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View Full Version : Do you know how to go to jail?



mvp
Feb. 25, 2013, 02:52 AM
No, I don't mean how to get there, I mean how to live there.

Sometimes I think I'd get a book written if I were in jail. Give me the written notes, an internet connection (and probably a very expensive subscription to JSTOR) and I'd be good.
Also, I'd work out while in jail.

It all sounds great if you are committed to self improvement while someone else cooks, does the laundry. But jail isn't supposed to be fun or easy.

So how do those with purpose and style make the most of living in jail? Share your tips here.

skydy
Feb. 25, 2013, 04:01 AM
:eek: Are you courting convicts? Not wise IMO. :confused:

5
Feb. 25, 2013, 06:54 AM
I have heard tattoos are popular there.

lawndart
Feb. 25, 2013, 07:24 AM
Ask Martha Stewart, seems to have given her career a boost!

Sannois
Feb. 25, 2013, 07:48 AM
My lord I> pray I never need to find out! :eek:

Adamantane
Mar. 29, 2013, 05:39 PM
There has to be an explanation for this startling inquiry. We're all waiting.

Superminion
Mar. 29, 2013, 05:47 PM
Guys. I think mvp has officially lost it.

Although you do make a good point...

twotrudoc
Mar. 29, 2013, 05:49 PM
mvp, I was totally kidding when I said to knock over the liquor store last week.

Can we write to you?

sid
Mar. 29, 2013, 05:56 PM
:lol:

carp
Mar. 29, 2013, 06:45 PM
I've got a friend who did time. Survival techniques included walking endless circles around the yard so she didn't wig out and strangle one of the bimbos from the 'hood. It didn't sound like fun. Lack of timely medical care was also a downer.

magnolia73
Mar. 29, 2013, 06:49 PM
It's a myth that inmates live a life of leisure, at least in my state. My friends brother is in prison and does not have a phone, laptop or internet access. Nor does he have money for magazine subscriptions. He does do some work in the jail and gets a very nominal amount of money for it (ie, far less than minimum wage).

You might be able to hand write your book.

It may well be nicer than a life on the streets or as an alternative to poverty or some minimum wage jobs, but most prisons, for your average middle class person, are going to suck. Alot. The highlight of his life is getting enough money so his family can sit and eat with him at a monthly prison fish fry.

Bluey
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:00 PM
I know our county jail has work details.
The inmates do much of the cleaning inside and out and are busy with that.
You can refuse, but after a few days sitting in a jail, even scrubbing floors with a toothbrush starts to look interesting, for what I hear.:eek:

I don't know if they let you have paper and pencils, mostly they don't let you have anything personal that they don't take away again.
Not even counting the kind of company you are with in there, not exactly choir boy type.:no:

mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:02 PM
There has to be an explanation for this startling inquiry. We're all waiting.

Now, now you can take off your judgey pants now. One court system is enough for me. KIDDING! Jeez.

Now onto more helpful hints:

A HO friend of mine worked in the female side of a county jail in Central NY. She said one could make eye-liner from crayons. I didn't know that. The ladies knew how to do it up, even in jail.

cloudyandcallie
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:03 PM
I've been in many jails, prisons, and prison camps. They are all too noisy. Although the federal prison camps, like the one in PA where many of the watergate guys went, seemed the best. The golf course there, yes, the golf course there, had signs telling us to keep out! Like we'd break into prison to play golf?

In my wild and misspent youth, i decided I would not want to go to prison because I'd have to give up my dogs and cats and horses and bantams. So I stayed out of trouble. I did not want rats as pets. And The Green Mile movie reinforced my determination to be not an inmate, but the person who visited "my" criminals incarcerated.

GA had the big boxing program for inmates and lots of bodybuilding equipment. Many of those programs were discontinued decades ago because people didn't wan fit prisoners coming back into our population. I'd not want to spend eternity in the prison law library preparing writs of habeas corpus. Boring!

mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:14 PM
They are all too noisy.
...

GA had the big boxing program for inmates and lots of bodybuilding equipment. Many of those programs were discontinued decades ago because people didn't wan fit prisoners coming back into our population. I'd not want to spend eternity in the prison law library preparing writs of habeas corpus. Boring!

