Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sometimes inmates are assholes

I've always said that one of the biggest differences between male and female inmates is that the men are much more respectful. In my previous prisons, the men were very "Yes, M'aam" and "No, M'aam." The women pretty much said, "Who the hell do you think you are?" With the women, you had to earn the respect whereas with the men it was implied.

Turns out that's not true in California. In California, or maybe just my unique unit, these guys can be downright assholes.

I received my second death threat today. This one was much less entertaining and a lot more unnerving. Seemingly out of nowhere this guy started to explain how he was going to "tear me apart." Most likely he was upset because I "suggested" that he may not have been entirely truthful in his portrayal of his mental health symptoms. Luckily he was in a cell and I wasn't. I walked away. He then went on to scream, at length, what he thought of me. He doesn't think very highly of me. He talked about me, my intentions, and what sorts of activities he thinks I like to engage in with my co-workers. It was awful and incredibly uncomfortable. The worst part though was that, in order to hold him accountable, I had to write him up. In order to write him up, I had to quote him and then hand that to my sergeant, a man who I like and respect and has done a lot to help me secure my good standing on the unit. I also had to forward it to my supervisor who I also like and respect.

I sat there, for over an hour, while this man spewed vitriol about me. Pretty much everyone I work with was there to share the experience with me (and helpfully asked, "Who's he talking about?") As uncomfortable as that was, by far the worst part was writing that report. It was humiliating and uncomfortable. There was something about writing it down that made me feel like I needed to defend my reputation. It also made me question my competency because in the real world, "good psychologists" don't get multiple death threats.

Today sucked. On the upside, I don't have to go back tomorrow. C made an awesome dinner and I'm on the couch with Glee and a warm brownie. But yeah, sometimes inmates are assholes.


  1. As I read this you know what kept coming to my mind? That you are an incredibly humble psychologist. It is probably why you are so good. The fact that you see this inmate's humanity to the point that his opinion and words to you humiliate you says a lot about your character. It says that you don't see him as beneath you. You view your inmates as patience, not inmates, and as patience you care that they view you as a psychologist that has their best interest. It is a pretty amazing character about you.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. It did it again so I deleted and will try again.


  4. Yeah - what Imaya said. It takes strength of character to be you. Luckily you are fully equipped.

  5. Oy. And I thought the people I worked with her assholes.