Life in Prison?

In other news today, a cell phone was found in the posession of a death row inmate in Texas.  I just finished a long, drawn-out debate with a person online who had no clue that inmates weren’t allowed to have cellular phones in their cells.  Apparently, there are those out there who think this is a right that can’t be taken away and all inmates should be allowed to have phones at taxpayer expense.

Lemme point out how he was caught: he called an as-yet unnamed prominent state senator and told him that he knew where the senator’s daughters lived in a very serious threat.  Still think these douchebags should have phones?

There are a number of things inmates aren’t allowed to have.  Phones are one of the many.  Unfettered access to a phone means that an inmate can call any person he or she wants without anyone being able to decide who they can call.  If you’re a surviving victim, would you want the guy who tried to rape and kill you calling you at home?  It’s unknown whether any victims were reached, but it’s likely.  The inmate, Richard Tabler, shared the phone with nine other inmates.  His mother is actually accused of buying minutes for the phone.  Get this–it was a corrections officer who accepted a bribe to smuggle it in.

If anyone really wants to know, I’ll talk about what Tabler has been sentenced to death for.  The question here is, why is this such a big deal?  I’ve already addressed why inmates don’t have phones.  I’ve known officers who have accepted bribes to bring in narcotics.  I’ve even known a couple who have had sex with inmates.  I’ve seen them bring in everything you can imagine, including cellphones.  I was riding perimeter patrol one night when 98 KUPD played a phone call from an inmate in MY DAMNED FACILITY over the radio–made on a cell phone smuggled in by an officer who’d been bribed.

I don’t think they should have casette players, DVD or CD players, TV’s, or any of that nonsense in their cells.  Having TV’s in the dayrooms/pods is more than enough.  They can take these devices apart and make all manner of contraband–not the least of which are cutting tools, shanks, tattoo guns or even homemade firearms.  People who’ve never been there don’t understand it.  Those who are or have been officers understand it all too well.

I hope that officer is charged with a crime.  In a private facility, you can guarantee he wouldn’t have been because of the negative press; this was Texas death row, so it was state-run.  The inmates’ mother is already in jail.  But I hope that this emphasizes the reality for some of you.  When inmates have the items they’re not supposed to have, they can have a dangerously long reach.

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10 thoughts on “Life in Prison?

  1. I thought prison was supposed to serve 3 purposes:

    1. Remove dangerous people from the general public.

    2. Punish people for comitting crimes.

    3. Rehabilitate people so they don’t go back to prison.

    We can argue all day about each item. My point is the punishment access. Should we boil them in oil or put them on the rack? Of course not.

    I grew up in a town with 10 prisons within 20 miles of it. These inmates had a minature golf course, softball teams that competed in the city leagues (no away games obviously), and they got free concerts from popular musicians too. They also got to go to community college for free. I had to pay for my community college.

    Somewhere between the rack and free community college is a fair and just way to punish people.

  2. Hear, hear, John.

    I saw an Arizona lifer get a free doctorate from Arizona State University in psychology. His crime? He raped and tried to murder his 9-year-old niece, and nearly succeeded in the murder.

    My tax dollars hard at work.

  3. “I saw an Arizona lifer get a free doctorate from Arizona State University in psychology. His crime? He raped and tried to murder his 9-year-old niece, and nearly succeeded in the murder.

    My tax dollars hard at work.”

    Incredible.

    One of my community college instructors taught at the prison and bragged about how smart the inmates were. He said, ‘They are nice guys who made a mistake in life.”

    I raised my hand and said, “Locking your keys in your car is a mistake. Forgetting your textbook is a mistake. Committing a felony and getting caught is a MAJOR SCREWUP you idiot.”

    The rest of the class exploded in applause.

    I wonder if he thought we’d get smarter if we robbed, raped and murdered? I should have asked.

  4. Oh, they’re bright. They have all day to do nothing but work out and come up with ways to get around the rules, and they do it well. And they can be really nice when they think you’ll give them something they want.

    I wonder if that instructor would say the same thing about those inmates when he sees them day in and day out, assaulting each other, assaulting officers, throwing urine and feces and other unmentionables on officers…

    The only people who think like that guy don’t see what we see. I’m so happy to be out of it.

  5. Yuck. Count me out.

    I don’t know if this is true but I’ve been told women inmates can be much worse than men inmates in how they treat corrections officers.

    I am not certain if that is true. Some women end up in prison because of men. The women play courier on their drug deals. A guy abuses a woman lover or wife, she fights back in a too violent way, and ends up in prison etc.

  6. Ugh…women are absolutely disgusting. You don’t want to hear some of the stories I have of female inmates. ICE detainees are even worse than state-held offenders. You’d think that women would be cleaner, but NO. Lemme put it to you this way: there are always certain women who like to let you know in the most outrageous way she can when Aunt Flo comes for her monthly visit.

    And you learn to stay the hell away. Male officers can get the brunt, but female officers typically get love letters. Believe it or not, the worst thing about that is having to write incident reports about them.

  7. “LOL

    I would pay big bucks to see that!”

    Mel,

    I don’t know how you ever coped. Here in CA there was a hostile work enviroment case that went to the jury.

    A female corrections officer was working at a maximum security men’s prison. This wasn’t any prison, this one housed the worst of the worst. The inmates ended up there because they would not get along in the regular prisons.

    These guys were awful. They would expose themselves to her. They would masturbate in front of her. She would write them up. I am certain she followed procedure.

    Because her managers did not take swift and thorough action, she won a $600,000 judgment.

    I do sympathize with her. I would not wish to endure that. I am a guy too. I also wonder just what kind of leverage you can put on a lifer or some guy doing 25 to life. He’s already in prison. What are you going to do when he flashes a guard? Put him in jail?

  8. Exactly. Juveniles typically disobey and do outrageous stuff because that’s what juveniles do; they think it’s cool. When adults do that, it’s because they’re not afraid of losing priveleges and they know nothing more can be done.

    I’d have to read the exacts of the case to say whether I agree or disagree with such a huge judgement in her favor, but typically I say that if you’re going to get into that job, get ready to deal with that crap. It’s gonna happen. There will be inmates who wait for you to come around so they can throw their bodily fluids on you. You’ll get spit on, and you may even get groped. I also tell people that if you take the job and any inmate has the gall to put his hands on you, take it as a legal pass to give him the beatdown of his life.

    Personally, I think we should flog these guys for that sort of thing. Maybe that’s why I shouldn’t be in corrections anymore. 😉

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