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What’s up DOC?!

So… a singularly curious thing: In all of 2014 there were precisely 2 calls to NYC’s 311 regarding the Dept. of Corrections. That’s the “DOC” reference in the title. Big whoop you say? Okay. But, I think it’s odd that out of 1.83 million calls to 311 that year, only two were for the DOC. And what were those calls about? Complaints about solitary confinement? That can’t be it – no phones in solitary. Complaints about prison conditions?  I can see that….

But no. They were compliments. Yes, compliments. What about? Well, take a look yourself: A compliment about “Information About Notorious Inmates.”

Dept. of Corrections

Sounds like a school project, yes? And, in the background, a parent who insisted the kid call 311 and thank them for sending the info?

So, compliments aside, what’s happening to the complaints about the DOC?  Does 311 not entertain complaints from inmates? Where are they going to call from, right? What about their friends and family? Surely, some friend of Martha Stewart thought she was being subjected to brutal living conditions and picked up the phone to call 311? Nah, she was a federal guest.

Or, maybe they’re pulling a Tumminia. For those of you not caught up with my blog, this is the go-to tactic of the building manager at Gateway Plaza where I live. I complained about insufferable noise from above. They tried various strategies to discourage me from complaining, including wanting to post a security guard in my bedroom for unspecified periods of time, be it 7am or 11pm. To verify the noise, they said. They could have stood outside the noise-maker’s apartment and verified the racket. And then they issued me a notice for making noise. So I named the tactic after him.

Likewise, maybe the DOC decided that the best way to have a clean call log is not to clutter up the log in the first place? Just send callers into a Kafka-esque limbo where you, Martha’s friend or relative, can’t complain because you are not in prison, and the prisoner cannot complain because they can’t access a phone and…well, problem solved. I find it hard to believe nobody has a complaint about the DOC.  Maybe they go into another bucket. Note to self: search data for “prison” etc.

Maybe I will call 311 tomorrow and get this “information about notorious inmates”. It further notes that the info was emailed, so no trees will be pulped or wasted.

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