My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 145

OH-NO-HE-DIDN’T.  (Oh, yes he did.)

Earlier this week, our Counselor had posted a notice in his office window.  A small group had gathered around it, grumbling under their breath.  As I peered over someone’s shoulder to get a better view, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

To paraphrase:  “effective immediately, you will no longer be able to reserve a seat in the large, multi-purpose TV room.  All seating is first come, first serve.  If I find any newspapers, books, towels, water bottles, magazines, radios, headphones, etc. on a chair or on the tables, they will be confiscated.  If you leave the room, even for a moment, you must take your belongings with you.”

Sometimes I surprise myself at how far I have come in the nearly six months that I have been here, how well integrated and accepted I have been by the other inmates, and how quickly my attitudes have changed regarding certain behaviors.  Shortly after my arrival on the compound, I took real offense to guys “owning” seats in the TV room.  But just weeks thereafter, I came around to the philosophy that there are so few things that an inmate can control while in prison…therefore, why not allow those with seniority the privilege to sit where they choose, and to even claim a spot?  I’ve even taken this one step further by leveraging this system to my own benefit and I often “hold” a seat for myself on nights when there is a movie that I’d like to watch.  In fact, there are even a few spots in the TV room that would loosely be considered as “mine” by me and the other inmates…but I still would never go so far as to kick a new guy out of my seat if I found him sitting there.  Nor would I “gently” inform him of the ownership of said chair, yet still allow him to sit there for the time being.  After all, I hate it when dudes play the “that’s-my-seat-but-you-can-sit-there-for-now” card…then why say anything to begin with??

What’s astonishing to me is that some guy (presumably someone fresh off of the bus) snitched on his fellow man and brought this behavior to the counselor’s attention.  That’s an unforgivable offense.  And whomever said something to the Counselor better hope that they remain anonymous.  I can guarantee that it was one of the chomos, who have been all but banned from that room anyway.

The memo was posted on Monday of this past week.  Guess what has changed since then?  Absolutely nothing.  Not even temporarily on the afternoon that it was posted.  It’s funny, too, because A) the Counselor NEVER goes into that TV room, so there’s no chance that he would have ever noticed this behavior on his own to begin with without someone bringing it to his attention, nor would he ever (moving forward) have the opportunity to enforce this rule and confiscate any items; B) there’s no way that an actual cop would do anything about this because they understand the system that inmates have in place, and C) this was clearly a “Unit” memo, and not a new prison policy, so there was really no way to properly enforce this because the rule doesn’t officially exist.

And besides…even if this new rule WAS enforced, what inmate would be brave enough to dip his toe in the water and actually sit in a seat that was previously owned by another inmate without revealing himself to be the snitch?

Perhaps the Counselor realized all of this himself — or maybe he felt that he did his “part” by addressing the inmate’s concern and posting the note — because the memo was taken down today, not even a full week after it was posted.

Carry on my wayward sons.


Institution Movie:  “The Grace Card


Lunch:  Sloppy Joe

Dinner:  Breaded Chicken Patty Sandwich


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: