A woman endures judicial punishment

 By Paul Tecres

I sat in the passenger seat of my friend Rachel’s SUV, staring through the windshield at the brick building in front of me. A plain looking sign on the front read; ‘Escambia Alternative Justice Center.’ I held the papers from the court in my hand, and did my best not to think about what was printed on them. I snapped out of my daze when Rachel spoke up.

“Well, if you’re going to do this, you had probably better go inside.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I appreciate the ride. Are you sure you don’t mind waiting?”

“Its fine. I’m guessing at worst you’ll only be in there a couple of hours. I can’t imagine this takes very long.”

I still remained seated though. I was incredibly grateful to her for driving me. Even though I had a car, I didn’t feel like I’d be in any condition to drive myself home afterwards. Rachel spoke again.

“Do you want to wait and come back another day? The judge said you had seven days to do this, right?”

I had just been sentenced the day before, and I thought about that option for a moment. If I didn’t report to this place, I’d be facing at least thirty days in jail, plus as much as fifteen days more for contempt of court. I knew seven days could pass quickly, so I decided it was best not to wait.

“The sooner I do this, the sooner its done,” I said as I exited the vehicle. “I’ll see you in a little while.”

I walked through the front entrance to find a space with two doors. I opened the one on my right labeled; ‘Female Offender’ and proceeded in. If there was one small consolation, it was that this place was divided according to gender. Not only were there separate wings for males and females, but the sentences would be carried out by an officer of the same sex.

The doors led into a very small lobby with a front desk that was behind a large glass window. To the left of it was a computer kiosk with a mouse, keyboard, and headphones. To the right was a large mechanical security door. Through a window in that door, I could see there was a second sliding door inside of it. This place really did resemble a jail.

The receptionist greeted me with the standard, “How may I help you?”

In my mind, I tried to formulate an intelligent response about how I was here because I agreed to participate in this new program and receive corporal punishment in lieu of a jail sentence.

When I tried to speak, though, all that would come out of my mouth was, “I’m in trouble.”

I guess I wasn’t the first person to have this problem as the receptionist didn’t seem surprised at all.

“Is that your sentencing paperwork?” she replied, looking at the paper in my hand.

“Um, yes ma’am,” I said as I handed it through the small opening in the glass.

“No problem. Let me just pull up your case number.”

At least she seemed friendly. I hadn’t known quite what to expect from a place like this.

She pulled up my information, then directed me to sign in on the kiosk to my left, and put on the headphones. I put them on and the instructions on the screen said to scan my driver’s license.

Afterwards, a new screen appeared showing the list of charges and my sentence, including the implement to be used. That reminder made me even more uncomfortable. The judge had three options for the implement to be used, and the one she picked made me cringe just thinking about it. I was asked to verify if the information displayed was correct.

I clicked, ‘Yes’, and heard the recorded voice speak.

It told me that I would be shown a list of statements, and that I would have to check a box indicating that I understood each one. The list then appeared.

I am voluntarily submitting myself to this Alternative Justice program.

I understand that I will be administered court-prescribed corporal punishment in lieu of a jail sentence.

This corporal punishment will be administered by a correctional officer who has been trained and certified to do so.

That item was exceptionally unnerving, because in my mind that meant someone who knew how to lay it on hard. The next statement seemed to confirm that.

The implements and techniques used will potentially leave marks lasting up to three weeks.

This punishment will be administered on an unprotected posterior.

That statement also made me cringe.

I understand that once I have entered through the outer security door I am surrendering myself and will be considered an inmate of this facility until my sentence has been carried out.

In addition, I understand that once I have surrendered myself, my corporal punishment will be administered even if use of force is necessary.

I understand that I will receive a post-punishment medical examination prior to release.

I agree that this facility, and its staff members, are not liable for bodily harm.

I checked all the boxes, and clicked the ‘Submit’ button. If the aim of that list was to scare me it succeeded at its job. The computer then told me to remove the headphones and proceed to the security door.

