EFV stands for “Extended Family Visit.” Every 30 days inmates are eligible for a 48 hour EFV. These visits are awesome! My mom and sisters would come stay with me for 2 days. They would bring in bags of groceries. We would cook, sing, dance, watch movies, and spend quality time with each other.
But in June 2011, all that came to a screeching halt!
I was standing in the chow hall, waiting to get dinner. Out of the blue, a guy names Brent says to me, “Hey man, I don’t want you sitting at my table.”
The tables seat four. As inmates file in, the Correction Officers fill up the rows of tables before opening up a new row.
Earlier that day, I sat at the same table as Brent. This caused one of his three buddies to have to sit elsewhere.
I didn’t know it at the time, but by me sitting there, I broke up their happy little table party.
Back to dinner mainline, Brent says, “Hey man, I don’t want you sitting at my table.”
I immediately take offense to his comment. Those type of comments are usually directed towards child molesters, rapists, rats, and weirdo’s. You don’t spew that non-sense to Steven Jennings!
I say, “You got me f***ed up boy! I’ll sit wherever I want.”
Wrong answer! A fools lips invite a beating. I was the fool. And so was he.
To my surprise, he just said, “Oh, okay.” And that was the end of it.
I sat at a different table. Someone asked me, “What was that all about?”
I replied, “I have no idea. Who is that guy anyway?”
I found out his name is Brent. He’s been in and out a few times. Early 30’s. Has SGT ties. Likes to fight. And deems himself a shot caller. (see: Prison Glossary)
The second I walk into the Unit, Brent is standing there…waiting for me.
He says, “What’s your f***ing problem dude?”
I respond, “None, You’re the one with the problem.”
I can see he wants to fight. I don’t. I have an EFV coming up.
He says, “Let’s go in a cell and handle this…I’ll beat your mother f***ing ass!”
At this point, I’m trying to back pedal a little bit and maybe avoid a fight. But my ego and pride is involved. People are watching.
So I say, “Trust me, you don’t want to do that.”
At that moment he fired on me. Hitting me with a right, then a left. Before he could land another right, I ducked down and shot in. I got him in a fireman’s carry and slammed him on the dayroom floor.
He landed on his head. Knocked out cold. A long pool of blood formed on the floor.
I calmly walked away and went to my cell.
Through my cell door window I watched his buddies help him to the showers. One guy wiped up all the blood using a couple of T-shirts. He then put the soaked T-shirts in the trash.
Out at the recycling plant, they traced the T-shirts back to our Unit. We then went on lockdown as officers conducted knuckle checks and scalp examinations.
As soon as they examined Brent, they cuffed him up and took him to the hole.
Three days later they came and got me. Someone told.
I’m in the hole for less than 72 hours before I’m served with an infraction. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was being infracted for a 633 – Assault on another inmate.
They found me guilty and took my EFV’s for 5 years!
This incident changed my life. Once again, I was forced to confront my failure. I was determined to find out why I continued to find myself in messed-up situations.
The answer was simple. I wasn’t living my life according to the scriptures. I was doing things my way. I wasn’t obeying the word of God.
Had I been living according to scripture, this issue would’ve been resolved the minute Brent commented about me sitting at his table. I would’ve responded, “I can respect that. No problem.”
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:9 – Do not pay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you might inherit a blessing.
All I had to do was bless Brent with a kind respectful answer. And in return, I would’ve been blessed with a beautiful 48 hour EFV with my family.
We live and learn. Life is not over. I have the rest of my life to live in accordance with the scripture. And it all starts with today.