Friday, April 29, 2011

A Day In The Life

Work Out Music

On a fabulous evening at a minimum security woman's prison somewhere in the United States, I was working a normal, quiet shift. Well, I was.

It had been a long week. There had been a rash of theft at the camp and it was getting pretty brazen. Someone had woken up to another inmate in her locker. Another had come from work to find her under bed bin ransacked. Inmates had been complaining about their laundry being stolen from washers and dryers. This is not a general problem at the higher security male facilities. Of course, over there you are much more likely to get shanked if you steal a guys laundry.

That evening I'd had enough. A girl had come to me and told me her radio had been stolen. Radios are a big deal. You can't hear the TV's without a radio. It is just about the most valuable thing an inmate owns. Anyway, the inmate claims she was walking on a treadmill in the gym. Her radio was in the holder on the front of the treadmill. She was listening to it as she worked out. Another inmate asked her a question. She took off her headphones, placed them with her radio and turned around to speak to the other inmate. When she turned back around, he radio and headphones were gone. I was done. This had to stop.

So I made up some signs and spread them around. The signs stated that if the radio was not returned by count time, 9:30 PM, that I would be making them stay up all night while I searched room by room. I figured that since they generally went to sleep after we count and many of them get up early for work, the radio would turn up.

I was wrong.

Count time came and when it was finished, the radio was still missing. So rather than turn off the lights and allow the inmates to go to sleep, I made them all stand by their bunks and I went room to room searching for the radio. I searched until it was midnight and it was time for me to go home.

I never did find the radio. It did turn up however. The next morning it was found in one of the unit's bathrooms in a pile of maxi pads.

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