Monday, June 29, 2009

The Floodgates Will Close

“The floodgates will close,” he said. It was the morning of May 26, 2009. And that was a prison guard reacting to a prisoner’s hopes that the climate had changed; that the floodgates will soon open for many Michigan prisoners to go home.

These “hopes” seemed to bring the guard’s temperature to a boil. He blurted out: “There’s a prisoner getting out on parole. When he gets out, he’s going to kill his brother. Then the floodgates will close.”

He spoke with a certitude that was chilling. He wasn’t finished. “Until then, I have stocked up on ammo, and dug a big hole in my back yard.”

Sociopathic designs aside, how could an employee of the state hope a prisoner of the state gets out and wreaks havoc on the state? Job security? Of course. But at what point does “job security” cross the line and become complicity in a heinous crime?

Then an officer is privy to such information—and speaks with certitude of its inevitability—must raise some concerns about him, and any other MDOC employee who may be involved—directly or indirectly—in the grisly prospect. Is it not his responsibility to help prevent such a deadly act rather than withhold information in order to perpetuate it?

This prison guard imagines his deliberate inaction will reverse the climate that demands prison reform in Michigan. And he is perfectly willing to be an accessory to fratricide to see it through.

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