Friday, October 17, 2008


Since I'm taking a few days off from work, let's rehash and old incident. There was this young knucklehead, only 18 or 19 years old at the time. He was too young and too mouthy and too stupid to survive out on the "hill" so he decided, in his infinite wisdom, that he'd do his whole bit in the hole and be safe. He kept doing stupid things to get locked up and as soon as he was close to getting out, he'd do something else stupid so we wouldn't let him out. The problem was that he was getting institutionalized inside the institution. Kind of like a stockholm syndrome in reverse. Out on the hill most of the inmates act fairly close to how normal human beings would act. They are generally calm and polite, take regular showers, and keep themselves busy. But in the AdSeg unit they lose all civility, they become loud and abusive, bored, and they don't take good care of themselves. Sometimes they feed emotionally off of each other and things tend to escalate farther than they would under normal conditions. I'd love to see a psychological study done on this phenomenon. AT any rate, young knucklehead kept getting stupider and stupider. During showers on night he pulled away from the escorting officer and jumped up on the dayroom table and screamed and hollered until they managed to pull him back down. The next day he pulled away from one of the rec officers who ended up slamming him to the floor to get him back under control. The rec officer was fairly new and was worried, since it was the first time that had happened to him, that he was going to be in some kind of trouble for putting him on the ground. Turned out ok, tho. A couple of days later he decided that he wanted a cell by himself for awhile and the only way to do that (as we all well know by now) is to say you are going to kill yourself and go into an observation cell. So he started banging his head on the wall and yelling that he was suicidal. SO myself and the same rec officer who had slammed him the other day went to get him out and put him on suicide watch. We got him and his cellie in cuffs and pulled knucklehead out and as the rec officer was taking the cuffs off his cellie, knucklehead decides he's going to go for one more ride and pulls away from me. Like I said, he was only 18 or 19 and pretty small and he pulled his arm out of my grip and started running across the wing. Naturally, I went a-chasing. The wing got pretty loud as they saw me chasing him, hooting and hollering at the show. I caught up with him about the time we got to the front of the wing and I grabbed his arm again and was just going to roll my shoulder into his back and take him to the floor. But it turned out that we were alot closer to the front of the wing than we both thought and those pesky laws of physics took over and we smacked into a window. Actually, he smacked into the window. I ran into his back. It was a big safety-glass window with the chicken wire running inside of it, about two foot by four foot. We hit the window and there was a loud "pop" and a "crunch" and the window spiderwebbed all over. The wing went totally silent for a split second then about fifty voices said "Ooooooooooooo!" I'll have to admit I grinned for just a second there. Then I put him on the ground and he went totally limp. His eyes and mouth were open and he was completely limp. I froze in place and my first thought was that I had killed him. Myself and the rec officer and the sergeant who had just came in just froze for a few seconds and I could see that they thought I had killed him, too. I started to feel really bad when he finally made a noise and started breathing and groaning. A huge three-way sigh of relief went out from us and we picked him up and carried him off to an observation cell. Then, of course, I had to go do several hours worth of paperwork and explain to the major and two captains what happened. Turned out I was okay on what happened and they ended up charging young master knucklehead twelve hundred dollars for the window. It took them over a year to replace the window but it was kind of cool that other inmates saw it and asked questions and they always pointed to me. I ended up with kind of a strange dual-rep as one of the coolest most laid-back officers in the house and also not someone to mess with. I still get razzed about it by staff every now and then, tho.

P.S. As I am wrapping this up, it occurs to me that I may have mentioned this incident before. If I have I apologize and here it is again.

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