A Beginner’s Guide to Incarceration

I turn and turn in my cell

like a fly that doesn’t know where to die.

-Antonio Gramsci

I learned today that my friend, Eduardo, got thrown into jail. This really comes as no surprise as he is a feisty feral Latino man with too much fight in his soul to merely sit on the wall and watch time go by. He’s been my ace in the hole to pull out whenever insanity is needed, a no fear kind of gaucho monstrosity with the loyalty of a Klingon and the temperament of one as well. I haven’t found out the exact charges but hopefully he will be released soon, unless some immigration issue pops up. I never discussed his legality in this country with him as I considered that being in poor taste.

It did make me reflect on my own trip to jail that happened less than a year ago. Apparently judges frown upon you not showing up to court over minor traffic tickets so once I was stopped by the Greenwood Village police they had to take me in. A mere bad chain of events led me into their hands. I was rolling the dice and playing the odds by driving on fumes to my final destination and right in the middle of the street my car quit. I started walking for the nearest gas station to get a gas can and a gallon, abandoning the car with the flashers left on. I knew it shouldn’t take more than a half hour at the most but that was just enough time for a patrolling squad car to spot my vehicle in the middle of the street and wait for me. Oh, and the best part of this Saturday outing was that my youngest daughter was with me. Yes it turned into a lovely father/daughter moment as I found myself being cuffed and placed in the squad car. I do give the policewoman credit; she did allow her partner to pull my car into a lot so as not to incur a towing fee for me.

I would like to give a quick word of appreciation to all those friends that helped get me out of that place as quick a possible and pray you never suffer that kind of fun. After reflecting on my own experience I felt it necessary to provide a layperson’s guide to what one might expect if they do fall prey to police apprehension, a public service announcement if you will. Some of you out there might be virgins to the stoney lonesome yet feel the urge to sit in with the Occupy Wall Street (or fill in the name of your home town where a protest has developed) protestors, even at the cost of being arrested.  Below are just a few tips from me as I see it when being hauled off to jail:

1. If you are in a protest, never carry any more illegal drugs on your person than you are able to ingest at once. Drug penalties tend to up the ante on costs incurred and/or time served. You could probably do an anal tuck with a bag of pills but who has time in the midst of all that to poke a bag up inside themselves? Plus, you would hate for a pill bag to bust up there and suffer a whopping all-at-once dose of fun; I had that happen to me with some mescaline and it was not pretty.

2. Be prepared to diet. Jail food is barely edible and comes in small portions. There is no coffee or caffeinated drink of any kind so get ready for withdrawal. Save brownies or other such dessert items for later as you will eat them out of sheer boredom.

3. If at all possible, do not get arrested between Friday and Sunday. Judges go home for the weekend which means you stay there until they come back to work on Monday. Facing a judge on Monday may be bad as well because you never know how their weekend went. Best case scenario, go protest on a Wednesday or Thursday.

4. Jail rape is pretty much all talk. The hard core stuff doesn’t happen in a quick turnaround environment. All the thugs I was in there with had no interest in sodomy, they just wanted to sit there and watch football.

5. Avoid eye contact with prisoners on suicide watch. They are either really crazy or trying their best to fake it. Either way they will bite you if they get close enough. You will recognize them as the guys wearing a garbage bag and wrists restrained behind them. Not really that sociable I found out.

6. Being a cooperative prisoner will not get you any favored treatment. The officer’s job is to watch people and be a dick. They have to be a hard ass to everyone and from my observation they treated everyone with the same amount of indifference.

7. Good luck to you if you have health issues. More than half a dozen jailed with me in a larger holding room had medical issues ranging from flu symptoms to open wounds bleeding all over themselves. They are required to send a certified nurse around every few hours when you first arrive but after that you’re on your own.

8. Do not trust the jailhouse lawyers you run into. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how long you will stay there or what the final consequences could be but only the judge will know for certain what’s to be done with you.

9. The squeaky wheel does get the grease. Speak up for yourself and don’t be too shy.

With all that being said I leave a salutation to all those would-be protestors out there ready to sacrifice a night or two in jail. You have strength in numbers which will work on your behalf, unlike the guy who gets picked up for manslaughter; not many mass arrests of that going down. Stand up for your rights I say, become a beacon of civil disobedience and fight for democracy….and be ready for some football.


0 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Incarceration”

  1. Leave a Comment

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

Calendar of Posts

November 2011
« Oct   Dec »

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 12,104 hits

%d bloggers like this: