Thursday, April 30, 2009

Soggy Rugs And Weird Feelings

I don't know how other people's minds work. I wish I did. I'd like one day to hear into other folks heads, just to see how mine compares.

Of course, I would not care to take that on a day when I had to go to work.

Not diving into that snakepit. No. No. No.

But I do know that my mind is highly suggestible. Good movies (or I should say strong movies) leave an impression on my mood that lasts for awhile. I remember the first time I saw "Apocalypse Now" in the theater. It was a late night show and I had to walk back through downtown in the dark. If anyone had come suddenly out of an alley that night I would have torn them to shreds with my fingernails and feasted on their bones.

In my own mind, anyway, I was a dangerous critter that night.

Yesterday before work I watched "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas".

That probably wasn't a good idea.

Was in a twisted mood all the way there. I was mildy startled when I made it to work in one piece.

I quit "drinking" over twenty years ago but I sure could have used one right then. Just to settle my nerves.

That wouldn't have been good.

Not long after I got to the Hive I went up into A-wing for something and the upper walk was littered with pills. I thought to myself "Holy mother of gawd! It's started! Those vultures will tear us apart now for sure!"

Turns out the pills were just antacids and aspirin that someone had thrown out under their door.

I hate my brain, sometimes. And I'd like to go dig up Hunter Thompson and kick his a**.

But I'm feeling much better now.

Spent a good part of the morning steam cleaning the carpeting in my corner of the office. Had a pretty heavy rain the other day and the water flooded up over the edge of the concrete and ran under the wall into my area.

Aint that just nice.

It never happened when the wife had her desk here. It waited until I moved over into this corner.

And now my area smells mildewy. And all the crap I had on the floor around my desk got wet and had to be thrown out.

So I spent an hour or so with the steam cleaner, trying to suck up most of the water and at least kill the smell a bit. It seems to have done the trick, for the most part. But we are expecting more heavy rain for the next few days. I'm sure I'll be doing this again and again.

Flash flood watch in effect for the area.


The one thing that just flashed into my mind that I should definitely not do is watch "Shawshank Redemption" before work.

Think I'll just play a game of Risk instead.

Probably safer for everybody.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


By now, if you've been paying attention, you all know what a code 16 is. For those of that are new or are asleep at the monitor, it's the radio call for a medical emergency.

It is supposed to mean a life threatening emergency. There should only be six different criteria for calling a code 16:
1. Heavy bleeding. Possible loss of one or more body part.
2. Chest pains. They take that seriously, for some reason.
3. Difficulty breathing. Another big one.
4. Unresponsive. Unconscious. Hopefully still breathing.
5. On fire. Self explanatory.
6. Seizures. Not pretty.

When you call a code 16 a nurse leaves medical at a high rate of speed on a cart and races to wherever the code was called from to assess the offender.

I had to jam my tongue really hard into my cheek to type that with a straight face.

If a code 16 is called for any other reason than those stated above, you are just wasting everybody's time and adrenaline.

Yet the most calls we hear on the radio are for "Dizzy".


Since when is "dizzy" a life threatening emergency?

You dizzy? Well, go sit down! Drink some freaking water and lay down until it goes away, fer gawdsakes! Grow a set!

You'd think, being a prison and all, that we would have alot of hardened criminals inside here. Instead we are knee deep in panty-waisted hypochondriacs who want to cry every time they get a skinned knee or a runny nose.

I will still come to work if I am running a fever and leaking fluids from all of my mucous membranes. I would probably come to work in the last stages of ebola with all of my organs turning to mush.

But only so I could give it to one of them. That's just me.

I probably get two or three knuckleheads a day tell me they need to call a code 16 because they are dizzy and they don't feel good. And I tell them the same thing. Go sit down and you'll probably feel better in a little while. If it gets any worse, let me know.

Nine times out of ten, if I ask, I'll discover they had just done a hundred pushups in their cell and now they are dizzy. Or they have a cold.


And, of course, like everywhere else in the world, I have heard the term "Swine Flu" used about a hundred times a day. I'm already getting sick of hearing about it. I can't wait to hear the first code 16 for possible swine flu.

It will happen. No doubt in my mind.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fight Night

Three fights yesterday. Two on day shift and one on ours. It was odd.

Nobody knew for sure what was really going on. I figured it was just the weather changing. Got storms rolling in and it's getting warm. That has an effect on the mood inside the wire. I've seen it happen.

The last fighters we got on our shift had a story. One of them said something "big" was going down on the yard. Supposedly it's some big crips vs bloods thing. But I know those two players. I think someone was trying to move in on someone else's baby. The one who got the worst end of the fight is a big time player in the baby game. And when he comes to the Hive he'll claim he needs protective custody from anyone you try to cell him with until he gets a cell with a homosexual who is smaller than he is.

Tells you what a tough motherfu**er he is.

He'll even check in from his "homies" so he can cell with a baby. He comes to the Hive so he can get in a cell and get his freak on as often as he wants.

I've got nothing against anybody's sexual preference, but this guy is so slimy and transparent that he just disgusts me.

But there's always that chance that he was at least partially correct and there might be something fixing to go down on the yard.

If that happens we are going to be very very busy.

We had one available bed in the house when we left last night. Hopefully they came and did some releases this morning. But every time they do that they fill us right back up again. If we have ten beds they want to lock up twelve people.

And what do you want to bet that if they decide to lock up a bunch of the gang members "Under Investigation" as they are wont to do in sort of a pre-emptive strike to avoid the violence, they will want them all no contact with each other? I betcha.

All that does is make life more difficult for us.

Like it wasn't hard enough already.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No-Flag Day

This was just odd. One of those WTF moments that caught me sideways and I thought I might infect everyone else with it, while I had the chance. It worked.

The one thing I always do when I drive into the parking lot is look up at our flagpole. I don't know why I do it, I just do. We always have two flags flying, the stars and stripes and our state flag.

Yesterday there was nothing there.




No flags at all.

That wasn't right.

So I went inside and asked the officer at the front desk "Where the hell is our flag?"

He didn't have a clue. Didn't even know it was missing. Suggested I ask his sergeant. So I went up to the window of the control center, banged on the glass and shouted "Where the hell is our flag?"

He didn't know either. Just like his evil little minion at the front desk, he hadn't even noticed it was missing.

I suggested he start making phone calls to correct the situation.

Amazingly enough, he did.

Suspecting my work still wasn't done, I went through to central and into the lieutenants office. Once there I stood up on my hinds legs and again shouted "Where the hell is our flag?"

