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17 Hours in Jail

February 25th, 2009 by admin · 57 Comments

When a member of the local media gets in trouble with the law, we’re likely to write about it here on The ‘Ville Voice. So it would be hypocritical of me to not report this story, which I hope you’ll find is less about me doing something wrong and more instructive on a Metro Department of Corrections that has some serious flaws.

The news is this:  I spent 17 hours in the local jail Monday and Tuesday as a result of a citation I’d received for driving with an expired license plate. Of course, there’s a lot more to the story.

It turned out to be a rare opportunity – like being an undercover reporter and seeing the ugly underside of corrections from the POV of an inmate – which is the way I was classified and treated. It’s not a pretty picture.

On Monday, I was in a delicate situation at home (I’ll spare you the details of that) in which I requested the help of police. While there, the police officer checked a list of bench warrants and found my name. Turns out I failed to appear in court after the citation. My memory is of getting the license issue fixed right after I got the ticket, in Sept. 2007,

But the responsibility for the warrant was mine. I screwed up by not getting it fixed, and forgetting about it. You can check to see if you’ve got a warrant right here. Still, I figured I’d get in and out and maybe even make the four o’clock meeting I had scheduled. At worst, I’d be out in time for the 7 p.m. U of L game and my regular bowling night at 9.

The arresting officer, who had put me in handcuffs at my home, arrived at the Corrections Department, I was placed on a bench where I could make calls. I had no idea what I was in for. Here’s a link to a story about the frustrations Jake was experiencing trying to get me out.

Read the rest of our own personal scandal after the jump…

An Officer Grossman frisked me. I later spoke with the new Corrections chief, Mark Bolton, who told me that he’s making efforts, among other things, to change the attitude of the workers there. He could start with this guy.

The booking room features a series of chairs split into two sections by a four-foot wall – one side for men, one for women. Everyone comes in this way, and every single person is rudely instructed to take a seat. If you stand up for more than 30 seconds, you get yelled at and told to sit down.

Got a question about your case? Ask anyone in a uniform and you are told to sit down and wait.

I was in this room for about eight hours – no cell phone, nothing to read, no standing and one bologna sandwich. I went through getting a mug shot, fingerprints, pretrial conference, medical check and finally selection. Well, there is a phone, but it has a three minute limit and the recipient knows that the call is coming from an inmate.

It’s an unpleasant place. Every once in a while, some drunk is escorted into a holding cell in front of the crowd, chuckles all around. They beat on the doors and try to get other inmates to help, while the officers laugh at them. One guy who was particularly out of control came in about 10, and got out by 5.

So a crazy-eyed drunk gets himself released before me, here on a traffic issue.

During my processing, they got me confused with another inmate with my name. I believe this cost me several hours. When I told an officer about it, he looked on a computer screen and said “That’s all you’re in here for?” as if it was funny. It wasn’t.

I didn’t know it at the time, but a judge had agreed to release me on my own recognizance before 6 p.m. Despite this fact, I could get no help from anyone in the booking room, and didn’t really know about all the efforts Jake was going through to get me out.

At 1:30 a.m., my name was called with a group of four others. While there was hope I might be leaving, I was actually going somewhere that was worse. They call it a dorm, but an actual dorm room would have been a giant step up. Three rows of metal bunk beds. Grab a cot and a blanket, get inside and shut up. Now there wasn’t even an inmate phone, and you couldn’t get the attention of anyone in charge.

So I had a fitful couple of hours of sleep, roused at 4 for a breakfast of lukewarm scrambled eggs, cereal and skim milk. The worst meal of my life, maybe after the bologna sandwich 12 hours ago.

By morning, my ex-wife Shelley was a little frantic when she learned I was still incarcerated; now going on 15 hours. She called pretrial and got a guy named Roger, who told her that someone had dropped the ball on my case, that I should have been released long ago. I think it might have been his reaction to Shelley’s frantic pleas that ultimately got me freed. That, or Jake pulling in big favors from his political friends.

There’s a million stories in here. The crazies that try to run, or so whacked out on drugs they beat on their cell doors. Others, like me, mystified about being held on minor charges. One guy got picked up on a 9-year-old bench warrant. Another had his yellow release papers in his hand but was still there when I left eight hours later.

The process of actually getting out took more than 90 minutes. At the end, when they handed over my stuff, the $16 in cash I brought in was gone, a portion of the $25 they charge for this fine service.

The problems with the jail are many. There’s an inherent negative atmosphere from the surly staff members. There’s an antiquated paperwork system that means that every processing move takes three hours. Looking around the room, it seems more like a case of workers not caring about what happens to inmates.

No one’s in a hurry. Act up, like talking when you shouldn’t or refusing to sit down, you get put in a solitary cell. Every few minutes, somebody gets called down for standing up.

I heard from the Corrections Chief, Mark Bolton, who apologized for any ill treatment and told me he’s working to change the culture over there. Good idea. He says he’s trying to modernize the paper trail that leads to mistakes like the one that kept me there for so long.According to communications director Pam Windsor, the problem in my case was that my paperwork never got transferred from the judge’s office to the jail. Windsor didn’t want to put any blame out on that, but it was obvious to me that someone in pretrial had dropped the ball, as our guy Roger admitted.

