Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stressed Out

In the corporate world there is a catchphrase: "Mistakes have been made, others will be blamed."

It's a nice thought, but I can't blame anybody but myself.

Something got missed and I didn't catch it. Somebody could potentially get hurt because I got complacent and wasn't being alert.

What happened was, on midnight shift they searched a cell in the Hive and found a shank. This little creep has had shanks before. That's why he's locked up. Another 19 year old C-5 punk who feels more like a man if he has access to a weapon.

What it was made of was a six inch piece of fence wire. Straightened out and sharpened to a point on the end. A dandy little sticking weapon. So the day shift sarge went out and checked the fences outside and didn't see anything wrong. But when he went out on the rec yard, he found a hole in the wire between two of the cages. The last two on the end. There's a hole in the wire about eight inches wide and about twelve inches tall. Down at the bottom.

And I never saw it.

Someone has been pulling at that wire for a long time and breaking off pieces. My first guess is they wanted a hole so they could touch each other down there. They tend to sit down and the others arrange themselves so we can't see down to the end.

It's not in the outside fence, so we know it's not an escape attempt. So there's only two real explanations. One, they wanted to be able to touch each other where we couldn't see. Or two, they wanted the wire for weapons. Or even three, because they were bored.

I'm hoping to the gods that most of that wire got thrown outside the fence because they didn't want to get caught with it like that little jagoff did last night. I'm hoping there's no more chunks of wire hidden somewhere waiting for an opportunity.

But I should have caught it before it got as big as it did. And I didn't. And I 'm mad as hell at myself and sick to my stomach over the whole deal.

I'll be lucky if they don't kick me out of the house. I'll take the blame for it, because I should have been more attentive. I should have caught it. I pride myself on being alert and paying attention to the details and I let one slip right past me. And because I did, there might be weapons in my house.


I'm sure the finger pointing and the butt chewing will start tomorrow. I just can't freaking wait.

I'm going to bed.

And I didn't see it until he pointed it out.


  1. Rev, don't be too hard on yourself. Inmates do what inmates. I believe (this might be a stretch) that anybody with a modicum of common sense will know know that they're going to get stuff over on us once in awhile. You gotta remember, we play cat and mouse part time, they do this for a living.

  2. Nothing we say is going to make you feel better. You're going to beat yourself up over this for a long time. Just remember, you're one of the best and those who know that support you. If you need "inmate counsel", call me. I'll fight to the death for you. BA is right...the inmates do this 24/7. Things get by us all. Let the Monday Morning Quarterbacks have their say, but remember...they've missed stuff, too!

  3. gheezzz darev, lighten up kiddo, i don't know if I want to be associated with anybody who considers themselves 100% PERFECT!. Your're not perfect are you? I know I'm not. But do me a favor will ya? Always double check the fence from now on. If only for your own peice of mind. It's kinda like being a mother, they will think of all kinds of things to do when your back is turned. Heck i even had my kids believing at one time that I had eyes in the back of my head.

  4. Ok.... Ok... I know. I'm taking this too personally. But if I don't kick my own butt over it, I won't learn anything. I know I'm not perfect, but..... snap. It's the fact that someone might get hurt because I wasn't paying attention that really bothers me. I expect better of myself. And they will need to find someone to blame for the whole thing. That's fine. I'll take one for the team, if necessary. And, if I'm still there, I will be watching those knuckleheads like a hawk from now on.

  5. At times we need for something like this to happen else we would get too comfortable and too relaxed. I know you will never forget this and it will keep you on your toes and make you even better than you already are.

  6. Why do we make mistakes?
    So we can learn from them.

    A little while ago I was pulled from the yard to pack property for an inmate that assulted another.
    They made sure to say check for a weapon.
    I missed it.
    Checked everywhere.
    They found it the next day.

    I felt awful.
    But, at least it was found.

    Like you said, some fool feels stronger with a weapon.
    Most men don't need a blankie at night.
    But some do.


    Why do we make mistakes?
    To learn from them.

  7. I'm infected with the institutional thinking process that states that when something goes wrong, you must find someone to blame and punish them before you can fix the problem. I'm blaming myself and kicking my own butt for it. Now that I have that out of the way, I can work on ways to fix the problem.