So last week I wrote about a fight in the Davis County Jail. As I alluded to before, jail lacks some of the control by staff and even inmates in prison. There is a lot more fighting and a lot of other shenanigans in jail. The third fight I saw in a single week in Davis County started when one of the kitchen workers came back from his shift drunker than usual.

The kitchen staff had been getting drunk every day for a couple of weeks. They had a fairly elaborate system of brewing hooch, where they would drink the stuff that had been brewing for a few days and replace it with a new batch. There were a number of large bags that needed to continually be burped and different inmates would be on rotation for this responsibility. This was quite the task because they were up in the ceiling; but where there’s a will there’s a way. It wasn’t the first time this had been done and I imagine it wasn’t the last.

The day it all ended was when this particular inmate had a little too much. It was a miracle he made it back to the section after his shift without being caught. It didn’t matter though, because in the housing unit he seemed bound and determined to ruin it for everyone with his belligerence. One rather annoyed inmate decided to take one for the team and shut the other inmate up.

I was minding my own business and ignoring the situation as you are supposed to. I did notice things get a lot quieter while I was doing burpees with my cellie under the stairs. We would do a set and then walk a lap around the section. Well, on what would end up being my last lap, I walked by the instigator’s cell and saw his bald head lying right inside his mostly closed door and noticed blood pooling around his face.

So what did I do? What anyone who was covered in sweat and thinking they would be locked down for a day would do. I walked casually up to my cell and grabbed my soap and towel. Well, right when I got in the shower and closed the shower door, the intercom blared, “Rack-in, rack-in.” This is the phrase the police yell when they want you to go to your cell and close yourself in.

Instead of racking in, I quickly pulled off my clothes and turned the shower on. I was pretty proud of my quick thinking; that is, until later that evening when I was written up for “jeopardizing the safety and security of the facility.” I was transferred to medium security for 45 days of reduced privileges and only four hours out per day.

There was less fighting in medium security because of the smaller group of guys, but the one I did see was pretty funny. It happened right in front of the “bubble” (the closed area that has one-way mirrors as walls — resembling a bubble — where the guards are supposed to be watching us.) The guys fought for a couple minutes from one side of the day room to the other and one guy even lost his pants. There were no serious injuries, although one of the guys might have been concussed. The cops either never saw a thing or they just enjoyed the show and did nothing. I’ll never know.

Brian Wood, of Layton, pleaded guilty to nine felony charges for offenses from 2011 to 2014, including counts of burglary, drug possession and prescription fraud. He served four years in the Utah State prison system before being released on parole on Jan. 2, 2018.

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