New Journals - Randy Halprin

Randy Halprin
 "We tend to see a person in the moment, not as the journey they travelled to get here."  Kat Lehmann

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March 17th, 2020

Tuesday...The lockdown has ended and with that comes an explosion of noise and chaos! My section doesn't have recreation today, so I'm stuck in the cell. But I was first to get my shower out of the way and I was happy about that. Waiting all day for a shower can be a real pain in the butt.

I could have misheard someone yelling, but I was sure I heard that the scheduled execution for tomorrow was off, although I don't know if it was an actual stay or just a rescheduling. I know there has been some pressure to postpone it due to the Corona virus, because people wouldn't be able to protest in close quarters, or be cramped into a small room to witness the execution. Regardless, it's always a good thing to get a stay!

You know, I've made this point before, but at a time when the economy is falling apart and we should be freeing up resources to help people when they really need the help, it seems ridiculous to press on with executions...Think of what that money could do to save many lives. Our politicians and governors should really re-prioritise what is most important in benefiting humanity because it definitely isn't revenge.  

Okay...just heard the news and the guy got a 60 day reprieve which will translate into another 5 months. This is due to a law in Texas that requires an additional 91 days if an execution is halted. Well, that is very good news, and I wonder if the same will happen for next week's scheduled execution? [Note from the Webmaster: Yes, as we now know, they did indeed grant a stay for the execution scheduled for 25th March].

There's a tree behind the building, directly behind my window, and it was taking forever for it to bud, when all of the other trees had fully bloomed. I thought it might have died, but it came to life and you can see the leaves beginning to bud. It's really cool to see...I mean, how many people really pay attention to a tree blooming when spring comes? It's an amazing symbol of hope...I highly recommend it!

Courage. Strength. Hope and Faith.  


March 12th, 2020

I've been pretty bad at keeping up with this journal...I've tried to do some writing, and I'm not exactly lacking motivation, but I often feel like I'm repeating myself or griping about things going on back in this environment when so much more is going on out there. However, I'm going to try!

So, we've been on lockdown for over a week now. We knew it was coming, but because of the staff shortages, the shakedowns of the pods are taking forever. It took two days just to do the pod I live on and I didn't lose anything, thank goodness. But we really should've been up and over with it by now.  

A growing concern amongst us all back here is this Corona virus...I know what it's doing to the world and to the economy, and I also know that it's causing a lot of stress back here with special visits being cancelled due to travel restrictions. As more and more cases pop up, I feel like it's only a matter of time before someone comes into the unit with the virus, and this place (like all prisons) are incubators! It will spread like wild fire and then everything here will be shut down and we'll be on quarantine.  

Years ago there was a Noro virus outbreak that started on another unit in another town. As is typical in Texas prisons, guys were shipped around which spread the virus to other units. It hit Polunsky with a fury and as each case popped up, they would place that particular pod in quarantine and lockdown. The danger was that because we wouldn't be able to make commissary whilst in quarantine, guys were reluctant to report to staff or medical that they were sick, and so the virus took hold even further.   

This will happen in the free world too – people can't afford to skip work when they live from pay cheque to pay cheque. And then there are the people who can be plain idiotic and selfish, leaving their homes to go non-essential shopping or whatever, and spreading it further. It's insane, and no one knows what will happen here. I just feel it's a matter of time before Polunsky is contaminated!  

I guess this is a story to be continued...

We've also been waiting on a new warden to take over Polunsky, and it was supposed to happen on March 1st. As far as I know, the transition into a new administration has yet to happen. I do know that the new mail room rules have begun, and I've had two cards denied thus far, but I'm confused...Some guys are still receiving cards, but the cards I had denied came from my girlfriend and they were handmade (with her beautiful art work!). So, I'm wondering if this rule now only applies to handmade cards and not store bought cards? We've not seen any official policy posted yet, so we're really clueless.  

Anyways, Spring seems to be here and I've been watching birds – magpies specifically – outside of my window. It's been really meditative! You don't really pay too much attention to birds when you're out in the free world, but back here? I love watching them! There's a rat infestation on Polunsky right now, and we're seeing more and more predatory birds like hawks and buzzards flying about. One buzzard waited until night time and landed on a light pole...It watched and waited, patiently, until the rats came out to forage at night. When one came out, it swooped down like lightening and snatched it up...It was surreal to watch!  

That's pretty much been my days lately. Hopefully, I'll find my groove and get back to writing normally...We'll see!

Courage. Strength, Hope and Faith!


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