Here are Parts, 1, 2, and 3 of "What is Prison Really Like?"
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[click here] for Introduction Text for "What is Prison Really Like?"
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What is prison really like?A FreeSpeech.com repost:
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October 06, 2003
If you have never been to prison before, you can be in for a real shock. Since prison beds have increased 10 fold from 1980 to 1999, your chances of being an inmate have become at least ten times greater.
The prison system is a business of building prisons and housing inmates at over $73/day/inmate an approximately half billion dollar taxpayer paid boon for just Connecticut alone, never mind the other states. The national figure must be staggering.
Click on the link below and I will tell you my story starting from being taken away in leg irons and chains wrapped around me.
I had kept out of trouble my entire life, and thought because I had worked so many hours on my contracting business, and in fixing up 4 Connecticut houses from a dilapidated state, the 3 and 4 family were boarded up shells, that I would not go to prison for defending myself with pepper spray when attacked from behind on my own property.
I was wrong, I was sentenced to a year in prison, 3 years probation. My attacker was not badly injured as he allegedly attacked 2 bar patrons from behind at Lark?s Cafe in Stafford Springs, CT, just days after assaulting me, according to Melissa Comstock a bartender at Lark?s and my former tenant.
I did not know it wasn't a good idea to wear dress shoes to court if you are going to jail, sneakers are the right choice as you won?t stand out. It is also a good idea to wear several pairs of underwear and socks over each other as you can go weeks in the same underwear and socks in prison.
I wasn?t thinking of such things, I was thinking of using my 100,000 points on my Amex accumulated fixing up the houses I owned from a very bad condition to finally take a vacation, bringing my daughter to Paris.
My daughter had finally gotten permission to live with me full time. I was looking forward to going to my 20th high school reunion, the holidays, the annual family ski trip to Vermont, and doing the contracts and work I had lined up to financially recover for my mistake of investing in Connecticut.
Judge Jonathan Kaplan sentenced me at the end of October ?02, I was brought downstairs put in leg irons, and was put in a holding cells. Others were screaming, jumping up and down in their cages. Hours went by, and I wondered why countless criminals don?t even get the attention of law enforcement and why they do they get all sorts of breaks in courts, as there is pity, but I was of 2 of the considered slimiest professions, contractor and landlord and got the harshest possible treatment and sentence.
I was wrapped in chains around a sweatshirt, the leg irons cut into my ankles as I stepped up onto the ?ice cream? truck, the prison transport. The air was stifling and we were packed in on a steel bench with very little air to breath in the cramped quarters. The heat was on extremely hot and as sweat poured down my face and I soaked sweat through my cloths I thought I might die of heat stroke. I was so tightly wrapped in chains I could not even itch my nose and my feet were throbbing from the tight leg irons. The inmate beside me showed me his extremely long thumb nails, he told me they were for gouging eyes out.
I was transported to Hartford Correctional Center, HCC. I was photographed and put into a holding cell that was so cramped that inmates were sitting on a soiled toilet and other inmates were lying under steel benches others were standing on. The stench of sweat, feces, body order, and vomit were overpowering. Alcoholics and drug addicts were detoxing right in the holding cell and were not able to control their bodily functions in or out. Others were angry and wanted to start an altercation with anyone pressed up against them.
After hours and hours we were finally brought to get the prison uniforms, no consideration of your size is taken, you can get pants and a shirt too small to wear or too big to stay on, and the correction guards will only laugh at you if you ask to exchange. Everyone is subject to delousing, I would have thrown up but had nothing in my stomach in 12 hours. I was given injections and blood was taken with nothing being explained to me. It was done in a rough, unpleasant way. There are many inmates with HIV and other diseases.
There were no bunks available, so I was sent to the overflow in one of the cafeterias. I had to sleep on the floor packed in like sardines. Inmates were coming off drugs and alcohol so were soiling themselves and throwing up all hours, guards came in the main entrance just behind us everyday, every five minutes or so holding their noses, calling us pigs. I thought I was in hell sleeping and wearing the same underwear and socks for days and days, sharing 2 soiled toilets without seats with 100?s of others, deprived of sleep, and given food that I would not have fed my dog in Styrofoam ?to go? containers that often contained soap suds and hair.
