Locked up with Racists

 

Living in close quarters with guys of all different races, religions and backgrounds teaches you to get along with people.  You never know who you are going to get along with and who you are not going to get along with.  Your friends or foes can be White, Black, Spanish, Muslim, Catholic or Jewish at any given time.  Stereotyping will get you nowhere in the clink.

There are guys who rant against other people in general.  Black guys will rant against discrimination perpetrated by the White man.  Many White guys may think that they are superior to minorities.  Many Muslims think that this country is anti-Muslim.

Most inmates agree that the criminal justice system is run by corrupt individuals in the legal system, especially the corrupt lawyers.  The lawyers are the prosecutors who recommend the prison sentences.  The judges are the lawyers who impose the sentence.  The lawyer is also the defense attorney who sells the defendant down the river.

Walking into prison as a “crooked” lawyer did not win me many friends.  I was part of the system.  Most guys thought it was ironic that I was part of the system yet I was done in by that very corrupt system.  The system is so corrupt that nobody is safe, not even the lawyers.

There are thousands of State and Federal criminal laws on the books.  Every aspect of life is regulated by the government.  The government can choose to indict anyone they want at any given time.  If the government wants to crack down on the billion dollar illegal gambling industry they just need to find a few easy targets and the rest is easy.  This puts a lot of discretion in the hands of governmental employees on who to indict.  The Feds get to indict guys without making a dent in the billion dollar illegal gambling industry, or illegal drug industry for that matter.

I was locked up with a guy named Artie from Arizona.  He was a bit of a joker.  He was short, bald and was involved in some scam involving a mortgage.  I think he borrowed money from a person under false pretenses, he claimed he owned some real estate when he really didn’t.   He didn’t get much jail time.  On the outside he wore a toupee.  When he came into jail the blueboyz made him take it off, as they do with all inmates.

Artie didn’t like this guy Jewish guy named Dr. Charles.  Dr. Charles was a real doctor from New Jersey.  He was caught up in a scam where he leased out his doctors office to a medical lab.  The medical lab didn’t use the office, but Dr. Charles referred all his lab work to the lab.  The Feds got him for Medicare fraud, because the medical lab was billing Medicare for all these referrals.

Artie could have been pursued for civil fraud in court.  Dr. Charles could have been pursued by the government under civil regulatory laws.  But then the Feds wouldn’t make the headlines.  The Feds claimed that Dr. Charles was part of a $100 million dollar scheme involving numerous doctors to over bill Medicare.  Yet Dr. Charles only had to pay back about fifty grand.

Artie was an artist on the outside.  Dr. Charles had a child who was married to a Mexican.  Artie liked to make racist jokes.  Nobody cared.  It was just Artie being Artie.  But Dr. Charles took offense and got into arguments with Artie.  Artie knew how to push his buttons.  This gave Artie a lot of power over Dr. Charles.  It also gave inmates much entertainment.  When you are sitting around 24 / 7 with nothing much to do, the daily fights between Dr. Charles and Artie were a running sitcom.  Better than television.  You had real actors.

Artie the artist decided to smuggle in a photo shopped picture of President Obama and his wife dressed up as Hasidic Jews.  The caption on the photo read, “Charles’ favorite couple.”  Artie placed this picture in the bag that contained Dr. Charles’ tefillin and tallis without Charles knowing.  Artie didn’t admit that he was the culprit.  Dr. Charles got mad and gave the picture to the Jewish inmate in charge of keeping peace with all the Jews, inmate Gabbai Ted Turner.

Turner tried to figure out what happened. Artie denied everything. Dr. Charles thought it was either Artie or some inmate who wanted to create more animosity between Artie and Dr. Charles, for entertainment reasons.

Ted Turner always tried to be the conciliator between fighting inmates.  Turner was a lawyer and was trained in dispute resolution. Turner made some good attempts at trying to keep the peace between stressed out guys. But Turner was not good at keeping his own peace when he was challenged by another inmate.

There was an inmate leaving the prison named Rabbi Pinter.  Pinter had control over a Purim Megillah scroll, that he says was entrusted to him by long departed inmate David Shtick.  Turner wanted the scroll to stay in Otisville, as Turner was trying to learn how to read it.  Pinter wanted to take it home.  Turner tried to contact Shtick.  Shtick never returned his calls.

These two fought like cats and dogs over this scroll.  I am not sure what happened in the end.  I know that Turner got thrown in the SHU for having an illegal dvd player in his possession.  Pinter then left the prison.  Pinter probably took the scroll with him, while Turner was locked up in the SHU.

 

 

 

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