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.

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