“Click, click, click.” As the steel door opens, I realize that it is the beginning of what seems to be one long, never ending day. It is now 5:30 AM, and the time has come to be herded like cattle for chow. The extreme chill of the pod (living quarters) is almost overbearing when I first step out of my cell. The foul stench of body odor and bad food overcomes me. Slowly and silently, faces of desperation emerge from their cells to be counted like sheep. Day after day, with the monotony never ending, I seem to grow more and more indigent. No one should have to undergo the demoralization of jail. The feeling of demoralization is common amongst inmates. This feeling stems from thoughts of feeling less than human, an overwhelming lack of privacy, and not having any sense of freedom.
Very quickly I learned that in jail I was no longer a human being. I was just another stream of numbers - a mere statistic. No longer was I Chris Park, son of Gary and Linda Park. I was now known to my captives as inmate number 0018197. Six times a day my fellow inmates and I were lined up as if we were still in kindergarten and counted by the same order of the cells that caged us. Like a grocery list, we were checked off one by one. Miss a count and it was punishable by being locked in my tiny cell for the remainder of the day. I was told when to eat, when to sleep, and even when I was able to take a shower. None of which was at all pleasing for the average human being.
Privacy was another issue that I faced on a daily basis. At no point in the day was I allowed to have a single moment to myself. There was always someone looking down on me from the guard station that floated above like a cloud in the sky. Even as I slept, I was being watched. The most uncomfortable aspect of it all was when it was time to use the restroom; there were still eyes on me. However, as time passed, I began to feel...