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#1 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:27 AM

No holds barred. Anything goes, will answer any questions, either life during or after.Background: Got locked up for beating someone up pretty badly. They deserved it.Time spent in: Less than 2 yearsSecurity Level: MediumFAQ's:Rape: Enormous myth, exaggerated by a factor of 100. Yes, it can happen, but there are enough practicing homosexuals inside that it isn't required. It is more common at the higher security levels, less common at the lower security levels but it isn't nearly as common as people think at any level. While I was in there, it happened once and that was the result of a quarrel between a couple of fairies who were "partners" anyway. Would You Do It Again: I've vacillated a lot on this in recent years. There is a part of me that says yes, absolutely, there is a part of me that is starting to realize it probably wasn't worth it. If the exact same situation presented itself to me right now, knowing what I do now, I probably wouldn't, but now that I have the permanent Scarlett letter on my record, I'm far more freerolled with that kinda stuff than I was before. Like, now, I won't hesitate for a second to "throw the first punch" whereas before, I didn't want anything "on my record" so I didn't.Generally, what was it like in there?It isn't a fun place- it isn't a place you would ever want to go back to, but it isn't as grotesque and horrible as TV makes it out to be. Mainly, it's just boring and mind numbing. I could do a year or two standing on my head, but if for some freakish reason I were facing some really heavy time (20+ years) in a max, I honestly don't think I'd let myself be taken alive. Do they really kill child molesters in there? No, but by in large, they are more prone to have a rough go. I think part of it is prison culture that targets child molesters, but mainly because predatory types who prey on children are often your wiry, bespectacled pansy types who would get picked on anyway. Lets put it this way. If a dude who stands 6'4, 250# of muscle, a mean demeanor and is sleeved out with time tats gets sent up for molesting a child, he isn't going to be "targeted" for it. If Chester the wimpy College Humanities Professor gets busted playing doctor with the neighbor girl, yes, he might have a hard time. I've heard from other guys that the culture amongst the inmates in some institutions does have a pretty strict line with this, mine really didn't. What Impact has this had on your life? Pretty big. Of course, lots of jobs are impossible. The expected civil procedural stuff- can't own guns, etc. For others, it can be totally crushing to life. No jobs whatsoever, no access to rental housing, etc. There's a reason the recidivism rate is what it is. I'm pretty lucky in that I'm a relatively sharp guy with a firm sense of upward mobility, but for others, one single conviction is pretty much game over: life. The positive side is that it's forced me to be very entrepreneurial and as a result, I do OK- arguably better than I would have prior to this happening. It also motivated me to finally finish up school, etc... Eventually, I'll be Dr. Felon, which will be kinda nice. What are prisoners like: A general cross segment of society with the lower levels hugely overrepresented. I can say without hesitation that some of the most ingenious, creative people I've ever met were in there. A lot of people assume that prisoners are "stupid". Certain demographic considerations aside, by in large, this is untrue. You can argue that they were dumb for getting caught, but a lot of them are people wh0, had they been born into different circumstances and/or made a few different key life choices, would've most likely been hugely successful. If we were drafting competing poker teams, I would let you draft yours from Ivy League MBA's, I'd draft mine from prisoners and mine would be better. Also, I am positive that certain types of "criminals" would make for exceedingly good combat troops in the armed services- it takes a certain personality type to do that well, which is a type extremely common inside. With that said, there is A LOT of human garbage in there. You also have to consider that when our society decided to close the State Hospitals and mental wards in the 70's and 80's, we basically shifted the onus onto prisons to deal with the mentally ill and yes, most nutcases lacking in sympathetic familial resources do wind up there. What was the worst aspect of life inside: Just like they say on those "Prison: Exposed" type shows on CNBC, the fucking noise. If you think blacks are bad in movie theaters, imagine them all locked up in a goddamned cage. Of course, your inability to do basic stuff- get up at 2:00 AM and walk to the fridge, etc. The lack of privacy was annoying, but that's a personal thing. Yeah, you have to shower in front of other people, yeah, you have to take a dump behind a small partition wall with your head sticking out. Your cellie can make a big difference- if you get a bad cellie, it can suck much worse. I had two, both were OK. What was the most positive aspect of life inside: Not much, but there were a few silver linings. I got more reading done during that time than most people will ever do in 5 lifetimes. Of course, you don't have to worry about anything as far as life's basics. In a way, downtime can be some of the least taxing of your life. I met a couple of people with whom I still keep regular contact- one was a commodities trader who got sent up for selling coke, another was a regular guy who got busted cooking meth- both are people who would pass the "duffel bag full of uncounted money" test. What are the Guards Like? For the most part, total retards. Prison Guard is a profession that scrapes the absolute bottom of societies barrel. You're more likely to find a generally higher caliber man amongst the inmates than you are amongst the guards. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, they're people who wouldn't be qualified to be assistant manager at a fast food place. What do People Do Inside To Keep Occupied: TV, books, we had musical instruments, so that. Gambling was a big one. They actually removed Famous Amos cookies and mentos from the canteen since people were using them as chips. If you have any questions, fire away.
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#2 Dirtydutch

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:39 AM

Was the person you beat up male or female?