They were dumbfounded that it was missing. It was suggested that maybe it would have blown away in the wind. I could see it happening to one flag, but not both at the same time. One of those suspicious bastards suggested that I had made off with them as some sort of joke.

I was appalled.


Affronted. Aloud.

I suggested (in a somewhat injured tone) that they make some phone calls to rectify the situation.

Amazingly enough, they did.

I don't think they ever did find our flags. They were still not in evidence when I left for the evening.

But it least I gave the paper pushers up front something to do for a little while. If you don't rough them up now and then and get their blood flowing, they start to atrophy. Their butts begin to adhere to the desk chairs and it gets harder and harder to pry them loose.

I still want to know what happened to our flags, tho.

If they are not there this evening, I'm going to see the warden.

There's no real reason to stir the pot, other than for my own amusement. But if you gotta stir it, you might as well use the biggest spoon you can find.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have been gone from work for nine days. Seems like months. Seems like hours. My vacation is over and it's time to go back inside the Hive.

Every time I leave for any extended period I experience a chill as soon as I step back inside the wire. A moment of almost panic as the reality of where I am settles in. It's almost like I need retrained before I can go back in safely. Ironically, this happens at least once a year after I have my annual week of training. (wry grin)

Last night as I was trying to settle in to sleep, I flipped through the teevee channels and found myself watching "Lockup" on MSNBC. I had never watched this show before. It's about prisons all over the country, if you haven't seen it. Pretty good show.

Not very settling for the mind, tho.

I kept seeing images and situations that would send an alert signal into my brain and I'd start up and think "Holy crap! That's what I do for a living!"

After they showed a segment where an officer got assaulted and nearly died, I changed the channels. I think I watched "CSI Miami" until I fell asleep.

I try to have fun at work. And I try to have fun here on the blog. I rant and rave about poop and blood and stupidity of both inmates and staff alike. I vent and blow and point fingers and say "WTF???"

But in the back of my mind is the thought that I could get seriously hurt or even killed doing what I do. I've been hurt a few times, but nothing bad. I have seen other staff get hurt pretty badly and always thanked providence that it wasn't me.

But someday it could be. All it takes is one moment of distraction. I try not to get distracted.

So I'll step inside the fence this afternoon and have my little moment of shivers. Then I'll get over it and keep my eyes open and do my job. Watch my own back and those of my fellow staff. I grow eyes in the back of my head and keep my hands free and try to never cross my feet so I can jump in any direction.

It's not a fun place to work. It can be comical in certain situations. But the reality of it is that prison is not a fun place to be, no matter what side of the door you are on.

And if I ever walk in and the shivers don't stop, then I'll turn around and walk back out again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Summing It All Up

Day nine of my vacation. The very last day I get to sit home and do nothing. For awhile, anyway. Probably until about this time next year.

And what do I have to show for it?

Very little, I'm afraid. I spent the lions share of my time right here in front of my 'puter. Blogging, playing games and watching movies. I just looked at the list and I watched eight movies in nine days.
Apocalypse Now
The Guns Of Navarone
Russian Ark (which was cool and incomprehensible because it was all in russian)
The Pink Panther
Enter The Dragon (Bruce lee)
Return Of The Dragon (even more Bruce Lee)
The Big Boss (Yet again Bruce Lee)
and Where The Buffalo Roam (not Bruce Lee, but close)

Kind of an eclectic list.

I also watched the entire set of Stephen King's "Kingdom Hospital" which was mind-bending and bizarre.

And that was just what I watched on the computer. The wife and I also watched a few movies on the teevee including "The Spirit" which just came out this week. It was silly and schlocky and kind of stupid in spots but it was great fun. It was like reading the old Will Eisner comics. I enjoyed it, my daughter was bored by it and the wife thought it was so stupid she was mad at me for renting it.

Ah, well. You can't please everybody.

In the meantime I walked about ten miles on the treadmill, mowed the lawn and replaced the guts in both of our toilets. The water here is so hard we have to replace things about once a year.

And I played about twenty games of Risk on the computer. I never get tired of ruling the world, it seems.

What else? Hmmmm......

I've taken my daughter out to drive several times. She's getting pretty good and should be ready for her drivers test soon. I played about halfway through "Tomb Raider- Anniversary" for the Wii and all the way through (yet again) "Resident Evil 4".

It sounds pretty much like I spent the last nine days sitting on my butt. Which I did, for the most part. It was a vacation and I relaxed. Of course, I spent the first three days of it sick as a dog. But at least I got that over with.

So I'm all rested up and ready to go back to work tomorrow. I guess.

I hope something weird happens.

I'm running out of stuff to write about!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Dry Cell

There is a special room up in Central that is termed the "Dry Cell." We keep it in reserve for idiots who we suspect have swallowed something or have introduced something into their digestive tract from the opposite direction.

The room is kept completely empty and thoroughly searched before the offender is put in there. He is put in a coverall that is duct taped shut at the wrists and ankles and placed in restraints with a belly chain, the black box to hold his wrists apart and a set of leg irons.

Then we set an officer right in front of the cell door to watch his every move and tell him "Whenever you are ready to give it up, let us know." And if he makes a move to reach inside the coverall at any time, he is pepper sprayed.

A nice little system. For us, anyway. Not so good for lieutenants or higher.

If the offender has to go to the bathroom, a little portable toilet with a plastic bag underneath is brought in and he gets to go in that. Afterwards, the lieutenant gets to search through it and see if we got anything.

It has to be a lieutenant or above, according to policy. Apparently, we COI's are too stupid to search poop.

It's not so bad being at the bottom, some times.

The downside, of course, is that there has to be an officer sitting in front of that cell at all times. Which means that we need extra bodies pulled from somewhere. They rotate people on two hour shifts from all over the camp to sit and watch this knucklehead.

What the hey, it beats working, ya know?

We had one knucklehead a few months ago down at the Hive that refused to be strip searched. Actively resisted and stated "You aint getting what I got!!"

So up to the dry cell he went. For four or five days.

And what was it that he was hiding?

Absolutely nothing.

Just wanted to be an a**hole, I guess.

One of those little gems about working in a prison that you don't hear much about.

P.S. As I predicted, staying at home for all this time is driving me crazy. I'm ready to go back to work so I'll have something to write about. I imagine by monday I'll be wishing I was back on vacation.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Predatory Behavior

I've talked alot about the type of offenses that the inmates we have in our camp are locked up for. Because we have one of the few sexual offender programs in the state, a good percentage of the offenders we have in the camp are locked up for sexual crimes.

