ABSTRACT

I’ve come home because the new High Desert State Prison needs teachers, and I need a job. At 8 a.m., I stop at the BP for the weekly paper: the first thing I notice is the place is full of prison guards. They’re buying cigarettes and gas, stirring whitener into coffee. Each is decked out in full uniform, army green suit and parka with the California Department of Corrections gold patch, shiny black boots, belt hung with batons and pepper spray. Most are young and beefy; all have the soldier hairdo, trim mustache, crisp creases-these guys would pass any inspection.