Screwed Kenosha Style

#3204H-001 Bunk 41
Kenosha County Jail
March 28, 2004:

After finishing my job Thursday, I drove through half the night, slept in my van the other half and arrived in the courtroom at 10:00 a.m. I had fears of what was going to happen next. I tried to calm my fears by reasoning with what I thought were facts. I understood that if I had not made a payment of support for 90 days, I would have violated the laws and therefore be guilty.

But in reality  I already paid about $18,000.00 in less than two years and yet in the court I was notified I was over $11,000.00 behind. Read the SCREWED KENOSHA STYLE article for more information on these figures. In September judge Mary K. Wagner told me by the December court day I had three choices. I was either supposed to be current on child support (which was impossible) or have a different job or have proof of 10 job applications for every week until then.

I had complied to her rules. I shut the faltering business down. Let the equipment go for the amount owed on it and stared looking for a job. It amazes me to see what is out in the job scene for an untrained High School Graduate. I saw over 95% of all jobs that I could have a chance at were for $10.00 an hour or less! Anything over that is rare and usually filled or I was under qualified. I got myself an $8.75/hr. meat cutting job. I immediately applied for a court hearing to adjust my child support. Mary Wagner denied everything.

I was in a trap. I was supposed to pay about $250 a week, but I was only making $300 a week. I did my best by paying about $50-$60 weekly. In January Wagner told me to get a different job. Where can an untrained labor type of person get a $40,000/year job? That was my task! I couldn't.  According to the laws of Wisconsin I was legal, but according to judge Wagner I was a criminal. Does Kenosha have a judge or a god that makes her own rules?

Within 10 minutes judge Mary K. Wagner said my $60 a week attempt didn't qualify and sentenced me to six month in the Kenosha jail. I asked if I could have a couple hours to get my van off the street and take it to the bank that owns it. She allowed it. I took it to the bank's impound lot.

I am amused at some of the irony following. I got the sentence of six months. I could have run, but I voluntarily walked into admittance! Arrests the police have a standard procedure, but when somebody willfully walks in and request to be put in jail causes a confusion. I waited in the lobby while they tried figuring out what is going on. After half an hour I finally get my police taxi to take me around the block to the other side of the same building and still no handcuffs. From that time on the irony begins. Handcuffed to every destination; from finger printing to signing forms or even using the phone. You get cuffed. Ironic that I was free, but walk in willfully hold out my hands for the cuffs... so I won't escape!

At first I was in the holding pen. That is a room mostly concrete and cold about 10 x 12 with a stainless steel toilet and drinking fountain, out in the open. You can sit on the toilet and watch both men and women officers and inmates walk by through the window in the door.

I watched a young boy get beaten into submission. He was either high or drunk and thinking he was though. I admired how the police used the right techniques and force to break him down. I watched that 17 year old fight back, arrogant in his toughness. After his sub doing and the door slammed shut isolating him in his own room, he slams against the window with profanities and gestures. What a transformation though within a half hour, he went from a fighter to begging officers to explain why he's here, then to denial that he is not a bad kid (he played in sports) to busting down and crying at the window.

It amazes me how human nature is, that we all are innocent. I'm not a bad person. I never stole anything. If I did, then well I never robbed a bank or I never killed anybody or if I did, well at least I am not a mass murderer. At the judgment what will it be? God I went to church. I never killed anybody. I'm not a bad person. I once helped somebody, etc.

Then I consider, am I doing the same thing? I got all the debts and lots of them. I couldn't find a higher paying job. I couldn't work two full time jobs and never see my two boys. I couldn't support them and myself and pay $250/week. Am I stating facts or am I pleading "I am not a bad kid, I played sports."

After a few hours I walk in handcuffs to my new home. The main room is about 50 x 60 feet with about 50 bunks. On one end of the room are two doors leading into a small lunch room and the other to a bathroom. The bathroom has several sinks, urinals, showers with insufficient curtains and two toilets sitting out in the open. There is a system to hang 10 pleats of toilet paper over the hinge of the entrance door before you use the toilet. Most of the time the inmates respect each other that way and don't enter. I really appreciate that.

