My lips are shinny from lip balm. The skin on my face is glowing from mass amounts of Oil of Olay. This I know because I just caught a glimps of myself in the reflection of my 7″ touchscreen JP5. Now I feel like blogging. Let’s do it!
I feel good. Just a few hours ago I cut my hair and shaved my face, armpits, and down below. I thought about Suzie as I was manscaping. For those who don’t know what manscaping is, it’s when a man shaves and trims his pubic hairs all around his southern region. Now you know.
Why the hell would a man in prison manscape? Any ideas? You’d be surprised at how many inmates do it. Ask your inmate if he does it. If he says, ”yes” ask him ”why?”
I do it to keep the fleas and crabs off me. It seems to be working.
If your inmate doesn’t trim his bushes, I’d be willing to bet that he has bad breath most the time too. It just seems like those two go hand in hand…bad breath, and a colony of crabs & fleas co-existing in an unruly out-of-control man bush. Pay attention the next time you’re in the visiting room. You’ll see guys scratching their nuts left and right. Thats because they have crabs, fleas, and ball mites. All because they don’t manscape.
I had no idea that this post was going to be so educational for ya all. But since it is, I’ll continue to enlighten.
I’m going to teach you a technique that will enable you to save money on mouthwash. I learned this technique just the other day when I used a sink next to Mike, aka: The Mad Jacker. They call him “The Mad Jacker” because he’s always beating off in the toilet and shower stalls. Everyone knows he does it. But he doesn’t care. He still does it. Mike is crazy. He’s also a genius. Literally. (Read Jesse’s post called Surprised. He’s talking about Mike.)
So I pull up along side of him and start brushing my teeth. Above each sink is a mirror and a little stainless steel shelf. I notice on Mike’s shelf he has floss, toenail clippers, nasal spray, a salt shaker that he stole from the chow hall, and two bottles of mouthwash.
As I’m brushing my teeth, I’m also watching him through my mirror. He has no idea.
He takes a huge swig of mouthwash and starts swishing it around. Then he tilts his head back and vigorously gargles. I can see splashes of mouthwash fly out of his mouth and down his chin and neck. I take a step farther away from him and decide to watch him point blank. Like a statue I just stand and stare as I brush.
After he gargles, he spits the mouthwash into the other mouthwash container. That’s when I noticed that both his mouthwash bottles contained backwashed mouthwash. I gaged.
Then I spit my toothpaste in the sink and said, “What in the world are you doing?”
“Getting ready to brush my teeth.” he says.
“No.” I said, “Why are you spitting mouthwash back into the container?”
As he squeezes indigent toothpaste onto his indigent toothbrush, he says, “The sodium fluoride is still active. I’m not going to waste perfectly good mouthwash.”
(Indigent – An inmate who has less than $10 on his books for 30 days or longer is considered to be “indigent.” Indigent inmates can purchase indigent items as they rack up an indigent debt. NOTE: Indigent items are generic, no name brand items. In other words, they suck!) See: Glossary of Prison Terms
I hide my disgust and act intrigued. “How many times can you use it before the sodium fluoride is no longer active?”
He says, “I’ve been using this stuff for 7 months and it’s still good.”
This guy is totally oblivious to how crazy and gross all this is. In his mind we are having an average everyday conversation.
I ask him, “How do you know when the sodium fluoride is no longer active?”
He simply says, “When it stops burning.”
I then asked him, “Why do you turn off the water when you brush your teeth?”
I asked him that because I do then same thing. It’s obviously to conserve water. But not many guys do that in here. As a matter of fact, some guys deliberately turn on all the faucets and then walk away.
Mike answers, “To save water. By doing so, I save up to 4 gallons of water every time I brush my teeth.”
I ask, “How many times a day do you brush?”
He says, “Three.”
I say, “That’s 12 gallons of water you save per day.”
He says, “Yep. And 4,380 gallons per year.”
I ask, “What do you do with all the water you save?”
He finally looks at me for the first time, cocks his head sideways, and says, “Ha Ha, very funny.”
Then he gathers all his things and speed walks out of the bathroom and to his cell. Mike is always in a hurry no matter where he goes.
Yes, Mike is an odd ball. He does some strange things. But Mike is alright with me. Together we save approximately 8,760 gallons of water per year! Who knew?
There is a perception that jails and prisons are doubling as mental health institutions.
