Community Corrections Part 5

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

At long last part 5 is out. Sorry for the long delay.

Community Corrections Part 5

 

There is an old saying called "Hindsight is 20/20."  Or as my Dad puts it "If my foresight was as good as my hindsight I'd be a much better sight to see."  The bottom line is that if something sounds too good to be true it usually is, and that pretty much sums up Halfway House #2. 

 

After my interview I requested and Kay gave me a facility tour, and I got to meet a lot of the staff.  They seemed to be very nice.  Because I was required to give three full business weeks' notice (with an extra day jammed in, one last miserable PM shift) it had been nearly a month between the day I interviewed and the day I physically started working there.  During that time Ms. M (Kay's boss) fired two other Techs named Pat and Ray.  She also drove her other Tech II named Jessica to quit without giving notice.  I'd heard Jessica just said "I can't take it anymore!" and just walked out with no notice.  Shortly after I got hired she fired a Tech named Valerie.  I wasn't too worried because Kay was to be my immediate supervisor, and she would never do me wrong. 

 

My initial schedule was to work the PM shift Tues-Thurs 3PM-11PM, have Friday off then work the graveyard from 11PM to 7 AM on Saturdays and Sundays.  It was great being back on the graves for the weekends, and it made getting to church much easier.  I was primarily working with Kay, as well as Mike, Jesse and Steve, all of whom were great co-workers.  We pretty much got along fine. 

 

One of the many troubles of Halfway House #2 is that the inmates (called residents or clients) were so badly spoiled it was pathetic.  They would act like they were entitled to things and expect you to work for them.  They'd actually go behind your back, over your head, and complain to Ms. M.  Ms. M would almost always take their sides and yell and scream at you.  I'd later discovered the reasons for her actions. 

 

The book "Games Criminals Play" is one of my favorites, particularly the way that inmates set up and manipulate staff.  One of them had his people do a slop job of cleaning so the officer wouldn't pass inspection.  After the sergeant yelled at the officer (in front of a group of inmates) then left the inmate came over to him and said "That ain't right!  You didn't have that coming to you.  You're the ONLY one who cares about us and treats us fairly.  And I'm gonna do what I can for you."  To make a long story shorter the correction officer became dependent on the inmate to keep the area clean to protect him from his boss.  Then the demands started. 

 

Ironically nearly fifty years later the same kind of thing was still going on.  When Corporate does facility inspections they are brutal, literally looking for things that are wrong.  I read in the memo book (only realizing later that they were withholding information) that if a facility failed inspection twice in a row the Tech III/Security Supervisor would be fired.  Ms. M was the Tech III at the facility.  And if the facility failed three times in a row the Program Director (Ms. M's boss) would be fired.  Preparing for inspection was a mess, involving the inmates having to clean everything and anything.  I ended up having to take my leatherman tool and a ladder and change all the lightbulbs in all the exit signs, just so there would be no risk of one of them going out during inspection.  It was like Anxiety times Fifty.  Ironically my facility was the only one out of the five that passed inspection.

 

You'd think that things would get better after that, and for a little while they did.  Then everything exploded.  I was working the PM shift with Kay when Ms. M called.  She had Kay on the phone for over an hour yelling and screaming at her, threatening to come into work and send Kay home suspended.  It finally got to the point that Kay ended up having to take the call outside on her cell phone, then go up to a case managers' office and let the case manager hear how Ms. M was talking to her.  When Kay finally got off the phone she was mad as all hell, and I can't blame her.  Ms. M was falsely accusing her of something she had nothing to do with.  Kay was very upset, told me she was going to quit, and appologized for dragging me into the mess that was Halfway House #2.  I suggested that she just transfer to one of the other facilities, and see if she could take me with her.  That's when Kay told me Halfway House #2's Dirty Little Secret.  As a Tech III/Security Supervisor Ms. M had the power to block people's transfers, and she'd use it.  People were left with no choice but to take it, quit, or be fired.  The next day Kay and I worked the PM shift.  Kay saw Ms. M talking to one of the major bosses from Corporate.  She finished her shift, went home, called the office and quit over the phone.  I was very upset with this, as Kay and I were good friends and I enjoyed working with her.  And I lost what little respect I'd had for Ms. M. 

 

If you think things can't get any worse at Halfway House #2, please feel free to turn the page....

 

To be continued.....

 

 

 


Submitted: January 08, 2015

© Copyright 2021 Joseph Mark. All rights reserved.

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Comments

B Douglas Slack

Great background work. If it wasn't for that, some events to come might not make sense. Mrs. M sounds like a severe control freak.

Thu, January 8th, 2015 6:43pm

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One of the toughest parts of this book is keeping things in context, so the reader understands what is going on. Thanks for reading!

Sun, January 11th, 2015 12:14am

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