Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stemming The Tide

We were talking last night about how they finally spent some good money and did something.... almost right. The state spent a bazillion dollars last year putting in a new system for the sinks and toilets that limits the water and limits how many times the toilets can be flushed in a given time period. Supposedly it will pay for itself in about ten years. Of course, the hardware won't last ten years, but hey....

You can only flush the toilet once every five minutes or twice in the space of an hour. Something like that. It cuts down on the water they use. If the place is still standing in ten years it will save the state a few bucks a month. The problem was is that the only house that really needed a system like that was ours. We used to have a real problem with flooding. It seemed like it was their favorite thing to do. Some knucklehead would shove a t-shirt or a pair of pants or their mattress stuffing down the toilet and flush and flush and flush until water ran everywhere. This would happen six to ten times a week.

And we would have to stop whatever it was we were doing and get inmate porters to clean up the mess, which sometimes involved getting everybody out of their cells one at a time to clean them out, there being no drains in the cells. And if it happened during a meal, they would all cry because they would be standing in water to get their trays and complain because the food was getting cold and complain because it was toilet water but what could we do? Nothing. Take it or leave it. I don't care and there's nothing I can do about it. You got complaints? Talk to the a**hole that flooded the wing, not me!

I have to admit we used to get some pretty spectacular floods. Sometimes they would stuff something under the door to retain as much water in the cell as they could before letting it go. I've seen floods that went from one wing to another. Those were crazy. And sometimes we wouldn't catch on they were flooding until the inmates in the next wing started throwing a fit.

Good times. Good times. I almost miss it.

But not that much.


  1. It lifts my heart to hear that state "improvements" are actually improvements. The state prison I work in was built less than 10 years ago by a private company from a southern state to said southern state's requirements. This month, it was at least MINUS 25 degrees here up north and I doubt any southern engineer had the Kelvin scale in mind when he was picking out building materials. As a result, a relatively new prison has significant ventilation, sewer/water plumbing, foundation, and [insert anything here] problems.

    It was clear relatively soon that the whole thing was a cluster f#$@ so now years later the state was forced to give a bunch of millions of dollars to fix the problems and I think the redecorating project was definately a success.

    On each housing unit there are multiple wings. On each wing there are two lower and two upper tiers and as it follows, two staircases connecting those tiers. I must say that it IS better now that one of those staircases [on each wing, on each housing unit] has....wait for it... been moved.....wait for it...4 feet to the left.

    I think my Pshrink abilities are wasted on the inmates. Perhaps I would be of more use providing service to administration....But whatever, I get paid the same crappy wage.

  2. I've said a bazillion times that the pshrinks would have more to work with by analyzing staff, but that we'd all be banned from the place in a week as unstable and unsuitable. Our head pshrink lady cringes every time I open my mouth.
    Our prison, amazingly enough, was built from the site of the old state mental hospital. So some of our buildings are only about 25 years old, but some of them are more than 100! I think the oldest building still standing on our camp was built in 1908. And the newer buildings have more problems than the older ones. Imagine that!