The town driver got busted for bringing in contraband. I think it was weight loss or muscle pills, both in high demand. He got sent to the SHU (Hole) and will be eventually to transferred out of Butner. We all suspected that he would “rat” out the guys who were his “customers”. Sure enough, the COs packed out two guys from our unit on Thursday. One of the COs made a comment like “what do you expect when someone goes to the Hole?”, implying that the driver gave up these two guys. There’s another driver that will be released to go home soon. So, there will be two driver positions open.
The camp has complex drivers and town drivers. The complex drivers pick up and drop off people from one facility to another. The town drivers run errands and drop released inmates at the airport or bus station, etc. The camp administration obviously put a lot of trust in these guys.
I expressed an interest in the driver position when I first got here. My thinking was that it would be nice to get out of this place every once and awhile. It turns out the job is really time consuming. Drivers are constantly paged for work. I was told today that the camp administrator wanted me to submit a Cop Out requesting a complex driver position. I’m sure I could get the job if I wanted it. But, I am going to ignore the request. The reasons are multiple: I have a good kitchen job now that gives me a lot of free time; I’m teaching two classes; I’m taking two classes; there’s no incentive for me to do so, and I know that I will be approached by other inmates to bring in contraband. I know I can resist such offers, but I don’t need the hassle.
As is, inmate instructors don’t get any recognition or benefits for teaching, and I know the same is true for drivers (and for everyone else for that matter). The way this prison is managed doesn’t provide any incentive for anyone to do anything good. I’m not just talking about teaching -I’m also talking about the incentive to always positively operate in all aspects of life here. In fact, it is the negative threat of going to the hole or behind the fence that keeps any order here. The camp doesn’t give furloughs, period. Another teacher friend was denied a request to have his handicapped son’s assistant accompany him on a visit because the number of adult visitors would exceed three. I can go on.
Inmates that have teaching or trusted positions should be positively rewarded. Also, this is a camp. There are a lot of things that are not allowed here that are allowed at other camps. The Butner camp is run as if it had a fence, and all inmates were not to be trusted. What harm would it be if they allowed a two-day furlough for every 90 days of being incident free? Why not allow the computers the capacity to save and print word documents? Why not allow limited access to the internet?
They believe that the inmates can’t be trusted. I’m sure that some inmates can’t be trusted but we will never know. The inmates do look for angles -to get around certain rules – but there is no positive incentive to abide by the rules. If they can’t trust inmates then they should be behind the fence. I doubt anything could change without a wholesale change of management and staff.