I can laugh now, because Windsor told me that once Roger got the ball rolling for my release at 6:20, I was out in just over 90 minutes. That’s a modern-day record, apparently, for processing paperwork.

I now know from firsthand experience now that the Corrections Department has a tough job. It processes 45,000 people a year. There are 600 employees. I don’t want Mark Bolton’s job. And I sure don’t want to end up in that place again.

Tags: Crime · Jail

57 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan B. // Feb 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Sounds more like the old Bourbon Stockyards than a place where people should be kept. Maybe just maybe they could sort people by whether they had prior offenses or were first timers. Sounds like more of a paperwork mistake as opposed to a crime against society. I know an older lady who was called for jury duty and met the same canned responses from the officers that had absolutely nothing to do with her question. (She asked about TARC bus service since she had come by bus, but the officer responded repeatedly “An officer will take you to your car!”) Can’t these paid city officials answer a legitimate question or are they just supposed to recite a script?

  • 2 T // Feb 25, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I had a similar situation occur myself. Luckily i wasnt home when they served the warrant on an outstanding faulty equipment charge. I mean for gods sakes you would think they would send you a notice in the mail or something. Our justice system has got to be the most mismanaged ridiculous system in the world. When a halfway decent computer costs $300 why are they still dealing in paperwork???~!!

  • 3 kdmaverick // Feb 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    THAT is fantastic writing and reporting on a fascinating topic. Rick, that’s why I read your blog daily.

  • 4 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Feb 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I wasn’t aware that jail was supposed to be a pleasant experience (that would be counterintuitive marketing), but mild offenders should certainly be treated in a kinder manner, and the idea that in the year 2009, Metro Corrections is still all about shuffling paper is shocking but not surprising.

    Isn’t this ultimately under Mayor Jer’s administration? Do we have yet another scandal to process?

  • 5 Steve // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    So what’s the problem fixing things there?

    Isn’t that’s what Corrections Chief, Mark Bolton was supposed to do. How long does it take to line up your offices Mark, and tell them (in no uncertain terms) how to treat people that are incarcerated. God, it’s like a black hole over there. Unless your in it, no one cares!

    At the time, Mark Bolton was the best candidate for the job, but if he can’t get his officers under control, FIRE him! Any Mayor can only do so much.

    The Mayor can only pick from the best of the people applying. And Steve M, why are you not a part of the solution? If it were YOUR family, I believe everyone would see you on the steps of the courthouse, raising hell to the media. This story is enough to start with for sure. Look deeper, and I think you’ll find a lot more of the same, and even worse.

    Corrections Chief, Mark Bolton needs to fix the problems NOW, not later. So do the damn job we hired you to do Mark and get your house in order!

    I hope this causes a huge investigation into the DOC.

  • 6 Mark // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    “As for public concern, remember that every law on the books, every regulation, every line in the government codebook, is ultimately enforced by prison. The jail cell is the symbol and ultimate end of statism itself. It would be nice if we thought of the interests of the prisoners in society and those that will become so. But even if you are not likely to be among them, consider the loss of privacy, the loss of liberty, the loss of independence, the loss of all that used to be considered truly American, in the course of the building of prison nation. ”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/prison-nation.html

    We would ALL like to see your mug shot!

    It is always nice to be put in jail for a non-crime. For not paying your dues to the all powerful state.

  • 7 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Steve, what do you propose that I do? You seem to suggest I can make a difference here, but I need specific ideas.

  • 8 T // Feb 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    They could start with something like… instead of issuing warrants and locking people up for failing to pay stuff like non violent traffic crimes, (my situation)why dont they send you a letter or turn you into collections? Why arrest someone and lock them up for failure to pay a $75 traffic ticket. It seems like it would cost more than the $75 to lock them up.

    thats seems to be the problem with our city government, they just do things they way they have always been done, instead of trying to improve them or do them in cheaper smarter ways.

  • 9 Steve // Feb 25, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Don’t you think it would be a good idea to look into “this” train wreck at DOC? It’s happening everyday.

    If someone with a little pull has this kinda trouble, the rest of us are in deep trouble. It should be REAL easy since it’s all documented.

    Specifically: Overhaul the “paperwork” so it’s not such a quagmire. (It doesn’t seem to work anyway). Hold our people in charge to be more accountable. Review the complaints and see where improvements can be made.
    The “easy” list can go on and on.

    This ain’t brain surgery… your housing people.

    Hotels and schools do it everyday, and they don’t lose people. You’ve got ONE building that everyone is in. Is there not a simple way of keeping track of people there? We’ve given the DOC computers, bar codes, wrist tags, fingerprint records and all the personnel we can afford who all should know where EVERYONE is at ANY given time.

    No one shouldn’t be subjected to anything like this for such a minor offense. I know bad things happen to good people, but the ones in charge should know what is going on. i.e. a traffic ticket vs. manslaughter should be segregated from the rest of the real criminals.

    The ineptitude by the leadership to correct these many problems (for years) is glowing brightly.

    Want more…I’d be happy to come by and make a appointment with you (or the Chief) to discuss other ways to correct these problems.

    Why are you asking me? Aren’t “you” supposed to be the one correcting these things?

  • 10 Henry Watterson // Feb 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    What was the “delicate situation” at home?

