Friday, September 30, 2011

A Day In The Life


Once upon a time, many weekends ago, in a prison camp full of women, I was working. It was visiting.

I was processing visitor's into the visiting room first thing in the morning. Everything was going pretty smooth. Then I get a call.

Apparently, a man had gone to a neighboring institution and went into their waiting area. When the front lobby officer questioned him, he told her that I had sent him over there to get change. He told her the change machine at the camp was broken so that is why he was there. I never sent anyone there. First of all, our change machine was fine. Second, the change machine over there is not in the lobby so he would have had no access.

She didn't believe him either. Besides, she saw him messing around near the trash can.

He left and she immediately went to the waiting area trash and looked. There she found a huge bag of contraband; cigarettes, lighters, lip gloss, fast food items...

She calls the supervisor and tells them what she found and give a description. By the time that man arrives in my line, they are waiting for him. As soon as he walks in, they tell him his visit is being denied because of introduction to contraband. They say no more. He says okay and walks away.

His wife, the inmate, she is not a happy camper. During the count she gets angry with me and demands to speak to the warden. Now.

Yeah, that's not going to happen. It's a weekend.

Besides, why ever would she want to speak to the warden? We had told her nothing. We had told her husband nothing besides that he was denied. And it had only been moments before when he was denied. How could she know?

Because she was watching.

She saw him come in and get in line and then she saw him leave. She also saw the supervisor's come and go. So she called her husband on his cell phone as soon as she could. He told her about being denied. She wanted to know why.

For introduction of contraband of course.

She starts crying and blubbering. It can't be true she says. She goes on about how she doesn't even smoke and would never eat that kind of fast food and she doesn't even wear make up.

Wait. How did she know? We didn't say a thing about that.

She continues her blubbering. She goes on with how it could have been anyone who put that stuff in the lobby of the other institution. Lots of visitors come and go in there. She should know, she works over there as an orderly.

Ah ha!

But what she didn't know... Visiting had been canceled at that institution. He was the only one there.

First thing Monday, we shipped her off to a more secure facility.

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