Need a Change of Venue
By Derrick Miles Adkins
Fiction, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2022
This book is a short story and the work of just fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents, are products of the author’s imagination or used fictiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or person’s living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
My story tells the lives of peoples and there life events regarding around the judicial system, and the choices that they make that cause them to become just another statistic of that system. The officials make dam sure once into that system that your apart of that system for ever. Because of there ethics changing alone with the root of all evil we need a change of venue.
No man I’m telling you that the judicial system works if your doing the things that you are suppose to be doing and not run-in around and breaking the law and carrying on. Derrick was saying to a few of his friends at his school.
Man how would you know one of his friends was saying to him name rico that lived in the minority housing section in Alexandria, Virginia.
Because you came up on the other side of the tracks where you don’t have to go through the same things as us.
Like what for instant Derrick said sarcastically with a irritated expression on his face.
Well like being a minority for one. Because coming where we come from if you looked or dressed a certain way you was either a drug dealer or a gang banger. Rico was saying as he slapped hands with one of the other guys in there circle just to put emphasis on the point that he just made.
I bet out in the suburbs you probably don’t even have to deal with brothers like us, huh man.
What your only seventeen right.
Yeah, your to young to even know the difference between where you come from even matters he said. As a matter of factly.
Dam man Derrick said shooting back at him with the same intensity. You act like your an adult or something your only two years older than me fourteenth grader he said making the others laugh.
What ever man,” rico said brushen them off and disregarding Derricks joke with a wave of his hand.
Man if you was where I’m from you would be doing what ever you had to do too get by Rico was saying with a frown on his face and then folding his arms in contempt and staring at Derrick waiting on a response.
Derrick hesitated briefly seriously contemplating his response then smillen and shaken his head in agreement then they all started laughen together.
Then they started throwing food at one another while still laughen the whole time. Because Derrick didn’t have the heart to continue this toppic of discussion and hurt his friends feelings.
Telling him what he really thought of his friends lack of ethical morals and principles.
And if he didn’t have such a lazy work ethic that maybe he could be something in life other than excuses and all talk.
Man I bet that you haven’t even been stopped out their in that soft cushy neighborhood one of his friends said name greg as he took a bite from his cheese burger. Then started sippen soda from a cup with a straw in it.
But Derrick act like he didn’t hear him over the noise in the big spacious cafeteria by placing his hands up to his ears with a sign saying, huh over and over again intil greg gave up with the wave of his hands in Derrick direction. Then saying man forget you and continued eating his food.
They all went to T. C. Williams high school in the heart off Alexandria Virginia. Where kids from all over the city went at one point or another. It is a good school despite some of the bad apples from some of the surrounding neighborhoods.
What ever was your walk of life T.C. had something to offer you. Whether you had academic challenges, behavioral challenges, or just one of this advance students T. C. Williams had a place for you their.
The bell rang telling the students that it was time for them to get ready to go back to class. So every body started getting up and putting there trash in the trash cans.
When rico start in on Derrick again questions his blackness saying that he was to scared to come to there neighborhood.
Man your moms probably wouldn’t allow you to any way he was saying clowning him then the girls start in on him as well.
What’s wrong mommy won’t let her little boy come out and play with the big kids they as saying then pinched his cheeks playfully.
As he start to smack there hands away bashfully telling them to stop don’t do that, but the whole time smillen from cheek to cheek.
So at that point Derrick took it as a personal challenge coming from the girls and all. That and the fact that Tiffiny and Bridget was fine.
I bet you haven’t even had sex yet they start in on him bumped there hipps up against his flirtatiously.
Then rico and greg gave each other five behind his back. As the girls kept playing with him as if saying that they had him now smillen at one another. So now rico started in on him again.
I bet that you couldn’t even spend a week, no I’ll give you two days in the hood and you would be run-in back to your little cushion life in the suburbs. I want to prove to you that some times in life you have to play the cards that life deals you. And that if you was from where we are from that you would have took the same road that we took.
