2 Years in Prison - A Man's Story [Great Read][Very Long][Possibly NSFW]

Koenig

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Incredible read about a man's stint in jail for 2 years. I spend quite a while reading this but I felt it was worth every second, which is why I decided to share it over here. Enjoy.

Found this interesting read. It's a man's story about his experience in prison. I honestly thought this was absolutely amazing because I had no idea what prison was actually like. It sounds horrible and I for one would never ever want to be there.

I really liked the guy's style of writing, which makes this read even more enjoyable.
Anyways I enjoyed this very much. Hope you guys too!





Quoting the Threadstarter

This guy gets 2 years for Armed Robbery , he makes a post before going into jail (nothing special) then a make a long thread after getting out. It's pinned on an imageboard I frequent, this is his story;


also note that sister= girlfriend due to word filters on the imageboard and that he does use offensive language etc, so i guess read with a thick skin
------------


So I just got out of prison
...and fuck it if I've forgotten how to work a mouse and hit the submit button too soon.

Shit [sic] has changed. So many boards now. I don't know what the fuck is going on. Where do I start? Two years inside and it's like the whole world has changed. Just wanted a board where things stayed the same.

I don't even recognise half the dickgirls on /di/ anymore. Has the whole world grown tits while I was gone? And who the fuck if Justin Bieber?

Is. Is Justin Bieber. Lost my ability to spell. I get out and first thing I see is that little homie has a tattoo but I don't even know who the little homie is. My cable got cancelled while I was away so I can't even find out. Thank fuck for wireless internet, I swear to God it's faster now too. Seriously, it's like I've traveled through time. Fucking iPads look like shit out the future. Feel like I've missed a decade of shitty memes.

Did you make a thread about this before you went in? I vaguely remember it. Update about why you went in, how it was, etc?


Sure did. Would have been middle of 2008 what I was still pretty gung ho about it, before I stupidly tried to skip bail and ended up spending a month inside before trial.

Was inside from July '08 until Tuesday this week. Feel like I've lost more than two years, like I've lost a decade or so.

This was my first time inside.

Was done for armed robbery and got 18 months on a plea bargain. Got fucked on three parole hearings and ended up doing another four months. You hear of these guys who get out early because they were 'model prisoners' I don't know how they do it.

So while I was inside I made a list of the worst things about prison to share with the boards I used to frequent. Seemed like any discussion of prison would be all like 'lolrape' and no actual info for anons that might find themselves in my shitty situation. So here it is, the top 10 worst things about prison that you never knew about:

10. The Smell

Prison smells like shit. Smells worse than shit. You know the smell you imagine jenkem to smell like? Imagine that, only it's being rubbed on the arm pits of a sweaty mexican and then his armpit pubes are being set fire too. It's that bad. No one flushes the fucking john. Ever. You know how clean prison looks in all the pictures? It is, because we spend all fucking day cleaning it. And then convicts just basically shit themselves for a laugh. I switched buses on the way back and sat next to this guy wearing cologne. I'm not gay (well, as not gay as you can be after being inside) but I got a boner as soon as I smelt it. Fucking amazing.

9.

White people.

After the first year, I was ashamed to be white. In the world, white people are capable of all kinds of great things, and all kinds of bad things. But inside we're just universally cunts. Aryan Brotherhood weren't a big presence in my block, but they were bad enough to make you kind of wish your mother had been raped by a nigger. And that's before you meet your boss's. Correctional Services officers come in all flavours, but white screws were the worst. Black screws, you could tell were just poor niggers trying to get by in a shitty job. Only white guys ever seemed to enjoy their shit. Rape, dispite the rumours, is not a big deal inside. It doesn't happen that often. But everytime it happened on my block it was a white guy. And every time anyone got murdered, it was a white guy. There were 33 murders while I was inside, 12 of them in my block. All because white cunts couldn't keep their dicks in their pants, or else 'cut someone's eyes' which was slang for stealing someone's shit. Being black in prison would have been awesome.

8. Getting fat.

There is no gym equipment in prison. That whole, 'bunch of guys sitting around pumping iron' image you have? Forget it. Gym equipment is a weapon, and weapons are forbidden. Our block had one treadmill that would occassionaly work. You couple that with high fat food, all day, everyday, you start to go flabby really quickly. One of the things that occupies a lot convict's days is finding someway to try and do some physical activity. After about six months I could feel my muscle mass going, so me and my cellmate would deadlift each other for a few hours. Gayest thing you've ever seen, but it filled in the time.

7. Solitary

I was fucking terrified of solitary confinement when I first went inside, which contributed to me behaving myself. Until I realised that solitary isn't something you can hold off by just not being a dick. It's a reality of life and you will, at somepoint, be put in solitary for no fucking reason at all. Usually, because there is a remand inmate that needs to be cycled into gen pop before trial and they need to free up your cell - so you go into solitary because there aren't any other beds. I did two months of that all up. No books, no blankets, no light, 23 hour lockdown. Most they can do is 1 week at a stretch - worst part was knowing you were going to go back after a week if the block was too over crowded. You spent your whole time in gen pop just anxious as fuck because you could get dragged off the chain at any moment and sent back.

6. The Drugs

After a while, drugs become a viable option inside. There is a lot on offer. If you can get it out in the world, you can get it inside - for a better price strangely enough, considering the difficulty of getting it in. That is if it is what your man says it is. I decided to get onto horse after a few months, mostly as something to do. I'd tried heroin outside, but hadn't liked it since getting on the nod seemed like a waste of time. But inside, it's great - a shot in solitary can make a week pass in no time at all. Problem is the shit it will be cut with. Flour, baking soda, jell-o crystals - all shit that should not be in a vein. After a while, you just end up doing things that outside, you never would have dreamed of. I was paranoid about getting the AIDS, so I kept this one needle the whole time I was inside. Went rusty and I ended up spending a month in sick bay with tetenus. When I couldn't score for junk, I scored for codeine tablets. Grew my thumb nail long and wrecked it on the concrete so it was sharp enough to cut open my thigh, and would stick the crushed up tablet inside.

Yeah, shit got that bad.

5. The Economy

I joked to my cell mate on the first day that at least the GFC couldn't fuck us inside. He'd been done for assaulting a cop when his house got taken by the bank. But within months 'GFC Nigger' became the standard reply to any query as to how black market prices were suddenly going through the roof. The price of a deck of smokes tripled. There was an actual economic reason about this. I went away in Michigan, where a lot of people lost their houses, mostly poor people already. When they had to move away from the prison, it meant they couldn't bring their loved ones as much contraband group, which meant the price of what there was sky rocketed. And the worse things got, the more the people who worked in the store would wonk and take home with them, which meant stocks ran low which fucked us even further.

Bet you didn't read about that one in the Wall Street Journal.

4. Losing everyone you ever loved.

No one ever talks about this because prison makes you a hard ass. Or at least you teach yourself to think it does. The first ones to go are your friends. They tell you they'll write and send you stuff - take every friend you've ever had, now pick one. There will be one that actually does it. But they'll stop after a few months. Then your sister - they might say they'll wait, but you know they won't. I called mine on my second week and told her it was over. Apart from the total shock of going away, I couldn't stand spending every night wondering if she was getting cranked by some other dude. Was one less thing to worry about. My kid, who was about to turn 1 when I went away, will never have any idea who the fuck I am. Her mom took her away the second I went inside. Never called. Don't even know where to begin looking. My Mom and Dad were the worst. They promised me when I went inside that they'd stick by me if I stuck by them, that all they wanted was the occassional phone call to let them know I was okay, and they'd make sure they visited regularly. I was so fucked up half the time I forgot when visiting day even was. I realised, and tried to tell the boss that I didn't want to see them, that I was too messed up. So the cunts dragged me by the hair through the block to the visiting room and propped me up on a chair in front of them and laughed. They never came back, and they haven't seen me since I got out.

3. Lonliness

An old timer told me that when he first went inside, in the 80s, prison was all about cliques. There were different gangs, people stuck together because of ethnicity, even religion. Back then there were Irish Catholic cliques, Nation of Islam cliques - even white collar guys started cliques to avoid getting stepped on.

One thing the boss' do very well is create an atmosphere of constant paranoia. If you get shaken down and you get contrapedophile group found on you, they'll stick you in solitary and finger your best friend for setting you up. If you come inside with a pre-existing gang affiliation, like a lot of black guys do, they start by stepping on your friends straight away and blaming you for it until you're a pariah. Forget about the yard being full of big groups of guys chilling together. No one hangs with anymore than three people for a stretch. If you're seen with a big group, you'll be targeted by the screws. Mostly, people do their time alone. Pacing the yard, or even just ignoring their cell mates completely.

That gets to you more than anything. The constant suspicion, and knowing you're alone.

