Georgia Bound 9 – Heat

Photograph of Historic Downtown Acworth, Georg...

Acworth, Georgia - Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever sold a car or something in the wanted ads? You should know that people will try to talk you down on your price, so if you want fifty bucks for that old freezer you had better list it for $75. Bartow County understands this concept all too well.

Many of my inmates were familiar with the setup. Many of them had the same charges that I had. They told me exactly what the judge would do. He would knock the felony down to a misdemeanor and I would get probation. They even told me exactly what my charges would be knocked down to. Some of them had been in county lockup before, but many of them simply knew others who had spent time in the facilities.

Bartow county has been building a huge new addition to their jail. They can’t justify spending that money if they don’t keep the present space full and they need a steady cash flow of court fees and fines to keep the guards and staff employed. Furthermore, the probation department is not a county department at all. It is a private corporation and they have to eat too. Right? By charging people with felonies, they are pretty much insuring that they will have the jail slots filled. Only those who have the money for bail will be able to get out of doing time and the bail companies have to make a living too. Right? So unless you know someone in the system or you have a lot of money, you could wind up paying lots of fines to the county and lots of fees to the probation company. For the people at the top, it is certainly a wonderful enterprise that will insure their bank accounts are full.

It would seem that I was in a bit of a pickle. I suspected that my charges were an exaggeration, but now I knew that the outcome would be the same regardless of any amount of time I may spend there. I had no fancy lawyer and I had no contact to the outside. It turned out that Kayla’s number had been changed and Jenni had already accepted the one call I could make to her. I could accomplish nothing in jail, so I decided to just plead “guilty” and ask for a speedy trial.

Everything went just as was predicted by the gentlemen still behind bars. My charges got knocked down to a misdemeanor and I had a year of probation whereby I had to make payments in a timely manner.

When I was handed the envelope, I opened it to find that I had come with nothing but my I.D. I had no money, debit card, cell phone or even shoes. My newfound freedom was getting off to a nice start. I asked which direction Acworth would be and started walking. I had no choice. With only twenty-four hours to report to the probation department, I set off on a brisk walk to procure my wallet which was a good eleven miles away.

With temperatures in the nineties, I traversed three miles before the heat took its toll on me. I knew that I needed to rest but was determined to at least find some shade. When I came under some trees alongside the road, I found myself unable to decide which spot to sit in. Before I could choose, I collapsed.

I still don’t know if I blacked out or for how long, but I do remember most of it. My hands and arms cramped into awkward positions that I could not control. My breathing was deep and rapid. Involuntarily, I rolled slightly from side to side as I lay on the ground.

I saw a white car from the corner of my eye but could not look directly at it. A man had stopped to help. He asked me questions which I could barely answer. I had trouble thinking and my speech was incoherent. Another car stopped and then another. One lady was a nurse. Then an ambulance showed up. The only thing that I could think of was that I wanted to hand them my Medicare card but I couldn’t manipulate my hands to reach for my wallet. I had completely forgotten that I did not have my wallet.

Once I was inside the ambulance, they gave me oxygen and an I.V. I was finally able to mutter something. I was terribly upset that I could not thank the nice people for stopping on the side of the road to help and I told the paramedic just how disappointed I was.

There must have been something magical in that I.V. I wasn’t in the hospital but for a little while when my memory started coming back to me. I could remember phone numbers!

After calling her, Kayla wasted no time at all to come get me. She brought my belongings (including my wallet) and brought me to a nearby hotel where I stayed the night. In the morning, I rented an efficiency that was in a great location. There was a store nearby that had fresh vegetables, tofu and plenty of vegan products. What I loved most about the studio apartment, however, was the free WiFi. I was back online tweeting and chatting. This is also when I wrote the first installment of Georgia Bound and The Cove and the Pawn Shop.

Georgia Bound Saga: More to Come!

Read the Previous Installment

Read from the Beginning

Have you ever sold a car or something in the wanted ads? You should know that people will try to talk you down on your price, so if you want fifty bucks for that old freezer you had better list it for $75. Bartow County understands this concept all too well.
Many of my inmates were familiar with the setup. Many of them had the same charges that I had. They told me exactly what the judge would do. He would knock the felony down to a misdemeanor and I would get probation. They even told me exactly what my charges would be knocked down to. Some of them had been in county lockup before, but many of them simply knew others who had spent time in the facilities.
Bartow county has been building a huge new addition to their jail. They can’t justify spending that money if they don’t keep the present space full and they need a steady cash flow of court fees and fines to keep the guards and staff employed. Furthermore, the probation department is not a county department at all. It is a private corporation and they have to eat too. Right? By charging people with felonies, they are pretty much insuring that they will have the jail slots filled. Only those who have the money for bail will be able to get out of doing time and the bail companies have to make a living too. Right? So unless you know someone in the system or you have a lot of money, you could wind up paying lots of fines to the county and lots of fees to the probation company. For the people at the top, it is certainly a wonderful enterprise that will insure their bank accounts are full.
It would seem that I was in a bit of a pickle. I suspected that my charges were an exaggeration, but now I knew that the outcome would be the same regardless of any amount of time I may spend there. I had no fancy lawyer and I had no contact to the outside. It turned out that Kayla’s number had been changed and Jenni had already accepted the one call I could make to her. I could accomplish nothing in jail, so I decided to just plead “guilty” and ask for a speedy trial.

Everything went just as was predicted by the gentlemen still behind bars. My charges got knocked down to a misdemeanor and I had a year of probation whereby I had to make payments in a timely manner.
When I was handed the envelope, I opened it to find that I had come with nothing but my I.D. I had no money, debit card, cell phone or even shoes. My newfound freedom was getting off to a nice start. I asked which direction Acworth would be and started walking. I had no choice. With only twenty-four hours to report to the probation department, I set off on a brisk walk to procure my wallet which was a good eleven miles away.
With temperatures in the nineties, I traversed three miles before the heat took its toll on me. I knew that I needed to rest but was determined to at least find some shade. When I came under some trees alongside the road, I found myself unable to decide which spot to sit in. Before I could choose, I collapsed.

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