Perception is reality. As I look around the dayroom I see a variety of inmates with mental health issues. The severity of their issues range from mild to extreme. For the most part, everyone in prison has some type of mental health issue. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in prison. So yes, mental health and prison go hand in hand.
So how bad are the mental health issues in prison? I say, not that bad. All things considered, it’s to be expected.
Most of these men are exactly where they belong. But because the criminal justice system is so massive, there is a margin of error. There are a handful of men in prison who should be in a mental institution. And vise versa, there are men in mental institutions who should be in prison.
For the most part, the system gets it right. I wouldn’t classify the mishaps as a massive problem.
The bottom line is, these men are a threat to society. They hurt, kill, and victimize people. They need to be removed from society. Whether they go to a mental health institution, or prison, that is for the courts to decide. If the courts get it wrong, that is of little consequence. Just as long as they are off the streets and society is safer. That’s what matters.
For those who can be rehabilitated and re-enter society as a law abiding citizen, good for them. Those people come from both…prisons and mental health institutions. So it’s not so much about the type of institution as it is about the mind of the individual.
I will say that being mentally sick is no excuse for any crime. If someone commits a crime and they are so mentally ill to where they don’t know right from wrong, they still need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Especially if it’s a violent crime. Lock them up in prison, or a mental health institution.
Some people disagree. Why? Because he’s mentally ill?
So what now? Let him go free? So he can go hurt or kill someone else?
Put him in prison or a mental health institution. Which one…I don’t care. Just get him off the streets. What he does from there, is up to him. If he doesn’t have the mental capacity to ever get better, then he dies in an institution.
Sometimes reality is sad and harsh. But life goes on. And the main focus should always remain on keeping law abiding citizens SAFE from criminals and the mentally ill.
This is an interesting topic. Keep the discussion going by utilizing the comment section.
I chose this title because the majority of prison tattoos revolve around hate. Not all. But most.
Some guys will get their woman’s name plastered across their neck. So I suppose I could’ve called this post : PRISON INK : THE ART OF LOVE. Because it’s also common to see the faces of loved ones etched in the flesh. Along with their names, birth dates, death dates, anniversary dates, etc.
I’ve seen convicts sporting tattoos of the hand prints and foot prints of their newborns. Just today I saw one that said, ”Family’s gone, but not forgotten.” That was in cursive and on his neck. Then on his left hand was some gang stuff.
So, as you can see, it’s not all about hate. But no matter what, it is all bad. Consider the risks involved, such as transmittable disease, bad ink, getting your ass kicked, infractions, and loosing goodtime.
I just met a guy who got kicked out of The Dog Program because during a strip search they discovered a tattoo of his favorite dog. He told them that the tattoo was old. They asked, ”How old?”
He was honest. He said, ”Over a year ago.”
Book em! It doesn’t matter how old a tattoo is. When a guy comes to prison, DOC documents all scars and tattoos. If you get a new tattoo while in prison, and they discover it 25 years later, it’s a major infraction!
I know this white guy who got “WHITE PRIDE” tattooed down his back arms. The guy who did the tattoo is a black man. When the white fellas (see: prison glossary) found out that a black man tattooed “WHITE PRIDE” on a white boy, they beat the white boys ass.
For months I watched a white tattoo artist sling hate monger ink all over dozens of other white boys. The artist then went and tattooed some gang graffiti on a black man. The white boys beat the artist damn near to death.
Why? Because they felt their new tattoos were somehow tainted because that artist also worked on someone who wasn’t white.
A lot of drama and misconduct goes into getting a prison tattoo. I asked a lot of old timers if they like their tats? Most say no. They regret getting them. And if they could do it over, they would stay away from tattoos.
Tattoos are addictive. Most guys can’t stop at just one. At first they look nice. As the years go by they fade, bleed into the skin, and get blurry. This has a lot to do with the poor quality ink. Guys make ink out of soot and baby oil. As a matter of fact, back in October of 2013, some guys caught the unit on fire as they were making ink. It’s dangerous! On many levels.
NOTE: All pictures were taken from a smuggled-in cell phone. I did 7 months in the hole after I got caught with it years ago. While in the hole I wrote a book called, Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary. Buy the ebook today!
If it ain’t yours, leave it alone. Jealousy is a motherfucker no matter where you’re at.
Back in the mid 90’s there was this punk running around Walla Walla. He went by the name Tiffany.
