So, I'm now at a minimum security unit, in south Texas. It's been an adjustment. Going from a dungeon
keeper to a nursery school nanny isn't easy. I've had more ups and downs and headbutts at this unit in 6 months than
I had at my last unit if four years. Occasionally, you get reminded why you are where you are and why you do what
It's two nights ago. A call comes out for assistance for an offender having chest pains. I am a designated responder,
so, I respond, grab the wheelchair and come on out. We load the guy up. He's agitated, and obviously upset. As
I was going to get him, some of the guys on the rec yard were hollering out to me; "Mr. K.......He's got two stints in his
heart, his heart's ****ed up!" That's how they look out for each other. They also know I listen.
We get him to medical. Due to budget cuts, we don't have medical 24/7. So, we get the telemed fired up. He's "No English"
so, I do an elaborate pantomime with him to the nurse in Beeville, and it's decided to send him out 911. We get him out to the
back gate in the holding area to wait on the ambulance. I put him in his travel restraints and he siezes. I was a medic in the
Army, and an EMT before that, but I've never seen the actual moment that cardiac failure happens. I placed him on the ground,
got something under his head, and, assessed him. Deep, widely spaced, gasping resperations, thready pulse....I'm ticking off the symptoms..
Regardless, he stops breathing, I start CPR....He comes back, same way...I can see he's getting blue, but he's breathing...
That's a contra-indication to CPR..Then, he's down again, and I'm back to it.
*WHERE IS THE ****ING AMBULANCE*
The LT called for them, where the **** are they. I end up doing CPR on this guy off and on for about 20 minutes, and finally EMS shows up.
They do their thing, and we load him up, me doing CPR all the way in. He dies. They called the code at 8:45 PM 6/15/14. I helped OIG examine
the body, etc after that, and blah blah.
Cut to tonight. I'm told that I have "B" wing, which is our worst wing. The highest custody level. I work there all the time. No surprise I have
it. I'm told they are being wild, loud and disruptive. Many are drunk on "Hooch" and they are locked down.
Funny. I walk in, and nobody is wild. Nobody is loud.
"What's up Cadillac" (Cadillac is my prison name..You don't decide it. It is bestowed upon you)
I go about my business, checking all the cells to make sure everyone is breathing, and I had a crook
stick his fingers out through the expanded metal on his door....
"Shake my hand Cadillac"....
"Get the **** outta here."
"No..On the real..Shake my hand..."
There are lines that prison guard must not cross. I've crossed lots of lines. I'll say that, but
I'm not going to shake a ****ing crook's hand.
"No. I'm not doin' that.....What's up?"
He goes on to tell me that "B" wing has a full view of the back gate cage, and, everyone with that "View"
saw everything that went on that last night. Literally, with tears streaming down his face, the guys says
"I don't know how long I've got. Here, it seems like forever, but you never know. I hope if I'm in
trouble like that.......I hope there's someone like you on duty that gives a **** about if I live or
That's a condensed version. He was a little drunk on hooch.
There was a whole lots of babble about "respect" and how I "Already had it", that is difficult to translate
to "Free world" audiences. Bottom line is I'm a different person than when I entered prison. I'm
a cold, mean son of a bitch. I like to fight, and that's not particularaly healthy for a 46 year old man.
I ride herd on criminals, and I always get the worst of whatever bunch there is, because my style is
sort of a combination of ignoring **** I don't care about, and, cracking down on **** I do care about.
I guess that after almost five years, I'm not the monster I've thought I was. Granted, I was just doing
my job, but I did it the best that I could, and I feel like in some samll way I actually did some good.