News from a Virginia friend of mine, long since retired as a lieutenant in the Arlington police department. Unfortunately the world is not full of people like Florence.
The book you sent me by Wally Lamb is getting around. I just ordered it for yet another person who has become interested in working in the jail. Our wretched incarceration system drives me crazy. I have been working in the DC jail for over 4 years now and can count on my two hands the number of white Anglo faces I have seen. That alone says something is terribly wrong…
One inmate said to me, “I heard that you don’t get paid for coming. Then why do you come every day?” I gave him the usual blab blab but he wasn’t buying any of it. He leaned over and whispered, “I know why you come. You are working off your community service.” I love it. What a kick!
We had a GED graduation a few weeks ago. Seeing inmates with caps and gowns over their orange jumpsuits, processing in to the sounds of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ on a tape brought me to tears.