Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Prisoners Plugging Own Toilets? No Way! 

So now that the final disposition of Newsweek's Koran-abuse allegations seems to have settled down on the side of the prisoners' having flushed their own Korans, there may still be a few people who can't believe anybody would do such a thing. Who would go out of their way to plug their own toilet? Can it possibly make sense?

Would prisoners go to great lengths to flood their own toilets? I don't know, so I turned for answers to someone with experience.

Ledge End is a great blog, written by a guy with the inside scoop based on 15 years working inside a maximum-security prison. His blog shows a little of what it's like trying to control the chaos inside these facilities where some of humanity's finest are warehoused, at least until the day they are returned to our company. Here's a little background he had on the subject of prisoners plugging their own toilets:

One of the favorite past-times of disgruntled segregation inmates is flooding the walk. They stuff whatever is handy: books, newspapers, clothing, sheets, pillows, mattresses, spare body parts, into the toilets and flush, flush, flush! Voila! We now have instant waterfalls adorning the otherwise drab cell house. This is loads of fun and hours of pleasure for all staff involved, I assure you.
I guess if we can take comfort from anything here, it's that the jihadis housed at Guantanamo Bay aren't so different after all. Sure they believe they've been commanded by God to kill anyone who knows the theme song to Gilligan's Island, but at the same time, they do love flooding the walk just as much as the next hardened criminal.

Ledge End is worth following for all the other amazing stories of even crazier things the inmates pull -- or at least try to. When they make the next great prison movie, it will likely be based on his (as yet unwritten) screenplay or novel (hint hint Ledge). And when it tops the box office charts, you'll be able to say you 'knew him when'.

More than that though, in these days when the debate is so heated over how prisoners of non-Martha-Stewart provenance are treated, its important to get a little perspective from people who know what it's really like in there.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: