Archive for the ‘Prisons and Jails’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Howdy Neighbor: When a High-Risk Violent Sexual Predator Moves Next Door

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Fraisure Earl Smith was released from custody this week after serving time for assault with intent to commit rape. Smith, now 51, committed five sexual assaults over a span of 15 years.

In 2007, Smith was convicted for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl (Smith claims he’s not a pedophile, but I’m betting he’d have a hard time convincing the mother of the 17-year-old girl that his claim is just). This, the latest case, was the one that finally landed him in a California state prison. And, as a 1996 law provided, Smith was eventually transferred to Coalinga State Hospital for followup care and treatment prior to his release back into society.

Smith’s timetable of repeat offenses—a violent sexual assault every five years during a period of fifteen years, and these are the one’s known to law enforcement—is a strong indicator of serial behavior. In other words, reoffending is definitely an option on his table, and violence and sexual assault are both in his arsenal. Needless to say, this man is dangerous. Although, Smith says he’s not. “I am not presently aroused by deviant sexual fantasies or urges….” Smith wrote in a recent declaration.

As Smith’s release date drew near (he’s now been legally deemed safe for release), officials from Liberty Healthcare, a company hired by the state to handle sex predator releases, agreed to find suitable housing for him. After an exhaustive search for housing in cities in four counties, courts and other officials were unable to secure a permanent residence for Smith. Locations were limited since sexual offenders are not permitted to live near schools, day care facilities, or other places where children may frequent. In all, 4,108 placement possibilities were looked at, but for one reason or another, none were approved.

The latest single family home that was approved but later rejected due to the outrage of nearby residents, was a house with a pool in a well-to-do neighborhood. By the way, since Smith is still under supervision of county and state authorities, his housing costs are covered by taxpayers. The monthly rent on the above-mentioned home was $3,000 per month. But, citizens banded together and forced the courts to reconsider. Now, however, without a home for Smith to, well, call home, he has been released from the mental health facility as a transient and will reside in a local Motel 6, still at taxpayer expense. Rules/law requires that he move every 5 days.

Smith is currently living in a motel where guests and their children stay when passing through the area. And those children, wives, and mothers will walk the hallways and parking lot, and they’ll wear their bathing suits while enjoying the hotel pool. All this while Fraisure Smith, a violent sexual predator, possibly watches and waits to be aroused by, in his own words, “deviant sexual fantasies or urges.”

I know, Smith and other violent sexual predators have to live somewhere when they’re released, but my past experiences with these guys tells me to keep a watchful eye on them. Sorry if this offends anyone, but that’s the way it is. Believe me, I’ve seen what can happen and it’s horrible.

Things you should know about sexual predators.

1. Grooming – Predators often “groom” children and other potential victims in order to gain their trust, hoping for access to alone time with them.

2. Predators also groom others, not just their intended victims. The purpose of this type of grooming is to “prove” they are not a risk. For example, see Smith’s quote above about no longer having urges or fantasies. This is a classic sign of grooming.

3. Signs of grooming

a) the adult shows an exaggerated interest in a child.

b) an adult buys gifts for a child.

c) the adult finds ways to be alone with a child.

d) an adult displays a fixation on a particular child.

e) the adult “accidentally” walks in a child when they’re bathing, using the restroom, or changing.

f) tickling

g) wrestling with children

h) playing “doctor”

i) taking photos of children, especially when they’re in various stages of undress or wearing swim suits, dance costumes, etc.

j) lots of hugging, kissing, and touching.

 

What to do when a sexual offender moves into your neighborhood?

Here’s a handy Tip Sheet from Stop It Now!

 

What are the warnings signs of possible sexual abuse in children?

Again we turn to Stop It Now! for a Tip Sheet.

 

Warning Signs That Might Suggest Someone Is Sexually Abusing a Child

To see the list of warning signs, please click here.

So, for now Fraisure Smith is a guest of a California Motel 6 hotel. Next week, well who knows. Maybe he or another just like him will be your new neighbor. Please be mindful of the activities and whereabouts of your children. You never know…

 UPDATE!

Ironically, this announcement came a few hours after I published this article. What a coincidence…or was it?

From KRON news in San Francisco.

“After obtaining further details from Motel 6, it appears that Motel 6 did not know that they had rented a room to Mr. Smith, the recently released sexually violent predator. Once they confirmed that he was staying there, they acted immediately to evict him,” Vallejo City Manager Daniel E. Keen said.