2. Death

I saw 12 deaths inside. Three of them were at the hands of screws. One of those was a gunshot to the head while a guy was trying to escape. The other two were beatings, and I didn't know they'd died until later. It's not right to call a prison shanking a 'stabbing' because that's not how you die. Inside, we called it 'digging a hole' or 'digging a well' like 'he got a well dug in him' or 'pulled out a hole'. The reason for this is the make shift weapons used inside are not easy to kill with. You basically make a hole as fast as you can, by stabbing as fast as you can, and then you try and get a grip inside it and just start pulling. I saw this right up close one time. I had the distinct misfortune of having my cell behind a pillar, like a bulkhead kind of thing in the middle of the block. So if you wanted to shank someone, it was a great place to hide. On the flip side, it meant the boss' gave it a lot of extra attention, which was bad for rubbing one out or taking a hit. Two guys were loitering around the pillar one day, waiting for this fresh kid to wander past. Prison gossip said he's been worked over on his first night by someone who wanted him for a wife, but the kid fought back and nearly bit some fucker's nuts off. So his friends wait with a t-shirt, and a filed down toothbrush. They've cracked down on plastic toothbrushes, but there used to be enough of them that a lot of guys have them stashed away. You can file down the ends on the concrete to a point. One guy wraped a t-shirt around the kid's neck and lifted him off the ground from behind, and the other starts stabbing his gut. After a few stabs, he starts trying to get his fingers inside and he just pulls all this meat out. I thought he was going to pull out his intestines like you'd see in a horror movie, but instead, he just pulls out fist after fist of this yellow jelly shit, and then big hunks of meat like raw mince. Screw's arrived and tasered everyone. Even the kid. He was on his side, right in front of my cell, and every jolt from the taser made the big hole in his stomach smoke.

You don't see something like that and not have it fuck you up worse than you already were for being incarcerated.

1. Getting Out

On my last day I started writing this list in my head, and thought it would be funny to post it on the Chans. But really, now I've written it, it's not funny. For lols, I was originally going to talk about prison rape. But really? It's a small part of doing time. On any given block, you might only have a dozen or so convicts who are likely to rape someone. And they go after the same kind of convicts every time too. Because if you try to rape the wrong guy... you might end up with your guts pulled out.

That's not to say consensual gay sex doesn't happen. I had it, and I enjoyed it. I'm not going to go and fuck a man on the outside, but a combination of drugs, lonliness and boredom do strange things.

So instead of rape, the thing that tops my list was getting out. After 18 months, I felt like I had the whole prison kick down. I felt like I belonged. New guys looked up to me, like someone who'd seen shit and made it through. As I scaled back on my pretty huge habit, I started to get this kind of zen calm about incarceration, and I liked to think I helped a few guys through their first weeks.

The last months before I left was the happiest of my entire life. I started making lists, like this one. Lists of what I was going to do. Lists of things I was going to eat. Lists of places I was going to go. I almost felt like I'd had a near death experience, and now I had to live a better life. Then I left.

Two years is a long time. The world literally changes without you. I got off the bus and went to my favourite bar. It was empty. I went to a cafe my friends used to touch dicks at. None of them were there. I went to my house, pulled the boards off and went inside. Everything was just as I'd left it with two years worth of dust. Most depressing thing you've ever seen. I lay down on my bed and paranoia started setting in. I realised I was pretty much squating and was paranoid about being picked up by the cops and breaching my parole, so I went to my parents house. They let me in, but told me I couldn't stay until they were sure I was off the drugs. I checked into a motel and sat on the edge of the bed, watching MTV and ordering Pizza. I must have ordered like five pizzas from five different places, stayed up till dawn. Thing about prison, is that sleep becomes like a chore you do each day. You're never really tired, so you never really want to sleep, it just breaks up the time. I felt like I didn't want to sleep ever again. Next morning I decided to go for a drive, and thought I'd rent a car - but my driver's licence had expired. I went to get a new one, but because I'd been inside they needed me to get a letter from my parole officer. So I just wandered around for a day. Felt like everyone was staring at me.

You just feel completely lost.


How would you pay for drugs? You have money in prison?

You get a tiny allowance, but you spend most of it on food. The best and most effective way to score is to have someone on the outside pay your man's person on the outside. My preferred method was to get a bank account and deposit on using phone banking. At my worst, I was using a monthly phone call to transfer cash to my dealer's mom instead of calling my own mom. He was actually a cool guy, apart from being an AIDs infected drug dealer inside for a double rape.

If you don't have a set up like that, you can trade for candy. Weird, but that's how shit works inside. A big bag of Reece's Pieces would get you an eight ball. No shit.


I've known a few people who have been to prison, and the things I've heard frighten me to death about ever going. Did you ever have to fight while you were in? Or at least get your ass kicked?


Fighting wasn't as bad as it is on the outside to be honest. Drugs are just so pervasive inside that fights are over pretty quickly. You know, in my few sober moments, I wondered if maybe the screws weren't partly responsible for getting so much dope inside since it made us all pretty much zombies.

I got in a few, more than a few really. But I never really felt like I won a fight. Fridays, if you could keep track of days, were the absolute worst. It was like our brains were programmed to feel pumped up on a Friday for the weekend, but then you'd realise inside that all you had to look forward too was another two days of the same shit. You'd start a fight with anyone, over anything on a friday.

Only time I ever started a fight was over Dr Pepper. I don't know why, but Dr Pepper was the only thing that ever made me feel better about my fucked up situation. Apart from Heroin. You could get Dr Pepper in these really small plastic bottles, like on planes, but they were the least cost effective snack in the store. So i'd pretty much save up for one every now and then, smuggle it back to my cell on a Friday, chill the fuck out with my tape deck and drink it really slow. One time a guy stood over me for my Dr. Pepper and I completely snapped and tried to ram the thing up his nostril. Scored a week in solitary, and just as extra kick in the guts - store staff were forbidden from selling me Dr Pepper.

Apart from that, I was mostly getting the shit beat out of me by Aryans for consorting with niggers. Broke two ribs, my collar bone, my nose (twice), lost two teeth (they were weak as shit from a diet of candy and smack anyway) but blissfully, was raped only once - by a homiegot with the tiniest cock you've ever seen. I'm a fat fuck, and I swear that thing barely reached my asshole through my enourmous ass cheeks. It was all I could do to not laugh.


I too am very glad you're out, OP. Thank you for an amazing thread although not to say your experiences have been in any way amazing. You have a great writing style, by the way. Very compelling and interesting.

Is it true that there's a hierarchy in prison systems with armed robbers generally being considered top of the pecking order and rapists and paedophiles at the bottom? I'm assuming not given what you've said so far but this is something I've heard a couple of times before. Also, what are you planning on doing now you're out? What made you commit armed robbery in the first place? Did you make any friends in prison that you'd stay in touch with outside? I know you said about the suspicion thing (which sounds completely fucked up and a ridiculous thing for the authorities to want to do by the way) but you also mentioned having a laugh with your cell mate so I thought maybe you might have.


As for friends - not really. I only ever had two. Both cell mates. The first guy was this big truck driver who got busted with meth and was doing longer than me, probably because he was black. That's no joke. The fact I was white and well spoken probably went a long way toward me getting off light. I got some ink and had a pretty stupid haircut when I went in, which really sucked because any point of difference is enough to get you picked on inside. This guy, first thing he says to me is 'what did you rob? American Apparel?' and he would rag on me endlessly. He had a daughter who was the cute as fuck little scene girl - seriously, you ever see a half-black scene girl? They're beautiful. We'd sit around all day and I'd tell him all the Odin awful things I was going to do to his daughter if I ever saw her at a Kaiser Chiefs concert and he'd tell me how many skinner sister homiegots she'd brought home only for him to beat up on. First thing he did was help me shave my head. We'd figure out new and interesting ways of working out together, like dead lifting each other, dead lifting our bunks - we'd tie a pair of pants around the top of our bunks and one of us would hold it tight while the other would do curls on it. He got transferred, and that was when I started using. I'd been thinking about it, but apart from using meth while driving, he was a pretty straight edge guy and I didn't want to disrespect him by getting high with him there.

My second cell mate was this kid done for weed. He was scared as fuck. He wet the bed every night he came in for weeks. Worst thing I ever did to another human was share my junk with him. At the time, I just felt like it would help him adjust - but some people really can't handle it, or else seem to become addicted way to fast. I know my own limits, and know it takes a steady habit for months to get seriously hooked. Not this kid. He was getting the shakes after a few days without it.

One day he comes back for lock down, takes a hit and after a few minutes says - this isn't H, try it. And it turned out to be powdered MDMA, or Ecstacy. We both did it and ended up giving each other blow jobs. Afterward, things were pretty awkward until I said, you know fuck it, we're in prison, let's make a deal that if we can score for ecstacy again we'll get each other off.

We were good friends after that. He got out before me, and I definetly don' think I'll look him up.


Jesus God of Thunder on a shitty dick, American prisons sound downright inhumane. Really, I don't know what to say here.

How're you acclimatizing back to normal society? What about your old friends, your family, anything? All gone? What are you going to do next anyway?

Well I'm on parole for the next year - but it seems downright impossible to find a job. I've got some money saved up and my plan is to get out of the States, head to Europe and find bar work. I haven't seen a soul I knew before since I got back, and I'm almost scared of seeing them now. I can't help but feel like I need to get away, but the Corrections system makes that pretty hard.

I'm thinking about maybe skipping parole and heading south, crossing the border in the Mexico and then catching a plane to London. But I don't know, I heard from one guy (inside, which is about as reliable as /b/) that US Customs are actually at Mexican International checking US passports for Visas. If that's true I'll have to wait.

Well tonight, I'm going to start on Wikipedia and read the entries for every single day I've missed since I was inside. Apparently Lady GaGa is huge now, who would have thunk it? I heard new guys talk about her inside but we don't exactly get the news. There is two years worth of music to get into, which is probably the thing I'm looking forward to the most. Then I'm going to hit Encyclopedia Dramatica and find out about all the memes I missed out on.

