Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jackpot

I heard a rumor Friday afternoon during my work detail that I was being moved to a new room. I actually had been told the day before that I might move, but I assumed it was to an existing room. Turns out I hit the prison equivalent of the real estate jackpot.

There are two TV rooms in the middle of our floor. One was emptied and 6 new twin bunks were brought in. I was assigned to a lower bunk against the wall. Normally, you might have to be here a year or more to gain enough "seniority" to ever make it to a lower wall bunk. It took me only a week. On top of that, there are currently only 3 of us in the room. But I have been told that by Wednesday, it will be full.

While I was pleased, I was also uneasy. Many people already know I am only here for 3 months, which is the equivalent of a vacation to these guys. In addition, my family is visiting me this weekend after only 1 week, when many of these guys only see their families once every few months. Now I get a lower wall bunk after only 1 week? (Still don't know why.)

Can anyone say "privileged white boy?"

The last thing I want is to get under the skin of some of the guys who have been here way longer. Yes, I hit the jackpot, so to speak, but it has a big "Beware!" sign attached to it.

Which brings me to Sherman's Sermon (my next post).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for this very interesting blog. It is warm, human, humorous and intelligent.

Rik, from Belgium

Benjamin said...

This blog has absolutely captivated me, I'm checking it at least twice a day

skidrow said...

YOU DO HAVE A VERY INTERESTING BLOG, HOW EVER YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THE TIME STANDING ON YOUR HEAD, THE PROBLEM I SEE HERE THAT THE PRISON OFFICAL ARE JUST DOING THERE TIME. WHEN THEY HAVE NOT GOT ANYTHING FOR YOU TODO THEY SHOULD LINE YOU UP AND HAVE YOU STAND AT PRADE REST, TILL A NEW JOB COMES IN

Anonymous said...

dude...you're acting like you're doing time at Terre Haute or Leavenworth. It's Pensacola for Pete's sake....