Today was an interesting day.
I got up way too early for comfort, and headed up that hill to meet up with my carpool group for our field trip out to Kent Maximum Security Federal Corrections Center. Katie (being the doll that she is) baked cookies for the long drive.
Kent was… crazy. I think mostly because the average age of inmates is 26. That’s just way too close for comfort. It means that most of my male friends are about the same age as the average inmate there. Seeing the guys was a total trip. We didn’t mingle with the general population, but we did take a little tour down the “Kitchen Gunwalk”. We got to look down on the cafeteria where a bunch of young guys were having lunch. I know that criminals aren’t some beastly mutated people – but when you see a bunch of guys who could easily pass as one of your colleagues or classmates – let’s just say it’s creepy.
We also got to tour the “segregation” units. Otherwise known as solitary confinement. You can’t see much into the cells, but there is a 4″ wide by 2′ long window in each cell door. Standing less than 4 feet from that door and seeing a pair of baby blues and some freckles staring back at you is definitely strange. He grinned, I said “hey” he said “hey” and the group moved on. That man is one of the most dangerous offenders in Canada. He can not be let out of that cell with less than 3 armed guards escoring him (full shackles on of course). Yet he looked like a boy of not more than 25. One other thing. The guard said Oz is a pretty accurate reflection of his daily life there.
After that totally surreal experience, our little carload of innocents decided a trip to Tim Hortons and then the mall was in order. I scored some nice pants and a cute sleeveless turtleneck.
And I am thankful every moment to those brave men and women who put their lives on the line (and they really do – they’re not allowed to carry weapons on the job, not even handcuffs and pepper spray) to keep us safe from these so-called lost souls.