No not maybe Derrick said interrupting I know that you can do the right thing if you just think in a positive way. No more excuses, okay what ever, do we have d meal rico ask extending his hand to be shook.
Okay you have a deal Derrick said over his shoulder as he made his exit from the cafeteria excited that he may get the chance to change his friends life for the better. Because he always wanted to help rico to change his life and now he have the opportunity that hese been waiting for for a long time.
Yeah, okay rico said to his retreating back were going to see just how much that theory of yours works.
Derrick was light skin with fluffy curly black hair six foot and slim, but with an athletic build that weight around a hundred and some odd pounds. Most females found him to be cute and very attractive, but in a Park Avenue white prep boy kind of way.
Rico was still walken behind him smillen saying to him self rubbed his hands together I’m going to love this boy,” I can’t wait.
Now rico consider him self a good friend he was what they called a half breed. Because his mother was Mexican and his father was black, and he knew both languages to. But only spoke Mexican around his family members that couldn’t speak English. Rico was kind of short at five six or seven or so that had that thick curly Mexican black hair as well as there tan like skin complexion you know the pretty boy type. That weight about a hundred and fifty some odd pounds.
And at nineteen he was one of the top dealers in his neighborhood. They called it the New Projects why I don’t know, because there wasn’t anything that was new about it.
In lest you want to count the new rats and roaches that came through from time to time.
And the only reason that Derrick and rico was close now was that rico felt sorry for him because of peoples always use to pick on him, and bully him. So one day when he was being bullied in school by the school bullies Rico tapped in having pull in the neighborhoods and all.
From that point on rico took him under his wing. Along with the fact that Derrick was very intelligent academicly wise and promised that if there was anything that he could do for him to just let him know. Rico knowing how smart the boy was took him up on his offer, and got him soup some of his grades.
Every since then he just took a liken to the boy, because he wasn’t only helpful and smart he was actually funny and fun to have around. But they only hung out in school because he was scared to go to his neighborhood besides his parents wouldn’t allow him to any way.
Old Town Bagle shop was often a place in Alexandria where the Prosecuting Attorney’s and Public Defenders met so that they could negotiate terms on behalf of a case that they were presiding over.
Look James the Prosecuting Attorney Mrs. Hudson was saying leaning across the table trying to get her point across without any of the other customers in the shop over hearing there conversation.
Calling him by his first name out of the work history that they have, and to make him feel comfortable with her, because of her trying to get something out of him information that’s not in the discovery.
Look lets make a deal she continued. I want that son of a bitch he have been slippen through the cracks for years now our department haven’t been able to make anything stick on him.
Just look at what hese doing to this city saling that poison she was saying in descuss.
Mrs. Hudson has been in the D.A.’s office now going on thirteen years as a Prosecuting Attorney and played dirty if she wanted you bad enough. And with a record that said that she didn’t like losing.
She was caucasion in her early fourties and a very attractive brunet that had a fashion statement from something of a politician sort of speak.
I don’t know Brenda he said also calling her by her first name comfortably. This case could push me right up the ladder in my department. I could make chiefs off of this one,” well this one and a few more that is, but most definitely going places after this one he said staring out in the distance as if he was fantasizing or something.
So any way he said breaking out of his day dream. Why would I throw my client under the bus on this one said also leaning across the table so that she could here him only.
And at the same time grabbing his tie making sure that it didn’t go into his coffee while still making conversation.
His name was James Peterson also caucasion and also in his fourties that have been Public Defender going on fifteen years now and was also very good at his job. That had his sights set on making chief Public Defender that way he doesn’t have to continue presiding cases he could make the decisions who in fact that he wanted to preside cases. He could just set back with his healthy bonus and collect his pension.
Mr. Peterson was what most women would call tall dark and handsome. At six foot brown sun tanned complexion brown hazzel eye’s full length hair with chisel facial features.
In fact he was so passionate about making chief by the following year that he promised him self that if he didn’t he was going to go into his own practice.