In a nutshell: rapists and child molesters.


As I have said before, I try not to know what they did, for the most part. I don't want to know. I try my best to treat everybody the same. Our motto is: "Firm, Fair and Consistent."

It doesn't always work.

There are some here who are going to persist in their predatory ways no matter what. They are going to try every trick in their arsenal to try to find something to stick their dinky in and, failing that, they will stand at the cell window and repaint the door, so to speak.

I've intercepted a thousand notes to female staff members, professing their love and admiration and promising things like "I am not a creep, like those other guys" and begging them to write to them under assumed names.

That kind of thing gets my dander up.

I try to watch out and protect any staff member. Even the ones I don't personally like very much. But I get even more protective of the female staff members. Kind of chauvinistic of me, I know. Most of those women are tougher (and meaner) than I am. A woman in a male prison will fight like a rabid wolverine when the chips are down. I've seen it happen.

But I still tend to be over protective of the girls. Even the ones I don't like. It's my wiring.

Our state is one of the few that have predator laws for just such offenders. If they go to prison for a sex related case and continue to get sex related violations while incarcerated and are deemed by the state to be "predators", then they can be sent to a "Predator Unit" until they are deemed to be "rehabilitated". This can be for weeks or years of life..... until they are no longer predators.

I'm not sure what all goes on in that unit. I'm assuming classes and therapy. Don't have a clue. Personally, I think that having classes and therapy is a waste of the taxpayers money. Once one of these punks is identified as a predator they should be shoved in a large dank hole with the rest of them and left until they are completely rehabilitated or dead, whichever comes last.

Gee.... kinda left my feelings hanging out there, didn't I?

In my opinion, no amount of therapy or finger-painting is ever going to cure a sexual predator. It's been shown that chemical castration is ineffective because it's not permanent. And actual castration is unconstitutional.

All we are left with is perpetual incarceration. Good enough, I guess.

But we have to put up with their slimy little games until their regular sentence runs out before they can be sent to the special unit.

The wait, at times, can be interminable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not A Bit Green Here

A prison is one of the most un-green places anybody will ever work. We generate so much waste every day we need our own landfill.

Paper, mostly.

I've talked about the amount of paperwork that the typical use of force report generates. Usually it is a one page report, both sides. What you don't get to see is the many many times it has to be printed and fixed and reprinted. A typical incident report will be printed six times before it gets accepted. The first time.

Then it gets sent up the chain and the higher ups review it and send it back with their own changes. So it gets reprinted again. Then it goes to the administration offices and it usually happens again. We mail it to them, they say "Fix this" and mail it back. We reprint the forms and mail them back.....

Blah, blah, blah....

We have one captain who is such a stickler when it comes to reports that I suspect he has relatives in the paper industry. His knee-jerk reaction to anything is to demand a memo about it.
ME: "Hey Cap'n, your fly is open."
HIM: "I'll need a memo about that on my desk before you go home tonight. Get it to me early in case I need to make any changes."

Just a little exaggeration. But not much.

I'm not sure if he's paranoid and ensures that he's covered on anything or if he's a closet bibliophile and just loves paper so much. I suspect that he closes himself up in the office and rolls around in it.

Nice enough guy, for a captain. But weird about paper.

As a whole, the prison probably excretes a ton of garbage, mostly in paper form, every day. I've never seen our dump, but I'm sure it must be huge.

In the old days, before this place was a prison, it was one of the states many mental hospitals. I know... I know..... sounds like the script for a cheap horror movie, but it's true.

My point is, the place had their own dairy farm, run by the patients. Or at least tended to by them. And their own vegetable farm. And a factory that made mattresses and sold them to the public. And other things. It was very close to being self-supporting.

This place is now anything but that. But it could be.

But that would take effort on the part of our administrators. And the willingness to try something "new" even though the idea is as old as the facility.

We could be green as hell. But the mere mention of that makes them see red. And it makes me blue.

Heck, the hot air they generate alone could......

But I digress.

Happy Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Something Different

I know I usually write about working in a prison. That's what this blog is all about. It's hard, it's dirty, it's gritty, it's ridiculous and it's often dangerous.

But working in a prison is not the sum of my life. Thank the gods. I have other things going on outside the wire that are often much more important (to me, anyway) than those nitwits on the inside.

My sister sent me a cool video last night. I thought it was just a cool video and not much more. The link to the video is here:
It's a bunch of street performers from all over the world singing the song "Stand By Me." This guy videoed them and dubbed it all together. It's just awesome. Go watch it. Then come back.

I'll wait.....

Turns out there's more to the story. Isn't that always they way? (grin) Seems this cat and his friends are doing something great with their art by promoting music and the arts all over the world. Building music schools in impoverished areas. Creative writing schools. Refugee centers. Doing good things for people who need it. And in a very cool way.

The place is called Play For Change. Their website is here: Go check them out.

If you love music (as I do) and you enjoy seeing something positive coming out of this dark and dank existence of ours, go give them a rub. Contribute. Buy a coffee cup or something. It couldn't hurt, it might help and you'll feel better about yourself.

What's to lose?

Tomorrow I promise I'll be back to my old sour and dour prison guard self. Heck, I may even write about poop again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Opening A Can Of Worms

How many times does someone have to attempt to kill himself before they succeed? And how many times are we legally obliged to stop them?

The answer to the first question is: "As many times as it takes, apparently."

The answer to the second is: "All of them."

Some of you may remember the Stork from a few posts back. He'd cut his wrists and then used the bandage from his cut to wrap around his neck in an attempt to strangle himself. I was the lucky fool who found him and had to go in and save him yet again.

Save him... yeah.

We are legally obligated, nay, legally constrained to prevent offenders from killing themselves. And if you read the letter of the policy word for word, we are allowed to use any means necessary including deadly force to prevent offender suicide. We could, theoretically, kill someone to prevent them from killing himself!


According to an inside source (since I'm on vacation and thus outside) the Stork tried to cut his wrists yet again. I don't know any particulars other than it wasn't enough to get sent out to the hospital or the rubber room.

This makes attempt three or four in the last two weeks for him. And probably his twentieth attempt in the last five years I have been dealing with him. He's escalating.

They rate these attempts by a "Suicide Risk" scale of one through three. One being just a threat and three being considered a serious attempt. I don't think he has ever been rated above a two, but he just keeps on doing it.

A cry for attention?

Most likely.

I think one of these times he's going to screw up and do it right. And one of us won't catch it in time and save his skinny butt again.

And that, of course, will be our fault. Because we weren't watching.

