Saturday, January 26, 2013

Open Door Prisons

I think everyone around here feels a little cooped up midwinter. Walkies are perfunctory. I don't ride along for errands when the car temps are so low. Backyard patrol is as needed only.

Because it is winter, over the fence moments are few and muffled by winter layers. We haven't yet heard why six fire trucks and a dozen plus firefighters visited our next door neighbors some days back (they appear to be fine).

And we haven't yet met the new babies on our other side or down on the corner. My auntie Lizabeth commented that last year her neighbors went in for the winter and came out with a fully formed baby without her even knowing they were pregnant. That's a long winter.

Of course, this is self-imposed isolation. It isn't like we are locked up. The happiest Minnesotans are the ones who bundle up and head out the door. But there are those new episodes of Downton Abbey to be viewed...

Some folks are locked up for real, of course. Until they aren't. Apparently there are now over 15,000 escaped farm crocodiles bobbing in the Limpopo River in South Africa. Their keepers opened up the river gates when flood waters threatened. Out they floated. That's a lot of crocs!

The best way to recapture crocs is at night because their eyes glow.

These are South American caimans.
But their eye shine is probably similar
to those escaped crocodiles in South Africa.
I may have some croc in me.

If I was a crocodile and my destiny was to be a pair of shoes, I would certainly take advantage of an open cell door.

Apparently, there are also jails with a rather generous open door policy. News of the Weird reports:

"Fulton Jail Will Get Working Cell Locks," read the Dec. 19 Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline. The county commission serving Atlanta had finally voted to break a longstanding 3-3 tie that prevented buying new jailhouse locks -- even while knowing that inmates could jimmy the old ones at will and roam the facilities, threatening and assaulting suspects and guards. The three recalcitrant commissioners were being spiteful because a federal judge had ordered various improvements to the jail, costing $140 million so far, and the three vowed to spend no more. The 1,300 replacement locks will cost about $5 million -- but will not be installed right away. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12-19-2012] 

I think it is interesting the prisoners only leave their cells for the specific business of harassing the guards or stretching their legs. They don't actually leave the prison. Sort of like free-range chickens. I hear they often have access to the outdoors but never go through the door.  Minnesota free-range chickens must be the worst.

1 comment:

  1. These nasty bitter cold days really take the pep out of people as well as dogs. And Downton Abbey is an excellent excuse to stay in, so don't fault your family too much. When I read about the escaped crocs, I thought of all the dogs and cats at risk in that area. Aren't you glad you only have to worry about cold paws, Carmella?