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Saturday, March 21, 2015




If your reading this, perhaps you Googled the question out of curiosity. Or maybe, God forbid - you are actually headed to prison. Either way - It's a good question. What is it like in prison? Is it anything like what you see on t.v.? Or how about the movies, we've all seen The Shawshank Redemption right? 


Question :

What separates you from every other jailbird walking a prison yard? One bad choice. That's it, that's all it takes.
So in the event the world comes crashing down around you and you find yourself on the "BlueGoose"  - here is what you can ultimately expect. 
A little presentencing advice for all who inevitably try and avoid prison via begging the judge for "Boot Camp Eligibility". Please consider these few facts carefully beforehand. First off - if you aren't looking at a sentence of more than 2 years, it probably isn't worth it. By the time you get out of County jail, obtain your D.O.C. classification and inmate number, and finally get a bed open and catch a bus to boot-camp, your 2 years should be just about up. Then if you go to boot-camp, and they manage to break you or you quit, you go back to prison and are denied parole upon your minimum.   
Now that that is out of the way, let's get back on track.
The kind of prison you end up in depends on several variables, The biggest of all factors will be your committing offense. If  the crime your'e convicted of is violent in nature, you will end up in a more violent prison. Your behavior and demeanor from county jail are a key component of the classification process. Even if you have a non-violent committing offense, and have been non-violent your whole life, if you go to County Jail and knuckle constantly and act like an ass, you will end up in a shitty, uncomfortable prison. When my bus pulled up to Prison, a lieutenant came on the bus before any of us were even allowed to stand up and asked which one of us pussies was it that liked to punch cops. The driver looked over his chart, said some kids last name and pointed, and the L.T. grabbed him by his neck and they kicked his ass the whole way off the bus and into the intake bay. Never saw the kid again. He had punched a C.O. in his County Jail & the State guards were waiting for him when he got there. If before commitment you are fortunate enough to read this, and inevitably will end up in County Jail awaiting Sentencing or Transfer, please heed this advice -
Use this time for the blessing it is and get your shit together. Strengthen your mind and body in anticipation for what's to come. Realize this - your going to prison, You can do your time, and it can make you a better man and person, or your time can do you - and you can come out worse than how you went in. The choice is truly yours.
The day you transfer from County to State will probably be the longest day of your life. From start to finish, anywhere from 12 - 16 hrs long. This will likely be the most thorough and complete physical and psychiatric examination of your life. It's hurry up and wait, all day everyday, for about 2-4 weeks. Sadly - for many of us this may be an excellent opportunity to have some long ignored or neglected medical issues addressed. A lot of the things experienced will be and are very similar to military protocol or procedure. 

"Prisoner Etiquette" - "Unwritten Rules"
 "Politics"   &  "Prison Justice" 