I've seen the man on total suicide watch with nothing but a kevlar smock try it. He'll worry a few threads out of the smock seams, then cover himself up with the smock and wrap the threads tight around his throat. After awhile he passes out and we'll see that his face is bright red and he won't respond. So we'll go in and cut the stuff off of him. And take the smock away. And charge him for the damage. Like he's going to pay it.

And in eight hours we have to give him another smock.

Lather, rinse, repeat.......

I won't say what is in my deepest wishes. I'm sure it's implied.

Lather, rinse, repeat.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

True Colors 2

Here's another example of why stupid people shouldn't be allowed to breed. All he's missing are the words "PATHETIC LOSER".

I see alot of this kind of garbage in my house.

I'm sure this dude thinks he's a bad**s.

I think he looks like a dumb**s.

I'd like to propose a bill to the house that anybody found with gang related facial tattoos should be immediately and permanently sterilized so that maybe in a generation or two this kind of crap will disappear.

And I think that's all I really have to say about that.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

True Colors

According to the official position of the state, we do not have any gangs in our prison system.

Yeah, right.

I'd like some of whatever they are smoking, please.

I can look out on the yard at any given time and point out the Crips wearing blue and the Bloods wearing red and the Treetops and MST's in green. They wear colored hoodies and sweatpants and shoe strings and hats.

And we sell them to them in the canteen.

Isn't that nice of us.

Yet...... policy clearly states that offenders are not allowed to wear gang related items inside the fence.

But...... but.......


It appears that strict adherence to policy takes a back seat to the money that rolls in from the sale of these items.

And we let them buy stuff from outside vendors like Eastbay and Sports Authority that seem to specialize in that sort of thing. I don't blame those companies, they are just selling the stuff that young urban people wear. I wouldn't wear any of that crap myself, but I sure wish I had invested in them back in the early days. Wouldn't be working here now.

So why do we let them do it?

Money, I suspect. There's alot of it to be made. And that's what it's all about.

Vinnie hypothesized the other day that we might be allowing them to wear these things so we can more easily identify them. It's a possibility.

I know it's alarming to see the clusterings out on the yard at times. If you see all the guys in red at one end of the yard and all the guys in blue at another and all the skinheads sitting off to the side looking amused and all the old guys heading back into the house, then you know trouble is brewing.

At those times I go and clear out some cells and make sure we have plenty of blank files on hand because somebody is getting locked up.

I guess as long as the red is only fabric dye and not pepper spray or blood, then I'll live with it. But in my opinion, they should all have to wear black and white stripes again. Or pink, like they did in texas. Texas rocks. They get away with crap we never could here.

Gee, make them all wear pink. Do you think they would consider prison to be a cake walk like they do now?

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Wish Came True!

I got my wish. Yay.

Today I started a nine day vacation from work.

I really needed it. Was getting horribly burnt out.

I've been fighting a head cold for two weeks now. I told everyone last night that I hoped I was sick for my first two vacation days so I could get over it.

Like I said: I got my wish. My head feels like a bag of leaky doughnut holes. Ack. I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day on the couch. Gonna hammer down a few nyquil shooters and veg out on front of the teevee.

I told the fellers they better email me and tell me what's been going on in the house so I'll have something to write about for the next nine days. Otherwise I'm going to have to suck something out of my thumb every day until I get back to work. I have a few topics on the spindle, but not enough to carry me through.

We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm going to get more kleenex.

Be careful in there.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


No, we didn't have a tornado last night.

It might have been easier on my brain if we had, tho.

What we had was a whole house full of utility officers. Utilities are the officers without a permanent assigned post. They get put in places to fill in while the regular officers are out, for one reason or another.

They are a handy thing.

For the most part.

If all you need is a warm body to fill a spot.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not putting those guys (and girls) down. Being utility is a difficult job. You have to be good at everything, not just one thing, to be a good utility officer. There are some that have been around long enough that they know the camp better than almost anybody. They can do any job here and do it well.

But, unfortunately, they are the exception to the rule.

And none of those exceptions showed up at my house last night.

Well, the bubble officer did okay. She got the doors open and shut in a timely manner and, as far as I know, didn't open any of the wrong doors. This was good.

But the rest of it was just a goatrope.

The whole thing has just got me so flummoxed that I can't even think straight. I'm sure when I come in this afternoon they are going to let me know how much stuff we screwed up.

They screwed up.

I screwed up.

I was the senior house officer and should have made sure things went right. But I can't be everywhere at the same time.

I felt like a one armed conductor leading five separate orchestras, each doing a different medley of songs.


Suffice to say it was a frustrating night. I really hope tonight goes better.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be more coherent.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jacking Us Around

The fiscal crisis is hitting home again and the state is apparently on it's way to the poor house. We're destitute and on the edge of being evicted from our state. Somebody said we might get bought out by Vermont. I can see them licking their greedy lips in preparation of moving in on our real estate.

I just hope I won't have to learn a new language. What do they speak in Vermont?


The state never ceases to amaze me. They will piss away thousands (millions, even) but jack us around over pennies.

Overtime is the big issue right now. None is allowed. Period.

Unless you are Somebody, of course. Then it's okay.

We are expected to be on shift fifteen minutes early. That way if there's any vital information that needs to be passed on, the departing shift crew can relate it to you. Sometimes this can be really important. If there's somebody in the Hive throwing poop, I want to know about it before I walk in there.

I don't like surprises. Not inside the fence, anyway.

But alot of the time the departing crew just uses that fifteen minutes to burn out early. I don't begrudge them that. If there's nothing to pass on, there's nothing to pass on.

But if something happens and we're fifteen minutes (or more) late getting out, then they will pitch a fit and deny us that overtime. They say "It's a courtesy that you are on shift fifteen minutes early. It's your responsibility to leave on time."

The word has gone forth unto the land and all the folk therein: "Thou shalt accrue NO overtime."

So, they better hope that nothing happens. Because if something does, I'm putting in a slip for it. And if I get denied then I'm going to set up a howl over it.

I don't think they fully realize how bad they are screwing us and themselves at the same time. Our training is going to suffer, for sure. People become trainers mostly so they can get in extra hours. You go teach a class for four hours, then go work your normal shift. You come in and teach a class on your day off and you get eight hours of overtime.

Now, if you teach a four hour class, you can only work four hours on shift. Then you have to be replaced by someone else when you leave. That is, if we have anyone to replace you with. If not, then we work a body short. And if you teach a class on your day off, then you have to take another day off of your regular week. And again, someone gets moved around to cover your spot. Or not, as is their whim.

