The Long and Winding Road: A Prisoner's Diary

The following are excerpts from a diary kept by William Minnix, a convicted felon transported from Ohio to Colorado last July by Transcor America to face a charge of parole violation. Minnix claims the trip covered twenty states in twenty days.

May 27: Arrested in Cincinnati, OH.

June 20: Extradition proceedings by video court.

July 7: Picked up by Transcor at 8:30 a.m. Columbus, OH. Dayton, OH. Canton, OH. Ann Arbor, MI. Southern Michigan State Penitentiary.

July 8: Clinton County Jail, St. Johns, MI (arrived 1 a.m.). Spent night on floor of drunk tank...4 p.m. Picked up. Outside of town driver slammed on brakes to avoid rear-end collision, Monte Jay and myself were ejected from seats and hit head on forward metal cage. Driver was informed and apologized. Ann Arbor, MI. Steubenville, OH. Mercer, PA. Collins Correctional Facility, NY.

July 13: [After several stops in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania and 46 hours of lockdown in a county jail] Clothes are dirty and smelling, no laundry in 7 days. 7 a.m. Somerset, PA. Wellsboro, PA. Warren County, PA.

July 15: [Driver] inexperienced and lacked night vision, curving road and all over two-lane highway, had to assist [him] when road warning signs appeared. Obviously his vision was poor and he couldn't read highway signs...New Lexington, OH. Columbus, OH. Transmission went out at 8:05 a.m. Picked up by local sheriff and told we would sit in their jail for 6 hours...Given no showers, cold/hot food, no mattress, no towel, no hygiene items, no bedding, and raw sewage was apparently leaking.

July 16: Picked up at 9:30 a.m. Marion, KY. Had prisoner wanted in Evansville, IN, on board and we turned around and headed east again. I was supposed to transfer to westbound bus, but jail refused to take us. Drivers are obviously frustrated with each other. Arguing.

July 18: Cincinnati, OH. (Ohio for fourth time.) Delaware, OH...[Driver] informed us at a fuel stop he was going to quit. Reasons--"This is bullshit how you guys are treated."

July 20: Port Huron, MI. Adel, IA...Fed and given showers in front of a camera, later female jailer insisted we shower again. I refused as in my opinion she got pleasure watching us. Picked up at 10:30 p.m.

July 23: Milwaukee, WI. Lake County, IN. Picked up prisoner. Champaign County, IL. (Arrived at 5:30 p.m.) No dinner, on the road 27 hours, no showers and no laundry. Driver Lisa now sprays us with coconut-smelling spray and offers spray deodorant which she purchased herself. She shows obvious signs of frustration and remarks she'll fly out on the next flight. Slept in drunk tank.

July 24: Taking care of mentally disturbed John [inmate bound for Eagle, CO] is difficult, walks on sleeping individuals, constantly asks where he's at and bangs on door. No rest. Picked up at 6 a.m.

July 25: 4:45 a.m. Fuel up at truck stop [outside Leavenworth, KS]. 5 a.m., accident, I bang head on grille...[Driver] neglects to ask if injuries occurred, appears driver of other vehicle is given money, no police report made. Later I informed Lisa some of us were experiencing injuries...nine of us asked for medical attention. [Driver] lectured us as if it was our fault...later informed us we would all have to get exams, and the ones not hurt would have to pay for exams. Informed us we had "a pick-up" deadline in Hutchinson prison first. I was examined at hospital at 3:30 gave me a neck-brace and prescription.

July 26: South Dakota, two stops. Lexington, NE. Arrived at 7:00 p.m., rest after approximately 38 hours in van...Slept on floor of drunk tank. Clothes washed and given showers.

July 27: Picked up at 6:30 a.m. On to Colorado. Arrived at Arapahoe County Detention Center.


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