Thanks for reading my story.


>Does it start and end at making it so you never want to go back

I'm curious to hear about OP's thoughts on this, especially after this;

>That, of all things, is probably what has me thinking I won't commit another stupid crime again. You see the pointlessness of life in prison. The worst part is how used to it everyone else in there is. Especially black people. They've seen their fathers, their grandfathers, their brothers and uncles go away. It's almost a part of life for them. Wasting a decade inside just doesn't seem to matter to them anymore.

I'd imagine it only works in scaring the shit out of some people.

One of the few things about prison I ever saw in a movie was that line - can't remember which film it was from - about there being 'inmates' and 'convicts'. About how an 'inmate' is a prisoner, they're scared, and they want to get out and never go back. A 'convict' knows, deep down, they're a criminal, that through their actions they've placed themselves outside the 'man's' law, and that status defines them.

Prison works at scaring the inmate. But convicts... Don't get me wrong, I never want to go back. But as I've reflected on it, in my last few weeks and the last 24 hours of freedom - I've almost found a special pride in having made it through. I was at a bus stop this morning and I struck up a conversation with someone, about how the bus was late, what she was listening to on her iPod, just random shit. And as we got on the bus I realised - that was me, that was me from before going inside talking, I'm still that person. I was really proud for having wrapped that part of me up so tightly during my time that I kept it safe.

It doesn't make me ever want to go back. But it does kind of make me feel like I could survive it again. I think that is probably true for a lot of people.

But for a lot of convicts, I think what brings them back is the adrenelin rush more than anything. Committing a serious crime is a real rush, but life inside keeps you riding this constant edge - some people would get off on the paranoia, the violence, the constant tension. You'd probably find a lot of paralels between the kinds of guys who keep signing up for tours through war zones and the kinds of guys who keeping winding up back inside.



So OP, would you agree with that whole "Prison = college for criminals" thing? Sounds like they've created an environment that reduces that sort of thing, but some older generations I've talked to said they learned all kinds of pointers when they did time.

What about any attempts at actual rehabilitation? Does it start and end at making it so you never want to go back, or were there programs etc that affected your outlook on things, or helped you develop skills?

I'm just curious as to what an ex-con's opinion on the whole "what the prison system is doing in practice" issue is, whether or not they're just removing criminals from society for a while and hopefully scaring some of them into not going back, or attempting to fix the root causes.

Every prison and county jail is different. From the way I figure it, in Michigan we have these low security camps for nonviolent offenders where they genuinely try to get you back on the straight and narrow with life skills, employment training, drug rehab. Then you have the ultra high sec - supermax or level 5, where they just need to do 'something' because the inmates are usually so bug fuck psycho they either are never getting out and need their psyches managed as they adapt to that reality - or else they might be getting out soon and they need to be certain they no longer pose a threat to society.

I was in a level 5 facility, (they call in V inside because the State uses roman numerals and you don't find a lot of convicts know what roman numerals are. I Romans for that matter. ) - but it was part of a privately run string of prisons, each with anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousands convicts. To manage the population as it swells and declines seasonaly (convict rates drop through winter. no shit. no one wants to commit a crime when it's cold) people get cycled in and out, so there is really no time for re-offending programs, or programs to prevent drug abuse or any of that.

In terms of it being 'college for criminals'... It's not really the case. Even in high security, with a lot of violent offenders, the number one crime keeping people inside is drugs. Most guys learned more about drug crime from TV than they did inside. Are you really going to take advice about crime from someone who was caught? I heard so many bullshit stories your ears will bleed. About how eucalyptus oil prevents drug dogs from finding your gear. About how Glocks are really made of plastic and can't be picked up by metal detectors. Yes. Die Hard 2 came out 20 years ago and people inside still buy that story.

The storyies about getting caught I'd say were 50/50 in terms of legitimacy. No one would tell you they were ever busted dead to rights. I heard so many tall tales about how the cash straped Michigan State Cops could actually track you down with in a few feet using satelites and cell phones... A lot of interesting stories though, from dealers, about how to pick undercover cops doing 'hand to hands'. I met one guy who had been done over so many times by UCs that he would actually give up a free shot to new customers, on the condition he got to watch them take it. Last time he went away, the cop took the shot, hit it, then arrested him and he got busted for posession, distribution AND assaulting a police officer, because 'forcing someone to smoke a pipe' is really assault and all.

Once word got out that I was a stick up kid, I got a lot of guys hitting me up for information - this is actually really dangerous inside because you never know who is just an idiot that thinks prison is a crime textbook and who might be a snitch. I was initially charged with 13 offences and was convicted on 2, so I was constantly paranoid about being re-tried on new evidence.


>We should set up a charity on the site to help this friend in need!

I'm cool for cash.

>I feel like saying "great thread OP" is now a mandatory preface to posting, so: great thread OP.

>Anyways, you seem like a well spoken individual. In fact, this post [sic] got me thinking that you could become
>the face and leader of the felon's rights movement. You could be, like, the next MLK Jr., man.

>Also, did you get hunted down by a bounty hunter when you skipped bail?

No bounty hunter. I was picked up by highway patrol on a random stop. In response to the other queries about the robbery - I posted something about it last night but quickly took it down. I won't go into the actual crime. Got off so easy by changing my plea and taking the two charges the DA's office could prove right there, that I'm paranoid they'll charge me again if they think they could prove more. It's not an especially cool story.

>Welcome back, OP. I hope you enjoy your freedom now that you're outside. If it were me, I would buy a pack
>of smokes and stroll around a park just enjoying the fact that I could. Then again, I didn't go through all the shit
>you did, so that could be naive of me. I hope you are able to get all of your shit back together. Don't try to
>blow off your parole like you blew off your bail, unless you don't mind ending up in prison again. If it really is
>that hard trying to get everything back on track in your life, maybe consider following that other guy's advice
>and asking to move somewhere that makes it easier for convicted felons to get work/start a new life.

>Also, I hope 99chan hasn't changed too much since you were gone and that you can still touch dicks here. I
>personally don't remember there being as much bitching and whining two years ago, but then again people
>aren't wired to remember that kind of stupid shit.

Thanks for the advice. It really is true about how the little things mean a lot more to you. First thing I did was buy a real pack of smokes - because inside they're called 'free worlds', as opposed to chop tobacco. That's how you know you're free. Pack of Parliaments never tasted so good. --end multiquote--

OP, if i may ask : How similar is the real deal to tv prison dramas ?
Of course i know tv tends to be far from reality and that prisons themselves vary quite a bit, but i am curious about what is similar and what is flat out wrong.
I always imagined Oz was fairly accurate with the mindgames sort of stuff.

I'd seen Oz, and the only similarity to my lock up was the size. You imagine these big sprawling complexes with all the gothic architecture and shit, but Oz is pretty much right about your average high sec prison. Think about 40-50 guys with a common area around two tiers of racks, with an exit to a hexagonal yard area with the other blocks (ours were really called dorms, but block is a universal term for your rack).

In terms of other movies I've seen - American History X was total bullshit. There isn't just one guard in the showers, they're in front of perspex with at least a few watching the cons to make sure nothing happens.

The most accurate depiction of prison life you'll ever see is the 2nd series of The Wire. While I think that's set in a much bigger pen, the culture and the attitudes are note perfect. In particular, the attitudes of gang members, who despite what you think have this scary calm about serving time.


You could say I'm on the other side, OP. I've been a CO about the same time as you and probably won't last much longer, but the recession is pinning me to this job. But I'm about to say fuck it anyway and go back to school. I'm not a very good CO. Along with all the things you mentioned about the smell (I don't think there has been a week since I started working there that someone hasn't fucked around with their feces) it's the long-ass hours and freezing and the uneasy feeling that I could be one of them. While I would never compare the shit I go through to the stuff that goes on inside, it is hard to hold a relationship, have kids, or have an active social life while being a CO. But most of all there are the pricks. Being a CO for any more than a year makes you a prick, and I'm not excluded. And even then I'm nicer to the inmates than any other white CO I know. 90% of my prison is black, so you just feel safer and less prickish if you have black COs.

The whole experience has made me jaded and cynical and not just prisons but humanity.

Make no mistake OP, you may no longer be behind bars but no matter how long your sentence is you are sentenced to a lifetime of unemployment (even if you find a job it will be utter shit) and being looked down upon. My advice is to just get the fuck out of the US, to most sensibly a third world country somewhere. But by God if nothing else get the fuck out of Michigan and go out west or something (maybe Canada, but they do scrutinize immigrant's criminal records). There are ways you can start a new identity, and as long as you don't look like a hard-ass convict with swastikas all over your face you might be able to throw dirt over your record and live a relatively normal life. Good luck whatever you do.

Respecting COs is probably the only thing that kept me alive on a few occassions, and I totally understood where a lot of them were coming from. In the beginning, it's tempting to be a smart ass but eventually, you realise prison is all about getting by. And you get by with respect. Respect means a lot to convicts, but very few of them show COs any, because of this institutional mentality that sets in. I found that greeting shake downs with a respectful 'just doing your job boss' meant a lot to COs, and it affected the way they treated you. I most respected the guys like you who were clearly just there to do a job and get the fuck out. Convicts can pick guys like you. You get to know shift changes like you know times of day after a while. Most of our shake downs would happen straight after a shift change the new guys were at their sharpest, and you could always pick the pricks because they were the ones who'd stick around 'in case some shit goes down' like they were doing everyone a favour. But really, anyone who wanted to spend an extra second in that place had to be twisted in the fucking brain.


