Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gangs are like Marriage

Easy to get in, hard as heck to get out" said Captain Hamby to a class full of Correctional Officers in training, nurses and interns attending pre-service week in order to be able to work in prison.

Yes, you read it right the first time: prison. Me, blogger who responds to the spiritual name of Yedid Nefesh will be interning in a prison  for the next ten months. As I will be starting this week, you might get to hear some quite interesting stories.

Captain Hamby was once married but as he calls himself, he is a "free man". What is it about man that they will always joke about being single as equating being free? They love us, they need us, yet they can't accept it. They feel trapped in love. As if they were the victims of a powerful feeling that takes over control over their emotions, if emotion there is, and compels them to act on the demand of love... Please.

Anyways, Captain Hamby did have some other good lines. Among others:

"If you don't get along with a person, simply ignore them" --hmm great Middos demonstration....

"There is a very fine line between those in a prison and those who aren't." --Really? fine line such as .... oh, crime perhaps?

"As long as you're wearing your uniform, you are held to a different standard." Ah, finally something my Bais Yaakov teacher might have said one day....



  1. "If you don't get along with a person, simply ignore them" I like :)

    Wow that sounds interesting. Looking forward to hearing tidbits about it.

  2. good luck! sounds like an incredible experience

  3. "If you don't get along with a person, simply ignore them". For some reason it reminded me of this line: Always forgive your enemies - Nothing annoys them so much.

  4. after watching the shawshank redemption I'll never look at prisons the same.
    A. For the brutality and rough life
    B. For the innocents that might be there

  5. Shawshank redemption is a movie, not necessarily reality. And i used to think a lot more like you, but now after being there just for training, i cant be that objective

  6. I imagine this is going to inspire some very fascniating posts!

    I can definitely tell this guy is more the type of person you learn to not be like, instead of emulating his ideals and actions.

    As a married man, I can certainly say that marriage has elements of confinement, I can't stay up as late as a want, do what I want with my free time, come home whenever I want, or eat whatever I want when I want it. But living according to those "rules" don't really provide "freedom" but a lack of structure, immaturity, and engender a very selfish, narcissistic attitude about life.

    A person who can't ever think of someone else being more important than him/herself shouldn't get married because their spouse is going to be miserable, catering to their every whim and getting no justifiable reciprocity.

    I can imagine that this is what he may be referring to when he said that "There is a very fine line between those in a prison and those who aren't." He himself has probably wanted to do criminal things, and views that as normal, but he found other outlets for bloodlust, sexual lust and whatever else he could think of. The prisoners probably had the very same thoughts, but acted on them instead of subverting what they knew to be harmful (perhaps sinful) desires.

    So while Captain Hamby may have felt like murdering his wife, the difference between him and the guy in the cell is that the guy in the cell actually did it. Captain Hamby may have a bit more of a moral compass, but it's clearly cracked and in need of repair.

    You see things very differently, because thankfully you have your Jewish background and religious beliefs that implore and obligate you to do what's right, which includes dealing with baser inclinations that we all have. That is why Chazal tell us that people who have certain desires channel them in productive ways (like someone who likes to kill becomes a butchter, etc). You have a divine guide system that is ordered, makes sense, and is eons ahead of anything Captain Hamby believes. So count yourself lucky :)

    Hatlzacha on your intership. Stay safe!

  7. @shades of grey: Thank you thank you for your comment!! As Captain Hamby was speaking, I wrote down the sentences that I had a lot to say about. I chose not to and just post them to see if it would steer any reaction or did what he say sound normal to all?
    I agree about the whole thing of being free and able to put someone else beyond your first desires...
    My first day is tomorrow, I am definitely apprehensive :)

  8. Actually, from those 3 lines, Captain Hamby sounds like a very smart, experienced man. You should really think about what he's trying to say. Don't be naive- he's giving you survival tips in the dog eat dog world of prison.I don't know what position you're in there, but keep your eyes open and trust your instincts.

    The fine line he's talking about is: who chooses to lock themselves in a prison 8 hours a day? Watch out for the guards as well.

  9. @yeshicaforum: actually, i thought he was exaggerating when he made that statement about the CO but turns out, he's right in the sense that inmate and CO's are both grossly inapropriate. Im not sure this is what he was warning us against specifically but its definitely true when it comes to their language, jokes and mannerism.
    Apparently the story has it he used to be just like one of them, then he lost a daughter in a car accident and became a much refined man with more respects towards others...
    PS: Im an intern in psychology :)