Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario
|Fortress Newspaper Exclusive: My Stay At The Crowbar Hotel!
By Shane A. Murphy, Journalist
Shane Back Home!
Well, Here I am back on the street after 2 days of formality hell and totally disagreeing with the idea of pleading guilty to anything thrown at me. During my short stay at the “Crowbar Hotel” I came to an epiphany….Prison life is not for Shane. This experience has confirmed what I already knew to be true. I have changed from my old criminal ways. I actually thought before I turned myself in that I would be able to except the circumstances a lot easier. Not happening!. Shane is well on his way to a much more successful future. I am writing this update for those who want the real story behind my mentality.
After I turned myself in I was handcuffed and brought to booking at 41 division. The wonderful officers fed me all of their wonderful sarcasm and I returned it with “can I have the cell with the Jacuzzi?” when they answered no I told them I wanted to file a formal complaint against the chief of police for false advertisement because the brochure told me otherwise”. All in good fun. I figured it was best to make the best out of a bad situation. From there I was brought to the detectives area and placed in a small, far to well lit interrogation room. I was told I had a right to make at least one phone call. Oddly enough not a soul received a phone call from me that evening. I was supposed to have a talk with a detective and I guess they had nothing to ask me or were not interested in my side of the story because the only being I ended up speaking to was A small black ant who entertained me throughout the evening with his crawling wall abilities. Well, at least someone appreciated my company.
After 4 hours in that small box I was finally brought to the holding cells where I was relieved to have dim light and running water. I finally got a drink of water and about 45 minutes of sleep. I awoke to the sound of the court services wagon backing up. I was tired from lack of sleep and sweaty because of the layers of clothing I chose to take in with me. I was once again handcuffed, placed in the cramped wagon and driven free of charge to the Scarborough courthouse. I was then placed in a cell with about 10 - 12 other gentleman who shared my love for contraband cigarette smoking. (In prison there is this thing called “hooping” that happens. )One of us brought in tobacco somehow and lets just say that all of the stresses of the court day were relieved and nicotine fits were fixed.
I was called in for my bail hearing and to my surprise(and every other soul in the courtroom) I was granted my bail. The judge had obviously recognized that I had been making serious attempts to change my ways of the past and I had become a contributing member of our society. I became teary eyed through this ordeal mostly because I was overwhelmed and overjoyed when I realized that all of my efforts to do the right thing and live by my promise to do so that I had given to my son and daughter 5 years ago were not in vain. Society gave me a chance and I am more than grateful for it all being this way. Thank you YOUR HONOUR. Shortly after my hearing, I was returned to the court cells and waited all day to be released only to find out that my surety needed more information to sign my bail release. I was upset by this yet remained optimistic because I knew my family wouldn’t let me rot in that environment. Not after all of the genuine efforts I have made to change. Shortly after the courthouse closed, I was brought to th Metro East Detention Centre. I have been to this luxury resort before and let me tell you was I in for a rude awakening!!!.
Front View Of The Toronto East Detention Centre!
I was placed in a holding cell while awaiting to be processed. A friend of mine was also going through his own legal difficulties and was with me in the East D.C. He and I told prison tales and jokes to make the time pass. After eating a jail meal and waiting about 2 hours, we were finally processed. We saw the jail nurse and got strip searched and given our jail issue uniform. We were placed in yet another cell waiting to be put on our range. When we got to our range we were put into our cells and locked into them. After about 5 minutes I noticed something rather unusual for a government financed institution, the cells were as cold as it was outside in the real world!. This is a concern to me because I have been to this wonderful resort before and have never known it to be this cold. In speaking to my cellmates who were housed with me, I heard stories of what I believed to be cruel and un usual punishment. I was told that during the following week when temperatures in Toronto dropped as low as -27 below zero, there was no heat in their cells. The only warmth the inmates had was from the steam that floated into the general living area from the showers that run pretty much all day. I heard that while they were inside their cells they had to wipe the cell door window clear of precipitation and mop up water from the floors of their cells. In other words, it was obviously colder than it should be for a human to reside in. I personally recall during my short stay being able to see my breath in the cell. Not acceptable. This type of action is extremely inhumane.
Shane in the standard institution coveralls!
In Canada, you are presumed innocent until you are found guilty in a court of law and even then, you would never catch a federal institution pulling this type of torture off. Inmates in the federal penitentiary would stick together and start a massive riot and cause all kinds of destruction until there voices were heard. They are already sentenced and the majority of the inmates in the Metro East Detention Centre are not. You do the math. Shortly after my discussions with my new friends, I tried my best to get some sleep. In these conditions I found it extremely difficult to do so. I eventually managed to get about an hour of sleep due to exhaustion.
Side View Of The Institution!
I woke up the following morning to the sound of squeaky wheels and keys turning which means its slop time(or breakfast). I can’t complain about the meals at the East D.C. because they were most definitely a few notches up from stale bread and water that they used to feed inmates in the 1960s yet I chose to pass on the food and just drink a small baggie of milk I was given. I wasn’t feeling very healthy to begin with even before this whole ordeal so my cellmate gave me his orange juice.
We ate breakfast and shortly after I was called for what is referred to as the doctors parade. I was brought downstairs and seen by a doctor to pretty much make sure everything was running properly within my body. After this, I was brought back to my range and put back into my cell. The institution was placed on lockdown so I still was unable to make that one phone call I had a right to from the moment I stepped into 41 division two nights before. Funny how it works huh?….
Anyways, to finish off my little story here, I was eventually called at around 3:30 pm for bail. I was happy to be going home finally. The guards came to get me and I was processed and released back into our wonderful society.
That’s the story.