Publish Notice: Stones For Sanity


Everyone came to jail for various reasons. I was hired as a jail officer. I felt I could make a positive difference in the lives of especially the younger first time offenders. I began one of the biggest and longest lessons of my life. Humor is one positive outlet of inner tensions for both Inmates and Officers. This book is about the humorous side. I ended up working on the prison farm. The Farm was an outside the prison walls work program that would hopefully be enough of a lesson for the guys not to come back to jail.

Fernando was mentally slow and very gullible. Tiny was a huge guy with a humorous side and a donut addiction. Gary was a talented Carpenter with a drinking problem. The Farm House Mouse proved how many guys were terrified of mice including me. Floyd was a salesman of illegal substances with no common sense. The Axe man was a tree murderer with a no nonsense mom. Everyone had a nickname and that also included the Officers. I made sure the farm inmates had enough donuts and that got me in trouble at times. Before Billy had come to jail he had had school and family problems and like so many others numbed his mind with alcohol; except he was not a happy drunk and had too many buttons to push. Continue reading

Nov 18

A look into the life of a jail guard

These short stories are based on unconventional experiences as a prison guard and inmate. Others may fail to see the underlying humor of these circumstances but can humor justify the life lessons of both the jail guards and the inmates? Each story has a sense of sarcastic wit that allows the characters personalities too come alive and will bring a smile to your face. More than anything these stories capture amusing moments in prison life that are often overlooked.

Sep 20

Dickey Z

Dickey had a history of petty thefts, except he was not captured many of those times. The few times Dickey was caught he was smart enough to commit the theft in a larger County. A bigger County that comprised a major City is usually more lenient with a petty theft than a smaller County because of the city Jail overcrowding situation. Dickey always did small time. Usually he just did a few months jail time with a period of probation following him.

Dickeys last petty theft was his undoing-he was caught and arrested. He was running and a train was blocking his escape route. The train was moving slowly and Dickey caught a ride. He did not enter any of the passenger rail cars. He climbed to the top of the cars and maneuvered a final run to get just far enough from the cops where he could jump to freedom. Passenger cars near a city are connected on the top by a high voltage electric wire. Dickeys head touched a hot wire and he blew up. I mean he was zapped, shorted out falling off the train to the hard ground below. Dickey was down and out and he had fallen into another county–my County. Continue reading

Apr 01

Nicknames and “The Committee”

Pondering back over the years working in the Correctional field and blue-collar jobs, nicknames were a common and most times a fun activity. But at the Prison nicknames were essential and a vital means of identity—a serious and necessary consideration.The Inmates at the Prison Farm were mostly younger guys that got mixed up in the wrong crowd. Guys with psychological problems; mostly undiagnosed conditions that led to erratic and at times bizarre behavior. Self-medicating on Street Drugs and or Alcohol led to trouble. These guys were not hardened criminals-at least I never felt they were criminals. They were just guys a little too ornery with a lot of energy who broke the established set of societies rules and the legal system slammed them. No pun intended. Society feels jail is the answer. The lock them up and throw away the key mentality.

The Farm Work Program was an extension of the main County Prison System. Continue reading

Jun 16

Terror on the Wall

old jail 3

There were good days and not so good. The Old Jail was built around the end of the 19th Century. Damp, dark with heavy stonewalls, flat Iron strap bars, small overcrowded cells. Multiple tiers of cells were in the back jail and a lower and upper level front jail for special medical classifications. This is the kind of jail you pay for now. Ghost tours costing ten dollars or more to get scared when someone jumps out at you. Don’t forget to take pictures of ORBS. This jail was a classic.

A rookie, I worked 2nd shift. My first night I came in the front door and the heavy six-inch thick door thumped loud behind me-possibly deliberately. I got the message. I walked through 2 sets of “sally ports”-sally ports were two heavy sets of bars-cages separated six feet apart. No two gates would be opened at one time-security was good. Continue reading