Wednesday, December 01, 2004

How Can The Truly Bad Differentiate Themselves In A Facility Stuffed With Miscreants?

Here’s a holiday update from Clarence, history teacher in Richmond, Virginia’s juvenile correctional facility.

Recently I had a discussion with two female friends about the difference between "boy bad" and "girl bad." They believed that girls could be every bit as bad as boys, and pointed out stories about smoking and drinking before a school dance at a very young age, which is indeed very bad. Boy bad, however, has the peculiar trait of ruining it for everybody. I pointed out that in the aforementioned act of naughtiness, the "boy bad” would be to do the same smoking and drinking for sure, but then to drive a car into the school gym and in doing so ruin the much anticipated dance for everybody.

Which brings me to the prison, and the nagging question of how can the truly bad differentiate themselves in a facility stuffed with miscreants already banished from society. And more importantly, how can you possibly ruin it for everybody in a place where everything is already institutionally ruined because it is a fucking prison?

Enter the cellblock of Delta 400. D-4, as it is known for short, is the home to a truly lively bunch. It is the notorious location of the sour milk shower (milk cartons stolen from the dining hall, aged to achieved impeccable putridity and then launched on an enemy), and the innovative address of the piss bomb (condoms filled with pee launched seemingly indiscriminately). Both of these projectiles are perfect ways to ruin it for one person, and I do mean absolutely ruin it, but they really can't make everyone suffer. In fact, the dude who throws it gets noticeably happier.

Well the Wednesday before Thanksgiving the fellas in D-4 did the math and correctly realized there were 25 of them and only 2 guards. So they quickly asserted their independence and started running shit their way. A small riot if you will. First on the list was the administration of a few beat downs that had apparently been overlookedtoo long. That accomplished, D-4 remarkably started about the everyday business of living in prison. The garbage was emptied and laundry begun. But before it could play itself out in true "Lord of the Flies" fashion however, somebody spied the rest of the guards assembling the riot gear, and discipline broke in the ranks. And by the time the Correctional Officers reentered the building, many of the prisoners had politely returned to their cells wishing fruitlessly to avoid the necessary confrontation.

I'm not sure what happened next, but it led to a long lockdown. The kind of lockdown where nobody leaves for anything, not even showers. This lasted the rest of Wednesday, and all of Thursday and Friday. For everybody in every cellblock.

Then, feeling magnanimous, the powers that be decided that D-4 could use a little time out doors (it was Thanksgiving weekend after all), and let them out for recreation for one hour on Saturday.

As soon as the doors were opened, five dudes bolted and ran as fast as they could towards the school building. There they quickly smashed a window and entered the building. Keep in mind everybody saw this happen, no attempts at discretion or secrecy were made by these convicts turned fugitives again. Within five minutes they were apprehended in the faculty lounge, where they had destroyed the snack machine, and devoured as many Fritos and Ho-Hos as one can eat in 300 glorious seconds.

Now that is a very special kind of bad. That is also how you ruin it for everybody, by forcing the entire prison into a five day lockdown over Thanksgiving. And I do mean ruining it for everybody: We teachers no longer have a snack machine as the maintenance company refused to service it because this type of shit keeps happening.


At 3:42 PM, Blogger JM said...

That kangaroo business is disgusting. Ruining it for everybody though, we like!


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