Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Story of the Six-Man cell-Shane-O (Part 2)

Shane is a barrel-chested, big armed Seattle Seahawks fanatic that carries himself with a quiet assurance and careful confidence. He's the kind of person who understands weakness in character because he' failed in life enough times to admit his own, yet he is very unforgiving of the weakness so prevalent in here: that of acting tough and then backing down when someone calls the bluff. Shane laughs quietly and there is always the atmosphere of analysis with his humor. He won't laugh if something isn't funny, and he won't react if he finds himself the butt of a joke. His thick skin is almost disconcerting. It empowers him with time to put his patient response together and, in the event that no response is forthcoming, he appears to humbly state that the victor needn't be a last word freak. Nobody disrespects Shane , and for perfect reasoning: his reputation promises that a response could be violent, if necessary. Of course, humility never broadcast's that fact. Shane had just arrived to FCI Florence, a medium facility, from across the street at the United States Penitentiary High (USP) and was slowly adjusting to the difference in behaviors and habits between FCI inmates and those living in USP's across the country. The difference were stark and, already painfully, proudly withstood. Men in USP's have less to lose, being at the highest security level of general population that Federal prisons provide and, therefor, behave like men who are at the end of the line. MSNBC never shows the Federal USP's and their insanity because, to do so, the American taxpayer would ask "Where the F**k is my money being spent?!" In USP's we drink wine, make moonshine, shoot heroin, and kill one another. We have thicker skin because thin skin mean petty altercations between individuals and groups on a daily basis; however, they cannot tolerate disrespects that expose any weakness related to fear.

FCI medium inmates, on the other hand, are closer to the privileges of visits, education, "tranquility", weight rooms and good time. We want to keep these things, which is natural for anyone who enjoys them for any length of time. The biggest contrast in the USP and FCI personalities is that higher security prisons breed and reinforce an understanding that words and actions carry consequences. When someone crosses a line they get stabbed or beat down, and that instills a sense of careful respect. It creates the Hardier inmate. The FCI inmate has a less awareness of the minimal standards for which he can be held accountable because at all times there dangles a carrot of privilege's before everyone's nose. Almost anything can be over looked, Child molesters walk the yard unmolested; an almost unconscious level of disrespect prevails through individuals and entire races until hardier USP inmate's are overcome with lethargy of defeated men. This FCI mentality isn't always a bad thing, no. Somehow the tolerance and frustration that comes with bearing so much indiscretion and disrespect prepares people for the obstacles they'll face on the street, but that's less a testament to the rehabilitative efforts of prison than to the fading principles of society. This isn't the story about that, though. This is the story about the herdier and the hardier in a six-man cell, and how easy it is for some to get along while so difficult for others in the same space....

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