    No one asked you to spare the details.

    Transparency now!

  • 11 rickredding // Feb 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    When it becomes something that needs writing about, I will. It wasn’t relevant to the jail story, and I’m not ready to discuss it publicly.

  • 12 Ann All // Feb 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Simple supply chain software would do the trick. Issue folks cheap plastic cards w/ a bar code. Get cheap scanners. When the card gets scanned, the software goes to the database and you see exactly what’s what. It updates automatically and continuously. Should also help prevent the erroneous release of dangerous offenders, which I believe has also been a problem. And come on, Henry. Rick used a personal situation as a launching pad for a fine piece of writing. The details are really none of our business, unless they help illustrate the nightmare at the D of C.

  • 13 Joel // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Rick, sorry about your terrible experience.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is something that is likely to change, in Louisville or anywhere else, anytime soon. Unfortunately, there is no incentive for local governments to improve correction facilities and procedures, especially since the general public would probably just perceive treating those arrested fairly as being “soft on crime” or some other nonsense.

    To give an example, in New York during the 2004 Republican National Convention, a number of law-abiding protesters — as well a few random citizens who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time — were arrested and held (in terrible conditions) without being arraigned for over 24 hours (in some cases much longer than that), despite the law in New York state being clear that 24 hours is the maximum amount someone can be held without arraignment. Now, there was a fair amount of media attention paid to the issue, and certainly some lawsuits were filed against NYC (some of which are yet to be resolved, I think), but I doubt very highly that, for the average person arrested there, the process is any better now than in 2004.

  • 14 Regana Hunt // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Rick,
    The justice system stinks! You called the police to ask for their help, not to arrest you on a traffic violation. I would think with the unemployment rate being so high DOC could replace the workers that just don’t care!! And maybe the “Jer” should share some of the responsibility as well!! Great piece, enjoyed reading it.

  • 15 N-square // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Rick — you are entitled to SOME privacy. I agree that details about the incident at your home are not needed in your jail story.

  • 16 Mark // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    “When it becomes something that needs writing about, I will. It wasn’t relevant to the jail story, and I’m not ready to discuss it publicly.”

    It’s in the public record, it’ll be dug up sooner or later. I’m sure you know how to get records of calls and reports and all that.

    As former Corrections, I say that your experience was normal. Sit down and shut up. Having you sit and be quiet is better for my safety. Your ass is mine until I’m done with it because you are the criminal; not me. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.

    The only reason you were apologized to is because you can put a negative light upon the Corrections office with your journalism. But I assure you, they did not mean their apology.

    Reject statism. Reject a government that would kidnap you for something like that. But it’s up to you; just don’t whine about being inconvenienced by it.

  • 17 Angela Champion // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hey – the warrants link doesn’t work! Please repost….

    And Rick – I’m so sorry!! Are you sure you didn’t plan it?

  • 18 Henry Watterson // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    “Rick — you are entitled to SOME privacy. I agree that details about the incident at your home are not needed in your jail story.”

    Um, no. He’s not. He’s a self-appointed watchdog who runs a blog that seeks page views by airing the dirty laundry of local celebrities — which I applaud.

    Thanks to this website, I know that John Boel got a DUI, and that Jim Bulleit filed for bankruptcy, and that Katie King’s ex-boyfriend called the cops on her. Great stuff.

    My appetite has been whetted. I want more. More dirt! Keep shoveling! Fess up, Rick!

  • 19 Terri // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    We would ALL like to see your mug shot!

    It is always nice to be put in jail for a non-crime. For not paying your dues to the all powerful state.

    Jake owes me a margarita!!!

  • 20 Mark // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    LoL. Henry does have a bit of a point.

  • 21 Thug1369 // Feb 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    You worthless piece of shit. Maybe if you wouldn’t of broke the law, you wouldn’t of been locked up. You chose not to renew your tags, and received a ticket for it. You chose not to pay your fine. This is what led to your bench warrant, which led to your arrest. So now lets take a look at the whole picture, you screwed up and got caught. Do the crime, do the time. Now you want to bad mouth the corrections department, the men and women that make sure criminals stay behind bars. Stand up and be a man, take responsibility for your screw up. By the way I heard the corrections department is hiring, if you think you can do a better job.

  • 22 Iconoclasto // Feb 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    They locked you up? You’re not black or something, are you Rick?

  • 23 Carl // Feb 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    maybe you should take care of your warrants and legal issues in the first place you dolt! Jail is not meant to be fun jackass!

  • 24 Doug // Feb 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Rick I work in corrections. I cannot make excuses for your apparently bad treatment, but I will say that if you are ever locked up again, I will take the time to talk to you, try to help you, and make sure you are safe. Unlike some of my knuckle dragger comrades, I have been on the other side of the gate, and I refuse to treat people the way I was treated.

  • 25 Polar // Feb 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I had a similar experience with DOC in the early part of this decade. It was truly unpleasant, as I’d dealt with the matter involved, and the warrant was outstanding as a result of a mistake in a government office. I wasn’t there as long as Rick, but I wasn’t told upon arrest what I’d done, what I owed, couldn’t get information out to those who could help me get the matter settled, etc. They had the same bad attitudes then at the crowbar inn, the same “shut up” when you ask them what to do. I realize they deal with hardened criminals, but there’s a much different deal between a guy arrested on an unpaid minor fine, and a guy arrested on a felony. And both deserve their questions answered.

