Prison Radio
Kenneth Zamarron

My name’s Kenneth Lee Zamarron calling in from Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana. This piece is regarding a friend that committed suicide today. 

Today at around 11 AM, my friend, Curtis McGaha committed suicide. I’d known Kurt for nearly 10 years. He was witty and playful. He would playfully call me “Mexi Whitey” because he said I was the tallest white Mexican he ever met. 

Kurt loved to joke. And love talking crap on the handball, basketball, and baseball court. Kurt truly loved baseball and was a fanatic. Kurt was proud that he was in the military and talked about what he learned in the army and all of his experiences. And how he can kick my ass, because of his experiences. Kurt and I bonded over our open conversations of surviving childhood traumas.

Kurt wasn’t perfect, but his imperfections had a past. I am angry because people stated that Kurt went to the medical department on Thanksgiving Day, seeking a consultation with a therapist, and was told that there was none at the prison. Kurt was then sent back to his cell and red tagged, which means that Kurt had to spend the whole holiday weekend on 24 hours a day lockdown.

Kurt had a cellie, but today, his cellie left for work. Kurt was alone in that cell, and he hung himself. I once read a quote that love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. I wish the medical department, the prison, or a guard would have shown him some compassion.

I think he could have survived.