#3 Giggidy

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:47 AM

Interesting threadWas there much fighting/stabbing/gangs inside?Were drugs available?Did they teach you any trades, or make an effort to educate at all?
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#4 SlapStick

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:49 AM

Background on beating up the person obviously.Can you vote? I've no idea about the rights you lose etc. I asked this in the politics forum but you probably took it for the insult it was.
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#5 SlapStick

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:56 AM

View PostAmScray, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 9:27 AM, said:

No holds barred. Anything goes, will answer any questions, either life during or after.FAQ's:Rape: Enormous myth, exaggerated by a factor of 100. Yes, it can happen, but there are enough practicing homosexuals inside that it isn't required. It is more common at the higher security levels, less common at the lower security levels but it isn't nearly as common as people think at any level. While I was in there, it happened once and that was the result of a quarrel between a couple of fairies who were "partners" anyway. Elaborate please.. What Impact has this had on your life? Pretty big. Of course, lots of jobs are impossible. The expected civil procedural stuff- can't own guns, etc. For others, it can be totally crushing to life. No jobs whatsoever, no access to rental housing, etc. There's a reason the recidivism rate is what it is. I'm pretty lucky in that I'm a relatively sharp guy with a firm sense of upward mobility, but for others, one single conviction is pretty much game over: life. The positive side is that it's forced me to be very entrepreneurial and as a result, I do OK- arguably better than I would have prior to this happening. It also motivated me to finally finish up school, etc... Eventually, I'll be Dr. Felon, which will be kinda nice. Have you interviewed for much jobs and been shot down because of this? Experiences dealing with people who just found out and think its an issue?What are prisoners like: A general cross segment of society with the lower levels hugely overrepresented. I can say without hesitation that some of the most ingenious, creative people I've ever met were in there. A lot of people assume that prisoners are "stupid". Certain demographic considerations aside, by in large, this is untrue. You can argue that they were dumb for getting caught, but a lot of them are people wh0, had they been born into different circumstances and/or made a few different key life choices, would've most likely been hugely successful. If we were drafting competing poker teams, I would let you draft yours from Ivy League MBA's, I'd draft mine from prisoners and mine would be better. I'll take Andy BlochWhat was the most positive aspect of life inside: Not much, but there were a few silver linings. I got more reading done during that time than most people will ever do in 5 lifetimes. Of course, you don't have to worry about anything as far as life's basics. In a way, downtime can be some of the least taxing of your life. I met a couple of people with whom I still keep regular contact- one was a commodities trader who got sent up for selling coke, another was a regular guy who got busted cooking meth- both are people who would pass the "duffel bag full of uncounted money" test. I don't know this phrase, you mean they're trustworthy?What are the Guards Like? For the most part, total retards. Prison Guard is a profession that scrapes the absolute bottom of societies barrel. You're more likely to find a generally higher caliber man amongst the inmates than you are amongst the guards. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, they're people who wouldn't be qualified to be assistant manager at a fast food place. Did they talk to you much,shout at you, herd you etc etcWhat do People Do Inside To Keep Occupied: TV, books, we had musical instruments, so that. Gambling was a big one. They actually removed Famous Amos cookies and mentos from the canteen since people were using them as chips. If you have any questions, fire away.
Sounds like you could have had it a lot worse, not that you had it easy or anything, but cell mates not wanting to sleep with you etc etc, not much getting beaten up
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#6 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:57 AM

View PostGiggidy, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 1:47 AM, said:

Interesting threadWas there much fighting/stabbing/gangs inside?Were drugs available?Did they teach you any trades, or make an effort to educate at all?
Fights happened- they were more common than they are "in the real world", but if you kept your nose out of the wrong stuff, they could be avoided. With that said, it's pretty certain that everyone will get their metal tested at least once.Drugs were available, but not common. Some institutions, that's a real problem. It wasn't in mine. Zero effort at rehabilitation. We gave up on that in the 1960's when a grand philosophical shift occurred regarding justice philosophy, etc and we went to the warehousing model.
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#7 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:02 AM

