pick things up and put them in the couple of boxes I’m allowed to have. I am not trying to put things where they go, mind you; I am just getting stuff off of the floor and contained. I won’t get things back in order (files and what have you) until perhaps the next day… depending on when the search happened– usually in the evening– the only time one really has to try to relax.

After I get things picked up, I clean…ceiling, walls, floor, everything! (I call it “cleaning the asswipe out of my cage”.) I do this because you can never know where the asswipes (guards) came from. Before they got to you they could have been searching a block where they house the mentally insane, who cut themselves and throw (or wear) their feces and urine, or standing in blood. (The insane cut themselves too.) or blood from an assault, somewhere, blood infected with any number of viral pathogens. (I clean a lot!) Then I wash me from head to foot with an anti-bacterial soap, (when I can afford to buy it) or at  least regular soap. Staying clean and cleaning is almost a full-time job.

It can take awhile to settle back down into your normal (what is “normal” in a world like this?) pattern of existence. At best this place is a theater of chaotic absurdities. What a human can get used to is truly amazing. But generally, after a day or two, the search fades to a dull memory. (One needs the ability to “move on” in an environment such as this.) “Adapt. Overcome.” Such is my mantra.

Well, that is what it’s like to get searched in the highest maximum security prison in the state of Arizona. I can’t promise anything. But next time I may attempt to write about something besides “here”. I like to try to mentally get out of this place when I can. For now, I will leave you with another piece that I wrote. (Yes, about this place.) It has a few lines that pertain to searches in it. I hope you enjoy it, or at least it moves some of you in some way.

Until next time,



4 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Search

  1. Pingback: All I Want for Christmas is My Civil Liberties | Muninn's Roost

  2. Pingback: Targeted? | Muninn's Roost

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