A Tough One to Explain

The problem is some are worse. They initially put them all on one tier and tried being a bit more understanding towards their special needs. I will never forget seeing the first group of these new inmates after they arrived in Comstock, which is a very ugly, very secure max facility. I happened to be standing on the end of a tier when they let them out for their trip to the mess hall. Now you can call most of us what you wish, animals, hardened or your plain old garden variety convicts, but the second we saw them, you could hear a pin drop. More than one of these alleged hardened individuals held their hand to their mouths in disbelief.

Each one of the new inmates did the Thorazine shuffle, and for those of you who’ve never seen it, it’s when someone is so medicated their feet never come off the floor while walking. It’s like ice-skating in very small increments on concrete. When  one of the guys – who I can only describe as Corky’s twin brother waved at us in a child-like manner, several of our group had to walk away. I was certain it was because no one wanted to get emotional in front of the next alleged tough guy.

I saw my share of heart wrenching shit in prison, but this one had to be in the top three. Fuck if I knew what crime he committed. I didn’t know his history, and I am sure he belonged somewhere, just not there. Here’s where it gets really cute, every State agency is trying to trim their budgets. So they start taking these “dangerous criminals” and slowly wean them off their medication to cut the state’s overwhelming pharmacy bill. Sometimes – if they’re not that nuts to start out with – it works. However, when you have someone who came to prison because they heard voices or saw little green people talking to them from the back of a Froot Loops box, chances are they actually need the stuff. But, they’re taken off med’s anyway.

Here’s where I got involved. Someone, who I will leave unnamed, while they were free decided to go into a local college and take a room full of hostages with a musket! Obviously this guy was a little touched prior to trying this and thankfully the swat team realized he only had one shot in his flintlock. Even if he fired at them, by the time he reloaded they would already have him in cuffs, ate lunch and punched out of work; so they decided not to shoot him.