With the endless stories of people being drained of life on a daily basis, there is seemingly an increasing outrage that is building in the hearts of the nature. Obituaries never detail how they die, just that their lives have ended. Families grieve and lives are, forever, altered. There is an urgency for a reciprocated outcome, as someone has to be held accountable. Surely you want “Justice”, right? What if your eyes could be opened to murders that happened where blood from a vein was never opened because of iron shreading through the brain matter of your loved one? Blood still flows and a pulse is evident but they are absolutely dead on arrival of any help. Beyond the formulation of opinionated falsehoods, or the cliche discussion, an assurance can be given to you. Every day, Correctional Officers get dressed with standard-issued uniforms, clock in with a quick swipe of a card and head in to work with a blood tarnished mental and physical appearance due to deeds done from and to men and women caged and battered…..
The amount of casualties that occur in a jail setting are astonishing. Let me set the scene. 900 incarcerated person, 9 people working “the floors” and 5 designated floors for them to post themselves on for beyond 12 hours… Simplistic math tells us that this equation renders an alarming calculation.
Each death is planned. It is calculated, sometimes, down to the second where life escapes and the concept of a future lacks relevance. To place water on the figurative burning candle of curiosity that has set in, this death is beyond loss of actual life. Athough actual homicides have taken place within penal institutions, my reference is to the intellect, understanding, compassion and overall futures destined for offenders as well as those Officers that house themselves within the facility. Either end of the spectrum has to struggle to find rehabilitation, after their sentence/employment has expired.
I speak from a 1 bunk, 6 by 8 cell. Not as someone charged with a crime, but as an extensively-educated, highly-skilled, African-American woman that spent nearly 6 years in the system, in various roles. I watched people endure abuse and were emotionally slaughtered as they departed the facility in a more decreased state of stability than when they dotted the door. Education proved scarce. Addictions remained. Mental capabilities a mere delapidating aspect. This was the case with BOTH groups of people!!! We had our death sentence and fought hard to keep the reaper away. There were just no resources or avenues that were afforded to us.
The decomposition of lives was nothing that those with authority or an increased level of earning beyond first-line batted an eye at. Lunch dates and board meetings that rendered nothing more than yet another meeting were constant and immensely ineffective. Progression? Never. Any real dedication to the betterment and survival of others? Humorous. Death was seemingly the goal. Mourning was not ever allowed. It was said to just continue to “push forward”. “Keep your head down and work” and “C.Y.A”. In my years of service, I cannot remember a time where I was not grieving. I found myself in that same pool of blood that many have, praying for someone to save me… but knives come in sets of multiples.
This is an everyday, everywhere loss! When you drive in your car and look to your left, that IS a jail. There ARE certainly horrible individuals residing there, but I encourage you to say a little prayer.