Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Apparently, some time during the day lightning struck our radio repeater up atop the control center.

Not a good thing.

All of the sudden, nobody's radios on our side of the camp worked.

It took us awhile to figure out what was going on. I just thought either I had a bad radio or nobody was listening to me. When I found out that they couldn't hear me, I got a little nervous. That is just not a good thing. Stupid radio is my lifeline. And if it's not working, I could be seriously hosed.

Luckily, nothing happened between then and the time they got it fixed. But things were pretty tense there for awhile.

You don't realize how much you depend on having backup only a radio call away until the radio doesn't work. They told they guy up in the bubble "Pay close attention and if anything happens, get on the phone ASAP!" I think we about gave him nervous fits. But he paid attention, I'll give him that.

And dealing with the problem up front just about gave ol' Vinnie fits as well.

Hopefully it will give him something to write about, finally.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Strange Wind A'Blowin'

It was just an odd day. I'll give you some details but when it comes right down to the brass tacks of it.... it was just an odd day.

Started out just busy busy busy as hell. There were releases in the hall and lockups in the sallyport and lockups on the benches and files and bags of property hip deep in the office. Threw in and helped lock people up and put things away and get squared away for shift change. Alot of work, but everybody was working (pretty much) so I didn't mind helping out.

When we were picking up the trays after dinner I caught a whiff of a pretty strange yet not unfamiliar odor coming from one of the cells. Snif! Snif! Yup.... they were smoking summa that there whacky tabacky for sure! Call the Sarge up and we searched but it was either gone or hidden in a place I sure wasn't sticking my hands into. No evidence left other than the smell so there was nothing we could do.

We get out on the rec yard and there's a large horse fly in one of the rec cages. And the inmate in there (who calls himself a hillbilly) is afraid to pick it up. Doesn't know if they bite or sting and doesn't even know which end it's head is! What kind of hillbilly is that?

He finally manages to get it picked up by the wings and the guy in the next cage says "Good thing it was dead or it might have got away from you!"


We finally get done with rec and Sarge and the guy I was working with (not Chuck or BG but some very odd little utility) were standing in the office shooting rubber bands at each others crotch. I sat there doing the rec files while rubber bands were flying past my head in their extremely silly macho game. Silly esecially for the utility, because everyone knows that Sarge feels no pain. He's like Ben Grimm (The "Thing" from the Fantastic Four) with the sense of humor of Bozo the Clown. Little utility dude was limping noticeably on the way out.

And after I turned in my radio and keys and was on my way out the door, one of the cats up front holds up a large cucumber with a rubber glove pulled over the top of it with a weird face drawn on in ink. He waves it at me and says "Bye now!" in a sqeaky cartoon voice.

Not all of the wobbleheads are behind the cell doors.

And I'm pretty sure I'm one of them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Volume Vs Intelligence

I know that we don't have the smartest people in prison. If they were smart, they wouldn't be there in the first place. And if they were smart, they sure as hell wouldn't be locked up in the Adseg unit.

I've always said "If they ever lock up a rocket scientist, I'd fall over backwards."

Hasn't happened yet. I'm safe.

But what really gets to me are the offenders that think that volume and repetition more than adequately make up for a lack of intelligence. They seem to feel that if they are loud enough and repeat themselves enough that I will get annoyed, it makes them look smarter than me.

Hell, I'm just a stupid cop. If I was smart, I'd have a real job.

Or so they say.

I rarely have to raise my voice. If you can't hear me, then you are being too loud. That's my philosophy. And if you aren't listening to what I have to say, then you have nothing coming. And listening to what I have to say could be very very important to your safety and not listening could have a detrimental effect on your ever getting out of the Hole, or prison.

Maybe they came from homes with lots of other kids and they had to learn to yell to get attention. Maybe all of their parents are hard of hearing.

Maybe they're just a**holes. I'm sure that's it.

They get bored in Adseg and their favorite game is called "Pissing off the police." And one of the favorite ways to play is screaming as loud as they can. They know it pisses me off and they use it.

So, most of the time I don't listen to them. That pisses them off worse.

But I'm sure by the time I retire I'm going to be stone deaf.

At least it will be quiet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Didn't Do It

Really. I didn't do it this time. Wasn't anywhere near the man.

We were out on the rec yard and the guy in the last cage had a couple of other peoples time so he was running around and shooting baskets and doing pushups when he missed.

Like they always do. Nothing spectacular.

I went to poke my head inside and see what was going on in the wing (they were making noise and I was curious) and when I turned back around BG said "I think that guy is having trouble down there."

I saw the offender sitting down on the ground and he slowly lay down on his back on the concrete. I trotted down there to see what the problem was and he said he hurt his back and that it hurt all the way through to his stomach. He couldn't straighten his legs out and he was having trouble getting a full breath.

Pinched a nerve in his back, I'm guessing. Painful. How well I know.

I asked him if he could get up and he said no, so I called a code 16 to have the nurse come out to the rec yard and look at him.

Everybody (it seemed) on camp came out to the rec yard to see what was happening. Sarge came out and saw me standing over the inmate as he lay on the ground and looked me in the eye and said "What did you do?"

Man, you get a bad rep around this place so easy.....

I started to sputter out a reply when BG just said "He was like that when we brought him out here."

Leave it to him.

They carried the guy out on a stretcher and loaded him on the cart and sent him to medical. As they were taking him away one of the knuckleheads in A-wing yelled out "What did you do to him?"