“Details provided by Motel 6 confirm that Liberty Healthcare Corporation, the contractor hired by the State to provide services to Smith, concealed Mr. Smith’s identity in order to obtain two rooms at the motel,” Vallejo police Cpt. John Whitney said in a press release.

Two Liberty employees gave their names and did not disclose the identity of Smith, police said.

Smith has been placed on the no-rent list.

PostHeaderIcon Total Chaos: 6,000 Drug Offenders Released at Once

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Chaos because 6,000 non-violent drug offenders were released at once from federal prisons? Well, that’s probably a bit extreme considering over 10,000 inmates are already being released back into society each month. That’s over 650,000 former offenders each year who return to walk and talk and work and mingle among us. The horror of it all, right?

Some of that horror is totally justified, and how so you ask? For starters, nearly two-thirds of of those 650,000 former prisoners are rearrested within three years of their release. I know, chances of finding jobs, housing, and education for those folks are slim or none. Still, according to Justice Department stats, 4,000 of the 6,000 newly released federal inmates will most likely wind up back in prison. By the way, this 6,000 is in addition to the 69 men and women granted clemency by the president.

But, 6,000 is not the final total. The Sentencing Commission estimates a second round of releases to take place in the fall of 2016 will set free nearly 9,000 additional federal prisoners.

Police officials are extremely concerned, and most likely at least some of their fears are justified. There are no real programs in place to handle the sudden release of so many prisoners. There’s a significant lack of housing opportunities, job training, and a near absence of medical treatment, including mental health care and access to needed medications. Basically, there is no real safety net in place to catch these people when they fall, and the odds are so heavily stacked against convicted felons that a tumble for most is practically inevitible.

The additional number of inmates is expected to further burden strained probation departments. Officers who supervise the inmates on probation can barely handle the caseloads that are already dumped in their laps by the handfuls (prisoners are typically released under the supervision of a probation officer unless a court order states otherwise). Likewise, police officers will bear the brunt of dealing with those who choose to return to a criminal lifestyle. Add these new crimes and criminals to those already on the streets and, well, there’s just not enough officers to go around. And that’s the concern of many chiefs and sheriffs.

Let’s revisit the opening line of this article. Will this mass release of prisoners cause chaos in our streets? It’s doubtful that the average citizen will notice the effects. Well, unless they happen to be on the receiving end of the B&E’s, robberies, car thefts, etc. committed by the newly-released as they embark on their journeys back through the current catch and release system.

But chaos? Honestly, I can’t imagine things will be any different than what we’re already seeing on the evening news and across various social media sources. If that’s chaos, then it is what it is and will be what it will be. Besides, the situation—prison overcrowding, mass releases, mandatory minimums, etc.—should certainly be of more concern to citizens than, well, #It’sJustACup. But that’s just my opinion, something I rarely offer on this site.

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Investigator G. Nome decides that current clues are not related to the true meaning of Christmas, so he moves on.

 

PostHeaderIcon Police and the Mentally Ill: He’s Off His Meds and I Need Help!

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In more than half of all instances when a mentally ill person commits a violent crime, the victim is a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance of the mentally ill suspect. And, those family member/victims have no choice, usually, but to call the police for help. Unfortunately, until recently police received very little training when it came to dealing with the mentally ill. In many areas that sort of training is still minimal, if any.

Police officers, especially those working in patrol, are jacks and jills of all trades. They’re expected to quell disturbances, disarm those who intend to harm or kill others, defend the lives and property of citizens, enforce traffic laws, serve arrest warrants, investigate crimes, and much, much more. And they receive a certain amount of basic training that’s required to do all of the above. Of course, more intensive training opportunities are available, if they have the time and the department can spare them from their scheduled duty.

Uniformed officers respond to numerous calls during their 8-12 hours shifts, and these calls range from barking dog complaints to murder and everything you can imagine in between—domestic troubles, bad checks, fights, stabbings, shots-fired, B&E, trespassing, shoplifting, robbery, car crashes, lost children, abduction, arson, assault, theft, drunk driving and, well, you name it and they’ve responded to it…over and over, time after time.

Each call, no matter how it’s labeled, is different. The people are rarely the same as those they encountered on similar calls (with the exception of the repeat “customers”), settings vary, weather differs, and the actions of witnesses and suspects are often unfamiliar or uncommon. In other words, patrol officers never know what to expect when they arrive on-scene. Even a repeat offender could act differently each time he interacts with law enforcement. Drugs and alcohol are factors that definitely come into play in many of these situations.

