When I visit prisons I make an attempt to get to know the guards; that is easier in some prisons than others. Personalities seem to vary from region to region, and Jerry says that goes along with the treatment of the inmates as well. In one of the prisons I got to know this one guard, a young man with a keen sense of humor, and one day we started talking about NASCAR. He was excited because he had purchased tickets to one of the major races on a short track, which guaranteed a lot of wrecks.
When next I saw him, I asked if he liked the race and he gave a sheepish grin and said he hadn’t seen it. “I gave my best red-neck appearance,” he said. “I got so drunk the night before I wasn’t able to do anything.”
One of the guards had been in Army special forces, a young man who was proud of his young family. Another guard kidded the visitors, especially the older women, making them feel at ease. But there was another side to the guards as well. At one of the prisons, some of them were confrontational, belligerent, making it clear they didn’t want you there. This was also the place where daily newspapers were delivered once a week and where packages would be held up for weeks before finally being delivered.
I concluded that prisons were a reflection of the leadership who could do pretty much anything they desired without fear of consequences. The warden rules!
I made several complaints that fell on deaf ears. I called, wrote, anything possible without any results. Being in prison is like being held captive in a third world country…..anything goes.
And it isn’t right.