Without even thinking I said "I guess I broke him. I play too rough with my toys."

That shut him up.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Crabby

Maybe I'm a good listener. I dunno. maybe I just got one of those faces that says to people "Hey, tell me all about your relationship."

Maybe it's the fact that I'm older than alot of the folks I work with and the fact that I occasionally use proper english and big words that they think I've got some ancient wisdom that I can impart.

I get to hear about everybody's love life. Or lack thereof.

Dude, I have been married for twenty two years! Longer than you have been alive!

What the hell do I know about dating? If something were to happen and my wife wasn't with me anymore, I would probably sleep alone for the rest of my life. Not for any weird loyalty, but because I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to find someone else.

And you're asking ME for advice? Get on with you.

I can tell you who is the most likely to have some contraband in the house and who seriously needs to be thumped. I can tell you where the rec book is stashed and where the secret cache of leave slips is hidden. (Worth their weight in gold, those are!) I can tell you which caseworkers will do their job and which ones will slack off so you have to chase them down for information.

Outside of work, I can tell you many many things.

A good place to start a blog, for instance. Or where to find an authentic reproduction gas tank dipstick for a Model T Ford. Or some really weird music videos.

But I don't have a clue whether or not you should do the girl from the Pizza Hut. And fer gawds sakes don't tell me how old she is!

I'll thump the snot out of you, I swear.


That's what I'd like to say, anyway.

But what I do is listen and try to keep my crew out of trouble. Because if they are happy at home they are happy at work.

And I need all of my crew here.

maybe I should charge by the hour.....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who's Watching?

"You don't get it, do you? I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!"
-Walter Kovacs aka Rorschach

Just got done watching the movie "Watchmen". If you are a fan of comic book heroes then watch this movie. It's much deeper than any other comic turned movie I have ever seen.

Hell, it's much deeper than most of the movies that I have seen lately.

Even the opening credits will make your eyes open.

If you're old enough to know what you are seeing, anyway.

And Rorschach speaks like he's a character from a Raymond Chandler novel.

It's almost like the movie was written for me.

Don't watch it with young children.

There's gory bits. And some nudity. And they won't understand the point.

But that's okay.

I did.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't Bug Me, I'm Busy!

What a time for this crap to start up again. We get hammered busy and the wench up in medical that's in charge up there wants to start throwing her weight around again. Beeotch!

We get one lockup come down from the bus. A newbie. We were expecting that one. Right behind him comes another one that we had no idea about. They couldn't even tell us why they were locking him up!

Great. We had three beds left in the house. Put the newbie in one and this guy in another one. In the meantime we are trying to count and feed the house and the nurse is still waiting to do med pass. We got two utility officers in the house, one on the floor and one in the bubble. The guy in the bubble calls down and says "Will you go into B-wing? I think she needs some help in there."

We all trot into B-wing and she has both inmates in cuffs and says that one of them just wrote a note stating he was suicidal.

Oh snap!

We get him out and I trot into C-wing and up to the first camera cell and tell the guy in there to pack his stuff, because we are moving him. He gets mouthy with me and says "I aint packing sh*t!"

Oh really?

He ends up moving (and getting a violation, which he complained about) and we put the other guy from B-wing on suicide watch and I get back into the office and start trying to stir our numbers around so that count comes out right and the phone rings and the Lieutenant asks me "Why isn't med pass getting done?"

So I get a little short with him and give him the readers digest version of what has been happening and that med pass is starting right away.

What a bunch of crap.

Sarge gets a call from the captain later and is told that "Everything goes on hold until med pass is done."


"I'm very sorry, sir. But you are not going to be able to kill yourself right now. Tell the voices in your head to wait about half an hour until med pass is done, okay? Have a nice day."

"Hey! You two! Stop fighting until med pass is done!"

"Count? What count? Don't bother me, we're doing med pass!"

I'm not sure who is in charge in medical anymore. It might still be that hateful bullfrog looking woman. But when stuff starts getting flaky she needs to waddle her chairbound butt down to the Hive and see if she can fix the situation herself, rather than calling and crying to the captain all the time. Maybe if she actually DID HER JOB AND KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON she might get it.

But I doubt it.

Some people would rather spend their time making trouble than fixing it.

Some people should be working at Walmart instead.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pay Attention!!!

Okay, here's the scenario: First of all, you are working at a prison. Enough to make you want to pay some attention to your surroundings, right?

Secondly, you are working in the Adseg unit, which pretty much houses the stupidest and the most dangerous offenders in the prison. One of whom had already snapped out and assaulted a staff member earlier in the day.

Third, you are working the bubble, which controls not only the opening but the closing of all the doors in the aforementioned Adseg unit.

Isn't THAT good enough reason to be paying attention to what was going on in the house?

Then WTF?

I know the cat that was up there. He's been around long enough to know what's what. And while he's not assigned Adseg, he's worked here enough to know how the house runs.

There are five lockups in the sally port. All waiting to be put into cells. Why the snap can I not get a door open? Why the frack are you up there yakking on the phone and not watching where your staff is?


All I know it was enough to piss me right the frack off. Couldn't get anything done. He would only open the door when you screamed or if the Sarge was there. I finally gave up and went outside.

Of course, it took me five minutes to get the freaking door open.

If you can't tell, the regular bubble guy wasn't there. Apparently he was sick. Of course, he's like 100 years old and he has 85 kids. If I was him, I'd be sick, too.

