Do you think everyone is liberal?
I have told ABBEY and everyone that most of my clients are conservatives. They're often not politicians, they haven't bothered to vote, but just because they know there are so many free brochures out there doesn't mean they're liberal. I can't tell you how many Tory officers I've worked with who went after every giveaway they could get their hands on.
Former inmates shared secrets about what being incarcerated is really like and wow I'm speechless
Thu, Mar 30, 2023 6:16 PM PDT
A while back we wrote a post where former inmates shared what it's really like to be incarcerated. More people shared their own stories in the comments. Here are some of the most revealing:
Note: u/Zenish1 pulled some answers from this Reddit thread.
1. “NOBODY ON THE PLANET is smarter than a person who is locked up. I learned so many tips and tricks that I still use to this day. There were so many great, smart and generally great people in my group and for so much it sucked being there I wouldn't take it back for a second because it's definitely changing me for the better and me for a better overall made people.
2. "I've been to jail a few times. A lot of the people there made VERY bad decisions. Jail is easy when you're 'smart' and know how to talk to people. Many of these people have made stupid decisions were they were gang members or are homeless, in which case they are most likely in custody for assault or robbery."
“Fights happen often. Once I swiped the butter knife off my plate and flushed it down the toilet for fun. Instant paranoia for everyone.”
3. "The guards can decide that an inmate can't have something whenever they feel like it. Even if it's something they get and have all the time. I would take things from my mother that I know she was allowed to have because you've read the list a million times, but after waiting in line you come to the window and hand them the things, they give you back the things you want suddenly no longer “may” have, but was allowed to, a week too early. All because they felt like it, and they took what they wanted. They told me more than once that they opened what I gave them and took things.
"They took new nameless sneakers that I bought for them because they probably wanted them more. I got her a spare pair and they took those too. I bought her a third pair and she ended up getting them because she was the other guard."
– Pull the handles up and out
4. "Prison stinks. My husband sent me books every few days. I was in prison for six months... If you've never been in prison you don't understand how long it feels like. Books were the only thing we had. I had read hundreds of books when I left — I had stacks in my cell from floor to ceiling, and I rented them out to the women in my group for things they did, like Jolly Rancher photo frames, drawings, soap sculptures, ramen and voodoo chips. But when I left, I ended up giving all of my books to the women — you'd think I'd given them $5,000 or so each."
“The library had maybe 1,000 books. So if you're there long enough, you'll go through them in no time; you end up reading things you don't even want to read. I was never a huge pre-prison reader but it's one thing I did outside of prison walls and using the coping skills I had to learn out of desperation but if you ever need to get rid of the books donate them a county jail for them to be read and appreciated by every single person who picks them up. I promise you. They will be donated to a good cause. To this day, I donate books to the New Orleans County Jail because I understand what it's like. Also, not everyone in prison is a bad. They learn very quickly that even the smartest, kindest, and most promising people get into dire situations that get them there. So you learn to be really mindful and never judge a book by its cover.”
5. "My ex has been to Rikers several times and also upstate. If you are lucky enough to have visitors, the guards will inspect your butt before and after your visit. Imagine how dehumanizing that is. And it doesn't make sense: the guards are the only ones who bring the vast majority of drugs and guns to the prison, not visitors. Phone calls and the commissioner are expensive because the companies the prison contracts are contracted with are price scammers. Inmates become often transferred to another prison without notice and the guards throw away everything on their phone: letters, photos, etc. You completely lose your agency there, you have no control over anything."
“When prisoners come out, they don't know how to lead their own lives. It's a shame because most of the people who are doing their time have to come out and live with us in society. You'd think we'd want them ready to take on life's challenges so they wouldn't reoffend. But in the United States, prison is not for rehabilitation, it is for punishment. Compare that to Norway, where you basically live like you're outside, only kidnapped. The recidivism rates are very high low. In the United States, we have to deal with institutionalized racism. That sucks."
6. "My ex-boyfriend is doing time in South Jersey and he was just telling me about how he just got transferred — literally everything he had was confiscated or thrown away and he has to start all over again. It is very unfortunate and sad that prisoners are still people, they should not be treated any differently."
