Blog #8 FCI Seagoville SHU “Special Housing Unit”

Ok so the last two months has been a nightmare. I know a lot of you all have been emailing me and I was not replying. Thank you for the emails and all the kind words. Here is what has been going on with me the last 55 days or so.

If everyone recalls i mentioned to everyone that my codefendant Dr. Mark Gibbs was also placed at FCI Seagoville and arrived about a month before I got there. If you remember he was stuck in quarantine for a month due to a covid breakout on the complex and I actually ran into him the night before I moved to my new housing unit. Prior to arriving at Seagoville I was very concerned about Dr. Gibbs also being at Seagoville because Maureen, former BOP “Bureau of Prisons” Warden, was on my sentencing team and helped consult with my attorneys. I was sentenced on January 25, 2022 and Judge Barbara Lynn gave me 30 days to report and ordered me to report to FCI Seagoville on February 22, 2022. The way the BOP works once you are sentenced, the regional office in Grand Prairie “designates” (assigns) you to a facility but it takes several weeks. Ultimately the decision is made by the BOP regional office but they do try their best to meet the Judge’s recommendation. In my case the Judge made two recommendations: 1) that I be designated to a prison in Texas and 2) that I participate in RDAP “Resident Drug and Alcohol Program”. At sentencing I knew that Dr Gibbs had been assigned to Seagoville so I asked my lawyer to ask the judge to recommend FCI Bastrop or FCI Texarkana because besides FCI Beaumont and FCI Seagoville no low security prison in Texas has the RDAP program. When my attorney made the request at sentencing the Judge snapped at my attorney asking why I wanted Bastrop or Texarkana. My lawyer was not prepared for her question and did not have a good answer so she just recommended any facility in Texas. Meanwhile the US Attorney’s office did not notify the BOP that Dr. Gibbs and myself cannot be at the same facility so the BOP on Thursday February 17, 2022 designated me to FCI Seagoville because 1) it was a low security prison, 2) it was the closest facility to my house, 3) it had RDAP, and 4) the US Attorney’s office did not tell them Dr. Gibbs and I needed to be separated.

Summary Recap
February 17th – I received my designation of FCI Seagoville Thursday afternoon and I notified Maureen and she told me that in all likelihood when I arrived at FCI Seagoville that they would put me in segregated housing and transfer me because Gibbs and I cannot be at the same prison. She stated the only person who could help me this late was the US Attorney and he would have to notify the Bureau of Prisons and file a separatee and see if they could get the designation changed but it would be very difficult in this short period of time. Mind you it was the Thursday before I was supposed to surrender and the upcoming Monday was MLK day.

February 18th – I called the regional office of the BOP (the DSCC office which does the designations) and informed them of the situation. The woman put me on hold for 10-15 minutes to check with someone and then came back on the phone and told me there was nothing she could do and I had to go through FCI Seagoville. So I call FCI Seagoville and was transfered to the R&D (receiving and departure) department to notify them of the situation. They told me that what Maureen told me was not true and that we could be at the same facility but we would most likely be in different housing units.

February 22 A.M. – My attorney called the US Attorney and notified him of the situation. He said he had no control over the designation process and didn’t know anything about filing a separatee.

February 22 P.M. – I surrender to FCI Seagoville and am interviewed by the R&D(receiving and departure) department. They asked me if there was any reason I could not be housed in general population. I said no however I am concerned that per BOP policy I cannot be on the same compound as Gibbs because we are codefendents. The man tells me the same thing they told me over the phone which was that what Maureen said was not true and that we would just be housed in separate units. They indicated I would be in housing unit 53 after I leave the quarantine unit. I then reported to the quarantine unit where I proceeded blogging.