Add all of these uncertainties to an encounter with a mentally ill person who decides to attack someone, and the situation takes on an entirely new perspective. Violence can escalate in the blink of an eye, even during encounters with people who are healthy in both mind and body, and officers are used to dealing with that sort of instant violence. They do what they have to do to keep people safe and to make an arrest, but they do not possess the psychic ability of being able to instantly diagnose mental illnesses.

The Police Chief magazine reports that 7-10% of all police encounters involve someone with a mental illness.

Even when officers do recognize that someone is mentally ill their options for helping that person at that precise moment are slim. In fact, their alternatives when responding to a call where an act of violence was committed by a person with a mental illness are basically to either let the suspect go or arrest them and take them to jail. Obviously, like the call I once responded to where a mentally ill man hacked and chopped his sister-in-law with an ax because she wouldn’t stop cleaning the house long enough to go to the store to buy him a pack of cigarettes, cannot be allowed to go free. Nor can police turn loose a suspect who attacks or shoots at them.

Officers often have to use force when arresting mentally ill subjects and doing so increases the risk of injury to both the officer and the suspect. But they simply cannot stand there idle while the mentally ill person continues to harm himself and/or others.

Responding officers are obviously not trained psychologists or psychiatrists, therefore an on the spot diagnosis is not available. Neither is the option of taking someone who’s accused of a violent crime straight from the street to a mental institution. So jail it is. Keep in mind, too, that not all mental illnesses are easily recognizable in the few minutes or seconds officers have when assessing and reacting to various situations.

To help with the problems associated with police response to incidents involving mentally ill persons, agencies are now employing new tactics, such as forming crisis intervention teams consisting of specially-trained officers who can facilitate emergency mental health assessments along with transportation to a mental health treatment facility, if that’s an option. Remember, though, that many treatment facilities will not accept those who have pending charges for violent offenses, and that leaves those individuals to make their way through jail, court proceedings, and finally prison.

In 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimated there were 705,600 mentally ill people in state prisons, 78,800 in federal prison, and 479,900 in local jails.

I’ve seen first-hand what the mentally ill population looks like in state, federal, and local facilities, and it’s not a pretty sight. Have you watched the hit TV show The Walking Dead? Well, that’s a fine example of what evening pill call looks like at a low custody federal prison, where highly-medicated prisoners stand in long lines outside the medical department waiting to receive their next dose of zombie-inducing medications.

Keeping these inmates “doped-up” and “calmed-down” until their release back into society where they’ll no longer have access to those medicines is indeed the norm. And, without a means of generating income (it’s difficult enough for a former inmate who’s healthy to find a job and housing) these recently released felons will go without their much-needed medication (some become addicts while in prison), and the process begins once again.

“Nine-one-one, do you have an emergency?”

“Yes, my son just got out of prison and he’s trying to kill me with a butcher knife. He’s off his meds and he’s acting all crazy. Help me, please!”

And so it goes.

*By the way, the mentally ill man I mentioned above, the one who hacked his sister-in-law with an ax, was released from prison a short time prior to the incident and no longer had access to the medications he’d received while incarcerated. It was only a few days after his release when he brutally attacked the woman, completely chopping off her right hand and repeatedly hacked at her head and back until small bone fragments and blood and spatter painted the floor and nearby walls, lamps, and furniture. Her three small children were in the room at the time and witnessed the violent and bloody attack. They were hiding under the bed, five- or six-feet away from their mother’s body, when I arrived. They, too, were covered from head to toe with smears and splatters of, well, you know.

 

PostHeaderIcon Bob Barker: Reducing Recidivism One Mustard Packet At a Time

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Prisons and jails in this country are a big business. A huge business, actually. In fact, well over 2 million people are currently incarcerated in the 5,000 prisons and jails across the U.S.. Obviously, 2 million people is a huge number of folks who must eat, wear clothing of some type, use hygiene products, etc., and those same 2 million people are unable to run out to the nearest mall or restaurant when a need arises. Besides, it’s the government’s responsibility to see to it that an inmate’s basic needs are met. Therefore, a plethora of businesses cater specifically to the prison industry.

For example, there are numerous companies specializing in inmate telephone equipment, ID cards and wristbands, commissary items, food service, condiments (mustard, ketchup, etc.), clothing, bedding, vehicles, security equipment, ATM kiosks (for visitors who wish to deposit funds to an inmate’s account), laundry equipment and supplies, and much, much more. Soooo much more.

