“A Tale of an American Political Prisoner”

Part 9.5: The DC Gulag; Washington, DC

–Jess Becomes a Writer–

by: Jessica Watkins (X: @J6ssicaWatkins)

A True Story; 100% verifiable with Text Messages, Emails, Video/Audio, Court Documents and Testimony.

When I first was transferred to E2B from C2B, I was ASTOUNDED to find that the Women’s Unit had a friggin’ Computer Lab! A bank of 4 computers with Microsoft Office connected to a printer. I didn’t use the computer at first, but after a month or two, I decided to start writing a book. Being a J6er, I was constantly absorbed in politics, so I didn’t want to write anything like that. I wanted to escape reality, not immerse myself in it further. I had always wanted to write a fantasy novel, and being locked up like I was, what else did I have to occupy my time? I decided to use the opportunity. I was writing a fan-fiction; a fantasy novel set in a world that had already been crafted by one of my favorite authors of all time. I am being intentionally vague for the time being, forgive me. The only problem I had was that I had no digital copy, aside from what I saved on the desktop. I was forced to print a “hard copy” as I went. After I got thrown in The Hole, the work never ended. I spent COUNTLESS hours crafting poems, drawing maps and illustrations, and detailing the layout of the book itself. I broke down every chapter by content. I poured a LOT of love into that project, and because I was stuck in Solitary Confinement with nobody to talk to… what else did I have going on? From sun-up to sun-down I worked tirelessly on the project. When I got back from The Hole, my work on my book resumed. I was relieved to find that my digital copy had been left undisturbed, and I resumed the work right where I had left off. After Pauline was sent home on Bond, I was alone once more. I became extremely depressed, antisocial, and so I poured ALL my efforts into that book. I worked on it 5 hours per day while on Rec, and spent the rest of my time in my cell working on scrap paper to craft the perfect story. It was all encompassing, but it was a project that would find itself on hiatus.

A new writing project would emerge, and my Fantasy novel would be pushed to the back burner. In C2B, I had been given a Laptop and a Thumb Drive to use for a month. The Laptop had MS Office on it and the USB Drive had Discovery on it; evidence in my case like Videos, Call Logs and Text Messages, and Emails. I had used this as a tool to help Shelli Peterson when I was working on my case. I made PowerPoint presentations to lay out ALL the facts. They proved unequivocally that I was innocent. But Shelli never provided the Office documents I gave her to Jonathan Crisp. So when the jail gave me a NEW Laptop and USB stick, well, I had to start from scratch. I worked on a MASSIVE PowerPoint, better than anything I had done for Shelli, which proved my innocence. It would become a valuable tool in my defense. I spent endless hours on that document, and when I finally got it to Attorney Crisp, he was FINALLY able to see what I meant when I said I was innocent. Now mind you, he’s a Defense attorney, so he was looking for the holes in “the story” that the DOJ could exploit. But I am telling you now, that I could PROVE I was innocent. So I created the document to prove just that. But the jail knew that too, and I have NO DOUBT that they told the DOJ about it. My trial was approaching, and FAST! Soon, we were a mere day away from Jury Selection. I was getting nervous. On the eve of trial, the day before Jury Selection began, the Jail Staff came for my Discovery. They wanted me to surrender my USB Thumb Drive and Laptop. ***OPINION*** I think this is deliberate. I believe that the DOJ or FBI KNEW that I was working on my Defense, and I think they wanted to know what our plans for trial were. The timing was too coincidental. I spent 5 hours per day on Rec in the Computer Lab working on my case, and the rest of my waking hours in my cell working on the Laptop. I had labelled the file as “ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGED MATERIAL”, and it was MASSIVE. I had screenshots, embedded videos. The works, and I had the document Password Protected. I have NO DOUBTS that they wanted that document. Like, BAD.

The day before Jury Selection, a hostile woman from the jail approached me demanding that I surrender my USB drive and Laptop. I went back to my cell and returned with the Laptop, but I told her flat out, “This document is Attorney/Client privileged material. You can’t have it. I need to surrender it to my attorney only.” I frantically called my attorney and explained the situation. The woman supervised my phone call between my attorney and I, and Attorney Crisp told me emphatically. “Do NOT give them that thumb drive! I can come get it! Just hang tight!” Moments later, Lieutenant Lancaster came up. She must have been waiting in the hallway, because she got there FAST. She tapped her open palm with her finger “Give me the thumb drive. Now.” I explained the entire situation on her BodyCamera, but she wouldn’t hear it. I even told her, “Look, my attorney is in town RIGHT NOW! I have court TOMORROW! He can be here in like 15 minutes. If I am not allowed to have the Thumb Drive, FINE! I can surrender it to him IN FRONT OF YOU. You can watch me physically HAND IT to him, so you can ensure it’s no longer in my custody.” She ignored me, and got on her radio. “Lancaster to E4B. Prepare a cell for Ms. Watkins, and have ERT on standby.” She was going to use force against me have me thrown in The Hole AGAIN. “Are you going to give me the Thumb Drive, Watkins?” I looked at her with acidic hate that could have melted a hole in concrete. “No. I won’t. My attorney told me, and you know this because your goon supervised my attorney call, he said ‘Do NOT give them that Thumb Drive, I’ll come get it.’ I have given you a LEGAL remedy to take the Thumb Drive out of DCDOC custody. Legally, I don’t have to give it to you. It’s Attorney Client privileged material, and you have no right to take it. ESPECIALLY on the eve of my trial.” She looked at me with that cold hate, and said “Are you refusing my lawful order?” I returned the gaze. “Your order is UNlawful. You have no right to seize protected Attorney Client Discovery.” She smiled that evil smile and got on her radio. “Lancaster, ERT. Prepare to come to E2B. I have an inmate refusing my order.” Lieutenant Lancaster ordered me to return to my cell. I did a perfect military “about face” and stormed off shouting, “THAT is a lawful order, and I am not refusing s***!!!”

I went to my cell to prepare for what came next; a swarm of ERT goons who were likely about to gas and strip me. The CO on duty, Mrs. Palmer (who is a total sweetheart), came down and said, “Do what she said! Give it to her! She says they’re going to beat and mace you! Just give it to her, please!” I explained the situation, and she told me. “Why don’t you destroy it? Hurry!” I asked, can I go to the Computer Lab real quick? I could format the drive a few times to make the document difficult to recover, maybe? She looked at me and said “Hurry.” I rushed up the stairs, and popped the thumb drive into the Computer. I formatted the drive probably 10 times. When Lancaster returned with ERT, I walked up and handed the Thumb Drive to her without any issue. I looked her in the BodyCam and told her “I have been forced to destroy my Attorney Client materials, under duress from your threats of violence. This thumb drive is no longer useful to me. You can have it now.” Secretly, I prayed for the best, hoping beyond hope that the data was irreparably damaged. I had given my attorney partial copy of the Document weeks prior, so it would have to do. Better than nothing. I could fill in the rest later as trial went on. I called my attorney back, to inform him what I’d done. He was VERY displeased with the reaction by Lancaster, but he felt better knowing that the data was gone. It was quite literally our ENTIRE defense, and I am sure he suspected as I did… that the DOJ and FBI were using the jail staff… an eager Lieutenant Lancaster… to seize my files so they could undermine our Defense strategy. Of this, I have no doubt. When I went to bed that night, I felt flustered. Tomorrow was Jury Selection, and I’d be fighting my case on uneven footing.