Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 23-25 - HIVES!

Tuesday, June 23rd

After Jocelynn's birthday, and Clayton's visit with family, his mood improved and he made an effort to bring himself back to a positive outlook.  On Tuesday, Clayton focused most of his attention on writing letters.  Letter writing has become one of Clayton's primary ways of remaining connected to friends and family, as his visitation list is limited to only 10 people due to statewide Department of Corrections policy.  Clayton excitedly informed his wife during visitation that he had mailed around a dozen letters that day.

Clayton also spent the day preparing for the weekly inspections that take place on Wednesday mornings.  For inspections, inmates clean their cells and common areas; attempting to adhere to strict guidelines for cleanliness and organization.  The various modules within the prison compete with one another on inspections, and the winning mod gets an additional 'late night' for the week.  On a 'late night' inmates in that mod get to stay up for an additional couple of hours instead of being locked down for the night earlier.  Clayton makes it a personal effort to ensure his cell is always going to pass inspection in all areas.

Clayton was also very excited that he managed to get a lot of work done on his Rock of Ages (ROA) Discipleship Institute bible study program.  He's currently pressing forward through the section on the book of Matthew, and was able to get all the way to the section on chapter 21 of 28.

During visitation, Clayton and his wife were also pleasantly surprised to be one of only 2 families participating in a visit.  This allowed for a much quieter and more personal visitation time.

Wednesday, June 24th

On Wednesday, Clayton's cell passed inspection but the mod did not win the additional 'late night' for the week.  He decided to dedicate his day to finishing the ROA bible study on Matthew.  He was very excited to have it completed, and was ready to hand it over for review.  He explained that there was an inmate in the mod assigned to collecting and mailing in the bible studies from everyone, and that they had postage-paid envelopes for that purpose which were provided by the chaplain.  This ensured that inmates did not require their own stamps and mailing supplies to participate.

When leaving for his visit, Clayton noticed that there was once again a large pile of mail which had not yet been delivered.  Ever since his arrival in K Mod, Clayton had become used to mail delivery occurring right before he was taken to visitation.  However, over the months he and his family had come to learn that different shifts of guards (especially new staff) would often do things differently.  He explained that for some reason, the current shift of guards were waiting to sort mail and deliver it until the middle of the night - 1am to 2am - and so even though he could see that it was in the Mod, he would not be able to report on the mail he received until an additional day later.

He also mentioned during visitation, that one particular guard on current rotation had a cruel habit.  Clayton explained that all of the other guards did not bring in food from the outside for their shifts.  They understand that food from the outside is an incredible temptation for the inmates; especially those with extremely long sentences.  However, this new guard will bring in food from the outside (cheeseburgers for example) and "make a big show" of eating it in front of the inmates.  Clayton said he had heard numerous whispers around the mod of inmates who were finding that temptation extremely difficult.

He heard one man whisper to another, "Man... I've got so many years... if I tackle him I bet I could get a bite of that thing."

The second man responded with, "They'd taze you man."

And the first man came back with, "I think it would be worth it."

Clayton said he hoped he never saw any of the inmates go through with it, but said he would get as far away as possible if it ever occurred.


During his visitation on Wednesday night, Clayton began itching terribly and said it felt as if the skin beneath his arms was burning.  He struggled throughout the visit to keep from scratching.  His wife asked if he wanted to cut their visit short, and asked to be checked out.  But Clayton wanted to have his full hour for the day, and decided to ask the guards that 'strip them out' after visitation to take a look at it.

Being "stripped out" is something that all inmates have to do after visitation - and sometimes before - depending on the shift of guards at the time, and the guards level of experience.  It requires all the inmates to strip down and demonstrate that they don't have anything hidden on their person, by bending over and 'spreading their cheeks'.  They frequently have to do this as a group without the benefit of private screening.  It is a process the guards go through to ensure that inmates have not received contraband from visitors.  The facility is equipped with a body scanner that inmates are put through - which views their internal organs to see if they have swallowed anything.  Some guards are familiar with the scanning equipment and just put them through the scanner.  Others are unfamiliar, and strip them out instead.  Still others do both processes.  Clayton has explained before that he has been attending visitation almost every day, and still doesn't know what to expect on any given night.

