“How can I help you sir?” says RAYMOND JOHNSON, a rotund bald 41-year-old Correction Officer, with a country accent to Jabari as he walks up to the front desk.
Jabari stops in his stride at the voice of the correction officer.
“I’m here…to self-surrender,” Jabari says in a nervous tone. Jabari reaches into his back pocket to retrieve the only item left in his possession- his driver’s license.
“Ok. What’s your last name and first name?” inquires CO Johnson.
“Dixon. Jabari. I am supposed to check in by noon”. Jabari says as he hands the CO his ID to exam it.
Jabari and CO Johnson both take a moment to look at the digital clock in the corner.
“Ok. You are good.” states CO Johnson before returning it to Jabari to put back in his pocket. “I will call receiving to have someone come through the compound to escort you for processing.” CO Johnson reaches down to pick up a telephone receiver and looks back up at Jabari.
“Do me a favor and walk through the metal detector and have a seat until he comes up,” CO Johnson states directing Jabari to the metal detectors with the phone receiver in his hand.
Clearing his throat, Jabari finally takes a step in the direction of the CO’s gesture and takes in the front area on his way to the directed metal detector.
The front area is the reception area for the compound. An x-ray machine with a bag scanner lays to his right. A visiting area is to his left.
As he continues he passes safety glass, then the reality of everything finally hits when he sees the prison bars. The sight of the prison bars causes Jabari’s heart rate to increase, as this is his first time being in an environment like this.
Jabari stops at the metal detector to be waived through by AN ATTENDANT.
After clearing the machine, Jabari sits down on a hard, cold plastic seat. Sitting there in that moment allowed Jabari to start processing the life he was about to give up for the next 19 months. His mind drifts as he glances up at the muted television broadcasting the news.
Lost in his thoughts of April and the life he had, he doesn’t notice the motorized sounds of the bars to his right opening.
“Dixon?” states a shaggy-haired, bearded Corrections Officer named NELSON SPEARS.
Jabari turns his head to meet CO Spear’s eyes.
“Good Afternoon. This way,” CO Spears continues.
Jabari rises to his feet and walks towards CO Spears. As they meet, they shake hands and begin to start their walk.
“Welcome to Petersburg,” CO Spears says.
“Yeah,” Jabari says solemnly.
“I know it’s probably not the way you want to be here, but don’t worry because you don’t have much time here.”
Jabari nods as CO Spears stops their walk for a second.
“Let me grab your ID from you,” CO Spears says.
Jabari stops in his walk and shakes his head in acknowledgement. He reaches into his back pocket once again to retrieve his ID.
“Thank you,” states CO Spears, who exams it before clipping it to his clipboard. This sight made Jabari realize that he was now completely severed from his life on the outside. “Now we have to go through the security of the low prison compound. Did you take the time to remember your inmate number?” CO Spears inquires as he flips through his clipboard to find it himself.
“Yes, I did. They sent it to me a few weeks ago.” Jabari replies causing CO Spears to stop his search.
“Perfect. Give it to the security guard with your last name first and she will open the gate and you can enter the compound.” CO Spears states as he points to Jabari’s next destination.