For the past month I have been “keep locked” which in correctional terms is getting grounded after you break a rule. Your cell is locked for a specific period of time and your food comes through the slot in the steel door. In some facilities, to ensure your cage does not open by mistake, they actually chain the bottom of it by putting the biggest, most ridiculous looking padlock on it you have ever seen.
There is a long list of reasons to get put in jail while you’re already in prison. It can be something as simple as not waking up for the morning count bell, to a host of things most would never think about, like not showing signs of life. When the guards do a middle of the night walk and shine a flashlight in your face you are supposed to move so the C.O. knows you are alive.
Normally after the last count, you never see them, except for one “ball-breaker” officer who routinely gets harassed worse than I have ever seen a human being harassed in my life. However, if you drop dead in the middle of the night, they will just find you in the morning anyway. More often then not, aside from a rare dead guy, you constantly hear a C.O. yelling at the top of his lungs for someone to wake up. The reason for this is many inmates are now medicated with things I can’t spell, which brings us to why I was keep locked in the first place.
In the past several years, someone trying to cut their budget came up with the bright idea of putting mental health patients in regular prisons. Instead of treating them, they’re medicating to the point they resemble zombies. I am not one hundred percent certain, but they say it costs the taxpayers in the neighborhood of one hundred grand a year to hospitalize someone like this, versus twenty-five grand to lock them in a prison. I guess on paper this makes all the sense in the world, plus some of these new inmates are not as crazy as they’re portraying while going to court.