March 24, 2010
Walking down the sidewalk leading to the housing unit, I talked with another youngster about the incident the day before in visitation. A visitor was detained and arrested for an arrest warrant she had and the angry orangeman she'd come to visit had to be restrained. I'd only been in prison a year or so and this was an unusual incident to me. Nearly 15 years later...nothing surprises me.
A CO exited the housing unit and passed us. The expression on his face as he passed was a mixture of worry and discomfort. He was rubbing his chest like he had a case of heartburn. Seconds after passing us, to my surprise, the CO crouched down, then sat down in the middle of the sidewalk. Turning and walking back to him, I watched him fall over onto his side now grasping at his shirt. I could see pain and fear on his face. He was in serious trouble and knew it.
"Hey, you got a cop down in front of house four!" the youngster with me yelled into the down CO's radio. Quickly rising, he then slapped my arm saying "Let's get the hell our of here". We quickly ducked back into our housing unit before any other orangemen or brownshirts saw us. Nobody saw us near the down CO and within a minute or two his fellow brownshirts and medical staff were there.
At the time, it was a strictly enforced "Us vs Them" code in AZ prisons, not to mention we'd have been endlessly questioned regarding the incident. But even in this situation, compassion and empathy won.
During the tenure of Director Schriro, much of the "Good Ol Boys" were weeded out of the ADOC and the "Us vs Them" mentality lessened, but since Director Ryan's return, I've noticed the subtle reversion back, in new ADOC policies and practices, as well as mentalities and behaviors on both ADOC staff and prisoners' parts. I'm hopeful that the damage can be fixed after ADOC's budget woes lessen, a new Governor is elected and a new ADOC Director is appointed.
1 day ago