So tell me what do you have to offer me this time Brenda he was saying staring at her cleavage seductivly and grinning to him self.
She knew very well what ment knowing that he had the hots for her every since there great debate during there first trial against one another. After that heated trial he started flirting with her in such away that it flattered her and made her feel uncomfortable at the same time. Because she was married and so was he, but it didn’t matter to him in the least and she knew it.
So she started naming up and coming cases that she thought he might be interested in, but to know avail.
Alright James she said tired of playing this game. What do you suggest she ask reluctantly knowing very well what was on his mind.
But if it ment prosecuting this guy to the fullest extent of the law then she was willing to do anything.
Well almost anything, but not like this. She thought my morals and integrity will not allow me to compromise my ethics as a officer of the court. And so she got up and walked away leaving a untouched bagle behind thinken… look how far that we have gone that we are willing to sacrifice the morals and principals of the judicial system that we took a oath to with hold.
To Be Continued…
It was seven o’clock time for the shift change in open housing building one. The two correction officers that was assigned to C and D Tier was Ms. Love and Ms. Myres. They was what the inmates would call lesbians, because they was married to women. And they looked the part to with there military crew cuts and all, and as mean as a snake. Both was caucasion and around the same height and wieght. At five six and about a hundred and eighty pounds. And both was most likely in there fifties.
They was thick as thieves meaning that they was very close. When one did something file and against the rules the other one would back her and they was always doing something against the rules. They lied made rules alone the way they did any and everything basicly to disrupt the inmates progress and lively hood.
C and D Tier was right beside one another so the two officers was station at a large desk right beside one another.
Hey Love watch me run these guys off the phones Myers said with a devious look about her.
Hey times up down there on the phones she was screaming down the tier the phones was about twenty yards or so by the measures of a football field.
But Ms. Myres we still hav ten more minjtes the inmates on the phones was trying to tell her but she wasn’t trying to hear it. So she came down the tier and cut the pones off on them by pushen the dial tone OFF button.
Then she went to the bathroom but before entering she screamed back over her shoulder at the inmates that was still standing by the phones with this shocked expression on there faces.
And told them in uncertain terms that they had how much time that she said that they had.
Then preceded in the bathroom telling every body in there that they have been in there long enough that it was time for them to go. Two of the inmates had just woke up and was in there brushen there teeth and washen there face. There was also two inmates in there using the urinals and one on the toilet.
And she actually stayed there harrassing them until they left. Then snatched the curtain down on the inmate that was on the toilet so that he was exposed to every body.
Dam you stink she said waving her hand infront of her face as if that was going to make the smell go away faster.
Then started laughen out loud as she started walken back to her station.
That day five of those inmates wrote grievances on her to no avail, because later that week all five of them was taken out of the building because of her.
Well that and the fact that her cousin was chief of security.
As a matter of fact most of the staff that worked there was relateded in some way or another.
Basicly because of the facility being in a small town so the prison is the town main source of employement for miles around.
Building one and building two is what they call open housing. Open housing is suppose to be a privilege building for those inmates that stayed out of trouble and infraction free for a year or more.
But when the institution places c/o’s like Ms. Myres and Ms. Love in a privilege building they take away from the process of rehabilitation. They take away from all those inmates that is actually really trying to get there lives back together.
Because remember that theres going to be a lot of inmates to be released back into society one day, and maybe in your community. Wouldn’t you want them to have a different mind set a different way of thinken more on a positive level.
Well then you need to get involved with the judicial and prison systems, because believe me your going to be involved one way or another.
There are actually normorous staff like Ms. Myres that just don’t care about none of that. So there going to continue to take away from the process of rehabilitating these inmates that be trying to get away from all the negativity and frustration that prisons brings. Like the gangs, drugs, alcohol, and especially all the violent offenders that has nothing to lose if they hurt you.
The privilege building is designed for this inmates that is trying to change there lives before they re-enter back into society. These are the inmates that’s in school and trying to get there GED and taken trade skill classes trying to establish a future for them selfs. AS well as taken substance abuse treatment so that they can become or at least start to try being a productive part of the community that there returning to.