OP, that is a wicked story you got there.

I heard from a prison guard I met at a party that the guards will basically give the biggest bastards an extra pack of smokes or quart of milk so when shit hits the fan, the big dudes wont go out and make it difficult for the officials. Is that true? By "big guys" I guess I mean all the mass murders and fuck off huge buff guys who'd be pretty hard to bring down.

Anyway, I hope you readjust to society OP, have some sticky.

sloth.jpg

Actually, that is very much true. Only not smokes, guards don't distribute stock and snacks to convicts. The biggest thing in your life the COs have over you is visiting hours and phone calls. But favouritism wasn't based on being a 'big guy' or who was most feared - those kinds of convicts were put upon the worst. It hinged on how much respect you commanded, if people would listen to you, and if you could actually convey a message. If people would listen to you, the COs would use you.

The standard come on would be, when you were on the phone, they'd come up about 3 seconds before your time would be up and hang up the phone, then they'd say, there is gonna be a shake down, or a mass transfer, or a 24 hour lock down tomorrow. They'd take you into their confidence and make it clear what was expected of you. Then they'd redial the number and restart the timer, effectively doubling your phone time.

They tried it with me once and we nearly got into an argument about it. I say nearly because arguing with a boss is always a bad idea. I was at my absolute worst in terms of using, but I wasn't a bitch, and I wasn't so fucked up that I couldn't get a word out effectively - so the boss says there is going to be a 24 hour lock down tomorrow because of an escape attempt in one of the other blocks, and he needed me to keep the peace on my tier. I basically said to him 'look at me, I can't keep my fucking pants up let along communicate a complex idea like that to my neighbours' but it's made pretty clear I have no choice in the matter.

That afternoon, I get a chinese whisper going about the lock down, but it's a dangerous thing. Because even though the other convicts know you're the guy with the info - some of them will be wondering if you've been tipped off because you're a snitch, or else some people just shoot the messenger when it comes to bad news - or stab the messenger. I got away with it by blaming it on those fuckers from O Dorm. It was kind of funny because the boss' got wind of that, and forever after any bad news would be announced by saying it was O Dorm's fault we were all getting fucked. You create a siege mentality and convicts will take anything.

A funny thing about lockdowns - you know how the day before a public holiday people will go crazy and hit all the stores to stock up on food? It's like that inside. The reason the boss' always leaks a lock down is so we buy as much candy as we possibly can, as many smokes, and as much gear as we can cram up our assholes and go quietly back to our cells. That particular lockdown ended up being 72 hours. As far as prison experiences go, they're the most interesting. It's kind of like going on a camp out. You often get guys 'hot racking', where they'll swap cell mates with their bros, or just apedophile groupon cells completely and move their bedding over to hold little sleep overs where they play cards and talk shit. Strangely enough, as bad as a lock down sounds, they really brought blocks together in mutual hatred, and broke up the monotony. I often wondered if the screws didn't just throw them at random to keep us interested.


So insightful. You're such a smart and interesting guy, OP. I showed this thread to my flatmate tonight who never ever looks at anything on here as much as I bug him to occasionally and he was amazed by you. Not to suck your dick or anything but yeah, you're very impressive.

This is a question for later or tomorrow or something because you've got enough to contend with for now but what did you miss most about sex while inside? Just the sex itself or the intimacy? I know there are cliches on both sides about that so I was wondering what your thoughts were.

[image loading]This is a really interesting question. So much so I went and had a smoke and a think about it.

You know how a lot of people that hang around these boards will say how they're desensitised to sexuality? How years of the most twisted porn the Internet's underbelly can offer has made them numb? I guess I was like that going in. If you had have asked me, the day before I went inside, what my ultimate sexual fantasy was I'd have said something stupid like 'Emma Waton, a rubber tube, two mexican fighting fish, a chainsaw and a bucket of grease'.

Now, I shit you not, my answer would more likely be 'a beautiful woman that loves me'.

Every convict has a jack bank. Scraps of magazines, smuggled porn, that kind of thing. I used to keep mine under the inner sole of my sneaker. If you took a survey of what convicts keep in their jack bank, you'd be shocked to learn that mostly, it's women's faces. The single most sought after item in the common area was the TV guide. Because you'd get full page ads for movies and beautiful women. Fucking up the TV guide was a hangable offence, since our TV was pre recorded and edited to cut out the news, and anything not G rated, you needed the TV guide to keep track of what you were missing out on. As an aside, one of the most surreal moments inside was the Superbowl, all these convicts crowded around this caged screen watching a repeat of Blue's Clues - muttering about how the Superbowl was really on. It was like even though they couldn't watch it, they wanted to be a part of a national, communal activity. Two days later they replayed the Superbowl, with the ads and half time show taken out - no one watched it. How fucking weird is that?

So yeah, I got side tracked while talking about the TV Guide. The keeper of the TV Guide would be whoever scored it out of a mail bag. Usually the guy on mail duty. And after a few weeks, you'd ask, as nicely as possible, preferebly with a gift of candy, if you could take a look, and maybe later, in return for smokes - you'd cut something out. I cut out a half page ad for The Other Boleyn Girl. Actually, i'll find it an post it here.

Now you think about the shit you can get with just three clicks from here. You can hit up one of the porn boards and be jerking away in minutes. You'd probably even not jerk off to soft core porn, because just a few clicks away, you could see some whore being cranked by 9 guys and getting glazed with cum.

I guess in the real world, where life is mundane and boring - you need those fantasies of dark sexual shit to keep you going. But inside, there is just dark shit everywhere. Violence, death, fear. You don't want it in your head. So no matter what you were like before, inside, you try and escape in your head to places that are good and just... decent I guess.

You go from having elaborate rape fantasies to having sweet, candle lit intimacy fantasies. Sounds gay, but it's true for most guys inside I think.

It changes the way you think about women. When I went inside, I was full of bitterness over the mother of my kid leaving, I felt like my sister had betrayed me, so I left her - and I thought of some of the girl's I'd used in my life and felt like they were pathetic sluts.

But inside, I would have given anything to know just one of them loved me - and when I say love, I don't mean like, I'd want to marry them, or that kind of passionate, movie love. Just that they'd consent to being intimate with me.

I don't think I mentioned it before, but I spent a few months inside under the impression that I'd been infected with hepatitis - thankfully I wasn't, but that really compounded this need for intimacy, because I felt like, even once I got out, a woman would never touch me again.

I should note too - there is a long running conspiracy theory inside that the boss' put something in the food that numbs arousal. The usual response to this is 'if so, why are you still jacking off to your mom?' or 'then why do you keep staring at my ass?' but still, it might not be a joke.


So anyway, this has all been pretty grim shit. So since I started with a list of the worst things about prison, I thought I'd leave [sic] with a list of the best things about freedom. Not sappy bullshit about your parents and sunshine - but things you probably take for granted because you've never had them taken away.

Laughter

No one laughs inside. You might occassionally fake a laugh when someone does something stupid, or gets what they deserve. But inside you laugh at straight up irony. Nothing is really funny when you're locked in a concrete bunker with seemingly no hope of getting out.

When I went inside, my favourite things were horror movies and violent video games. But now I can't stand the thought of them. I've seen too much real violence for one life time.

Instead I've burned through three seasons of 30 Rock. I haven't laughed so hard in my entire life. I find myself laughing at shit that a couple of years ago I would have been too jaded and cynical to laugh at, or thought that it wasn't cool to laugh at. Now I find myself cruising through Metacritic for the funniest films of the last two years. I liked to think that I used to be funny, but now, I realise I'm not. That I look in the mirror and there is this kind of grimness there.

So don't take laughter for granted. It can actually be taken away quite easily.

Politeness

We all think we're such fucking abrasive bad asses that we don't need to use manners. I used to be the biggest offender. But inside, it just starts to grate on you after a while - that you're forced to be polite to the boss, but your daily interactions with convicts are typified by cursing, shoving, and basically barbaric behaviour.

Basic human decency becomes the thing you miss the most. Saying 'please' and 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' just simple shit like that reminds you you're human, that you're a part of society.

The things I've enjoyed most since I've left are just mundane things that allow me congenial interactions with people. Paying for the bus. Talking to the person you're sitting next too. Buying a sandwich. Excusing yourself when you pass someone on an escalator. Helping people. I helped a woman get her pram off the bus this morning, and she probably walked away thinking 'what a nice young man' without realising I've just spent two years locked inside cesspool of human indignity for threatening a room full of people with a firearm. That wasn't lost on me, but none the less it made me feel good about myself. Being nice makes you feel good about yourself and inside - you never feel good about yourself.

Clothes

I will never wear the same clothes two days in a row for as long as I live. Inside, I had two pairs of elastic waist track pants, two t-shirts, a wool sweater, and a peacoat with the buttons taken off. Three pairs of boxers. I started with more - but I shit myself a few times when I was high. Not proud of that. I had two pairs of laceless sneakers, like vans, and a pair of flip flops. In winter, we'd basically wear all our clothes at once.

