Bringing Pig-Dog to Heel

By Officer Doppels

When you are around and about the prisoners, you come to appreciate all the little things that are not that readily apparent on the first meeting. While there is much that you may hear, see and understand, there are also those things that come through smell, and touch, and nuance – both gentle and no so gentle. The prisoners are in your control and under your custody. And while that may seem like a black and white issue, a clear line between being controlled and not, it is a process of slowing making the prisoner fully understand, accept and become resigned to the fact that he is a prisoner, and nothing more.

I recently did a few days of helping out at the Hampton Jail. It was a very satisfying experience. On this visit, with my first encounters of the inmates I eyed one of the prisoners that I wanted to control, to torment and to force him to yield. I gave him a nickname, Pig-Dog. I walked into the cellblock and barked out “Noses and Toeses!” which is the standard command to assume a position eyes away from the officers against the opposite wall with feet flush to the wall, faces to the wall, and hands clasped with fingers interlocked behind their heads. I yelled it out, and it startled a few of the inmates. One of the other inmates I would later learn confided that it was an “Oh Holy Shit” moment for him.

A point came were I ordered the inmates into their cells. Pig-Dog hesitated and looked at me with a confused quizzical glare. His face suggested confusion, like ‘what the fuck’ or ‘yikes, something is changing here’ as he stood there. He hesitated and then I barked out the order again – and after a short pause he complied. For me that was the turning point, I thought, for each time I encountered him was I going to prod him, push his buttons, make his experience far more real than perhaps he was expecting.

I remember at one point he was scheduled for shower and uniform change. After he bathed, and was given his new stripes, I cuffed his hands behind his back and began to escort him back to the cell.  Standing behind him with my left hand firmly on this left bicep and my right-hand firm only the base of his neck, grabbing his uniform, and keeping him firmly in place.  He, Pig-Dog, protested the firm touch and control. He resisted, using his body weight against mine.  He challenged my control.   He continued to resist, and then his resistance fell off.  He said, “you’ve got a solid 4 inches of height on me,” and while we both had baseball player type builds, it was clear that I would be a formidable advisory if he chose to balk.  Into the cell he went.  As I closed and locked the cell door, he turned and glared at me, and I stared back, with a small smile and a devilish grin.   I had found my play thing.

Later-on in the exercise yard, with Pig-Dog in chain-gang restraints, he paused in his work.  He turned and looked at me.  I was standing there looking back at him, but I was doing so from behind my highly mirrored and ultra-reflective aviator sunglasses.  He did not know where or what I was looking at.  He tried to keep a stone face.  I could sense a degree of frustration, a bit of anxiety.   His incarceration experience had become a bit more real.

Later in the day it became clear that his attitude was not sufficiently obedient and ‘cheerful’ and he was pointed to the sweatbox that sits in the exercise yard.  Into the box he went on a that very warm summer day.  He thought he would be left to endure the heat, with the dim light and isolation.   He was wrong, as he had forgotten that Pig-Dog was on my project list.  Every now and then I would with stealth walk up to the side the sweatbox.  With the heel of my booted foot, I would kick into the sides of the box.  BAM BAM BAM!  He would protest, yell and swear.  I would say nothing back.

Then a second and third time – and forth time, BAM BAM BAM!  Another set of swear words.   Then, I thought, he could benefit from some additional softening up.  The sweat box is about 3 feet by 3 feet by 6 feet with two small horizontal slots in the door at one end, each about 2 inches by 8 inches.  I hooked up the hose and let loose on the nozzle at full force through the slots.    He would try to reflect the water stream with his hands, but I would simply change position and continue to hose him down.  With the water in the sweatbox and the ambient humidity outside, the water would steam up and drip from the ceiling within the box.

BAM BAM BAM, again.  Rinse and repeat as they say.   Drip, drip on the inside as he would spend the afternoon stewing away.   I would let some time pass as I would go off to do other things.  Then I would return.

BAM BAM BAM again, and again.  The conditioning and molding were ongoing. The taking of control growing more complete.

By the time I left, I had felt that we had bonded in that way that only a Prisoner and a Guard can bond – a bond that only a Prisoner and a Guard can really understand, and perhaps a bond that will always be there.


Metal would like to thank Officer Doppels for the story, and welcome him to the Prison Library!


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5 thoughts on “Bringing Pig-Dog to Heel”

    1. Any time, I am always happy to provide a bit of torment as part of breaking and reforming the inmate. The Hampton Jail always has space.

  1. Officer Doppel:

    How often are you at the Hampton Jail?

    Would like to experience the sweatbox as well as “toes and noses” and brig style forced workouts.

    Also useless tasks like moving piles of bricks.

  2. Rory, barring any other conflicts with my schedule, I have committed to help out at the Hampton Jail later this year from 01Oct through about 13Oct.

    You would need to contact the Jail directly about making a visit, The Sheriff makes the general determinations of what inmates will be doing (and not doing). The weather at that point may not be hot enough for a sweatbox event (as I described).

  3. Noted, Officer Doppel. I did a boot camp corrections weekend at The Academy Traning Center many years ago.

    My scene is the toug guy prisoner who eventually complies…but only after punishment.

    Lots of discipline along the way, including permission for every action.

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