ADHD Made Me Do It

Survive Life with Laughter

The Jail-cation of a Lifetime

on July 7, 2014

Today was an awesomely liberating Sunday….inspires me to write about why I appreciate so much my liberation! Today….not only did I jump off the dock into the lake…I got to tread water and ride the warm breezy waves…and even share the knowledge of the liberating doggy paddle with superhero child Logie Pogie (don’t worry…I’m sure we will get rid of that lifejacket completely by the time we return from end of summer camp!)

Today I also took one step closer to my liberating retirement goal of purchasing a campground! It’s like everything falls in line for a reason…and when the owners of the local campground/festival grounds/100 acres of treed land puts out the for sale sign…well I jump right on that! Might appear impulsive to arrange a meeting for tomorrow….but trust me I have been planning for many years now…more so since the greedy cancer tried unsuccessfully to bring me down!

Today might be a more appropriate day to share my psychiatrist story…..as I can appreciate just how crazy I might sound right now….but until I can convince Brian or someone else to play the wagging finger role of my psychiatrist…I can’t just plainly write about it…it is something you need to experience with video link and all!

So, the next best story…another long awaited story….is my jail-cation of a lifetime. In a sense this experience does contribute to my ultimate life plan….not living amongst time restrictions of when to eat and be allowed outside…not having to be herded in a small common waiting area for the cell door buzzer to go off…not having to pee in front of everyone in a small cell….at least on the sheep farm campground I can pee behind the bushy trees!

Perhaps it is important to note here that I landed in jail by pure misunderstanding….there was no criminal activity committed on my part…..at all I swear it! That isn’t to say that I am without past of minor criminal acts…..there were a few…but nothing that landed me in actual prison and not just the police station little drunk tank cell. I mean when I was 15 years old I found myself smack in the middle of an RCMP Organized Crime thievery operation (no I didn’t commit thievery but apparently my roommate at the time was a gang member and used my Fila high top shoes during the robbery (those were my favourite shoes which sadly remain in RCMP evidence lock up this 24 years later). Then there was that time I stole shampoo and conditioner (that was when I was 15 too….seems a whole post can be dedicated to that year of naivety)!

All I ever ended up with for consequences was having to testify in open court against the organized criminals…restitution to Zeller’s for the hair cleansing products and 1 year probation to ensure that while I was living alone I was still supported with school and work (my probation officer was amazingly supporting and perhaps is a good reason and seed planter for my career in social services). Then in my college years, I spent some time touring through prison in Ontario…and a 15 week field observation course with 4 inmates in a medium security prison….in case you are wondering those inmates said I would make a fine correctional officer and seemed compassionate with no judgments (they were spot on except the correctional officer bit)!

Anyhow….one random day many years after graduating college and forgetting about the whole idea of incarceration rules….don’t go through the one door until then other door locks and you are stuck in a 4’x4’ corridor…I end up in prison again….and survived the experience with my ADHD! Here are the many steps it took to get there:

Step One: I got rear ended in a car accident in 2006. I was driving back from work on my second day on the job after having moved back from England the very month before the accident. No, I was not driving on the wrong side of the road and clearly I was not at fault having been rear-ended. It seemed this rear-ending caused a little jiggling of my spine and then required some spinal funky chicken treatments….and a paralegal for insurance purposes!

Step Two: I’m sure everyone knows someone who was in a car accident and therefore has one of them ambulance chasing paralegals to help navigate the insurance and court and medical systems. I took on a paralegal on the referral of a friend…turns out this guy wasn’t so much a paralegal but more a loud bully. He had bad karma…trying to convince me that I can claim pedicures and spa treatments as medical needs. I chose to move onto a legitimate litigation lawyer and was told by the lawyer that he would deal with the paralegal in regards to final payment on my account prior to transfer of my file. (Bill Wolfe, you made a fantastic lawyer and regardless of not knowing how I ended up in jail….you worked hard to get a good karma well deserved settlement)!

