Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dangerous Games

Friday, September 21, 2012
There has been a lot of activities going on in the past 48 hours. As Wednesday morning unfolded, I was presented with a problem and then asked for  help in finding the solution and in calming the waters. A young friend of mine ( would-be Abercrombi & Fitch model – if he wanted…) is apparently strung out on drugs. He now owes over $2K dollars to various people in all races. When I pulled him into the office, I could see shame on his face as he began to unload all of his troubles on me. I have not kept my feelings on drug usage a secret. Everyone, for the most part, knows that I think they are disgusting and used by the weak of mind. In this population it would be hard to have a legitimate case study, so all I have is what I see. In any case, Hunter knows this which is the reason why he did not come to me sooner..

The people he owes are the ‘heads’ of the races and/or gangs. They are not to be played with and have given Hunter a time limit. He is terrified. On the plus side, these dangerous individuals happen to be my good acquaintances and so I have a no-bullshit line of communication with them. In a situation like this, I have to take the debt holder out of the equation. If the loan shark/dealer sees the holder and emotions get involved, rash decisions are made. That is what I was attempting to avoid.
I decided to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with the men that Hunter owes and sent word through the yard that I wanted to speak to them together, but in a private space. We chose the day room of building 2. Once we were gathered, everyone began to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
I calmly asked for a solid 10 minutes of speaking time and then, we would go from there. I proceeded to present 3 possible options to them and stated that everyone of them would have to agree before leaving the dayroom and have this drama spread throughout the entire yard..

Option #1 Hunter becomes so scared that he goes to an officer and request protective segregation. He would be taken off the yard and no one would be paid.

Option #2 Hunter is severely beaten up and taken away, in which case, no one gets paid.

Option #3 Everyone gives their absolute lowest dollar amount that would accept, stop taxing him immediately and put him on a payment plan.
It was a gamble, but I have learned to think as a “convict” and the one thing everyone wants; is money. So they all went with option #3. I spoke to Hunter and he is now on a strict payment plan – forever. If he messes up, there is nothing else I can do for him.
Now, I would be in very big trouble with the brothas if they had found out that I had used my connections etc. to parlay on behalf of a white boy. That, would not have gone over very well. For that reason, I had to lie and tell people that his parents, are friends of my parents. Any friends, relationship or otherwise interracial connection outside these walls is socially acceptable. It is completely fucked up, but that is the way it is. I have many friends in here of other races but I have earned the right to have them. The new inmates, cannot.
Continuing on into Wednesday, two brothas, Maco and Oklahoma were arguing over a $500. Debt. Maco got loud and disrespectful with Oklahoma, so Oklahoma stabbed him multiple times and then split his head open from front to back. Air evac arrived, took Maco and the respective buildings/dorms that they lived in, were searched thoroughly. They will be on continuous lockdown until the searches are completed. The process can potentially take days.

This violence happened because of $500. Can you imagine what Hunter’s fate would have been? One thing here is that someone else, one dollar may mean a great deal. To you or I, a dollar is just a dollar.

For those guys who do something to instigate searches, it can be a very bad ending for them.  During dorm searches, people will have any number of personal items destroyed or taken by officers and the process. It could be clothing, cd’s or a TV… When all is said and done, guess who’s to blame? Most times, when searches are completed, the guy who instigated the search is usually disciplined severely. So my expectation is that sometime today, dorms 5&6 will come off of lockdown only to be put right back on it once they have dealt with Oklahoma. Sad, but very true.

Violence in prison is always extreme. Because they really only show specific things on TV, it is difficult for me to put prison violence into a proper perspective. The 1st thing you have to do is to go back to Junior High, or the freshman year of high school even. Now take out all the boys and leave only the girls. It would be the biggest gossiping, bitch-fest ever – right? Okay, now give them homemade weapons and put them on their period. That is the basic day to day energy here. Someone can virtually go off at any time for any reason – or for no reason at all.
Homemade weapons consist of a good old fashioned prison ‘shank. Basically this is a filed down piece of plastic, wood or metal. They are very destructive! Then there is the most common combination lock in a sock. I have personally seen these rip through someone’s jaw before, and they can be very scary if the wrong person is wielding it. Last but not least is boot stomping. It is brutal and ongoing. I have seen them begin, but never finish. I can’t watch it.

All of this is disturbing and completely unacceptable. It makes you wonder how some of these people are going to problem solve when they get out of prison. Thinking about that, gives me serious pause.


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