Duties of the Head of the Race (Part 1 with Wild Man)

Wild Man - My large and fearless raving partner from my hometown. He looked out for me in Arpaio’s jail after we were arrested, and is one of the main characters in Hard Time.

In prison, the inmates separate themselves racially. Each race has a leader called the head. Under the head are torpedoes – inmates who will smash someone for the head of the race no questions asked. Due to his fighting skills, Wild Man was crowned the head of the whites several times. In this blog, Wild Man and I discuss what is expected of the head.

“I know that the head of the race briefs the newcomers, the fish,” I said. “He helps indigent inmates get stuff like hygiene supplies, stamps and writing paper. He handles situations with the other races to try to prevent race riots. What other duties are there?”

“The head has to make sure all of the guys under 35 go and work out,” Wild Man said.

“Mandatory rec,” I said, referring to recreation.

“Yes. The reason is that if anything jumps off like a race riot, you need your youngsters and torpedoes healthy, so they can fight. We even did strong-man competitions with the other races. The heads will get together and throw a $100 of store in for the winner. You’ve got to give the youngsters incentives because if they want to rebel and they do, they can easily smash the older guys. I had six dorms in one of my buildings. In each dorm, I had a dorm head. I had to smack one of them in the face for disrespecting one of his youngsters. I was sat there talking to the dorm head, and he said to the youngster, ‘Hey, fucker, you haven’t even cleaned my floor yet!’ I thought, I’m just gonna ignore this as he’s trying to impress me. Then, as the youngster went past, the dorm head said, ‘Hey, I told you once. Get my fucking floor fucking polished.’ I said to the dorm head, ‘Are you paying him to do that, mate?’ He said, ‘No,’ so I stood up, smacked him, and said, ‘Who the fuck are you, mama’s boy?’ You have to pay the youngsters and give them incentives. You don’t treat them like shit like that. That annoyed me. If your youngsters behave bad, then you have to discipline them. Nine times out of ten, I wouldn’t punch them, I’d open-palm them, which would knock them on their arses anyway. I hated having to do that, but I’d give them enough warnings. You can’t start looking weak or else the old-timers will pull you to one side, and give you stories about what happened to so and so in The Walls who lost control of the youngsters, and ended up getting his throat slit.”

“What else does the head do?” I asked.

“If one of the guards is disrespectful to one of the races, then the head of that race is supposed to stand up, not in an aggressive manner, but to explain to the guards why it is disrespectful.”

“How would he go about that?” I asked.

“Nine times out of ten he would go and see the counsellor and say to the counsellor, ‘Look, shits about to hit the fan ’cause of this guard,’ and explain the reason why. The counsellor will go to the duty sergeant, and the sergeant, nine times out of ten, will pull the guard up. Also, the heads of all the races at some of the yards I was at would have a meeting with the captain every week. They’d sit down and have coffee, and discuss whether the yard was running smoothly or what the problems are. The captains aren’t stupid. The captain might say, ‘Such and such is obviously doing drugs. Tell him to keep it down,’ and it’ll come downhill then. The guards know all of the drug stuff that’s going on. They just don’t want it in their faces ’cause that’s disrespecting them.”

Click here for Wild Man's previous blog

The above photo of Wild Man is a response to all of the emails I've been getting from people who've read Hard Time, and said that Wild Man looks too nice in the photo in Hard Time to have committed the acts I've described in the book. To gauge his size, bear in mind that the jail outfit he is wearing is a 5XL. Some of you may also want to start bracing yourselves for Wild Man's antics in the prequel to Hard Time.   

6 comments:

bioengineered said...

Wildman really had his work cut out for him. All this put on his plate when he is just supposed to be doing time.

good post and I look forward to more.

~big jason

Jon said...

Thanks for the comment, Big Jason.

In response to your previous question about Slingblade. He is still doing his time, behaving in the same old way, eligible for parole, but no one on the inside or the outside will help him facilitate his release.

Anonymous said...

did'nt know you could type too........

City Boy

Anonymous said...

hey shaun, it's greg here from oz.

that was an interesting blog on wild man and his time as head of the whites. i have a question...

does the personality of the race leader have an effect on the rest of the building? what i mean is, i had the impression that the white gangs and their leaders were all aryan brotherhood/ racist animals, and the black gangs and their leaders all stone cold anti white/ latino/ whatever...

but the latest blog gives the impression that actually the race heads are just trying to ensure a quiet time for everyone. is it really like that all the time or does it just depend on who's in charge and if a race head (who happens to be the hardest member of that race in any given building) wants to cause trouble then trouble is caused, if you see what i mean?

does the system have any checks or balances that help it tend toward equilibrium or is it on the edge of full-blown conflict and meltdown at all times?

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Jon said...

the race heads do mostly want a quieter time to keep the drug business flowing, problems including race riots cause lockdowns that last for days, which slows the drug trade down considerably