The Prison Secretary Ch. 09byExcalibur541©
Angela thought about calling in sick the next day at work to further recover from her experience but decided against it. She worked at her desk uneventfully that day but was greatly disappointed when she was unable to arrange a meeting with Sean. The platoons were stepping up their activities in the last six weeks of the program and Sean was being run ragged.
Although the C.O. would not be present for the rest of the week he did send Angela an email the next day inquiring about her future plans.
As you recall you and I had a brief conversation in the infirmary regarding your unfortunate assault at our facility. I was wondering if you have made any decision as to the specific matter we discussed.
Chief of Correctional Operations
Initially Angela had felt somewhat threatened by him. However as the days went by she had gradually become more and more angry at his audacity than anything else. She decided to turn the tables on him a bit in her response. If he was going to imply a threat to her, she could in turn, imply a threat to him.
First of all I want to express my sincere appreciation for your concern over my altercation. This has been a very difficult week for me as you can imagine but I have decided not to resign my position at this time.
There were many factors in my decision; be it personal reasons as well as professional. Also as you are well aware, Captain Robert Prescott of the 12th precinct is my uncle and was the one who assisted me in getting this position. Even allowing for the unfortunate events of this past week; if I were to leave prematurely it would certainly cause him considerable confusion as to what or who had prompted or intimidated me into making such a decision so abruptly.
My last day at the facility will be four weeks from today (August 15th) as we had originally discussed upon my hire.
Again, I sincerely appreciate your concern.
She received no response to her reply and therefore surmised that it had the desired effect. It was around noon that day when Tiffany went out onto the terrace once again for her smoking break. As per usual she timed it to coincide with a company assembly of inmates that was taking place within the yard below. Angela shook her head once again in dismay. Tiffany was such a slut; she would constantly flirt with any guy who would give her any attention, especially with the guards and instructors. As these thoughts drifted through her mind she paused. She instantly rose from her cubicle and decided to have a causal chat with her.
"Just thought I'd get some fresh air too," said Angela as she joined Tiffany on the terrace-like walkway. She leaned over the railing and looked down on the company in the yard as Tiffany sat on a folding chair smoking.
"That's cool I hope my smoke doesn't bug you," she replied.
"It's alright. I don't believe in second hand smoke cancer," Angela said. She turned away from the inmates and towards Tiffany while smiling. "Keisha and I have noticed that you like coming out here every time there's an assembly."
"Has it been that obvious?" asked Tiffany as she laughed.
Angela wanted to say, "Of course it has you bimbo, dingbat you only do it everyday."
Tiffany changed the subject quickly. "Are you feeling better as the days go by? I saw the medical file on Schlemer, that Sean guy friend of yours really beat the shit out of him; thankfully."
With Tiffany's question, Angela saw a chance for an opportunity; she replied. "It was a pretty nasty sight. I've never seen a fight that brutal or a guy get hit that hard and that many times in real life. They were like two wild beasts."
Tiffany immediately became intrigued and began asking detailed questions about Sean's skirmish with the skinhead. Angela answered every one of her morbid questions in a glib manner in order to bait her on still further before she asked the ultimate question.
"But I'm sure you, yourself have seen many inmate brawls already." Angela winked.
"Excuse me?" Tiffany replied, trying and failing to look innocent.
"C'mon Tiffany, I've seen the guards come in and whisper to you and you keep disappearing with them. I know what's going on." She lied, she knew she was just grasping at straws in the dark but it was at least a chance.
Tiffany paused not knowing what to say before inhaling on her cigarette; sucking in her cheeks for the benefit of the inmates below. "I'm not supposed to talk about that."
Angela's face lit up; knowing that she had now struck gold. She not only had seen that surveillance tape but now she had a witness who was confirming the events in question and a dumb witness at that.
"Look, I'm not going to tell anyone about it," Angela casually stated while smiling. "I knew there was something going on. Those idiots weren't just walking into doors and falling in the shower all the time."
Tiffany grinned. "Yes, well that's for sure. It really doesn't happen very often but when it does happen; damn those guys are vicious. Especially when they get rival gang members on each other."
