- Faith & Family
If I’m not mistaken, I believe it was the rapper Bone Crusher who repeatedly chanted the words “I ain’t never scared.” Those lyrics remind me of some prisoners, including myself, who wear fearlessness like a badge of honor. The song could certainly match well with some of the squabbles that I’ve had the opportunity to witness and take part in over the years. It could also be played as a soundtrack to a documentary film based on prison life, revealing the reverse side of what those convicts who don’t scare easily look like. What we would see on the big screen is a small group of frightened inmates begging to be checked in, pleading their fluttering hearts out for protective management status.
In most cases, the administration at every institution across the state of Florida must grant PM status to those inmates who request for it when it appear as though they may have a legitimate reason to fear for their own safety. But just being afraid of other prisoners or staff members alone is not a valid reason for placement into PM status — there must be some kind of evidence of a previous incident documented in DOC records or other records outside of the department of he or she is placed into open population with whomever they are seeking protection against.
Protective management status is usually granted to those prisoners who have had violent confrontations with other inmates, known informants who may be subjected to serious reprisals, ex-cops and correctional officers, prominent figures and inmates convicted in high-profile cases, such as those involving multiple counts of child sex abuse. When it has been decided at a hearing by a team of administrators that protection is indeed warranted, inmates are either “special reviewed” with these persons they are in fear of; which is basically a red-flag system implemented in the inmates file alerting the classification department to the fact that those individuals can not be on the same compound together — or they will receive permanent protective management status which would require for them to be segregated for general population and housed only with other inmates who have received PPM status is deemed inexplicable or it has been determined that the prisoner is merely trying to manipulate the system in order to receive a transfer to another camp, the request is simply denied.
Of course, a denial of PM status may not have much affect on a half-sick prisoner because, to him it would only mean that his plan has failed. But for an inmate who is truly in fear for his life, a denial could seal his fate:it would force him back into an environment where predators become the prey and bullies with nicknames like “So Bad”, “Renegade” and “Mad Dog” liken to a pack of hungry wolves eagerly waiting for fresh meat to be tossed into their kennel.
By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.