The Smiling Inmate

I observed the older female inmate who happened to be the cellmate of the other crying, younger inmate that my co-worker was assessing. She had a weird smile on her face as if she was having fun to hear what was going on, after the unit deputy called the Infirmary regarding the crying inmate who just slipped on the floor.

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“There was a puddle of water and I slipped,” she complained, pointing to her right hip that landed first but no one witnessed except the cellmate who remained quiet but just smiling the entire time. The deputy glanced at me and as if her eyes were talking, thought her complained was out of the norm as there was no visible water on the floor. Except…

I started looking down all over and under the bottom bunk of the 2-tiered beds. On the farther right side below it by its metal legs, I saw a rolled-up blanket that seemed to have been used to dry up the floor and next to it was a visibly, noticeable remaining amount that was still not completely dried up.

The other nurse started taking blood pressure on the moaning inmate. The deputy was a little surprised that I went up a little closer to the other inmate and asked her some questions.

“Did you see her fall?”

She just smiled.

“Was the floor wet earlier before we came?”

She smiled then replied, “Oh yeah! There were rats coming from this (as she pointed to the wall that did not have any holes or any vents) so I started pouring water to drown them.” A light just turned on as the deputy and the other nurse started listening to our conversation. I grabbed her ID clipped on her left, upper pocket of her orange shirt and wrote down her own booking number so I could check if she was already being seen by our Mental Health Services.

“Did you have any history of a mental health problem?” I added.

As if with a proud tone of voice, she hollered, “Yeah…I’m bipolar!”

There were no obvious signs of physical injuries sustained on the other inmate who fell. Looking afraid and sort of relieved that we discovered her cellmate’s unusual behavior, she started complaining, “I knew there was something wrong with her.”

I motioned for the deputy and the other nurse to step out of the tiny cell and recommended to the deputy that no other inmate be housed together with the smiling inmate. We asked if the inmate who fell could be moved to another cell, for her safety and peace of mind. Fortunately, the cell next door was empty and the resident on the bottom bunk was a pregnant inmate. We helped the hurt inmate gathered her belongings on the top bunk and she immediately was transferred to the other cell.

As my co-worker and I had gone back to the Infirmary, we looked at the smiling inmate’s charge and not surprised at all to see that she was jailed for “faking an emergency.” She was already being given Psychiatric medications. We advised the unit and we were all relieved that no other harmful injuries were caused by her.

This world we live in is like a big prison, full of people with different colors, beliefs, cultures, speaking different languages and because of our differences, we cannot predict someone’s behavior will always agree with what we believe in. Lots of people around us are hurting and no matter how much their values and opinions differ from us, we are all the same when it comes to feeling loved and accepted and be respected.

Next time a heart-broken person comes along, remember that he or she is the same…Wanting to be loved…Wanting to be respected…Wanting  to be sympathized with…Wanting to be respected and sometimes, comforted…

"So once again, I, the LORD All-Powerful, tell you, "See that justice is done and be kind and merciful to one another!" - Zechariah 7:8-9 (CEV)
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].