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English 101: The Worst Kind of Criminal

October 28, 2017
Within the scarred walls of a prison exist its own society, economy, and political hierarchy. The day to day activities are mostly criminal, but that’s what prisons were made for, right, to hold criminals? Well, what about the criminals who go home everyday? There are those, too, but instead of a number they wear a badge. They smuggle in drugs and cell phones and sell them to prisoners, then make raids on those people’s cells and bust them for being in possession of these things. They lash out vindictively with violence and claim self-defense. A crooked “prison cop” is the worst kind of criminal, because they know they can get away with doing so.
You see, the written laws of prison are not always the laws that are actually followed; they are just the laws that are referred to when necessary. There is another code of conduct that many prisoners and officers take an equal stance to such as, “an eye for an eye” and “don’t rat out your friends.” The one difference is that the authority of one group has given them the abilities of an illusionist as they falsify documents and create what appear to be justified reasons for their misconduct by manipulating the written law.

Two weeks ago I stood at the narrow window in my cell door as another prisoner and a guard fought. As the alarm sounded, a wave of green uniforms flooded into the building to assist their fellow officer and crashed down heavily upon the inmate. With the prisoner face down, in shackles


on the floor, one of the responding officers stood on his ankle and bounced up and down with all his weight until it snapped. As the so-called “peace” officer stepped back to peer with apparent interest at the injury he’d caused, none of his counterparts suggested he stop his abuse; in fact, several threw more kicks and punches themselves. Crimson puddles began to bloom on the ground around the scene, and I could nearly smell that indescribable, nauseating odor of blood rising up in the air. A few inmates yelled from their doors for the officers to end their beating, but instead, they dragged the prisoner, on his belly like a slithering snake, out of sight into the rotunda where they continued their abuse. The man’s screams reached me clearly in my cell, even as several officers returned to round up the vocal witnesses. They were shipped out that very night to another institution under the claim that thy had been attempting to incite other inmates to sedition.

Sadly, I’m able to comprehend the mechanisms behind the violence and ensuing cover up, because I’ve experienced it before. The “us against them “ mentality exists on both sides of the law and maintains a tension between prisoners and officers that simmers beneath the surface, ready to boil over as soon as the heat is raised. Both groups feel a need to prove something for similar reasons; the main one being to show that they are in control.
The assertive inmate likely felt disrespected by the officer and lashing out in violence was his way of regaining a perceived loss of control; although that does not justify his actions, and neither are the officers justified in their response. Beating the prisoner and breaking his bones after he was subdued was a show of force meant to intimidate and convey a message to other inmates that if they assault staff they will be hurt severely. Shipping the witnesses out to another institution was meant to discredit them by claiming they’d been trying to incite further violence when, in reality, they’d only been yelling, “Hey, get off him!”
What makes a correctional officer any less culpable in breaking the law than the criminals that they guard in prison? Nothing, and that is what makes a crooked prison cop the worst kind of criminal there is. They are hypocrites who hand down punishments, both due and unjust, while often escaping consequences for their own misconduct.
At this point, I believe that officers of the law and the system in general can pretty much do whatever they want, and I’ve realize that lashing out with violence only relinquishes more control to “the man.” I’ve learned that real control is the ability to choose the way I want to live my life, so I attend school and self-help groups now, as I work toward a release date. The ultimate coup de grace will be my success in living a life free of crime and departing from prison never to return.

From → BLOG

  1. I’m surprised you’re allowed, or able, to write about it on your blog! What if the staff realize?


    • Yep, good thing this isn’t a communist country. Actually, I used this as a college essay and received an A-. The teacher said I should have used more description earlier, despite the good description in the body. Doubt staff even knows about the blog, since I don’t have Internet access and because they have way too much mail to read it all. My grandma types my stuff and posts it.


  2. hypercryptical permalink

    You are right Michael, often criminals hide behind and are protected by a badge. I do hope a release date is on the horizon.
    Anna :o]


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