The Bob Barker Company is a large well-known company that manufactures and/or sells products to the corrections industry. Items carried and sold include, for example, bedding, clothing, personal hygiene supplies, furniture, electronics (see-through TV’s, radios, watches, etc.), janitorial supplies, shoes, and suicide prevention items—protective helmets, jumpsuits and smocks, and more. They also sell board games, e-cigarettes, and electronic readers preloaded with approved books. Their list of goods and items is extremely long.

Bob Barker Company is a huge, extremely successful business that depends solely upon incarcerated men and women for its income. However, there’s a unique twist to this particular company’s business plan. They run a nonprofit, the BBC Foundation, that’s in place solely to help reduce recidivism. Yes, they actually try their best to prevent prisoners, the very people whom they depend upon to generate income, from returning to a life of incarceration.

Each year, the Bob Barker Company sets aside 10% of their profits to help support two commitments—local nonprofits and church ministries in their communities, and the BBC Foundation. They’ve set aside a $5 million endowment to help reach their support goals. In addition, BBC has awarded over $1 million to community-based projects.

Recidivism

Over 9.25 million people are incarcerated throughout the world, a number that’s approximately equal to the population of the state of North Carolina. The U.S. has nearly 25% of the world’s prison population despite having only 5% of the world’s population. In other words, prison is a big business in the U.S.

In 1970, the entire U.S. prison population was 338,000. It is currently over 2.3 million.

The likelihood of Americans landing in prison?

Men – 1 in 9

Women – 1 in 56

The United States currently has over 7 million people under some form of correctional supervision. Of the 7 million…

21% are in prison

10% are in jail

12% on parole

56% on probation

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In 2011, one in every 107 U.S. adult citizens was incarcerated in prison or jail. A staggering 1 in every 34 adults were on probation or parole or other form of correctional supervision.

50% of those people housed in jails have not yet been convicted of a crime.

The U.S. spends approximately $48.5 billion per year on corrections. That figure equals to somewhere around $5.5 million per hour or, $92,000 per minute.

60% of all released inmates return within 3 years. Why? Well, I think we should look at some of the factors that may play a role in their lives of crime. First…

1. 56% of all inmates grew up in a single parent home (or guardian).

2. 1 in 9 of all inmates has lived in a foster home.

3. As children, many were physically or sexually abused.

4. Approximately 20% are illiterate. 40% are functionally illiterate.

5. 40% do not have a high school diploma or GED. 17% have an 8th grade education or less. Actually, the average inmate has a 10th grade education, yet only 3% of the prison population is offered an opportunity to  attend educational classes.

6. A whopping 60% of all inmates report they were using drugs at the time of their arrest. 36% say the same about alcohol use at the time of their arrest. 74% say they were using either or both at the time of their arrest.

*Those of you who have a copy of my book on police procedure may recall the title of chapter 11, Drugs, Not Money, Are the Root of All Evil.

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7. 16% of all prisoners have a significant mental illness. 40% have mental problems.

8. Over 50% were on probation or parole at the time of arrest.

9. 44% have served time in the past.

10. 55% of incarcerated males have minor children at home. 65% of incarcerated women have minor children at home.

11. Children with incarcerated parents are 5 times more likely to be arrested/incarcerated.

12. 96% of all prisoners will someday be released back into society.

The Bob Barker Foundation’s mission (per the company website) is to develop and support programs that help incarcerated individuals successfully reenter society and stay out for life.

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It’s extremely difficult for former prisoners to become productive members of society. They’re branded for life with a record that follows them forever, and a criminal record will absolutely prevent most of them from securing decent employment. Sure, some will never change no matter how many programs are in place to help them. But, there are others who simply made a mistake, for whatever reason, and would never, ever do anything that would land them back in prison. However, their choices are slim. There are no second chances. Their “debt to society” is never repaid.

In some areas, convicted felons may NOT, work as movers or barbers, or hold public office. Felons may not hold certain licenses, such as a license to work as an electrician. Public housing is not available to them, nor are education grants/loans available for those convicted of most drug crimes.

So, yeah, avoiding a return trip to prison is a tough hurdle to overcome. Perhaps, having a goal to work toward, such as erasing the record of one-time offenders (for non-violent offenses) after ten years of squeaky clean behavior and contributing to the community, would go a long way toward reducing recidivism.

