Screwed Kenosha Style

#3204H-001 Bunk 41
Kenosha County Jail
March 30, 2004:

Dear Family:

Last night I got moved. Right after I wrote the last letter I was given orders to pack my stuff and be ready. I gathered my wealth together. It was a finger size of toothpaste, a tooth brush and a comb! Just think that precious comb I will never be able to part with! At the new location I even received a second comb. Now I can do both sides at the same time!

Well, after I carried my riches and their bedding to a destination down the hall, I got put back in my barracks for supper. Finally this high risk criminal got led away in hand cuffs along with seven other inmates. Just before the outside doors we got put in a holding pen.

In the small room a question was asked to a seventeen year old boy why he was here. He had broke into a house and stole one Tony's pizza. There was a lot of laughter in that jail holding pen as we listened to the whole story. So you people out there, DO NOT BUY TONY'S PIZZA! You are provoking young teenagers to break into your house.

Then the adventurous excitement. Two by two we got taken out of the pen into the hall. There we got shackled with handcuffs and ankle cuffs with a chain joining both duffs. Then all eight got led into a six bench Sheriff Security Bus with a steel gate locking us in from the front of the bus where the driver and one sheriff sat. They can't take any chances with any pizza stealers. It reminded me of "Conair."

We drove out to the big new Correctional Facility out by the Kenosha airport. There we got our thrill by getting patted down by a nice looking woman. It's been such a long time! In the downtown jail all the clothing you got was just the plastic sandals and a top and bottom pajama uniform. At this new place we got at lest three pair of underwear and T-shirts! I felt like putting on all three pair to make up for the four days I went without! You don't know what you have until it is taken from you.

This is a large complex. It is like a huge school with many large "classrooms," also with many lunchrooms. We walk single file down the right side of the hallway to and from the lunchroom. In the "classroom" we have about 55 inmates starting from pizza stealers all the way to dope dealers. The bathrooms are open walled (walls on three sides only - the 4th side open to the recreational and bunk area. So if using the bathroom you start playing the trumpet everyone gets to hear the music.

The showers are better then downtown. There the shower curtains where barely or not even to your waste, while here they reach all the way.

My greatest joy at this place is that I went from a top bunk downtown to a bottom bunk here. It won't hurt so bad here if I was told to head dive out of my bunk here. Another equal joy is that a uniformed guard is always at a desk and control panel in the center of the room, facing the bathroom area though, and sometimes they are women guards. I will either have to concentrate real hard on timing or I will have a total change in a standard of modesty thinking. But that is not the joy that I meant when my mind went to this. Back to the joy of having a guard in the room is the fact that when the lights get dimmed the talking stops. It's bedtime! I appreciate that. Another thing the guards (men & Women) are even friendlier then downtown. They laugh & talk with you. They are very nice people and friends that are doing a job.

But now I'm think of the irony. Everyone else can correct themselves here accept me. Pizza stealers quit stealing pizzas, especially Tony's brand, dope dealers quit dealing, dope growers don't grow anymore, drunkards quit drinking, dope users quit using, abusers quit abusing, rioters quit rioting. Everyone can quit doing what it was that got them here, except me. If I was told to pay 34% of my income to child support of what Wisconsin demands, I would be in my glory. But forcing me to pay 90% of my income is impossible, I made about $300 a week and to stay even on the current and arrears I would have to pay at least $250 a week. HOW? I make 75% of my income in the summer six months and extremely struggle to make it through the winter. The child support framed to me is like lifting a 300 pound rock. In just the right position and situation I could hold it but for only a few seconds. In the summer months I might be able to struggle with it, but impossible in the short winter hours. Now if it is the truth that I am locked up for most of the summer then this will be my home for the rest of my life. My muscles will deteriorate in here and I will never be able to make it when I get out. It will be on it's way into the winter again. If that is the case, I might as well stay here with food & remnants (clothing) there with be content. Just think I have housing, too! And I don't have to pay rent here!

I just came back from lunch. I am glad that I have a reputation of opening my mouth, dump the plate full of food into it, shut and swallow and call it eating. There were several at my table that didn't get enough time but had to throw the rest of their food and line up again.

I find a lot of benefits being in jail. I like the food. It is better then my cooking I don't have to cook. I don't have to do laundry. I don't need to work in the rain the cold or the heat. I don't have to worry where I'm getting my next meal from or how I am able to buy it. It is free here and hot. I can sleep whenever I want to and Dad you are right, they open the doors for you where out in the cruel world you have to open the doors yourself. I don't have to buy clothes with no money.

The Army is a whole lot worse. There I wouldn't know when I would have to jump out of sleep, get dressed in a minute and start running down the road in the dark. Nobody here ever gets told to lay down and start rolling in the mud. I don't have to spit shine my boots or sandals. Here nobody gets hit in the back of the head for no reason at all, like the common practice in the Army. The weather conditions that you deal with in the Army is foreign to jail inmates, we have warm in the winter and cool air conditioned in the summer. I don't have to dread the hot or cold days like in my trailer. Ironic that people enlist in the Army willfully but not into jail! Strange.

If I could only get used to exposing my body to anybody man, woman or crowd and don't care, I thin this would be the perfect place. In a way I'm beginning to enjoy this easy life and dread going back to fight for my own existence, plus outrageous child support. I can't forget that, that comes first. If I eat or not doesn't matter. At least I don't have to worry about that now. I like that.

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Bernie Tocholke
41391 Little Sand Rd.
Hinckley, MN 55037




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