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Super Friends by Whitney Holwadel Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at whit-superfriends.blogspot.com. Super Friends: Fleshy Gordon

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fleshy Gordon

When it comes to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the name of the game is efficiency. Earlier today I heard a commotion down towards the front of the floor, or range, I'm on and observed that it was the food trays being passed out by no less than six guards. Each of the hole's six ranges is a straight corridor with twenty-four cells, twelve going down each side, two men per cell. The feeding process, usually a one or two-man operation, involves unlocking a flap on the cell door, slinging a container of whatever slop is being served inside the resulting opening, then relocking the flap. Repeat 23 times. Obviously the requirements for a federal prison guard are not unlike those for entry into the Army's Delta Force. Brad and I are in the last cell on the left, so as the sextet of correctional officers begin the distribution process, I say to Brad: "Man, they got six of 'em out there. The over/under on when they make it here is 7 minutes. Bet ten stamps." Brad takes the under. Sucker. The time was 12:14.

At 12:46 two trays of baked chicken came sliding through the door. What one person should have taken fifteen minutes to do took six government employees over thirty. When a person understands that this is the B.O.P efficiency at its finest, the fact that the warden claims pauper when it comes to things like single-ply toilet paper suddenly isn't a shocker. Abandoning the plate of chicken which was so undercooked it was still clucking, I set to work in determining the financial impact of the cops' ineptitude in this situation. Here's the math: At a conservative estimate of $17 an hour, feeding 48 inmates of a population of 1500 cost $50. Not the food, just making sure they got the food. If the process was performed with the same faster-than-a-speeding bullet rapidity on the other ranges, then feeding the entire hole their lunch cost well over $300.

What's my point with all that number crunching and whining? To be honest, I just feel like bitching to someone and Brad's taking a nap. But more than that, despite the fact that we don't pay taxes, we inmates do have a stake in the issue of wasted funding. All of my clothes and bedsheets are washed by hand in the cell's sink with soap purchased myself from the prison commissary, although I've been unable to get a clean blanket for more than a month because "there's no money for detergent." Every night when I cover up with the same dingy blanket I think about the gross ineptitude and inefficiency of the vastly overpaid babysitters passing as prison guards and tears come to my eyes. Most of these guards aren't bad people. Maybe a little thick in the waist and thin in the head, but they aren't pulling us out of our cells for random beatings or anything. I'd just hope that it's not too much to ask that, with an unemployment rate last reported at well over 7%, our prison administration would hire guards who can at least spell treadmill even if they don't know how to use one.


4 comments:

elsa said...

Hello,

I gave you the Kreativ Blogger Award!
See here http://codziennyparyz.blogspot.com/2009/02/kreativ-blogger.html

Have a nice day!

Nina the Internet sleuth said...

Can you get wool from the commissary?
I can get you a tutorial to learn how to knit yourself a brand new and good smelling blanket. You could even hire Brad and you would start a little business together =D I'm sure you would have a lot of success!!!!!
Hahaaaa

SLS1981 said...

Elsa !! Thx for reading this and showing your support !

Ok, I had recently read an article about a DR inmate with a sense of humor that this blog reminded me of .. maybe you will enjoy the article as well !

Death Row Inmate Wants to Be the Next Supreme Court Justice
By Natalie O'Neill in NewsFriday, Jan. 30 2009 @ 11:01AM

Who says the electric chair should stand in the way of your dream job? Not Michael Lambrix. Sure, the 48-year-old waits on death row for fatally bludgeoning and strangling two people outside Fort Myers in 1983. But that hasn't stopped the articulate, overachieving inmate from applying to be Florida's newest supreme court justice.

This past January 16, Lambrix penned a letter to the Judicial Nominating Commission asking them to consider him for the open position. "In all fairness," he writes, "I ask that you not so quickly discount my genuine desire."

Lambrix -- a fit, balding history buff -- goes on to explain himself: "Let's be honest... These appointments are about perpetuating the corruption of politics. Me, I'm already a convicted felon, so at least the public will know what they are actually getting, rather than a wolf in sheep's clothing."

After citing employment qualifications, he argues that choosing him isn't as risky as it looks. If he doesn't perform well, he writes, his co-workers can just sign his death warrant. ("Can you legally kill any other justice?")

Although he makes light of his situation, Lambrix has long argued his innocence. He keeps a blog, deathrowjournals.blogspot.com, in which he contends he was a victim of a politically ambitious prosecutor. The night of the murder, he says, he beat a drug dealer with a jack handle in self-defense after trying to save a woman the dealer was strangling. "My biggest qualification," he writes, "Is that I'm the only applicant that has been totally screwed by the justice system."

Not surprisingly, though, the commission isn't taking him seriously. For one, you have to be a member of the Florida Bar to be considered. Says Fort Lauderdale-based Chair Robert Hackleman: "I got a good laugh at it."

But our man in the orange jumpsuit does have one thing going for him. This past October, Gov. Charlie Crist sent the commission back to the drawing board because their recommendations were not "diverse" enough. So... problem solved?

Reach for the stars Whit ! =) You never know ..

Whit said...

Merci beaucoup Elsa! I'm really happy that you enjoy reading about my insane life and am honored to have you as a "Superfriends" member.