February 28 – After running into Dr.Gibbs in the quarantine unit Dr. Gibbs told me he would be housed in Unit 5. I told him I was going to be in 53. The morning of February 28 the unit 5 secretary from FCI Seagoville came into my half of the quarantine unit (Dr. Gibbs) was on the other half and read off all the names of the people leaving quarantine and moving to Unit 5 that day. The women proceeded to read both my name and Dr. Gibbs name. I then went to the male correctional officer in the quarantine unit and notified him of the situation. I told him I did not have any safety concerns or any problem moving to unit 5 however Dr. Gibbs was also going to unit 5 and he was my codefendent. I reitirated that R&D told me on two occassions we would be housed in separate units and I expressed that I was concerned if we were housed in the same unit that it could lead to myself or Gibbs being moved to segregated housing and transfered to another compound. He told me he would check on it. Approximately 10 minutes later the guard said he talked to the appropriate person and that they were aware of the situation and there was no issue. He stated I should proceed reporting to unit 5. I said no problem. Shortly after 12pm approximately 10 of us were moved to Unit 5, myself and Dr. Gibbs included. Dr. Gibbs said “I thought you were going to unit 53.” I said “I thought I was I guess I am going to Unit 5.”

I then proceed to walk into Unit 5 and within taking two steps in the front door of the housing unit, I had a tatted up white guy named “Paper Boy” ask me “are you an s/o?”. I replied “what is an s/o?”. He said “sex offender.” I said “Hell no.” He said “come with me.” I said “Ok.” So he walks me into this small tv room and tells me to wait there. He says this is the white tv room and where we watch tv. Meanwhile I see Dr. Gibbs walking down the hall by himself and to try and help out Gibbs I tell Paper Boy hey you should grab that guy, he is not a sex offender and he is a good dude. So he grabs Gibbs. If he hadn’t Gibbs probably would have been put in the giant 20 person bus stop housing area of the unit where you are in one giant room with like 10 bunks instead of getting a room. The housing looked like a college dorm with one bunk bed and a door. 2 floors each with their own set of showers and bathrooms very similar to a dorm. Mind you there are 7 housing units at Seagoville, Units 5, 6, 7, 53, 54, 10, and 12 and only 6, 53, and 54 have air conditioning. Needless to say I was not looking forward to the summer in Unit 5 without A/C.

Paperboy proceeds to take me to my cell (again basically a dorm room with a door) and says here is where you are living and introduced me to my cell mate “cellie” who introduces himself to me as “Rhino.” I begin to start unpacking my stuff and talking to Rhino. While I was talking to Rhino, this other white guy named “Cheddar” comes in the room and the three of us start talking. They were asking me about my case, what I did etc. Everyone thinks I am rich because of the amount of my health care fraud case and the amount of my restitution. I keep telling people that money is long gone and the government is allowed to assume 100% of your revenue is fraudulent if even 1% of it is tainted. Not to mention they don’t take into account all the expenses it takes to run your business (salaries, equipment, medicine, utilities, rent, supplies, etc).

Shortly thereafter I step out of my room and this white guy sternly approaches me (He goes by “Bennett”). He says “Did you testify against the doctor downstairs. Without hesitation I reply yes and state that it wasn’t against him and I spoke to him a couple days ago and him and I were good. Bennett then says well he has a problem with you and you aren’t going to be able to run with us. I said ok thats fine. He then says I need to come talk to him and Gibbs and takes me to Gibbs room downstairs. I said to Gibbs we spoke a couple days ago and you said we were good. He said yea I did but I still don’t want to hang out with you. I said ok. Just so everyone is aware when I ran into Gibbs in quarantine I said “hey man, I just wanted to apologize for my part in this entire mess and getting you involved. I also wanted to apologize for having to testify, I did not want to do it, but I did it for Amy (my wife) and I had to do what was best for my family.” Gibbs responded “I know why you did what you did. You did it for Amy. I would have done the same thing for Shirley (his wife) if given the opportunity. My lawyer said anyways that nothing you said during your testimony hurt us anyways. I am actually appealing my case” I said “I hear you man, I still apologize and if there is anything I can do to help you moving forward I am happy to do it.” Shortly thereafter I submitted my previous blog post about running into my codefendent. I write this back story because I find it ironic that I am ostracized from the “white group” I didn’t ask to run with anyways because I am labeled a “snitch” but I gave Gibbs every opportunity to express his displeasure towards me in person to his face and he said we were good. Then shortly thereafter he “snitches” to the white guys and complains about me.

