Blog and Poetry

No Authority – by Donna Hockman


Over the last few months, I and others who hold down jobs and follow the rules and policies set by the Department of Corrections are fed up that corrective action isn’t used on those offenders who break the rules.  As a taxpayer and law-abiding citizen, you should be outraged that the prison system, at least at F.C.C.W., doesn’t possess the authority to enforce and carry out corrective punishment on offenders who disrupt the daily operation of the institution.

Two days ago assistant warden Paul Rice locked up in segregation an offender who was walking slow to chow waiting for her girlfriend, which happens to live in my wing.  Yesterday the girlfriend refused to go in her cell at count time so she could be locked up in segregation where the first girl was locked up.  She was locked up within an hour a replacement for these girls’ bed walked in the wing. (Typically segregation stays full due to limited numbers of bed spaces.)  So when the replacement walks in the entire wing explodes.   It’s the first girl that Mr. Rice locked up.  Now, this girl is livid when she finds out she just took the bed of her girlfriend.  She waits until the next shift of staff to come on duty and refuses to go in her cell for the count.  When staff comes in to count she’s out of her cell following behind staff as they move room to room counting offenders locked in their cells.  When count clears she is called out, spoken to and returned to the wing with no punishment.  (Offenders locked in their cell who do not stand to receive a charge and a punishment, i.e., a loss of phone, commissary, recreation, visit or must pay a fine up to $12.  The actions of this offender warranted her being locked up and charged with “interfering with count” or “disrupting the operation of the prison” yet she received no repercussions for her actions.  (My observation of her actions and my experience of being an offender advisor where I have dealt with problem offenders over the last 5 years is how I’m able to say with certainty what should have taken place.)

This incident is only one of many that occur on a daily basis.  We, the offenders who go to the correction officers with our concerns are told, “We can’t do anything because our supervisors prevent us from enforcing the rules.”  (The officers are the first in our chain of command and then ranking is as follows: Sgt., Lt., Capt. Unit Manager, Major, Assistant Warden and the Warden)

When we as offenders take our concerns up the chain of command, they all pass it back down to the building supervisors.  (How does it make you feel knowing your tax dollars pay the salaries of those who are employed to “correct” the inside of a prison but don’t?  Why should offenders tell staff how to do their job or ask for a structured, safe and secure environment?  As offenders our only responsibility is to follow the rules and be held accountable for our actions.

A Cry for Help – by Donna Hockman


Innocent till proven guilty

So not true, really

Convicted, murder in the first degree

Verdict brought me to my knees


Twelve strangers decided my fate,

Courtesy of lies provided by the state

A week-long trial can’t believe how it came about

I was in shock and denial with no way out


I testified for hours

How we met, the abuse and how it all went sour

I found papers stating he was an informant for the FBI

I confronted him, he denied it but I knew it was a lie


At this point, our relationship changed

Stalking, threats and beatings, he was deranged

He was so afraid I would tell his friends and family and blow his cover

I told him repeatedly, I’m done! You and I are over


Many times I came home during the day and night

Hiding, waiting in the shadows with his knife

Pulling me by my hair and legs

Taunting me, “You will only leave me in a body bag”


My dog Midnite watched as he invaded my space

She jumped her gate and bit his face

I reached out to the local police

Black-eyed, bruised and bloody, didn’t phase them in the least


He was not arrested after he assaulted me on June 21st

Four weeks before the shooting occurred

Before leaving with his mom he laughed and said, “I told you I’m one of them” (pointing to the cop)

Even after I filed a trespass notice his violence and stalking didn’t stop


Tired of living in fear and quickly going down hill

I was losing myself, my mind and my will

So many times I just wanted to die

Telling God, “I’m a good person, but here I am, why?”


His words always running through my mind

“I’ll gut your dogs like deer, I’m going to kill you and the time is near”

Last call answered, “I’ll take it from your beautiful, daughter. How would you like that shit?”

I hung up enraged, cell phone off and screamed, “I’ve had it, that’s it!”


July 24th, arrived and when I turned my phone back on, the threats did too

Going out of my mind, police won’t help, what’s a mom legally to do?

July 25th I should have known he wasn’t done with me yet,

When he said, “Baby I’m going to change, go back to when we first met.”


His eyes black and hollow “I’m going to kill your fucking son and then I’m going to kill you”

I panicked, feared the worst, I didn’t know what to do

I blacked out before I fired that gun

Moments before going through my mind he’s going to kill my son


Each day I wake knowing I saved my son’s life

And I know what I did was within my constitutional right

My loved ones struggle to make sense of it all

Our state ignored the truth and circumvented the law


A slow death in a 10×6 cell

Nothing compares to this living hell

I’ll keep on fighting for truth and justice to set me free

Nothing but facts in one place for all to see!


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