Tiffany was in a relationship with Shadow. Tiffany is white, Shadow is Mexican. For months the two lived together. Until one day administration broke up the two.
Tiffany got moved into a different cell. Inside his new cell lived Terry. Terry has been in prison for years and has several more to go.
It wasn’t long before Terry was butt-fucking Tiffany and making him suck his dick. Tiffany told Shadow. Shadow was pissed.
Shadow approached Terry out in the yard and said, “Hey man, Tiffany is my bitch. Leave her alone.”
Terry laughed and said, “Her? That punk has a dick bigger than yours.”
Shadow wasn’t laughing. “Just stay away from her, alright?”
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Gambling is huge in prison. Convicts will bet on anything, such as: professional sports, prison sports, or how long it’ll take before a sex offender gets his ass beat. The most common way to get in debt is playing cards. Specifically: Poker, Spades, or Pinochle. And the most dangerous type of debt is a drug debt.
Scott is serving 16 years for manufacturing meth. While in prison, he enjoys shooting meth and heroin. He pays for the drugs with the $100 a month he gets from his grandma. Unfortunately, $100 only keeps him high for 2 days. But Scott has a plan. He’ll extend his line of credit and rack up debts.
Before he knows it, he owes $800, and the month is only half over. “Aw what the hell” he thinks, “My sister would send me $100 if I ask.” So Scott goes and gets more drugs.
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As a juvenile, I served 18 months at Green Hill. I was out for 14 months before I put myself in prison with a 43 year sentence. Approximately 80% of the kids at Green Hill end up in prison. So I asked myself, “What would it take to significantly reduce that number?”
The answer is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Drastic means requires drastic measures. Here’s my proposal:
Once the juvenile has been found guilty, sentence him to 20 years in prison. Send him to a Maximum security prison full of violent convicts. Make his prison stay uncomfortable and scary. Make this juvenile believe that this is his life for the next 20 years!
But really, its just an elaborate deterrent program that the juvenile knows nothing about. In reality, he gets 18 months (or whatever his juvenile sentence calls for). But he doesn’t know that. He thinks there was some bogus clause in the sentencing guidelines that allowed the judge to give him 20 years in an adult maximum security prison.
As for the Maximum security prison and convicts, they’re in on it too. It’s a specially designed program in a designated section of the prison. Everything is controlled and designed to truly reach these “unreachable” out-of-control juveniles.
As his actual sentence of 18 months starts to wind down, he gets a letter from the court that says he won his appeal. This will serve as an exit strategy that will release the juvenile without exposing the program.
WHY THIS PROGRAM WOULD BE WIDELY EFFECTIVE
You can lecture a juvenile until your blue in the face, and you still won’t reach them. Some things they need to experience for themselves. NOTHING could reach these ”at risk” juveniles the way this program could.
When I was at Green Hill I knew 80% of us would end up in prison. Green Hill is where I learned of that statistic. But who cares? I was the other 20%. So I spent my 18 months kicking it with Crips, Bloods, BGD’s, and thugs. I smoked weed, dropped acid, drank pruno, lied, cheated, stole, and fought. I sold drugs and cigarettes. Green Hill was the absolute worst for me! I came out WAY WORSE than when I went in. I only wish there was an effective deterrent program, like the one I just mentioned. Because I know without a doubt, if it’s done right, it will save juveniles from a life of incarceration.
Please read: How To Engage Those Who Continue With Misconduct
This post is specifically for the friends and family of John Cecil. But it’s also for anyone who has a loved one coming home soon. John has been incarcerated for the past 20 years. In 33 days and a wake-up, he’ll be returning to society dehumanized, demoralized, a little out-of-touch, and extremely bitter.
Don’t be surprised if he chooses to squat against the living room wall rather than sit in a chair. If you notice the days on the calendar are X’ed out, just ignore it. And don’t trip on him for wearing flip-flops in the shower.
For the first few months until he is house broken, you can expect the following :
*Excessive use of toilet paper.
*Excessive flushing of the toilet.
*Clogging the toilet.
*Eating meals super fast.
*Stealing food from the kitchen and hording it in his room.
*Making pruno in his closet.
*Hiding extra linen and towels under his mattress.
*Dipping Q-Tips in your perfume and swabbing a 25watt bulb after ripping ass during quiet time.
*Wearing earplugs and a beanie to bed.
In the event you witness any of the above actions, it would be best if you take into consideration the crude environment in which he just lived in for the past two decades, and afford him a generous allowance.
