You Wanted Real… (Prison Pete)

29 10 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007
You Wanted Real…
Friday night I had gone to bed earlier than usual. I was looking forward to rising before 7:00 AM Saturday to go work on the database project. On weekend nights, the lights go off in the dorm area at 10:00 PM, but the Rec area is open till 2:00 AM. Weeknights it is 11:30 PM bedtime for all inmates.

I was blissfully off in dreamland when I was awakened by the sound of some sort of physical activity taking place between two or more inmates. As I sat up in bed, and looked over the cube divider, sure enough diagonally across the dorm several inmates appeared to be attacking one inmate who was pinned in his cube. Several other inmates had popped their heads up by this time. Since the officer was not in the dorm area at this time, there were some cheers of encouragement. Just like one might hear when the inmates are watching the professional boxing matches on television.

No inmate made any attempt to stop the attackers. This falls under one of the unwritten rules: one does not attempt any peacemaking. The officer might have been aware that something was going on as when he walked back into the dorm there were plenty of inmates sitting up or standing in their cubes looking around to see who was doing what to whom. The officer was in and out of the dorm about three times over a half hour period, and each time he would step out, the dorm door was closed and the attackers would start again. One of the last assaults involved the swinging of padlocks placed inside socks.

At some undefined point the attacks stopped. Despite the rough treatment the one inmate received, he never brought any attention to himself as far as the officer was concerned.

I spent most of Saturday away from the dorm. I was working on the mess hall computer from 7:00 AM until noon, and then went directly up to the chapel for the Protestant worship service.

When I returned to the dorm around 4:00 PM, the victim was no longer in the dorm. Some of the inmates were talking about the attack and said the victim had at least two golf ball size lumps on his head. The attack was allegedly in retaliation for some locker stealing. One inmate commented that the inmate who received the beating was not even the one doing the stealing.

They all had positive things to say about the victim not giving up any names of the inmates that attacked him.

Usually when an inmate suffers a non-accidental injury, the rest of the inmates are subject to upper body searches for possible incriminating marks that would show one was a participant in the fight. Each inmate reports to his cube and removes his shirt. An officer checks the upper body, hands and mouth area for any possible damage. This procedure was not done this time.

As mentioned recently some physical altercation is expected, it is unusual for an occurrence where only one inmate is “caught” and he obviously is on the losing end of a battle not to cause some sort of reaction from the staff. Since this was a three day weekend, it is quite likely that our entire dorm will be subject to a shake-down on Tuesday morning.

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