Monday, December 26, 2005

Federal Prisons.....

If you've never been to a prison to visit an inmate, you're truly missing out on one of life's great joys: dealing with the Bureau of Prisons staff.

So today my father and I go to a local federal prison to meet with a couple of potential clients and discuss their matters. We leave very early, he picks me up at my door at 7:20 so that we can definitely visit the two inmates before they perform what the prisons call "the count".

The Count: In all prisons, there are a certain amount of prisoners per floor or zone. One of the easiest ways for the Bureau to make sure all the prisoners are in their appropriate cell is to perform a floor or zone "count". That is, the guards assigned to each zone or floor literally walk by each cell and count each prisoner and perform a tally. Each zone or floor has a certain number of prisoners, and, thus, each guard should tally a certain number. Sounds easy right???

Ok, well, for some reason, the Bureau has to perform this task twice a day. A reasonable, sane human might want to perform these at say, noon and five p.m. That way, as a lawyer, I could come in at around 9 a.m., visit as many clients as I need -- or one, but spend a good three hours with them -- and then leave for lunch or go about my business. Likewise I could go to court in the morning, have lunch, meet my clients in the afternoon and head home at five. I'm crazy for suggesting this, right??!?!?

Well apparently I am, because the counts occur at 10:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. Now, what this really means is, you have to be with your client before 9:30 and 2:30 respectively, because if you're not, they say: "count is coming, we can't pull him, come back at noon." Come back at noon????? In three frickin hours? It took me forty five minutes to drive here! I'm here before the count!!! What's the frickin deal!!!?!?!?!

Anyhow, none of these arguments or questions phase a Bureau of Prisons employee, they really should work for David Spade's company, because they can say "no" without flinching, to a nun.

So today, we get in at 8:30. We rock! We have all our paperwork ready, no knives (this time, oops), we're all set. 8:30! So obviously we get right in to see our first client right? How about 9:15 to see the first client. What was the delay? I don't know. Noone knows. Perhaps it was that 25 minute cigarette break the guard took at 8:40. Anyhow, we do our job, we discuss the matter, we handle our bizness.
We go to see the other client, we have 45 minutes t'il count!!! We rock!!!

Ok so the next scene is actually my father and I at a Dunkin Donuts having coffee waiting to drive back to the prison at 11:30 a.m. to make sure we're the first people in after the morning count.

The end of the story is thus: We saw the second client for 20 minutes. We left at 1:15 p.m.

I love prison.

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