Sunday, September 21, 2008

You know what I mean?

It almost embarasses me to post this. It's almost like it should be one of those "dirty little secrets" that should be kept tightly under the rug. No, it's nothing bad or illegal. It's just..... OK, here's the deal. In a nutshell, we were purposefully mean to somebody today and we enjoyed it. And before you judge, let me say that he deserved every bit of it. He had it coming. We didn't do anything to hurt him, or anything illegal or even anything against any of the many many rules that we have to follow. But it was mean. And we laughed about it afterwards. I'm trying to think of a way to explain this without sounding like a complete jerk. I may or may not be successful.

I don't know how any or all of you feel about homosexuality. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. I don't really care what a persons sexual preferences are as long as they only involve consenting adults or inanimate objects. Once you involve children, the mentally infirm or animals, then I draw the line. I have a few friends who are gay. I have a few really good friends who are lesbians. I'm cool with that, though I will admit that there's been a lesbian or two who have broken my heart.

At any rate, we have quite a few homosexual men in prison. (suprise!!!) Many of them are extremely "out" and quite a few are not. I don't bother them, they don't bother me, we get along fine. The state has no laws against homosexuality, BUT there are laws about inmates engaging in sexual acts. This is strictly not allowed. Therefore, if we know that two inmates are trying to "get together" for the purpose of having sex, we are dictated by the law to attempt to thwart them. We are not always successful. Things happen. Sex happens. Rape happens. That's kind of ugly, but that's prison. We do our best to prevent it, but they do their best to avoid being caught. It's in their nature.

Anyway, there are two offenders in my house that have had a homosexual relationship in prison and were trying to be celled together while they were in our house. We intercepted a handful of notes (called "kites" in prison lingo) back and forth between the two that were both graphic and explicit about what they wanted to do to each other when they got together. The offenders... let's call them "Y" and "Z". "Y" was in B-wing and "Z" was in D-wing and they could not communicate directly. They had to send kites back and forth with the inmate porters and food service workers who came to our house. That's how we got some of them. Offender "Z" decided that since C-wing was ajacent to B-wing he would get moved over there so they could talk. And the only way to go to C-wing is to say that you are suicidal and get put in an observation cell, since the rest of C-wing is full. SO, right after lunch he told the wing officer that he was thinking of hanging himself. So we moved him to C-wing, stripped him out and gave him a kevlar smock to wear and put him in an observation cell. We have to do this even if we think it's B.S. The we have to notify a whole lot of people that we have put someone on suicide watch, and then we have to do the paperwork. It's no easy thing. So the guy immediately goes to his window and starts screaming to offender "Y" over in B-wing about how stupid we are that we did exactly what he wanted and he begins a list of very loud and graphic details about what he wants to do to offender "Y" when yet again they meet. Well, we don't much like being called stupid. Not many people do. And we didn't want to hear his pornographic dreams especially when his cell and offender "Y"s cell were right on either side of our office window. We took the next step in the progression and went out and shut his window. Well, that kind of made him mad, let me tell you. Ooops. Important background note: Offender "Z" had just had some reconstructive surgery on his hand and so had his hand in a plaster cast. So "Z" got mad and since he knew we were watching him on the cell camera, began to tear bits of his cast off and bang his arm on the cell door. This action constitutes "harming yourself" and we are compelled by law to prevent offenders from harming themselves and we are actually directed to use as much force as necessary to keep the offender from hurting themselves. Strange, isn't it? Some officers went in and took the guy out and put him on a restraint bench in C-wing. It's a steel bench designed so that a person can be handcuffed to it and allow them minimal movement. There are strict rules in place about who can be put there and for how long, etc. Here's where the mean part comes in. We decided that since he was being such a jerk, we would make sure that his plans came to naught. While "Z" was on the restraint bench, we moved "Y" from B-wing to D-wing and into the cell that "Z" was just in. Let me tell you, that made him mad, too. But after a few minutes, he got over being mad and realized that he had lost that game and if he didn't stop, it could get real ugly from there on in. So he gave up and went back into his cell. That was when we laughed about it. For once in a rare while we get to play the game and win. It was only a pyrrhic victory, to be sure, but we scored a point, anyway. Don't judge me too harshly. I told you once, the things that amuse me at work would make your hair stand on end.


  1. How often do you COs get hurt because of revenger? COs meaning Corrections Officers, not Corrections Offenders.

  2. Revenge on their part or on ours? We really try not to do anything out of "revenge". But it does happen on occasion. We're only human. And occesionally someone does get hurt because of it. What we try to do, if we are going to play the game, is plan our moves so that safety is the main focus. If something happens that is going to make someone upset, we try to have as many staff members around as possible to make them know that lashing out is not a good option. But most staff assaults are probably revenge on the offenders part in one wise or another. Most of the times I have been assaulted it's because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.