Angela regarded her, she could tell that Tiffany was dying to talk to someone about the experiences. She paused and continued to smile at her; encouraging her to continue.
"You put two guys from rival gangs into a yard or the same room without any restraints; guys who haven't gotten any for awhile on top of that. They really beat the crap out of each other." Tiffany said as she shook her head; seemingly half enthused and half disturbed at the same time.
Angela responded. "I've seen three fights since I've been here; the one with Sean and that Nazi guy, the one with the two guys in the prison yard last week...."
"I saw that one too, that was so cool!" Tiffany interrupted. "Too bad they had to break it up so soon."
Angela remembered that they had broken the fight up after she had seen it and reported it to the guard. She had gone back to the office and Tiffany was nowhere to be found until she had come back to her cubicle twenty minutes later. She had undoubtedly watched the whole thing from the beginning along with the guards.
"There was also one last Friday with two of the guys fighting naked in the shower," Angela said. "A white boy and a Latino; probably from different gangs, maybe."
"Oh, I missed that one." Tiffany said disappointedly. "Why didn't anyone tell me about it?"
"Talk about a "cock" fight." Angela said as she giggled to which Tiffany laughed along.
"Shit, I wish I could have seen that," she said as she inhaled her cigarette yet again.
Angela took a few steps towards her. "Do you suppose, the next time the guard tells you that another ones about to happen, that you could give me a little nudge." She winked again at Tiffany.
"Well they're kinda paranoid about who they let watch because of the liability thing. I'll ask and see if it's okay," she said.
"Thanks, after seeing those guys fight in the shower, I'm like; sort of hooked." Angela said; dumbing down her speech in order to better communicate with Tiffany.
"I'll ask the next time it happens." She said as she dropped the cigarette and stepped on it with her high heeled shoe; rubbing it into the ground as she regarded the inmates below. She then rose and walked back inside.
Angela leaned over the railing of the terrace in disgust, "What an unbelievable bitch" she thought to herself.
Angela decided on what her next course of action would be. Now that she knew with absolute certainty that there were abuses occurring inside the prison; abuses that the C.O. was obviously aware of, she decided to relay the information to her uncle Robert, the police captain. She felt that she had a solid case as not only from her own account of what she had seen but also she had confirmation from an eyewitness. She knew her parents were still worried about her so she made up her mind to leave them out of the equation entirely.
As she drove home that evening she had called her uncle and described to him in detail the strange meeting she had with the C.O. and her meeting with Tiffany that afternoon. He promised to look into it and do a few inquires with the Bureau of Prisons but told her not to expect much action due to the lack of any compelling evidence that she had other than her own word of what she heard and saw. He agreed to keep the matter confidential from her parents as well.
It wasn't until the next day that he called her back at home and told her that he had arranged a meeting with the two of them and the Bureau of Prison's Chief of Internal Affairs. He said the Chief was very anxious to talk to her about her claims and that he would meet with them Saturday morning at 9AM in his office.
Sean had spent that Friday running and exercising outside in the humid weather. There had been another shakedown in the barracks that morning and a small stash of marijuana was found in one of the toilets. They had exercised rigorously for hours as the instructors once again tried to sweat out an answer as to whom it belonged to. As usual; no one was talking. The inmates jogged in twos along on a narrow dirt track which ran the entire perimeter of the facility; twelve foot tall razor wire fences on each side of path. The dirt road was usually used by the guards to patrol the perimeter with their vehicles. Sean wiped the endless beads of sweat that dripped from his forehead as they ran along the edge of the facility parking lot when he suddenly saw an instructor up ahead talking with Angela who was on the other side of the fence.
"Anderson stop!" ordered the instructor.
Sean stopped as he tried to regain his breath while standing at attention; his white shirt wet and sticking to his tired, muscled body.
"Five minutes," the instructor said to Angela as he walked several paces away to give them a semblance of privacy. Sean approached the fence.
"Hello ma'am," he said as he stood rigid.
