maximum potential

Posted: August 31, 2011 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , ,

We’ve all imagined a glamorous life on the underbelly of the law if, for no other reason, to spice things up. It’s not just me, right? It seems a common enough fantasy. Plan and execute a brilliant caper (victimless, of course) that will reap untold riches and rewards in the form of uncut, easily fenced jewels without any of the nasty blowback associated with getting caught, arrested and prosecuted. Especially right before a holiday weekend.

As horrifying as thought of getting caught is, the specter of jail time is what actually holds many of us back. It’s not just me, right? Incarceration in a maximum security prison is daunting enough without the added pressure of learning complicated handshakes in order to score prime black market swag.

Here’s a question: Why aren’t all prisons considered “maximum security”? Admitting a jail is “minimum security” or something equally underwhelming is totally counterproductive to the whole fear factor thing prison should engender. I’m pretty sure most of us would agree the primary goal of any prison to keep the inmates, you know, in. Feeling confident each prison is doing everything it can to make that happen is reasonable. Still, somewhere along the line these levels of security designations were adopted.

Yeah yeah, economics and politics and resources and all other sorts of nasty realities influence a prison’s ability to be top shelf. Intellectually, I get that. I realize it’s inevitable for every Leavenworth you’ll get a few Mayberrys. That doesn’t mean society has to publically label a prison as “minimum security” or worse, “not a bad place to spend the winter.” That sort of silliness essentially announces to the state, law-abiding community, would-be criminals, inmates and any other interested parties (like the inmate’s nifty friends who plan to bust him out after Bingo Night) that “Hey, we’re going to try our darnedest to keep these scallywags behind bars. We really, really are. But if they happen to escape while we’re taking a nap you shouldn’t act all outraged and shocked. What do you think minimum means?”

Naturally the exquisite heist we plot out is the kind that, if flubbed, would land us in one of those truly maximum security deals. It’s generally enough to hold most people back. Well, that and an utter lack of experience and criminal know-how. Those miscreant thoughts are best left to the world of daydreams and misguided fantasies. Who wants to be the poster child for bad behavior? Not me.

Nonetheless, I hope when I’m waiting outside that certain jewelry store on that certain posh Manhattan avenue this Friday morning at 2:30 a.m. my homeboys won’t get cold feet and bail on me. Cause I certainly don’t want to be standing there saying, “It’s not just me, right?”

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