January 2005, Letter from David Sullivan: On Suicide Watch at Lexington
Thanks for the card and letters. I am doing fine, having had my hip replacement surgery in June. I will be on my way back to Lompoc next month. Two more years to go and should be out this time in 2007.
I was just working on the suicide watch cadre. A volunteer group of inmates watch over other inmates who feel they have come to the end of the rope. A sad case in point, a young fellow originally from Berkeley, CA who has been in prison since 1991. He used to spend all his free time in the university library. He is a whiz in science and mathematics. He only has one year left to go but is unable to face the prison routine any longer. The guy before him had been due to be released but they messed up his files and he had been languishing here 6 months past his release date. These institutions can literally drive you nuts. And there are many people in here (the system, gulag) as a direct result of mental illness. We have very long lines at the dispensary window awaiting their meds. We call it the thorazine shuffle. I will not miss Lexington very much.
My daughter is doing great in Canada where she moved with her boyfriend, going to school and working at Starbucks. My son Colin on the other hand could not stay away from the 'devil weed' - he failed at least six urine samples, so at 17 he will be incarcerated until he is 18. Pulled out of school and put in prison. I am still trying to figure out who he hurt. He has been diagnosed as bipolar, has been beat up twice by Mexican gang members. The judge refused to consider any psychological testimony on his behalf or alternatives. The gulag mentality again. Naturally, I am beside myself, knowing if I had been there this chain of events would never have occurred. Will [name unclear] who teaches social education to middle school kids and is adept at many childhood behavioral problems, has threatened to go to the media if something is not done to insure his safety. We are seeing if his sentence cannot be mitigated somehow. I will let you know how things work out.
I do not want to end on sad note. This is the beginning of a new year with a new beginning. I am looking forward to more truth finding the light of day. Thank you all out there for listening to what we on the inside have to say.
Love, David Sullivan