Because of the climate of Covid and incarceration, I currently live in a pressure cooker. Sooner or later, the pressure will become too much.

Indifference. When rules are put in place, it’s done by those with the authority to do so. When those rules aren’t enforced by that same authority, it leaves a distinct fracture, a dividing line, between those incarcerated that want to do what’s right and comply and those that don’t. It provides a fertile ground for further exploitation by those who thrive in noncompliance. Just enacting a rule doesn’t mean it doesn’t need enforced. It works in society, it needs to be done here, too.

Contempt. When an officer looks at inmates with rigid disgust, it sets a tone of adversity. More worrisome, and even scarier to the situation, is when those same professionals hold the same view of the policies which govern them and the way they view their colleagues. Prisons are full of people from shattered homes who’ve grown anxious with authority in conflict. Now, they’ve been sentenced to decades of mom and dad fighting.

Dishonesty. What at first glance appears to be a change in policy and methods, and then upon further review seems to be a series of untruths, it erodes trust. Incarcerated people are extremely observant and when a pattern of change is noticed too often, it’s discovered that the change is a way to deflect what’s real. If the authority doesn’t know, say that. If the authority does know and can’t say, say that. Making up information to best suite a question is the worst way to govern a body of people. And in an environment where health and safety are at stake, it’s inhumane.

The conditions of Covid and the adversity of incarceration are a recipe for disaster if not managed with dignity, respect and authority. Of course, it probably wouldn’t be so bad and so noticeable of we didn’t over incarcerate in the first place…

by Rory Andes

The pressure is ever rising…

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