Maybe he will be back tomorrow. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prison Movies

Sat down this weekend and watched "Shawshank Redemption" again. That movie just gives me the chills every time I watch it. I hadn't seen it since before I started working here.

Kinda puts some things in perspective.

I'm not really that into cruelty, but I can see how that sort of prison setting would be more of a deterrent to crime than the system we have now. And sure as hell nobody would have been standing at the door calling Captain Hadley a fag and threatening to beat his a**.

They knew what would happen if that door came open.

Nowadays we can't even open the door. And they know that.

I think I'm just going to leave that line of discussion alone. I've already sat here for too long arguing with myself over the pros and cons (so to speak) of prison brutality and it has gotten me nowhere.

I'll just agree to disagree with myself.

So, all in all, I thought it was a good, if somewhat disturbing movie. And the fact that it came from Stephen King really startled me. I think it was the first of his non-scary, not monster based movies I ever saw.

So, what is your favorite prison movie? I'd really like to know. And I've never seen "Oz" or "Prison Break" either. So if you have any opinions on these, I'd like to hear them.

Tell me, has there ever been a prison movie that showed the officers in a good light?

Monday, July 20, 2009

With This Ring....

Not sure I should even mention this incident. Kinda gave me the ickies when I heard about it, but I had to laugh at the same time.

Apparently, two of our offenders decided to get "hitched" while they were cellies in the Hive. One of them gave the other his wedding ring to wear. I guess that means they consummated their..... whatever it is you consummate.


You know what I mean.

The problem was that the ring was too small. It got stuck on the guys finger and he couldn't get it back off and his finger started to swell up.

So he had to be taken up to medical and get the ring cut off. Almost lost his finger.

What a maroon.

Of course, he's claiming that his cellie just let him try it on and it got stuck.

But we know better. And everybody (by now) on the camp knows better, too. I'm willing to bet the guy gets himself transferred pretty quick.

I wonder how the other guy is going to explain to his wife what happened to his ring?

I'll bet his story comes nowhere near the truth.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Pure Laziness

I can understand laziness. Everybody wants to "take it easy" now and then.

I do it.

You do it.

We all do it now and then.

But not all the time. Laziness is one of the reasons we have so many people in prison right now. They all wanted to take the easy route to get what they wanted rather than working for it.

And solving all of your problems by being lazy isn't going to make them go away. Eventually, you are going to have to pry your overly large butt out of that recliner and DO something.

One of ours got hurt at work the other night. He probably won't be back. Not because anybody did anything particularly wrong, but their solution is just pure-d dog boned laziness.

The officer in question was on midnight shift out in a little guard shack in the middle of one of the yards. Apparently, he had a stroke. Nobody knows for sure how long he laid there before an inmate spotted him and reported it. Luckily for him, the inmate didn't take advantage of the situation. You know what I mean.

So their solution, in their infinite wisdom....... is to have the control center call over the radio and speak to every single person on the camp who is carrying a radio. Once per shift. Just to make sure that they are okay.

That takes about forty minutes on day shift. A little less on evenings and even less on midnights. They want to call once in an eight hour shift and check on you.


And what happens if someone is in trouble while they are tying up the radio for forty minutes?

"Wait. Don't stab me just yet. The radio is all tied up."

I don't know about the other shifts and the other yards and houses. But down here in the Hive we look out for our own. If we don't see somebody for ten or fifteen minutes at a stretch, we are out looking for them. Because we got each others backs down here.

I feel safe knowing that if my Sarge doesn't know where I am and the bubble officer can't see me then somebody is going to come looking for my sorry butt. If nothing more than to chew me out for scaring them.

We have got supervisors here. We are lousy with them. Some days we are hip deep in supervisors.

The word "supervisor" comes from the older term "overseer". One who watches over the workers.

We, as officers, watch over the inmates. The supervisors are supposed to be watching over us. If they would get out of their comfy office chairs once in a while and actually supervise their officers, that man might have gotten medical care much sooner.

I don't know. For all I know his Sarge may have just left the area when he keeled over. It might not have made a difference at all.

But their solution is no solution.

The only way that they can assure that all of the people who work in this prison are safe at their jobs is to get up and physically check on them several times during the shift.

Think that's gonna happen?

Nah, me neither.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I got first busy and then lazy yesterday and forgot to post anything before I went to bed. Everybody is gone for the weekend and I'm home alone.

And, as usual when I'm home alone, I got quickly bored and found things I needed to do. I know I don't sound much like the domestic type, being the harda** Adseg monster and all, but I am when I need to be.

Got my laundry done and washed the sheets and rotated our mattress (not an easy thing to flip a king sized mattress by yourself, lemme tell ya) and went out and mowed the lawn. Cleaned up the yard some and took out all the trash.

Then I got lazy and sat in front of the teevee and watched movies for the rest of the night. Way too much teevee. I watched "Batman Begins" and "The Italian Job" and "Shooter".

Went to bed without a thought in the world about what was going on at work. Sorry about that.

I think, for the time being, that I am going to start taking Fridays and Saturdays off. I don't know what is happening at work and I'm running out of old stories to bore you with.

Don't want to get too stale.

Besides, I've got a week off coming in late August and another in September. I need to save up some filler stories for those two weeks.

Be careful out there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Goat Rope!

Yes, it was one of those days. Day shift had to spray some dipstick who was too afraid to stay in the cell he was in..... luckily for me they got done with all the paperwork before I showed up.

