Okay, boys and girls. I’m armed with a brand new Bic Round Stic, medium point ink pen, a Tops 3M legal pad (which advertises itself as “the legal pad PLUS”. I have yet to figure out what the PLUS is), and an Oxford “Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
I swear by Oxford. I was turned on to Oxford dictionaries years ago by an astute English professor, who passionately claimed that all other brands of dictionaries were only suitable for kindling. Don’t run out and burn your Webster’s yet. There have been times in my life, when in a crunch, I have been forced to stoop so low as to consult other inferior brands, and I have to admit that I have seen very little difference among them. Gasp! No, it’s true. However, I still prefer my Oxfords, if only out of habit, and they really have been good to me, so, I’m a loyalist.
Today, kids, we’re going to explore a long, difficult and interesting subject: recidivism. Say it with me now. Re-cid-i-vism. It is kind of a pretty word, but it’s an ugly subject. Hold on. Here’s the Oxford “Advanced Learner” definition:
Re-cid-iv-ist/ri’sidivist/noun (formal) a person who continues to commit
crimes, and seems unable to stop, even after being punished –
That’s right. Habitual felons, career criminals, wheels (that’s what they’re called in here) “and the wheels on the bus goes round and round and round.” When will it stop? Nobody knows.
It’s a real phenomenon in here. I’ve met so many guys who are on their second, third, and fourth tours of our state’s lovely facilities that I thought it would be interesting if we sat down and discussed it together, once and for all, just you and I. Don’t worry. I’ll do all the talking. You just try and keep up, okay?
Let’s start with my buddy, “Cornbread”. We’ve known each other for close to two years now. We actually hung out some, for about the first month or so, of these two years. I quickly had to distance myself from him.
Cornbread is on his third tour of our esteemed institution. There is not a doubt in my mind that it won’t be his last time up this particular river.
The thing is that Cornbread is absolutely innocent! Just ask him. I mean, sure, he was busted with a bunch of meth (this time), and he’s certainly traveled down “the junkie’s highway.” But as he states (oh, so often!), his was a “victimless, non-violent crime.” I mean, he HAS alienated his entire family, and anyone else who spends any time at all with him, but that is NOT, I repeat, NOT, his fault. He got “hit with a bitch” (a habitual felon charge), and they cruelly loaded him up with time.”Those bastards!” He only has about three years left, and normally he would be eligible for minimum custody, but people keep starting fights with Cornbread. I mean, what’s he supposed to do? Should he just stand there and take it. He doesn’t start the fights. He never does. He’s the victim here.
As I’m writing this, our hero is locked away in the hole. He had a confrontation, this time, with the guy who runs the clothes house. Cornbread punched the guy a couple of times, in the mouth. Well, the clothes house guy had it coming. He refused to give Cornbread an extra pair of pants and an extra t-shirt. I mean, any of us would have done the same thing were we in poor Cornbread’s shoes. It’s just the right thing to do. Right?
This is actually the third time this month Cornbread has been placed in segregation (poor guy). They really have it in for him.
Well, you guys won’t have to worry about the big lug for too long. In a few short years, he’ll max out and be safely out of here and back on the streets with you, where he belongs.
To be continued…