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PRISON WATCHERS


A white truck goes 'round and 'round all night
In fact, all day and evening it does too
There's razor wire atop an electric fence
It's nothing like Pelican Bay Prison

Contacted to work at Pelican Bay last year
Supposed to be the one housing the worst
People in cells for 23 hours a day
Your 6 x 12 space of silence

No light from the sun, no plants
No sky to see, no birds, no others
Except guards and maybe a nurse
If you are really feeling ill

Across the street is the medium security
You are still locked in if you work there
Locked up for 8 to 16 hours a day or night
Aren't we all locked into something

Only difference is I see the moon
While the prisoners across the street
Sleep in dormitories listening to snoring
From the strangers you are bound to hear

Prison watchers drive all night long
One white truck around the parameter
Then another half way behind the first one
Our old psychiatric hospital of Kirkride's idea

Turned into mental cases on trial
Murders, rapers, molesters, burglars
Could have been schizophrenically typed
If our mental health system worked

As though it did for 80 years until
The government turned away the feeble minded
Let them suffer in the streets to make way
For jobs of prison watchers instead of

Nurses on parade giving pills to ill people
No longer ill mentally they said
But he cut up his family with a carving knife
No longer need nurses they said

TLC is out and cages are in
That's the way it is as someone decided
It should be because all people should be free
Unless you're too dumb to know crime doesn't pay

So they enclose you in bars of steel
Where you are monitored, guarded, locked down
Not ill anymore out on your own
When chains and shackles take the place

Of diagnoses and treatment
Or defeating ignorance and insanity
Then the poor and mentally ill
Become a job for prison watchers.


4/14/08 1300 cj








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