I saw someone I knew, Rodney Spittle. He was the brother of Robin Pelc. Rodney was not my tenant but he would often pass out in my former backyard, would build campfires without my permission and drink beer and do drugs until he passed out, while I was off at work all day. He was one of the runners that would service the drive-by customers on Church St, Stafford Springs, Connecticut, looking for marijuana, crack, and heroine.
Which was being sold out of Ken and Robin Pelcs?s apartment. I could not get police to do anything about the customers coming to the Pelcs? apartment all hours, for the assaults going on inside and outside their apartment over drug deals gone bad, infidelity, noise disturbing other tenants etc that was going on as if it was a Jerry Springer set.
It wasn?t until the Pelcs were faced with a DSS drug test for leaving their children without food and supervision, did they leave without a trace to avoid punishment. They left my home with all the doors smashed, most of the windows, urinated on trash with their crack pipe underneath, and wires ripped out of the walls. The arriving police officer told me that he nor the courts served landlords, not wanting to take my felony property damage complaint against the Pelcs.
Rodney Spittle came to me, saying a gang member demanded money from him or he would be dead. Rodney was scared and asked my help, which I declined. He called his ?girl? Melody, to get the gang member?s brother the money for the 13 to 14 bags of heroine that Rodney owed the gang member for.
There were constant assaults, inmates on inmates, pools of blood could be seen on the floor daily. The only activity I would risk being in large groups was to wait for the phone. A 15 minute collect phone call would cost whomever I called around $20, which was split by MCI Worldcom and the State of Connecticut. Inmate calls are a billion dollar a year business nationally and are a boon to states and phone companies. Inmate families, most of them struggling, are bilked out of desperately needed cash just to keep in contact with an imprisoned family member.
I was labeled as a ?snitch? by other inmates and by guards. I had not belonged to the criminal or drug culture and was lost amongst the inmates that were. I feared for my life. I was told I would spend my time in hell, HCC.
But, shortly after a federal prison inspectors allegedly came to investigate HCC for unsanitary, unsafe conditions, October 29 (give or take) 2002, and about 4 to 4:30AM we were taken out of the cafeteria after hiding our mattresses in a storeroom we were locked in the shower area, elbow to elbow, away from the inspectors.
I was called to Captain Murphy?s office. He mocked me about being a political prisoner, about my problems with police, and about my writing letters to the editor. I was asked whether I was going to report conditions at HCC. Murphy yelled at me and told me, I was, ?Outta here!?
I was put in a cell by myself and feared that at any time, a group of Connecticut State police were going to come and beat me. I had tried to complain about 2 Connecticut police officers that committed perjury at my trial, and feared all that I had written in newspapers critical of police was going to be taken out on me in a beating in that holding cell.
I was sent to Bergin Correctional Institute, Storrs, Connecticut. I was strip searched after visits with my family, and various guards mocked me bring up my feud with State Police. It told me they talked to each other. I stayed on my bunk as much as possible to avoid any concocted events or problems that could have kept me for years in prison.
I was called separately to get my inmate legal mail. Lt Desso, also a Stafford Connecticut police officer, left me out in the cold winter winds to suffer. Desso would mock me as he illegally read my privileged legal mail. Desso would point me out to other corrections officers. Desso told me I was not allowed back in Stafford, even to visit, as he released me, and other guards mocked and laughed at me.
For some reason, I was given a TS date to leave, and it was not honored. Mine came and went and I noticed other inmates getting out on their dates. I was held in prison beyond my TS date, why? I tried to take classes while in prison, they were court ordered, and it would have been more convenient to take them for free while incarcerated. But again, I got separate and unequal treatment.
I was prevented from taking the classes, given the runaround, probably to cause me further inconvenience by having to pay for classes and having appointments every week around seeing my parole officer.
Parole officer, Eric Ellison, screamed at me and threatened me upon release. He claimed he had talked to his friend, Desso, about me. Ellison demanded to know if I was complaining about any police officers and told me I would be going back to prison if I contacted the media. I talked to others that had Ellison was in charge of. They said he was friendly and some had Ellison before after other bids in prison.