    Is it really necessary to throw people in jail who simply have an unpaid fine, bad check, or unsettled agreement? Why not arrest such people, tell them to grab their checkbooks or a Visa card, take them to the ATM and windows at the HOJ, have them line up and pay, and walk away? Settles the case, and keeps a lot of people who don’t need to visit the crowbar hotel out of it.

  • 26 Cory // Feb 25, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Thug1369, Carl & other jackasses saying that it’s not supposed to be fun…of course it’s not supposed to be fun, BUT BUT BUT these corrections officers aren’t supposed to keep these “criminals” (did you fail to read he’d gotten it taken care of in ’07?) off the streets once the judicial system has released them. I hardly think this is a one-off occurrence, but rather it finally happened to someone with a voice. His situation was hardly as bad as the man with release papers in hand, yet still not being allowed to leave. Rick was authorized by the judge to leave by 6pm (although it sounds like it was actually 4pm), but wasn’t permitted to actually leave until 6am. 12 hours “in the slammer” seems a little too close to false imprisonment to me, and I would be furious. This is way beyond the point of inefficiency or jail not meaning to be fun, this is some serious shit and it needs to be fixed or Mr. Bolton needs to be fired.

  • 27 john s // Feb 25, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Rick: maybe you shold watch American Jails and see how trying this business can be. I use to work in the jail which books over 40,ooo people a year. As an officer, you never know when you may get blind sided by a seemingly harmless person brought in by the police for everything from A to Z. Many are drunk, under the influence, mentally ill or both. Corrections has no say as to whom the police bring in……they do their jobs and try very hard to keep themselves, inmates and each other safe in very trying circumstances. They are to be commended.
    As for Chief Bolton, he inherited a very poorly designed and dated jail and archaic computer system that will cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to upgrade.
    The place has been void of solid leadership for years and I hear he works his ass off in an effort to make needed changes.

  • 28 jake // Feb 25, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Mark: No, the home situation is not part of the public record.

    To the other douche nozzles: Interesting that your white trash rear-ends aren’t intelligent enough to use anonymous browsing services before commenting.

    Rick owned up to his stupid, stupid mistake.

  • 29 wife beater // Feb 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    response to Dean (towards the bottom of that tasty rant) – may be that’s why there’s an ex!

  • 30 we love douche nozzles and other 5-year-old slang // Feb 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Jake – is “douche nozzels” another term for Fag?

  • 31 jake // Feb 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Douche Nozzle

  • 32 jake // Feb 25, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Dean: Interesting that someone using RoadRunner (IP Address: 98.148.16.231) would bother attacking Rick. Could you, “Dean Lapkin,” be an asshat? Or a douche nozzle? I dare you to drive to Louisville and share your ALL CAPS THOUGHTS WITH US IN PERSON. Ha.

    Jesus, people. READ BEFORE COMMENTING.

    It takes all of 20 seconds to know that Rick is a long-time journalist in Louisville.

    Why throw out that a cop was at his home? Because that’s how the story began. It has nothing to do with the rest of the story, however, and it’s not even much of a personal matter.

    Here’s a word of advice to the apparent asshats from Metro Corrections who can’t deal with criticism: Don’t like it? Don’t read it. It’s really simple. You also shouldn’t leave comments from a work computer. I’m vindictive enough to report you… in case you were wondering. And your boss is antsy enough after this debacle that he’ll also take us very seriously.

    Rick fucked up, as he admitted and owns as his own, personal mistake. Do you see him trying to place responsibility in someone else’s hands? Nope. You see him standing up, publicly, talking about a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake of his. That’s called having dignity and guts. He’s man enough not to hide behind a faux screen name while launching ridiculous attacks.

    And in other news: I am troubled that Rick didn’t comment on whether or not there were any hot people in jail. What a waste of a column.

  • 33 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Feb 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I need to be a little transparent with something.

    Several years ago, I was up for a job at DOC as a manager over the type of IT systems that would have (I think) precluded the IT side of this messy situation.

    It was down to me and the other guy. The other guy got the job.

    I would have never let this “paperwork shuffle” hell last very long if I had the job. I would have focused on this like a laser beam until it was resolved. I have zero tolerance for crap like this.

    And the funny thing is that while I was interviewing, we had discussed the implementation of a system for tracking inmates.

    Hilarious!

  • 34 junction jack // Feb 26, 2009 at 1:40 am

    I’d like to ask Dean to do something. Ready pally?

    It’s called the caps lock. I’ll walk you through how to use it.

    Go to the left side of your computer. See the tab button? Caps lock is right below it, and right above the shift key. If you have a MacBook or Mac computer of some sort, the button should be lit up. If not, don’t worry – just take your left pinkie finger, extend it, and press down.

    At this point, type any letter to see if you now have what Americans call lower-case letters. For example, one would look like this: “a”. See?

    You are still allowed to capitalize some letters, but only at the start of sentences or proper names. This can easily be done without ever even using the caps lock key! Press the shift key. Conveniently, it’s right below the caps lock! You don’t even have to start a new search!