Step Three: Having completed treatment for my spinal funky chicken (spinal decompression which meant I couldn’t do anything fun for weeks and weeks and too many weeks to count) I finally was allowed to get back into fun stuff….outdoor activities and even able to pick up my cat (and my cat is the affectionate type….likes to be picked up and walked around on my shoulder). This was the same time I was also trying really hard to run my own business helping other people…I was talking with all sorts of non-profits, governments and protection services. It was a Community Response Officer that suggested I join the Scouts Canada/Police Venturer partnership…he assumed the youth would be ecstatic to try silver and gold camping or canoeing expeditions! Well I’m all gung ho…establish contact and meet with the group of youth almost immediately

Step Four: As it seems, to be a Venturer Leader…the youth must vote you in….and I generally have no problems being voted in by the young people (again it’s about that psychiatrist appointment help with greater understanding of my eternal youthful craziness) . I attend the first 3 meetings of the year…and spread my good word of camping expeditions…and orienteering skills…and summer time road-tripping across the country. I’m in….officially they vote and I make the cut….and the other advisor is looking just as hopeful (seems he has been trying to keep this group together alone and was running thin). Now, just to go through the Police/Scouts paperwork checkpoints!

Step Five: After being voted in…and agreed by the police to join the group…I am requested to complete the vulnerable screening police check (and you can be assured the police do a thorough search when you are volunteering with them)! I feeling super confident about this check…I mean I have been in social services at this point for over 12 years and have passed many screens and checks on an international level! Also, just recently passed my full police/vulnerable check for my job with the Ministry of Children/Youth Services and my other job with local youth support service….I got this…..No problem!

Here’s a little tip….if the police call to tell you your check is ready and come pick it up….it is actually a trap and you will not walk out with your completed check….they usually mail you the check unless……

Step Six: I get the call that my check is ready…and knowing that I have passed go to the police station to pick it up….it’s my one errand before my lunch date with my bookkeeper(my bookkeeper is actually an old time friend and almost like my second mom). I walk up to the counter and present my ID….the woman says to have a seat and they will be getting my check in a minute…..when…. 2 officers come walking in and ask for me by my full name. I think this is a joke (like the boys and police are staging an initiation to join this group) and so I put my hands in my pocket. The officer in his officer tone “ma’am I’m gonna have to ask to to remove your hands from your pockets”. This is so real, the girl who sat beside me actually gets up and starts out the door……as I am being cuffed in the station, I see her run across the parking lot…and only wish I had done that before.

Step Seven: Don’t say a word….but all I keep saying is this must be a mistake and all I want to do is help my local young people. The police officer tells me he would rather be arresting criminals (as if I am stopping him from doing that while cuffed and sat in the back seat of the police car??) He transports me to the next police station with an actual holding hallway of cells and interview rooms. Bless the intake police officer…he was understanding and tells me that there is a warrant for committal and they are required to pick me up and haul me to jail for minimum 3 days. I am so confused but yet not broken down….yet….so he throws me in the cell and tells me he will call duty council. Duty was useless….never asked about the situation but simply said “are you hurt? Is anyone there? You are picked up on a warrant and will go to jail until Thursday”…right now it’s Tuesday and I am missing my lunch with my bookkeeper.

Step Eight: At this point…I’m thinking of my elder mom and how she will freak out if I don’t come home for 2 days. I’m also worried about my after school program shift the next day. I beg the officer to let me speak to my elder mom so I can explain that I won’t be home for couple days….here’s that conversation: “Mom, I won’t be home until Thursday because I am going to jail…can you call the Youth Service and let them know I can’t work tomorrow”. My mom was confused and really wanted to know “can I come visit you or call you?” I can’t really blame the confusion but really you can’t get calls like that in jail….and I don’t wanna be in jail that long to accept visitors! The Intake officer feels my painful situation….he tells me to ask for Duty council when I get to the courthouse and maybe they will wipe the warrant.

Step Nine: Courthouse officers are not so friendly or supportive….once I asked to speak to Duty…the officer kisses his teeth and says “you think it’s gonna change your situation”. I was kinda hoping it would give me some insight into my situation! Instead, the officers patted me down, and put me in a courthouse cell….random toilet in the middle behind a mini wall…and 2 other female inmates not too happy about their situations. Little did I know that this was temporary until the OPP show up.

Step Ten: This is when the vacation officially starts with the long road trip that I don’t have to drive on! The OPP shackled my ankles, cuffed my wrists and threw me in the back of a paddy wagon and drove me to the prison incarceration room cell stay for the night! So much reflection happens when you’re cuffed and peeking out a little window watching the farm land pass you by! I also learned that paddy wagons are separated…..and there is space to transport men and women separated by a non-sound proof wall. So, my whole trip to jail…all I can hear is the boy on the other side of the wall begging to go pee…and then eventually just peed in the paddy wagon. Bet the OPP officers were ever so glad to finally arrive at the prison!