The door slid open, and I stepped through. Once I was inside, it closed behind me. I could see the receptionist through her side window. It also had a small opening at the bottom. She picked up a rectangular black box, and pressed a couple of buttons on a small console. It vibrated in response. I could see the box was a pager with a small screen on it. She handed it to me and gave me some instructions.

“Once this door opens, just walk to the last door on your right. That’s the waiting area. You’ll see a little card reader next to the door. Hold the pager up to that and it will unlock for you.

“Inside that room, you’ll see another door. That one leads to the hallway where the punishment rooms are. It won’t open for you until you get paged. When you do, you’ll see your room number appear on the screen. Then you’ll open the door and go to your assigned room. Use the pager to open that door as well.

“Once you’re in there, just follow the officer’s instructions. When you’re done, you’ll go to an exam room, and a member of the medical staff will make sure you’re okay. Then you’ll be released.”

She said all that so matter-of-factly. Then again, she’d probably said that same thing hundreds of times by now. The inner door slid open, and I walked to the door for the waiting area. I held my pager up to the scanner and heard the click of the lock opening.

The waiting area was a small room with four chairs, one on each wall. I saw the other door on the opposite side of the room as well. There were two other girls, both around my age, already seated. One girl appeared to be of Hispanic descent. She had a tan complexion, and curly jet-black hair that went a little past her shoulders. She looked to be about five foot four. The other girl had sandy blond hair, and only a slight tan. She was maybe five foot six. Then there was me, five foot nine, red hair, and I suddenly felt very pale. The Hispanic girl spoke up.

“Maybe they’ll hurry up, now that there’s three of us,” she said with a slight smile.

“How long have you been waiting?” I asked.

“I’ve been here just over thirty minutes. My friend here arrived maybe fifteen minutes ago.” She paused for a moment before continuing.

“I guess we should do a round robin introduction. I’ll go first. I’m Anna Rodriguez. I’m twenty-two years old. I found my dream car, a vintage Charger. My brother helped me fix it up, and I took it for a test spin on the interstate. I got a little carried away, and got pulled over for going 105. The judge said fifteen strikes with a leather strap should teach me a lesson. He’s probably right,” she said, still smiling.

“Aren’t you nervous?” I asked.

“Yeah, of course. But I’ll have time to do all the screaming and crying I need to while I’m getting strapped. Right now, I’m just chillin’ in here with you two. I might as well pass the time, and enjoy sitting down comfortably while I can. Alright, your turn,” she said, looking at the blond girl.

“I’m Jessica Lunford. You can call me Jess. I’m twenty-four. I punched the girl that my boyfriend cheated on me with. I got a misdemeanor assault charge, and got sentenced to ten strikes with a wooden paddle.”

It was my turn now.

“I’m Carly Terger. I’m twenty-seven. I tried to steal a dress from a high-end department store. When I got caught, I tried to run from the police, so they tacked on a nonviolent resisting arrest charge. The judge sentenced me to get the nylon rod. She gave me five strikes for shoplifting, and three for resisting arrest.”

Both of them grimaced at that.

“Ooh, I think you got the worst of it,” Anna said. “Did you get spanked growing up?”

“Not like bent over and spanked. There were a couple of times that I acted up when I was little, and my mom just sort of reached over and smacked my bottom. It was only one quick swat, but it usually got me back in line.”

“My dad used to spank my brother and me with his belt. He would do it pretty hard, but he usually only gave us between three and five licks. What about you, Jess?”

“My mom took me over her knee and used a wooden hairbrush a couple of times. It definitely had a way of getting my attention.”

“Did she do it over clothes?”

“Yeah.”

“Same with my dad. I guess that’s what will be different today, getting it bare bottom and all.”

“Ugh, don’t remind me,” I groaned.

