New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility
Ferguson takes a long drive from Albuquerque to this state
women's prison near historic Route 66. Cold, harsh and sterile,
the structure features lots of concrete construction. Plenty of
safety glass allows supervision of 560 female prisoners from central
areas. No part of the prison, including bathrooms, is off-limits
to guards, even male staff.
New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility is a multi-security prison.
Three different populations -- minimum, medium and maximum -- are
incarcerated at the institution, and they must be kept separated.
Without experience, Ferguson has a hard time keeping medium-security
inmates (in red uniforms) away from minimum-security prisoners (in
Ferguson's other duties as a guard include processing new inmate
arrivals and troubleshooting a malfunctioning circuit board that
unlocks cell doors. In no time flat, he goes from entertaining clients
at his company's luxury box at a pro football game to disinfecting
showers in the maximum-security wing. One inmate, serving 39 years
for murder, is delighted with her new guard. "You missed a
spot," she jeers. The one task Ferguson hates the most, though,
is paperwork. The guards must keep meticulous records about what
goes on in the prison, and they have very few computers to help
them with the task.
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