 Etiquette & Rules : The Department of Corrections has its own set of rules, and the prisoners have theirs. If you have common sense you'll excel at this part. First and foremost, mind your business. Don't be all "Joe Familiar" and jump into every conversation you hear. Don't recklessly eyeball people. Pay extra attention in the presence of lifers. They don't want to hear about your minimum or how you can't wait to do this or that when you touch down. Try not to lend, borrow or trade, If you must, and at times you just might, don't ever borrow against a promise of money from home that hasn't arrived yet. I don't care if you just talked to your momma or wife on the phone the night before and they promised they were sending it. Shit happens. Letters get lost. It's your ass if it does, Do you really need a bag of coffee that bad? When it comes to the yard and digging in, just watch who you talk to. Real recognizes real. Your own type of people that you would befriend and kick it with on the streets are there in that yard, They will be come to you or you'll just find each other. You can't just wonder aimlessly like a lost puppy talking to every fool that makes eye contact with you. Well, you can if you want to, just recognize - you might end up walking and talking with some sick fuck that touches on little kids. Even they can seem normal for a few minutes. In prison, it is important to pay attention to what your doing. Especially when you find yourself in a crowd of people. Like in the chow-hall. You shouldn't reach over peoples trays & food, and try to talk down and away. It is loud, it's almost always loud - so you can find yourself yelling to talk - and you wouldn't want anyone to feel like you spit on their food. A lot of these guys are s-e-n-s-i-t-i-v-e so what seems like small potatoes to you can be the thing that makes dude blow his top. Things can accelerate really quickly so there is a need to pay attention to what is happening around you. Common sense will avoid 90% of the drama you can face within the barbed wire. Cellmates can be one of the trickiest parts. No one is ever gonna like every single celly they get. The best of friends can become enemies when forced to live together, especially in such small quarters. The only way to avoid cell-mates is to alert staff that you will kill any and every cell-mate your given, to no end. Most of the time this will work, but be advised you will almost never be granted parole acting like that. The only other way out of it would be a genuine physical handicap. That being said, it's not impossible to live with the few crappy cell-mates you may experience along the way. Just be clean and respectful, Make it a point to give your celly the opportunity for alone time. Everyone needs a minute alone. Be it to have a "movement" or do some personal grooming, prayer, masturbation, whatever the case may be. If you have a celly that's unbearable, don't count on guards or Administration to help. I once had a celly with multiple personalities, Very bizarre and creepy behavior. Undercover crazy. To top it off he claimed to be unable to wear any type of antiperspirant or deodorant, not even baby powder - and he refused to shower. He would go to every single yard and power walk non-stop, in the same pair of jeans, all while free balling. The smell was unbearable. You could almost taste it. The whole cell smelled of one giant armpit! I ended up stepping to who I felt was an approachable guard and explained myself. Her reply - " All you can do is wait until count & once it's clear put a fucking knot on his head". 

Politics: When it comes to Prison Politics it's pretty simple. Lifers are your Govenors or Presidents when it comes to the politics within. Everybody knows them. Most have been there longer than the guards, so they know everything and everyone. An alarming amount of them are really good guys that made a terrible choice. If you need something done, or need to know how something works, ask a lifer. The only other thing to consider with politics is gang and race related. If it comes up, know who your fighting with as soon as possible. If their gang affiliated, and even if they aren't - recognize you can't get a fair one. You fight one gang-banger, you fight them all. Within General Population, the prison staff and guards will take care of their own. If your on a block with Spanish guards, they're likely going to pick all Spanish guys for the Block Worker and Tier Runner jobs on the Block. Not always but often. Don't take offense, it's not personal.

Prison Justice: We've all heard of it, and heard the is it true? Absolutely. On more than one occasion  I have personally been informed of an incoming pedophile that was soon to arrive. When a guard goes out of their way to inform you of something like this, why do you think they'd do that? It's most certainly not for the pedophiles well being. To the contrary, it's a blank check of sorts. Just don't break anything or kill them because while guards love to see Chesters punished, they hate doing paperwork. I was in a prison and a local man came in who was molesting children at a local bowling alley. Some of the victims relatives worked there, and they payed a Gang of guys to run up in his cell with big D batteries inside of socks and beat him senseless. He came off the block on a stretcher, looking like the Elephant Man and died two days later.

Prison Myths

Before I close I would like to address a few myths about Prison life in general. I have personally lived in 5 different Maximum Security State Prisons. I was never raped, and knew of only one rape during my incarceration. In every prison there is a large population of homosexual men, more than enough to keep them entertained, Besides, just because someone is gay doesn't mean they're a "booty bandit" rapist. That is as unfair to assume as it is untrue. Gay guys are chill, and typically hilarious, shy, good spirited people. Booty Bandits however are sexual predators. You will know and be informed by your peers as to who and where they are. They lay in wait and attack unexpectedly. You could be using the bathroom in the yard, or just walking down the tier on the way back to your cell from a shower.  A good punch to the chin will drop most guys, then they just drag you in the cell real quick and next thing you know you wake up with your asshole bleeding. All this in the span of like 3 minutes. This is why it's important to be aware.
There is no soap on a rope
There are no communal showers
The showers have lockable doors and are in plain sight of officers
There are drugs
There are cell phones
There is whine a.k.a. Hooch
Everything you need for a tattoo can be bought from commissary

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