Shit Slingers II (The Early Years Part 3 by Polish Avenger)
Polish Avenger – A software-engineering undergraduate sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary they were committing. In Arizona, if a burglar gets killed, the accomplices can get 25-year sentences.
In the last instalment we were introduced to the "shit slinger," a rare sort of prisoner who is skilled in the art of spraying feces on others. We learned how he constructs a basic poop cannon. And we all learned the value of air freshener.
Although it was not uncommon for prisoners to blast each other with said cannons, in my experience it was usually the guards getting the – ahem – shit end of it. Yet another reason why they get hazard pay for working there. Why would someone hose down a guard? Well, there are several causes.
Disclaimer: I in no way encourage or condone drenching guards in fecal matter.
That being said, some of the guards in supermaximum prisons have… issues. A lot of them end up in there simply because they act in ways that would get them assaulted at other prison units. When you have sociopathic inmates bottled up with equally sociopathic guards, the tension is unbelievable. Both sides resent the other, and there’s constant peer pressure to act out. I’ve personally witnessed guards taunting and mocking inmates until the prisoners snapped, and then they’d pepper-spray them. But as I’ve always preached – every one here is an individual. Most of the guards I interacted with weren’t that bad; some were. Most of the inmates I interacted with at supermax were complete assholes. Put them together in a tight environment and conflict is inevitable.
The response to a poop missile is immediate – the befouled officer gets on the radio and calls in the strike team. As they don protective armor, the inmates in the block prepare their protective gear, usually a wet T-shirt over the face. If the shit slinger gets pepper-sprayed, the rest of us will be breathing the stuff for a while too!
Once the team arrives, they’ll stack up eight or ten deep in front of the cell and politely ask the fella if he’d be willing to “cuff up.” The way the cell doors are built, in order to be handcuffed, you have to assume the submissive posture of hands behind your back, squat down, and lean the hands out through the trap door. Some fellows don’t go easily!
A can or two of pepper spray helps the intransigent inmate to rethink his actions, and then the team plows in shields first to insist upon you cuffing up.
Either way, you’re going out to one of those holding cells we talked about. You’ll be there for 24-72 hours to cool down. Oh yeah, and you just got some more time as even throwing water on a staff member is a felony. Of course, if you’re already a lifer, as many of them are, who cares?
This is not a happy environment. But it’s not meant to be.
Finally, we begin to see why such a large clean-up crew was needed! This cycle of feces and pepper happened almost every single day I was there, and I was there for 22 months. From what I hear, it’s still like that.
That is a lot of poop.
In my next post, we’ll meet Magnum, the Rambo of shit slingers. That guy is a legend!
Click here for Polish Avenger’s previous blog.
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