    Hopefully, Deano, this helps out your problem. If it didn’t, I’ll type in terms you understand:

    TAKE THE DURN STINKING CAPS LOCK KEY AND PUNCH LIKE YOU HIT YA’ WIFE ‘CROSS THE FACE. ONCE IT’S DOWN, SMACK THE OTHER DAMN KEYS ‘ROUND SO YOU KNOW THEY COME IN THE CASE THAT’S IN THE LOWER. THEN YOU TYPE THE REST OF YOUR WING DINGERS WITH THE SHIFT KEY. NOW GO AWAY – I GOTTA MAKE THE MOON SHINE!

    I’m sorry you went through this, Rick, but reading Mr. Dean’s caps lock-filled tripe was ten times more trying for me than your time in jail.

  • 35 Thunder Storm // Feb 26, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Whose running that friggin’ asylum ?

    ” I later spoke with the new Corrections chief, Mark Bolton, who told me that he’s making efforts, among other things, to change the attitude of the workers there.”

    Their attitudes change as soon as he tells them they need to change. Who is the damn boss, Bolton or his inconsiderate employees. If their attitudes don’t change, fire them and hire some of the 6 million Americans that are currently unemployed.

  • 36 Phil the copper thief // Feb 26, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I sure hope you learned your lesson about the law. King Jerry and king Jim says paybacks are hell!

  • 37 cindy lamb // Feb 26, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Well, we’ve done it! Created our own reality TV show right here on the blog. Cut, paste, call the Craig’s List producers.

    Good luck with everything Rick. Keep it moving.

  • 38 thug // Feb 26, 2009 at 7:35 am

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You all want to focus on poor Rick and the way he was talked to while in jail. That the corrections officer’s should seperate the criminals by their charges, that paperwork wouldn’t of been messed up if I had gotten the job. Get for real. Corrections processes between 45,000 and 50,000 people a year, from idiot’s like Rick to the ones that kill, robb, and rape your family members. Do you really think they have the time to stop and look at what everyone is charged with? If they did that would slow down the process even more.

    Rick if what your saying is true about the paperwork getting messed up, that does suck. But if they would have not checked paperwork, or rushed paperwork, and released the wrong person, you would be on here talking about that. They are human, they make mistakes, give them a break.

    On the other hand after talking to a few people that I know that work at corrections, it appears that you may not be telling the entire story of what all took place while you were there. Might there be a few reasons to why you were told to shut up and sit down? You weren’t trying to throw your name around were you? You weren’t a smart ass at anytime were you? You didn’t make any nasty comments to the staff did you? Come on Rick, it’s jail. Maybe you did have to deal with some individuals that weren’t so friendly, but why not listen to them the first time, and shut up and sit down.

    You are just like the majority of the people that go to jail. It wasn’t your fault, you had horrible food, were treated like shit, and going to have someone’s butt, or job. It jail, not a resort.

  • 39 Clark // Feb 26, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Re: Angela, just add a www. to the beginning of the address

  • 40 Steve // Feb 26, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I want to set the record straight on “my” encounter with the DOC. Yeah, I’ve been there, although not for many years.

    I was processed for a very minor crime (a POM charge…roach) that that was expunged from my record 90 days later…but…

    In defense of the workers at DOC, “at that time” I was treated with respect and dignity and segregated from the other “real” criminals. Although I did see a lot of what Rick has said, it was mostly from the ones who didn’t follow directions. I was told everything I needed to know, and was updated as often as they could.

    I saw first hand why some of the officers get the bad-rap and mostly it was because people didn’t listen to what was being said to them…”sit down and be quiet”. I thought at the time that “most” of them were very nice people just trying to do a very difficult job. I saw first hand how dangerous it can be when dealing with drunk, crazy people, killers and the rest of the “real” criminals that come through the doors.

    Sure, they have a few guys that are very capable of going over the top….and sometimes do, but for the most part, they were understanding of my situation and some even tried to make me feel better about it. I knew I had to go through the process, and do what was asked of me. It wasn’t fun, but it felt better when they reassured me it wasn’t the end of the world. (DOC people, a kind word at such a time can go a long way when your in a mess…thank you)

    Paperwork can be screwed up anywhere, and it’s not uncommon to have it happen in a bureaucracy. I would have been pretty upset if it happened to me too Rick, but look at it as a education. Now you know first hand the problems and shortfalls of the department. Use your pen as a sword to cause change. Not for you, but for the next guy that has this happen to him. Yes, it needs a overhaul, but I seriously doubt we’ll see it soon due to no money in the budget to change it.

    Yeah, it’s got huge problems and it’s a thankless job, but, I for one am very thankful for those men and women that risk bodily harm everyday just by going into work….even if I’m the one sitting in the cell.

    Bless you all.

  • 41 Jim Bulleit // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Wow, it’s like two different reviews of the same hotel. Not that anyone here cared to ask but I found the hands of the strip searcher incredibly gentle, almost loving. The pork product cheese sandwich and orange flavored drink delectable, close to Michelin Star caliber and of course the staff who was so caring and attentive to my needs it seemed as if I were a babe in my mother’s arms during what can only be described as a whimsical three and-a-half hour visit. Forget Disney, I’m going to the Met!

