Behind The Walls
Prison is its own world. Prison has its own rules, written and unwritten. It is an environment the majority of the public don't know or understand. It is virtually impossible to know a fourth of what goes on, including what is happening right before your eyes. It is a complex, yet simple environment. Film and television do not correctly or accurately portray life inside prison walls. In my blog series I hope to educate people and help them understand what a horrible environment prison truly is as an inmate or staff. I’m going to share many of my experiences and incidents I endured.
Not all inmates are vicious and immoral monsters as portrayed. Not all correctional officers are corrupt, violent, knuckle dragging, uneducated, unintelligent, bullies. There isn’t simply one kingpin inside prison. There are various gangs and continuous power struggles. It’s a thankless, underpaid, unappreciated, and dangerous job. Unlike police officers, highway patrol, and state troopers correctional officers aren’t armed.
Many don’t even have batons, pepper spray, or other defense tools. All most have is their minds and their bare hands. Correctional officers can be outnumbered as much as 100:1 if not more. Inmates are in permanent danger. Inmates prey on weaker ones. What may seem small and trivial incidents to us are serious incidents inside prison walls possibly leading to violence including murder. When inmates are stripped of many rights we take for granted, they cling onto what they have.
Though drugs, cell phones, tobacco, pornographic magazines, and other items are unauthorized and considered contraband they are ever so present inside prisons. They are smuggled in by different means through corrupt staff and visitors. These items have a significantly higher value inside prison than on the streets. A pack of cigarettes may be $8.00 at the store. The same pack could go for $50.00 inside prison. That is probably a lowball price.
The potential for violence is always present. Tension is often heavy. Though snitches are the most despised they are present inside prisons. Intelligence and investigative staff wouldn’t know a 1/10 of what they know without informants. Child molesters and rapists are despised in prison. Some standards and morals exist amongst inmates.
I have witnessed and experienced several occurrences over my decade in corrections.To some their stories seem made up. I can’t make up this stuff up. The prison environment is unique and not like anything else. I hope all of you will enjoy reading my blogs as I will writing them.
I finally got around to reading your blog Walter. I never was much into watching those prison reality shows. I do not really like to keep my head buried in the sand tho, I think reading your blogs will help me understand psychology a bit more. I hope you will do a blog on why you think the prison population and the return rate is so much higher in the USA than other countries. For example one study from 2012 shows 59 incarcerated in Finland for every 100,000, while here that number jumps to 730 and our Canadian neighbors are at 117. https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ccrso-2012/index-en.aspx?wbdisable=true