7. “I spent over three years in custody. There was a lot of dramatic silliness and a lot of spooky guards. But most of all, I made fun wherever and whenever I could. I made some friends and stayed very close. What shocked me the most was the harsh penalties women were given for self-defense. Many, many, many women are involved in violent crimes, serving decades or lives, when in fact their "victim" was their perpetrator. And many women accused of crimes are not violent and have been manipulated/coerced by a man in their lives.”
"The state I served in also didn't have protective custody for women, so you could accidentally sit next to a 'baby suitcase' if you weren't caring for someone one, and the retribution that could bring was one my greatest fears there. The only option in this situation is to be ready to fight them if you encounter them again, otherwise it will be taken as liking them. Overall, it was an absolutely horrible and traumatic experience that I don't want to repeat."
8. "When I was younger I was locked up in women's centers a lot (feels like another life). The women were mostly decent to each other and tried to support each other. It was boring and we played a lot of cards, but there wasn't much drama or conflict."
"The 'everything is for sale' didn't apply to most places I've been: women would help each other out, and in situations where I was the baby of the group other people would take care of me kindness without anything in return to demand".
9. “There's a big difference between jail and even jails. I spent seven years in a maximum security facility, which is very different from a medium security facility. The time you have determines what type of establishment you go to, not like the cinema. Stay away from gambling, drugs and gangs - you'll get pretty lonely there. Don't be stupid - you see something going on, turn around and walk away. Nobody likes witnesses, and if... ever, and I mean ever, you're asked by a correctional officer what happened, you have no idea and you haven't seen anything.
"Food sucks, but I didn't really realize it until I was about to get home, then everything tasted like sandpaper. Yes, you have to fight back, but the biggest myth is to find the biggest guy and hit it; that's so stupid. It just means the biggest guy will probably beat you up and people will know you're an idiot. Most people just want to pass their time and be left behind by young gang members trying to prove who the problem is, but unless you're in a rival gang there's usually nothing to worry about. Not many want to pit, so if you hold your own and they're willing to show it, they'll move on to easier targets. Oh, I forgot about friendly blackmail: the ones who pretend to be your friends and suck off everything you've got. They spend all their money on cigarettes and try to drink coffee every morning."
10. "I dated a guy who went to jail a few times. He said that as long as you're not playing or getting involved in gangs, he's really, really boring. He taught himself ancient Greek.”
11 “I hated prison! And even though I was miserable in there, I still found things to joke about, I still laughed, and I still helped people whenever I could. That's the kind of person I am. There were days when my heart was crying inside, but I got up anyway and went to the living room to hang out. I sometimes went off-time four times a day to exercise. I did aerobics. I loved it and it made me feel better. She seemed happy, but inside she was hurt. I've never felt so miserable as in prison. But humans are survivors. You're doing what you have to do to get over it.”
"You can sit in your cell depressed or make the best of a bad situation. I chose to be happy and make the best of the situation. I know now that I'm a strong person because I'm able was to keep a positive attitude." on the outside and don't let others see me breaking inside. I could make others laugh and be happy, just like I do at home. I see it as a learning experience. It's a life most people will never understand. But it's a part of my life that makes me who I am today."
12. “In prison you can choose to find trouble if you want, or you can choose to learn/teach something or waste time doing nothing. Even without ideal options, you still have options that affect your life. Isn't it You have to start all over again Who will win, you or life?
13. "If you don't have money for the commissioner, it's going to be a long drive. The food stinks. It's not like the Fight Club movie unless you get carried away with the drama.”
14. "I can only speak for the state that I was incarcerated in (and that varies greatly), but no matter what you were doing once you got into middle or lower prison, no one was really messing around or hurting themselves. I've never feared for my life, and 99% of the time I've never feared for my health in the eight years I've done it."
“Even so, people allow themselves to be victims of things like extortion or harassment every day. Sometimes there are fights, most of the time they don't. Prison is basically high school.”
