Note to self - don't go to prison.
"The first day I was assigned to a new unit after being sentenced (DUI, 90 days) I got put in a 5 man cell. It wasn't my first time locked up and had been in the jail a few weeks so I wasn't too nervous. The guys were cool to me all evening, all 4 had done time before in much worse prisons. They were all playing cards and I didn't know the game so I sat on my bunk reading. They started off saying weird cryptic gay stuff, random stuff regarding vaseline and who was cute on the block, etc. It ramps up over the course of an hour, then they start playing strip poker. Meanwhile I've been hearing every word they say and studiously ignoring it. They got bored of being subtle and began saying awful stuff about f_cking each other in the ass. I ignore everything, while secretly getting scared sh_tless they're going to do something to me. Eventually all 4 got up (shirtless) and they trapped me on my top bunk and started grabbing at me. I yelled "What the F*CK!?" and they collapsed in laughter and spent the next 48 hours telling everyone who'd listen." (Source)
"I was a county inmate being held in a federal hold pod in a northern Utah county jail. It was my first and only charge (misdemeanor theft) and I ended up doing 14 months for it..two months while awaiting court process and twelve months when probation was revoked for leaving the state. Anyhow, the place was a mess. You had a sprinkling of short time county inmates and a whole bunch of people awaiting huge federal sentences. My cell mate, for example, was indicted for his involvement in 99 gang related murders. There was a large population of white supremacists, some of whom I would play cards with when I first got there. I had no idea of prison lingo, nothing. Smash cut to a week in and we are playing spades in the common area with everyone else. The scariest man I have ever seen in my life smacks down the queen of spades on me to win. I laugh and say 'You fucking punk! Good game.' You could hear a pin drop in that place. He looks at me and calmly says 'If my own mother called me a punk, I would slit her throat and watch her die.' I had no idea what to do and simply stuttered my way through telling him I had never been to jail and did not understand the gravity of what I said. I then apologized. He sat for what seemed like hours and the room stayed silent. He then said 'apology accepted' and we started another game. My cell mate later asked me if I knew how close I got to being killed that night." (Source)
"My family came to visit me on Christmas day the first year I was in. I was so ashamed that I had a little breakdown the next day and punched the cinderblock wall inside my cell. One of the guards invited me to come talk to him. I made the mistake of thinking he was a friend and was talking about the meaning of life and why things happened. He decided he thought I was suicidal, which I wasn't. The next day I was shipped off to a maximum security prison in the upper peninsula of Michigan, stripped down naked and given a kevlar smock to wear. They keep the temperature down at 60 degrees which means that you have to stay huddled in a corner to conserve body heat. Because this was observation I wasn't allowed to have anything. Nothing to read, watch, etc. Naked and cold for an entire week. If you'd like to see what this is like, turn your thermostat down, then take all your clothes off, and sleep on the floor of your bathroom with the light on for 6 days straight. No showering either. Wasn't offered a chance to clean myself. That's how I spent New Years 2007. Observation is not some kind of psychological treatment. It's punishment and mental torture. Sleeping and singing to yourself is all you can do. Too cold to do anything else. F*cking brutal. Now I try to go out of the country for new years eve every year." (Source)
"While waiting in jail to go to the PDC there were 5 guys from my block that liked making people fight. They made up stories and stole things then would act like your buddy and say they found your stuff in this guy's bunk. I was warned about this. They finally targeted me and this guy twice my size. Luckily he was warned too. They stole my deodorant which is a prize where I was and put it in his bunk. They told me where it was and I acted mad. Then we all went to his cell. The big guy looked at me and I said 'you stole from me, no one steals from me,' then I winked at him and begin lightly slapping him. He laughed and slapped lightly back. We both were yelling. Everyone laughed and I got my deodorant back. The 5 dudes saw we knew what they were up to and moved on to other new inmates. Even though everything worked out I was secretly sh*tting and wetting myself to oblivion in my mind." (Source)
