Monday, September 30, 2013

Spread 'Em and Cough

Ever see a prison film? They always do an obligatory intake strip search routine. You know: "Bend over, spread your cheeks, cough. Welcome to Hell, scumbags!!" Though this excersize DOES serve a purpose, it is definitely NOT to find contraband.

From experience, they yield nothing & I have been through many of these searches. As much of an uncomfortable topic as this is I think that having the knowledge, I have a responsibility to share. So, heres some science...

I have smuggled tobacco into Butler County Prison on many occasions. I have, in fact squatted, spread cheeks, and coughed as requested by the staff...The search was unfruitful despite the tobacco I had packaged and lodged in my lower colon. I have complete confidence that people cough everyday without disastrous results. 

If I, a humble college drop-out, can come to the conclusion that coughing does not equal a bowel movement then surely correctional professionals are privy to this knowledge. Further, if I (and they) are aware of this then why continue this vile exercise? Two words, kids, Power and Control. 

This is not a matter of finding is a matter of establishing control. If your interaction with jail staff begins with such a degrading act then it is easier for staff to dehumanize you, easier for them to look at you as less than human...conversely it does the same to the captive, makes them feel less then and prone. 

I want to be fair at this point. It is not the guards but the administration that instates such things. I hardly think that a working stiff would intentionally want to look at someone's rectum...I am sure it is as degrading for them as it is for their captives. And I will go as far as to say that the guards probably don't even know that these searches are useless other than establishing the illusion of dominance. This is an admin decision, not a guard decision.

I challenge admin to stop this process that degrades both captive and guard.