JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG: FUN AT DCJ explains the various steps needed for a lawyer to see a client in the Dade County Jail. It's not easy.
For some odd reason this story reminds me of an incident when we were fixing up our house. We were having trouble getting a permit for one of the many many steps involved in the remodeling, and the contractor suggested that we consider hiring a “permit babe”. What's that?, we asked. It seems a permit babe is an out-of-work or underemployed Miami model who moonlights as a permit runner — someone who takes your paperwork to the city and gets it approved.
Runners are commonly used by people who don't have time to stand in line — it can be a long wait — and also because they know the system, and know who to talk to if the front-line staff balk at approving the drawings and forms.
Permit babes, we were told, take this one better. They do all the things runners do, but they do them in very short skirts, which often speeds the permit process considerably.
(We did not hire a permit babe. It took a year and half to get our approval.)
Philadelphia has a similar system of permit facilitators. But instead of out-of-work models, it’s guys with wads of small unmarked bills. I suppose I should emphasize that I never tried this myself — mostly for fear of being the one schmuck to get in trouble for it.