My hands are full. Check this out. De las Alas (Leviste) case, Rizal Bombing, Cochise-Beebom case, Pasig Tiangge, Maguan case, Venturina case, Venson case, Janjalani of Abu Sayaf case, drug lords and a lot more. All of these cases are represented by individuals who were convicted by the court of law. On their own, and while in the free community, all of them were game changers, leaders in their own right, outstanding in their craft, almost perfect in executing their art. All of them are within my reach. All of them serving time in the facility which I am governing.
I say governing because given these personalities, they will never be managed and administered at all. Their capacity to think is more than the ordinary. They are several steps away from an ordinary thinker. They can predict with uncanny ability. They can influence the whole prison community even if they are quietly confined in a small corner of the facility. They exude wisdom like ancient sages. One would even suspect that they even volunteered to be convicted.
They are lumped, mixed if you may, along with ordinary felons. Their organization reaches far and wide and their advice literally could change the law enforcement landscape. Prisons or yes, imprisonment had little effect on how their minds work. But that does not mean that death penalty could cure it. Incarceration had a telling effect on any person, brilliant or otherwise. Imprisonment brings forth the best in anyone in captivity. It may be fatal to a beast but never to a human being.
An arrogant capo de tuti capo, or the boss of all bosses when detained learns the fine art of diplomacy. He learns at the start that when he intends to flex his muscles, he begins to deprive himself of kindness and attracts unnecessary hostilities. He immediately internalizes humility and in an instant, courtesy becomes his second nature. He exudes a different persona as depicted in the transcript of stenographic notes from the courts. He seems to be different based on his projections on that which is pictured in the court decision. He no longer is the same gangster as he was before. A terrorist would likewise evolve in the course of his custodial exposure.
In the prison camp, he would just be an ordinary number, a common place, one who easily is affected by moods and intrigues. He is as plain as everyone. There is nothing unusual on his being. Furthermore, he would even be less than the average and even act like one who never mattered at all. You cannot even spot him in a thin crowd. And these are the guys whom society dreads and fears the most. Their names, their records, the chronicles of their acts are considered despicable and do not deserve a second chance. In prison, it is a composition of the best and the worst, the finest and the basest.
In a manner of speaking, the worst may as yet to be the best and the basest seems to gravitate towards becoming the finest. Imprisonment has its psychological usage after all. The change, no matter how placid prison administration is, forces an inmate to self-regulate, review reality, reinvent faith and reformulate his outlook.
Prisoners know where they are coming from and there is no need for some external prodding for them to realize this. Let prison, an inmates’ environment, impose its structural integrity and the humanity under its sphere would act accordingly. Fill it to the brim and one expects conflagration. Under this situation, if at all peace is obtained, it called a miracle. It becomes abnormal. Peace is brought forth and is perceived as freak.
That is where headaches come around. Peace should be a result of an effort, a normal one, coming as it were from a well governed facility with concern for a correct accommodation level.