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Choose Jail or Pathfinders


Gregory Matthews
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Life in a California prison is not so bad, if you don't mind noise. Many criminals continue their criminal behavior in prison. I once testified in an attempted murder trial. Both of the accused had prior killings on their record; nevertheless, they conspired together to murder another inmate in prison. Being sent to prison is like going to a prolonged party for many. Friends and acquaintances from the street are already there. The inmate might be immediately absorbed into a prison gang, tasked with minor duties, such as race based attacks, drug smuggling, carrying/hiding weapons. They are given responsibilities of a criminal nature. A gang might compel other inmates to involve his/her visitors in drug smuggling, thereby possibly involving family members in criminal behavior which could lead to their arrest/incarceration.

A recent arrival might be ordered to attack a bigger and stronger inmate in order to demonstrate his courage. In cases like this, the attack might take place with an officer nearby so the altercation can be stopped quickly, before the perpetrator gets hurt. Tasks like this not only test courage but intelligence. If a criminal attacks a larger, stronger inmate in an isolated location where help isn't immediately available, obviously the attacker is not too bright. He/she won't be tasked with duties requiring any great degree of stealth.

I once asked a very large and apparently strong inmate if he ever thought about his crime, a murder for which he was sentenced to execution. He burst into tears and said, "I think about it every day." Fortunately, chaplain services are available to inmates.

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