My apologies! This blog was written and supposed to be published yesterday while I was out, but I see that it was not. So here it is, out of order and a bit late. Please forgive! Do not disassemble Johnny Five!
This topic, “Extra Duty”, is supposed to be a minor sentence for breaking minor rules or multiple minor rule infractions Behind Bars. I say ‘supposed to be’ because, in order for “Extra Duty” to exist, there must first be “Duty”. I was particularly amused by what passed as “Extra Duty” in the prison system where I worked for over 23 years.
Since most prisoners/inmates soon learn how to live Behind Bars or perish, one of the things they learn, is how to ‘work the system’, in other words, they look for all the cracks and crevices in the rules and regulations and like so many bugs looking for hiding places in your kitchen cabinet, they have a way of disappearing when it comes to work or duty. You know the ones I’m talking about. They even have a term for this disappearing act: Ghosting.
Now, you might wonder how in the world a prisoner can disappear while he is locked up in prison and I understand why you might wonder. Let me tell you, it is easier than you think. There are multiple methods of doing so. Some are more effective than others and some can get you deeper in trouble, but whatever the case, the pay-off is generally outweighs the risks.
If an inmate plans ahead, he might avoid “Extra Duty” by scheduling a visit to the prison infirmary immediately before his disciplinary hearing and get what is called a “lay-in” for as many days as he can get, by faking injuries or illnesses long enough to get past the “Extra Duty”. They might figure out how to get into full-time classes because ‘schooling = rehabilitation’ and class hours outweigh everything except the most severe disciplinary action. If you have class, you can’t show up for “Extra Duty” and classes take precedence. However, if you do incur severe disciplinary action, such as confinement in Solitary Status or Administrative Segregation for say…. Protective Custody purposes, you not only get out of “Extra Duty”, you get out of everything and you get a whole cell to yourself. This can be a perk since you don’t have to share you cell space with a loud, stinky, obnoxious stranger, who might have you for breakfast instead of pancakes, syrup and biscuits.
Summing up, I must tell you that “Extra Duty” causes more problems for the Officers and Staff than it does for the offenders. Sadly enough, this situation is often encountered Behind Bars.