Commentary by Danielle Wilson
Prison is tough, for inmates at least. My husband and I are rather enjoying our term as wardens. We’ve grounded our oldest, and he is seriously struggling to adjust to life behind bars. Attica!
Make no mistake, Inmate 7 is guilty. We warned him about keeping up his grades, and thanks to the internet, we can view them whenever we want. I couldn’t sleep the other night so I did a cursory background check. Turns out our juvie hasn’t been keeping us in the loop. The following morning, we read the accused his heavily-amended Miranda rights, and then promptly threw him in the can. He received no phone call.
That first day of incarceration wasn’t too bad; he got work-release for school and to drive his baby sister to dance. But then the weekend arrived, and his confinement took on new meaning. Fresh fish! Fresh fish! The complaining, whining and general depression soon morphed into desperate requests for shock probation. Denied. Twice. He did the crime, he’s doing the time.
Then it got really interesting. Apparently word of his confinement spread quickly among his peeps, and we soon saw various attempts to break him out. While he was mowing the back lawn, for example, two would-be accomplices tried to jump our storm-swollen creek and pass him food (and shivs?).
He’s not in solitary, mind you. We let him keep his phone, which basically keeps him in touch with his entire posse. But he’d argue abuse is rampant. Physical labor, lack of junk food and restrictions on electronics make him think he’s being water-boarded. As if Geneva even applies here. Sorry, Inmate 7. You’ll get three hots and a cot and you’ll like it. Or not.
We don’t really care. In fact, it’s almost entertaining to watch him grapple with the knowledge that he did this to himself. Hopefully, he’ll learn from his experience and make smarter choices next time. If not, we have no problem Shawshank-ing his butt again. Some kids just take longer to figure out how to make parole, and he might be one of them.