“A Tale of an American Political Prisoner”

Part 18.2: The DC Gulag; Washington, DC

–Life in the Gulag Supermax Part 2–

by: Jessica Watkins (X: @J6ssicaWatkins)

A True Story; 100% verifiable with BodyCam Footage, CCTV Surveillance Camera Footage, and Testimony.

The abuses by the jail were perpetual and incessant. No matter how insignificant the interaction, the CO’s managed to turn it into a confrontation. I don’t think you understand. I am the sweetest, nicest, most polite person you will ever meet… until you bully me. I don’t take that well AT ALL. I stand up for myself (and others) in the face of a bully. It’s been a learned behavior. As a kid, I was SEVERELY bullied. It only stopped when I finally stood up for myself. Never mistake my kindness for weakness. Ever. I ALWAYS treated good CO’s respectfully, but I refused to take s*** from bully CO’s on a power trip. On the best of days, I bit my tongue and stared hate-daggers into their souls. On the worst of days, I told them in no uncertain terms the horrible fates that I hoped that would befall them. I use the analogy of a pet dog. If you pet a dog, it will lick your hand. You can even stick that dog in a cage. If you do this just the once, on one day… the dog will still lick your hand. If you do this every day for 2.5 years, the dog will always growl and bark when you walk by. It will NEVER lick your hand again, but you MIGHT get bit. If I was a dog, I would have bitten their hand. But I am a human, and I have an incredible capacity for self control. A sense of rage burned (and always will burn) for those people. I hated the DC Gulag. I hated the people who worked there far more than the black mold running out of the vents (which they just painted over), or the bad food, or the isolation. I hated those CO’s more than anything.

Don’t mistake me, there WERE good CO’s like Ms. Hubbard, Mrs. Palmer, Ms. Smith. They were respectful, polite, and professional. But they were FAR outweighed by the BAD Officers. They took a bad situation and magnified it x10 fold. So the day that I found out that Lieutenant Lancaster was fired, I won’t lie… I celebrated it loudly and proudly. I laughed maniacally, shouting it out across the entire Supermax, beating and kicking my cell door so that all the CO’s could hear. “THAT B**** LANCASTER IS FIRED! THEY PERP WALKED HER OFF THE PROPERTY!” To quote Harry Dunn, “It was a Bin Laden moment for me. To know we got [her]”. I think I celebrated for DAYS after that. I still get happy feel-goods to this day. I heard various rumors. Everyone knew that Lancaster had been selling cell phones and drugs out of The Hole, so many of the inmates assumed she got busted for that. There was also the fact she punished a J6er with pepperspray for not wearing a COVID mask, and she had been under investigation for THAT abuse. Regardless how it happened, I was exuberant to know that I would never see that psycho ever again. But that would not change a thing. The jail was still filled with sacks-of-s*** Officers. There was plenty more badge-wagging psychos; all of whom were still led by that “Queen b**** Psycho” herself, the Deputy Warden Landerkin. Corporal Allen was one particularly nasty piece of work. She’s a CO that I will forever loathe. If I found out that she contracted diabetes and went blind, I’d be glad. Not just that she was blind, don’t get me wrong – that’s a perk, but it’s more the fact that I know she won’t be abusing her powers to mistreat prisoners in her custody ever again.

I called Corporal Allen “Koolaid-Tips” for her stupid haircut. She was the one who told Guy Reffitt that “All y’all are cop-killers for makin’ them cops kill theyselfs”. She hated J6ers and was a constant source of harassment. Being that I was all alone, she liked to pick on me especially. One time, I was in the TV room, and she came on the Unit laughing with a few CO’s and I heard her say to them, “Let’s go find that b**** Watkins and turn her s*** inside out”. That was how she rolled. She came in the Supermax just to mistreat me; it brought her joy. She lurked constantly, kicking my door, screaming in my window… and almost always when I was in the middle of a dead-ass sleep. That was her favorite time to pick on me… when I was asleep. Lots of times, the CO’s would mess with me at crazy early hours of the night, like 2-3am. They’d beat my door and scream at me. Of course (naturally) I woke up in a rage, and would rush to the door to call them names that would make Satan blush. I’d kick the door, beat on it, scream and pray for a bus to hit them on the way home from work. I don’t like being woken up. I double-especially don’t like being woken up with hostilities; undeserved and unnecessary abuses, bullying by someone who I can’t touch. What’s worse, they know it… they’re safe. Untouchable. They hide behind that badge, knowing if I so much as flinch the wrong way, that they’d get to mace and beat me. Then they’d call a squad of ERT down to tackle me, beat me, and waterboard me with more mace. It’s as if they were tempting me to try something. So, I settled for screaming and insults. It wasn’t ideal, but it had a certain therapeutic value; a pressure relief valve for my pent up aggression. When the jail decided they needed to evaluate my Mental Health, they probably weren’t wrong. Those months of abuses and isolation in Solitary Confinement hadn’t done my Mental Health any favors. My face was still black and purple from the last time I lost my s***; you know, after the “laundry incident”. After a full week recovering from my self-inflicted beating, a CO just happened to noticed my injuries and inquire. When I told her the entire story, she decided that therapeutic I needed a psychological evaluation.

