Saturday, December 20, 2008

SHU-by Dooby Do

The SHU is sorta like solitary confinement. It's not for the worst of the worst (as in never get OUT of prison);it's for inmates who just don;t play well with others.

SHU inmates spend 23 hours a day in their cells, usually alone because they can't play nice with a cellie. I have about 50 of them on my caseload and about 10 of them actually are active and doing any work.

The other 40? They write every day and want books or batteries or pencils or televisions but can't manage to get work finished and sent in. Part of it is because they are only using their enrollment to get whatever they think I'm handing out. Part of it is because they are just "stuck on stupid" and afraid that maybe they are stupid and I'll find out.

Funny how that works--a guy doesn;t mind if I think he's a stone killer or a pedophile or uses his own bodily fluids to write on his cell walls but he very much minds that I find out that he can't read. For some reason, if their math skills are bad, that's okay. Reading is a point of pride.

I have one SHU-by who generate more paperwork than all of the rest of my students put together. He reminds me of a toddler who wants some candy and is throwing a bigger and bigger tantrum in his attempt to get that candy. This SHU-by wants a television. He claims that he has to have one to do his school work. (He doesn't.)He writes almost every day--begging. pleading, threatening, cajoling. Trying to be lawyer-like. It doesn;t make any difference because I DON'T HAVE ANY TELEVISIONS.

He 602'd me (inmate complaint) because he has to have a television to do his work. (No, he doesn't.) Then he 602'd me because he can't do his work without a television.
Another 602-he's requested a television from me and I refuse to answer, so there is nothing he can do except write a 602. (Evidently, NO doesn't count as an answer.)

I get dozens of notes every day. Usually, some guy wants to get tested ("I done been here for eight years and I need a TABBY test." No, you don't. You took that test when you entered prison. I don't have time to retest you just because you feel like it.)Occasionally, he wants something else...a computer, a book, a cellphone, some paper, envelopes, a television. I don't have any of that stuff. But I guess it
doesn't hurt to ask.

I might have a TV keistered and want to sit down.


Anonymous said...

C'mon, you heartless cow, stop hogging the TVs. Everyone knows how vital TVs are for a decent edumacation.

PERBS said...

Well, isn't that what you get paid the big bucks for?