Prison Radio
Bryant Arroyo

“Smells like a job for Title 9 Tidal Wave.”

I was coming back from a pass and the second door to C block was closed. It’s usually open. Because it’s heated weather, it is kept open to let the air circulate for the guards. If prisoners getting air was a concern, the door would be kept closed at all times.

Anyway, I was coming back from either seeing a social worker or medical, and I noticed the sign on the door that hadn’t been there before. In big red block letters, it read, female staff must report to control to announce presence prior to entering housing units. What the f**k, I said aloud and as incredulous as my indignation could muster. Do you see this visual, speaking rhetorically to no one in particular.

My incredulity wasn’t because I didn’t know that the Pennsylvania DOC was practicing misogyny, but rather, it was because in 2021, they would be so bold in the age of Me Too to declare their hatred for women.

Within the protocol of Pennsylvania DOC, its structure is patterned after the military whereby women and men employees are equal. On this unit, as on every block in the prison, the highest ranking officer is a unit manager, which is a woman. Here at Camp Frackville, most of them, if not all, the unit managers are white women, as if black women are not qualified, which is a whole another subject for another time.

The unit manager ranks somewhere between above a captain and below a major and is in charge of all of the guards and staff on the black. That means that the unit manager, a woman, tells all of the staff on the block what to do. The lowest ranking guard, either CO1 or CO2 or sergeant, is responsible for running the day to day operations in the block and normally spends most of or a large amount of time in the bubble, officially referred to as control.

Visually, think hamster in a plastic cage. Control is the operative word. The good ol’ boys, white boys and a few Negro lackeys, want to control the women, in this case, white women.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.