Jail Week is quickly coming to an end, and though next week I will have to find something else remotely interesting to write about, today we are still going strong. So far we’ve discussed the food, defecating in public, and the people; which naturally brings us to the drugs. As I’ve mentioned before, the majority of people in jail are there for drug-related charges; whether that be possession, or attempted murder/sodomy due to a drug deal gone wrong.
It’s okay though, because you almost make out better, as far as the judicial system goes, if you can classify as an addict. First of all, if you’re coming down off of da juice (heroin), you get Gatorade to combat dehydration. Two of them per day. To all of you normal folk who haven’t been locked up, that sounds like nothing, but after a few months of drinking nothing but murky water, you would go elbows-deep for a Gatorade. As far as I know, other jails give what is called Suboxone, which is an opiate dependency aid–sort of like a nicotine patch, but you know, full of good drugs–that helps wean one off of a narcotic. Leave it up to the Salt Lake County Jail to force everyone to quit cold turkey; excuse me, close to cold turkey, because as I’ve said before: two Gatorades. Maybe it’s the Bleeding Heart Liberal in me, but once you have watched someone shake uncotrollably, projectile vomit, be unable to sleep, be unable to eat or drink, experience projectile diarrhea, and exude an awful smell from every pore FOR DAYS, you would push for a state institution to help out.
Secondly, it helps to be into illegal drugs, because of Drug Court. Drug Court is a program that allows all of your charges (including felonies) to be expunged after the successful completion of Drug Court probation (which includes extensive therapy, random drug tests, etc.). Which is great, for the toothless crack-whore with 32 counts of burglary, but sort of sucks for the people that never got into drugs, but still got into crime. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Drug Court is a great thing to have, and it allows people to get back on track and have decent lives–but the jail is a god damn revolving door, and more than half of the people that leave on Drug Court will be back within the next five weeks, because they pissed dirty. This isn’t an official statistic, it’s just based on the fact that the majority of girls in my pod were there for probation violation charges, and I would watch some come in and out four to five times.
When you put 64 to 140 “recovering” drug addicts in one room, what do you think happens? It’s like having 32 to 70 John Belushis (2:1 ratio) fiending for their next fix. No one gets anything close to an opiate or narcotic in jail, so they have to make due with what they have: Klonopin (someone may have it, maybe, a couple times a month), Neurontin, Tegretol, and good ol’ Benadryl. People would take these in crazy combinations, in various different ways; whether that be snorting them, parachuting them, or simply taking a shitload of them by mouth. Really, I saw someone crush up Benadryl with their ID card, roll up a piece of legal notepad paper into a straw, and suck it up, on more than one occasion. Fucking Benadryl! Talking with people, I couldn’t decipher if it was the ritual of it all that made them do it, or if it was just because they were so used to feeling something going on up there.
In Salt Lake your visits are through a thick piece of plexiglass, a la Boogie Nights, which means that you have no contact with the outside world. Whereas the Riverside Correctional Facility, in Philly (where I was awaiting extradition to Utah), is set up more like an Oz-style prison; the structure of the pod, the way food is served, recreation, and the fact that when friends or family come to visit they are allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner. Which subsequently means that Vicodin, Oxycontin, cigarettes, and other easily passed items of contraband are prevalent. All drugs, in both jails, were traded for a specific amount of commissary (candy, chips, pastries, that sort of thing), and just like in the Real World, the dealer always came out on top.
Sometimes in Utah, prisoners would “pussy-pack” things in, which is exactly what it sounds like. There was a 65 year old woman, who had been in jail three times since I had been there, who commonly PP’d heroin and marijuana in. I have to hand it to her, quite impressive, as I’m sure her vag wasn’t the tightest of orifices. Also, she shared. Though I never partook in geriatric juice saturated weed, a lot of other people did. It always ended well, with large police dogs tearing through our cells, and strip searches for all of us.
For the girl (see: me) that had to have an 8-ball explained to her (it’s not just a toy!), and at one time thought that a “balloon” of heroin was a full-size Mylar (it’s not!), all of this came as a shock. However, girl still had her fun and did a line of Neurontin, though was extremely disappointed when all that happened was that she fell asleep, awaking the next day to the same old shit, and a prolapsed uterus.