– You/did when you bid
15. “My husband served a year in Turbeville Prison. There are some things he hasn't told me yet, this place is a mess. When I visited he had a shaved head, wore ugly orange overalls and lost I said there were bugs in the grime, the air conditioning wasn't working this summer, they slept on the concrete and got him cold on his antidepressant Zoloft, and he had seizures in his cell. Thank goodness his mother was able to deposit that much money with his grocer, otherwise there would have been no food or phone calls for him, which is very expensive."
"People trade those ramen squares and honey buns like they're gold. Came home still doing those "attitudes". God forbid he has to go back to jail, he said it was so bad. Also, unless you know someone, which luckily you did, you MUST fight when you get there. This person eventually protected him from some fights. So it's to be expected; You will be harassed and people will try to steal your food and drinks."
16. "You have to be willing to seriously hurt another person over a small thing. For example, 'Hey, I just caught you going through my basket. You took my ink pen without asking permission first. Now I must try to beat you to the death.' If I don't try to kill you for it, everyone will think I'm weak and every penny I spend in the Commissary will be stolen.'"
17. "It's disgusting in my country. And they don't give you free food. Everything inside is paid for: tattoos, haircuts, etc. Dirty AF. abuse of the police. overpopulation. When I say overpopulation, I mean 100 prisoners in a 20-person cell. No air conditioning. Only cops can have that. Imagine being indoors with over 90 inmates with no fresh air. Yes, like hell.
18. "I was in jail for nine months and yes the food stinks except for the last one I ate before I left. Don't get involved in gangs. Do productive things. I personally have mentored people who were younger and I don't have a GED. Saved me from trouble. Think of it as an overnight camp for bastards."
"When you play, pay your dues and don't fight! I can't tell you how many people have more time to fight on camera! Take that to the toilet. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy."
19. "You don't want to owe anyone anything, but it's not really a problem unless you buy drugs or gamble. If people see that you have problems, they will help you. Food, clothes, coffee, etc. With few exceptions, it's a community and people look out for each other. I was there for six years and my best friend for 18 years. We both came from the same area and were half a year apart. Ninety-nine percent of people Those you meet in prison may make you feel good while you're inside, but in the real world, you don't want anything to do with them for the rest of your days."
“Most officers just want to do their eight hours and go home. There are also definitely officers who feel that their mission in life is to ruin your day. Regardless of how you behave, what they accuse you of, they will try to ruin your day. These are the officers whose shift you just stay in your cell/cube: read a book, shower or take a nap. Spies are sewn, that's very real. I've seen some serious stuff: murders, muggings and robberies. But if anyone ever asked, I saw nothing: I was listening to the radio with my eyes closed while lying on my bunk. No amount of questions and threats could change that, because they were the cops who were there for 1/3 of the day. They had to stay there 24/7. If someone did something to another scammer and they were wrong, the other scammers would take care of it without going to the officials. Maybe they paid money for evil, maybe they got beaten to hell. Occasionally they were cut or stabbed for serious reasons. It sounds very harsh, but if you're a regular person with common sense and the ability to communicate effectively, you'll be fine. If your problem is impulse control issues (probably the reason you are there in the first place), you will find yourself in situations.
20. "I was in prison once. The police took everything I had: my DNA, my shoelaces, everything. The guy I slept with just said one thing and one thing only: 'Hey bro, this might get hot.'” Overnight.' It was hot as hell in those cells at night. Like, omg, not only was it uncomfortably warm, but they give you pathetically useless pillows. I'm telling you now, sleeping in a prison is uncomfortable. You wake up with a sore neck, a headache, and a new hatred of the system. That day in court was tough. I got away with it, after all they attacked me in my house. But I won the fight and that's all that matters. He had to go to jail."
"What I learned that day was that the justice system doesn't care if you're innocent, you'll be treated the same way: guilty. They will throw you with real criminals. They will treat you with contempt even after your release. it hurts to be treated like that... To be treated as a worthless criminal by society at large hurts more than having my arm almost ripped off; It is an emotional pain few can perceive, one that transcends physical pain. that stays in the back of your mind."