Anyhow February 28th ends with the white guys telling me I am fine to be on the compound, I don’t need to worry about my safety, but I just can’t use their tv room or sit with them in the chow hall. They said if Rhino wants you to move then you will have to move but its up to him. I say, ok. Meanwhile my friend from Mansfield jail I have stayed in touch with Dee Hill told me if I go to Unit 5 at Seagoville to holler at his buddy named Dre. So my next move was to find Dre which I did and I immediately cozied up to the black guys over our mutual love of dominos. They started showing me around and told me not to worry about those white guys.

March 1 – I wake up March 1 after sleeping in the room with Rhino, he decided I could stay. I had an initial eval with psychology with Dr. Wilson to evaluate me for RDAP “Resident Drug Alcohol Program” and go over any other needs I may need from psychology. Dr. Wilson asked me how I was adjusting after my first week. I told her “I am adjusting ok, but I am very anxious because I was told by FCI Seagoville R&D two times that Gibbs and I would be housed in separate units but we ended up being placed in the same housing unit.” I explained to Dr. Wilson “I have no safety concerns but I am confused because I keep getting told different things and I am concerned because I was told by Maureen we couldn’t even be on the same compound per BOP policy and now we are in the same housing unit after being told we would be in separate ones. I am anxious because I do not want to be put in the SHU and transfered, I want to be here.” Dr. Wilson thought it was odd and with me in the room called SIS “Special Investigation Services (?)”. On the call (with me present) SIS told her they were aware of the situation and neither Gibbs or I would be placed in the SHU and transfered. SIS told her if anything they will interview both of us and if there is an issue one of us will be moved to a different housing unit.

Around 11AM I finish with Dr. Wilson and she tells me to stop by and grab lunch at the chow hall on my way back to my housing unit. I proceed to do that and go back to the housing unit. Shortly after lunch we were allowed to access the commissary store for the first time. I went to commissary and got back to the housing unit at around 1pm. I dropped my commissary bag in my room and then went to resume my dominos game with “Memphis Black”. For those of you who do not know almost everyone in jail or prison goes by a nickname and not their actual name. Memphis Black was his nickname I learned because he was a dark skinned black guy and he was from Memphis. My prison nickname is B Rabbit. I got that name in 2018 at the federal detention center in Mansfield when I was there for two months. They called me that after Eminem from Green Mile. Ok back to the events on March 1. Shortly after resuming my dominos game with Memphis Black I received a page on the speaker “Bradley Harris please report to the Lieutenants office to see Lt. Hill.” I told the guys this had to be about the Dr. Gibbs situation and they were like just tell them you are fine and everything is good. I said I will tell them that because I have no issues. My only concern was not wanting to go to the SHU and transfering.

I leave my radio, contact list, and insulated mug in Memphis Black’s room and put my uniform on. I proceed to go across campus to the LT’s office. I walked into the LT’s office and there were three desks in a line, two woman and a man in the middle. I said “LT. Hill.” LT. Hill looks at me and says “You’re going to the SHU and getting shipped.” “Why!?”, I said. He said “For your protection you can’t be on this compound.” I reply “My protection!? I feel perfectly safe and have no issues, I don’t need to be protected.” “That isn’t what you told psychology this morning!”, Hill says. I said “Sir, respectfully I did not tell psychology I did not feel safe, I said I was anxious about the very thing happening that is happening right now because people keep telling me different things!” He says “If you didn’t open your mouth to psychology this morning none of this would be an issue but since you did, I have an obligation to protect you! Did you not cooperate with the government and get a 5K1 for your cooperation for your testimony at Gibb’s trial.” I said “Yes I did but I have spoken to Gibb’s and I have no safety concerns and I told that to psychology also.” He replied “It doesn’t matter you should have never been sent here to begin with, the bottom line is we fucked up so we are shipping you!” I said “Can I at least go back to the unit and pack my stuff its just sitting out in two different rooms?” He said “No it will be done for you.” As I said that an officer standing in the room listening to the conversation looked at me and said “put your hands behind your back.” I do what I am told and proceed to get handcuffed and my arm grabbed from the side and escorted to the SHU.

