Thursday, April 5, 2007

Crime in the city

I just dropped a guy at a half-way house. He flagged me at 11:30 p.m. and said he was thrilled to see me because he has a midnight curfew. The housing program adds five days to his sentence every time he's late.

He had committed some crime (he didn't offer to say what it was, and I didn't ask), and he made a deal to live at a supervised half-way house rather than go to jail. The crime couldn't have been too serious if he qualified for a program like that. He gets complete freedom in August. Between now and then he only gets out to work. He said he sneaks around to see his girlfriend.

When we got close to the place, I turned on the interior light so he could get his money ready.

"Turn the light off! I need the light off!" he said. "If they see me getting out of a cab, it's an extra five days." I had to drop him off at a bus stop because he wanted any supervisors who may be watching for him to see him walking from there. The rules say he's supposed to take a city bus -- no cabs.

Fare: $15 plus a $2 tip. And he gave me a half pack of Marlboros. No smokes in the house. That's a little draconian. Don't all convicts smoke?

He was a very nice guy. I guess they're not all like Charles Manson.

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