Chapter 14 of The Cover Up, A Novel

Detective Barnes shook his head. “ A structured routine is part of the treatment plan.”
“Exactly,” replied Rick. “There are other similarities to a prison. There is a pecking order among the residents. There are weak residents and strong residents. The stronger ones like Simon use manipulation and intimidation to control the weak ones.”

“Can you give me some examples?” asked Barnes.
“Sure, replied Rick. “ Most of our residents are heavy smokers and cigarettes are the equivalent of money to most of them. Several of the residents are on smoke plans where they are only allotted so many cigarettes per day for both health concerns and their financial limitations. Naturally, most of the residents run out of their daily supply of cigarettes long before their day is over. Then, the wheeling and dealing begins. Some of the weaker residents that still have cigarettes left over can be intimidated into giving their cigarettes to the residents that they fear.”
Barnes looked puzzled,”Can’t your staff do something about this?”
“They try their best. Often if they catch one resident trying to take advantage of another resident they will make the offender pay back the resident that they bummed the cigarettes off. The problem is that they can’t see everything. There is often only one staff on duty per shift. It’s like a referee at a hockey game. He can’t watch the whole ice surface all of the time.”
“That’s ridiculous!” said the detective. “One staff for twenty plus residents?”
“That’s all we can afford on the limited budget that they give us.”
“Okay, let’s get back to Bret,” said Barnes impatientlyimages_006


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