After my parole was up I went to Manchester Connecticut Adult probation. I was kept waiting for about 3 hours, and noticed others that came, were in and out, except me. Probation officer, Angela K., told me she was sick of getting phone calls regarding me, and if I did not find a way to get transferred out of Connecticut, she would be inclined just to ?violate? me.
So I faced up to another 3 or 4 years in Connecticut prison. I came up with an address in Massachusetts, and was told to leave Connecticut within an hour or face prison. I packed my stuff up and left the State. Massachusetts authorities did not even bother contacting me for a number of weeks, my Massachusetts probation officer could not understand why I got prison time for a first offense, for 2 relatively minor misdemeanor offenses and a RIDICULOUS 3 years probation.
I have been treated with respect and decency by Massachusetts authorities, unlike the nightmare I endured in Connecticut. I had seen countless criminals, frauds, parasites, and drug dealers go unpunished for years in Connecticut. I had invested in the American Dream buying and fixing up investment properties in Connecticut.
That and testing free speech in Connecticut newspapers, being critical of the courts and police, is what landed me in prison not, in my opinion, for using pepper spray ending the beating I was taken in my dark driveway.
I no longer consider Connecticut an American State and this was my prison experience.
Steven G. Erickson
P.S. my story of how I ended up in prison is posted here Oct. 4, 2003.
Updates, January 25, 2004, 1:37 PM EST:
Picture of me, Steven G. Erickson, and my now former wife. This is the before picture, before I invested in real estate in Connecticut, found out police did not usually protect and serve downtown property and business owners, and before I wrote letters to the editor, emails, and letters critical of police and the judiciary, causing me to be railroaded to prison on a ?concocted? excuse for pissing off police officer, the prosecutor who prosecuted me, and the judge who sentenced me. Exercising free speech can lead directly to a prison sentence.
Arthur L. Spada, head of the Connecticut State Police
The most compact list of links to the Steven G. Erickson story: (link)
If you would like to donate to the fight against injustice, an overgrown prison system, and my continuing to write against injustice, please let me know with your pictures and stories, and if possible, donations.
Donations, pictures, and stories accepted at:
Steven G. Erickson
What is prison really like? Part 2
April 22, 2004
"What is Prison Really like?" Part 2 The Aftermath
Part 1, found here.
Would you like to know the telltale signs someone was in prison, and what it is like being out of prison?
The easiest way to tell if someone has been in prison is how they are around food and their willingness to answer ANY question without suspicion on why you asked the question.
Former inmates are more likely than not to have tattoos especially crude ones.
Everything and everyone is taken away from you when you become an inmate, so your value system is forever changed. Life is temporary, relationships are temporary, and owning anything, even a pencil, is temporary.
Information, associations, and potential opportunities are the new sources of wealth and power inside the walls of a prison. A meal might be traded for toilet paper, use of a pen, or a place in line to read an old newspaper. When you get visits in prison, other inmates will want to know their names, address, vehicles etc, to sent their friends on the outside to rip them off, knowing they are visiting you.
You are only allowed about 5 or less minutes to eat an entire meal, so if a former inmate is daydreaming, the whole plate of food and the drink might be consumed faster than you have ever seen before. Place your hand near the plate and your hand is struck or grabbed and you get a look like you are about to be killed, there is a good chance you are eating with a former inmate.
Every nuance of your life is exposed while you are prison, figure others have gone through your most private belongings, your clothes, vehicles, everything. If you drove yourself to court in your own vehicle and were sentenced, your car and the belongings are already long gone.
If you are in long enough, you come out without a valid driver?s license, your cloths have been thrown out or donated, so you walk out the gates with unclean, donated items that may not match and possibly aren?t even your size.
Most likely you are on parole, have a strict curfew at your new address, if you are not in a halfway house as most 2nd stinters have no one left that will associate with them, and 1st timers see who their friends really are, and how fragile family connections really are. Your children, siblings, and parents may not even accept mail from you, never mind talk to you.
