The LuLac Edition #1378, Nov. 20th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: OUR "INTERVIEW" LOGO.
This week the warden at the Lackawanna County Prison resigned after a longer than average tenure. There were things in the prison that weren’t running right and a change was in order. I talked to a former inmate who did her time at the prison across the street from Andy Gavin’s.
Q: When you were in prison, what did you think about?
A: (Laughing) Going to Andy Gavin’s for some wings and a Pepsi.
A: I thought about getting out. Doing my time.
Q: How long were you there?
A: 13 months. I was sentenced to three years but I went to a halfway house in New York and served out the rest of my time.
Q: What were you in for?
A: Drug possession. The cops found $10,000 worth of drugs in my car. But it wasn’t mine.
Q: Yeah, you told me that before. They all say that.
A: You’ll never believe it but the Judge did. I didn’t get as near as I should’ve.
Q: What were the drugs doing there?
A: A guy I knew put them in my car.
Q: The doctor?
A: Uh, let’s just call him a medical professional.
Q: But he wasn’t a medical doctor?
A: No, we don’t want to make doctors look bad.
Q: What was prison life like?
A: Well, for me it was routine. Regimented. And I was okay with that because I went to Catholic school had a strict family, had curfews, had chores and towed the line. I was the oldest so more was expected. So it was like that movie “Ground Hog Day”, it was the same thing every day.
Q: What were the guards and staff like?
A: Okay. There were some dumb asses and some nasty people but if you were smart you never fought them.
Q: Were you ever asked to do something you didn’t want to do?
A: Uh toilets.
Q: That was a chore, were you ever harassed sexually or physically by any of the guards?
Q: You’re a pretty girl, why not?
A: Because I think I reminded them of their little sister. And boy did I play that up. I knew some of the guys were local and I’d always engage them in conversation relative to Scranton.
Q: Do you know of anyone harassed by guards?
A: Anything is possible but look, if you are a guard, are you going to risk losing your job?
Q: Some might.
A: I didn’t know of any.
Q: Were you ever denied medical care?
A: I never got sick. But I still don’t know how that girl with the baby, how, how that was missed.
Q: Did you have any friends in prison?
A: Two, an older lady my gram’s age and a lady a few years younger than my mother.
Q: Was there opportunity to have sex in prison?
A: Oh yeah.
Q: You’re bisexual, did you ever?
A: See that’s the male stereotype. You think women prisoners, you think lesbians.
Q: I got news for you kid, men will hear the words “girls night out” and we think that.
Q: So why no sex?
A: Can’t say.
Q: C’mon. This is anonymous.
Q: So why?
A: The chicks were butt ugly. Dave, I tell you I thought I was in a reverse beauty contest.
Q: Kind of catty?
Q: What did you do to pass the time?
A: Read and play cards. By the way my block loved “A Radio Story”.
Q: Thanks. Never made any sales on that but it's nice to hear. Why do you think you survived so well in prison?
A: I wasn’t into drugs and didn’t have an angle. I was there, nothing I could do.
Q: But were you busted for selling drugs.
A: Yes. But only the fools use. And I never did.
Q: But you sold right?
A: Dave.......not saying.
Q: Best days in prison?
A: Sundays and Tuesdays.
Q: Sundays. Don’t tell me you found Jesus!
A: No I believe in JC but I’m not a nut about it. Sunday was a day to kick back. Everything was slow.
A: You know.
A: You and my mom came to visit.
Q: Yep. We took 15 minute shifts. Gave her a chance to see you and get back to work.
A: I still think she has no idea why the hell you came to visit. Every once in a while she says “what was he doing there?”
Q:Yeah well. Going in the lobby was a trip. I was heavier there, sitting in the lobby with my cane. I didn’t think anyone would notice. I thought I’d blend in.
A: Dave you wore a suit every time you went there. My cellies thought you my lawyer.
Q: How was your lawyer?
A: They bled my parents financially. I just stopped it and did the time.
Q: You’re married now, does your husband know about the sentence?
A: Oh yeah, I mean I’m forever a felon. But he’s a good guy and we’re married now 3 years.
Q: Did you ever go into the complexities of your case with him?
A: Naw, I wouldn’t bother him with that, he’s from Mississippi.
Q: Oh yeah right.
A: Not a city slicker from Scranton like me and you.
Q: Do you follow the news about the prison?
Q: I know this is a strange question but did you think your stay there was stress free from the people who ran it?
A: They had rules but I never felt I was ever in danger. I mean from them. The guards, the prison. And then you have a group that watches you in terms of your cellies. I mean I'd never recommend it to anyone. But I never felt abused, or unsafe.
Q: What advice do you give to people maybe your age now or your age when you were busted on how to survive jail?
A: Stay out of trouble, keep quiet and be nice but firm.
Q: Good luck kid.
Q: Hey, any bambinos on the way?
A: Uh I’m reserving judgement on that for now. Being careful.
A: Hey I told you he’s from Mississippi.
Q: Oh, right.