The dining room has eight stainless steel tables with stools anchored to the floor. There is a box with books and games in one corner. I tried reading one book. About the time you get interested in the book you realize the next two chapters are missing. In other parts of the book more pages are missing. The games appeared to be the same, incomplete. If I could only regresses to a child I would be in my glory!

I go back to my bunk. When a new inmate arrives they get a spot on the floor. After someone leaves they get assigned a bunk. I have a top bunk now and I am bunk #41.

The inmates are segregated to the male gender of the human race. Sometimes I miss snuggling up with the cows and the calves, like I used to. The human creature is a lot more cruel. Dogs will never laugh at you because of your difference in the distinction of character & looks. Animals are kind in comparison to humans.

Who are these people that I am locked up with? First of all I don't have much in common with anyone yet. I think somebody stole or was involved with a robbery. But most of them are drug or alcohol related.

How can I relate to them? I have always despised drugs. I only seen weed maybe a half dozen times in my life and I think cocaine once. I never used it or even touched it, but my ex-wife had smoked some. But she has the children and I am the one in jail. I never have been drunk and maybe drank one gallon of alcohol in my life, totally. I never had a  hangover, I don't know what it's like to throw up and have a pounding headache, but my ex does. But she has the children and I am in jail. The worst thing about being locked up this particular weekend is that I haven't seen my children for a month and my one time a month was the day of the court (Friday noon) until Saturday night. Instead of enjoying the highlight of the month I spent it locked up.

Listening to the stories of how drunk they were, how much everyone could drink, of all the different kinds of vegetation that people put in their body to get a distorted feeling in their brain or how many pounds or tons someone grew, is completely foreign to me. Hearing people talking about things that they will do when they "get out" is strange to me. Why go right back to the things that got you here?

The inmates are bored with too much unused energy. There are no gyms. They walk round and around the room for exercise. There is no music. TV is available and set to whatever the officer put it at. There is talking, yelling and screaming all day long and into the sleep time. I am glad that I can sleep through a thunder storm without waking up. Jail would be the pits if I couldn't. There are several just-about-fights. Nobody wants to take the first swing because of the threat of the "hole."

I understand the "hole" is a solitary confinement room. It might be 6 x 6 foot room with a bed and a toilet and very bright lights for 24 hours a day. Except for the bright lights that almost sounds attractive. Solitary has never been a problem for me. If I had to choose to be put on a deserted island or on a high-rise in New York for a year. The choice would be easy. I love my children, my family, and friends, but there are a lot of people that seem to enjoy hurting others. Some misinterpret what you said and relate it to others in a false way to cause divisions.

There are a lot of rules in jail. There is a time to getup and a time to go to bed. During the day the bed has to be made in a military fashion and can't use the blanket in the daytime even if you are cold. There are a lot of rules. However there are 24 hours to sit and think and sleep about all these rules. Time just ticking by waiting to be released wouldn't be so painful if a person could get the attitude to not care about all the outside commitments. Thinking about the people you borrowed money from (both business and personal) is agony knowing you can't do a thing about it and actually falling further behind. The interest doesn't stop.

I just amuse myself at what I need to do when I get out. When I get out I will walk the streets carrying a sign advertising my website. I will only change my course if there is a drastic change in the settlement agreements, child support, placement and jail release.

In final thought I don't think this place is very nice comparing to home or Best Western or the Radisson, but it is too nice for a criminal. You sleep on a 3 inch mattress and not concrete. They offer a lot of good food. It is not a concentration camp. It is a very nice place compared to that.

Home | Story | Chain of Events | Letters from Prison | Cult
NO justice in Kenosha, Wisconsin | My Income
Once upon a time there was a Family | In the Newspaper
Child Abuse Tolerance in Kenosha | You Can Help | eMail

Contact me at:

Bernie Tocholke
41391 Little Sand Rd.
Hinckley, MN 55037




© 2004 copyright Bernie Tocholke. All rights reserved.