Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hive Defined

In a regular cell in a regular housing unit there is one set of steel bunkbeds, a desk and stool, one small shelf, two footlockers, one sink and a toilet. All of these things except for the footlockers are bolted to the floor or the wall.

The inmates in the regular houses are allowed to wear personal clothes (with limitations, of course), they have food, fans, radios, television sets, personal shoes and boots, cigarettes, books and games. They are also allowed personal bedspreads and towels if they can afford to order them from an approved vendor. According to regulations, everything the offender owns must be able to be packed inside of their footlocker with the exception of their footgear and electronics. In actuality most of the offenders have so much crap it would take them two or three footlockers to pack their stuff if they have been down very long.

In regular housing units once the wings or yards are open the cell doors come open and they are pretty much allowed to come and go at will. They can go outside or move around the wing from cell to cell and visit if they wish. They go to the canteen and the library and the gym and to Medical and to work and the yard.

Cells in the Hive have two bunkbeds a sink and a toilet. Period. All bolted down, of course. They are allowed to have three pairs of state issued clothes only. They are allowed to wear only plastic shower shoes. They are also allowed a toothbrush and toothpaste, a soft tipped pen and a small amount of paper, stamps and envelopes, one comb, deodorant, soap, toilet paper, one bible or other religious book, one magazine and a towel and washcloth.

Pretty much nothing else. No electronics. No games. There's a few tattered books floating around but they get torn up pretty quickly.

Cells in the Hive are only opened if there are two CO's standing there together. Unless they are being released, they are placed in handcuffs behind their backs before they leave the cell. If they behave themselves and don't get into trouble, they are allowed to go outside on the fenced in rec yard one hour at a time three times a week. They are brought out three times a week for fifteen minute showers.

And unless they are getting a visit or seeing the doctor those are the only times they get to leave the cell. And, once again, they are in restraints the entire time.

There are several different reasons an offender might end up in the Hive.

Suicide Watch/Close Observation: If they have been observed exhibiting odd or depressed behavior or have written a note or expressed a wish to harm themselves they will be placed down there for observation.

AdSeg/DisSeg: Administrative Segregation or Disciplinary Segregation. If the offender has broken one or more of the rules they are placed in the Hive for a set number of days, hopefully to help correct their behavior. It's used as a punishment.

Protective Custody: Also known as "PC" or "Checking In". The offender has made statements or written a note stating that he is "in fear for his life" from one or more other offenders. They are placed down there for their own protection. This isn't really used as "punishment" but it ends up being the same thing.

Under Investigation: If there is a reasonable suspicion that the offender has broken the rules in one way or another but all of the facts have yet to be ascertained, they will be placed in the Hive until an investigation can be concluded.

There are several other reasons that they may end up down there, but those are the biggest reasons.

When you boil it all down, the Hive is a dumpster. That's where they stick the wobbleheads who are too crazy for the hill, the idiots who refuse to obey the rules and the little punks who haven't yet or will never grow up enough to fit into any society, let alone the prison population.

It's a prison inside the prison.

Strangely enough, some offenders prefer that kind of isolation to being out in population. The other night I had a few minutes to kill and I got on the computer and looked up a few old knuckleheads to see how they were doing. One of them that gave us quite a bit of trouble a few years ago was in the camp up the road.

He had spent seven years in prison. Approximately 2,555 days. Out of that time he had only spent 119 days in general population. The longest he had ever stayed out of Adseg was 62 days at one stretch. Violations, fights, assaults on staff, PC and Suicide Watch.

I remember when he first came to our camp. He was supposed to do a 120 day "shock" incarceration and treatment program. If he had laid down and done his 120 days, he would have been released on probation and been back on the streets.

Instead he got locked up inside his first week and since then has gotten 8 more years added to his 3 year sentence for assaults on staff. And away he went....

I have no doubt that one day they will send him back to us again for some reason or another and we'll get to get acquainted all over again...

Anyway, aside from my rambling, I hope this clears up any of the confusion about the Hive and answers at least a few of your questions.


  1. WOW! And I thought my rabbit hole was cramped...

    You do have an interesting work environment that's for sure.

    Great post...thanks for the 411 on the Hive.

    Cheers, Jenny

  2. Yes, thank you for this.

    It confirms the reputation the name itself and your mentions of it have provided about the place, while providing the details and the facts that back up that reputation. I always thought of it as a place buzzing with trouble. Now I know why.

  3. I am continually fascinated with the details you post here. A world I hope never to know personally.

  4. Eek! The Hive sounds awful. As I'm sure it's supposed to be. I can see how being in a place like that for many years can dehumanize someone, especially someone who probably wasn't real human to begin with!


    It's up to you.

  6. Kimberly said...

    It's up to you.

    Now, I get a lot of interesting comments, some emails from anons and one or two threats of bodily harm, but I have never seen anything like the above. Is this a threat, an invitation, an old inmate, ex girlfriend or just random spam?

    safeword: ranua

    What a marathon runner has to deal with at the finish line.

  7. Scott- I'll tell you, I was wondering about that myself. As far as I know, I don't know a Kimberly Holman. As to what that remark implies, your guess is as good as mine. Will the Mystery Guest please sign in?

  8. Hmm. I wrote her an email.

    Dearest K_

    I saw you...over there...standing alone in the corner of obscurity and unknown. I think you were wearing the black number with the suede pants and the platform shoes. You rattled my cage, and I had to email you. Will you feel the same about me, or has this anonymous union between us come to an end.

    It's up to you.

    safeword: sundu

    The official day one should consume fondue...

  9. Jenny- I'd had alot of questions. And it is definitely a most interesting and exasperating place to work.

    Bryan- The Hive is a hotbed of idiots.

    Brent- Sometimes I wish I didn't know about it at all.

    Lolamouse- I'm afraid the Hive isn't a place for positive reinforcement.

    Kimberly- Okay..........?

    Guy- Only thirteen more years! A cake walk! If I live that long..

    Scott- You are, as always, an unabashed lunatic. You are the Mr. Hyde to my Henry Jekyll.

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