How Should an Inmate Deal With Troublemakers

By George Hook

Before a targeted inmate goes off half-cocked, gets physically aggressive and winds up in more trouble than an antagonistic inmate or Correctional Officer has caused or can cause other, better options should be considered as alternatives.  Physical retaliatory aggression would constitute a crime subject either to official judicial or administrative action and punishment.  So that should be out completely.  What might be even more troublesome is ever escalating retaliation. “Kicking one’s can down the road,” to paraphrase from the current Congressional Fiscal Standoff, is not a viable solution. 

First, figure out what is causing the antagonism.  Parsing the cause is possible from observation, inquiry, and reputation.  Everyone will know something, at least, about a targeted inmate’s antagonist.  If the cause can be eliminated or modified, that should be done as the best, most expeditious solution.  A manner of speaking, an objectionable expression, a misperception may be easily corrected.  Self-awareness is a virtue, especially in prison.  Anger is not.

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