Friday, March 9, 2007

I'm in Jail. What now? Part 2!

A few days ago, I posted the first part of this happy little jail guide. Here's the rest!

So...you’re still in jail.

Well, if you’re new to the whole seedy underbelly of our system of law enforcement, you’re probably a bit scared. Unsure of yourself. Worried about what might happen. You’ve heard stories, seen movies…

Relax, you’re probably not going to get raped. Unless you want to be.

Tip #5 – While rape does happen, it’s rare, especially in jail.

Prison is a different story, but there are enough folks in jail who want sex, any sex, that you probably won’t have to worry about being taken against your will. People who would never dream of a homosexual encounter on the streets often play that role in prison. These people are in high demand. People like Parker.

Just kidding, Parker.

There isn’t much sexual activity in jail at all, really, unless you count the female housing units. Female mods are hotbeds of lesbian activity. The C/O’s try to put a stop to…but it’s like holding back a stream of water with a sieve. I’ve talked to incarcerated females who are quite proud of their sexual conquests, and will gladly pointed them out.

“I’ve had her, and her, and her. Oh yeah, I had her last time I was in here. And her. She was pretty good.”

You can try to stop it from going on, but you can’t be everywhere at once. Sex happens.

I don't like where I am.

When you get taken to your first housing unit, if you don’t like it, don’t tell the officer escorting you. He doesn’t care. Don’t tell the officer in the housing unit, either. He also…doesn’t care. You have to follow procedures if you want to have even the slightest hope of getting something done.

Write a kite, kid.

Tip #6 – Ask for an Inmate request form.

Inmate request forms, or “kites” as they’re commonly called, are what you use to get, with luck, what you want.

Want something to read? Write a kite to the library telling them what you’d like to read. They’re usually pretty heavy on Grisham, Koontz and King. You can also request things like drawing paper, jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles.

Tooth hurting you? Write a kite to the medical department. They’ll get back to you sometime next year, but you might be able to get some motrin to help a little with the pain.

You can also use kites to ask questions. Questions about policy, when your out date will be, and to manipulate the system to get you out of general population.

Sometimes a housing unit just isn’t for you. Maybe you’re black, and nine out of ten of your fellow inmates in this mod are hispanic. Maybe you’re the only white guy in the mod. Maybe it’s your first time in jail and you really, really don’t want to be with all these tough-looking guys who look a little stabby.

Tip #7 – There are ways to get to a safer location

You have a few options.

The first option is to write a kite to the Chaplin asking to be put into the “God Mod.” Most jails have a God mod. God mods are housing units where the focus is on getting the inmate to turn over a new leaf through religious activity, usually Christian. There are multiple daily prayer sessions, daily sermons, religious activities and so on. In our facility, the God mod is the only housing unit to have a television with a VCR, which can be used to watch PG films. That’s nice when you’ve been stuck watching network TV for a while. The God mod is a very safe location and a pretty good place to wait out your time if you can handle the constant proselytizing.

The second option is to write a kite to the programs department indicating your interest in what they have to offer. Programs departments are your gateway to a great variety of places where you’ll feel a bit safer. Usually if you claim you need to earn your GED, or want to take anger management courses, or substance-abuse programs, they’ll put you in a housing unit where other like-minded folks are housed. These types of mods, although not as nice and not as safe as the God mods, are better than general population mods. The main drawback to these types of mods is the fact that you will be living with a number of uneducated, angry alcoholics who haven’t had a drink in a long time.

Two more options you can choose to write a kite to experience are suicide watch and protective custody (PC). If you’re going to get out in a few days (like people who are in on DUI charges usually do) then one of these two housing units might work for you.

To get onto suicide watch, just walk up to your nearest C/O and mention that life is getting unbearable and you’re thinking about hurting yourself. They’ll rush you to a medical unit to get interviewed and checked out.

Act emo. Mope a bit.

Suicide watch means you’re housed alone, usually in a medical mod with medical personnel around. You’re stripped naked and given a paper gown along with a suicide-prevention blanket. No TV, no recreation, no phone, no books. It can be pretty boring, but if you’re getting out in a few days, for some people it’s a better alternative to being scared.

Protective custody can be harder to get, but it’s less severe. You’re housed alone, you get all the things other inmates get like phone time, books, store items and so on, but your recreation time is usually trimmed down somewhat.

Usually you need a good reason to be placed into protective custody, like being a baby toucher. Baby touchers almost always end up in protective custody. Nobody likes a baby toucher. Even baby touchers don’t like baby touchers.

If you can come up with a good enough reason why you think other inmates might hurt you, it’s possible you can get in there. Have fun.

If you’ve read this and have any comments, questions or concerns, feel free to let loose. I love answering questions. Sometimes I’ll even give you the right answer.

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