Sunday, May 3, 2009

Time Vs. Attitude

I've noticed a curious phenomenon. There seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of time that an offender has been sentenced to and their amount of crappy attitude.

When I first started with the DOC I ended up in a GP house that was 90% offenders doing life plus. This had me worried a bit until I went out in the wings and got to know them.

I had always imagined "lifers" as they portray them on teevee. Hard core tatted up iron pumping bad dudes who don't care about anything or anyone.

It turned out to be the exact opposite. They were, for the most part, calm and polite. They just wanted to get through their day with as few hassles as possible and enjoy what creature comforts they had. The lifers were usually the first ones to volunteer to help if something needed to be done and the first ones to step up if there was some sort of trouble. They wanted peace in their world and would do everything they could to keep it.

It was the short timers that I always had trouble with. Anybody doing less than ten years was bound to be a pain in the butt. And five or less was even worse.

Of course, there are always exceptions to that rule. But it holds true for the most part.

And now that I am in the Adseg unit, things are very different. We very rarely get any of the inmates who just want to do their time and go home. It's always the trouble makers. There's the rare occasion when we get someone through the house who is calm and polite and does not leave an impression on me. They usually get locked up "under investigation" for some thing or another.

I guess that's the price of wanting to work Adseg.

But in many ways, the same formula of time and attitude holds true. It's the initial sentence that determines their degree of smack talking and causing trouble. The less time, the more mouth. More time, less trouble.

That just occurred to me this morning. I can be awful slow, at times.

And, of course, there are always exceptions. There's one older guy who is doing about thirty more years who is a mouthy pain in the rear end every chance he gets. He thinks because he is old and is doing alot of time that he should be treated special. He demands things that other inmates don't get just because he is old and has some medical problems. He doesn't get them, but he still makes his demands.

And there is another guy who has been locked up over half of his life already. Sixteen or eighteen years, so far. And nothing but pure punk. Will do anything and everything to cause us trouble and make life difficult.

But the formula still fits him. His initial sentence was only five years. He got out and immediately committed more crimes and violated his parole and got locked back up again. And he acted like such a fool in prison that he was maxed out on his time. I have a feeling we will be dealing with him for a long time to come. He's another bada** that is scared to be out among the real offenders. Punk.

I'd love to see the psycho-social eggheads do a study on this and break it down into some sort of mathematical formula. Hell, if you could lay it out in a "program" of sorts, I'll bet some of the states would pay big bucks to use it. They are impressed by numbers they don't understand and will pay big money to appear to be proactive and on the cutting edge of correctional psychology.

Almost every inmate that I have profiled on this blog have been short timers. Mr. "Check my file, I'm a C-5!"- short time. TNT..... Poop Boy.... all of them. Short sentences and tiny brains. They are the ones I'd hate to see out on the streets again.

Me, I got fourteen more years to go. I'm just doing my time.


  1. It does not matter what time it is...You cannot fix stupid...I will agree that in my short time with DOC, I usually never have much problems with the 'Lifers' just the punks.

    But I ask myself everyday, why do I keep coming back? Maybe the free entertainment...

  2. Across the street from my office is a work release center that has all levels of offenders. Guys newly out of prison, non violent criminals who've never been to jail and some real nasty ones that can't find halfway houses to take.

    Usually when I'm driving in in the morning I see the ones with jobs walking down the street headed for the bus stop. They're easy to stop they almost all carry the exact same plastic lunch bag.

    What's really amazing is the range of people. Mostly they are young guys doing manual labor, construction, painting etc, but there's some damned expensive suits walking to the bus. A few times the guys have been just plain older than dirt and moving so slow I have to wonder what kind of jobs they are going to.

    The women all just look used up and abused.

    The deputies who run the place deliberately leave several nice flat rocks just around the corner half hidden by the brush. Absolutely excellent place to hide your stash if the deputies didn't check it several times a day. From my office window I can see them pull out the stash.

  3. If nothing else, they are entertaining.