Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sometimes They Make Me Laugh

In my facility, we use a certain code system to denote certain things.

Code 9 is Mental Health Issues
Code S is Suicidal
Code Z is Violent Tendencies/Previous Assaults against officers
Code E is Escape Risk
Code G is Gang activity
Code PG is Pregnant

These are very easy to use, all officers know what they are, and we can use them without
divulging a lot of information to other prisoners. The most common we use is a Code 9, and sometimes we get people in we would like to refer to as a Code 18 or a Code 27 if we could. Sometimes Code 9 just doesn't quite cover the extent of Mental Health issues some people have.

So the other night I went to go process a guy who was brought in on some pretty serious drug charges. He was being charged with Intent To Distribute and Racketeering, and if convicted could face upwards of 40 years in prison. This guy had attracted the attention of the U.S. Marshals and knew he was going to end up doing some heavy time. This was obviously weighing heavily on his mind as he was waiting in the holding area.

From where this guy was sitting, he had a view at an angle at one of our Special Housing holding cells. These cells are single cells with no bench, no toilet (just a drain in the floor), and rubber from ceiling to across the floor. They are more commonly known as "rubber rooms" and are used for a variety of reasons. In this case the guy in the rubber room was in there for displaying extremely erratic behavior, attempting to flood his previous cell, damaging the camera in the cell, and banging his head on the wall. In a case like that there is little we can do but put them somewhere they cannot hurt themselves until they calm down.

Well the gentleman in the rubber room had decided he was going to defecate and then paint it on the windows. All the while he is doing this, he is yelling that he is the son of Jesus Christ and he is here to start the apocalypse and save us from Nuclear Warfare. Obviously this guy is suffering from some severe delusions, it is apparent to anyone in the vicinity. Working on the grave yard shift, we have no Mental Health staff available until after 8am, so all we can is keep him from hurting himself or others until an evaluation is done.

So I pull the drug guy out to process him, and I'm chatting with him about what is going to happen to him next. He sits and watches the rubber room guy for awhile and then turns to me and says -

"You know, I was really bummed about my charges, and I know I'm looking at some serious time, possibly even doing Federal time. But I realized tonight that it could be a lot worse."

Out of curiosity, I asked him why he thought that. He then points to the guy in the rubber room and says -

"I could be him. Life doesn't seem so bad now".

I couldn't help but laugh, and I couldn't argue with the guy. I told him that it was a good attitude to have, and that while he might not like the outcome of his case, at least he would get through it.

So just remember folks - no matter how bad life seems, not matter how down you get, just remember - You can be finger panting with feces and think you are the son of Jesus Christ. Just remember the words of that inmate, "Life doesn't seem so bad".

1 comment:

  1. your blog is hiliarious! I am a waitress and I am definetly gonna start using code 9, 18 & 27 for some of my!