Went out to do a round of rec at 6:00 pm and just as soon as he got the cuffs off the last guy out in the rec cages, they closed the yards because of the storms and we had to take them all back in.


I heard radio traffic of them sending officers to the treatment house for a search and I figured we'd be getting some business from that. Sure enough, they started locking them up left and right. That evil wench Peggy Sue stayed late and decided to clean some house apparently. She's shameless when she's on a roll, I'm telling you. And she doesn't mind at all making our lives difficult.

And to make matters worse, she's my old boss lady and I love her to death. But I'd still like to beat her with a stick, sometimes.

They managed to fill the house up and then some. We had to kick a couple of them out to make room. Fortunately, I had my wits about me and I think I got everything straight so that count would clear.

I hope, anyway.

I'm just beat and I'm going to bed. It was my friday and I was pretty happy to see it come to a close. I think I earned my nickel today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doing The Right Thing

An interesting conversation came up on the way out tonight. Chuck and I and a few others were on our way out after a busy and fairly crazy night. About half way up the walk Chuck sees a rolled up baggie laying in the grass and goes over to investigate.

Luckily for him, it was empty.

If he had actually found something, it would have caused several hours of paperwork and taking pictures and logging and filing everything and dealing with evidence bags and tape and doing a narcotics test, etc.

Instead of someone saying "Good deal. Let's just dump that in the toilet and call it good." it would have become a major hassle and entailed hours of crap. They just can't give you a gold star for your forehead and call it a day around here.

I said "It would be just my luck to walk out and find a bag of dope in the parking lot. Then I'd never get home." And someone in the back piped up and said "Frack it. Just take it home and smoke it. Less paperwork that way."

Sadly enough, that's true. By using some weird sort of aversion therapy, they are training us not to do the right thing by being so difficult. If I found a bag of dope on the street, I could take it to a cop and say "Here, I just found this over there. Will you dispose of it for me?" And he would most likely do it, no questions asked, just to get it off of the streets.

But not here.

Somehow... somewhere... it seems that our priorities have gone terribly wrong.

Update: After reading this entry the following morning I just want to state for the record that I wouldn't take it home and smoke it. I'm not that foolish. Generally, anyway.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Okay! I Can Do That!

So that knucklehead that tried to go over the fence last week finally came off of suicide watch and is demanding to be moved out of the camera cell. I know from past experience that if we put him somewhere else it will only last a day or so and he'll be right back in there on suicide watch so I refused to move him.

Pissed him off, apparently.

Now he's refusing to take his psych meds. Says he's not taking anything until they transfer him off the camp. Hoo boy. He's going to be mighty crazy by then.

We end up taking him out for rec and he's fine. Goes back in the cell afterwards and starts demanding to be moved again. Starts kicking on his door. I'm looking in the wing and I can see his door shaking as he kicks it. I tell him to stop and he starts screaming "It wasn't me! I was asleep! Write that up, Bit*h! I don't give a f*ck!!!" And goes to the back of the cell screaming about how he's getting more time and he just don't care and he's going to kill all of us when he gets out, etc., etc.

So I think to myself "Okay! I can do that!"

About that time the guy next door starts kicking on his cell door too. He's off watch and demanding to be moved because his light doesn't work. He orders me to get the Sarge in there and move him.

Well.... that approach just doesn't really work for me. Nope, not a bit. And the funny thing is, his light was working when we put him back in there not five minutes before. I suspect he covered it with something to make it look like it was out.

So I wrote them both up for Creating A Disturbance. Neither one of them was happy about it and they both blamed the other one for kicking on the door. But I got them dead to rights because I saw them both doing it. Case closed.

On the way back in from the last round of rec one of the offenders asks "Where the Sarge at?" and he goes on to state "Go tell him to move me out of this wing!"

Well..... I just gave him my best toothiest Jack Nicholson grin and said "I suggest you go back to your cell and lay down and we will move you when we need the cell and not before!"

I think the grin worked. He looked a little unnerved. And he stayed quiet after that.

Alot of the offenders think I'm crazier than they are. It helps.

Alot of the Pshrinks think so too. That doesn't help as much, but it's fun anyway.

Monday, July 13, 2009

All Too Human

Man, just when you think you know somebody... When you think you got them pegged and categorized..... they go ahead and do something you don't expect. And then you end up having to apologize.

I hate eating crow. It tastes nasty.

A couple of weeks ago I put in for this evening off to go to an awards ceremony for my daughter. She's taking some advanced summer classes at the local college while she is still in high school. It's called the "Upward Bound" program and she has been going there for the past three summers and earning college credits. Tonight was their last night there and she got a few awards and in the morning they were off to their class trip to florida for a week. I wasn't going to see her before she left. I was bummed and so was she, but we knew it was just work.

My slip for tonight had been denied because we were too short people. I can understand that. I was bummed, but I understood. There are alot of people on vacation right now.

So I get told about 3:30 that I need to call the Lieutenant. He wants to see me about something. I think "Oh snap! What did I do now?"

I call up there and he says "Do you still want to go to that awards ceremony? I've got enough people so if you still want to go, you can go."

What can I say? I grab my stuff and burn out. On the way out I see Captain Crane (not his real name, obviously) and he waves me over and says "I saw that slip that had been denied and I told him to get you out of here if he could."


I'm glad none of them read this. Then I'd have to apologize in person.