Here are some other things to be mindful of:
*Don’t walk too close behind him.
*He’ll drop the soap on purpose. DO NOT pick it up for him.
*Don’t look into his room, just keep on walking.
*Don’t make a big deal outta him eating his entire meal with a spork.
*Look the other way when he rolls up his pancakes, dips them in syrup, and eats them with his fingers.
*When you turn on a light, he might stand for count. Just say ,”one, two” and he should go back to what he was doing.
*He’ll probably cut his hair in the bathroom and leave a mess. Unless your looking for a fight, just ignore it, or clean it up yourself.
Yes. A convict is coming into your life. Be prepared to deal with the host of bad habits that will accompany him. If all else fails, and he gets to be too much, send his ass back to prison. Simply slam the car door on your face and tell the cops he did it. They’ll believe you over a convicted fellon any day.
Have a great day.
It’s easy to identify those who will re-offend and come back to prison vs. those who will get out and be successful. So why not implement programs that REALLY focus on the 66% who will re-offend? In order to identify those who will re-offend vs. those who will stay out, I have randomly selected and interviewed 2 inmates.
Here’s an interview I did with a guy who will come back to prison:
Paul is a 35 year old white male.
He’s been in and out of prison 4 times.
He currently has 2 years left before he gets out.
His rap sheet is long: robbery, burglary, I.D. theft, possession of stolen property, possession of stolen vehicle, eluding, etc. And his infraction history includes: tattooing, failure to provide a UA, dirty UA, etc.
I asked him, “How did you end up in prison?”
He said, “Drugs and addiction.”
I asked him, “Who are you?”
He paused. He was stuck. I wanted to help urge him along, but I kept quiet as he processed the question. It literally took him 45 seconds before he said, “I’m a charismatic, outgoing, loving guy who is easily influenced. I know right from wrong but I always choose wrong for some unknown reason. My priorities are all wrong. I’m selfish and unresponsible [sic]. I always make excuses and justify my wrong actions.”
He said for himself that he is “easily influenced.” So why not influence this man with positive, meaningful activities that inspires great intrinsic motivation?
I asked him, “How do you spend your days?”
He said, “I play cards, workout, and kick it with friends.”
I asked Paul, “What do you want to do when you get out?”
He said, “Run a business and be a father. Enjoy life.”
I asked, “What type of business?”
He said, “A Tow Truck company. Or a Barber Shop. I’ve even been thinking about a Detail Shop.”
I then asked, “What are you doing now, while in prison, to ensure success?”
He said, “I’m reading a book on small businesses. I think about it a lot. I need to start writing things down.”
The last question I asked Paul was, “Will you come back to prison?”
He said, “I hope not.”
There’s no question in my mind that Paul will come back to prison. Every sign points to it. However, things might be drastically different for Paul if he was engaging in meaningful activities that would tap into his Intrinsic Motivation.
Now here’s an interview I did with a guy who will get out, stay out, and be successful:
Terry Essick is 33. He fell in 1999 and gets out in 2019. He got 20 years for 1st degree murder.
Infraction free for over 5 years.
Spends his days going to school, studying, working out, dog program, and applying what he learns.
Says he’s in prison because as a kid he lacked structure and proper guidance, which lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Describes himself as an outgoing, charismatic, empathic, kind, caring man who is very stern when need be.
Upon release he wants to get into small business management (fitness related). And invest in real estate, and other commodities such as energy, and the stock market.
To prepare for these future events he takes college courses, reads educational books, and watches educational programs. He’s already earned his Certified Training Degree. With his knowledge, he mentors others in here.
Now here’s something that surprised me. I asked him, “Will you be back after you get out?”
He said, “I don’t intend to. But you never know. I mean, I don’t know what fate has in store for me. If someone hurts my family or anyone I love, all bets are off.”
After that last comment, I went from believing there’s no way he’ll be back….to, he very well could be back. I mean after all, he is in for killing a man who was harassing his mother.
As I sit in these meetings, I look for principles and philosophies that will serve me in the NOW.
Meeting #10 offered me just that as we read from chapter 4, titled “HOW IT WORKS”. There are 12 principles within this chapter. Principle #10 really stood out to me. It says:
“We continue to take personal inventory, and when we’re wrong, promptly admit it.”
