Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prison Visitation Part 4, Meaningless Rules

I'm the first to admit that this example of prison visitor mistreatment isn't the worst of the bunch. It just shows the lack of consideration for friends of visitors, and the silliness of unnecessary and unbending rules.

Mr. D, a senior citizen, had promised his dear friend Mollie that the day she walked out of prison, he would be the first to hold the door open for her. Even though the winter weather was threatening, he made the 150 mile drive. It was a harrowing experience. Because the drive had to be made early in the morning, it was dark, it was snowing, at times visibility was bad and at times the highway was slippery. But his prayers were answered, and he arrived in Ypsilanti safely and in plenty of time. In fact, because he allowed so much extra time, he was more than an hour early.

He didn't mind that at all, because the waiting room in the prison was inviting, well-lighted, warm, and was served by vending machines. At least he could sit and let his jangled nerves relax.

But that was not to be. There was absolutely no one in the waiting room, and there would not be. The guard at the desk politely but firmly informed him that he would have to leave. The rules stated that he could enter the building only 15 minutes prior to the scheduled release of the prisoner.

Where to go? What to do? He didn't know the area, had no idea where to find a coffee shop, and the weather was still unpleasant. Those factors were not of consideration. he had to leave.

Perhaps he could just go sit in his car, turn on the heater and listen to the radio.

Nope, the rules say one must not be on the premises. That includes the parking lot, and a roaming guard in a prison pickup truck would enforce the rule.

Not one person would have known of a minor variance to this harsh prison rule, but it didn't happen.

The old man was banned from the property until they said he could come back.

Grrrrrr.

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