Rape in prison?
Well, it is a distinct possibility. But you are more likely to be roughed up by guards or other inmates, fights occur almost all the time. If you are raped in prison, you may have to register as a sex offender, according to what I read on one of the posted sheets at a Connecticut Prison on the subject.
I was able to grow a full beard in relatively short time, and looked like Charles Manson on steroids so even hardened criminals looked at me with at least a little fear. One African American with no family on the outside receiving about $3 or so a week for commissary items, was willing to pay the $2 in trade to the floor barber to shave me and cut my hair.
Youthful or easily intimidated individuals are treated ferociously, and give up food, cloths, their toothbrush, and their only towel in absolute fear. Showing fear or telling on a guard or another inmate could mean the severest of consequences or even death.
Being on the outside it is possible that you have no belongings, bank accounts, credit cards, credit, a phone, recent job history, family contacts, friends, decent cloths, or even any great amount of on hand cash.
An inmate may never save money or accumulate possessions as they may fear losing everything at any given moment and know how temporary everything really is.
Fear of authority, lack of respect for those in authority, and knowing really how petty and wasteful Big Brother is, becomes knowledge that you will have above all others that don?t know what human nature and how ugly its head is ALWAYS there.
Others that know that you are on parole might try to have you violated and sent back for sport, or to extort something out of you. One argument with a jealous lover can send you back for years and years.
Prison should be reserved for those that are not able to be reformed when all other forms of punishment have not worked.
A 2nd DUI offense may land a person in prison and wreck their lives permanently, their families may never recover. Retirement and comfort are gone with the wind.
At home confinement, where families stay intact, jobs, home ownership, and credit stay intact, should be a consideration. Families, children, parents, and friends are punished along with the inmate, and they are completely innocent.
-Steven G. Erickson (Vikingas)
It is hard enough to get a job in the current market, try and get one after being out of circulation forced to be idle with nothing to do for long periods of time and no mental stimulation, with no recent job history, a criminal record, and having to report to a probation or parole officer and special classes at the most inconvenient times, multiple times in a week and actually get a job.
Just having an arrogant, life wrecking, power ego maniac call where you actually get a job, checking up on you and see if you keep that job you struggled so hard to find.
People that knew you before or even asked you advice can now slam a door in your face, insult you calling you ?inmate,? or ?jailbird,? not ask for you expertise or advice, avoid you, or inform others of your demise if they even ever acknowledge your existence ever again.
If you have ever pissed off even one police officer, every step you take in prison and on the outside will be met with difficulty and PAY BACK.
I may have pissed off the head of the Connecticut State Police and every member below him, with what I wrote in newspapers, emails, and proposed as legislation limitting police powers making police responsible to the people, not just to officials interested in taking our last dollar and our rights.
I tried to have multiple officers fired, the prosecutor who prosecuted me twice fired, and tried to have the judge who sentenced me removed that sentenced me for two years actively BEFORE I was railroaded for ?overreacting? while being beaten from behind in my dark driveway after being stalked and threatened, and nearly robbed by an alleged police informant that was allegedly encouraged by police to harass me because I had complained to legislators and in newspapers about police misconduct and had proposed ?Civilian Oversight? of police, the express route to prison and out of a state.
Free Speech has a price in America, prison!
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It probably cost 10?s of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to force me into going to trial, where my charges should have been dropped when police finally did an investigation and I was called the ?victim? in police reports, but my assailant was not even arrested.
I was supposedly guaranteed a first offender program for $100 allowing to keep my clean record, home, family, pets, business, credit, health insurance, retirement, and the sum total of my life?s work, but the prosecutor I twice tried to have fired for not serving landlords refused to grant me the program.
So it is ok for someone to leave threatening messages on a voicemail, threaten to kill an individual during a robbery attempt on the individual?s property, to stalk and harass, but not to ?overreact? as a victim on your own property.
I saw years of drug dealing, vandalism, break-ins, assaults, and other crimes even with the police witnessing the crimes with no arrests or nothing done, as police were more interested in property confiscation, collecting fines, and making high profile busts, not wasting their time on quality of life or social issues, protecting and serving the public.