When I got home, I was wearing the suit I stood trial in. I gave my prison clothes to a convict in return for some toothpaste. I opened my closet, and realised how all my old clothes were so black. I just wanted color. Like a hawaian shirt or something. Inside, every thing was variations on blue, beige and lime green. I wanted to wear all red like Jack White or something.

Clothes don't maketh the man - but damn if they don't make you feel better about your place in the universe. Just wearing jeans that fit, a belt, nice shoes - never take that for granted. It's not like I was ever a fucking fashion plate or anything, but now I have this new found appreciation for looking nice.

They actually taught me how to sew inside. I've been wondering if I couldn't maybe become a tailor or something. America's first straight, ex-con fashion designer.

That last thing you should never take for granted is this - your mental health. Every day I woke up sober inside (at some points, they were rare) I'd stare at the ceiling and talk to myself. Sometime's out loud. I'd take stock of my own level of madness. How justified was my paranoia today. What did I dream of last night. What kind of bad things will float through my head if I don't control it. I'd literally have to take stock of my own psychological well being.

No one should have to do that. Because questioning your sanity is like picking at a scab - once you start it bleeding you can't help but keep picking. And by virtue of your questioning, you make it true.

I went more than a little crazy inside. The insane amount of smack I ingested might have had something to do with it. But more likely the circumstances. For me, the punishment of prison was less about separation, and more about the forced introspection.

Imagine a kind of forced autism, only without being any kind of savant. That's what prison is. Outside, you're free to keep your head in check. You're free to indulge your mind and keep it healthy. And I guess if you keep your mind healthy, you'll be less inclined to find yourself inside in the first place.

>So where are you living right now, OP? Are you still at that motel? Do you
>have your own comp or are you posting from an internet cafe or library or something?
I'm back at my own place. Cable was disconnected while I was gone but I can get wireless. Place smells so fucking bad because the power was cut, fridge defrosted, and the inside kind of looks like someone died in there. It's better than the men's shelter though where most parolees end up.

Strangely, I'm pretty sure the place has been broken into, probably several times, but they only took DVDs. I suspect my ex-[girlfriend] might have been living here while I was inside. But seriously this fridge looks like it's been stewing in mould for about a century. If I wasn't so distracted by looking at porn and streaming MTV and Comedy Network I'd probably look up how to clean it. As it is, I've wheeled the fucker outside.


>They actually taught me how to sew inside. I've been wondering if I couldn't maybe become a tailor or
>something. America's first straight, ex-con fashion designer.

>>527493 here. I was wondering what kind of skills you have to work with - both from before and during your
>incarceration. Who knows, perhaps someone here might be able to hook you up with a job.

My other question has to do with solitary, because I've felt myself strangely attracted to the idea of being in solitary confinement and sometimes wonder how I would cope. Could you explain the experience a little more, and your reactions to it (if it's not too overwhelming to think about)?

It's kind of funny; but all of the things you are listing about freedom that shouldn't be taken for granted - I really do appreciate and spend time reveling in them, and then I feel like I'm odd because most people just don't. I'm not sure that I have any particular reason why I do this, either. Perhaps a penchant for introspection and pessimism (or as I like to say, realism) about the way things are forces me focus on the small joys of life. Aren't they wonderful?

Also OP, I have to say that I was nearly moved to tears by some of your recent posts. It hadn't happened up until now - perhaps because I have heard/read a few things about prisons before, or perhaps your story is becoming more personal.

Anyways, thanks for answering all these questions. I hope this conversation is benefitting you as much as the rest of us.

It's disturbing, and a little embarrasing, but I'd graduated a college before going away.

As for solitary:

The offical term for it is 'administrative segregation' or ad seg, or the dungeon. Our was a low, hexagonal building with no exits and one entry, through a wire fenched tunnel. Inside your cell, which about two, three feet smaller than a normal cell and only as narrow as the door, you have two doors, one in out into the main room where the boss' have access to the other six room, and the other door to a fenced yard no more than three paces across from corner to corner. That door would unlock for an hour, than a light would come on telling you to go back inside, than you might get one or two more hours a day if they need to hold another convict in your cell before transfer, or before being taken to infirmary. But you never see another human the whole time.

Standard time in ad seg was three days to a week. Longer for the most serious infractions.

My first time in solitary was during a mass transfer, which is when our pen would be filled with extra inmates from another pen over night before being moved on. I was there for three days. The first day wasn't so bad. In the beginning, I thought 'this is interesting' at least. And I kind of enjoyed being alone. I jacked off a lot. The second day, I read the bible. Which is the only book allowed in ad seg. The third day... I began to imagine I'd been forgotten about, and I started to panic. Like Mau-dib says "Fear is the Mind Killer". Once you start down the road, there is no going back. You think you can handle it, like being alone isn't so bad, like it's almost a relief... But they make the room just the slight little bit too small. You lose track of time. You can't see the light or figure out what day it is. You resort to counting out loud the seconds. You can't distract yourself anymore and you start pacing but there isn't enough room to pace and it just makes it worse. I'd never had a panic attack before, so I didn't know what to expect. My heart just started pounding out of my chest and I felt like I was going to faint. I wanted to faint, so I could at least sleep and waste some time. But I couldn't. I ended up by stay in ad seg screaming for help, until they came in and tasered me. I woke up back in my old cell.

The next morning, they pulled me out of bed, and said because I fucked up in ad seg... I'd be put back in ad seg. For a week. I screamed and tried to get away on my way back so they put leg cuffs on me and didn't take them off. I got tasered again. This just made it worse.

That was when I decided to get some dope as soon as I was out.

On the plus side, I now have scary accurate recall of obscure biblical passages.



What'd you major in, OP? I'm willing to bet that it wasn't armed robbery.
This is turning out to be a very interesting thread, the best we've had in some time. Your story is very intriguing, and I'd like ti know more about the protagonist. Tell us a bit more about yourself, like what you did in school, what led you to do what you did. This way we can get a clearer image of a 'before and after'.
Also, you should really get off the drugs, man. Any way you can. Maybe you could check into re-hab.
So your parents paid for your house, but they cut the power, cable, etc... How'd you get a computer, how are you getting around, what money are you living off of and where'd it come from? I'm intrigued by the logistics of it.

I don't want to give away too much of my personal information, but I'll say as much as I feel I can:

I didn't grow up in Michigan, but my parents had been thinking of moving to Ann Arbor, which co-incided with UMich being the closest thing to Ivy League I was going to get into. I was at the LSA, College of Literature - but I flunked out of language training. Mom and Dad fronted the cash for me to study overseas, hoping I'd get to Europe and actually learn enough German / French for me to come back the next semester and finish my degree. I ended up traveling with a bunch of Australians and decided to fuck off college and head to Sydney. Mom and Dad threatened to stop funding what was becoming basically an all expenses paid drug binge unless I re-enrolled, and I convinced them to pay for me to go to the University of Sydney - which is just this spectacular campus right in the heart of the city, only half an hour from some of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see in your life. I stayed for 3 years and actually manged to piece together a degree. I told my parents I wanted to stay, and had already applied to extend my student Visa - but they told me if I did they'd cut me off.

It was the stupidest thing I ever did in my life, driven by laziness and privlidge, but I decided to go back to the States. In Australia, university is different - they don't have a distinction between college and uni - you can get your BA at 21 and off you go. Mom and Dad didn't think it was good enough so they wanted me back at Uni doing a post grad course. They're both academics and they didn't want to cut me lose without a 'proper education'. Fucking backfired because Michigan depressed me so much I ended up fucking off to Detroit and squating, bar tending, just generally being a miscreant really. Long story short, that's where I was when we decided we could get away with a stick up job.

So basically - I was an over privlidged little fuck who had the world laid out at his feet, and threw it all up down the toilet. One of the many things that prison taught me - especially after being confronted with the suffering and abject poverty of black convicts - is take what you're given and don't argue. Because you got lucky. You could have been born black with a crack pipe in your crib. Crib as in, cot, not you know, a house. I might have done time but I'm not that ebonic.


just read the thread.

i'm curious, OP, as to exactly how friendly or unfriendly people are in there. i mean if you walked by some guy (or a group of guys) you've never met, would you just stare straight ahead?

how often were you scared of being attacked? were some attacks on other inmates random?
was there a small group of guys that got shit on the most?

great thread by the way.

Well people are not friendly. You build a network like this - your cell mate, who is pretty much forced to deal with you day in and day out, then his friends - thanks to prison ethnic populations, as a white guy, if you're racked with a black guy - he'll be your best friend after lights out and during lock down, but chances are he'll spit on you if he's with his people. This isn't a big deal. You see it coming a mile off. I was lucky in that my first long term cell mate, by virtue of being an older guy, hung with a more diverse group of old timers who were more accepting. They respected, to a degree, the fact I wasn't in on drugs, so we had that in common. These guys were all stick ups and a couple of murders. But they were also deeply suspicous of my light years, and the fact I was white.

Forget what you've heard about black gangs, there is only one black gang - the black gang. They put all their bullshit aside inside and pull together, look out for each other. You really have to respect that. Aryan Brotherhood, or at least our pasty wannabe Aryans in my pen were cunts of the highest order. You didn't make eye contact with them. You didn't buy off them. Trade with them. Talk to them. Most of them couldn't even fuck you up in my prison, they were weedy little shitbirds who got nasty nazi tats to look tough. But... Just by virtue of getting the brands, they could make your life hell by fucking with you until you get a transfer... where their real brothers might be waiting.

