Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Look In The Eyes

Let's take a look inside the mind of one of the problem knuckleheads down in the Hive.

I'll call him Jimmy.

I don't know anything about Jimmys early life or home life. I don't know if he had brothers or sisters. I don't know if his parents loved him.

Some of those questions I could get answers to if I decided to look hard enough. It's not that hard if you want to find out.

Jimmy is a meth head. That I know from seeing some of the notes he has tried to send to other offenders. He has used meth and knows just enough of the formula to probably poison himself or someone else if he tried to make some.

I suspect that Jimmy has underlying mental problems that were evident before he started using drugs. He claims to hear voices. He's destructive and self-destructive. I know that the nurses give him an awful lot of medication and sometimes it works.

It's pretty obvious by this point that Jimmy is not the most stable individual I have ever encountered, isn't it?

I also suspect that Jimmy never got very far in school. This I have also ascertained from his notes. He has the spelling skills, syntax and handwriting of a third grader.

There are also signs that lead to me to suspect that Jimmy is gay. While he vociferously denies this, and threatens grievous bodily harm on anybody who makes suggestive comments to him, I suspect he is just covering up. Jimmy publicly declares that he hates "fags, queers and all homos" (his words). Yet I have seen things that lead me to suspect that Jimmy is also declaring his self-hatred.

To cover up all of these self deficiencies, Jimmy has declared us his enemy. If it weren't for us, grouping all of law enforcement into one convenient bundle tagged "the police", Jimmys life would be fine. If the police would just quit "messing with him", everything would turn out all right.

Jimmy obviously got most of what he wanted from life by acting out. He discovered early on that if he acted just crazy, angry and mean enough, people would give him what he wanted just to make him shut up and go away. And he is constantly perplexed by the fact that this act is no longer working for him. He doesn't understand that we have seen thousands of people crazier, angrier and meaner than he could ever be and that we don't really care if he screams all night or not.

I could answer all of these questions I have about Jimmy if I just asked the right people and looked into the right files.

But I really don't care enough to look. All I really care about is the fact that Jimmy is a constant problem in my house. I have to protect myself. I have to protect my staff. I have to protect other inmates. And lastly, I have to try to protect Jimmy from himself.

It's not that I don't care. I would cure him if I could. But I can't. And I have 174 other Jimmys in the Hive, all of them just as much of a potential problem. And close to 2,000 other Jimmys waiting to take his place. And more of them arriving twice a week. Each of the with their own screwed up home lives and drug addictions and depravities and aberrations.

And eventually most of them are going to arrive on my doorstep in cuffs and I have to figure out how to handle them the best.

And I have to protect myself and my staff first, and them last.

And that's all I have to do.

Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?


  1. oy. doesn't sound easy at all. sounds like hell. christ.

  2. I'm sure that all his behavior problems are somehow your fault. You probably ARE "messing" with him. He can't be he accountable for his own actions. Leave the poor guy alone. Acid flashback. I thought I was a Captain!

  3. selkie- It's not a job for dummies, although they do keep hiring them.

    BA- That was an uncanny impersonation.