  • 42 Anita // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Oh Rick this is awful, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. What happened, why did you have to call the police in the first place? You said you needed their assistance, then you end up going to jail. I am such a big fan of yours, I love getting on the ville and reading your postings. You must of been so scared down there with all those criminals. Hope you are ok. Please keep us updated on how things are going for you.

  • 43 Mark S. // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Don’t confuse me with the other mark, he needs to be locked up on principle. It’s sad that you have actually been there on one side and can have no empathy for someone on the other. The following quote of his is the crux of the problem:

    “As former Corrections, I say that your experience was normal. Sit down and shut up. Having you sit and be quiet is better for my safety. Your ass is mine until I’m done with it because you are the criminal; not me. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.”

    NO, I am not the criminal. I might be an innocent upstanding citizen brought in on a stupid mistake. It is for the courts to determine if I am a criminal, not the Corrections staff.

    Thanks for the great story Rick. I see nothing has changed since I went through a similiar incident about 5 years ago.

  • 44 Rafe // Feb 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Yeow! It’s like “Scared Straight” Louisville style.

    “NO, I am not the criminal. I might be an innocent upstanding citizen brought in on a stupid mistake. It is for the courts to determine if I am a criminal, not the Corrections staff.”

    I gotta go with Mark S. on this one.

  • 45 jtownnemesis // Feb 26, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Next time I will include “make sure there are not warrants”. Sorry man. Never crossed my mind. Probably the best story I have seen you write yet.

  • 46 Steve // Feb 26, 2009 at 11:51 am

    What happened to:

    All persons are considered innocent till proven guilty in a court of law.

  • 47 Mark // Feb 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    “Mark: No, the home situation is not part of the public record.”

    Really?

    So if I did a FOIA request to the proper agency for all recent calls and records (paper or otherwise) pertaining to Rick Redding I would find absolutely no information as to why police were dispatched to his residence?

  • 48 Mark // Feb 26, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Mark S. writes,

    “Don’t confuse me with the other mark, he needs to be locked up on principle.”

    “NO, I am not the criminal. I might be an innocent upstanding citizen brought in on a stupid mistake. It is for the courts to determine if I am a criminal, not the Corrections staff.”

    Your ass is still theirs; you have no real freedom to do what you want while in custody, and to a CO, your just another law breaker and a liability to their well being. They really could care less about what you did or did not do. Its not their job. And remember, everyone in jail is “innocent.”

    Why do you think I quit on a career in law enforcement? I agree with you.

  • 49 Red // Feb 26, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Again, the whole point of the story was to tell about his experience in jail and the reason he was there…..because he committed an innocent mistake that we probably have all done once or twice in the past. I know my tag was 2 months late I just didn’t get caught….but anyway. The story had nothing at all to do with his personal life. The only reason he put that in the story was to explain why he was even involved with the police in the first place to even get to jail. Great story Rick!!!! As always, your a great writer!!!! Keep up the great work!!

  • 50 ADAMS // Feb 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I have been telling a similar story for years.
    ( I only wish I had the ability to write it down as well as you have Rick!).
    My stinky, disgusting, jail time was over a 43 dollar fine! A fine I actually tried to pay but was told there was no record of on file. I left town for three months soon afterwards and forgot about the ticket until a police officer pulled me over, hand cuffed me through the front seatbelt of his cruiser and drove to a dark spot behind a nearby building .
    So there I was,handcuffed in front seat of the cruiser, behind a building at about 9pm, NO one knows where I am and no one is expecting me to show up anywhere for the rest of the night.
    I like the idea of what I was wearing during all of this.— My Navy and Orange University of Illinois sweatshirt and jeans and my long blonde hair tied up in a ponytail and big orange ribbon—. The officer went through my purse while we were still sitting behind this stripmall. When he came across pictures of my brothers he asked “who are these guys?” Having never spent anytime around police before I wasn’t entirely certain if going through my purse, in a dark alley was regular procedure, but I started to sense I needed to NOT spend anymore time handcuffed in this car with this man and his gun.
    I asked if he would call a fellow officer who happened to be a friend of mine. I didn’t know what else to try….that did the trick, I was taken to an odd kinda Lock Up.
    Just in case I would try to dig my way to freedom –a fork I had used to eat salad at lunch was confiscated.

    For the next four hours I stood in the middle of a small wire cage. I would have sat on the floor except it was covered with fingernail clippings and streaks of blood.
    In my case I had to wait until an officer from the county where I originally got the ticket(wreckless backing up) decided he would drive to town.
    I left jail around 3:30am,paid my 43 dollars, and turned around and went to work 4 hours later.

    Even today, if I am driving around with the top down on my NOW vintage Bug, I hesitate to POP in the music that was on when I got pulled over and sent to jail. Honestly, I had been listening to THE PRETENDERS—CHAIN GANG. And when I was able to retrieve my car, I turned on the ignition and Chain Gang was still blarring.

  • 51 Sherry // Feb 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    In case you forgot you were arrested and placed in jail!! Did you ever try to think that maybe the Corrections Officers were doing their job!?! They usually book around 80 inmates per shift…most of them are criminals, drunks, drug addicts or worse. They handle their job as they were trained to do and are very good at it! They can not worry about what each inmate is “accused” of, everyone is treated the same. How about you try and be a Corrections Officer on the booking floor for one day and then tell us how to do their job! Maybe you should have just renewed your license plate!

