Prisons

Self-Love Is a Battlefield

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A Florida judges adds 60 days in jail to a convicted robber's 10-year sentence. The crime?

A Broward prisoner accused of committing a sex act while he was alone in his jail cell was found guilty Tuesday of indecent exposure…

In reaching the guilty verdict, jurors found that an inmate's jail cell is "a limited access public place" where exposing oneself is against the law.

The judge sentenced [Terry Lee] Alexander, of Lauderdale Lakes, to 60 days in jail, on top of the 10-year sentence he is currently serving for armed robbery.

While punishing a prisoner for exposing himself seems reasonable, the guard who brought the charges is not:

Alexander's attorney argued that the prison cell was a private place and that what Alexander was doing was perfectly normal.

"Did other inmates start masturbating because of Mr. Alexander?" [Defense attorney Kathleen] McHugh asked [BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, the officer who brought the charges]. "Did you call a SWAT team?"

"I wish I had," Veal answered…

Veal, who has charged seven other inmates with the same offense, insisted that she was not against the act itself—just the fact that Alexander was so blatant about it.

As if this case weren't silly enough:

Defense attorney Kathleen McHugh faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never done that particular sex act.

No hands went up.

If BSO Veal can't find a way to discipline prisoners for this behavior outside of the court system, perhaps she should find a new line of work.

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  1. GO ‘WAY! BATIN

    Defense attorney Kathleen McHugh faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never done that particular sex act.

    No hands went up.

    hands – plural. hand would be at least one thing up.

    [runs off]

  2. What I don’t understand here is that jail cells typically have commodes in them.

    Wouldn’t you have to add on another 60 days for indecent exposure every time a prisoner took a shit?

  3. Look, prisons are horrible places. All sorts of depredations happen in there–awful food, institutionalized violence, rape, isolation–but when we as a society ban beating off in prison we’ve finally crossed the line into abject totalitarianism. What the fuck ELSE are you supposed to do in there?

  4. You know, we could combine “Love is a Battlefield” with “Hell is for Children” and throw in Asia’s “Sole Survivor” to get some POWER BALADS!

  5. Allowing prisoners to masturbate may reduce the likelihood that they will commit homosexual rape. Next question.

    This deputy is female, guarding male prisoners? Is she hot? This could explain everything.

  6. Okay, so batin’ is a crime but apparently everyone looks the other way on forcible buggery.

    WTF?

  7. P Brooks: prison hot or free man hot? There’s a biiiig difference

  8. Spilling the seed before he gets to rape a fellow inmate — a prison Onan no-no!!

  9. They get all worked up about this guy jackin’ it but nary a peep about prison rape? Oh, that’s right. Prison rape is a joke. A punch line. They deserve it. They deserve the AIDS too. Yup, the guy in there for DWI, bad checks, fighting or some other minor offense deserves to be raped. He deserves to die from AIDS too doesn’t he.

    Oh and don’t mention the racial aspects of prison rape either. That’s far too uncomfortable to talk about. Whitey deserves what he gets.

    But hey. At least we prosecuted that poor dude for jackin’ off. I feel safer. Don’t you?

  10. BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, the officer who brought the charges

    Mmmm…veal. Pink…tender…juicy…

  11. This guard has all but admitted that she is doing a job she is apparently unqualified to do. What would she do if a riot broke out?

  12. “Did you call a SWAT team?”

    “I wish I had,” Veal answered…

    Wha wha wha?1?!

  13. Convicted for masturbation? Never heard of such a thing. Should have had Denny Crane for his lawyer.

    Denny Crane.

  14. I would have gotten him off.

    Denny Crane.

  15. Why are there male guards in women’s prisons, and female guards in men’s prisons? Seriously, why? There’s no reason for it, and it’s always the source of trouble.

    I think the guard’s sex has everything to do with her routinely pressing these charges. She’s offended by the sight of these men maturbating, and that’s a rather normal reaction — but again I ask: what the hell is she doing there, in what is essentially their homes?

