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Next, I was brought to a section called R & D, Receiving & Discharge, that felt very much like its title – a place for FedEx packages. I was processed and then told to strip naked. While I was standing naked in this cold room, on a cold cement floor, a man entered who I would later learn was the Head Lieutenant. He basically ran the day-to-day operations of the prison. Looking me up and down, he then asked me if I was the lawyer. I told him no, but that I used to be one. This answer seemed to please him. Then he told me then that inside there would beone former lawyer – that would be me – two former doctors, five former stockbrokers, and 1500 drug dealers.
Almost everybody who was designated to Allenwood was first brought to the SHU, Raoul explained. There was no way to know how long I’d be in the SHU, but Raoul suspected that I wouldn’t have to wait long: I was a first timer, middle aged, and most importantly, I was white. I later learned that some inmates are kept in the SHU “waiting for a bed” thirty days or longer. I only had to wait 16 hours before I was released onto the compound.
The darkest days of a person’s life can be a
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