So yeah. People are not friendly inside. It's an endless shit fight of politics and fuckery.


This one hits me particularly hard. I feel like this, but at all times. Even in my attempts to drown out massive parts of my psych, I always feel this part of me that sits and stares at all of my faults, examining, saying 'Look here! Another failing! You are faulty!' Because of you OP, I'm going to visit a psychologist tomorrow and talk to some of my best friends for help. Thank You.

I do have a question for you. I've had this belief that you can't really know yourself until you've experienced a great tragedy in your life. This can be a near death experience (this feels similar, as you surmised earlier), the loss of a loved one, or any number of extremely harrowing 'adventures'. Do you feel this is true?

It's easily evident that you have grown a lot as a person. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, as they say. Would you consider this a level of enlightenment, where your life is now more fulfilled after these experiences?
Or if you had the chance, you would roll everything back and be the man before the crime?

Thank you for even considering to continue to answer our questions.

OP here. Will still answer questions when ever I stop by since some of you get a kick out of it.

There was a kind of 'mini-riot' in our dorm not long before I got out. A fight started over something in the yard, I didn't see what, and the boss, who must have been new or something, decided the best way to deal with it was to coral convicts back into the common area and push everyone back into their cells. Me and about three other guys were all ready in our cells, which were on the top tier of our block, and so we're looking down at about 20 COs trying to push about 50-60 convicts through a set of double doors.

One of the COs was getting his face smashed in by two guys on either side of him, so another CO has gone to hit one of them with his taser.

Now I don't know what happened, I think this one boss forgot he still had a cartridge loaded - mostly in a situation like that, the COs use the 'contact' taser, which is the little pistol but they have to press it into you to shock you - so he's gone to do that, but fired off a cartridge, the one that sends off the two spikes into the target. As best anyone could figure it, one of the prongs has gone into the convict, and another has gone into the CO being pummeled. So when the convict tries to grab him, it closes the circuit and they both get zapped.

It was like dumping a bag of bloody mince into a shark pool. As soon as the boss went down, every convict in the fray just pounced on him, and even guys who couldn't possibly have seen it from our vantage point dived in, as if they could smell the sudden weakness. Me and a few other guys just watched - because we could hear the rapid response team coming. The guys with whom you did not fuck.

I turned to this old timer, and by old timer I mean he's probably 30 or so, but he'd been in a decade - and said 'there are people in the free world that would pay money for shit like that'. He's nodded sagely and said 'son, life is not an extreme sport.'

I guess, in a roundabout kind of way, that's how I feel on the whole 'adversity makes you stronger' kick. Life is not an extreme sport.

Before I went away, I was kind of an adrenelin junky. That's one of the factor's that lead me to commiting my crime in the first place. I used to think you couldn't truly know yourself until you'd put your body and mind through intense experiences. But prison taught me this isn't true. That's privlidged, middle class logic.

What prison taught me was that some people are born into a life where they're going to be subjected to intense life experiences and personal tragedy on an almost daily basis.

So no, I don't think you get enlightenment after something like that. I think all anyone really wants, if they're honest with themselves, is a quiet, easy life surrounded by people that love them. Anything else is a conceit.


Simple question, what was the first thing you said to your cell-mate when you got in (and vice versa I guess)? I'm actually curious to know how that conversation goes most the time. I just can't see "sup" being the usual ice breaker.

There isn't a convict alive who over time doesn't become intimately aware of just how bad ass they seem by virtue of being inside. There isn't a guy inside who doesn't allow himself that exagerated swagger because 'he a convict' and he doesn't take shit from no one. A part of that swagger is silent intimidation. If you really want to scare someone you say nothing. So introductions to new cellmates usually begin with long periods of silence. You stand on the thresh hold, clutching your bedding like it's an anchor to the free world and your cellmate just stares at you, for a long, long time. You don't say anything, because they don't look like they're going to say anything back. You could be racked with a white collar fraudster and they'll still give you the same treatment, because back in the day they got the same treatment and so on and so forth all the way back to the first guy that ever got locked up in some dungeon thousands of years ago.

I had three cellmates I racked with for any length of time and a dozen or so more who were cycled in during transfers or when gen pop swelled over summer. Eventually, they ask you what you're in for. I always imagined there would be some kind of prison slang for this, like I'd be asked what I was in for but in some alien prison kant that I wouldn't understand. But luckily, you're just asked 'what you in for'. And then you and the other guy do a little dance around it, you ask him what he's in for, he doesn't tell you, you tell him maybe one of your charges, he tells you one of his and on and on. And then you both end up bitching about the criminal justice system. No one, and this is unexpected, no one is a total asshole to their cellmate. It's just counter productive. Even the biggest asshole inside will still show a degree of respect to the person you're going to be locked up with. Because you don't want bad blood in the cell unless you want to sleep with one eye open.

There was a guy we were inside with though, whose cell was on the low tier nearest the main door. So he was the first one to see the fresh meat. Anytime a new inmate would be brought in, he'd yell out 'he fuck babies, I seen him, he fucked a baby, I seen him before I went away niggers, he a baby fucker kill that baby fucker!' and he'd do this every fucking time a new inmate would be brought in. And he'd go on with it for about half an hour afterwards to. So the first thing a prospective convict would hear on being greated to the dorm would be this nigger, with this high pitched Canadian accent - like Steve Erkel - hollaring about how he'd seen you, and that you were a baby fucker.

So when the new inmate would be brought inside, he'd get the silent treatment the whole time this crackhead would be barking about the baby fucker. And then his cellmate would lean in real close and whisper 'you a baby fucker?'

Prison humour is never really funny. That's probably the closest thing we ever had to a running gag. I guess it was funny because we all knew child sex offenders ever got locked in with us... but the new guys didn't know that.


You know what, I had just sort of assumed you graduated from college - and didn't really realise my assumption until you made that comment. Anyways, why be embarrassed? It makes you different than many armed robbers, and you can probably use that fact and your education to your advantage.

About ad seg - that sounds scarily intense. And yes, fear would make it so much worse.

Hey, I know you've doing the ReEntry 'therapy' sessions, and talking about things here - but are you planning to tell your family about how things were? I think they'll probably ask you at some point; and it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and tell them so that they don't underestimate what you've gone through and you don't feel like you have to wear a mask in front of them. Think of it as restarting the relationship on honest terms. It's not too late to mend fences, and it sounds like they do want you to remain involved. Why not accept their help and support to get your life going again?

Literacy levels in prison are fucking awful. If I were in a gang, when I wasn't selling crack and doing drive by shootings, I'd be making sure prospective gang members knew how to read because inside, there isn't much else to do.

A lot of cons end up teaching themselves how to read because there isn't much else to do apart from get a library book. But writing is fucking horrendous. My spelling is bad, and as a few people have pointed out it's even worse from having studied abroad, but you would be hard pressed to find many convicts who can string a sentence together with a pen.

One of my cellmates was functionally illiterate and so with nothing else to do, I'd help him write letters for his appeals and back to his daughter. He told his people, who then started coming to me as well, so for a while, I had a steady supply of Reece's Pieces in return for helping people write letters. It wasn't a Dead Poet's Society moment or anything - I didn't teach anyone how to write and we didn't all end up holding hands and feeling we'd grown as humans. It was just a good way to pass time. But sooner or later I got asked how come I could write, and so I told them I'd been to University, thinking I'd just get put upon for a while - convicts will pick on you for anything. But instead everyone just seemed really disappointed. Instead of cracking jokes about it, they seemed genuinely upset that a white kid, with a college degree, would be so stupid as to get himself locked up inside. So I was made to feel kind of embarrased, and ashamed at having an education - a shame that I still haven't kicked having got out.

As for talking to my parents about it, I had lunch with them today. My Mom clearly doesn't want to know about it, she just seems to think that now I'm back that 'part of my life is over' - but my Dad seems really cut up over it. He keeps coming outside with me for cigarettes - he doesn't smoke, and he just stands there as if he really wants to ask me something. I know what it, I know he wants to know if I was raped inside... and it kind of pisses me off. As if he thinks that the worst thing that can happen to you in prison is being raped.

So no, I haven't really discussed it with my parents and I probably won't.


Just curious OP, have you considered doing some public speaking? The stuff in this thread is the kind of shit I would have actually payed attention to when one of those goofy preachy anti-drug groups would send speakers back when I was in high school. Being well spoken all by itself makes it better than hearing some wretched burn out ruinate the language while failing to make their point. That or maybe consider writing or whatever.


When I was inside, I felt like I should be keeping a diary, I felt like I owed it to myself. But everytime I could score sufficent paper, I would sit there and stare at the page with nothing to say.

Since getting out, I've been writing constantly. Just everything that pops into my head. I considered, briefly, getting a blog or something - but at the moment, I don't want any chance of being identified.

So I came here. I'm not going to go on a speaking circuit or anything. This story isn't unique.
Quote:
In response to the questions about my spelling:

If anons want to pick holes in things that's fine. I'm not going to get in arguments, because that's not why I wanted to post. I was really desperate to share this with anyone, under the guise of anonymity, and I thought [sic], more than anywhere else I frequently go, would be interested.

I instinctively add a u to a few words from having written a lot with a UK English spell checker and I never suffix '-iser' with a 'z'.

