Last week, I sat in a courtroom – so far as I can tell, the only courtroom – in Corcoran, California, waiting for my case to be called.

Corcoran is apparently a small, scared, little hick town full of frightened citizens.  I came to this conclusion because of the little man who sat near the front of the courtroom, next to his court-appointed attorney who was, with loud, booming voice, questioning a woman who looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  I realized later she held this look because, like so many officers of the state – she was apparently a guard at the local prison – she was trying to make sure the answers she gave to the defense attorney’s probing questions did not help his client, or hurt (what turned out to be) her case.

The man sitting next to the defense attorney was himself somewhat diminutive, hunched over a little in the manner of those who are attempting to keep their shackles from hurting where the wrists are unnaturally bound to the waist.  Immediately behind him – so close that I wasn’t sure if one of the officers was just a naturally happy guy, or if his crotch was rubbing the shoulder of the prisoner – stood two guards, each of which was clearly larger and more heavily armed than the prisoner.

And, of course, unshackled.

Fortunately, the defense attorney was oblivious to the existence of his client.  Any attempt to confer with him with any confidentiality would have been impossible given the proximity of the guards.

Approximately ten feet from these two, another armed deputy rested against a podium.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the courtroom (which is to say, in this tiny place, possibly twenty feet – thirty at most – from where the prisoner sat) and situated somewhat between the judge and the shackled prisoner, stood another guard.

“Wow!  That’s a lot of security!,” I thought.  So overdone was it as to be humorous and I considered snapping a photo on my iPhone and uploading it to Twitter.

That is, until I noticed another deputy near the back of the courtroom, off to my left.

As the questioning progressed, it became readily apparent why so much security was needed.  The poor woman testifying was explaining how she was merely trying to do her job running surprise security checks at the prison when she peered through the window to the small man’s cell and discovered him sitting on his bunk, masturbating.

Apparently, if you take a man and lock him up, away from women, he will try to find some other way to gratify his natural urges.

All of this would seem to have little to do with California’s budgetary crisis.  Five armed deputies, any one of whom probably makes more money than me, guarding a small courtroom in an obviously frightened-to-death little hick town in the middle of nowhere?  That’s just necessary security.  Having a prosecutor charge a prisoner with a new crime for masturbating in his cell (why? will his new sentence run after his current sentence? [no]) doesn’t cost anything, either.  The county’s contract defender?  Minimal cost.  Hardly worth worrying about.

But if this is the level of security needed to protect us against one tiny man whose hands, when not cuffed, are obviously busy at other things, it’s no wonder Sheriff Margaret Mims in Fresno feels the need to shut down half the jail due to budget cuts.  It’s no wonder California’s education budget needs to be cut.  Who can argue that we need to fund treatment and redirection programs for youthful offenders?  And food stamps to keep poor people from starving to death?  Give me a break.

After hearing this story, can you imagine how many officers it takes to watch a couple hundred horny inmates?

Obviously, we’re going to have to cut a few more social programs.

26 comments

  1. Five deputies to guard one shackled man.
    was one of the deputies in court the bailiff??
    did the guard testifying get paid her regular salary for going to court?
    Such a waste of my tax money.

    That still leaves four deputies, how much were they paid?
    was any of it hazardous duty pay for transporting a prisoner?
    such a waste of my tax money, of california’s funds

    this is one of those cases that should never have gone to court.
    talk about wasting taxpayers monies on frivolous court cases!
    Waste of time and money.

    Who pays the guards salaries, the judges salaries, the court costs?
    We do, we the taxpayers.
    No wonder california has has a financial crisis.

    Such a public display of tax money being misused and wasted.
    time to write to that judge, county prosecutuer, warden of that prison, everyone you can think of. Such a public and stupid waste of tax money

  2. Five deputies to guard one shackled man.
    was one of the deputies in court the bailiff??
    did the guard testifying get paid her regular salary for going to court?
    Such a waste of my tax money.

    That still leaves four deputies, how much were they paid?
    was any of it hazardous duty pay for transporting a prisoner?
    such a waste of my tax money, of california’s funds

    this is one of those cases that should never have gone to court.
    talk about wasting taxpayers monies on frivolous court cases!
    Waste of time and money.

