As Spears sits at his desk, he begins to break down the next 19 months of Jabari’s life. First, he explains to Jabari that different security levels are not allowed to intermingle with each other. In addition, for the first seven months of his 19-month stay, he would be classified as a “Minimum” before being downgraded to “Community.”
Jabari begins to nod as the information is coming to him in such a way that he can tell that Spears has given this break down enough to have it memorized. As Jabari continues to nod in agreement to the rules of the prison camp his attention becomes split by the feeling of something on his foot.
He glances down to see one of the largest cockroaches he has ever seen crawling over his foot. He tries to shake it off as Spears continues his speech and when Spears glances into his drawer Jabari takes action with a snapping motion of his foot towards the door.
“You got here just in time to,” Spears says snapping Jabari’s attention back to him as the cockroach goes flying towards the door. “About 5 minutes later and you’d be spending the night in the SHU, I was literally leaving here for today at 12:30.”
Jabari smiles at both the defeat of his first obstacle of the cockroach and the news that he arrived at the prison just at the right time.
Spears pulls out another folder to clip to Jabari’s file and opens it to begin recording the information.
“Let’s get started now. From now on you are Inmate Dixon.”
Jabari stares at Spears as the sound of that is finally registering.
Spears continues, ”Yeah I know it sucks. Get used to it for the short time that you are here because you will hear it a lot. We are going to get you changed into your prison attire now. Then we are going to get a picture. Then fingerprints. After that, you will see one of the Physician Assistants here in Petersburg. Following that, you will talk with the police that is located here. Finally, before we take you across the street to the Camp you will have a quick psychological exam.”
“Psychological exam?” questions Jabari.
“Yea. Everyone has a hard time being incarcerated, but even the minimalist security prison is still hard for white collar felons. The ones that work their way down here from the other higher security prisons love it here.”
“I’m sure you have other questions, but I suggest you sit on them until you hear everything else first.” Spears says returning to his checklist. “Now like I stated-“as Spears begins to read again the door to the right of Jabari opens and two LOW PRISON ORDERLIES casually stroll into Spears office. One is a slightly thin older black male who is quiet and stands slightly behind the other as they enter the room. The other is a slightly build Hispanic male with tattoos covering his arms and neck.
“What’s up new guy?” says the slightly built Hispanic Male as approaches Jabari.
Jabari clears his throat and straightens his posture. “Hey what’s up?” Jabari replies concentrating on the pitch of his voice to not seem out of place.
“Where the hell ya’ll been at!” Spears shoots to the two of them.
“We got stuck in the lockdown. We just got out. Came over here as soon as we could,” says the orderly as he quickly goes from his conversation with Jabari to emptying out the trash can leaning the mop against one of the office chairs.
“Dixon. Let’s go,” Spears says causing Jabari to stand up. “I’m leaving in a half hour,” Spears says emerging from his desk and walking over to the fingerprint scanner.
As Jabari begins to walk towards Spears, the silent orderly comes out of nowhere impeding Jabari’s path. The silent orderly stares at Jabari and then reaches back into his back pocket to pull something out startling Jabari.
“Oh! Naw man, I ain’t going to shank you,” the now vocal orderly says showing his hands seeing Jabari’s shocked facial expression. One of the orderly’s hands is empty but exposes a heavily tattooed arm. The other hand contains a tape measure. “I just need to get your measurements for your prison uniforms,” the gold teeth plated inmate says smiling at Jabari.
Breaking the awkwardness of the situation, Spears once again calls for their attention. “Well take his measurements over here while I do his fingerprints,” Spears directs at the orderly, as the other begins mopping up the water along the path leading to the basement door.
Jabari walks to the fingerprint scanner and begins to have his fingerprints scanned as the gold teeth orderly begins measuring. The orderly awkwardly measures his chest and then around his waist as Spears continues to record his prints one at a time.
“Alright you are larger than I thought you were when I first sized you up,” says the gold teeth orderly. “We are going to get you a 46’ shirt and a 42’ pants.”
The gold teeth inmate continues leaning in.” It’s better to be loose than tight in prison anyway. You don’t want people thinking you are trying to advertise you are available.”
“Hell no!” Jabari says causing both of them to laugh.
“I’ll be right back with your greens and white underwear,” the gold tooth inmate says as he begins to walk towards the back office,” what’s your shoe size?”
“A size 10. I mean 10.5,” Jabari responds receiving a nod from the orderly as he heads into the laundry room as Spears finishes the prints.
Next to the fingerprint machine table is a box full of white t-shirts. After the machine finishes Jabari’s last print, Spears reaches into the box and retrieves a white t-shirt.
“Prison photo time,” Spears states to Jabari.
Jabari takes off the shirt that he is wearing and puts on the t-shirt that Spears hands to him and he is directed to the wall opposite the camera.
Jabari stands up against the grey background with the height measurements running along the side. Jabari looks down to make sure he is standing in the correct footprint spot and then looks back up at Spears.
“On the count of five,” Spears says as he begins to count backwards.
At one, Spears snaps the prison photo of Jabari causing both a flash and smile to light up on Jabari’s face at the same time.
Upon seeing the processed results of the photograph, Spears begins to laugh.
“You can tell you’ve never been in trouble man. Nobody I’ve seen here has ever smiled in their prison photo,” Spears says causing the orderly who is still cleaning to laugh as well.
Jabari shrugs off their heckling.”It’s a force of habit,” he says as he tries to see the photograph that he is being ridiculed for.
“Awww man,” Spears continues “Do you wanna keep this one? I think you will get a good laugh out of this when you get out. You are going to be like ‘what the hell was I thinking’?” Spears says as he begins laughing again.
“It is fine,” Jabari replies.
“We will go with this one then.” Spears says as he hits print and the orange prison id card begins to print.
“You are going to need to keep this card with you at all times for security purposes. It is also scanned in during meals.”
When the machine spits the card out of the laminator, Spears grabs it and hands it to Jabari, but hangs on to it before finishing the exchange.
“I just want to tell you that if you attempt to get more than one tray that they will write you up for stealing and stick you in the SHU for seven days,” Spears says to a nod from Jabari before relinquishing the identification to him.
As they finish their exchange, the gold teeth inmate returns with a laundry bag with green clothing and white underwear and a pair of boots thrown over his shoulder..
The white underwear contained within the bag is so thin it is almost translucent. The contents of which are two thin shirts, four boxers, and four pairs of socks. The green clothing also bundled within the bag are two long sleeved green shirts, two short sleeved green shirts, and four green pairs of pants. Inside the size 10.5 pair of hard plastic work, boots is a nylon belt for the pants.
The gold teeth inmate puts the bag of clothes on the table in front of Jabari and then sets the shoes down beside them and walks away.
Jabari walks up to the table to retrieve the bags but is interrupted by Spears as he looks up from his clipboard steps away. “Alright, Dixon. Here comes the shitty part.” Spears says placing the clipboard down on the table next to Dixon. “Strip search time. We are going to go in the back and you have to get completely naked. Since you are a camper, we aren’t going to be so invasive with you. I’m not going to lie; it’s going to be uncomfortable.”
Jabari half way looks at Spears as he continues.”I’m not into men, so don’t worry I definitely won’t like it either. Grab a set of everything in that bag and let’s go into the room in the back,” Spears says pointing to the laundry room that the gold tooth inmate just exited.