Not long after I took over the post of HSA (Health Service Administrator) for the jail, an inmate was brought in for assault and battery. His name was Ron. He was six-foot-four and weighed 310lbs. He was muscle, no flab.
Ron had been a pilot in the Army, Special Forces when his plane was shot down twice. After the second time, he suffered severe PTSD and the Army sent him home. While living at home with his parents he had an incident which brought him to me.
One evening while enjoying a quiet evening at home with his mom and dad, a plane flew over their house a little too low. I was told Ron freaked out. Not understanding what was happening, Mom and Dad tried to restrain Ron and he ended up beating them both pretty bad. Thankfully, he lived in a small town as it took the police several days to find him and bring him in.
Three months later, I finally had him sent upstate for a psychiatric evaluation, and hopefully to be committed. A month later, they sent him back to me and I cringed. I knew I had my work cut out for me. I scoured the paperwork to see if there was anything I could use to send him back, but nothing came with him except medication records and new doctor’s orders.
They had him on a slew of pills that he refused to take. I knew Ron needed these medications so for the first few days I begged him to take the pills.
“I don’t want them,” he insisted. “They make me feel funny.”
I had him pick out the ones that made him feel funny and then called our doctor to have it switched to something else. Meanwhile, much against the policies of the jail, I tried coaxing Ron with candy, which he always refused. However, as I pointed out to the administration, our choice was either I was to give him a piece of candy with his pills and get them in him or, don’t, and he goes without the pills and will eventually wreak havoc in the jail.
They didn’t believe me until…one afternoon, Ron had a flashback and went berserk. We had to put him in solitary confinement until he calmed down. Three days later, Chief Brown opened the cell door and asks Ron, “Are you okay? You ready to go back to your cellblock now?”
Ron crouched down and replied, “Yeah, I’m ready. Bring on the whole squad. I’ll take them all!”
Chief Brown quickly slammed the cell door shut and said, “Not today!”
After that, I was allowed to give Ron candy with his medicines. As a matter of fact, I was allowed to give it to him right away.