Instead I'll just do this:
To all the supervisors up front,
You're not such a bad bunch of guys after all.
You came through for me when I needed you
And I appreciate that.
You did me a solid right after I talked smack about you
So now I have to take most of it back. (grin)
There'll be some home made chocolate chip cookies in this for you.
You guys rock.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leaping Into Inaction! Pt 2

I'll bet if you asked any of those white shirted supervisors up front what they thought of indecisiveness they would say "I hate indecisiveness!..... I think.... maybe.... I don't know. What do you want me to say? Wait and ask the other two shifts and see what they say and I'll let you know. Maybe."

Most of those guys up there couldn't make a decision for themselves if their life depended on it. Unfortunately, someday my life might. They get paralyzed by the thought of the consequences if they decide the wrong thing that they very often refuse to decide anything!

The whole attitude of "Let's not do anything" or "Just leave it alone and see if it will work itself out" just doesn't work for me. Is this or is this not a prison? Are we or are we not Corrections Officers and are we or are we not supposed to be "correcting" aberrant behavior?

Apparently not. On all of the above.

This situation happened while I was off in la-la land with my head full of hydrocodone this weekend. I just heard about it today.

This wobble head..... this numbnuts that we just can't get rid of... this eeediot. He is maybe thirty. Looks fifteen and acts about ten. Claims P.C. when he is out on the hill because he can't control his mouth and gets into trouble with other inmates. And if we put him in a cell with someone else he will claim his cellie beat him up or (this last time) that his cellie raped him. And if we leave him in a cell by himself he calls a code 16 (medical emergency) for chest pains and shortness of breath at least twice a day for the attention. He claims chest pains so ften that the nurses are ready to beat his a**.

The day shift captain (O' wisest of the wise) had him placed on "cell alone" status. And he's not happy about this at all. He wants moved out of that wing and into a cell with someone else. So the other night he holds his food service tray hostage and refuses to give it up until he is moved. The crew calls up front and reports this and they say they will send someone down.

Hokey dokey.

So, about two hours later, when nobody has shown up, they call back up front and report that numbnuts has tied a noose around his neck and he still won't give up the tray.

"Just check on him every few minutes and make sure he's okay." they say.

Say what?

Soooooooo the lieutenant finally gets down there and talks to him and gets both the tray and the noose away from him and shuts the chuck hole and walks away. That's done.

Say what?

"Just leave him alone and make sure he doesn't hurt himself."

Hokey dokey.......

And he does the same thing again on day shift (minus the noose part, apparently) and still nothing gets done.

So all we have taught him is that he can act any way he wants to and there will be no repercussions.

Isn't that why we have so many people in prison in the first place?

If you are going to keep a dog on a short leash all of the time and never let him hunt, why have a dog in the first place?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On The Edge

I've never been one of those "high adventure" type people. I've never gone bungee jumping or rock climbing or skydiving. I'm scared to death of flying in airplanes, ventriloquist dummies and the dentist. I drive the speed limit, I get a checkup and my shots every year and I quit drinking.

I go to places like The Sally Port and I watch their videos or I go watch Lock Up on MSNBC and I think to myself "Man, I'm glad I don't work in one of those places." After all, this isn't Pelican Bay I'm working at here. Not a level five camp, even though we have lots of level five offenders. Most of our level fives are young punks who would snot their britches if they were put in a real level five supermax prison.

But this place could easily become one of those places if we aren't careful. If we weren't watching and listening and prying into the things happening on the yard and in the houses this place could very easily end up on the evening news.

Like this new "gang" that I wrote about in the last post. Young white punks trying to make a name for themselves in the prison system. And there's only two ways to make your bones in a racist group like that. You either "press" or extort or assault or bully the weaker white inmates or you go up against the blacks. So far, I've been told, they have restricted themselves to the former. But eventually one of those bright boys is going to think the second option is a good idea and things might very well get very ugly in a hurry.

The Crips and the Bloods and the Gangster Disciples generally don't get along inside or outside the fence. They occasionally make temporary alliances, but they don't tend to last very long. On the streets they are enemies and will kill each other with or without the slightest provocation. But if you add a racist white gang trying to move in on their "turf" or assaulting one of their members, then they will band together so quick it will make you wonder what happened.

And we will have blood shed on the yard and not much we can do about it. We don't have the towers in the corners filled with hard eyed men with automatic rifles. If something big was to kick off we would be able to field maybe a hundred officers armed with pepper spray and little else to break it up. I'm guessing it would take an hour to field our response squad with riot gear. And alot of people could be seriously dead inside of an hour.

I'm not finding fault with our administration here. It's just they way the place is set up. We can't have a squad suited and booted and ready to go 24/7. We don't have towers and couldn't afford to build them if we needed them.

I know I've made fun of the guys on the yard who play detective and chase down rumor and clues all day. But these are the guys keeping us out of harms way. If they weren't on the job, people would get hurt. And I think if we weren't nosy SOB's in the first place, we wouldn't be doing this job.

Hopefully, by keeping our eyes and ears open we can avert any sort of disaster that might be looming. But we are constantly balanced on that edge, ready to cut one way or the other. Let's hope that when all those around us are losing their heads, we can keep ours.

I got your back. You watch mine, huh?

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Not A Gang, It's A Club

While I do tend to screw around a bit here in blogland, I try to at least keep up the appearances that this is a corrections-based thing I'm doing here.

And you may have to forgive me if I wander. I'm still a bit dweeziled from the pain meds the dentist gave me. It's getting better but if I yawn or try to open my mouth real wide it hurts.

