KN, p. 51 “How big is that jail cell?”


Thinking of committing a crime?

Then let me show you where you’ll be living soon.

A life of crime is highly overrated by TV and the movies. Crooks do business in back alleys, abandoned buildings and isolated roads. Drugs are stored or processed in grungy apartments or warehouses. These days, there is no honor among thieves and some other gang is always trying to move in on your territory. You will be shot at, stabbed, or beaten if you don’t meet your boss’ quota or you happen to decide that he’s not giving you a big enough cut for taking all the risks. Your life is not your own, once you make a deal with scum.


And, if you think you can score big with a heist and live the life of luxury in a mansion somewhere…think again. If the cops don’t catch you right away, don’t worry…we will soon enough.


And, then your living arrangements will take a nosedive.


Let’s talk about privacy while you wait for trial behind bars. There is no privacy. None. And, the toilet is conveniently located right there with you in the see-through cell.


Then there’s the limited movement issue. Folks, look at the space. Some of the prisoners get to stay behind the bars for 23 hours a day, including meals. One hour in 24 outside the bars. Just sixty minutes, people.


Do you want the bedroom to be quiet and darkened at night, so that you can snooze? Not gonna happen. Ever. Plus, you might have to sleep on the floor if the jail is extra crowded that week. The big guy gets the cot.


I bet you like the smell of gun oil or aftershave or a steak cooking on the grill. Well, get used to the stink of open toilets, puke, and old sweat instead.


Think I’m exaggerating? Try a couple of nights in county and report back. If you’re smart, you’ll think again and settle for a job flipping burgers rather than selling drugs on the corner or becoming a convenience store robber. At least you get to go home at night.



*Photograph by Patti Phillips








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4 thoughts on “KN, p. 51 “How big is that jail cell?””

  1. Connie Fleming

    There is always the one who thinks he’ll never be caught. Then there are the important people who are placed in much better facilities. It is usually who you are and how much you have.

  2. This is brilliantly (and awfully) descriptive – I can smell the cell block from here 🙂
    Not sure how I missed it first time round but thanks to the Top Ten 2012 I got to read it anyway.

    1. Thanks, Lorraine. One only has to visit a jail once to realize that it’s not a place to ever want to visit again.

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