This book covers my first twenty-five years working in correctional education. This eclectic journey is filled with humor, pathos and wonderment. Cell Tales presents a perspective of prison culture seldom experienced.
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I rolled my supply cart up to Shorty's cell under the pretense of conducting class. Since the officer didn't know which inmates I taught, I could approach any cell as if teaching through the bars. When I arrived at Shorty's cell, he rose from his bed and greeted me as if I was his only link to reality. I was the only person to visit Shorty since he had been locked up.
He made a confession to me: "Mr. Miller, all my life I have had this complex about my color. Kids used to tease me when I was in school, and I became real self-conscious of how dark I was. I used to fight all the time to defend myself. Since I've been locked up, they been giving me medication because of my nerves."
The gold tooth in Shorty's mouth reflected rays of light as he continued. "I was in the pill line to get my medication like I always do. This time they told me I was late and couldn't get it. I got upset, turned around and fired up on the first guard I saw. I didn't mean to cause the BCA no problems."
The guard he assaulted, the smallest one on duty, barely weighed 125 pounds. The other guards subdued Shorty and carted him off to M-Building. That was the end of his story, except that he would be given additional flat time -- time served without benefit of parole -- and deported to Mecklenburg, the new maximum security prison.