Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blast From The Past II

Since it's my day off and I don't know what's going on in my house, I'll recount a little story that happened a few years ago. Just sit here, Timmy, and let Grampa tell you a story.

We had this young knucklehead. Imagine that, why don't you. He was doing four years for small time burglary or some such. His judge sentenced him to a 120 day "shock" program. If he could do his four months in the program, then he would be released on probation. We see this happen all the time. Usually with the younger offenders. I've rarely seen it work. But then, I only see it when it doesn't work.

So anyway, this young punk gets locked up inside of his first week of the program. They give him more than one chance, but this young idiot is determined that he's not going to behave himself no matter what. He gets...I don't know... two or three conduct violations a week. Assault on staff, flooding his cell, threats, etc. Everything but murder and escape. Not for lack of trying, tho.

Then one night, we were short staff in the house. Someone had to go home early and there wasn't anyone to replace him. The yard was sending someone, but it would be later. I told the Sarge I would stay until the next shift came on but he said "No, go on home. We got this." It left him and one other officer and the bubble guy. He said the yard dog was coming down in a few minutes. So me and BG burned out. Just as we were getting to the steps of Central to sign out and go home, there's a radio call. Code 70! A fire! In MY house! Snap!

I turned around and looked at BG and he at me and just then the Lieutenant came out the door and said "Turn around, gentlemen." Soooo........

back to the house we went.

Got back there to find C-wing full of smoke. The Sarge is on the phone and the other officer, young Superman, is unreeling the firehose from the cabinet and stringing it into the wing. Turns out this young asshat got hold of a lighter, pulled the (mostly) cotton stuffing from his mattress and set it on fire. What a jackass. If we hadn't responded as quickly as we had, he would have died from smoke inhalation in that cell. I would do it again, but I often regret responding so quickly.

So I run up and pop the chuck hole on numbnuts cell and run back to turn the water on to the hose. Young Superman braces himself with the nozzle and I let her fly. Water goes shooting into the cell and steam starts adding to the smoke. All the other offenders are screaming and kicking on their doors, demanding to be taken out of the wing.

Right, like that's going to happen.

Superman is blasting the crap out of the whole cell with the hose and the smoke is really awful. I grab a bypass key and run back to open the rec door to get some more air into the place. It helps, but slowly. BG is helping Superman wrestle the hose and they are valiantly hosing down the fire, the walls, the inmate and anything that happens to be in front of the hose nozzle.

They finally get the fire down to a small smoulder and the lieutenants come rushing in to save the day. The water is turned off and they manage to get the inmate cuffed up. They bring him out of the cell cuffed in front!!! and put him in another cell and shut the door. One of the lieutenants rushes to the bubble and gets the fire extinguisher and comes back into the wing. I start saying "Wait! That's a chemical extinguisher! Don't use that!!!"

But it's too late. He either doesn't hear or ignores me and lets fly with the chemical powder onto the smouldering mattress.

So the wing is immediately filled with this yellow chemical powder that is nearly as bad as the smoke. The other knuckleheads begin anew kicking and screaming to be taken from the wing. The floor was stained for six months with that stuff.

Then we find out two thing in rapid succession:
1. The knucklehead still has his cuffs and won't give them up, and
2. He's still got his lighter and he's not giving that up. either.

So we're still stuck there while they assemble a movement team (that they wouldn't let me be on) and they go in and get both the cuffs and the lighter. The only high point was when one of our more gung-ho Sargeants decided the team was taking too long and went in to assist. Since the knucklehead was young and fairly strong, they were having some difficulty. Ol' GW trotted in there and planted his full 300 pounds on top of that kid and all the fight went out of him just like that. Left him laying face down on the floor and mewling like a kitten.

Not long after that he was transferred to another facility more able to handle "problem" offenders. Or so they claim.

So instead of doing four months and going home, our knucklehead is doing his full four plus (so far) another eight for arson and assault on staff. And I beieve he has gotten another half dozen or so assaults on staff since then.

And you know what? He isn't the first one I've seen do that. Nor, apparently, will he be the last. I suspect that our old friend Poop Boy is heading down the same road.

How sane is that?


  1. You know that they aren't there because they are the picture of mental health in the first place.

    Hey, when you need something to write about I'd love to see a prison dictionary of prison slang from bot COs and inmates.

  2. The Guy Who is onto something. I was thinking the same thing when I saw your email about all the non-words. We got a pantload, and would make great blog material. Maybe even make it a "guess the correct answer" game for your readers that aren't Correctional folks. Kinds like this:

    A. Baking a cake ____
    B. Tossing a salad ____
    C. Cadillac ____
    D. Westside ____

    1. Sodomy
    2. A retrieval device
    3. More sodomy
    4. Burning toilet paper