Thursday, February 2, 2012
Murderers make the best neighbours.
Who would have thought that putting a (very mild) boot into smackheads would raise your ire? Which doesn't alter my position one whit. Smackheads are a pain in the arse to live around because their overwhelming goal in life is the next bag, or the money to buy the next bag. As I tried to make clear, drug use is a personal choice that I defend but equally I believe that anyone who opts for heroin is an idiot.
That said, for me a prisoner is a prisoner first and his personal qualities come second. When a man I don't like asks for assistance he gets the same service from me as I'd give anyone who knocked on my door.
Of course we all have to deal with people who we don't like in daily life. That, though, is a far cry from living amongst them and they are in the majority. The best neighbours are not the petty thieves, they are the murderers.
Lifers, as a demographic, differ from short termers in their age, outlook and criminal histories. We tend to opt for the quieter life, at least in public, living at a less frenetic pace. Having to face the same neighbours for years at a time also means that we have to ensure that our personal relationships are constantly tended. Where a short termer may cause ructions, upset all and sundry and then go home, Lifers have to face the consequences of their behaviour amongst their peers. And that calling to account can mean more than a stern talking to.
There is a reason why long term prisoners prefer to mix with their own kind, and it is a truism that staff prefer to supervise a Lifer Unit rather than any other. It is because we are more stable, reasonable, and broadly orientated towards a quiet life.
It may be counterintuitive but trust me. If you end up inside, try to live amongst the murderers if you prefer a bit of peace and quiet.