I proceed to walk up a short flight of stairs to the first floor of the SHU, which looks like a dudgeon, and put in a holding cell. You have to wear your hand cuffs into every cell there, wait until the cell is locked, and then put your hands out the slit in the cell door to have the cuffs removed. This is every time you enter any cell in the SHU. They made me take off all my clothes, squat, cough, and gave me a pair of yellow pants, brown boxers, brown shirt, flip flops, socks, and a pair of blue slip on shoes everyone calls “Jackie Chans”. I then had to turn around and put my hands back through the slot behind my back to get cuffed again so I could exit the holding cell and then escorted to my cell in the SHU. I do that and then get dropped in cell 115 in the SHU at what I think was around 2pm.

The cell could not have been more than 6′ by 10′ with a bunk bed, a small desk by the window, and a toilet and sink attached together. I had a cell mate “cellie” and for the next 45 days was confined to this cell sometimes up to 72 to 80 hours straight but never less than 48 hours. We were only allowed out of our cells for two reasons:

1) to take a shower (we were only allowed to shower 3 days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and only two people could shower at one time, you and your cellie. If you did not have a cellie then you showered by yourself. The guards would randomly come by your cell door there was a vertical rectangular slit in the door maybe 6″ wide by 18″ tall with grated metal and say “shower”. Similar to what I described earlier two guards would come to the door and you and your cellie would have to put your hands behind your back through the horizontal door slit which the guards had to open with a key and cuff both of you behind your back through the door. Once both of you were cuffed they would open the cell door and every time you exit a cell you have to exit by walking backwards through the cell door and the officer would grab your arm and wand + pat you down every time then walk you to the shower.

2) for recreation. Recreation consisted of 4 cages just outside the SHU which consisted of concrete slabs with a steel cage on all four sides plus the roof of the cage. recreation was one hour monday through friday. There were probably around 40 inmates in the SHU during the time I was there and approximately 12 to 16 could go to recreation at any given time. The weather was largely beautiful during the day while I was in the SHU (I could tell because I had a radio and our window would slightly open by turning a wheel, however it was always cold in the morning before it warmed up, typically 35-45 degrees on average while i was there. The same process to exit the cells and escort inmates to showers applies to recreation. Recreation could have been anytime the guards wanted it to be up until 4pm but the officer in charge of recreation would always call rec at 630am so when we would go outside it would be freezing. Most of the time they did not have jackets for us. I believe the reason he called it so early is so only 4-8 people would go out of the approximate ~40 inmates or else he would have had to do multiple recs since the cages can only hold 12-16 inmates. They would walk you to the cage in your cuffs and when you get to the rec cage you put your hands behind your back through the slit and they uncuffed you. Most of the cages were covered in black tarps (i would say about 50% of each cage) so you could not see any scenery on that 50% outside of the cage.

Commissary in SHU consisted of limited hygiene items and the only food items were yogurt covered pretzels, cheeze its, and snickers bars. I was able to get commissary after being in there for 10 days. prior to that i had to utilize the prison issued hygiene items which consist of very very cheap toothpaste, a toothbrush the size of my thumb, bar soap that would break down after 2 days or so, and some all in one body wash, shampoo, shave gel. You were not allowed access to any of your compound property in the SHU including food, clothing, shoes, radio, etc. Battieries were not allowed. The only saving grace was that commissary sold an analog radio for 75 dollars that is able to run on batteries but you were not able to use them. However the radio did come with rechargeable battery that you could charge by winding up the radio. Needless to say I spent the 35 days I had with the radio winding that thing like crazy! For every 120 turns you got like 10 minutes of listening time. It allowed me to listen to the NCAA tournament, sports talk, and some texas ranger games.

I had a few attorney phone calls while I was in the SHU where my counselor would pull me out of my cell and allow me to use the phone. Technically they are not allowed to be in the room with you when you make an attorney call but they said they had to be in the room with me because that is SHU policy. Additionally I had to remain handcuffed while I made the attorney calls so the counselor had to dial the # for me, I could not take notes, and had to have the entire conversation on speaker phone. My attorney also came to the FCI to see me a few times in person. Despite not being in the SHU for discipline, everytime my attorney came I had to be handcuffed behind my back and escorted by an officer across the entire huge compound to the jail at Seagoville. Many times it was the morning and very cold and they would nto provide me a jacket.

