Having never been in a prison yard before, I was unaware of the protocols. I led Dad towards the table closest to the fence. I wanted my fiance' Christian, who was sitting in our parked rental car with our video camera trained on me and Dad, to get the best possible close up view.
"NO!" I heard from behind me. I turned to see a guard walking quickly toward us. "You can't sit there. Over here." He pointed to the next available table in the row.
We readily complied and Dad started to take a seat.
"NO!" The guard quickly shouted. "Other side."
A quick scan clued me in that everyone was in a neat row with prisoners clad in all-in-white on one side and visitors gussied up in a rainbow of bad taste on the other.
The majority of my lifetime, I have not found myself on the wrong side of the law. Sure you could include minor shoplifting as a kid and my once drunkenly stealing a purse to teach a bitchy girl a lesson about bar room etiquette (Yes, there are rules to public drunkenness of which I violated that same night, but that's another story.), but I was never caught. Being yelled at by an armed guard while surrounded by fencing, razor wire and hardened criminals while sumultaneously harboring illegal contraband against my skin held tight by my underwear made me question just how much effort is Dad worth?