    The jury’s verdict is also yet another example of how most Americans refuse to think of convicts as human beings. Losing your freedom also never seems to be enough: they want prisons to be hell on earth.

  16. Gives new meaning to “roughing up the suspect.”

  17. It’s unclear to me what anyone else would recommend be done in this situation. We can throw up our arms and say “How outrageous!” but the bottom line is there nothing wrong with what was done here.

    I agree that prosecuting inmates for masturbation is extreme. But we’re not talking about prosecuting inmates every time they masturbate. This situation was one–if you read the original article, which I’m sure few have–in which the inmate was directly exposing himself to the officer. This is inappropriate behavior. A jail cell clearly is not the same as if the individual was in his home, by very fact that the officer could clearly see him. Any officer, male or female, should not be subject to having to witness this type of behavior. If we do permit it, such behavior could quickly become a method of harassment from the inmates to the officers.

    Clearly, this was not just a situation of someone masturbating, but of doing so in a way that infringed on the officer. Further, this was a jury trial! If not a judge, and if not a jury, by what standard and to whom do you appeal for justice? The decision was unanimous and reached in 45 minutes.

    I invoke Hayek’s knowledge problem here, where Reason and its readers are claiming to know more about this situation than either the officer involved in it or the jury who heard the entire trial. You don’t know the whole story. If we can’t trust a jury verdict of our peers, then by what other standard?

  18. Punchline: “Yes, but he was using my hand!”

    Setup: Supply your own.

  19. In related news, Florida has the lowest rate of inmate blindness of any state in the nation.

  20. Why are there male guards in women’s prisons

    Pervert fantasy

    and female guards in men’s prisons?

    It pays better. And pervert fantasy.

  21. Does this guard really want to try to maintain order in a prison system where the prisoners can’t even jerk off to relieve their tension? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    -jcr

  22. If we can’t trust a jury

    You mean that group of people in court selected mostly for their unintelligence? They don’t know “the whole story” most of the time either.

  23. It could have been worse! They could have brought animal cruelty charges for spanking the monkey.

  24. Your milage may vary, but in general – Prison Guard is horrible job. The pay sucks, as do the benefits. Most of all you spend your day in a hell-hole. All day you deal with lowlife scum, you witness people treating people in despicable ways. And since it is often your job to be despicable to people, over time the job turns you into scum.

    I don’t know what methods of discipline were available, but filing charges might have actually been the best option.

    I agree that the “I wish I had,” (called for a SWAT team) response was over the top. But it’s hard to evaluate how she was being provoked.

    Back to the point – Our prisons are hell holes. They are counter productive in the attempt to manage a civil society. The need for prison and sentencing reform need more attention. And compassion, we need to overcome the Fuck Em mentality.

  25. For fuck’s sake – she saw him ‘batin from a control room. Seriously, if youre seeing something you don’t want to see because you are watching a person in the only place they’re allowed to live, by means of video surveillance, maybe you should get a job where you don’t have to watch people by video surveillance. Especially people of the opposite sex.

    Just a thought.

  26. A friend refers to prison guards as ‘the scum of the earth guarding the scourge of the earth’.

    Then there was the set of experiments where college students were separated into prison guards with complete autonomy, and prisoners with no rights. The guards got pretty atavistic pretty fast.

  27. they can take my gun rubbing rights when they pry it out of my cold, dead, slippery fingers…

  28. Why are there male guards in women’s prisons, and female guards in men’s prisons? Seriously, why?

    Civil rights laws involving gender discrimination. Seriously.

    Your milage may vary, but in general – Prison Guard is horrible job. The pay sucks, as do the benefits.

    Good. Anybody who says “You know what job I’d like to have? Overseeing human beings locked in cages!” deserves to be miserable. Same holds true for someone who takes that job because they have no other skills.

  29. Prison Guard is horrible job

    As one of the few growth industries in upstate New York, I’ve heard that it’s not so bad and the pay is pretty good. Admittedly, it was clear that it was slowly turning my friend’s friend into a racist prick, but hey….

  30. They get all worked up about this guy jackin’ it but nary a peep about prison rape?

    Because rape is an essential part of the punishment experience of prison. Don’t like it, obey the laws.