You as a taxpayer paid $74/day (your federal taxes) to keep me confined above and beyond the trial cost.
I no longer have a business, home, credit, or much of anything. So you now pay my health insurance, replace my retirement I had worked years investing in, and now you suffer the losses to the local economy as I am no longer a consumer of many goods and services and am no longer a taxpayer.
The non-productive, criminals that greatly outnumbered me in my former Stafford Springs, Connecticut neighborhood continue their parasitic lifestyles unimpeded.
Does this make sense?
My daughter suffers as she no longer has any contact with me, does not live with me as she should, and is not getting a car, or tuition paid by me for her college. My family doesn?t see much me and suffers the embarrassment of having a member that has gone to prison.
For pepper spraying someone who was beating me on my own property, my punishment seems overly unreasonable and harsh. My father had invested $50,000 or so in the renovations to the boarded up properties. I had invested 4 years of back breaking work sometimes every waking moment, 7 days a week for too many months, investing all I had ever made in my lifetime, all lost!
So your tax dollars have been used to ruin a productive citizen, hurting the economy. Possibly millions lost, for what?
The police, prosecutors, and judges (in Connecticut) are doing little to those that are the least moral, responsible, productive, and honest. I guess they figure doing their jobs would keep them from having job security and you would ask how your money was being spent (wasted).
I see that unelected officials and law enforcement officers wield the power, obey what laws they feel like, arbitrarily ruin people?s lives, and operate the puppets, elected officials.
Posted by Vikingas at April 22, 2004 11:34 AM | TrackBack
What is prison really like, Part 3
May 02, 2004
What is Prison Really Like? Part 3, preparing for possible incarceration
The number one thing to remember is that the judicial process is cold and impersonal and if you are given an inmate number, it is yours for life. Meaning that if you ever go back in, you get your same number.
There is untold and permanent damage done to you when you are thrown away like a piece of trash, to lose possibly all that you ever had, your credit, ability to get a job, a much harder time finding a mate, lifetime embarrassment, and maybe you?ll be shunned from family, friends, and work associates.
Juries might be shown video tapes of how to find you guilty, but not innocent. I know that there is no recourse for police if they commit perjury, if a prosecutor knowingly prosecutes the victim, but not the perpetrator, and if a judge can retaliate with a prison sentence someone who mocks him in letters and tries to have him removed for bias BEFORE any criminal proceedings, that you only have rights if someone will take your complaint. If it is valid, they may not, as police officers do not like to investigate, nor punish their own. Prosecutors and Judges know the law applies to you, but not them.
So if any type of acceptable plea bargain is available it might be your only real way out. Because a prosecutor looks at wins and losses and probably couldn?t care a whip about you or whether or not you are guilty or innocent. It takes special skill to railroad an obviously innocent individual to prison, a prosecutor may take special pride in such an accomplishment. Judges are often former prosecutors and can just be a rubber stamp for the prosecutor and police.
The cards are stacked against you, and the house may cheat to win.
Revolving bills are bad to have if you think you may end up in prison. Consider selling all that you have, including your house, car, and items. Whatever you did have could be long gone when you get out.
I lost about $10,000 supplies and furniture. Most of what was of value was stolen and my furniture was thrown out in the rain. My vehicle was damaged and my most personal items were gone through. Renting storage is a bad idea as you don?t know if you will get more time in prison or whether you?ll have any income at all when you get out.
You should where 3 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of socks into the last day of court. If you have dress shoes on in court, they will be what you where until they are in very bad condition and then you will have to buy yourself some jail issue sneakers if you can afford them.
Shoe laces maybe taken away. Do not wear anything with a logo or colors that can be considered gang associated. Steel toes and lace hooks are not allowed. What ever you where in, can possibly get thrown out or donated.
If you have a fear of hypodermic needles, get over it. You will wait in line and get a series of shots. Ask what they are, you probably won?t be told, for all you know you could be injected with anything at their whim.
