WARNING: These stories are not for the faint of heart
TV and movies make life behind bars look unbearable — and it turns out it’s for a good reason. While not everything we see on screen is indicative of every inmate’s experience on the inside, it’s not too far from the truth… At least not according to these former inmates. As usual, Reddit asked and people delivered — this time former inmates have shared their most haunting memories from their time behind bars.
In the past, we’ve explored how to survive a night in jail, but these real prison stories show the more sobering reality that sets in the moment that door is closed shut behind a new prisoner. Do you think you could handle it? Let their stories help you decide.
Here they are.
The first week of my 12 year set was the worst. I was a skinny 20 year old with no criminal history, and it takes a while to learn that most people are mostly talk. I accidentally sat at the black table at chow, made a point of staying there and eating with them when they showed up to avoid offending them, was labeled a race traitor by the whites and was told someone would be coming to slit my throat.
Nobody came, as most people don’t want to be inconvenienced with a long stint in the hole for killing someone for something so small, but I slept with a pen cap hooked to my watch band holding a sharp pencil against my wrist in case I had to stab someone in defense. Living for days with the crippling fear of imminent death f**ked with my nerves. My hands shake a little now. (Prison_Throw_Away)
Day 1. Everything is just scary as can be. You don’t really know where you will be safe, if anywhere. Every time you are passing someone, are they going to shank you? Are they going to cold c*ck you in your face?
Chow time was total panic mode. Hundreds of violent thugs in a close group outnumbering the guards, 25 to 1. If something went down, you would be dead before order was restored. When incidents happen, you have to hide, but not cower. You have to keep your back to the wall so you can fend off any incoming attacks. So the first chow time a fight broke out was the scariest time I was there.
As days went on, you become more aware of when to be alarmed but there are plenty of sneak attacks that come when all is calm.
Just don’t go. (Footpeter)
The Wedding Dress
The first time I went to visit a prison as law student, one of the prisioners knew a law class was coming, s**t on his hand and smeared everywhere outside of the cells. This was also my first encounter with prison torture.
The guards showed us the wedding dress the inmates used for dressing and [abusing] and other criminals, according to the prison “ethics”. I have dealt with other instances of horrible torture, but this one stuck with me because it was just laying there with blood like when you see pictures of medieval instruments of torture.
Brazil. It was encouraged. Dude, Brazil has answered for human rights violation in prisons before the Interamerican Court and Commission. I had once to get a Court order to protect and transfer my client so he wouldn’t be killed in prison, since the director said he couldn’t do anything. (ricklionheart)