City Lights at Night
High Desert State Prison
Have you seen the Iron Lady’s charms?
Legs of steel, leather on her arms
Taking on a man to die
A life for a life, an eye for an eye
That’s the Iron Lady in the chair
—Phil Ochs, Iron Lady
It had to happen. There are just too many desperate muggers. Just too many inconvenient enemies for the mayor and his lackeys. Too many sloppy mob kids, desperate to get their invite into the family. High Desert isn’t a “correctional facility”, no matter what it says on the gates. It’s a place of punishment, not redemption. The guards are guided by only the loosest of morals as to the well-being of their charges and the warden’s name is not publicly revealed out of fear of retribution. The prison looks like an enormous white-and-silver wagon wheel to the tourists flying into McCarren international, and all the inmates know what’s at the center; where far too many of them end up after all the appeals are denied, after all the courts are rigged and the honest DAs are “quieted”.
That’s where the lady is.