Lieutenant Hines escorted me down to Mental Health and had me talk to this Indian “doctor” lady who barely spoke English. Her clinical advice was to “pray to God for strength”. Yeah, good call DOCTOR. That was the most useful advice I received during my evaluation. Prayer. I was confused. Was she the Psychologist, or the Chaplain? When I scoffed at her “advice” she decided that, given my injuries, I needed to go into a supervised cell. A week prior, after I hurt myself, that would have certainly been true. But a week is a long time to cool off, and by the time of this “psych-eval” I was fine. Well, as good as can be after mobths of Solitary Confinement anyway. But still they went through the motions. The Captain came down to Medical, handcuffed me, and escorted me up to one of their suicide cells. This was the precise moment that I realized just how corrupt the DC jail was. The suicide cell was monitored. There was no furniture, just a solid bed in the center of the room, a wide window for observation, and a camera. Do you remember when (a year prior) Lieutenant Lancaster threw me and Pauline in “The Hole”, claiming it was because of some sort of “suicide pact” we had? The fact that this “suicide cell” existed proved to me that we were NOT put into “The Hole” for “Suicide Monitoring”. That was a Lancaster contrived lie. In reality, she was just f***ing with the J6ers. That fact became apparent the very minute that the Captain shoved me into an ACTUAL suicide cell and told me to strip off my clothes. My “self harm” incident had happened a full week prior. I was furious! Not only was I NOT a threat to myself anymore, but this was all just a dog-n-pony show to justify their own failures. They had witnessed grievous self-harm… on a BodyCam… and then left that inmate in a Solitary Confinement cell, virtually unsupervised for a week. They f***ed up, they knew it, and so they were attempting to “cover their tracks”. And in so doing, they intended to strip me of my dignity, throw me in a suicide cell, and then pencilwhip their paperwork. The problem is, I wasn’t at risk any longer. This was all a charade. So I decided not to play ball. F*** them and f*** their paperwork.

When the Captain told me to take off my clothes, I decided to just disobey. I figured, “F*** it. What’s the worst that could happen?” What were they gonna do? Throw me into a Suicide Cell or in Solitary Confinement? There was nothing worse this jail could do to me than they were currently doing, and I told them so flat out, “No. I won’t take off my clothes. You want my f***ing clothes off? Come do yourself. But know this, I’ll resist you. You wanna mace me? Fine. Go ahead. Do that too. I don’t give a f***. I am not taking off s***. You want it done, do it yourself.” The Captain tried a different tack. After so much mistreatment by the jail, she decided to be calm and try being patient, “It’s for your own safety. We need to make sure you’re OK!” I told her in no uncertain terms. “I AM OK. A week ago, when I caved in my own face? I was not doing well THEN. But that was a WEEK ago. Now?! Now you’re just punishing me, and why? To cover your ass on your paperwork; because YOU f***ed up, and left me in my cell after the incident. So, if you want my clothes off, come and get them off yourself. I won’t give you the satisfaction, and I won’t surrender my dignity. I still have my pride. So if you want em, come-n-get-em lady.” The Captain got on her radio and walked away. An hour or two later, I was evaluated by a different psychologist, taken OUT of the Suicide Cell with my clothes still on, and I was put back into my cell in the Supermax. I wasn’t worth the effort for them; they would have had to justify the use of force. That would have been hard to do. Too much paperwork. The paper trail would have been thoroughly damning for them. And that would be BEFORE the news got a whiff that a J6er was being treated this way. Because God knows, I would have told the media for sure. I felt victorious. I won. But my prize sucked. It was just a cell in Solitary Confinement, and my harassment there was not over.