They are not gentle or caring as you don?t rights, as you are an inmate, anything you don?t want to do can be met with intimidation and physical violence of the guards. If you in anyway make any difficulty for the nurse there are at least 2 guards there to make the process even more painful and disturbing. If one of the injections causes a red, swelled reaction, you will be quarantined.
You may have to where donated cloths that don?t fit you that aren?t even washed upon your release and walk to the gate caring a clear trash bag holding everything you own in this world.
Velcro straps on sneakers are your best bet to wear on your last day of court. You may not get a shower for a day or even weeks, but mostly likely will get one upon arrival. If you want clean underwear and socks you will have to wash them yourself in a sink with soap if you can come by some and let them hang somewhere to dry. It will be a time before you are issued a mesh bag to do your laundry with.
It is better to sell something willingly than to lose it or have it taken away. You have to reduce your whole life down to 2 or 3 trash bags of cloths and important papers. Worrying about water damage and mice is a consideration, as that is all you may have to your name when you get out. You don?t want to take up anymore space than part of a closet or attic as you are relying on someone moving your stuff and keeping it for you if they move while you?re away.
Prison authorities like to take your belongings, throw them away, accidentally lose them, etc. A guard told me that my driver?s license must have been thrown away as I was being released, but his expression gave him away and I told I know you have found it. So important documents, keys, identification and other items should not be with you in your last day of court. Don?t drive yourself there as your vehicle will then be history.
Whatever money you have on you will be put on your books. You may only earn $3 or so a week for your necessary items you can order from commissary. If you are busted for any drug offense, usually they only allow you to keep $25 of what you had on you and the rest is confiscated, upon arrival.
Pay attention that the correct amount is placed on the entry form, or it could end up in the Correction Officer?s pocket. Corrections officers cooperate with police and some are police officers as a 2nd job. Piss one CO (Corrections Officer), police officer, judge, or prosecutor off and their wrath will dog your everyday inside and when you get out.
You will need to know up to 10 Complete names, their birth dates, exact address, and telephone numbers if you want them to be able to visit you and be able to send money to you to put on your books to be able to order a television, radio, reading materials, soap, shampoo, food items, etc from the prison commissary.
If you make a mistake it could be considered making a false statement and you might be charged. You are not allowed to bring papers or anything else in with you so you have to remember all exact details. It may take 30 to 90 days to make any changes to your list once you make it the first time, upon your arrival.
Many inmates first end up at a county jail first and are later transferred to another facility based on length of sentence and the type and seriousness of the crime.
When you finally get visits don?t bring anything with you, especially paper or writing instruments or you could be 30 t0 90 days without another visit. Expect to be strip searched and worse, possibly after every visit.
Pretend you do not hear guard taunts, don?t volunteer information, and say only ?yes sir? or? no sir?, and yes use the word, ma?am if it is a female guard. If you make any racist or sexist comment to a woman or minority, especially a guard, the wrath will last and last, or worse hit on a female guard.
Tell friends and family not to send you stamps, reading material, print outs from the internet, cassettes, CD?s, nor anything pornographic as they will be confiscated or sent back and you may end up in some sort of trouble. Drugs used to be smuggled in prisons using pages in a book. You are allowed to buy stamped envelopes, paper, reading materials etc, eventually when your inmate account is set-up and you are settled in.
You are only allowed to have a certain number of photos and other items, having too many beyond policy will get you written up with an inmate ticket or charge. Usually tickets are in 3 degrees. Minor offenses mean loss of privileges and visits. Major ones can land you in solitary and usually to another more strict prison.
Don?t talk about your family, job, possessions, what you are in for or how long your sentence is if possible. Realize that nobody really cares, it is just useful information, inmate currency, on how to get over on you, tell their friends on the outside a house to break into while they are off visiting you. If you have a wife, girlfriend, or significant other, an inmate may tell a friend on the outside who she is and she is now a target.
If an inmate got more time for your same offense, you might get seriously injured or make yourself a target. Child molesters, rapists, and those in for beating up a spouse receive ribbing and worse. Don?t get labeled as a snitch or your days could be numbered.