So what happens when the trainers can't get overtime for doing their job?

They are going to quit training. Most likely.

And what will happen with E-Squad and the Dog Team and the Honor Guard when there is no longer that incentive?

A few die-hards will stay just so they can wear the E-Squad patch on their arm. But alot of them will leave the squad in disgust. I can see it happening already. I know of one Sergeant who is ready to tell them to stuff it.

Our E-Squad and Dog Team and Honor Guard used to be highly regarded all over the state because of the level of training and the amount of practice we had. When something we down somewhere else in the state, they would call on us.

I can see that changing.

One day real soon they are going to have an incident somewhere (maybe even here) and they are going to call out the E-Squad and one guy in riot gear is going to show up. And he won't be able to get into the armory because the armorer just went home because his shift was over.

And the rest of us are going to be walking out the door saying "I'd love to help, bud. But my shift is over. Good luck with that."

I don't think they fully realize that if one of us gets seriously hurt because we don't have enough people to handle an incident, it's going to cost them much more than the money they are saving by jacking us around.

Maybe we can change our name from "Correctional Center" to "Savings and Loan" and get a bailout.

Then our administration can get their year end bonuses and they won't have to suffer.

The poor things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I am going to endeavour to be polite about this.

It probably won't happen, tho.

We have a good crew. We had a good crew.

Things are getting a bit flaky, tho.

Vinnie, of course, is out with an injury and has bid into a new job, anyway. He would have started in the control center if he wasn't on light duty. Chuck is out for the week for training. Sarge might or might not be in, as is his whim. And the same for GG (Goth Girl), our bubble officer. She may or may not show up.

I'm sure Big M will be there.... he always is. With GM hot on his heels. Or visa-versa.

So we will have at least two stand-ins for regular house crew today. Maybe more.

That just rarely turns out well.

There was a time when you only got people who knew what they were doing down in the Hive. The lieutenants didn't like doing paperwork, so they sent down people who were the least likely to cause them any.

Not any more. They'll just put a body in a spot and to hell with any considerations.

So we will have at least two people who don't know how to work the house. Maybe four, including the sarge if he doesn't show. Anybody else calls out and we might be in real trouble.

I know we all have to start somewhere. I was a stand in once myself. The regular sarge down there didn't like me at all when I first started until I showed him I knew what I was doing. But it's hard enough just to keep the place running without having to train someone new.

The guy they are sending me tonight is fresh out of the academy and doesn't have a clue. The little I have worked with him has left a bad impression. He's overconfident and talks way too much. Thinks he can do things that he can't. Not good.

If I wasn't such a dedicated prick, I'd call out myself.

I do feel a bit of a sniffle coming on.....

Monday, April 13, 2009

In My Hands

It amazes me, sometimes. How much abuse my hands go through in a day at work. When they talk about "hands-on", they are referring to working in an Adseg unit. And, pretty much, my whole daily routine before and after work.

I start out the day by pointing and clicking, mostly mouse work to read the comics. Then I move on to the blogs and email and start typing replies. So by the time I get to work, my fingers are warmed up.

So when I get to work I get one set of cuff keys, one set of house keys and two pairs of house cuffs. Then six more pairs or cuffs for rec. Then between BG and myself we open eight chuck holes, cuff up sixteen offenders and take eight of them out to rec. Then we remove the cuffs from the ones staying in the house. Close and lock eight chuck holes.

Out on the rec yard we close and lock eight cages and remove eight pairs of cuffs. Then we let them out one at a time to the rec yard. In and out.... a lock opening and closing each time. And when it's time to go in, we cuff them all up again and reverse the process of cuffing up their cellies and putting them back into their cells.

Total for one recreation round: 32 pairs of handcuffs applied and removed.
32 padlocks opened and shut.

And we do that on an average of four times in eight hours. Most nights.

If we do med pass, there's an average of 15 offenders that take meds. Each time requires both of them to be cuffed up (the ones taking meds get cuffed in front) and the door opened.

Again: 30 cuffs.
15 padlocks.

Dinner time. 100 cells. Each must be opened and shut twice during the meal pass. One to put the trays in, once to get them back out.

200 padlocks.

And this doesn't take into account the paperwork that has to be done every day. Every single file has to be noted in every single day. If they did or didn't eat.... a notation. If they did or didn't go out to rec.... a notation. If they are on suicide watch or close observation.... a notation every fifteen minutes to show they've been checked on.

If there's an incident or a use of force...... two to three hours of paperwork. Minimum.

A conduct violation.... five minutes of writing. Most of that is just filling out all the stupid little codes and filling in the blanks so that even a blind possum could discern where and when the incident took place. I'm surprised they don't make us include braille coding and translate it into twelve different languages.

I'm sure that's coming.

My hands take quite a beating at work. And that's just on a normal day.

I try to avoid slamming them in the doors. (yes, that's a deliberate dig, Vinnie!)

A normal day is just hard enough, than you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate that sort of thing. No matter what you are celebrating the rebirth of, it's still a day for making kids happy. It's a good kind of celebration.

This is another one of those holidays where it's somewhat depressing to be working in a prison. I'm not a particularly religious person. Not how I was raised. But I do remember as a kid getting dressed up and going out to hunt eggs and candy with the other kids. And I remember going to my grammas house for a big easter dinner. Good times.

Now I will be hunting shanks and lighters and sitting down to a steaming tray of Purina Inmate Chow. Artificial Imitation Food Substitute.


They will have organized games out on the yard. Races and skill games and tournaments and the like. The winners will get six packs of soda. The chapels will be open and running full tilt.

I'm not going to say what I suspect will be going on in the chapels.

I've heard stories.

Pointing my finger at that would get me into alot of trouble.

'Nuff said!

So I'm just waiting for my daughter to open her sleepy eyes and come staggering out of her room to claim her easter goodies. Not much candy this year (she's not big on sweets), instead we got her the book she's been wanting so bad (the latest in the "Twilight" series), new headphones for her ipod and some fun stuff she can show off to her friends.

I'll bask in the glow of making her happy for a little while, then I'll gird my loins and totter off to my profession of making other people miserable.

It's a living.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Looking Good, Feeling Good

Before I started with the department, I spent several years in the military. Quite a few of us are ex-military or retired military and a good percentage are still in Reserve and Guard units.

So I know how to wear a freaking uniform.

But many of us don't have a clue.