Of course there are holes in some things. I won't answer everything. I probably exagerate things a little to - but if you want factual and unbiased reporting you should try CNN and not [sic].


Hey OP, great thread. I have a question that I want to ask you-

What sort of food do you usually get on a daily basis? I know you mentioned that the food is fattening- but you surely must have at least some vegetables or some proper nutritious food.


The food is not as bad as you'd think, but devoid of any nutrional value and incredibly unhealthy.

Everything inside is about limiting the aggression of convicts. If they could get away with it, we'd all cop a shot of valium every morning and another before bed. One of the best ways of doing that is to serve up food that doesn't piss people off, in big enough quantities that cons can get full, happy, and unlikely to start fights.

One of my cellmates had been in the Marine Corps, and he said the food inside was better than what he got in the Marines. But he said they had a strategy too - that bad food brought Marines together, gave them something to communally hate. They want to do the opposite inside, and not give us anything to bond over.

Prison food consists of three meals a day served in a dining hall accessed by all the other blocks / dorms. This makes it one of the most volitile places in your pen, because there is a lot of anemity between blocks over who's responsible for lock downs, and a lot of people borrow from convicts outside of their block because those people are easy to avoid until chow time. Keeping cons more interested in their food than each other is crucial to avoid confrontations.

Breakfast was always oatmeal, beans, toast and a rotating assortment of knock off cereal. Like instead of Fruit Loops you'd get 'Fruit Balls' or something from Mexico. They never tasted quite right. Milk was always powdered, in a big dispenser ironically labeled 'Fresh Milk'. We'd also get what we were told was organge juice, only it had no actual oranges in it. Was just a orange colored sugary syrup. You'd only go to breakfast if you had no food of your own stashed, except for Thursdays, where there might be powdered eggs and bacon. I kind of liked the powdered eggs, they were almost identical to the ones you get at McDonalds.

Lunch was rarely attended by anyone and would almost always be ingredients for sandwiches. Junkies would go to lunch only to hoard bread, which is an excellent filter for smack, since cotton balls were impossible to come by. You'd let the bread start to go a little bit dry, and then you'd make little balls out of it and put them over your plunger. When you suck the smack into the plunger, the impurities would get caught in the bread. Then you could ball the bread back up and stash it with the rest of your food. During a shake down, the boss would come down hard if they found cottons, that is, cotton balls with heroin residue on them, but they wouldn't be able to tell if your bread had been tainted. Then if your connect ever got shook down and you were without drugs for any length of time, you could suck on the bread balls.

The first time I went to dinner, I thought I must have came on some kind of special night, because I wasn't prepared for the 'feast' laid out for us. I can still see it in my head, because it was the same every night. From left to right: fried chicken, only because a fryer would have been too much of a brutal weapon to have in the pen, it was fried off-site and shipped in to be reheated in the microwave. So it was soggy. That was the extent of your pure protein too. Then three pizzas - these fuckers were huge, industrial sized slabs. Just a base, that resembled corrogated cardboard on the underside, with a sauce that was really just ketchup and cheese. Endless mounds of melted, processed cheese. There would be two of these, and one with pepperoni, only it wasn't really pepperoni, it had no pepper. Just a bland kind of red sausage. Each day the pizzas would be laid out in a different pattern, and I imagined that I could divine the future based on the direction the pepperoni pizza was pointed.

Then mac and cheese - this was actually the best thing on the menu, since it most closely resembled something you'd eat on the outside, then nachos, the lasagne. The nachos and lasange looked identical, being two giant trays of an unknown red meat sauce, covered in flat, yellow soggy 'chips' or 'pasta' covered in cheese. Basically tasted the same. Then there was the bean dip, which was another tray of refriend beans and the closest thing to vegetables on the menu, tiny cubed peppers and tomatos and corn. The bean dip was marked 'vegetarian'. On the first day I wondered if they saw where I'd written 'Raw Vegan' under dietry needs on my medical form. Then a giant tray of more corn chips, then a giant tray of powdered mash, a pot of gravy, which would occassionaly accompany a roast of some description on holidays. Then fruit, which was another tray of diced fruit in syrup. Usually pears and peaches.

Sugar. Salt. Fat. The key to a safe and happy correctional facility. I don't know how we didn't get scurvy.



> ... they pulled me out of bed, and said because I fucked up in ad seg...
This is just fucked up. There is no reason why this should still be going on in this day and age. It isn't rehabilitation or punishment - it's just plain fucking awful and entirely unnecessary. What cunts.

Anyway, OP. I hope you never stop writing on this thread, you know. You're just amazing. Something you said here really got me thinking like the other guy. When you said "And by virtue of your questioning, you make it true". I read that this morning and I've been reflecting on it all day and it made me realise something about an issue I've been struggling with recently. It just made me look at it from a different perspective and I realised something pretty significant and, yeah, well, I guess I've decided to walk away from that issue and with some strength now. I just want to thank you, man. I know it's not related to what you're talking about but I just wanted to tell you anyway because it goes to show I think that your self honesty and amazing attitude towards what's happened to you has a much wider and infinitely more positive impact. I know it's early days and you're out and you've got a road of some difficulty ahead of you but you are a seriously awesome human being and I think you're going to live quite a life. If you ever get to London, I'd be seriously honoured to buy you a beer or two.

In terms of people you were imprisoned with, can you give us any perspectives or stories on them? Sort of the person behind the crime kind of thing? Also, are you planning on looking up any of your old friends at all?

Also, I'll always remember this: "... real freedom. Is choosing how you waste your life". You're seriously some guy, OP. I agree with that other person that you should do talks for kids or something.

I'm glad it helped you. As far as perspectives on other cons - there weren't that many good stories in there. I guess you need to take a lot of prison stories like old fishing tales, because if they were all true than every cop would be corrupt, every judge would be on the take, every DA would be incompetent and every convict the victim of tragic, innocent circumstance.

Most people didn't talk about their personal circumstances because they were all so similar, and similarly tragic. You'd hear a lot of black inmates talking about 'the game' and 'the hustle' and they'd shoot the words around when talking about their busts - how 'they'd been rolled in the game' or 'the game played them'. They liked to use the term when talking to crackers like me to highlight how they were original gangsters arrested just trying to make their way in a crazy, white man's world that refuses to legalise crack cocaine and heroin.

But the reality was most of those guys were in on mid level possession and distribution, they were dealer's dealers or just runners, or they might just have been in a dealer's car and been stuck with a bad public defender. A lot of them would go to great pains to remind you that they were picked up on possession AND firearms, as if that important distinction meant they were a real gangster.

You go inside thinking you're going to be surrounded by all these angry, violent black men but interestingly most of them are inside for non-violent offences. White cons were the ones inside for assaults, murders and attempted murders. And because of that notion, that all black cons are murderous, crack slinging, gun toting rapists they get this siege mentality that makes them even more violent inside.

I certainly won't be catching up with any of them. Ever. And not any time soon where being seen with one could get me put back inside.


Awesome thread, please write more! Really incredible stuff. If all you say is true, I'm amazed at how bad it really is.

This might be a stupid question; but what kinds of things are you allowed to have and do in your cell? More specifically, are you allowed to have books? Or non-dangerous drawing/writing supplies? What did you (or could you) do with all the time?

Also, are the people who work there (warden, guards, etc.) complete sadists?

As we were constantly reminded, convicts did not have 'possessions' only 'things the boss allows you to keep for a time of his choosing'. Some convicts had nothing. Just the clothes on their back. Others accrued whole stockpiles of books and appliances. You could have whatever you could get away with dependant on your behaviour, your ability to protect it from theft, and your ability to share it equitably with your cellmate. You're also limited to there being one outlet in each cell, switched on for 1 hour each morning and between 3HNNNNNNNNNG0 (read: 3:30) and lights out, and a complex process of approval, disapproval, reapproval resubmission and outright begging before being sent any kind of electronic device.

I took stock of my possessions each day, counted them, touched, them, arranged them on my shelf. You basically had a square half foot of space to store things on. The COs liked them displayed clearly so they could quickly see if you had any contrapedophile group, or were obviously trying to hide anything.

I had two books that were mine - James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer. I was reading Harlot's Ghost because I told myself after Mailer died I was going to read his entire back catalogue, my Mom sent that one to me because it was the only book I had at their house. On the day of my sentencing, I asked my Dad to go to a bookstore and buy me a copy of Finnegan's Wake because I'd heard it was long, dense and unreadable and having already been inside for my bail breach I thought it would be the perfect book for doing time.

I didn't finish it. And I gave it away when I left.

I scored a copy of William Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive from another con when he left. It was a bizarre book to find inside, and was probably the best thing I read the whole time, since the library mostly stocked Ludlum-style airport novels - which I read anyway. Strangely absent from the library was The Da Vinci Code, Twilight and the Harry Potter novels. Apparently any book challenged by the State's school board - even if it makes it through, isn't allowed inside. Yet oddly enough I was able to find a copy of Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama. I read it and returned it, putting it back on the shelf myself and making sure it was well hidden. That book would have started a riot.

Beyond my clothes, I had a small electric razor that I never used - using my time inside to grow a pretty spectacular beard. The COs preferred it if you had an electric razor, since they were harder to kill anyone with. Mine was also an excellent place to stash contrapedophile group. I had a few photos, my parents, my ex-sister and I in Thailand, my daughter when she was first born.