  • 52 Maria // Feb 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Hi Rick,

    I am a 30yr Pre Op Transsexual, I also have a Masters Degree, After completing school and beginning my career I decided that my life wasn’t exciting enough, so in a desperate and stupid effort to bring excitement into my life, I turned to prostitution. And with that was introduced to the wonderful world that is Metro Corrections.

    I do say wonderful world with a bit of sarcasm because it was anything but wonderful. I would think that jail is not supposed to be pleasant. People are not supposed to want to go to jail. It’s not a happy world of farts and flowers for a reason. Jail is supposed to scare you. Scare you into not wanting to go back. Apparently it wasn’t scary enough, since I was a repeat guest three times.

    I had to learn how the system works so that I could get through my time with as few bumps as possible. Some of the things I learned along the way.

    Officers: The provide security for the facility, staff and inmates. Nothing more, nothing less. They are there for that soul purpose. The reason why they can’t give you information about your case is because they don’t have that information. It’s not their job. They have to be firm and strict at all times, with everyone, because there are not signs around the inmates necks stating their charges. So the individual officer does not know if he/she is talking to an accused murderer or some tool that forgot to pay a traffic ticket. In all my dealing with the officers, they have always been polite and courteous. The only people who think differently are the ones who decide to act stupid.

    Civilian Staff( Pre-trail, Classification, Medical ) Metro Corrections houses close to 2,000 inmates at any given time. 45,000 people a year are getting processed. Handling each and every complaint and gripe of each and every individual is not realistic. They obviously have to handle the more serious cases first and foremost. Do you think you getting out of jail in time to watch U of L play is more important than processing the guy who just murdered, raped, tortured, and burned the body of some teenage girl. I don’t think so. They have a job to do. Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment knows how easy it can be to misfile paperwork.

    I realize that you are frustrated about your experience and with that want to throw an temper tantrum. Realize though that there are 44,999 other people going through the same thing every year and they are not bitching about it. Maybe they are taking a more mature approach, learning from their mistakes and going on with their lives. They did the crime, did the time and continued onward without seeking shoulders to cry on.

    Basically:
    1.You were given orders by Law Enforcement Officers” I didn’t know they could do that” People who are sworn to uphold the law telling you what to do… WOW.
    2. Sat in a waiting room longer than you wanted. Where is you article about the DMV or a certain doctor’s office.
    3. Had to eat food that you didn’t find all that appealing. Remember grade school, high school, your ex-wife’s cooking?

    This article might as well be about you doing your morning business and your finger accidentally breaking through the toilet paper. So you can let the world know how bad your finger smells.
    Maybe take the time you spent writing this article and put it towards your super secret family issue that landed you in this predicament.

    Lastly, you called out Ofc. Grossman in your article, I know exactly who you are talking about and you are completely wrong. I have had some interaction with him every time I was locked up and if there is any officer working there who is more professional and polite than him, then I didn’t see them. Let me guess, you took your hands off the wall.. Never take you hands off the wall during a search..

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience but, I’m sure you will survive. 44,999 other people this year are going to do the same thing with dignity and not become whiny little pussies.

    Hugs and Kisses

    -M

  • 53 TMFD // Mar 1, 2009 at 8:27 am

    jail sucks…

  • 54 The Best Ten // Mar 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You know Rick, you and all your little cronies on here seem to think Chief Bolton needs to be fired. You know in the few months that this new cheif has been here he has done more than Cambells (former corrections cheif) done in his entire tenure. He has done more for officer saftey than any chief or deputy cheif in that departments history. Let me explain to you what a corrections officer’s job is like. Are you ready pay attention now:

    First an Officer arrives at roll call to recieve a briefing from his commanding officer. He might be told things like, there was a fight on J4 one inmates at the hospital now and there is said to be several shanks (thats a home made knife, that can deform and even kill you) hidden in the dorm. Or maybe this, LMPD is enrout to the jail with a disruptive that assaulted an officer earlier.

    Thats just a few examples, so the offficers get dismissed from roll call, place there gun, baton and pepper spray in their gun box, because all an officer has to defend himself against that potential idiot with a shank or that one guy who just got arrested for a bench warrant but wasn’t happy so he decided to punch an officer, is a good ol’ pair of handcuffs.

    So as the officer gets to his floor he learns that it is just goin crazy. One inmate is up walking around pacing back and forth and when asked to have a seat he starts walking towards the officer with a cup in his hand. The inmate asks politley “I’am sorry sir what did you say?” the officer turns to him and dropping his guard beacuase the inmate seems harmless begins to explain it again. The polite inmate suddenly throws the contents in the cup on the officer containing fecies and urin that he aquired while walking around unprotested. Now the officer can’t do nothing about it because he must be professional at all times.

    After the officer cleans himself up he notices a young kid seemingly sleeping on the bench. Since the young inmates name has been called several times the officer goes over to wake him. The young inmate is not coming to, it turns out this inmate is overrdosing on unknown drugs and is dieing. The officer calls for medical and EMS and then procedes to do CPR, the officer revives the young kid and still he has no idea who or what this kid is in jail for.

