Violence: Gangs and the hustle game

Curtis, Denton Brantley

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Seven Hot Topics Concerning North Carolina's Prison System Violence: Gangs And The Hustle Game I can honestly say that out of the eight prisons where I've served my prison term violence was inescapable! Violence before my incarceration was my life but I can in almost seventeen years say I have not had a violence episode with anyone and God gets the glory for that. As stated earlier in the topic of authoritative officials and authority polk youth institution was filled with violent inmates stabbing each other hitting each other in the heads with master locks. The officers were also violence hungry. They longed for it and provoked inmates from time to time to keep that atmosphere. At polk youth institution you had only three man gangs: the bloods, folk nation, and the crips. And when you entered polk if you were not a part of either one of the gangs then you had to fight, or beat the door and correctional officers would put you in safe keeping. The only reason why I did not have to fight when I arrived at Polk was only because my cousin K.W. (a high ranking blood) and his partner J.B. (a high ranking folk) sent word that anybody who messed with me would suffer a great price, and for that reason I was untouched. Men are territorial and that mind follows them in prison. Let me explain: territory as pertaining to prisons is all about surviving (or the Hustle game) At odum correctional Inst you had gangs but to stay from under the radar (administrations eye) they clicked together as cities. In the dining hall you (as an inmate) could not sit where you waned, each table was designated for inmates from a particular city. At that time only three major cities pulled the inmate population: Greensboro, Durham, and Raleigh all in North-Carolina. If you sat at a table that inmates from Greensboro claimed and you were not from Greensboro you paid a terrible price the same applied to durham and Raleigh tables. During this time odum was a cash facility and it was not about violence, but about the hustle game. I was housed on a unit called oneside. Oneside consisted of four dorms A, B, C and D. A and B dorms had a commissary operation that was ran by inmates from Greensboro. If an inmate has no money to spend at the prison authorized store (canteen) then he could go to the A and B dorms, and whoever the inmate was from Greensboro that ran the commissary would give him a sufficient amount of food items or money, however that same inmate had to pay double to Greensboro dorms when he finally got some money. You could not run a commissary operation in A and B dorms if you were not from Greensboro, in fact you could not run a commissary operation no where on oneside if you were not from Greensboro. I witnessed inmates come to odum and try to run some type of commissary operation, and it became violent and that bloodshed was great. On one side dorms C and D Raleigh and Durham ran the [illegible] games (seven-card and lowball) the same principal that applied to the Greensboro commissary operation applied to the Raleigh and Durham games. At odum it was never about violence, but about the hustle game, when that hustle game was disrespected then it became violent. Most of the inmates did not have family members sending them money through the mail, all they had was the little bit of money they earned form job assignments at the prison and the hustle game. At eastern correctional Inst (which is now a womens prison) in the year 2011 a different gang and hustle game resided. A gang called the "MS thirteen" (Latinos and Mexicans) they're hustle game was tobacco, and drugs which involved a little outside help (correctional officers) which increased the blood shed amongst the inmate population there. Many times I witnessed inmates get cut severely and no one charged (infractioned) although correctional officers knew who did it. The hustle game ruled. I must say that one of the most violent prison's I've ever served at concerning my prison term was called Alexander correctional Institution located in Taylorsville, North Carolina a close custody facility. This prison was on the news and in newspapers. In fact in the year 2007 three correctional officers had they're throats cut. Alexander was and still is a prison made to house gangmembers. The prison was full of them. I was at alexander in the furniture/plant school, which was only two medium dorms, residing in those dorms were inmates who did not cause problems and wanted to graduate and go home (like myself.) The rest of the prison was close custody. There was no specific type of hustling there, inmates were selling anything that they had access to, that would bring them commissary prison clothes, shoes, stamps, radios, etc. not to mention a lot of inmates were selling themselves (homosexual activity) I remember in the year 2015 an inmate who was a clotheshouse worker - had a big hustle concerning clothes him and two other guys were in charge of making sure our dorms received clothes every week. If your money was right you could pay the clothes house man some stamps or food items, and he would deliver brand news clothes to you, while everybody else had to go through clothes exchange and receive used clothes. A female correctional officer was fully aware of the clothes house hustle and she made it her duty to harass and search the inmate clotheshouse worker when she worked, until finally the inmate was fired. upon being fired he was telling other inmates that he was going to get her, and one evening during commissary hours she entered the dorm where the inmate was housed and as she made her rounds in the dorm(s) she got to the inmates room and he jumped on the female correctional officers and stabbed her fifteen times with a inkpen. She never fully recovered, and the administration never put her back in the units again. I remember being in the dining hall eating and witnessing the bloods (gangmembers) assault a captain. However on the other side of things officers were just as brutal. A lot of inmates have died from cruel and unusual abuse, a vast majority of the inmates that came to alexander were/are young and violent in society, and they come to prison with that same mindset. When these inmates come face to face with correctional officers that hate inmates, or believe that inmates should be treated like dogs, then the blood shed between the two is unreal! A lot of situations I witnessed could've been resolved if two things were present: understanding and communication. The mind of a violent inmate must be understood in the sense that those inmates who make victims through violence, were once victims of violence themselves, a lot of times by the hands of family members. These types of inmates are sensitive towards any type/form of ill feelings towards them they can easily detect when they are not liked, so they must be entreated concerning prison policy and procedure in view of the mind they have! When dealing with correctional officers or any administrative official, they're position (job) must be understood in the sense that a vast majority of correctional officers dont make the rules that govern(s) a prison, but must reinforce (carry) them out. For example here at nash correctional (presently) we inmates are not allowed to wear prison issued hats in the dorms. If an inmate has a hat on in the dorm and the officers will approach him and ask him to remove his hat because it's against policy. That officer did not make the rule but still has to make sure that rule is followed by inmates. I've seen correctional officers get blamed and even assaulted for just doing that which was there job, and I believe that this is wrong! Correctional officers have a job to do and violent (gang oriented) inmates have a mind that must be understood. When it comes to communication, I dont mean that correctional officers and violent gang oriented inmates should make an attempt to be social towards each other. What I am saying is that when the time for communication arrives there should be no verbal altercation words have the power to give birth to violence. All of the rights that I've witnessed were always proceeded by the wrong choice of words between two inmates, and an inmate and correctional officer(s) prison is a place of correction, the prison staff administration must establish an environment that is contrary to the life that gang oriented inmates have been accustomed to, this can be done without being mean, disrespectful, and indifferent. As stated earlier in this topic violence used to be my life. it was the air that I breathed, but now I have a new life and I breath christ, it it can happen to me it can happen to anyone! Violence: Gangs and the Hustle Game

Author: Curtis, Denton Brantley

Author Location: North Carolina

Date: June 19, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 13 pages

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