We’re sent to the courthouse where a marshal takes us back to a holding cell. A thin bearded man with cuffs around his wrists and his legs chained is bent over in the bare cell, grimacing.
“Guess he got nervous about seeing the judge,” the marshal says to us, “Developed himself some back pain.”
“I’ve had back pain all day,” the man says. “And I’m not ducking anything. I’m in here for panhandling for Christ sakes! I can’t fucking sit up.”
“You didn’t tell that to the officer who brought you here?”
“He knew I had pain. I was sitting on the side of the road, holding my sign. I couldn’t even stand up. He had to help me into the god damned squad car. He brought me right here. I’ve got a warrant for failure to appear for another panhandling charge. Big bad criminal, that’s me.”
There is a term called “jailitis” that implies that prisoners are faking sickness to get out of jail, knowing they have to be brought to the hospital, and even though they know they will be returned to their cell eventually,...
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