So like most places there are people here with more pull than others. Here at the Fresno halfway house there is one inmate who clearly runs this place (at least on our side). He’s actually super cool (scary also)….we didn’t speak the first couple weeks but then connected watching football when he listened to me bad mouth my own favorite team (I’m a legendary bad fan & totally different person watching sports….family/friends can attest to this….Patrick Mahomes, arguably one of the best QB’s in football, would have been traded multiple times after questionable plays if I was in charge…like I said I’m a terrible fan). So anyway we got to know each other and we talked at some length about our rts as prisoners. So fast forward to this week and I get called on the loudspeaker to come to the office. It’s during the weekly drug tests (which I had already tested)…so im thinking what could they possibly need. I get there and most of the staff is there with our inmate leader in the center of the room standing around in a very defiant posture. Ha…this should be good!!! Staff tells me that the inmate has refused to do his UI test until an issue is decided. I say “Ok, what does this have to do with me?” Staff informs me that they have been told im somewhat of an expert on the BOP rules. I respond “NO, NO I am not….I have given general advice on certain subjects…ha….that’s it…anyway… how can I help?” Here’s the question I get….please be mindful I am not trying to offend anyone im just telling you exactly what happened. The inmate refused to take the test because the staff administering it is known to be gay. WHAT???? Does the inmate have the rt. to refuse the test bc the staff member is gay? How am I supposed to field that one. Piss off staff or Piss off the inmates. So here’s the best part I am fairly certain staff didn’t know the answer to this scenario so I honestly think they wanted my take. So with kid gloves I gave the following answer.
“I do believe every effort should be made to make sure EVERYONE is comfortable in these situations, however legally a persons sexual orientation does not impact their ability to perform their duties, including tasks like administering a drug test. As long as the person is professional their sexual orientation should not be the issue (objectively, especially in CA).”
Now I have no idea what the answer is here (I still don’t know). I think I’m rt. but who knows. But what a situation to walk into. It had a rather funny ending with the inmate basically admitting he did this just to see what would happen. He took his test & surprisingly everyone laughed it off. He’s the type of guy who has the charm to pull something like this off. Also I think staff is afraid of him.