"I'll start with the story and end with advice. I was in about a month at this point, knew everyone on my pod. We all get along great. We don't get many new people because of the severity of crimes to come to this pod. The jail normally keep pedophiles in PC because they can't survive in general population. Every once in awhile they will try to sneak one in because of over crowding or whatever. They rarely make the 30 yard walk to their cell because information is quickly passed around and newspapers and the local news are available. Anyway, one day a guy everyone saw on the news for raping a little kid comes in the door. Someone instantly yells 'gazelle!' (Code for Pedo, because they are in the lions den). Everyone runs out of their cells and starts staring, yelling, throwing sh_t. Telling this dude to get the f_ck out and go to PC. Well he just ignores everyone and walks to his cell. After a few minutes, a few guys run in there, drag him out to the common area and give him a vicious beating. I remember watching and thinking 'no human being could survive this.' You could hear bones snapping and the dude's muffled screams for help through the blood. He died on the way to the hospital. It was horrible. Anyway my advice for you going in. Keep out of other peoples business. Treat everyone with respect, even if they don't deserve it. Don't gamble. Just keep your head down and do them months man." (Source)
"I can answer as an ex-corrections officer. I was 4 1/2 years in Cofield Unit in Texas. I think the worst thing I ever saw was a guy who was masturbating with a light bulb. One of those little screw in 60 watt light bulbs. Anyway the guy stuck it up his ass, glass end first and couldn't get it out. He asked the guards to take him to medical and I was on the escort team (he was in segregation). We get to medical and sit for a while, and next thing I know the guy is screaming and blood and sh*t is running everywhere and he just passes out. We ended up having to life flight him out to the closest hospital where they opened him up and rinsed his ass out. I was in the room the whole time. I'm still traumatized." (Source)
I suppose seeing people getting taken advantage of all of the time, and then not caring was the worst... New guys coming in and getting ripped off on trades and stuff. People with social/developmental issues just getting their food taken from them. Also, the psychology of people without goals gets weird. What was worst was just becoming part of that world. There are so many people there that have their rights taken away from them on a regular basis and don't care anymore. They choose to place value on being able to make others fear them. They stop thinking about the world beyond the walls and just get all wrapped up in the weird culture of the place. There was a day I was feeling proud of myself because I was running around organizing contraband trades, setting up poker games, and owning things like hardcover books and the only dice in the place... in that moment of pride I realized I had started to lose my mind...It's honestly hard to remember the months in there because most of the time NOTHING'S F*CKING HAPPENING. Nothing. You've read until you can't stand it. You've slept all you can. You can't play cards cuz your celly is sleeping...So you stare at the ceiling and wait. It's so weird to realize you're doing the equivalent of 'time-out' for months. You're not waiting for 5 minutes. Not waiting 5 hours. You're waiting for a day that is months away. Just waiting." (Source)
"This is more funny than crazy, but I was arrested Halloween weekend last year. One guy passed out in the cell and another guy tea-bagged him and said 'Welcome to prison, mother f*cker!' (Source)
"I ended up staying for two nights in a jail (weed-related) and met some crazy southern motherf_cker. He ended up telling me all about his life as a sailor and the crazy adventures he had. We eventually got to talking about what we were in for. He was a white dude with a black wife and apparently there was a crotchety old black neighbor in their trailer park who disapproved of the interracial thing and would constantly harass them. Not big things, but stuff that pissed him off. After two years he (understandably) had had enough of this guy's sh_t. This is where the story gets fuzzy. He tells me what he told the police is that he heard the guy f*cking around near his car in the driveway, got a bb gun, and fired a bunch of rounds into the air to scare the guy off. The neighbor called the police who arrested him for excessive force or something. Then, he smirked and told me the real story. What actually happened was he fired AT the guy with a REAL AR-15 assault rifle. When he realized the amount of trouble he just got himself into, he took the flashlight of his rifle and attached it to his bb gun, then hid the rifle under the floor of his mobile home and let the cops arrest him." (Source)
