24 Sep 08

Ms. G (by Shane)

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs he financed with burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations.
Shane is the author of the blog
Persevering Prison Pages.

In prison, I dissociate myself from all of the guards and most of the inmates. So much so it’s noticeable. I don’t do it to be rude or because I am one of those diehard Us vs. Them types. I don’t think of all guards as lesser or even not human. They are human just like you and me. Of course, I like some and dislike others. I just don’t show it. In fact, there are a few guards I like better than most of my fellow convicts. Now, I’ll explain why I don’t ever acknowledge guards on the yard.

In the late 90’s, I was an intake clerk in the clothing warehouse. I kept track of clothing issued to newly-arriving inmates on the unit. My supervisor was a female guard in her 30’s. Very attractive and a real sweetheart. Ms. G was a single mother just working to survive. We grew close.

One day I showed up at 7:00 AM for work and Ms. G called me to a quiet part of the warehouse. “Shane, I’ve got a serious problem,” she stated, nearly on the verge of tears.
“What’s up?” I asked her.
“I got a note from somebody today who says I’m going to bring in a package and leave it in my trashcan here. The note was on my car window at home, Shane!” she confided in me, panic in her voice and expression.

I knew exactly who and what this was about as soon as I heard it. The Aryan Brotherhood was planning to use her to get their drugs in. It wasn’t a request either.
“Let me see what’s up. Don’t do anything,” I told her. I knew that she was in deep trouble. If she reported it, she’d put herself and her kid in danger. If she just didn’t do it, same results. I wasn’t sure what I could do, if anything, but I had to do something. An extremely dangerous choice I made.

Arranging a meeting with the yard’s shot-caller turned out to be a real pain in the ass. You don’t just walk up and talk to the Aryan Brotherhood's shot-caller. There’s a chain of command in the prison-gang hierarchy. I started at the peon level and couldn’t get any higher.

“You and her got something going. We see her bring you food in and share stuff. We know you two are screwing,” the peon told me. “We just want in on the action.”
I couldn’t argue, she did look out for me. She brought food and drinks in everyday and shared with me, but the screwing part was bullshit. We had never. It never even came up.
“Listen closely, she won’t do it. And if anybody has a problem with that, we can deal with it,” I told the peon, beyond frustrated with it all.

I’m gonna get us both killed, I worried on my way back to my cell. I was worried more about Ms. G and her kid than myself, but I did fear taking a shank in the back myself, too.

Hurriedly, I taped National Geographic magazines around my midsection. A great stab vest. While I was doing this, my next-door neighbor happened to glance in my cell. My next-door neighbor, the shot-caller for the Skinheads. “What the fuck, Shane?” he asked.
I’d never spoke to the young, bald white supremist. Skinheads and me usually didn’t get along. We have conflicting beliefs.
“You goin’ to war or what?” he questioned, coming in my cell and closing the door. His strong presence was intimidating. My natural reaction was to stand up and ready myself to fight. “We don’t have a beef, relax,” the Skin told me, “What’s the deal, Shane?”
Still on guard, I told him my situation. I knew it was risky and could make things worse, but what the hell…
“Here. Sit still. I’ll be back,” the Skin told me, handing me a shank then leaving my cell.

Ten minutes later, two Skinheads came to my cell. At first, I panicked, standing and pulling the steel from my waistband. When the two held up their hands in mock surrender, I relaxed a little. The three of us idly shit-chatted until my neighbor returned, with another Skin tagging along. The tag-along worried me. He had a bright red swastika on his head, and red lightning bolts. He was a torpedo. A foot soldier. Red inked for drawing blood. Earned I’m sure.
“Don’t worry about your problem. It’s a dead issue,” my neighbor told me. I knew that he meant it and it was true.

I went and ran the story down to Mrs. G. She was visibly relieved, but probably still worried.

The next morning at breakfast, two Skins passed me in the chow line, steel at ready. Halfway up the line, I spotted the Aryan Brotherhood’s peon I’d spoken to yesterday. Without any forewarning, the Skins moved behind him and began stabbing. People began scrambling to get out of the way and the Skins disappeared in the crowd. Seconds later they brushed past me heading back to the cells. Blood on their hands, shirts and pants. Eyes on the floor as they passed, I noticed specks of blood on their boots and bright white laces. Only then did I realize they were “Straight-laced” Skinheads. A dying breed. Skins that hate drugs.

Turns out, the Aryan Brotherhood never authorized the move on Ms. G, or at least wouldn’t claim they did, so they green lighted the Skins to deal with the peon who was behind it.

Shaken by the whole incident, Ms. G. quit a week later. The peon lived, but never returned to the yard.

The incident scared the shit out of me. I felt at fault for socializing with Ms. G and letting us become more than guard and inmate. I never heard from her again and never allowed myself to even consider such a thing again.

Did Shane do the right thing in risking his life to protect Ms. G?

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2008 Shaun P. Attwood


KimberlyDi said...

It was risky and not the right thing for him to get involved but it was the right thing to do for Mrs. G. Honor among thieves, right? It's a different world in there and I'm glad I never had to vacation there.

Anonymous said...

It was the right thing to do because it ended up ok for shane - not so good for the peon.

It was a learning experience and now he's implemented measures to prevent such a situation from reoccuring.


Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

This may be a very impractical and romanticized way of looking at justice, but I can't help feeling a universal higher law begins to come into effect for someone who is protecting an innocent at the expense of their own well-being. I loved the description detail at the end of Shane with his head down noticing the blood-speckled white bootlaces as these men passed by. That makes a memorable picture.

Anonymous said...

in my heart i know shane did the right thing. my mind tells me he should have left it alone if it involved prison politics. Getting in the way of a possible earning situation for an stg group is suicidal,but honorable. kudos to shane for a nice little read.

loyal reader, big j

Anonymous said...

shane's stories keep getting better

keep em coming shane

Suzanne said...

I think Shane got lucky, but that he was doing the right thing. If something had happened to Mrs. G, he would have felt guilty for developing a friendship with her that attracted someone's attention.

Anonymous said...

Well Shane/Shaun/Jon!
That was a harrowing story!
You probably did the right thing, it was the honorable way. But it could of course ended up bad. And honor would have been wasted.

Hey I heard on KPFA radio last week (online, I am in the Netherlands, not the USA) something about a protest against this Arpajo. I thought of you but did not inform you yet!
I hope all is well now with you,

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

FINALLY! A noble story about the good ol' skins!!!
Did Shane do the right thing by getting involved in prison politics? OF COURSE! This is what's wrong with society today. Everyone is so quick to turn the other cheek when it's a situation that could turn ugly. What would of happened if something awful happened to Miss. G?? He would have had to live his life thinking...what if?
Did those noble skins have to step in and do the right thing? To some of you most definitly not, but it was the honorable thing to do.

Thank you to Shane, to those straight edge skins and to Shaun for posting a great feature such as this.

A big lesson in this story is shared.

Jessica Lynn