I was labeled a snitch to guards and inmates just after arrival. So I had to come clean, explaining that I was not a snitch and went to prison for 2 minor charges, with no previous record, for what I had written inflaming police to act against me in Connecticut. My sentence did not make sense and they were suspicious that I was a plant.
It was easily proven as a heroin addict that used to pass out on front lawn in Stafford Springs, CT, verified that I had pissed police off with what I had written in newspapers prior to my arrest, so I avoided the wrath of other inmates.
If an inmate get used to you being around and is jealous that you are leaving, you have end up getting sabotaged and end up getting more time. Fudge and evade when asked when you will be getting out.
Give locations of your vehicles and your property and expect it will be someone else?s hands when and if you ever get out. Yes, it is easier to get in trouble in prison than being on the outside. Charges and more time are so easy to get. Assaults happen often, and being killed in prison is a possibility.
Eye contact is bad and you should know what cues you are giving others by practicing in the mirror before going, as a wrong expression to an inmate with political power or guard can be very bad for you.
There are no glass mirrors, just shiny metal, bolted down, so learning how to shave, ?by feel? is a good idea. You will be strip searched and worse, sometimes daily. Pay attention to walking along the wall in hallways, moving slowly and talking slowly around guards in a compliant tone.
Some are sadists and love the ability to beat on you. When you are roughly placed on the wall for the pat down, you have to spread your feet apart. Failure to do so, will allow the guard to kick you quite hard in both ankles.
Male and female guards can ask you to bend over and spread your cheeks of your ass at anytime as they may want to check what is up in there. There is no privacy as there are few if any doors anywhere for your use. If you are a man, you will be asked to pull your ball sack over, for further humiliation. Plan not to show any emotion and do what they ask slowly and deliberately as the guards love scaring a new inmate into bruising himself or hurting his own privates.
If you see someone on the street or in prison with long thumbnails, but trimmed fingernails, the longer thumb nails are used for gouging out eyes. You get in trouble for any physical encounter, so many think that they will make it count. The victim is also likely to be punished the same as the one who initiated it. If you don?t fight back you are going to be punched and kicked, ridiculed, and worse for your entire stay and what little you have will be taken from you.
Expect to be called, ?Inmate,? ?Jailbird,? and worse for the rest of your life. Expect other inmates to taunt you by saying things about your family, you personally, your kids etc. The less they know the less they have to use. It is best to stay near your bunk as much as possible to you get to know those around you. You risk injury and assault mainly in the common areas and when moving. Pay attention to someone that is ?wigging out? and stay away from them as they don?t care about themselves, the consequences, nor what happens to you.
If you get raped or coerced into a sex act and you are caught, you may have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, as there is a special charge for consensual and non-consensual sex in prison. It is your word against another?s and nobody cares about you, the truth, or justice, as you probably already learned that having been tangled up in the American Justice System to land you in prison.
A drug dealer punched me in the kidney from behind and I double over from the pain. Other inmates helped me up and to my bunk. I had gained status on my block and he later came to me to apologize, and I told him that I expected 2 soups or a candy bar every week and that my laundry was to be washed and folded on my bunk until the end of my stay. Which it was.
As an inmate there are no doors on toilet stalls in most cases, you are expected to flush as something drops, called a ?courtesy flush.? I was told by an inmate loaded with tattoos, about 6?4? to 6?6? doing curls using a mop bucket with 5 gallon buckets on it that I was not allowed in the bathroom during his ?work out? time. I went over to the toilet and purposely didn?t courtesy flush. I?m still alive and my status grew.
There can?t be 2 inmates on the top position on the block. He or I had to go, or we had to go at it. I had paid attention to 2 locks being opened and knew the combinations, and had at least 2 newer socks that would do well if needed. They weren?t, as the muscle bound asshole, violated himself, on a simply ticket issue, and was moved to another prison, so there was no showdown.
If you ever become an inmate, welcome to reality, as you now know, the true essence of human nature, that owning anything, relationships, justice, and all that you have ever learned is bullshit, temporary, arbitrary, and/or in anyway resembling anything fair. But, such is life.
-Steven G. Erickson (Vikingas)
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Posted by Vikingas at May 2, 2004 01:12 PM