"In September I went to jail for a day because I didn't have enough money to pay at my arraignment. I was put in a holding cell with 5-6 other dudes who were waiting to either see the judge, or get transferred to Wayne County's jail. While I was hanging out in there, I spoke to a black guy who looked very similar to Michael Clarke Duncan from The Green Mile. He told me he was in jail due to contempt of court. When I asked him to elaborate, he told me how he took a bus to his sentencing as he didn't have a car. In Dearborn's courthouse, you're not allowed to bring any cell phones with you, as they must be kept in a car or what have you. He didn't want to leave his outside, so he actually put it in his ass. Yeah. He put his f*cking phone up his ass. So he's in court, waiting for the other people to get sentenced, or whatever, when his phone starts to go off. Loudly. Pissed, the judge stops the session and yells 'who's phone is going off?' Black dude raises his hand and the judge tells him to stand up. 'Get your phone and turn it off immediately!' he screams. Slowly, the guy reaches into the back of his pants...He got sentenced 10 days in jail for that." (Source)
"Did 13 months in various sh_tholes across Louisiana. It's not all butt rape and shanks and learning to sell insurance like on Oz. There is some crazy sh_t though. Worst thing I saw had to have been when I was in this hell hole that just had these huge dorms. No cells, no dayroom, just a big ass room with a bunch of racks. These two dudes got into it over what they call a 'little boy.' Not just a gathering inmate, but one that either wants to or thinks he has to to be a punk. Anyway, these two dudes are going at it over who's punk he is. One thing leads to another, shoes get put on, rec gets called, ass gets kicked. Guy on the receiving end doesn't take to kindly to it. Takes a 2 quart plastic container and fills it with grits, milk, oatmeal, powdered milk, glue... Whatever he can find, and starts microwave this shit. He cooks it and cooks it and cooks it. Guy isn't even acting weird, just cooking a meal. Finally he gets done and walks back to his rack. As he's passing the other dudes cut, which is the row in between two beds, he chucks this sh*t right in the guys face. Sticks to him like napalm. Melts the dudes face off. One goes to the hole, one goes to medical." (Source)
"I did 3 1/2 years in Texas prisons. I believe that the worst story I can recall was my first full day in a 'State Jail' facility (used as a transition center for up to 2 years before one is sent to a real "prison" in Texas). A guy came up to me asking if I smoke cigarettes. I didn't but thought, why not? So he told me to head to the gym when that time came later that afternoon. We went to the gym and fired up a cigarette while we walked around the basketball court. As we were walking around the court, we approached the 'universal gym' machine where a variety of people were using the various pieces to work out. The guy who offered me the cigarette advised me to follow him to the other side of the basketball court and to stay away from the universal gym. A few minutes later a guy sat down and leaned back to do some bench press when four guys grabbed him (one on each arm and one on each leg). Two other guys pull out cans of chili (or refried beans as both were available) in socks and proceed to hammer the guy in the face. The guy at the bench press had his face completely caved in. All I could think was 'what have i gotten myself into...'" (Source).
"Did 7 in Pennsylvania state prison. Saw a guy who was accidentally cleared by psych to be in general population go out to yard and try to cut his own head off with the razor wire. It was morning yard, not a lot of people out, and he sprinted toward the fence as soon as he got out there. We all thought, oh sh_t, we've never seen someone try to get over these forests of razor wire, but then this f_cker turns around with his back right up against the fence, cops coming from three directions yelling into their radios, and he loops a circle of razor wire around his neck and starts sawing. A f_cking waterfall of blood. Cops froze, everyone froze. That sh_t was really unexpected. They told us he lived, but f*ck me if I know how." (Source)
"12 months on the inside. Very first day in Prison, VERY FIRST DAY, I was in line for supper and this big guy comes up behind me, squeezes my ass and whispers in my ear "are your panties wet." Scared sh*tless I turned around, and the guy jumped back and said in a friendly tone 'Oh my mistake mate thought you were someone else' and left the line." (Source)
"A prisoner called into a local radio show. He said they once let a group of them watch a movie. The movie was some horror movie. He said when the killer snuck up behind some girl and slit her throat, the guy next to him said 'that's not what it looks like.' (Source)