If they were going to hit you, they were going to hit you. To keep inmates from learning our first names, nametags bore only the initial.
Gaines paused and smiled. Every morning my stomach let me know, just before the shift started, what it thought of this job. But before they can make these trips they have to be released from their cells, and when they return they have to be cajoled back in.
My problems began when the keeplocks returned from keeplock rec, about two hours into the shift. I would speak to an inmate respectfully, and he would be profane and insulting in return.
The officers who run the floors where inmates live—the galleries—have to stay there for the whole shift. He stopped taking the shirt off. Since keeplocks are always on the gallery, they are the inmates an officer comes to know best. Infour guards and a sergeant were indicted on corruption charges, including being paid to smuggle marijuana and cocaine into the prison.
The Box is a dark, squat building, a place of punishment within a place of punishment.
Is a convicted felon a customer of the penal system. Unfortunately, his cell was close to my office. Inmates up and down the gallery began to yell. Infour guards and a sergeant were indicted on corruption charges, including being paid to smuggle marijuana and cocaine into the prison. Three minutes and many thuds later, they emerged with the inmate in handcuffs and leg restraints.
The flat, leaky roof of the shell is maybe ten feet from the top of the metal cellblock. Impressive, I thought, but, on another level, all this resourcefulness for a noose. The sergeant asked why I was walking close enough to the cell for the inmate to reach me.
The extraction officers stood one in front of the other, the second and third holding on to the officer in front of them, and the lead officer carrying a clear riot shield. And yet, by the time Tocqueville and Beaumont wrote their final report, they had their doubts: The architectural hodgepodge is a sort of palimpsest of conflicting philosophies of how to deal with the criminal class.
He was not stupid. The sergeant had already been in touch with the Box and reserved a cell for my assailant. Some of the inmates make eye contact and glare, others doze, some sit bored on the toilet.
There are two kinds. I put a pen and a pad, an inmate rule book, and a blue union diary in my breast pocket, slid my baton through the ring, locked the padlock, and slammed the locker door.
The frisk of our second cell, which belonged to a skinny, middle-aged man, was also uneventful. He somehow managed to raise a fist in defiance as they carried him upstairs to do a forcible strip search. Show me that red pussy. Among those there involuntarily are victims who have not ratted on their assailants, and thus are feared to be either loaded guns, waiting for their chance to get revenge, or sitting ducks, soon to be victimized again.
Inmates are often shifted, with little notice, between facilities. All you see is the bars that form the narrow fronts of the cells, extending four stories up and so far into the distance on the left and right that they melt into an illusion of solidity.
Once on the job, he appears to have identified completely with the persona of a prison guard: You also get to know them because they require the most attention: I felt the catharsis, too, a thrilling release, with our team coming out on top.
Guarding Sing Sing By TED CONOVER Random House. Read the Review. AUTHOR'S NOTE.
This is a work of nonfiction, describing events that I witnessed and participated in. No scenes are imaginary or made up, though some dialogue was, of necessity, re-created. Like all officers, I kept a small spiral notebook in my breast pocket for note-taking.
Ted Conover is the author of several books including Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing(winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) and Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America’s Hoboes/5(26). May 02, · Newjack has 3, ratings and reviews.
Arista said: This book was an interesting point of view from an actual CO who worked in Sing Sing, a New York 4/5. Newjack is the name given to new correctional officers (COs) assigned as guards to prison facilities: a rookie CO is a "newjack." Ted Conover, renowned journalist, contributing to publications.
Sing Sing’s enormous complex includes, along with the ruins of the cellblock, prefabricated Family Reunion Program trailers and a Quality of Working Life conference building constructed in the nineteen-eighties. Mr. Conover talked about his book [Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing], published by Random House.Guarding sing sing