“But I Am An Attorney”
There is a process that visitors have to go through when they come to visit. Their identification has to be checked. They have to be on the approved visitors list. They have to be checked for contraband. It’s not that difficult if you follow the rules.
One afternoon I was in the visiting room of a female camp and a woman came into visit. She had already been stopped a few times by the other officer because she tried to come in first carrying a purse and wearing flip flops, then she came back still carrying a large wallet and a cell phone. Finally, she made it to me.
She fills in her form. All visitors fill out a form stating they know the rules and have no contraband. Then she hands it to me along with her identification. She says to me she is there to visit her cousin. I look it up. She is not on the approved visitors list. I tell her that I am sorry, but I will not be allowing her to visit. I suggest she contact her cousin and have her send out a visiting form. All of the sudden, the lady becomes irate. She begins yelling at me there in the crowded visiting room.
Her story has now changed. She now states that she is in fact the inmate’s attorney. She is demanding to see her regarding a pertinent and pressing legal matter. She literally throws her Bar Association card at me and tells me she is not leaving until she sees the inmate. Still, she is not an approved visitor. I tell her, again, I am sorry. If it is pressing, I tell her to call Monday and speak with the proper people to set up a special time to visit.
She is still yelling. She demands to speak with someone in charge. I call the lieutenant who tells me to call someone a bit higher up. I call him. He tells me to have her sit tight while he looks up the inmate’s information to find out if she is in fact the inmate’s attorney. The lady calms down upon hearing this. She asks for a piece of paper so she can write down the phone number to the prison. I hand he a blank paper and a pen. (I keep some at my desk for kids to draw on and such.) She is writing and writing on this paper as we wait for someone to call me back.
Finally, the call comes. It turns out that nowhere in this inmate’s files does it list this woman as her attorney. They can’t even find where it lists her as a cousin. Again, she starts yelling. I tell her to leave now. People are staring. She slams the paper she was writing on to the desk and demands I give it to the inmate. Then she stomps out.
The paper contains a letter. It is incoherent and makes little sense. It rambles on about attorney privileges and rule breaking. It makes very little sense. Of course, I do not give it to the inmate. I take it to the lieutenant.
I never have seen that woman again.