    After the adrenalin rush the officer gets a call that the disruptive inmate is coming in the jail. When LMPD takes the cuffs off of the disruptive inmate, he lunges towards the officer striking him in the face. The officers struggle for several minutes trying to get the inmate restrained in the only weapon they have to fight back with their handcuffs. As they get the inmate under control and begin to escort him to the hold cell the inmate turns towards the officer and spits in his face striking him in the mouth. Once again the officer can’t do nothing, because he must be professional at all times.

    The officer has to immediatley get a court order to draw blood from this inmate because now there is a chance this officer has just contacted HIV, Hepatitus, TB or any of the other sickness people might have.

    Finally the end of the shift for this officer he goes home and his wife ask “how was your day honey” and the officer simply replies “It was Ok” because they don’t want them to worry for them, and they don’t want them to know the truth about what they go through day in and day out. The officer must find an excuse on why he can’t make love to his wife tonight or for the rest of the week because he is waiting on the test results to make sure he doesn’t have HIV.

    The officer gets no award for saving the young mans life or for helping his fellow officers detain the disruptive inmate. The media(Like You) reports no story on his heroism or gives them no credit for all that they do.

    Instead this officer arrives to work the next day and finds a article that a former inmate wrote about how him and his fellow officers and how they should be fired for their “bad attitudes” and how their cheif is doing a bad job. The officer physically drained from last night knowing that he is about to do it all over again reads on about how his co-workers were mean to this former inmate and their food was bad.

    The officer just smiles and shrugs it off just thinking IF THEY ONLY KNEW!

    Rick don’t worry we ae professionals and we do a job that no-one else including the police will do. Don’t worry Rick if you ever get locked up again we hold no grudges and have no hard feelings towards you. We only hope that you can educate your ignorance and arrogance and know these people that you insulted go to work everyday and risk body and mind for you so that you can have a little bit of security knowing there is fewer murders and rapist on your streets because these people keep them detained.

    Also Rick just a little fun fact for you, you not only insulted all these local hero’s, but over half of these men and women have served in the military and fought for this country from everyhting to Vietnam to Iraq. Congrats Rick on your peice of writing at our expence.

  • 55 william // Mar 6, 2009 at 10:53 am

    it sounds to me like someone believes they are “above” others who are arrested. you say you felt like you were treated like an “inmate”? i hate to break the news to you , but…. YOU WERE AN INMATE!!!! if you are arrested, and taken to jail YOU ARE AN INMATE UNTIL YOU ARE RELEASED!!! BE PREPARED TO BE TREATED FOR WHAT YOU ARE AT THE TIME!!!
    take it from someone who has previously worked in the criminal justice system, there are MANY areas where the “ball can get dropped”. first and foremost by you for not going to court. what kind of idiot doesn’t know he needs to appear in court if he receives a citation? you should have learned that in junior high civics class!!! what did you think was going to happen?
    so i guess, because you were in there on a “minor” charge, you should be treated differently? well as you stated they deal with 45,000 people a year with a staff of 600. that leaves pretty much one option….. treat every inmate the same. there has to be a STRICT, uniform code of discipline inside a corrections facility, mainly because the people there are there because they COULD NOT follow a LOOSE CODE OF DISCIPLINE ON THE “OUTSIDE”…. LIKE GOING TO COURT!!!
    if you hadn’t had the “incident” at your house that, hhmmmmmm, wonder what kind of run the police were making then, you would still be a FUGITIVE!!!!!!! WANTED BY THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW!!!! hey maybe they did you a favor and kept you from having to run for the border to escape this repressive system!!! (you know, the one that gives you the right to bash others for doing their job).
    so get a clue, climb down off that cross you are crucified on, build a bridge out the wood and GET THE FUCK OVER IT!!!!!!!!
    thanks for clogging our judicial system with the time wasted on filing your bench warrant, having it processed through all the proper channels, and then executed. they should have charged you for all the costs involved because you were TOO LAZY or STUPID to go to court!!!

    be glad that the “incident” at your house didn’t lead to any further charges!!!

    by the way, anyone want to see the reporters mugshot???? go to mugs.com.

    thank you for your “time”!!!

    william

    P.S. SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!!! OR YOUR GOING IN A HOLDING CELL!!! LMFAO!!!!!

  • 56 red // Mar 6, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    So…..you are telling me if you have every had a citation you knew you had to go to court….. Well apparently I’m the idiot… Is there anyone else out there that has gotten a citation….. Gone and paid the citation and thought it was over…… NO!!! Wow….guess I’m the only one….. So all those times I have done that …thinking it’s all done, its not!! So I probably have a bench warrant out for my arrest. Wow William, I am so glad you cleared that up for me. I’m sure you have never made a mistake…..but I have always heard…what goes around comes around….you could be the next one. But don’t worry…I promise …I wont be LMAOF at you.

  • 57 rob // Aug 24, 2009 at 2:43 am

    “the best ten”- best comment on this topic..these people dont relize what happens, what needs to happen when a problem arises. they are not trained to react in a seconds notice. fights ,attacks, threats, drunks, drug heads, mental health, food, phones, water, counslers’, pre trail, classification, security minded, nurses, meds, programs. use your head people… MARK—name dropping? do you know what anyone in that jail goes through? heck no, only thing your worries about is the louisville and a gourmet meal. sry you went to the wrong place

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