Monday, January 23, 2012

Had To Lay Down The Law

Well, at least they didn't let me get bored tonight. Up in 10 house again. And there was no 30 house Sergeant so I got to cover both. One of the Substance Abuse Counselors caught an inmate smoking in the bathroom right before I got there, so I got to read a violation straight off the bat.

I should have seen the signs, I guess.

Not long after that an inmate came up to me and declared he wanted to got to the Hive for protective custody. Apparently he had gotten himself into debt with someone and was unable to pay so he was checking in.

**sigh** Made the calls and got his property packed and sent him on his way.

While that was going on someone called from 30 house and asked me to call or come over. When I get there, a gaggle of offenders were standing in front of the Sergeants office arguing and looking all sorts of pissed off.

It seemed that Kermit had found a broom and dustpan in one of the cells.

No big deal, right? We try to encourage cleanliness.

They had access to cleaning supplies but they were not allowed to keep them in their cells. They were only to use and put back. And apparently Kermit had issued a blanket warning to the room about this at the beginning of the month.

Now he was trying to give all six guys in the room extra duty work assignments for the infraction and they were all pissed off about it. And getting madder all the time, since Kermit isn't the easiest person in the world to have a conversation with.

So I stepped in and raised my hands for a little quiet. And I got it, amazingly enough.

"Okay guys, here's the deal. The broom was in your cell and you know it wasn't supposed to be there. You were supposed to return it when you were done. That's the rules."

"So what I want to know is, who brought the broom into the cell and left it there? We can settle this right here and now. Just man up and admit it and we'll deal with that person."

And all six of them stood there and stared at the floor like spoiled children and pouted.

I waited an entire minute, then looked at Kermit and said "Give them all extra duty. If they refuse, write each of them a violation and we'll go from there."

Well, they didn't like that decision one little bit. No sir. Several of them stomped off threatening to write complaints to the caseworker.

Like that scared me. Or Kermit. I think he gets a complaint a week, at least.

And to a man they refused the extra duty. So Kermit had to write six identical conduct violations. And he doesn't have any computer skills so he wrote them all out longhand.

So then I had to come back later and read all six of them to the offenders. Five of them refused to sign anything and gave me quite a bit of attitude but not enough to get locked up over. One was fairly polite and did sign his but still claimed he wasn't guilty.

I read the final violation at 9:55pm and just barely made it back over to 10 house in time for count.

And I was pretty happy when count cleared so I could go home again. I beat feet out of there just as fast as I could before something else happened.

Well, my first real attempt at some real sergeanting didn't go as well as I had planned.

But nobody got hurt and we all went home at the end of the night so it was okay after all.

Tuesday is going to be Eskimo Pie Patent Day, Belly Laugh Day, Beer Can Day, National Compliment Day, Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day and National Peanut Butter Day.

Exactly how does a grizzled prospector sound?


  1. This is the second recent occurrence I'm aware of in which a group of offenders in the "privileged" specialized housing units (10, 30, 25) combined forces against an individual officer they don't like because he makes them obey the rules. You're undoubtedly aware "square staff" recently insisted an officer be withdrawn from 10 House (and he has been) after a group of offenders wrote multiple simultaneous complaints against him over a very minor incident. I believe "square staff" by so doing is making an unfortunate mistake predjudicial to order and discipline by leading these offenders to believe they are especially empowered in contrast to those in the general population units.

  2. Coupe- I agree completely. The raggedy little nits are already full of themselves thinking that they are indispensable and untouchable because of their job or position or program. The square staff is both empowering and enabling them and that is, as they say, a slippery slope.

    Hopefully someone wises up before one of us ends up getting hurt.

  3. Consarnit (grizzled prospector), rev, I once again find the fun in comparing prison inmates to school children. I've had the gang-up problem, but yours seemed like it was a concerted effort of each of those six to stick together. Around here it's mob mentality. Most kids are afraid to speak up, so one or two rule the roost and pretty much decide if class is going to be a hassle for the whole group or not.

    1. Brent- I think you got it. And they are remarkably like children in many ways that are kind of depressing to think about.

  4. Good job Rev, I would have done the same thing in your position.