I'm not one of those "A.J. Squared Away Razor Sharp Creases With Mirror Shined Boots" types. That's just not me. I never cared for shining like a diamond. I always preferred glowing softly like an old silver dollar. My uniform is clean and for the most part wrinkle-free. My boots are in the same condition. Clean and serviceable.

There are times when I can go several days in the same uniform. Then there are the times when I come home with a fine layer of pepper spray and other assorted Hive Funk on me and I drop my clothes into the washer as soon as I can home.

But if I do come home fairly clean I hang my clothes up on hangers each night. What wrinkles the previous day gave me usually relax out during the night. And if they do not and I just don't like the look of it, I'll toss them into the laundry hampster and get a fresh one for the day.

I try to look at least competent.

But there are a few of us that come in looking like ten bags of what the snap. Like they had either slept in their uniforms or kept them in the glove compartment of their car and threw them on out in the parking lot.

And this isn't just C.O.'s either. There are a few of the upper echelon types that come to work looking like a used tea bag. That kind of behavior in a supervisor tends to trickle down and the whole place unravels.

The uniforms they give us are as low maintenance as can be. Wash them and hang them up. Wipe the dirt off your boots and put on a minimal layer of polish once a month.

If I can't trust you to take care of yourself, how can I trust you to have my back when things get bad?

Take at least a little pride, there.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Interrupted Journey

Two journeys interrupted at the same time. Access denied for everybody involved. A shame, in a way. But probably a good thing in the long run.

Got a call during the dinner pass that the Warden and the Director Himself (Ooooooooooo!) were out roaming the camp and were probably headed in our direction. Snap!

Did a quick shufti 'round and made sure everything was secure and ship-shape. It usually is, but I thought I'd double check. Things were okay and all was running smoothly. I figured we would make a fair to good impression when the Large Toupees showed up.

Went out to feed the inmates on suicide watch their bag lunches and discovered one (we'll call him "Stork" because he looks like one) had wrapped something tight around his throat. He refused to remove it or come up and get cuffed, so I called for the sarge and we went in and took it off. He had tried to cut his wrist with a bent soda can the other day and the fine nurses wrapped about six feet of gauze around his wrist. And he naturally, took it off of his wrist and wrapped it around his throat.... the twit.

Nichevo! (Russian for "Snap!")

So we called a code 16 about an attempted suicide and got him taken out to medical and finally shipped out to a rubber room somewhere. All of us ended up doing paperwork and carrying evidence around...... screwed up the whole night.

And for some strange reason, the Warden and Monsieur Le Directieur turned around at that point and went the other way. Never made it down to our house. Too bad.

I was just working up a good "Disgruntled Employee" routine that might have at least scored us some supplies, if nothing else. I know we will never get paid what we are worth (or most of us, at any rate) but we could have at least had stuff to do the job for a bit. I was going to push to get the MK-9 foggers back in the house. I don't care what anybody says, apart from being able to carry a shotgun inside, those are an awesome deterrent to the shenanigans the inmates pull. You hose someone with one of those and the whole wing gets it. It's awesome. They tend to keep each other in line. And when a fogger pin gets pulled, everybody in the wing turns on the idiot acting up. Excellent.

Ah well. Nobody got what they wanted. At least not down in the Hive. Stork didn't get to die like he wanted and I didn't get to rant like I wanted.

But I made it back home in one piece.

That's all that really counts, isn't it?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Act Insanely, Think Globally

I know.... I'm still being a stat whore. It tickles me to look at the statcounter and see where people reading my blog have come from.

It boggles my mind that I have seen so many people from so many different places are actually reading the weird crap I put out every day.

Picked up a new state the other day. Someone from South Dakota logged in and read a post. I'm now only lacking three states; Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.

I've had hits from all over Europe and the British Isles. China, India, Pakistan, one from the UAE, the Philippines and even Russia! Once early on in the blog I got one lonely hit from Australia.

But I've never had a single hit from anywhere in Africa. And nobody is reading me, even accidentally, in Greenland, Iceland, or the South Pole.

Does anybody know someone down in McMurdo Station? How about Reykjavik, Godthab or Ammassalik?

I know that most of these hits are accidental. Alot of them show up as zero seconds from people who have just clicked on the wrong thing. But it still tickles me to see them show up.

And it's nice to see that there are still people out there who are reading, even if they never say anything. As Guy calls them, "Lurkers". I just hope they aren't gathering evidence to sue me or have me committed. Some day I'll do something stupid and someone will pop up and say "See! On his blog he said he'd do this!" Or someone will point out a three part series in the Phoenix Sun or the San Jose Mercury News (I see you!) "A Corrections Officers Viewpoint: Our Prisons Full Of Idiots".

Like we didn't already know that.

I imagine even if nobody at all was reading me, I'd still be here spouting fumes. It's such a great way to get the boogers out of my brain. I used to come home and rant, but it was boring the wife and kid and it was making the dogs nervous.

This is like one of those chambers filled with water they use to collect bullets for ballistics testing. It contains the sound and the shock wave and leaves a nugget for further review. Every day I just shout "Fire in the hole!" and fire off a round. Then I reach into the bottom of the tank and see what came out.

Anyway, here's another round to add to the database. I hope it doesn't match up with a cold case somewhere......

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Rumor Mill

I keep looking for this building on our camp, but I can never find it. But there has to be a building, or at least a large room, where a bunch of people sit around and think up the rumors that are constantly flying around.

I can just see them sitting in a smoke-filled room, maybe playing Gin Rummy, and saying "So, who we gonna talk about this week?"

I'll admit that I've started a few myself. But the ones that I started were so completely and obviously untrue that they were destined for failure. I started one a few years ago that the place was going to be closed down and turned into a Krispy Kreme donut factory. That was pretty funny until it got back to me via someone who believed it. I just rolled my eyes and said "Man, whoever told you that is full of it!"

So many rumors..... so many rumors.

It's getting to the point that when someone starts the conversation with "Hey, did you hear about......" and I just tune them out and sing little songs in my head and nod politely. Or look scandalized, whichever seems appropriate.

I guess that's what happens when you have so many people jammed into such a small area. I don't know how large the camp is. I would say twenty acres, but I may be way off one way or another. I'm a terrible judge of that sort of thing. But at any given time there's somewhere around 3,000 people (staff and inmates) all here at the same time. This place is armpit deep in people most of the time.

I think many of the rumors are started because people get bored and restless. Sometimes it because they are just being nasty. Sometimes it's a little of both. Me, I start them because they're funny and I want to see people's reactions.