View PostSlapStick, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 1:56 AM, said:

Yes, I can vote. Not many states have lifetime disenfranchisement. A couple even allow inmates to vote while they're incarcerated. Sometimes I joke about not being able to, since so many people assume that anyone ever convicted of a crime can't vote, but in short, yes, I can vote in my home state. The "quarrel" was between two homos who got in a fight (presumably over sex) and one assrammed the other in the process. To be honest, we all got a good laugh out of it. Yes, it has had a near total adverse impact on my employability. I pretty much gave up on being hired by anyone, but thankfully, because of poker (which lately has been sucking ass) and a few other sidelines, I actually do quite well- better than a lot of people with no criminal records who wear ties, work 9-5's and live the "American dream". With that said, I am a huge outlier on the ex-offender spectrum. A lot of those guys have it very, very bad in the real world- unfairly so. No, possessing some drug or stealing a car at 19 shouldn't mean that you can't ever get a decent job again in your life, but that's exactly the situation society is in, as they wring their hands and wonder why the recidivism rate is so high... Yes, the "bag full of uncounted money" test means that they're the sort of person you would let supervise a bag of uncounted money and not have to worry about them stealing it, even when they know they could get away with it.As far as guards, yes of course they shout. They're like the redheaded downs syndrome version of police officers, only with less vetting and more authority.
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#8 ajs510

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:13 AM

Solid post, imo. What was your favorite prison recipe, and have you ever had occasion to make it again on the outside?I had a friend get out of state prison and make all his buddies jailhouse stew one of his first nights home, it was pretty awful but I ate it to be nice (then I took him to the titty bar). Combine Cheetos with Ramen Noodles, Saltines, a bunch of ketchup and mustard packets and water and you get the basic idea.

#9 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:22 AM

View Postajs510, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 2:13 AM, said:

Solid post, imo. What was your favorite prison recipe, and have you ever had occasion to make it again on the outside?I had a friend get out of state prison and make all his buddies jailhouse stew one of his first nights home, it was pretty awful but I ate it to be nice (then I took him to the titty bar). Combine Cheetos with Ramen Noodles, Saltines, a bunch of ketchup and mustard packets and water and you get the basic idea.
I never really got that integrated into it. That's far more common in max institutions stuffed with lifers (or amongst the "locals" which is slang for people who are doing life on the installment plan). With that said, still, to this day, the smell of mackerel makes me want to puke. Blacks used to mix it with Cup O Noodles and make a fish soup concoction that was beyond disgusting. I usually just ate beef jerky and candy from the canteen. I was lucky in that I had family who stoked my account; if you didn't, you had what they called "indigent canteen" where you got a stamp, a gold pencil, a piece of paper/envelope and a candy of some kind (usually something pretty sorry like a single Jolly Rancher or the like). After indigent canteen, there were always rangy blacks wandering around trying to trade their stamp for something more useful. I often traded for them mainly because a) we used them to gamble with and b) stamps had a distinct arbitrage disadvantage against other canteen items (due to their being distributed during indigent canteen and summary introduction into the secondary market) and I liked to write a lot of letters, so it was cheaper for me to trade for them than to buy them. The only infraction I had while inside was when they tossed the cels and found 20+ stamps in my locker, which was against regulation (for the aforementioned gambling reasons)
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#10 runthemover

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:27 AM

How structured is your day? well I'm guessing total. OK what I'm asking is, what's the typical day schedule you had?

#11 bdc30

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:29 AM

Nice thread op, I look forward to reading it.You Guys Might Also Find This Thread Interesting

#12 ajs510

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:30 AM

I can see just wanting to spend your couple years and go home. My friend is one of those people that will make wherever he is "home", so he fully bought into the society aspects of prison like combining everyone's food into one pot, making alcohol out of fermented orange juice (I dunno, that's what he said), playing in the prison band, he's just a social guy. Me, I'd just keep my head down and hope no one picked a fight that would keep me there for another 6 months.

