30 July, 2021

Damn These Indestructible Claws!

Just one question, really: is this a model for the Missouri Department of Corrections' prisoner of the future?

"Due to safety and security concerns," says the e-mail from Director Norman, "toenail clippers will no longer be sold in the Canteen and offenders will not be allowed have them in their personal property. Fingernail clippers will still be sold in the Canteen but only one fingernail clipper will be allowed in the offenders personal property."

Sometime before August 21, 2021, Missouri prisoners are being told to surrender our toenail clippers. These tools have been part of prison's basic personal hygiene products for way longer than the twenty years that I've been a guest of the DOC. Yet now, suddenly, they're a problem.

From next month onward, dinky pinkie clippers are expected to suffice for all inmates' nail-trimming needs. This poses a problem for those of us whose bodies grow extra-durable keratin. I can't clip my thumbnails with fingernail clippers any more than a butter knife can slit a truck tire. And don't even get me started on my toenails.

On my trips to Medical over the years, I couldn't tell you how many men I've seen soaking their feet in what seem like luxuriant conditions, their bare paws in a Sterelite pan full of warm Epsom salts, preparing for a pedicure. Every time, I wondered how bad their nails had to be to receive such service. The same for-profit entity providing their nail treatment withheld treatment for almost every other medical condition it faced. You can't get proper care for cancer, but a foot bath? Come on in!

Smartassery aside, I doubt they've considered the repercussions of this new restriction. I'm not the only person with tough claws who's stuck in the system. There are thousands of us. Take a second to consider this. Certain people are always going to do bad stuff, and they're always going to do it by whatever means are at hand. (And despite what you think, ample means are still going to be within reach, even after toenail clippers officially become contraband.) The DOC might as well turn the Medical lobbies of prisons around the state into nail salons. Wouldn't it be more sensible to leave our hygienic practices intact than charge Missouri taxpayers untold millions of dollars for prisoners' mani-pedis?

1 comment:

  1. Never thought clippers would be contraband..siiiigh


Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.