In The Slammer
I went to jail today. One of my brother's clients is being held at one of the Travis County Correctional Centers and I needed for her to sign some papers. I've visited plenty of jails and prisons in the last five years mostly as a reporter. I interviewed women in Webb County about the time they get to spend with their children. I talked to Americans being detained in Nuevo Laredo declaring, "I did nothing wrong." Yea right. I talked to drug dealers at the same Prison in Nuevo Laredo just after a riot. The Mexican Federal Police (Policia Judicial Federal-PJF) busted in, arrested the director of the Cereso, and transferred El Borrado to Almoloya, a Maximum Security prison. The inmates rioted because El Borrado paid many of them, including the directors. I walked into a holding cell with 100's of inmates at the Cameron County Jail to interview a suspected serial killer. The guard pulled him out of the cell as I shoved my microphone in his face and he pleaded his innocence (i'm sure plenty of laws were broken).
The point is that in every facility I've visited there's always a group of wives, moms, dads, kids, and husbands waiting for their loved ones. It seems that it's harder for them than it is for the folks locked up. Maybe they're thinking that they should have done something else or did something wrong. The inmates usually aren't depressed or at least don't show it. Maybe because it would be a sign of weakness. Maybe because a lot of them are there for a reason.
I just feel for the families. They show up so that a guard can tell them visiting hours were over 2 hours ago. They sit in the sun for 3 hours before they can get inside to see their family member. They sit and ask questions and talk. "He's my brother." - "He's my son." - "We can't afford a lawyer." etc...Unfortunately, many of these people leave the waiting room only to come back six months, a year, or even days later. That's the sad part. That's what sucks.