After visitation was over, he asked the guard doing the strip out to check under his arms, and was surprisingly sent straight to medical for an evaluation.  The guard confirmed that Clayton had hives under his arms, all the way up the back of his neck and behind his ears.  Then when meeting with the nurse, they confirmed that the area under Clayton's arms looked as if it had some kind of severe chemical burn.

Clayton was immediately given 2 Benadryl and an ice pack, sent back to his cell, and told to check in with the nurse at medicine call in the morning.  He was able to trade the ice pack back and forth under his arms to try and fight the burning sensation.  Fortunately, Clayton had purchased a tiny tube of hydrocortisone creme (anti-itch) from the commissary list weeks before, and was able to apply it to his arms to make the night more endurable.   He was instructed not to use soap, lotion, or any other substance on his arms for 2-3 days to see if the reaction would cease.  Upon leaving, Clayton was handed a receipt showing that the visit with the nurse had cost $5 with the Benadryl he'd been provided costing an additional $5.

Thursday, June 25

Clayton was able to get a call out to his wife the next morning and explain what had happened around his allergic reaction.  The medicine helped, but Clayton was concerned that he was going to run out of anti-itch cream, and would not be able to even order more until Sunday.  Then it would take 2 weeks to arrive.  He still had no idea what was causing the reaction. The skin beneath his arms was purplish and obviously burned.  However, he said that overall he was doing much better.

Clayton's wife had to inform him that she learned after leaving visitation the day before that 2 members of Clayton's family had separate incidents in which they tripped and fell, and ended up in the emergency room.  She spent much of the visitation time relaying the information she had, and assuring him that they would be fine.  It was yet again frustrating for Clayton to be separated from those he loved when he wanted to help.

Otherwise, the day had been a good one.  During visitation Clayton explained to his wife that he had received mail from her the night before - finally receiving pictures of the photo event that took place to show support for him on May 31.  He was very excited to finally get to see all of his friends, family, and other community members dressed in green.  He had also received commissary today, and was happy to get some of the supplies he had ordered.  Unfortunately, he realized he had ordered the wrong size batteries, and would have to wait 2 additional weeks before he could use the tiny alarm clock he'd received.


  1. I am wondering if the visit to the nurse cost him personally $5 and $5 for the medicine. I would think that those things are required to be provided. What would happen if someone did not have people on the outside depositing money? Would that person be told they can't go see the nurse and or that they can't have needed medicine? hum... interesting

    1. There is an "indigent" status for people who have absolutely no money, but everyone else gets charged to their account. An 'indigent' status gets people access to a basic set of envelopes and stamps for mail, and some other VERY basic commissary options. However, most people are not in the indigent status, but do not have enough money to afford almost anything on their own. For example, the anti-itch cream is something Clayton had to have already purchased previously - BEFORE he needed it. Otherwise, he would have gone without.

    2. I need to add another post soon on a related topic! Thank you for the reminder. The State of Alaska just approved a policy to charge inmates $1 per local phone call (when each call is still limited to 15 minutes), even though the facilities are not charged for local calls. 'Indigent inmates will get some allotted calls, but this cost burden will successfully cut off most people from their families. Many, many families are very upset. I do not know when the policy will be implemented yet.

  2. Does Clayton get to listen to CD's? If so, Id like to burn him some of my music. Not sure if he would like it or not. If so, and if he can listen to CD's, I would love to send something.

    Take care old friend,

    1. Hi Spaz! Unfortunately, Clayton cannot receive CDs. However he does have an MP3 player that he is allowed to use and has a kiosk where folks can apply money to his account and he can download from a list of available songs. I have noted that this list has a significant portion of music from YouTube artists as well as mainstream artists. If any of your music is available through there, he might be able to access it. If not, since you are the artist, you could potentially bargain for your music to be included in their list. You can find out more information at: Otherwise, if you have mainstream songs you would like to recommend, you can send him a letter with the information on the artist and song title and he can look for it in the list. Letters can be sent to Clayton Allison #533030, c/o Goose Creek Correctional Center, PO Box 877790, Wasilla, AK 99687. Clayton says he would love to get a letter from you so that he could get your mailing address and write to you.

      -- CJ