    Who pays the guards salaries, the judges salaries, the court costs?
    We do, we the taxpayers.
    No wonder california has has a financial crisis.

    Such a public display of tax money being misused and wasted.
    time to write to that judge, county prosecutuer, warden of that prison, everyone you can think of. Such a public and stupid waste of tax money

  3. Five deputies to guard one shackled man.
    was one of the deputies in court the bailiff??
    did the guard testifying get paid her regular salary for going to court?
    Such a waste of my tax money.

    That still leaves four deputies, how much were they paid?
    was any of it hazardous duty pay for transporting a prisoner?
    such a waste of my tax money, of california’s funds

    this is one of those cases that should never have gone to court.
    talk about wasting taxpayers monies on frivolous court cases!
    Waste of time and money.

    Who pays the guards salaries, the judges salaries, the court costs?
    We do, we the taxpayers.
    No wonder california has has a financial crisis.

    Such a public display of tax money being misused and wasted.
    time to write to that judge, county prosecutuer, warden of that prison, everyone you can think of. Such a public and stupid waste of tax money

  4. When we have kids, we’re advised not to make a big deal of them ‘rubbing’ themselves, or it will leave them with the impression that sex is dirty, and unnatural. We’re ‘advised’ to get the message across that it’s something to be done in private – which is exactly what most kids, and inmates, do. It’s a perfectly natural function. The answer is simple – if you look into a man’s cell and he’s masturbating – you have looked into his personal space. Why should he stop what he’s doing in his personal space, because you’ve CHOSEN to intrude into it?

    If you go into the Corrections business, you’re not going to be dealing with choirboys. That’s your choice. If you haven’t got the ability to be able to handle this, the answer is simple. Don’t work in Corrections and let the State spend that wasted money on more worthwhile things.

  5. When we have kids, we’re advised not to make a big deal of them ‘rubbing’ themselves, or it will leave them with the impression that sex is dirty, and unnatural. We’re ‘advised’ to get the message across that it’s something to be done in private – which is exactly what most kids, and inmates, do. It’s a perfectly natural function. The answer is simple – if you look into a man’s cell and he’s masturbating – you have looked into his personal space. Why should he stop what he’s doing in his personal space, because you’ve CHOSEN to intrude into it?

    If you go into the Corrections business, you’re not going to be dealing with choirboys. That’s your choice. If you haven’t got the ability to be able to handle this, the answer is simple. Don’t work in Corrections and let the State spend that wasted money on more worthwhile things.

  6. Incarceration Nation holds world highest prisoner rate and executes a bureaucratic tradition developed in the last 30 years. Economic necessities are interpreted as and when required. “Remember, 400,000 inmates are forced into having sex each year. Social scientists researching prison rape know that the most important factor in designing their studies is to find some way to assure inmate that no one . . . can identify which prisoner turned in a particular questionnaire” (The Church of the Second Chance, by Jens Soering http://www.jenssoering.com/). I haven’t heard inmates agreed to be celibate when sentenced. There are by sure more aspects concerned besides money if you agree that prisoners are human and possibly fellow citizen.

  7. Incarceration Nation holds world highest prisoner rate and executes a bureaucratic tradition developed in the last 30 years. Economic necessities are interpreted as and when required. “Remember, 400,000 inmates are forced into having sex each year. Social scientists researching prison rape know that the most important factor in designing their studies is to find some way to assure inmate that no one . . . can identify which prisoner turned in a particular questionnaire” (The Church of the Second Chance, by Jens Soering http://www.jenssoering.com/). I haven’t heard inmates agreed to be celibate when sentenced. There are by sure more aspects concerned besides money if you agree that prisoners are human and possibly fellow citizen.

  8. Incarceration Nation holds world highest prisoner rate and executes a bureaucratic tradition developed in the last 30 years. Economic necessities are interpreted as and when required. “Remember, 400,000 inmates are forced into having sex each year. Social scientists researching prison rape know that the most important factor in designing their studies is to find some way to assure inmate that no one . . . can identify which prisoner turned in a particular questionnaire” (The Church of the Second Chance, by Jens Soering http://www.jenssoering.com/). I haven’t heard inmates agreed to be celibate when sentenced. There are by sure more aspects concerned besides money if you agree that prisoners are human and possibly fellow citizen.

