Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise has sung his last verses of “Amazing Grace” on this side of the veil. His chains are gone, and he is now available as an intercessor, so surely that venerable dope shall not cease to be available in the halls of Dannemora and Nusakambangan. Okay, Chan and Sukumaran were on the record as being against drugs after they were found to be for drugs, and Chan was the great spiritualist of their martyrdom cohort, so intercession against OMG DRUGS!!!!!11111! may be a possibility, and as always, remember to channel “Uncle Dili” is what you’re looking for is a dope beat; he’s gone home, too, you know. Richard Matt took a more northerly route to his reward, if that’s what it is (that’s one case where I definitely wouldn’t count on it), but Sweat remains among us, and as far as the guards at Dannemora are concerned, that’s the rub. Davey-boy is a-singin’, and he’s singing a damning tune about his former custodians to his current ones. The guards at the Clinton Correctional Facility are involved in heroin smuggling rings, and the FBI is riding in to clean house.
Whoopdee fucking doo. Heroin isn’t the worst thing in the New York State prison system. Heroin isn’t Attica. No inmate junkie ever opened fire on the yard in a turkey shoot of his fellows. If the jailbirds at Lapas Kerobokan are shooting that black tar, they probably aren’t rioting. Don’t think for a second that their guards aren’t aware of this. They’d like for their prisoners not to shoot so much goddamn dope, and they were glad to have Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran counseling the others against addiction and giving them something to do to improve themselves, but those two haven’t been available for inmate religious counseling and educational programming lately. Being tied to crosses and shot in the chest by police death squads tends to get in the way of one’s further efforts to reach out to lost inmates.
The guards know as much. Indonesian prison guards are as corrupt as their New York counterparts, maybe even worse, but try not to confuse this with immorality. The ones at Kerobokan, and even the ones who guarded the last round of the departed at Lapas Besi, want merely to run safe and orderly prisons, if they can. Would that this were true of the guards at Attica. I’m not talking about 1971, either; I mean 2015. Dannemora seems to be run more along Indonesian lines: try to keep the inmates busy, healthy, and on good terms with each other and with their guards, give them some grounds privileges if they aren’t yahoos. In Indonesia, the guards don’t even chain prisoners for execution or execute them. That’s left to special national police units, Brimob, which look like they’re just back from massacring dissidents in Papua New Guinea. Brimob may not be there just to force condemned prisoners to submit to its will; it’s good for steamrolling guards, too. Brimob is a great assignment for psychopaths who enjoy balaclavas, black uniforms, hundred-dollar monthly salaries, and with luck, some occasional cold-blooded murder in the midnight hour.
Or, as Joko Widodo likes to say, “Wings on pigs? No way, mate, I put pigs on Wings!”
That isn’t how the guards at Dannemora roll. The ones at Attica? Maybe. That’s why CNN should be carping about Attica, not Dannemora. A lifer and a 25-to-lifer drilled their way out, but the only one who’s dead is the latter escapee, not a bunch of prisoners out on the yard demanding an end to the squalor and the abuse. The honor block helped keep the guys at Clinton chill, to the extent that chill is possible among psychopaths with a history of torturing their bosses in the course of murdering them. The guards don’t want to harsh that merciful bit of mellow. They know that things could be worse. Among murderers, they always could be. You run the prison with the prisoners you have, not with the prisoners you want. Make their lives hell, and they’ll return the favor. Your hatred won’t be unrequited. Make the prison’s conditions hell for everyone, and you’ll end up with a bunch of guards who belong on the other side of the bars.
Heroin helps a cracker mellow out. The guards know this. They weren’t born yesterday. They want to keep the boys chill. They’re more likely to go home in one piece that way.
Of course no one with any sense wants a psychopath like Richard Matt making a jailbreak. It happens occasionally. It shouldn’t, but it does. Prison assaults and melees happen all the time. Sometimes they get the guards injured or killed. If “Keys on the Tier!” means not that you better hide your dope but that the new dope set has arrived, there will be less trouble with the guards, and less trouble for the guards.
You want a CO who is itching to subjugate her inmates? Erin Sharma told an inmate that he was “a dead man” for grabbing and twisting her arm. He’s dead (can’t get any more subjugated than that), and she’s a lifer now. There are alternatives to corrupt prison guards. Not ones that are worth seeking out, but they exist.
Someone has to guard these guys. Something has to be done to keep them from going totally feral. The Dannemora staff tried, and now they’re being shit on for their efforts.