But the inmates can’t do it without the assistance of the staff. Meaning the correctional officers, teachers, counselors, the administration as well as medical, and mental health. Therese are the employee’s of the Department of Corrections that it is vital to receive there positive assistance if inmates are going to have a fighting chance to make a smooth transition back in society.
But it’s unfortunate that theres quite a few correctional officers as well as other employee’s that just don’t feel that when you break the law and go to prison that you don’t deserve a second chance. But little do they know that being employed by the Department of Correction is a lot more then just a job it’s away of life, because believe it or not you have peoples lives in your hands.
So what if God never send Jesus Christ so that our souls could be given a second chance at life on Earth. That statement alone proves that every body deserves a second chance.
Maybe a third and a fourth as well, because some pick up slower then others. Because society can’t afford to allow one to slip through the cracks.
Reprograming is the key.
To be continued…
Friday evening the day after school Derrick told his parents that he was going over his friends house in the neighborhood that he usually hang out with. But in fact he was going to hang out with rico and them. Since he didn’t have a car he had to meet them at the school right out side the gym where the team was having basketball practice.
Derrick only lived a few blocks from the school so he walked looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air. Because it was a beautiful sunny spring day only at seventy five degrees, but sunny with a nice mild spring breeze.
As he arrived and reached for the car door Rico seed off just a foot or so teasing him then laughen the whole time. After teasing him two more times they finally allowed him to get in the car, but still laughen the whole time while pushen and smacken him on the head playfully.
Well preppy your finally ready to hang out with the bid dogs greg said geting out of the car and into the back seat leting Derrick get into the front at rico’s request.
Okay my man we are going to go get something to drink first Rico said looking at him then given him five by slappen his hand.
Man you know that I don’t drink Derrick said.
Yeah man I know, but it’s not for you preppy it’s mainly for the ladies, but it doesn’t hurt to have little taste here and there before we meet up with them feel me.
As they speed down the street screaming and laughen excitedly for what was to come with the music blast. Rico let the top down on the white on white 2020 mustang that he just got aweek ago in his mothers name.
When they pulled up to the liquor store they started looking for some one that could buy them the alcohol weight though they was under age and all.
Hey man come here mike and greg said to the drunk that was standing a few feet away from the store, but still in plan sight of the store clerk.
So they had to motion him to the side of the store away from prying eye’s before telling him what they wanted as the drunk stumble alone side of them.
After they got the drinks they gave him five dollars for his trouble. Noticing that he was very happy as he stumbled off back toward the store excitedly.
Greg and mike was only seventeen as well as Derrick and they both was on the football team called the titans at there school. Greg was the quarter back and mike was one of his wide receivers. Greg had just beat out a student name Doug Fluty for first string quarter back just last week something about the boys hieght.
But they all was gifted young athletic players and on there way to college then hopefully to the NFL one day. But for now they was a sure pick to be featured in the McDonald All American classic this summer IF they stay out of trouble and keep up there grades that is.
After receiving the drinks they sped off down the street passing the drinks around drinken right out of the bottles. They had two fifths of hennessy and a pint of vodka and two six packs of two eleven. Derrick seeing how much fun that they was having as drinks was being passed around him decided that he wanted one. So when mike tried passing a beer to rico he entercept it mainly because he was thirsty he said.
Hey Derrick Rico said loudly over the blaring music. Hey look in the glove compartment and hand me the phone would you. I got to call the girls he said while taken along slug of beer without looking at the road but still in control or at least so he thought.
And just before they got to the entersection a kid was chaseing a ball in the street without looking both ways like his parents told him many times before. And just as rico looked up and slamed on the breaks it was already to late.
And before any of the other guys knew what had happen if they was to consider runnin it would have been too late. Because of police cruisers always patrol that section of that neighborhood for reasons other than traffic incidents. So know more than three to four minutes later cruisers was right on the seen.
To be continued…