Three People You Meet In Jail
This is Jail - not Prison.
Sometimes they call it "county."
It is run by the Sheriff, not a warden.
These are not Corrections Officers, armed with pepper spray and nightsticks. They are Confinement Officers, where the only requirement be that you have the right last name or donated to the Sheriff's campaign last year.
This isn't where the badasses hang out. It is petty thiefs; illegal immigrants picked up for driving uninsured; guys who haven't made the child support payment in a year and, during the weekends, the drunks.
There's basically three types of guys you meet in jail: the young ones - kids who have been in and out of the system since they were 12 years old. They generally are under 25 and know how to smuggle pot into the work-release houses. Most of them have been picked up on "PTRs" - a "petition to revoke" probation.
Since most of them wind up "pissing dirty" - failing a drug test at the facility they report to - they usually come in high. If it's alcohol or pot, they usually just grab some floor and sleep it off.
If it's dope, especially that fuckin' tar shit, then they wind up REALLY sleeping it off. These are the guys that get picked up at night. Something triggered them and they fell back to a needle.
Then a cop notices them on the bench downtown and reels 'em in.
A good bender, if they make it the whole weekend, that'll usually take a good 12 to 18 hours to work off.
Then there's the seasoned, habitual offender. Most of the time they are dealers - though they aren't typically high. No, most of these guys have been ordered to avoid certain spots - bus stations, train stations, city parks, railroad bridge crossings.
But they can't. Because how the hell else are they going to make money? Get a job? With a record more than a dozen years long and a history of drug abuse? Sometimes jail is a reprieve for some of these poor bastards.
I've seen guys spend hours sitting outside the bus terminal, swearing at every city cop who drove by, hoping to get dragged in for a petty Trespassing charge so they could at least get some fuckin' sleep in a warm place and a couple meals before the judge "OR'd" them.
Released on Own Recognizance. The equivalent of a slap on the wrist by the state. It doesn't cost anything, and most of the time they'll skip the next hearing resulting a bench warrant they can use to get off the streets for another weekend.
It's quite a system.
And the third kind of guy you meet in jail? Well... that'd be me. Handed a blanket, stripped of my belt and shoes and told to "find a spot."
It's quite a system, indeed.