  9. Hmm… I remember being a young man deployed to Korea, Japan and later Somalia. I guess I’m lucky I never got caught!

  10. Hmm… I remember being a young man deployed to Korea, Japan and later Somalia. I guess I’m lucky I never got caught!

  11. This kind of scrutiny of ‘self-abuse’ is unnatural and unnecessary and, as the article emphasizes, costly. It might be different if the inmate were ‘gunning’. [Public masturbation in prison is called “gunning” or “gunning her down.]

    “Let’s begin by stating the obvious. For a young man newly pubic, a young man who’s just hitting his hormonal downbeat as it were, there is no way to get sexual relief in a prison setting except by initiating contact with a “punk”, or by doing the dirty deed to himself.”

    Smuggler’s Tales From Jails goes into depth about this ‘prison problem’ in ‘A PLAGUE OF PRIAPISMS UNLOOSED’ at http://garywaid.blogspot.com/2009/06/plague-of-priapisms-unloosed.html
    .-= Kay Lee´s last blog ..* IF IT’S SO EASY, WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE DO IT? =-.

  12. This kind of scrutiny of ‘self-abuse’ is unnatural and unnecessary and, as the article emphasizes, costly. It might be different if the inmate were ‘gunning’. [Public masturbation in prison is called “gunning” or “gunning her down.]

    “Let’s begin by stating the obvious. For a young man newly pubic, a young man who’s just hitting his hormonal downbeat as it were, there is no way to get sexual relief in a prison setting except by initiating contact with a “punk”, or by doing the dirty deed to himself.”

    Smuggler’s Tales From Jails goes into depth about this ‘prison problem’ in ‘A PLAGUE OF PRIAPISMS UNLOOSED’ at http://garywaid.blogspot.com/2009/06/plague-of-priapisms-unloosed.html
    .-= Kay Lee´s last blog ..* IF IT’S SO EASY, WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE DO IT? =-.

  13. Thanks for bringing this (not so) hillarious scene to the public. The ridiculousness of the way in which the CDCr spends money can be found just about everywhere you look on any given day at one of California’s prisons.

    And one has to wonder if a male guard had happened to peek in the window, would there still be a charge filed against this man? If this female guard is so offeneded by male inmate behavior, why on earth does she work at prison full of men?

  14. Thanks for bringing this (not so) hillarious scene to the public. The ridiculousness of the way in which the CDCr spends money can be found just about everywhere you look on any given day at one of California’s prisons.

    And one has to wonder if a male guard had happened to peek in the window, would there still be a charge filed against this man? If this female guard is so offeneded by male inmate behavior, why on earth does she work at prison full of men?

  15. It’s waist of time and money for something that is a basic human function! It is sick and just another way to violate an inmates human rights. This is so asinine and unbelieveable that it would even be an issue with the CDCr.

  16. It’s waist of time and money for something that is a basic human function! It is sick and just another way to violate an inmates human rights. This is so asinine and unbelieveable that it would even be an issue with the CDCr.

  17. Things like this courtroom scene happen more than the public knows. All the C/O’s getting paid ridiculous sums for transporting and guarding someone who goes out to court.

    How about this one: In mid-summer when the interior housing unit temps run in the upper 90’s to low 100’s at night, most inmates will sleep with no sheets and wearing only their boxers. Well, since state issue boxers have no buttons or zippers, ‘things’ can be seen if a person is sleeping and unaware that the boxers are revealing anything. Female C/O’s have charged inmates with sexual harrassment…yes, while the inmate was sleeping. Female officers while performing routine counts have observed inmates sleeping with some portion of their male anatomy exposed due to the open front boxers.

  18. Things like this courtroom scene happen more than the public knows. All the C/O’s getting paid ridiculous sums for transporting and guarding someone who goes out to court.

