Georgia Bound: 6 – Population

Hiatt type 2010 handcuffs. Circa 1990s

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Thursday May 12, 2011: Relocation

After visiting with a psychologist, I was deemed fit for integration into general population. Normally, such an idea would have bothered me. After all, general population didn’t seem so pleasant in the movies. A bed and a place to sit, however, seemed like a pleasant change. Besides, what could the other criminals do? Try to kill me? Hell! I had already tried that! Fate had decided that there were more things in store for me in this life. I was ready for anything and worried about nothing. Bring it on!

I was given a set of dark blue scrubs that displayed BARTOW COUNTY INMATE in bold white lettering. Old Navy would have been nicer, but who was I to complain? At least it wasn’t a rubber dress! What was curious about my new apparel, was the label on the tags: Bob Barker. It would be a constant reminder of why I should be on the outside.

Carrying a thin mattress and linens, I was escorted through a series of automated metal doors to ‘N’ block. It was furnished by two long metal tables and fifteen metal bunk beds on an upper and lower level. There were at least twenty-five men in occupancy. Upon entering my new abode, a man asked, “You’re back?” He had been abducted on the same day that I was and attended the same bond hearing with me. He assumed that I had made bail and had done something naughty to be reinstated.

“No. I’ve been in solitary confinement.”

“For a week?!” he responded with his eyes wide.

That’s when I finally had a sense of time. I had no idea how long I was at this fine establishment until then. I tossed my mattress on my bunk, made my bed and lied down with one eye slightly open.

It wasn’t long before the electric metal door hummed open and a guard stepped inside, followed by two trustees in white. The inmates that were at the tables rushed back to their bunks where they would remain until told otherwise. The men in white started placing stacks of trays on the edge of one of the long tables. It was meal time! When the order was given, we lined up to grab our grub and sat at the tables. The guy who had addressed me earlier, Mike, sat next to me.  “Damn!” he exclaimed when he noticed the bloody gashes on my wrists. “Did the hand cuffs do that to you?”

“No,” I replied casually. “I did . . . with my fingernails.”

For the remainder of my stay, no one messed with me. In fact, I was quite taken aback at just how friendly everyone was to me.

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