Step Eleven: So, here is the intake at the prison. Now remember I have been to prison before but never on the other side of the bars and most definitely never on the intake side. First I get thrown into a largish cell with other women waiting to be intaked…here is where many life-long prison relationships begin I would imagine! The first lady I speak to tells me that she is charged with attempted murder for trying to poison her partner with the morning coffee….and that was enough conversation for me! Let’s move through the intake process:

First I get put into a small room and the lady correctional officer stands in the doorway explaining how she wants me to take off all my clothes….shake my hair…..lift my boobies….turn around…bend down and spread my cheeks (that whole show and no she doesn’t give me a hand or even kiss me after). Then satisfied that there is nothing stashed nowhere…she hands me a bag with a green track suit, plain white lace-less shoes, and one size fits all bra and underwear (no metal anywhere), and a little paper bag with a cup and flimsy toothbrush and a tea bag!

Second I get moved into the health room with the nurse wanting to know about my health status…hmmmm right now I’m feeling more crazy then ever….curious if I am actually making this all up in my head….when she punctures me with a TB test needle and then I know it’s all real!

Third I get moved into the mug shot picture room. It seems the picture is representative of how real this is…and this is where I have my break…I start to bawl my eyes out and in between sniffles explain: “I am a correctional worker graduate and I have never been on this side of the bars before….and I just got a job with the ministry and I work for my local youth service…and I just want to help my local young people” The officer…perhaps jaded by her many years of watching breakdowns….looks to me and says she has had OPSEU members in jail for worse and I will be just fine and out in a day (it seems that on a 3 day warrant, travel time counts as one day and dead time with no court appearance is 2 days…so basically I paid for my own overnight jail vacation). It is at that point she clicks the pic for my mugshot……you can just see the stress on me!

Fourth I get moved onto the range with all the other women prisoners….most of them have braided hair and green teeth (I assume there is nothing to do in jail but braid hair…and the toothbrush provided leaves no firmness for actual brushing). I end up chatting with a 20 something year old…she asks what I’m in for and I tell her “Scouts Canada”….she looks confused and in the mean time someone comes around asking for my cup….sure you can have my cup I don’t wanna be here long enough to drink anything. This girl sees me give away my cup and immediately wants to be my friend…runs to the guards and bangs on the Plexiglas stating “hey hey that lady is in here for a mistake and she needs another cup while you are fixing the mistake to get her out”. I know I don’t want to make any friends here and I certainly don’t want to owe any favours…so I move onto the next table and hope to be locked in my cell soon…the quicker I’m locked up the quicker this vacation finishes!

Step Twelve: I get into the cell and thankfully I am alone in this cell….lying in bed facing the cell door, the toilet and the sink….thankfully again I am alone in this cell. I don’t believe I slept any….spent much of the evening reading all the graffiti on the walls and bed and ceiling…then I spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how to escape through the little window…my thigh wouldn’t fit through the window but in my crazy haze I thought I could totally fit through it and then run across the yard to the fence where of course they would just open up the gates for me! Just as I was trying to put my first leg through……the door clanks and it is morning time and I’m allowed to leave the cell again.

Step Thirteen: This is the last step and how auspicious of a step it is! I hear a guard calling my name and so I run down the metal grate stairs and right up to the door….with my hand raised like you are calling me and I am here! Meanwhile I can hear the 20 something year old yelling at me about how I need to clear my linen and do some washing and stuff…I just look at her and say “ that guard is calling my name and that means it’s my time to go…sorry dude but I gotta go now”! Back to the Intake area where I get to again change into my own clothes in front of the guard and count my cards and wallet contents….in the Correctional Service Van and road trip back to my car. On the way I call my lawyer to find out how I got in jail….here’s how:

The dodgy paralegal with bad karma apparently moved the court case from Toronto to Newmarket and didn’t inform anyone….myself or my lawyer…as a result he attended court on dates I didn’t know about and managed to get the court to issue a Warrant for Committal based on Failure to Appear!

Just so you know…..all is well with my record and the police volunteering I do now….the court case has ended and I have no idea what happen or don’t care to know what happen to that paralegal!

This is just another growing experience…..and helps me remember why I want so much the freedom of owning a sheep farm campground with a retirement apartment in the Red Sea…..Freedom is under-rated!!!

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