Prison makes you realise just how much we rely on digital photographs. I realised I didn't have any hard copies at all before I went away, everything was on my computer or my phone. My photo of my daughter was a folded up piece of paper printed out before I left.

I had a small electric urn, one coffee cup, one spoon with a hole drilled through it, and an old walkman tapedeck. CD players are forbidden inside since CDs can easily be turned into weapons. Headphones were technically contrapedophile group, but you wouldn't get shook down just for headphones.

My sister was going to make me mix tapes and send them to me, but she only made me one before we broke up. Every single song on that tape is dead to me now.

That was about it, apart from my contrapedophile group, which at anyone time was two needles and a plunger.


What are you going to do about your daughter?

That... is a good question. And if [sic] wants to offer their advice I'd welcome it.

She was born a year before I went away. Like a complete dick, I made it clear I wanted nothing to do with her, or her mother. I saw her three times that year, and on the last time, her mother said I was right - she didn't want me in her life either.

I tried not to think about her while I was away. When I did, even my thoughts about her were bad. I imagined how great it would be if her and her mom died in a car crash or something and how I'd get out to attend their funeral, and how I'd get sympathy packages from people. Selfish, jerk thoughts that you can only have when everything good that was ever in your life is slipping away from you.

She can walk now, I imagine she can talk a little bit, but probably not so much she asks where her Dad is. I wonder what she's been told about me. I'm not even sure where they are, although my Mom knows, but won't tell me. If they're out of the state I can't see them, and even if they're in the State, and I visited, and if it didn't go well my ex could just pick up the phone and I'd be back inside.

She's probably going to grow up without me, I'm accutely aware of that. But should she know who I am and why I couldn't be there for the first years of her life? Would it be better to pretend I didn't exist at all? Because I can't help but feel growing up knowing your Dad is an ex-con somehow defines you. I know it did for a lot of the guys I did time with.

Anyway, that's it for me today. Thanks for reading.



OP here: Checked back a few times during the week, kind of thought the thread was dead, but if some of you wanted an update I'll give it.

Turns out you don't get one parole officer who manages you exclusively, for whatever reason, workload, lack of staff, you get whoever is free on the day of your mandated appointment. So my first parole officer, who was chilled out and seemed happy enough with my circumstances has been replaced by some old, ex-corrections asshole who's still sore he's not fit enough to kick convicts around inside all day and fucks around parolees instead.

He's intent on breaching me for still not finding a job - but on Monday he ordered me to go to 3 Narco Anon meetings a week and imposed a curfew because I 'looked like I'd been out on the weekend drinking' even though I don't have an alcohol restriction on my parole contract and I haven't touched drugs since getting out and was willing to take a test to prove it. On top of that, I still don't have a new driver's licence because he hasn't sent some form back to the State Secretary's Office. So I have to travel an hour on a bus on Monday to get to one Parole Officer who tells me he's going to send me back inside if I don't get my shit together, two hours on a bus each way to my nearest NA meeting, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and then back to another Parole Officer on Friday who says ignore whatever the other asshole says. It's infuriating to have your freedom in the hands of complete, incompetent fucks and to have no way out of it. That leaves me with a few hours a day to look for work, apart from weekends, when I have a curfew that limits how far I can travel.

I finally caught up with my old friends - turns out the reason they weren't at any of their old touch dickss is because, suprise suprise, no one has a fucking job. Most of my friends were copy writers or else worked in bars. Now almost every local magazine and paper has cut back on staff, they're all unemployed which means they're not going out which means bars are putting off staff as well. I kind of understand why no one came to visit now. These guys barely leave their houses they're so broke.

I had one interview that looks promising - as a window cleaner, but I'd have to move to Grand Rapids and I'm not sure of how I'd do that logistically with my parole.

I'm just glad that the merry-go-round of bullshit they have me on keeps me busy enough to not want to use. Ironically, going to the NA meetings makes me want to use more than anything. Listening to these people whine endlessly about how their habits have ruined their lives and how God is helping them recover... Drugs didn't ruin my life. They just got me high. In fact, had I have had an endless supply of high quality heroin, I would never have committed the crime I went inside for. I'd have been too busy crawling around the house and drooling into the carpet. You don't ruin your life on drugs. You ruin your life when you're not on drugs. You might ruin your life when you're trying to score for more - but that's your own, sober responsibility. Blaming anything on drugs is stupid. It's an abdication of personal responsibility. 'I ruined my baby's life on drugs' they keeping saying. I feel like jumping up and saying: Fuck you, no one ever got pregnant while high, no one can fuck on the nod, you got pregnant sober, probably whoring for more crack, and it should have been enough for you to stop using but you didn't. As for God, who seems intent on being namechecked every 30 seconds at every meeting, I really don't think he cares about anyone's drug use. If I was God, I'd have bigger concerns than a few crackheads and an ex-junky ex-con. So that's demoralising. Or demoralizing for the americo-centric spelling nazis.

The parole officer says I'm arrogant. And yeah, these NA meetings are making me arrogant. I fucked up my own life. With my own choices. That I acknowledged in a courtroom, that I signed confessions for. That I spent two years in hell making up for. That some guy in a bad suit and a sweat stained shirt in an office can send me back for another two for. I walked away from it with my sanity intact and no particular urge to keep using. I think that entitles me to a degree of arrogance when subjected to the literal dregs of humanity.

When you're inside, you know that no one is coming to help you. The Red Cross isn't going to knock on your door one day and bring you a gift basket. God himself isn't going to reach down and pluck you out of your punishment because you're pious, or because you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord, saviour, and catch-all excuse for stupid behaviour.

But these fucking NA losers believe that shit. They think they're entitled to some second chance because some hippy dickwad coos over them and 'how much progress' they're making each day, and how many fucking Bono wristpedophile groups they're wearing to show their glorious fucking sobriety. I can't respect them, so I can't listen to them. When it's my time to share I recite platitudes and 'drug free' rhetoric until it's time to stop. Then I mainline free coffee, sign my name and fuck off.

I walked out of the community hall and watched an armoured van pull up at the mall. I wandered inside and watched the guards carry these huge platters of cash in and start re-filling ATMs. And I started imagining how easy it would be. How the guard's fat fingers looked too big to slide into behind the trigger guards of the flash, nickel plated bitch pistols they had on their hips. How I'd park between their van and the front doors and have them covered before they realised what was happening - how I'd probably only need one other person with me, to cover the guy they probably had in the back with a shotgun - and how you could get one, maybe two hundred thousand out of them, on the Friday or Thursday before a holiday weekend. Enough to disappear with. How I could do it better than last time, how I wouldn't make stupid mistakes. Then a cop truck rolled past and I felt a wave of anxious panic wash over me, like they might know what I was thinking.

So I caught the bus home and waited up all night for morning. Because when I close my eyes I'm terrified I'm going to wake up back in my cell, listening to tuburculor coughs, faint weeping, sleep grunting, and the ever present deviated septum snoring of my cellmate. It's a stupid fear, but once it's dark, I get this creeping terror that maybe I'm still in solitary, having dumped a whole gram on my way in, and that this is all a fevered dream and when I wake up I'll still be inside.

Will keep checking in periodically. Will answer the few remaining questions as well.
 

BlaRo

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You basically make a hole as fast as you can, by stabbing as fast as you can, and then you try and get a grip inside it and just start pulling...after a few stabs, he starts trying to get his fingers inside and he just pulls all this meat out. I thought he was going to pull out his intestines like you'd see in a horror movie, but instead, he just pulls out fist after fist of this yellow jelly shit, and then big hunks of meat like raw mince.
:tvhorror:

So yeah, kids, let that be a lesson - don't fuck up your taxes.
 

otispunkmeyer

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fuck.

that is all.

actually, not all.... he had the equivalent of a silver spoon and chucked it. prison seems have shown him rock-fucking-bottom because of it, but he realizes that 100%. he seems very mature, almost above it now. it will of changed his outlook on life, but by the sounds of it. the damage is done. parole officers looking for the slightest bit of BS to throw him back, insultingly ineffective support group meetings run by well to do's that seem to be a poor substitute for proper rehabilitation, and the likelihood of a lifetime on minimum wage despite the college education. he might of been put away for 2 years. really he's been put away for life.

i hope he gets out. i dont think he'll have much of future where he stays now.

have to to question though why someone with that kind of start in life (academics for parents, fully funded college etc), ended up flushing it?
 
Last edited:

Jay

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have to to question though why someone with that kind of start in life (academics for parents, fully funded college etc), ended up flushing it?

The same reason why people become addicts; they start loosing control or never had any control and start justifying in their head that what they are doing is right.

My wifes uncle was locked up for nineteen years in a federal prison and only released because former president Bill Clinton pardoned him and others on his last day in office; her uncle was a member of FLAN and was convicted of conspiracy to murder a public official.
By no means brought up rich and privledged, he put himself through law school and there he was caught up with the FALN. He and another, while secretly being videotaped, were planning to assinate someone.
He is by far the quietest and mellowest person you have met; prison changed him into that, and he follows every law to the tee, including driving exactly the speed limit and not jaywalking. He was lucky that after prison he was able to secure a job as a paralegal, which is what he did inside prison, and also, like the person featured in this post, write legal letters for inmates. He is now a private lawyer for people who cannot afford one.
 

argatoga

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Source?

Good read.
 

The_Finn

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i think it was a thread on 99chan.in
 

Koenig

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