They Simply Fell Off
I was in my office at the woman’s camp one afternoon. I was waiting with a woman who had surrendered there for the processing officer. The new inmate is quite upset. She is worried that it will be like that show “Lock Up”. I am trying to keep her calm and assuring her it isn’t like that. We don’t have fights and stuff often at all.
As I am saying this, another inmate comes into my office. Her face is red and she seems upset. She tells me there is a problem with another inmate. That inmate comes in right behind her and is looking mad.
I ask for each inmate’s story and I do not allow the other to interrupt. It’s like children. The first girl, called Inmate A tells me her story...
Inmate A went into one of the rooms containing bunks. She does not live in that room, but she does live on that side. Anyway, she had asked another inmate if she could borrow some magazines. The other inmate said she could and so this lady went into the room to retrieve them.
She said that when she went into this room, the other inmate, the one who is there now, called Inmate B, was giving her dirty looks. So she asked Inmate B what her problem was. According to Inmate A, Inmate B began yelling at her. She says Inmate B called her names, called her a thief and told her that she was in the Mafia and suggested that Inmate A watch her back. Inmate A then took the magazines and left. On her way out, she was forced to squeeze between Inmate B and a table. On her way, she may have accidentally knocked a bag of chips off the table.
Next we hear Inmate B’s story...
Inmate B was sitting at a table eating a bag of chips and a bowl of ramen when Inmate A entered the room. According to Inmate B, there has been a rash of theft in that room and the occupants of that room had a meeting and agreed to look out for one another. Inmate B is an occupant of this room, so when Inmate A, who is not, entered she was eyeballing her suspiciously. According to Inmate B, that is when Inmate A began yelling at her, telling her to shut her mouth, making fun of her accent (Inmate B is Middle Eastern) and then threw the chips at her before stomping out and to my office.
The new inmate looked petrified. I told them both to shut up. I demanded to see the “crime scene”. I locked the new inmate in the visiting room and went out to the scene of the crime.
I located the inmate whose magazines were the object of question and she confirmed she allowed Inmate A to borrow them. I located the table and the bag of chips. Chips were all over the place and the bag was a good 12 feet from the table. So they just fell off?
I figure the true story lies somewhere in the middle. I yell at them both to grow up and act like adults. I suggest they both clean up the chip mess. A crowd of inmates has gathered around to find out what the commotion was all about. The unit manager comes out of his office and yells at them they better do what I say or he will be happy to have them removed.
I return to the new inmate waiting in the visiting room.