  31. Then there was the set of experiments where college students were separated into prison guards with complete autonomy, and prisoners with no rights. The guards got pretty atavistic pretty fast.

    It’s too dangerous to have full-time correctional officers. The temptation is too great. Providing muscle for the prison administration should be carried out by state police who pull two-week shifts at the prison a couple times a year.

  32. “I would have gotten him off.

    Denny Crane.”

    After that, would you have tried to get him released from prison? Or would you have been charged as an accessory to ‘batin?

  33. I think Everyone is the voice of reason on this one. what a shock.

  34. “invoke Hayek’s knowledge problem here, where Reason and its readers are claiming to know more about this situation than either the officer involved in it or the jury who heard the entire trial. You don’t know the whole story. If we can’t trust a jury verdict of our peers, then by what other standard?” – Everyone

    I call BS. Juries often, and intentionally, know less than we do. But we must keep it that way in the name of justice. Juries can’t be trusted to know the whole story or the history of the people involved. This is as important to the concept of justice as ensuring nobody is allowed to make audio or video recordings of any phone call or police encounter. True guilt or innocence is about lawyers, process, public relations, career standing, etc.

  35. In the words of that famous American, “That’s my baby”

  36. It’s too dangerous to have full-time correctional officers. The temptation is too great. Providing muscle for the prison administration should be carried out by state police who pull two-week shifts at the prison a couple times a year.

    That’s a great idea, but I can think of two unions that would never go for it.

  37. Sorry, my previous statement about video surveilance was incorrect. The officer was in a glassed-in control room over 100ft away, but was not watching on CCTV.

    In any event, my feelings on the matter are along the lines of peeping tom law. If I stand in my window and jack it in full view of the sidewalk, that’s indecent exposure. If I’m sitting on my bed while ‘batin, and somebody looks in the window, they’re invading my privacy. They have some legal obligation to respect my privacy, even if they can see in.

    The prisoners make no attempt to hide the fact that they’re dropping a deuce when they’re on the toilet in equally plain sight to the control room. Because they’re not afforded privacy for security reasons.

    Her comments say that he was not trying to hide it, but she does not imply that he was intentionally calling attention to it or trying to make sure that she saw. So I’m more of the opinion that this is a bad precedent, and that barring some overt act to force her to see it, ‘failure to hide your shame’ when you’re locked in a cell in full view of a mixed gender security force shouldn’t constitute indecency. If they are not afforded privacy, then they must be granted the legal illusion of privacy.

  38. I wonder if the people in charge here have fully contemplated the unintended consequences of this case. If prisoners realize they get a free two week break going to court in exchange for an extra 60 days in the clink, almost all will take up the offer. And it would bog down the legal system like no other situation could.

    Are they they prepared for the coming bate-in?

  39. The ‘bater is already in for 10 years. How much did it cost to prosecute this case? Was it worth it to add 1 1/2% (60 days) to his sentence?

    Aren’t there petty non-violent drug offenders they could be using the court resources on?

  40. Talk about doing hard time.

  41. When I was in prison, my neighbor got hauled off to “the hole” for 30 days because a cute little n00b of a fem guard caught him jerkin’ off. However, no additional charges were filed. It all went through the prison’s kangaroo court.

  42. Any man who pleasures himself in front of a guard gets a night in the box.

  43. de stijl,
    I hope you ain’t gonna be a hardcase.

  44. Still “shakin’ the bushes” boss!

  45. GO ‘WAY! BATIN

    I laughed my soda out at that. Funny movie.

  46. I can beat fifty eggs.

  47. Look, prisons are horrible places. All sorts of depredations happen in there–awful food, institutionalized violence, rape, isolation–but when we as a society ban beating off in prison we’ve finally crossed the line into abject totalitarianism. What the fuck ELSE are you supposed to do in there?

    That is the nature of power, Winston.

    Imagine a boot, stomping a man’s face every time he tries to ‘bate … forever.

  48. Couldn’t she have just warned him to get under the covers? Had the rules been explained to him?

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