After all, many people are in jail or have criminal records because they were caught and arrested for doing the exact same things our current president admitted to doing (drug use) but was never caught by authorities. His message… I’m the president of the U.S. and I’ve broken the law several times, but didn’t get caught so I’m good to go. You, though, were nabbed doing the same thing so you now can never hold public office or work as a barber (even though the felon trained and worked as a barber while serving time in prison). And, to continue to punish you for the rest of your life (for something he, too, did and openly discusses), we’re not going to allow you to get an education or to have a place to live.

#everybodydeservesasecondchance

*Resources – Bob Barker Company and Bureau of Justice Statistics.

*This post is not an endorsement for Bob Barker Company or its affiliates. 

PostHeaderIcon Road Trip: Visiting Jail Inmates

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Many of you will be spending this weekend at the beach or at the mall. Maybe you’ll be doing yard work, or simply relaxing while watching TV or reading a book. However, not everyone is enjoying the sun and sand or quiet time. Instead, there are thousands upon thousands of people who’re on the road, traveling to the various jails and prisons across the country in order to visit a loved one or close friend who’s incarcerated.

Sometimes, these weekend jaunts to see inmates are long-distance trips—four or five hours or more—one way—and they often require a stay at a hotel, meals on the road, a missed day at work, and a number of other costly inconveniences.

A visit to a jail, or prison, can be a stressful experience. It’s certainly not as simple as going to a friend’s home to sit on a couch for a couple of hours, laughing and joking about the good old days. Not at all.

So what’s it really like to visit a jail inmate? Here’s a short video that explains the visiting process and procedure at the Chatham County jail in Savannah, Georgia.

*Remember, no two jails or prisons operate in the same manner. Rules and regulations vary greatly. The video is merely an example of how one sheriff chooses to run his jail. However, the goals are all the same…security.

PostHeaderIcon Inmate J.L. Bird: Con Air and Live Strip Shows for Prisoners

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Inmate J.L. Bird had never heard of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), let alone be a part of their mobile inventory. And after experiencing it first-hand, well, he didn’t care if he never heard of it again…not ever.

He’d been traveling with JPATS for three days and already he was sick of it. He was also pretty darn sick of the U.S. Marshals who watched his every move, including during bathroom breaks. He was weary of flying a zig-zagged pattern across the U.S., landing to either drop off or pick up inmates at what seemed like every remote airfield in the country.

Then came the never-ending end of the day van rides to county jails, the holdover facilities located in hick towns that were surely too small and too backward to be considered for the filming of Deliverance. In fact, Bird was quite sure that most of their holdover locations were in towns with names recognized only by loyal viewers of Hee Haw—places like Bumpass and Doodlum, Va., and Talking Rock, Ga., the little honey hole in Pickens County nestled between Ellijay and Jasper. Yeah, those fine metropolises.

Bird did learn that in exchange for housing federal prisoners the U.S. government pays county sheriffs $70, or so, per day per federal inmate held. That’s a pretty sweet deal for merely furnishing a blanket on a concrete floor, a couple of boiled eggs, and maybe a dry sandwich made from stale bread and greenish-tan bologna.

He also learned that deputy sheriff’s didn’t give a rat’s patootie about federal prisoners, and that they pretty-much ignored him and the others. In fact, many of the star-wearing deputies mistreated the federal prisoners, forcing them to sleep on the floor in dirty, unused cells. Bird and his crew were the last to be fed, receiving leftovers, and they were the last to see soap and water. Therefore, they often went several days without bathing, deodorant, or brushing their teeth. And that really made for a sweet-smelling ride in the back of hot vans, and airplanes that recycle cabin air.

But, after several unpleasant layovers in county jails, the JPATS jet finally touched down at Will Rogers airport in Oklahoma City. A real airport with real people scurrying about, tending to whatever duties are assigned to airport workers. Bird was ecstatic. He was overjoyed at the thought of seeing honest-to-God people other than the unwashed pack he’d been traveling with for the past several days.

FTC Oklahoma. The jetway is pictured at the top of the image.

The JPATS jet taxied to the far west corner of the airport, though, bypassing the regular terminals, and pulled alongside a private jetway leading to a brick building that stood alone on the airport property. This was the Federal Transport Center.

The FTC Oklahoma City is the hub for JPATS air transport. It’s the facility where many federal inmates are housed until they’re assigned to a permanent prison. It’s also where prisoners are housed while in transit to new prisons, court, etc. Bird finally learned he was on his way to a hearing at the federal court in Richmond, Va.