Then we heard the buzz of Carly’s pager going off. She got up and walked toward the door, still smiling.

“Time to go take my licks,” she said as she exited the room.

I noticed the jeans she was wearing. They were so tight it was like they had been painted on. I felt like she was going to regret her wardrobe choice when she had to get dressed again. It seemed like Jess and I were the smart ones as far as clothing was concerned. She wore baggy shorts, and I wore a pleated skirt that came two inches above my knee. Loose-fitting had to be the better option, in my opinion.

I talked with Jess for about ten more minutes, until her pager went off. She made her way to the door, and said, “Best of luck, Carly,” as she made her exit. The door closed and I was alone now.

The silence was very unsettling. I’d half-expected to hear muffled screams coming from behind the door, but I didn’t hear anything of the sort. I started to think this place might be soundproofed in some way.

After about another twenty minutes, my pager went off, and gave me quite a jump scare. I fumbled with it until I could see the screen. The number four appeared. I got up and scanned my pager at the door. Upon hearing the click, I opened it and slowly entered the hallway.

Room four was the second door on my right. I paused and took a deep breath before scanning my pager to unlock it. When I opened the door, I was greeted by a woman who looked to be in her mid to late forties. She had brown hair tied back into a ponytail. She wore a uniform with a light blue button-down blouse, and dark blue slacks. I was incredibly surprised to see her friendly facial expression.

“Come in and close the door behind you,” she said in a welcoming tone.

I did as she told me, then she spoke again. I was still quite amazed at her friendly demeanor.

“I’m officer Brooks. I’ll be administering your corporal punishment today. First, I need you to state your full name for me.”

“Carly May Terger.”

“Thank you, Carly. Your file showed that you’ve been sentenced to a total of eight strikes today, with the nylon rod. We’re going to try and get this done as fast as possible. We just need to do a couple of things to get you ready.”

She removed a large clear plastic bag from the small table next to her. It was the same kind that hospitals give patients to put their belongings in. She handed the bag to me, and gave some instructions.

“You can leave the skirt on. I’ll just need you to remove your sandals and your underwear, and put them in the bag. When we finish in here, you’ll take that bag with you to medical, and after they do your exam you can get dressed.”

I had worn the sandals because they could slip on and off. The last thing I wanted was to have to sit down afterwards to put my shoes back on.

When I finished packing away my belongings, she told me to set the bag on the floor for the time being, so I did. She then directed me to the center of the room. There was the punishment bench. It resembled an exam table like the kind in a doctor’s office, but with a notable exception. It had two platforms. One was lower than the other. She took a moment to adjust the lower platform down a little on account of my height. Then she continued the instructions.

“Alright Carly, go ahead and kneel on that lower platform for me with your knees all the way forward. Now, bend all the way over the table, pull the hem of your skirt above your waist, and reach your arms out forward.”

I was now in position with my backside exposed. Officer Brooks then filled me in on more details.

“I’m going to secure you with restraints, these are for your safety. They ensure that you stay in position so I only strike the areas that I intend to.”

With that, she began fastening the restraints. They were simple-looking velcro straps with additional padding. To my surprise, they weren’t uncomfortable at all, but still held me firmly in place. After securing my wrists and ankles, she fastened a final large strap across my torso. This one was also well padded.

“Are any of those too tight?”

“No ma’am,” I replied instinctively.

“Good. I usually give everyone a little notice before I land the first strike. You’ll hear me say, ‘get ready’. After that, you can expect the strikes to be about five seconds apart. Any questions?”

“No ma’am.”

She gave me a slight smile.

“I’m going to get the rod down, and we’ll get started.”

I watched as she walked to the wall directly across from me. There, hanging on hooks, were the three implements that an offender could be sentenced to. The leather strap was on the left, with the paddle in the center. To the right was a menacing nylon rod. It was about three feet long, and maybe an eighth of an inch thick. It had a neoprene handle at one end for a comfort grip of sorts.