We have a new gang or "threat group" as they like to call them, cropping up in our camp. They call themselves "SSG" which (I believe) stands for Southside Separatist Group. They are, as you can probably tell from the name, a white hate group. They are trying to make a name for themselves, which means they are doing everything they can to gain some power out on the hill.

I don't know if this group started here or somewhere else or even if it is in any other camps as yet. I don't have or get alot of information down in the Hive. All I know for sure is that we have several of them locked up and several more locked up under PC who are afraid of them.

Don't get me started on what I think about separatists and klanpunks and nazis in general. I'd like to tie them all to the same cinder block and drown them in the septic tank.

So these punks are using assaults and extortion and theft to bully their way to the top of the power hierarchy. Or attempt to, anyway. What will happen in the future is that we will get stuck with a whole bunch of loud mouthed snapholes when they round them all up. They will be in the Hive or "Safety and Security" or "Under Investigation" for several months and then they will get scattered all over the state as soon as we can transfer them out.

But until they get moved I'll be stuck with dealing with them.


I really hate dealing with those self-righteous little pricks.

They tend to be more physically aggressive than your average offender. I foresee a new level of uses of force in the near future. These little beeotches will egg each other on and pump each other up until they are unable to back down from a situation without losing face in front of their comrades. And from my experience, it usually takes physical force to stop the situations from getting out of hand.

So we have to be more careful. We have to watch each other's backs while these punks are in our house. I don't want any of us to get hurt.

And I'm getting too old for the rough stuff. Not old enough that I can't still mix it up if I need to, you understand.... If I got too old to play, then I would stop. But I just don't heal as fast as I used to anymore.

So let us watch out for these punks. And keep an eye out wherever you may be for more of them. Since we got our new president it seems that the racists have been coming out of the closet everywhere. And they can be a real handful if we don't slap them down quickly.

Let's be on our toes out there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Less Teeth, More Pain

I'm sure the Lieutenant on the books is pissed off at me. And I'm willing to bet BG is pissed off at me. The second thursday in a row that I called out from work.

But it was necessary. Went to the dentist this morning and he agreed that the bad tooth had to come out. Problem is: my teeth, even when they are bad, don't want to come out. I thought the dude was going to have to break my jaw to get that sucker out! Holy snap! I won't go into all of the details here. It was an ordeal. $350.00 for a cleaning, several x-rays (including a panaflex of my whole jaw) and the extraction.

By the time I left the whole left side of my head was still numb. I couldn't even put the earbud of my mp3 player back in because I couldn't feel my ear. They gave me something codeine based for the pain. And when the novocaine started wearing off, I started taking it. I have been fuzzy headed and in slight pain all night.

But it's getting better. And the pain pills are killing my typing skills. There's an exercise in "ll's" for you.

At any rate, I'm going to need alot more painful and expensive work done on my teeth. Snappy. But for the moment, this is driving me crazy and I'm going to bed.

Be careful out there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The New Guy

We have added a new member to our crew. Actually, he started last week, but I was waiting to see if we would run him off before I said anything. I've referred to him as KP, because he's been running around cleaning up after us. A pretty good cat, so far.

I'm always iffy about new people. You just never know how they are going to react in a place like the Hive. We've managed to drive off alot of people. And those people may work out fine out on the yard or in the GP houses, they just can't take the stress of the craziness here.

But I think KP is going to work out fine. If we don't let him overwork himself into a heart attack or something first. There's still a few things he needs to pick up, but he's learning fast. I'm over most of the anxiety I had about him. Now we just need to see how he reacts in a use of force and we'll know his measure. But I don't have too many doubts about that. KP has been around the block a few times and from some of the stories I've heard, he knows how to handle himself in a fracas.

I guess I'm just a worrier when it comes to these things. I like to know who has got my back when stuff starts getting flaky. BG is there and he's a rock. I can always count on him to back me up when the chips are down. Chuck is..... well, Chuck. Even with that disarming grin he can be a real handful and he's actually more verbally aggressive and less likely to take any crap than I am. I'm more likely to let the crap pass by me. Chuck will turn it back on them and make them look stupid. He's good at that. He's better at getting the inmates to do what we need them to than I am sometimes. I'm better at reasoning with them, he's better at directing. Even if he is turning into a soccer mom. But with this crew I'm a little less worried. We just need a couple more good people to fill in the empty slots and we'll be complete.

Sarge 1 is still broken and on light duty. Hopefully (fingers crossed all the way around) he will be back this week, Sarge 2 (Miz P) is always there when we need her and handy like pants pockets. It doesn't hurt at all that we have been friends for years and she used to work the Hive with me back when she was a nobody like me. If I could get away with it, I'd just hang myself on her duty belt and go wherever she went. Or visa-versa.

Well, I need to get off of here and go take some drugs. I have a dentist appointment in the morning and hopefully they are going to pull this bad tooth that has been keeping me awake at night. It's really going to suck going to work with a mouthful of gauze and not being able to eat. But it's only for one day. My friday.

I'll survive. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What They Are Talking About

It was a weird situation. Midnight shift had come up with a situation and dealt with it the best they could. One of the more "flamboyant" offenders was over in D-wing and his cellie had been transferred. All of the sudden, there were eight or ten offenders trying to "check out" of their cells and get in that cell and all of them claimed to be his cousin.

More like they wanted to be his daddy. Cousin my hind leg!