“Absolutely no talking!” shouted the marshal who’d stepped inside from the jetway. He rubbed his stubby fingers across his buzz-cut. “Not a sound unless one of us asks you a question. You’ll stand perfectly still until a marshal or other officer gives you a command. Do not, and I repeat, do not let your ankle chains mar the floors in the hallway. Okay, let’s go. Single file. In the jetway, now!”

Unfortunately, for Bird, he’d see not a single civilian. The jetway led directly into the prison facility. However, he was pleasantly surprised at how clean and fresh it was inside. The floors were highly polished and there wasn’t a single blemish on the stark white walls. Overheard fluorescent fixtures lit the long hallway like a night game in Fenway Park.

Bird and his fellow travelers made their way along the wall (following a red line painted on the floor) until they reached three BOP officers who were busy removing handcuffs, waist chains, and leg irons. Bird was elated when the hardware was removed from his ankles. Wearing the steel cuffs daily for a week had rubbed the thin skin there until it was raw and extremely sore.

To him, it was all overkill, especially since his arrest and conviction was for possessing a small amount of cocaine—$100 worth. A first offense. No violence. No weapons. And no resisting arrest. He’d even confessed and claimed ownership of the drug and admitted his guilt. He was certain, as was his attorney, that he’d receive no more than probation and fines. However, the federal judge saw fit to sentence Bird to just over three years in federal prison…for a first offense of possessing an amount of cocaine that would barely overfill a tablespoon.

After the chain removal came a brief orientation, a chat with a psychologist, a quick consult with a counselor, and then to their assigned housing units. Bird met his unit officer who assigned him to a cell. Again, Bird was pleased. His cell was a spotlessly clean room complete with a soft mattress, soft pillow, a large window, and a real door. No bars!

Bird was also ecstatic when he heard he could shower whenever he liked and as many times as he liked. The facility even provided the inmates with soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and more. And, within minutes of his arrival, kitchen workers delivered a hot meal to the unit for those who’d been traveling all day. The food was absolutely delicious. Real bone-in chicken. The fare was quite unlike the unidentifiable ground goopy glop he’d been used to eating back at the prison. Not to mention the maggot-gagging cuisine served at some of the county jails he’d visited along the trip.

The unit was quiet. The inmates seemed pleasant (he’d discovered that he’d been assigned to a low security unit). And the guard was a guy who addressed the inmates either by their last names or by calling them “sir.” As in, “Thank you, Sir.” “Sir, when you get a minute would you please stop by my desk.” The prisoners did the same in return. There was no shortage of respect.

It was late in the day when the JPATS jet touched down in Oklahoma, so it wasn’t long before the sun set. Bird noticed that as soon as it was dark outside, all the cells/rooms on his side of the unit also went dark. Not a single light on in either of them. The cells across the day-room, opposite his, were all brightly lit. He also noticed that most of the inmates had suddenly disappeared into the darkened cells, and it was not yet time for lockdown. Curious, he asked one of the few remaining prisoners, a slack-jawed, flamboyantly gay guy who’d somehow managed to paint his fingernails fire engine red, about the strange occurrence.

“”It’s showtime,” he said. “Not my cup of tea, though…if you know what I mean.” He winked at Bird, but Bird didn’t have a clue what he meant, and his confused expression prompted the prison sweetie to say, “Go have a look. You’ll see.”

So Bird opened the door to his cell and found a gaggle of prisoners gathered at the narrow window, looking across to an adjacent wing. Bird quickly saw the attraction. The next unit over, with windows perfectly aligned with those in Bird’s unit, was the unit that housed female prisoners. Bird also noticed that while the lights were off on his side of the unit, the rooms across the way were brightly lit. Bird’s fellow inmates pushed and shoved and practically fought for the best view possible, because…

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…standing, sitting, dancing, jiggling, wiggling, and/or gyrating (among other things) in each window, was a totally nude female prisoner who was hard at work entertaining the male population of the transfer center.

It was indeed showtime in Oklahoma, a long-standing tradition, and each cell had its own private, live peep show that lasted until lights out at 10 p.m.

Bird slept better that night than he had in a long, long time. And he went to sleep feeling a little dirty, even though he’d showered three times in as many hours.

*Inmate J.L. Bird is an imaginary prisoner, however, his journey is one of thousands that take place each and every work day of every week. JPATS is indeed a very busy operation. Oh, the Oklahoma City peep shows are also very real…

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