"Hi Sean; oh, at ease please," she stated while smiling warmly. "I'm sorry I've been trying to arrange a meeting with you for the past few days."
Sean approached and placed his hands on the wire mesh of the fence. "Yeah they've been keeping us really busy the last few days," he gasped as he wiped his forehead with his arm. He was absolutely exhausted but just the sight of her had suddenly brought him his second wind.
"First of all, I don't know what to say; except THANK YOU so much for what you did for me. I don't know what might have happened if you hadn't shown up when you did." She said; her voice full of emotion and appreciation for his efforts.
"It was my pleasure ma'am," he said. "No one liked that guy anyway. He kept quoting passages from "The Turner Diaries" all the time. I'm just really glad you're all right and thanks for getting that shiv out of his hand."
Angela reached up and put her fingers through the wire mesh and caressed Sean's stitched up forehead. "I'm really sorry about this. Are you in any pain?"
He leaned into her gentle, soft touch and closed his eyes in the soothing sensation before composing himself. "Well every muscle in my body aches right now but that's because of the shakedown not that other guy. What about you?" He pointed to her neck; a small faded scab still remained where the shiv had pressed against her flesh.
"Oh I'm doing good. It was more the emotional part of it. I really thought he was going to kill me." She reached up and touched the scabs on his knuckles and caressed them gently with the tips of her fingers. There was a pause as they simply gazed at one another.
"So," he said, "When do you leave again for school?"
"Four weeks; August 17th to be exact," she replied.
Sean frowned deeply. He knew that he wasn't due to be released for a little over five weeks. She'd already be gone and out of state by then. "Well; good luck ma'am, you were always one of the smartest girls I ever knew. I know you'll do really well." He grasped her fingers with his own and gently stroked them as he spoke.
"Okay, let's go Anderson." said the instructor as he approached.
Angela kissed her finger and brushed it along Sean's stitches. "Thanks again; take care Sean," she said. She turned about and walked to the parking lot; her long flowing, brown hair shining in the sun.
Sean removed his hands from the mesh and looked up at the massive coils of razor wire that ran along the outer fence; prohibiting him from joining her.
"Alright Anderson, move out!" He ordered.
Sean resumed running as he saw Angela in the parking lot. She waved to him once again before getting into her car.
On Saturday at 9AM, Angela and her uncle arrived at the office of the Bureau of Prisons. They waited for a few moments in the reception area until a secretary escorted them upstairs. A middle aged male greeted them.
"Hi Angela, I'm Jeff Deerfield, I'm the Chief of Internal Affairs." He invited them into his office where another younger man in a brown suit was standing. "This is special agent Robertson with the FBI." She shook his hand as did her uncle before they all took a seat.
They began by having Angela relay to them in her own words everything she had witnessed and everything she had told her uncle; especially her conversation with Tiffany and her meeting with the C.O.
Deerfield spoke, "Now, it's very important you're clear on this Angela. Did the C.O. actually threaten you in any blatant way or make any statements that led you to believe that he threatened Officer Sanchez?"
"Not in so many words but he specifically turned off the security camera and stated that he insisted that I move on with my life," Angela replied.
Deerfield turned to Robertson. "That's Officer Fred Barton; he's in charge over there and also helps run a facility for us downstate."
"How often is he actually there since the cutbacks?" asked the agent.
Angela responded, "It seems less and less every week; only two days last week."
"He probably isn't actively taking part in these staged fights but is probably aware of them," said Deerfield.
"That was my impression too," replied Angela.
Deerfield looked intensely towards her. "I want you to understand that we take these allegations very seriously. That's why I've brought in the FBI and we're prepared to launch a full investigation immediately. Would you be willing to assist us in that?"
"Wait, just a minute," her uncle said. "I don't want my niece doing anything that is going to endanger her wellbeing or her future. She's bringing this matter to your attention; the rest in my view is up to you."
"Captain I assure you I have no intention of asking her to interrogate inmates, dig through files or sift through video tapes; which would probably be erased already anyway," he said as he opened a file. "However as per her conversation with this Tiffany Johnson employee; she may have an opportunity to at least alert us when the next incident takes place."