So the midnights sarge just moved our little flame over to C-wing in a cell by himself. It worked. So he's right over the rec yard and flirting with all of the "fellas" while they are out on rec. One offender comes out who is a typical street thug type. Been locked down half his life since he was a juvie. He sits on one of the weight benches and starts chatting with (let's call him "Miz B, shall we?) about who is doing who out on the yard and who belongs to who and so and so is such a bi*ch, etc. They are talking about what they are missing by being in the hole and suddenly the conversation takes an odd turn....

(Insert weird music here)

They start talking about missing "The Young And The Restless"! And who was doing what to who and somebody had broken up with somebody else and somebodys baby wasn't really his..... And all about Cain and Victor and Lily and Ashley this and that...

I was dumbfounded. It was very close to being the weirdest thing I had ever heard out there... and I've heard some weird stuff, lemme tell you! Bg and I just looked at each other and shook our heads...

I could see it if it was "As The World Turns" now...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Senseless Slaughter

It was almost enough to give me nightmares. Or at least a case of PTSD. I may end up needing some stress leave. It was horrible.

Out on the rec yard, we have been having this beetle problem. Little black beetles, about half an inch long. There's not tons of them, but just enough to notice and be annoying. Right up there by the wing door where we sit, there's always four or five of them running around. And I always end up crunching one or two of them under my boot on the way in.

So we were out on the yard and BG sends me back in to check the list for the next round and run a few files so we don't get behind. He's a big dude and nobody messes with him so he figured it would be okay if I ran inside for a minute. I was only gone a minute or two and when I came back, there were maybe a dozen crunched beetles right outside the inner door. I said "What the snap?" and I went out to my chair.

I go to sit down and notice there are crunched beetles all over the place and there's BG stomping up and down on more of them. I repeated "What the snap?" And he replied "87!" *crunch* "88!" *crunch*

There must have been a nest of the that hatched or something. Right by the rec door. And the rest of the round more were coming. His total was well over a hundred of them by the time we were done. At one point six or eight of them showed up at once and he cried "We're being over run! Call for backup!"

BG, if you haven't figured out by now, is kind of a nut.

I'm just glad he didn't decide to call in an air strike. Napalm is tricky stuff.

It was one of those nights, as you can tell......

Sunday, July 5, 2009

All Dressed Up....

And nowhere to go. No, that's not me. I don't even have that much hair. And my best suit (my only suit) came from a thrift store. Paid $11.00 for the whole thing, including shoes. I'm a cheap date.

No, I was talking about the movement team we had today. They suited up and brought down the shock shield (we got it back! yay!) on Poop Boy, who is still playing his games. I think this is the second time they have brought a team down on this punk and as soon as they are in the house, he cuffs up and comes out so they can clean the cell. Then he stands in the shower and talks smack about what pu**ies we are. What an a**hole.

If he was all that tough, he'd stay in and fight the team. As it is, he's just playing a game to make things as difficult as he can for us. Just a punk trying to prove he's too crazy to be in prison.

I'm going to start telling all the inmates that the reason they aren't getting their rec as often as they should is because this guy keeps playing in his poop. Maybe they'll start giving him a hard time as they go by. Maybe it will work. I don't know. Gotta do something. This sh*t is getting old quick.

If we had someone with a larger set up front, he'd get a team together and go in on him anyway and light him up with the shield and let him know that it is going to keep happening until he stops. I'll bet it would stop pretty quick. That shield is nothing to play with if you are on the wrong end of it.

I know what I'd like to do, but I'm not stupid enough to put it down here. If something were to happen and I got in a use of force with him, someone could say "Look here! It was all planned out!"

Nyet. That's just a train wreck waiting to happen.

So I imagine we will be playing this game for awhile. He keeps making demands and declaring he's going to keep smearing poop until he gets what he wants. Eventually someone will just give him what he wants. I hate to say it, but it's true. Instead of giving him the severe thumping he needs, he will get what he wants just to make him quit.

But he won't get it from me, that's for sure. He's lucky I'm letting him breathe my air.

I say, if we have to spend the time and the manpower to get a team down, then by Gawds they are going in!

I guess, as far as a legal standpoint goes, it's probably a good thing that I'm not in charge.

But I'd have fun until they fired me, that's for sure.....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Not Attitude But...

Pepper spray. I've just got to state unequivocally that the man being sprayed in the picture above must be a certified idiot. Either that or a masochist. Possibly both. Anyone who would stand there willingly with his eyes open and let someone spray this crap in their face has got to be a first class moron. One of those hoo-rah types that will punch himself in the nuts and proclaim "I like pain! Pain is my friend!"

Pepper spray is designed to burn and to irritate. Bewilder and incapacitate. Blind and befuddle. Distract and dismay. It takes someone either very determined or very mentally unbalanced to get a snootful of this stuff and keep moving forward.

I've been sprayed seven or eight times. Never full in the face. Usually blowback or overspray from somebody else getting sprayed. The stuff comes out of the can in a pretty good stream and it tends to go everywhere. And when it hits, it sticks. And unfortunately, when you are in one of those situations where you are exherting yourself to your fullest and trying to keep life and limb in one piece, one of the things that tends to happen without your control is all of your pores opening wide. You also tend to breathe harder, usually through your nose.