There was a rumor the other day that Vinnie bid out because he and GM weren't getting along. The truth is, he just needed a change. So I put out the rumor that Vinnie and Big M (who is also a guy) were having an affair and one of them wanted to take it to the next level and the other didn't. Big M got a laugh out of it. I don't think Vinnie has heard that one yet. He's still out and incommunicado. He'll think it's funny.

But some of the rumors are just spiteful. I'd like to find the room where the rumor mongers hang out and dream this crap up and brick the door shut. But that's just wishful thinking on my part.

The rumors will always fly around like fat bloated pigeons.

I'll just try to duck so they don't crap on me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feeling Antisocial

But then, I'm always antisocial. It's why I do what I do. If I liked being around people, I would hang around with a better class of people.

No, that didn't come out right.

I was referring to the inmates.

But I don't "socialize" with the people I work with, either. Hell, I don't socialize with anybody. When I'm at work, I try to be friendly to most of the folks I work with. For the most part, they are decent people.

Granted, we have a few snapheads on our staff, but who doesn't?

But when I'm off work I crawl into my little 'puter corner and if someone invades my space, I bare my teeth and growl. Not a real social butterfly, me.

One of the main reasons I don't hang out with the people I work with is that when something goes bad, then you still have to work with that person. And in this line of work, that can be dangerous. I don't want someone to hesitate coming to my aid because they're pissed off at me. It's like crapping in your own bed. Eventually, you are going to have to lie down in it.

But I see alot of it going around. Some of it is just friendly stuff. Going to barbecues and fishing trips, etc. There's nothing harmful in that. Being friends. Doing stuff together.

And then there's the ones that go too far and get "involved". Physically... romantically.

That rarely, if ever, turns out well. And then there are hurt feelings and it makes everybody uncomfortable to be around.

There's alot of that going around, too. And it's always ugly.

Think I'll just stick with being antisocial.

It's much safer.

Monday, April 6, 2009

No Sense Of Humor

All the time I have been working for the DOC one of the things I have always kept alive is my sense of humor.

It keeps me coming in to work every day.

It keeps me smiling through the pain and anger.

It's kept me alive and still in one piece through some traumatic crap.

I think it may have kept a few other people alive, as well.

It just keeps me going.

My motto has always been: "Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck."

If I can't have a sense of humor about working in such a horrible place, then I won't do it anymore. I'll go back to cleaning motel rooms for minimum wage instead.

Some people who work here have no sense of humor. Or they have one when it suits them but if a joke is even remotely aimed in their direction, then it goes away. They have such small lives that they can't take a joke at all.

Most of those people have reached positions of authority. Maybe it's a prerequisite for being a supervisor.

I'm happy to stay a lowly peon, then.

I'll keep my sense of humor stoked and burning as much as I can. It's the way I deal with all the b.s. that's going on around me. I have a temper, and I know that. I keep it in check as much as I am able. I get mad and it shows and then I get better and start cracking bad jokes again.

It's what I do.

If you don't have a sense of humor, then you need to find other employment, because you are not going to make it out of here with your mind intact.

If you can't take a joke, then you need to find another circus.

Or at least get a life.

Kite Of The Week

We pick up all kinds of notes. Most of them are demanding or begging for tobacco, that being the main stock in trade in the Adseg unit.

Some of them are different.

"Dear Mommy," began one of them. My eyebrows were raised.

Turns out this note was going from one inmate to another.


I don't have anything against anyone's sexual preferences as long as it involves responsible and consenting adults. But for some reason inmates professing their love for one another just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

And when the notes came from a little hard core wannabe street thug who swears he "doesn't move like that" yet signs his note "(blank) and (blank) 4 evah" with a cutesy little heart drawn around it...... well, you just don't get much better than that.

And this little thug calls me over to his cell later and tries to rationalize writing that. Yet I am sure that if/when he gets back out on the streets again he would shoot at someone for even suggesting that he might be gay. That he may or may not be bisexual does not bother me in the least. That he's a hypocrite does. And I told him that to his face.

He didn't care much for that, it seems.

Yet that sort of thing leaves us in a moral dilemma. As I said, I have no problem with sexual orientation between adults. But sexual activity between inmates is against the law. And we are required by law to attempt to prevent it.

So now we have to forward this information up the chain to try and prevent these two from ever being placed near each other. They may even transfer one of them off the camp. It's heartbreaking, I know, but it must be done. It's the law.

As amusing as these notes are sometimes, it's often more trouble than it's worth to pick them up and read them.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just A Little Pissed Off About This

The other day I had a few minutes to kill and decided to get into the computer system at work and see how a few of my old charges were getting along.

Many of them ,it seems, haven't gotten any smarter at all and are still in the hole in other camps, probably until they die.

But then I tried to look up old Poop Boy.

If you remember, Ol' PB was down doing ten years for doing something nasty to a child. He was supposed to do some sex offender "treatment" program but never made it there. He got himself locked up straight away so he wouldn't have to do his time out on the hill with the other big bad inmates.

And then he started his cutting himself and playing in his poop so we would think he's crazy and send him to a mental hospital instead.

That didn't work and we got him rolled to a higher security camp so he could play his games with the big boys.


Apparently some judge took pity on the poor lad or some slick talking lawyer (no offense to all the lawyers, but you do have some skeezy ones out there) got him a deal and no Poop Boy is loose out on the streets on probation!!!

The little S.O.B. did less than seven months on a ten year sentence for molesting a child and is now walking the streets like he's been rehabilitated.

I'm more than just a little pissed off about this.

No treatment. No prison time to speak of. Just seven months and a slap on the hand and "Don't do it again".

And how many of you think this little creep has learned his lesson? And what do you want to bet he moved right back into the same house he was living in before, probably at least within walking distance of his victim(s)? And how do you think he/she/they feel about this? Has justice been served?

Snap, no.

I know that if I went out on my front porch and smoked a joint I would get at least five years flat AND have to do mandatory drug and alcohol treatment before I could be considered "rehabilitated" enough to rejoin society.

But this little creep........... Oooooooooh.

This makes me mad, if you can't tell.

I had put this post off for a couple of days hoping I would calm down about it some and maybe be able to draw it to a conclusion.

Apparently, that hasn't worked.

Just suffice to say that I am angry and sickened by the whole deal and disillusioned by the system. Not that I had alot of faith in the system to begin with, mind you.

Be mindful of who is walking your streets. They are out there. Free as birds.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kudos Where Kudos Is Due

BG, my weekday partner and CJ, who is my replacement on my days off, did an excellent job of showing an inmate the error of his ways last weekend.