When you had to use the bathroom you had to use it in front of your “cellie” and we would roll over in our bunk and face the wall when the other person was using the bathroom. Phone calls were initially limited to one 15 minute phone call a week but after 3 weeks they changed it to one phone call a month. Keep in mind everyone in the SHU but me is there for disciplinary measures. These disciplinary measures could be getting caught with a cell phone, smoking cigarrettes, smoking synthentic marijuana (K2 which is very big in the prisons), snorting suboxine (synthetic fentanyl), fighting, etc. Everytime I asked for extra phone calls because my wife Amy was surrendering for her prison sentence on April 26th I was denied. Same when I asked for my property or my commissary I had just bought a couple hours before being put in the SHU. I kept being told it would cause problems with the other inmates if they did that. Not sure how since we are all locked in our cells in pairs 24 hours a day.

Another interesting thing about the SHU, which imo is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the constitution which the government, BOP, and the courts say is humane, is you are required to move cells in the SHU every 21 days. The purpose of this is to prevent you from going crazy from staring at the same wall every day. I thought this was hilarious since every cell and walls was virtually identical. Not cruel and unusual but we are going to move you every 21 days so you do not go insane. Also they require you to have a “cellie” in the SHU because they think it is a deterrent from an inmate committing suicide. The SHU is where Jeffrey Epstein died so the guards walk by your cell every 15 minutes and look inside to make sure there are no issues.

March 2nd – My case manager came by and asked me to sign some paperwork stating I acknowledge Gibbs and I cannot be on the same compound “CIMS form”. He said if I did not sign it, it would hold up my transfer. I signed it and asked for a copy and he refused to provide it to me. He told me he had to also put in my transfer request and would be back in a few days.

March 5th – My case manger came back and said he filed my transfer request. He explained before it gets routed to the designation center in grand prairie that a number of staff members locally on the compound have to sign off on the transfer. This included his boss the unit manager, the CMS manager, the captain, the associate warden, and the warden.

March 16th – The executive staff makes rounds once a week typically in the SHU including the warden. The warden came by and told me he signed off on my transfer the previous Friday March 11th. I kept checking the status with the lead SHU officer since he had computer access and my status had not been updated to pending redesignation with DSCC.

March 21st – The lead SHU officer on the evening shift checked the computer and told me that my status had been updated to pending redesignation with DSCC as of March 20th. I learned my case manager was on vacation the week of March 13th so my case manager didn’t send the transfer form with all the signatures to DSCC until March 20th.

March 31st – The lead SHU officer on the evening shift notifies me that my status no longer says pending redesignation and it looked like the redesignation requst never got filed.

April 2nd – My case manager came to see me Sunday morning and told me my transfer request got rejected because he forgot to fill out a form. He said he was getting it done today and the unit manager would sign off on it tomorrow (Monday April 3rd) and I should be pending again.

April 3rd, 4th, 5th – The lead SHU officer on the evening shift checks the computer and it still doesn’t show I am pending, I am freaking out thinking the resubmission is going to take another 2-3 weeks like the initial paperwork.

April 6th – The SHU Lieutentant notifies me I have been designated but won’t tell me where for security reasons. The evening staff comes in and tells me the same thing but on the sly tell me I am transfering to Fort Worth. Needless to say I am relieved and cannot wait to get the hell out of here.

April 12th – Medical comes and swabs me which indicates I am scheduled to leave on the bus which runs once a week either Thursday or Friday.

April 14th – They wake me up at 330am to go to “R&D” (Receiving and Departure) to get on the bus. I arrive in Fort Worth around 9am.

This whole ordeal was a nightmare, hopefully I never have to go to the SHU again. I don’t agree with the fact that I should be in the SHU because the BOP messed up and I get punished for doing nothing. My next post I will get everyone up to speed on Fort Worth and how things are going here. Thank you for all the support!


1 thought on “SHU”

  1. The inmates have families, families that worry. How hard would it be to let the inmate notify what is happening. This is cruel and unusual punishment for the families too.

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