    How about this one: In mid-summer when the interior housing unit temps run in the upper 90’s to low 100’s at night, most inmates will sleep with no sheets and wearing only their boxers. Well, since state issue boxers have no buttons or zippers, ‘things’ can be seen if a person is sleeping and unaware that the boxers are revealing anything. Female C/O’s have charged inmates with sexual harrassment…yes, while the inmate was sleeping. Female officers while performing routine counts have observed inmates sleeping with some portion of their male anatomy exposed due to the open front boxers.

  19. This is rehabilitation? The cdcr is cutting programs, and how much in overtime were the five armed deputies paid? Since when is a man or woman breaking a “law” by masturbating? I seem to recall a story about a judge, somewhere on the East coast, who presided over court while masturbating. California has lost it.

  20. *SMILE*

    LMFAO (F = Funny)

    Sooo…?????? “Oh yeah, how DARE any prisoner male OR Female even THINK about masturbating themselves.

    I SOO agree, the courts really NEED to go back and make / CREATE a LAW against self masturbation..!!

    How DARE those inmates……!!!!! .

    The whole wide world really is going need to be protection against inmates (male or female) of self masturbation.

    OMG… how dare ANY inmate even ‘think’ about such criminal offenses? (See??? NO Viagra for inmates)

    LOL…LMFAO……. This is SO pure ridiculous. Extreme (R’s)……

    Totally overdone, over powered by GIANT security guards against an inmate hunched over, so as not to hurt from the shackles which are connected to his waist.

    Those GIANTS security, in the mean time, are rubbing their crotch against the shoulder of this over-secured hunched over inmate.

    America, PLEASE…..Wake – *UP*…WAKE – * UP *

    Sorry, this is ALL I have to say and post about this.

    Please, I hope more like minded WILL respond and post about this topic.

    ***Tulpje***

  21. This is rehabilitation? The cdcr is cutting programs, and how much in overtime were the five armed deputies paid? Since when is a man or woman breaking a “law” by masturbating? I seem to recall a story about a judge, somewhere on the East coast, who presided over court while masturbating. California has lost it.

  22. This is rehabilitation? The cdcr is cutting programs, and how much in overtime were the five armed deputies paid? Since when is a man or woman breaking a “law” by masturbating? I seem to recall a story about a judge, somewhere on the East coast, who presided over court while masturbating. California has lost it.

  23. *SMILE*

    LMFAO (F = Funny)

    Sooo…?????? “Oh yeah, how DARE any prisoner male OR Female even THINK about masturbating themselves.

    I SOO agree, the courts really NEED to go back and make / CREATE a LAW against self masturbation..!!

    How DARE those inmates……!!!!! .

    The whole wide world really is going need to be protection against inmates (male or female) of self masturbation.

    OMG… how dare ANY inmate even ‘think’ about such criminal offenses? (See??? NO Viagra for inmates)

    LOL…LMFAO……. This is SO pure ridiculous. Extreme (R’s)……

    Totally overdone, over powered by GIANT security guards against an inmate hunched over, so as not to hurt from the shackles which are connected to his waist.

    Those GIANTS security, in the mean time, are rubbing their crotch against the shoulder of this over-secured hunched over inmate.

    America, PLEASE…..Wake – *UP*…WAKE – * UP *

    Sorry, this is ALL I have to say and post about this.

    Please, I hope more like minded WILL respond and post about this topic.

    ***Tulpje***

  24. I am so angered I can hardly type!! Sadly Rick, your points that are so clear here, will be missed by many. My Gosh!! I have sent this to many contacts…yeah, obviously more social programs will have to be cut so CDCr can continue with their gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayers money. Great post btw….

  25. I am so angered I can hardly type!! Sadly Rick, your points that are so clear here, will be missed by many. My Gosh!! I have sent this to many contacts…yeah, obviously more social programs will have to be cut so CDCr can continue with their gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayers money. Great post btw….

  26. I am so angered I can hardly type!! Sadly Rick, your points that are so clear here, will be missed by many. My Gosh!! I have sent this to many contacts…yeah, obviously more social programs will have to be cut so CDCr can continue with their gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayers money. Great post btw….

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