Monday, April 26, 2010

PC Does Not Mean What You Think It Does

In prison lingo, PC does means neither "Politically Correct" nor "Personal Computer", it means "Protective Custody".

There are many and varied reasons for inmates wanting PC.

Usually it means they are scared of something or someone. Or they are just so insecure and/or immature that they cannot deal with being out on the hill with other inmates. Or they owe gambling debts that they cannot pay. Or they are straight and don't want to engage in any extracurricular sex. Or that they are gay and do want to, just not with that guy who is demanding it.

You get the picture, I'm sure.

And here in Raccoon City, when you ask for PC, you go to the Hive.

Where, of course, nine times out of ten, we will stick them in a cell with another inmate. Hey, we only have twenty five single-man cells and eight of them are set aside for suicide watch. That leaves seventeen.

And on an average day we have at least twenty or thirty PC's in the house. Sometimes more. I have seen inmates stay in the Hive for almost two years because they just refused to go back into population.

While in the Hive, an inmate can ask for PC from his present cellie and we usually have to honor that request by moving him somewhere else. We do demand that they write us a Check-in note before we will move them. The note specifically has to state "I fear for my life" or words to that effect.

In the years I have been working the Hive I have seen an awful lot of strange and awful check-in notes. I have seen notes stating they were in fear for their lives from their cellies, written by their cellies because that person can't write.

It's more prevalent than you think.

I got handed a check-in note the other night that set me back a little. This wobblehead came down PC. He's a frequent flier. Nobody ever wants to cell with him because he has very poor personal hygiene and he..... "Smells bad" doesn't really cover it. He reeks. The smell follows him like a gaggle of dead baby ducks. We knew he was coming and were going to put him in C-wing by himself anyway.

And he gave me this note:

"I fear for my life because my shirts go mildewy from being put into my box wet."

Okey dokey, then! That doesn't really explain it, but what can you do?

And every time I walk past his cell I take a deep breath before I get there and hurry past just as fast as I can.

Sometimes I mourn for the good old days when we could hose them down when they got too bad. All I can really hope for is that they transfer him to another camp.

Maybe some place with air conditioning?


  1. I argue that they should be denied their right to reek when they must be in contact with anyone else. So I believe that you should be permitted to hose them down if they refuse to clean themselves. Why should their rights override the rights of you and your nare hairs. They're the ones who are incarcerated. You didn't break the rules. Just saying....E

  2. I'll be back.... with some air freshener.

  3. Rusty's Mom- Yeah, unfortunately, they don't care how much discomfort we have to endure as long as we don't violate any of their civil rights. Personally, I'm all for the hose.

    BA- We need you and your air freshener, bad! Bring a new jar of vicks and a box of baking soda too.