As the door to the ‘INMATE INTAKE’ room swung open, Marie was confronted with the overpowering smell of disinfectant. The room was like a clinic, the walls, floor, all surfaces white and wipe-clean. Like the reception area, there were cameras in all corners, facing all parts of the room. There were two members of staff, one man and one woman, both wearing face masks. The woman was just removing a pair of disposable latex gloves, pulling the left glove up from the wrist, wrapping it in the right-hand glove, which she swiftly turned inside out, then pressed the pedal on the trashcan and tossed the glove bundle inside. She then grabbed two new gloves, and quickly put them on.
The male guard, arms crossed, told Marie to walk into the middle of the cell and place her feet inside a square marked out on the floor and place her hands on her head. He then stepped over and scanned the barcode on her wristband, bringing up her details on a computer screen on a side wall. He then began to curtly instruct her. “OK ma’am, without removing your hands from your head, remove your shoes.” Using her other foot, she prized each heel off. The male guard then walked over, picked up the shoes, closely inspected them, and then placed them into a plastic zip-bag, which he sealed and placed into a box. “Now take your right hand, and unbutton your top starting from the top button and working your way to the bottom.”
Uneasily, she began to lower her right arm, but before her arm was below her shoulder, she uttered “excuse me, but should you be doing this, you know, as a guy?”. The response was quick and uncompromising. “Ma’am, I am not permitted to search you. I am permitted to be in the room, and to issue instructions. Unless you follow my instructions immediately and completely, you will have your clothes removed, and your disobedience will be put on file. Do I make myself clear.” Knowing that she had little choice, she meekly replied “Yes”, and continued lowering her right arm. She unbuttoned her shirt, eventually leaving it hanging open.
Continue reading Story – The Weekenders, Part 2