Duc Ta has been sent back to Corcoran, to a Level 2 unit -- which means he's no longer considered dangerous, he's at a much lower security level. That should be good, but it also means that instead of being in a two-man cell, he's now in a bunk bed on a pod with dozens of guys, in a unit where there's no education, no vocational training, no prison jobs, just men talking, shouting, playing radios, the TV on full volume in the dayroom. Duc says it's as loud as Wall Street. He puts on his head phones to screen out the noise and reads. The problem there is he is only allowed three books a month. Not knowing this, I ordered two books for him last month, including my most recent, The Blessing Next to the Wound, because there's a chapter about him. Of course I couldn't send him an autographed copy directly. It had to go through an authorized vendor, i.e., Amazon. The Post Office confirmed delivery on June 21. Duc still doesn't have the books. Maybe because he already had three in June and they haven't decided to release his July quota yet, or maybe because the books have to be inspected by a corrections officer and due to budget cuts, no one is usually available these days to do the inspection.
We were allowed to have a photo taken together. The Visiting Room has a backdrop you're required to stand in front of. It's against the rules to touch. If you make the wrong move, your visit is terminated. We asked permission to goof around with the backdrop and our request was granted.
If you wish to write to Duc Ta, his current address is: Duc Ta #T05420
PO Box 5248, B3-217 Low
Corcoran, CA 93212
Here's hoping his next address will be in the free world.