I actually did this the other day when I put myself in a dangerous situation by sitting at the wrong table in the chow hall. I didn’t do anything wrong as far as rules are concerned. But I was wrong for allowing the situation to escalate to the point to where my recovery from violence was in serious jeopardy.
The second I realized that, I took a quick personal inventory. I reflected on my past and drew knowledge from past mistakes. I acknowledged the mistakes I just made. I became aware of how I was feeling and the serge of adrenalin that shot through my veins. I was in the heat of a confrontational moment. My body physically prepared for combat.
I knew this was an opportunity to demonstrate right action and defuse the situation with kindness and understanding.
So I did phase two of STEP TEN. I approached old boy and promptly admitted my mistake, apologized, and assured him it wouldn’t happen again.
By saying that, it freed me from the wreckage caused by the situation. NA is teaching me that if I don’t stay aware of my defects and actions, then it could drive me into a corner that results in relapse.
For me, a relapse isn’t drug use. It would be me beating down one of these so called convicts.
No matter what, if I fight, I lose. Never again will fighting ever be an option for me.
That’s why it’s so important for me to constantly be taking a personal inventory of my most inner self. This means, forming a habit of looking at myself, my thoughts, my attitude, the language I use, and the relationships I have with others.
Humans are creatures of habit. For most my life I had a habit of lashing out in a violent manner. I was a monster. I had an appetite for destruction. I looked for reasons to fight people I disliked.
To a degree, I’m still vulnerable to my old ways of thinking and reacting. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.
When ol boy threatened to break my jaw, there was a part of me that wanted to teach him a lesson.
Today I am not trapped by my old patterns. I have discovered a better way of life. A way that revolves around love and understanding. The rewards of this loving lifestyle is unlimited with joy and happiness.
Sure, I’m still in prison, but I won’t always be. I get out in 13 years. People have encouraged me to seek an early release via clemency, or commutation. The truth is, I don’t want that. I’m going to take full responsibility for my actions and serve the time I was sentenced to.
I’m going to learn how to function as a law abiding citizen from within prison. I’m going to rise above all the negativity and impose my own goodwill. I will only focus on the positive and the things that serve me well.
I have discovered the power of positive thought. I have proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to: The Honor Unit, Dog Program, Winning the Ironman, avoiding fights and becoming stronger for it.
The list goes on…being a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, and oneday a father.
When I first started NA, I was skeptical. But then I took personal inventory, re-adjusted my attitude, and decided I’d use it to broaden my perspective. And it has done just that!
Until next time, treat everyone with love and respect…it’ll serve you well.
“I don’t have any friends in here. I have acquaintances.”
I just heard a man say that. And it’s not the first time either. I’ve heard it many times over the years by many different people. It’s almost like an established well known quote amongst convicts.
I have to admit, I once had a mentality that fell victim to those sad words.
The results were devastating. I was constantly fighting and arguing. My life was full of turmoil and conflict. I was living a life with no friends…only acquaintances.
Within the past year something amazing happened. The idea of friendship weighed heavily on my mind. I was ready to open up and let people in.
I used The Law of Attraction as my guide. I have a mental picture of the type of friendships I desire. Therefore, I must send out those exact vibrations.
I desire to be loved. Therefore, I must love. I want people to treat me with dignity and respect. Therefore, I must also treat everyone with dignity and respect, too.
It really is quite simple. I must give as I wish to receive.
During my days of suffering and turmoil, I would have brief moments of clarity that would create desires to change. But I didn’t know how to truly implement genuine change in my life. I would say one thing, but then my actions wouldn’t be consistent with my words.
It is NOT enough to profess! I must DO!
But to verbally profess through prayer is a great start. So I keep praying that I can truly love all people more dearly than I have ever loved before.
I don’t pick and choose. I treat everyone with dignity & respect. I show love to all. And by doing so, The Law of Attraction will bring me like-minded friends.
Being in prison, it’s hard to find true enduring friendships with the men in here. Because it’s hard to cultivate an attitude of friendship towards people in here. I see both sides of the spectrum, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. Those who project hate and negativity, get the same in return.
The ones who return the love that I show…I call friends.
Today I have several friends. I’m enjoying a level of harmony that exceeds that in which I’ve ever known. I am happy. I trust The Law of Attraction to bring me friends. As I love my fellowman, I get that same love back.
With all that being said, I’d like to leave you with a parting thought:
Don’t question your friends or your friendships. Question yourself. Look inside yourself and you will find the truth.