It is perhaps a myth if not a product of paranoia to believe that prisoners amass firearms to have a killing spree if not a means to attack government forces guarding the gates of the prison facility. If that is the persuasion then those who can buy high-powered firearms could have engaged government forces at the start so that no arrest or incarceration would be conducted on them.

Actually, it is more psychology than meets the eye.

When the influx of moneyed inmates was introduced to the slammer, (and they are the so called crime lords—drug lords, KFR lords, gambling lords, etc which of late the prison community had that situation) they were instantly shocked and petrified at the onset of admission.

For a few days of kowtowing with fellow inmates and eventually as they gained rapport with the fearful environment, they began to express their openness to the prison community to be exploited if only to get a peace of mind. They would introduce wads if not bundles of money, hard currency in the community. Since cash is not declared contraband, moneyed inmates have the cold resources to buy protection, arm their protectors and even pay off those who would stand in their way.

Imprisonment is one period when the mind of an inmate is tested for its tenacity to withstand stress and pressure. The presence of economically deprived people in their midst is already stress and pressure in capital letters. The moneyed inmates can easily be exterminated at a moment’s notice due to nervousness if not secured properly. Since government does not see them as a different category in the prison community, their survival is blurred in the process. And they would have to rely on their shrewdness or creativity if only to come out of the facility in due time still whole and sane.

The moneyed inmates feared the economically deprived inmates. And so, the moneyed inmates would seek solace and protection from tough groups in the area even promising to underwrite the cost of arming the group. That is when an assortment of firearms would be smuggled into the facility. Almost completely hidden from the view of guards and prison administration although common knowledge, and made that way, in the prison community, firearms of varied caliber and potency are maintained.

This is a psychological means of moneyed inmates to level the  playing field amidst a plethora of economically deprived inmates.

Prison administration must as a rule, if need be, should frisk and shake down the prison community regularly.  Install detectors at all the gates, rotate gate guards regularly, strengthen perimeter defences, promote roving patrol in the area, so on and so forth.    If possible, conduct a saturation drive every shift or on a weekly basis, if not by the hour. And in the process, confiscate a cache of firearms and nip a build-up of deadly weapons kept somewhere. And prison authorities have always the means to detect it. The economically deprived inmates, if not a beneficiary of generosity, would just tip off their favorite guards in the area so that a raid can be directed.

And almost obligingly, inmates would surrender the impounded weapons in their possession without any tinge of protestation.

And the cycle continues. Firearms are smuggled in and in due time, confiscated. What is telegraphed there are that the moneyed inmates have the capability of arming anyone and they can push them to subdue anybody who dare molest, annoy or pester them in the facility. It is actually a class of inmates versus another class. And almost like a statement, economically deprived inmates would understand their predicament and would rather respect their counter part to usher in peace and collaboration.

In prison, the population is almost homogenous. Almost all have committed crimes and are serving time for it. It is not a place composed of saints. Penance is still alien to the majority unless they have found their faith. As it were, it is more of a cat and mouse situation every second of the day. And that is the dynamics of life in the prison community.

It is not outrageous therefore to discover and confiscate contrabands in their midst. Some prisoners are called criminals not for nothing. What is shocking is to discover inside the prison cell a printing press for the Bible!

It has been said in media by an editor that when a dog has bitten man, it is not worthy of bulletin. But if man has bitten a dog, then that is news.


About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on November 6, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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