Instigator is an interesting word defined by Encarta dictionary as #1 get something started (to cause a process to start). The second Encarta dictionary definition is more appropriately applied to the term “instigator” as used Behind Bars.
An instigator is someone in the prison setting who always manages to find a way to “start something”, but the something he/she manages to start is trouble for someone, somewhere, though usually not himself. These are annoying people to say the least, but they are highly motivated and usually fairly intelligent. They are motivated by the personal desire to cause as much chaos as possible while they are incarcerated simply because it is not their fault they are Behind Bars, but rather the fault of society in general and the prison staff in specific.
Instigators know how to work the system; by this I mean they have been incarcerated long enough to have not only learned the rules, but have been taught or learned through self-study, all the holes, loops, dots, jots and tittles within the rules and regulations and they know how to use the system against itself.
I say they are usually intelligent because it takes some modicum of intelligence to understand the rules in the first place and it takes a bit of creativity and innovation to use the those rules in order to promote their own agendas while avoiding any backlash or repercussions. In this light, one must have respect for the ‘Instigator’ since he/she must have a set of highly evolved skills in order to be successful. They must have intelligence. They must be flexible, persuasive and endearing when necessary. And they must be able to quickly point fingers and shift blame on demand, and last but not least, they must be able to believe their own lies… with conviction, of course.
Does this sound familiar? Does this sound like the job description of an American politician, perhaps? No, of course not. I had no intention of drawing any parallels here. Really! I’m serious. Instigators are weasels, wheedlers, whiners and wimps unlike our politicians, who are truthful towers of integrity. But I am getting off the subject.
Behind Bars, being labeled as an instigator is not flattering and will bring trouble no matter how well the accused’s defenses are built. I believe it is quite possible the term instigator might well be applied to anyone who sits behind the scenes, urging you to break the rules because you are victim of this, that or chicken fat. Again, a tempting opportunity presents itself here to draw parallels, but I will refrain and save it for another day.