I was first booked into Butler County Prison in 2001, a little over a year after I moved there from Cleveland. I was arrested for a minor assault beef that was dropped and not worth talking about.
I don't remember the booking process other than I had a lot of facial piercings and the guards were amused by this.
Once I was checked in, complete with a set of "blues"-the blue uniforms we had before the stripes, I was sent to D Range. To get to D Range which was top tier, you had to walk passed B Range. These were old style ranges...like how you see in old prison films. You know the kind, a line of cells, a lot of bars and a common area stretching along the cells.
Well as I was passing B-Range, I saw a midget that looked like Bushwick Bill playing cards with an Elvis impersonator.
From the ghettos of Cleveland to this. I thought it was some sort of set up...I wasn't in jail, this was Candid Camera.
It got better. I over heard a guard later in the day say "I don't care if she has a dick or not...if she spits on me, I'm beating her like she was still a man" That's a paraphrase...I don't know what he said exactly. He was of course referring to a (now) woman who had given herself a sex change operation to become a woman. Yes. Someone gave himself a home sex change operation. I couldn't make this up.
This was my first day in Butler County Prison. This was my introduction to an institution that would loom over my relationship with Butler County for the next 12 years.