What is a dropout yard? It’s a term inmates and prison staff use to describe a certain type of facility. They are scattered across the US and are sometimes referred to as SNY or Special Needs Yards.
Who’s placed in these facilities? Former law-enforcement personnel, gang drop outs, and sexual deviants for a start. These inmates are placed there because there aren’t any politics in them and most inmates leave everyone else alone. They are supposed to be safe places, and most of the time they are. That isn’t to say some of the people incarcerated in these facilities don’t still have a target on their back for being a sexual predator or a snitch. They do, and they still have to watch their back even in the dropout yard.
In order to get transferred to one of these facilities, you have to be recommended for the transfer. Most inmates are sent there after being housed in the SHU or Special Housing Units in other facilities. It gets expensive to house people in the SHU, and they are overcrowded, so one solution is to transfer individuals to a dropout yard. Another way to get there is to debrief and drop out from your gang.
As they get older, some gang members get tired of the continuous drama in gangs, realize the futility and stupidity of it all, and just want to serve their time and go home. In order to do this, they have to debrief by giving information to authorities. Often this is dangerous for them, but there isn’t any other way to get out. (Most gangs adhere to the blood in – blood out rule.) They will remain marked as a snitch. This is actually pretty ridiculous, as the authorities already know who is who and what they are all doing anyway. What is told to them is already old news.
Dropout yards serve a purpose for those who just want to pay their dues and go home. Hopefully, these facilities will not turn into places where gangs and drugs thrive the same way they do in regular facilities.