BG is a big quiet guy who rarely gets angry or even ruffled. He keeps his cool when all the rest of us are losing ours. And this is a good thing because he is a very big man. I think he could play for the Packers. Maybe he did, we aren't sure. He's stepped in a few times and kept me out of trouble because none of the offenders want to mess with him. And CJ is no little dude, either.

I'm 6'1" and about 200 pounds and both of these guys are maybe 1-1/2 times my size. They make a formidable team. I regret that CJ is only in the Hive on my days off. I never get to work with him. I'd like helping him make things go crunch. (grin)

So last weekend there was one of those incidents with the fire alarm system in A-wing. Imagine that. Those fools will never learn, it seems. They were all smoking and had set the alarm off several times. So they went in and did a mass search to pull out all of the lighters and tobacco they could find.

This one borderline knuckle/wobblehead refused to be strip searched. They took him to C-wing and into a cell alone. BG and CJ and Sgt. Strings (who is one of the biggest sargeants we have) and the fool still resisted. They ended up slamming him twice and spraying him full in the face and cutting his clothes off. Between the three of them there must have been close to 700 pounds of C.O. on top of him and he still resisted.

What an idiot.

And after all of that, he didn't even have anything on him. He ended up in C-wing with at least two violations and a face full of pepper spray and lots of bumps and bruises for nothing.

I repeat..... what an idiot.

But the lads did a bang-up job. Followed policy and did everything by the book. I don't think it taught that knucklehead anything. But that's okay. Hopefully I'll get to be there next time.

So congratulations to the Hive Crunching Team.

BG (who doesn't have internet, but will hear about this from someone else)

CJ ( I know you are reading this, dude!)

and Strings (Sarge, I'm still banging away on the guitar now and then)

You guys rule the Hive!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Little Punks

What a bitch of a night. We finally get a night with a few empty beds so we thought we would have an easy one and could absorb a lockup or two without too much trouble.


All the babies and punks in the house decided to check in from their cellies to try and get in with their paramours. Their boyfriends or girlfriends or whatever they are.

No workee.

And the last little punk that I moved, some little 19 year old game player who always claims someone beat him up or threatened to beat him up to get protection, I had heard him out on the rec yard telling another offender he was going to try and move into the cell with him. And when we come back in from rec he tells me he's not going back in the cell because he fears for his life.

The jerk.

We had already done five or six room moves because of the little games they were playing. It was almost the end of my shift and I got a little pissed. I knew he wanted to go into a cell in B-wing so I moved his little punk butt into C-wing.

Little jagoff had been in the cell with the dude for two weeks with no problems and waits til the end of the night to play his little game. I got right in his face and told him it was bullsh*t. He starts whining to see the Sergeant and when Sarge comes in he says "I'm just trying to check out of my cell and that C.O. cussed at me!" Sarge just looked at him and said "So?"

Way to go, Sarge.

It probably wasn't real professional of me to cuss at him just because he's stupid. But it had been a long night and I was getting tired and cranky. And he needs to grow up and learn that he's in prison and not in kindergarten anymore. And I think I'm entitled to blow off a little now and then.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Dangerous Business

I usually wait until the next morning to post about what went on during the day. But I wanted to do this one while it was still fresh in my mind.

My partner in crime, part time bubble officer, favorite lyricist, fellow music enthusiast and co-author Vinnie got hurt pretty bad at work today.

Working by himself up in the bubble, of all places.

It seems he was trying to get down to the bathroom before things got too busy in the house and smashed his finger in the bathroom door. In the prison, even our bathroom doors are steel and heavy. Hey, you never know if you might have to barricade yourself in there, some day.

GM had told me he had hurt himself, just in passing. It didn't sound too pressing until I looked up and saw the look on Vinnies face. And him sitting there holding a paper towel dripping blood. I ran up to relieve him and he showed me what he had done. Tore the nail almost completely off and bleeding like a stuck pig. Dripping blood all over the place. Ack.

Sarge and the Major (who had just happened to stop by) came up and I said "He's gotta go now." Managed to get his duty belt and radio back on and the Major drove him up to medical. Turns out he split the bone in his finger lengthwise. And lost the nail completely. Ouch.

Managed to get the blood cleaned up with prodigious amounts of bleach and I got stuck running the bubble for the rest of the night. Damn. They ran my legs off, as usual. Suckers.

So Vinnie is going to be out of commission for awhile.

I just don't have the words to tell you how badly that sucks.

Just imagine I kept typing the words "This really sucks" for about fifty lines. You'd start to get the idea.

If he wasn't already hurt, I'd kick his butt.

Where There's Smoke.....

I've mentioned a few times about our new fire alarm system. I'm sure the state spent a bazillion dollars on it. So far we have had at least two dozen false alarms since the system went online.

Granted, some of the alarms have actually been for smoke. The inmates burn "wicks".. tightly rolled toilet paper that burns slowly and smolders until you blow on it to make a flame. That way someone with a lighter can share a light with everyone in the wing. And apparently the smoke was pretty thick in A-wing last night. Thick enough that it set the fire alarm off three times in a row.

After the third time the captain said "Shut it down and search the whole wing. Clean the place out."

So we did.

Everything else stopped. Extra staff came in and we searched the entire wing from top to bottom (including the old "squat and cough" thing) and cleaned them out again. I think this is the third time A-wing has been done like this in the past week.

We got a bit of tobacco and a couple of lighters, alot of trash, a few violations and alot of whining. And we had the dorm worker in there sweeping the stuff up and made sure it all went into the trash can and out of the wing before we left so none of it would make it back into the cells.

Man, that pisses them off....

Afterwards we stood outside smoking and we could hear them in the wing complaining. I could hear one offender say "We need to get more wicks going and hang them in the vents so the smoke alarms go off ten times a shift. Then they'll stop this bullsh*t."

That's what he thinks.

They were already mad that their mail was late getting to them because of the search. Just wait until the first time their dinner is late. Leave it sitting on the cart out in the sally port until we get done searching the wing.

Ohhhhh snap! That would really piss them off.

And of course, that would make the food service workers have to stay late and that would piss them off and they'd stop bringing stuff in......


The offenders in the other wings are already pissed off at the ones in A-wing over last night. Because their mail was late, too. And the ones in B-wing are especially mad because their rec got cancelled because of the search.

Just a couple more times and we'll get A-wing nailed to the floor. I imagine that in the next search or so someone will get pissed off enough that they'll end up getting sprayed. Between having their stuff torn up for the umpteenth time and their mail and meal late and having to smell pepper spray all night long........

Well, it just doesn't get much better than that, now does it?