Officer Brooks took it down and gave it a test swing. I could see that it flexed a little bit, and I thought that might intensify the sting. In a moment I would be proven right. She walked around behind me and I felt her line up the rod across the center of my backside. She tapped it a couple of times then gave me the verbal start signal.

“Carly, get ready.”

With that, she drew it back and I braced myself. The rod made a whooshing sound as it swung through the air, then landed with a reverberating ‘Crack!’ I flinched at the sound, but didn’t really feel it at first. It took a couple of seconds for me to feel the vicious sting burning my flesh. I barely had time to process what happened when the second strike landed just below the first. I gasped that time, but otherwise didn’t make much of a sound.

She continued at the pace she’d told me she would go, and about five seconds later the third strike landed further down. I yelped at that one as she was starting to get into more tender areas now. Her fourth strike landed directly across my sit-spot, and I yelled out loud. The fifth strike followed above where the first had landed. I had gritted my teeth and grunted loudly that time.

Number six landed and I let out a loud, “Owwww!” I was sure I couldn’t take much more of this, but I didn’t have any choice in the matter. Her seventh strike brought tears streaming down my face. Then, just a few seconds later, the final whoosh, crack.

“Ahhhhh!”

I was breathing heavily as officer Brooks returned the rod to the wall. I was already silently vowing to myself that I would avoid legal troubles at all costs going forward.

As officer Brooks began releasing my restraints one at a time, she spoke again.

“Carly, I really appreciate how polite and respectful you were today. I get a lot of girls, especially the younger ones, coming through here and being as rude as they can be.”

Once all the restraints were off, she told me I could get up whenever I was ready, but I should probably do it slowly. I heeded her advice and gradually pushed up with my hands until I was in a kneeling position. This allowed my skirt to fall back into place, and it actually stung a little.

I stepped off the bench one foot at a time. I rubbed my sore backside and, even through the material of the skirt, I could feel the eight little ridges that had risen up. They were quite sore to the touch. Officer Brooks pointed me towards the other door in the room which led to an exam room. She unlocked it with a key and opened it up as I gathered my belongings bag. As I stepped through, I thanked her for her kindness toward me as well.

She smiled and replied with a simple, “You’re welcome.”

I waited less than two minutes and a nurse arrived. She had me lift my skirt, and examined the aftermath of my sentence. She said that everything looked okay, and I should be completely healed in a week or so. I carefully put my underwear back on, followed by my sandals. The nurse then escorted me to the release area where I walked through another set of double security doors similar to the ones I entered through. On the other side was an exit door. She told me to turn right as I walked out, and that the sidewalk would lead back to the parking lot.

I made my exit and, as I walked along the sidewalk, I saw Anna and Jess outside talking. Jess had a look on her face like she’d been through an ordeal. Anna was smoking a cigarette. She offered me one, but I politely declined.

“Well, how’d it go?” Anna inquired.

“It was rough. That nylon rod is really intense, and officer Brooks knew how to use it. How about you?”

“Officer Lombardo was really nice, right until the actual punishment started. Then she put that strap to my backside like it was an olympic sport.”

We all three chuckled at that. Then Anna made the same inquiry of Jess.

“I also got Officer Brooks. Sweet lady, but she paddled me so hard I wasn’t sure I would survive.”

Anna proposed an idea then.

“I’m going to go home and get out of these way-too-tight jeans. I regretted wearing these as soon as I put them back on. Later on, though, I’m gonna call myself a cab and go out for a drink, maybe two. Why don’t you two join me?”

Jess and I both liked that idea. We all exchanged contact information, and arranged to meet up later. I bid them both farewell, and made my way back to Rachel’s SUV.

She opened the door, but told me to wait a moment before I got in. She reached into the back and pulled out a pillow that she set on the front seat.

“I thought you might need this,” she said.

Rachel was not wrong.

The End

© Paul Tecres 2022