"Then what would happen?" Angela asked.
"Well before any of that, since it's a state run facility I first have to get a court order for the FBI to intercede so they can get surveillance on the prison itself, independent of the facility's own surveillance system so that we can monitor and tape an abuse should one occur again," he said "However I was hoping that if Angela is notified of another one of these staged fights she'll be present for it and be able to identify and testify as to which correctional officers helped arrange it and who watched it and didn't intervene or prevent it. Your testimony along with our own tapes of the yard fights themselves should be good enough in court."
"I don't know if I can do this." Angela said.
Robertson interjected. "We're asking you to do the right thing and we hope you'll cooperate," he said as he went through some papers. "This Nathan Smith inmate that you told us about is in the hospital right now with a fractured rib and a collapsed lung. It's only a matter of time before someone dies in one of these altercations."
Angela looked to her uncle. "It's your decision Angela. But I want to make it clear," he said as he turned to Deerfield and Robertson. "She watches one fight, you move in, she testifies and that's it."
"Agreed," Deerfield replied.
"How will I notify you when it's about to happen," she asked.
"Very simple," he said. "There will be a surveillance van in a parking lot of the SUV dealership across the street from the prison. We'll have a phone number programmed into the speed dial of your cell phone. If Tiffany comes to get you, you'll press one button on your phone, the surveillance team in the van will be notified and they will immediately notify us; we'll be on standby."
"How big an operation will this be?" Angela inquired.
"We'll have officers from the Prison Bureau, the FBI, state police and the S.W.A.T. team move in and secure the facility once we have the proof we need on tape," he said.
Angela replied, "The S.W.A.T. team. Are you kidding?"
"It's standard procedure Angela," said Robertson. "We don't know how many guards we'll have to arrest and we have to secure the prison and all the inmates. We become responsible for the facility once we move in. Now you'll be in the room with the offenders in question when our people storm in but they will be notified beforehand who you are and that you are not be arrested or touched. I want to make that clear."
"Will you help us?" Deerfield asked again.
She nodded yes as she pulled out her cell phone.
A full week later Angela continued working at the prison as before; her cell phone always in her pocket where she would have immediate access to it. The anticipation of Tiffany coming to her desk was killing her; for once that happened it would only be minutes later where the entire prison would be under siege by the feds. Every time Tiffany approached her for anything work related her heart would race and she was becoming a nervous wreck. She had gone through the whole past week waiting to hit the speed dial on her cell phone but Tiffany had never approached regarding the matter in question. Either there had been no fights the week before or she wasn't being invited to them.
She had seen the van parked outside in front of the SUV dealership across the street. They had waited a week and so far; nothing. The chief of the bureau of prisons assured her that they would be watching the prison for the remainder of her employment there and possibly after that as well and even if a fight did occur without her knowledge their technicians had already hacked into the surveillance system of the prison and now could see everything that was happening inside.
Tiffany had been off sick one of the days and Angela was called to substitute for her during another one of the reception procedures. She no longer teased the inmates like she had done only a short time ago. Everything seemed so lighthearted to her only a few weeks ago; unlike now. She even tried to console a sickly looking 18 year old who was weeping in the infirmary after he had been beaten up by another inmate. She dried his tears with a tissue until an instructor respectfully motioned her away so he could scream at the youth in order to get the name of the offender.
She had testified officially in front of the prison board as to the incident with the skinhead. The transcript of which would be relayed to the parole board which of course had recommended that he be sentenced to the full term in the penitentiary for his original sentence; plus whatever he would get for his assault. Ironically it was Angela, herself who had completed the final paperwork that removed him from the facility. She filled out the forms and typed up the reports. Only one thing remained; the check mark from her red pen that would cross his name out of the program entirely. As she caressed the almost fully heeled scab on her throat she remembered the blood that had dripped from her neck and how terrified he had made her feel. She hit the send button on her email which would submit the transfer documents to the penitentiary as she took out her pen and put a red checkmark by the skinhead's name while whispering a permanent goodbye to the Nazi punk.