#13 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:52 AM

View Postrunthemover, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 2:27 AM, said:

How structured is your day? well I'm guessing total. OK what I'm asking is, what's the typical day schedule you had?
Wake up at 6:30 am.Count. Off to AM chow.AM chow endsCount.Work.At first, I worked in the agricultural center (the "agricultural center" was basically a greenhouse and a 3 acre field where they grew fruits and veggies). After a while, I was moved to what they called "I&T" which stood for "Industrial and Technology" for my last 6 months. Honestly, aside from library, I&T was one of the cushest gigs in there. At I&T, your job was to basically sweep up the shop, fix stuff that broke in the institution (mowers, vacuums, computers, etc), maintain the boiler, change the oil on the corrections vehicles, etc. The guards would have us change the oil on their cars (using institution oil) or work on them when they broke and let us order McDonalds lunches. We had full access to tools and the like and did very little actual "work". The reason I got the I&T gig was that I used to be a huge gun enthusiast and had a 4 hour long conversation with a guard about how to build a 1911 pistol using an 80% complete frame casting (which requires no paperwork), a sliding vise and end mills chucked into a drill press. e concluded the conversation with "Ya know, I'd bet you would be great in I&T" and a month later, I was there. Lunch. Count.Back to work.After work, count.PM chow.Count. Yard for 2 hours. Count.Rec for 5 hoursCount10:00 PM CellLights out at 10:30
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#14 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:59 AM

View Postbdc30, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 2:29 AM, said:

Nice thread op, I look forward to reading it.You Guys Might Also Find This Thread Interesting
That poor guy did his time in an IL prison, and a max at that (for a friggin first time offender drug charge? God, brutal... Classic example of how disgracefully fucked up the "justice" system can be at times) I agree with almost everything he said.It's kinda creepy; he and I seem to share a lot of general life similarities (both did time, play poker for income, connection to IL, pursuing higher education, etc) except that his experience was almost certainly a good bit different than mine, him doing his time in a max. I definitely agree that doing a bit inside will impact your total outlook on life and criminal justice. In some ways, it will make you far less tolerant, in other ways, it opens your eyes to the reality of situations that aren't always treated fairly. I'm a Chicago resident, but it isn't my home state; by all accounts, IL and CA have two of the worst prison systems in the country, excluding a couple mulligans in the South. Mine sucked as bad as a prison should be expected to suck, but it could've been a LOT worse. Max's are a different world- mediums are filled with people who, for the most part, will eventually get out and lows are full of people who just want to go home.
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#15 ajs510

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:05 AM

View PostAmScray, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 5:52 AM, said:

The reason I got the I&T gig was that I used to be a huge gun enthusiast and had a 4 hour long conversation with a guard about how to build a 1911 pistol using an 80% complete frame casting (which requires no paperwork), a sliding vise and end mills chucked into a drill press. e concluded the conversation with "Ya know, I'd bet you would be great in I&T" and a month later, I was there.
Elaborate?Beans is going to tell me this is a horrible, horrible idea, but I still want to know.

#16 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:36 AM

It's actually not that tricky. Your drill press effectively acts as a vertical mill (you do need a sliding vise) and since the 80% frames only require milling of the rails, drilling a few holes and threading for the bushings, it isn't a very complex task.You do have to go VERY slow and make a series of "passes" as opposed to deep cuts, but if you're patient, you can get it well within the tolerances required for a very accurate, totally functional pistol using this method that no one would know was done on a drill press unless you told them. It's been a while since I checked on the 80% frame game, but if you google it, you can find them out there.
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#17 mr_druid

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:39 AM

great read, thanks for sharing. Tom.
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#18 fryer98

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:05 AM

Great post, thanks for sharing.

View PostAmScray, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 4:27 AM, said:

Background: Got locked up for beating someone up pretty badly. They deserved it.
Details?

View PostAmScray, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 4:27 AM, said:

If you think blacks are bad in movie theaters, imagine them all locked up in a goddamned cage.
Quality.

#19 AmScray

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:24 AM

View Postfryer98, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 6:05 AM, said:

Great post, thanks for sharing.Details?
I don't really want to delve into specifics of that or the court proceedings.I'll just say that I made a carefully premeditated decision to physically hurt someone very badly and I did. The results were permanent. An actual factor in my case was that I was such an avid gun enthusiast but intentionally forewent use of a firearm. I've never been afraid of a bit of rowdiness here or there, but the event in question was an exception and generally outside of my nature. It isn't like I was living as some lock and chain wielding Hells Angel and finally 'got caught' doing what I usually did. A situation arose and I reacted to it.
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#20 Giggidy

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:25 AM

View PostAmScray, on Thursday, September 11th, 2008, 9:57 AM, said:

Fights happened- they were more common than they are "in the real world", but if you kept your nose out of the wrong stuff, they could be avoided. With that said, it's pretty certain that everyone will get their metal tested at least once.
Was it a case of if someone was perceived weak/easy target they were picked on more?What was the biggest change to yourself from before/after being inside?
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