And those are the two openings that oleoresin capiscum loves best. It's not the eyes. That only burns for a few seconds then your tears wash them clear. For the most part, anyway. But the particles of o/c are small enough to slip down inside the pores of your skin and light you up like a six month old christmas tree in a bonfire. And it will cling to those little hairs in your nose and dispense itself like a tiny Contact time capsule into your sinuses. And if you don't think the inside of your skull is sensitive to irritation, think again! I sneeze my frickin' head off every time. It aint pretty.

There's a couple of other places that you really don't want to get this stuff on. I don't want to go into a lot of detail here. I think most of you can figure them out for yourselves. Get a pair of pliers and hold them in one hand. Then stare down at your body and ask yourself: "Where would I most NOT want these pliers applied?" You'll get the picture pretty rapidly, I believe.

Every time I use pepper spray I get it all over myself. Sometimes from the blowback and sometimes because, even after they get sprayed, we still have to take physical control of them. And grabbing someone covered with pepper spray means that you are going to get some too. Put a drop of it in the crook of your arm where they always draw blood and leave it there for a minute or two. In the spot where the skin is really thin and sensitive. I guarantee you will be wearing short sleeves for awhile afterwards. Yowie.

Get it between your fingers. Or in one of those little "laugh lines" around your eyes. Get it under the collar of your shirt down by your collarbone. Get some between your hipbone and the waist of your pants. Get it in that torn cuticle you had this morning. Or that shaving knick on your chin. And then realize you have seven more hours to go before you can leave and take a shower.

You spray an inmate and put him in a cell and his part is over once the cuffs come off. He's done. Your part is just beginning. He's in the cell washing the stuff off. You are in the captains office explaining why you did what you did. Then putting it down on paper in a way that would pass through a courtroom and not be questioned.

Just think about that.

Happy 4th!

Got busy and distracted last night and forgot to post! Eek! Sorry. But in my defense I was reading a really good book and was lost in the pages until my eyes were drooping and I shambled off to bed.

By now you know that I am a Robert Heinlein fan. I got a weird buzz the other day and started re-reading his books. I believe I have them all. Not bragging... just saying. At any rate, I started reading "Friday" by him and between doing chores and building a new top for our outdoor table and cutting some things on the scroll saw and cleaning off the back porch and getting the back yard mowed, I managed to read over 200 pages. A good read. Gripping.

The other day I managed to get hold of a copy of the film "Destination Moon". Done back in 1950, this was the only movie that Robert Heinlein had a major hand in developing. It was based loosely on his novel "Rocket Ship Galileo" and he co-wrote the screenplay and was also listed as "technical adviser". As it was made back in 1950, before we had even gotten past the stratosphere, the movie is horribly inaccurate yet strangely prophetic. And of course, it's terribly "campy" in the way 1950's movies were.

But if you get a chance, lay ahold of this flick and give it a watching. Amazon has copies that are pretty cheap.

Nothing correctional to chat about today. Tonight I'll be watching fireworks from my own backyard rather than from the rec yard. Most years we suspend rec after dark on the 4th and BG and I will go out on the yard by ourselves to watch. Not to be mean or anything, but the fireworks often last late and if they are still going on when count time comes, we have a devil of a time getting the inmates back into the house. Did that once and it didn't work out so well. So we just avoid the hassle and let them watch out their cell windows.

Be safe, be sane and don't sit downwind of the fireworks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sick Day 2

Maybe all the knuckleheads screaming wasn't really why I had a headache. Perhaps it was an underlying symptom of something else. In any case, I felt like crap today so I stayed home.

Probably a good thing. I wouldn't have been much use to anybody there and would have just been in the way if anyone wanted to use the bathroom. And since we only have the one for all six of us.... well, it's better this way.

I'm sure BG is cross with me for not showing up. He'll say rude things about me in the rec log.

At any rate, I'm hoping to feel better in the morning. I have tons of things to do and can't afford to spend the day in front of the teevee like I did today. Actually, I was only in front of the teevee for about five minutes at a time. The rest of the time was spent...... well, you get the picture.

If I was an inmate, I could just kick on my door and scream Code 16 and eventually get all the medical attention I wanted. Me, I gotta take care of it myself.

Everything south of my ribs and north of my collarbone hurts. And I've taken enough tylenol to paralyze a small country.

I'm going to bed.

P.S. Good gawd. I just took a sneak peek at my statcounter and it looks like someone from Kansas just spent almost 24 hours looking at my blog and they seem to have read every single post! I hope the poor soul hasn't suffered any psychological damage. Just take it in small doses, friend. Easier to digest that way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Too Much Noise

There was just too much noise today. It got to me. I now have a screaming headache.

But I didn't let the knuckleheads know they got to me. I just went about my job like nothing was wrong. If I had let them know, they would have been twice as loud.

I used to listen to music 24-7. If I was awake, there was music on. Heck it was on while I was sleeping too! I've got a good sized library of music. Everything from classical to heavy metal.

But in the truck on the way home I turned the stereo all the way down and rode home in silence. Even the wind coming in the widow was too loud.

Right now I am enjoying some blissful quiet. If I could muffle this damn keyboard I'd be even happier. But I'll be done in a minute and read my book in peace for awhile.

Usually I enjoy the chaos and hubub in the Hive. I do! It makes my evenings go by so quickly. I usually just tune out what the knuckleheads are saying so that it's just one long "blah blah blah" and they all sound like Charlie Browns' teacher.

But tonight they got to me.

I'm going to sit quietly and read for awhile before bed.

Good night all! Sssssshhhhhhhh...............