Ah, yes, the 24/7 noise. I think what would drive me 'round the bend.

See, I was all jacked up about the work out opportunities in jail (plus the boredom that drives you to those). I used to be able to do pull-ups while being a girl. I'd like to relive my glory days.

Oh, and I wanna go to law school... just for the entertainment value... and for free. Can I do this on-line while in jail? Prisoners *are* given what they need to participate in their own legal defense, right? So they get a library complete with a Lexus/Nexus or Westlaw subscription, right?

cloudyandcallie
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:21 PM
You do get computer access in GA prisons. Just certain hours of the day. So I guess you could go online and get a law degree. I'm not sure about that. You do get to spend many hours in the law library. Judges have ruled that prisoners have the right to do that.

I don't know any women lawyers in prison, but I do know Fred Tokars who is in federal prison and was a lawyer before he had his wife murdered. (I worked in the same office with Fred Tokars and Nancy Grace, oh the shame!:lol:) Fred makes money by preparing habeas corpus petitions for his fellow prisoners. (And I did turn down Fred when he was single and dating everyone in the courthouse. Whew!)
And you want to be made a "trustee" if you do go to prison, so you have the run of the grounds and buildings.

I don't know which states have the work out facilities for women or men now. But if I had to bet, I'd guess that Alden (I think that is how it is spelled) the federal women's prison in WVA is the place to be......if you must go to prison. It was the only federal prison for women when I was a callow youth.......and decided I'd not go into the importing business with my friends who got rich, but got caught.

In addition to noise, you do have to worry about fellow prisoners. Like at the big state prison, one of my defendants got lighter fluid thrown on him, and was lit up, and he died. And in our Fulton county jail, one of my defendants was whizzing on people who walked by, and he got scalded to death by the water hose. Who knew that the water to clean cells was so hot? Both crimes were unsolved.

Simkie
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:18 PM
Might be nicer to get committed to a private (not state run) psychiatric hospital ;) I'd think you'd be more likely to have quiet, personal time to work on your manuscript (hell, maybe you'd get a shrink who you could convince it's part of your "therapy"!) and less likely to get 'shanked than in prision...

Lady Counselor
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:25 PM
Pooping in public. That's one of the perks of jail. You get to use your loo while sitting there in front of your roommates.
I wouldn't last a day in there. Gaaaah!

keepthelegend
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:27 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Orange-New-Black-Womens-Prison/dp/0385523394


I found this book fascinating!

mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:58 PM
You might be able to hand write your book.

It may well be nicer than a life on the streets or as an alternative to poverty or some minimum wage jobs, but most prisons, for your average middle class person, are going to suck. Alot. The highlight of his life is getting enough money so his family can sit and eat with him at a monthly prison fish fry.

Now this gives me a lot to think about: Would I trade whatever I have in the way of my middle-class (but rather hand-to-mouth life) for "three hots and a cot... and the space to write a book?"

Have I become a sensible enough person to be able to accept and survive the culture of prison life?

I'm sorta wall-paper to my family, so the group who would convene for the prison fish fry sounds not too bad.

ReSomething
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:28 AM
You know, it's not something I'd ever want to find out unless they had a jail for hermits. The other inmates aren't nice people, by and large.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:48 AM
I think you can become a loner in jail. Sometimes I think it adds to a mystique that keeps you safe. Some prisoners find God, become Buddhists, get sober... all kinds of things that place an emphasis on something bigger and beyond their day-to-day life in prison.

inne
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:50 AM
This is my favourite thread.

I too would like to finish my book. Prison seems like a wonderful place to write - it did wonderful things for Gramsci and Genet.

When my horse is acting up I often think "at least if I have to go to the hospital I can catch up on my sleep" and I suspect jail might provide me with the same opportunity. I could also catch up on my reading - I have far too many books and not very much time. And of course I could revive my letter writing career to finally compete with the de Beauvoir/Sartre correspondence - I used to be an avid and quite talented letter writer until the internet made it a lost art and now all my emails are mostly "lol wtf".

I'd also like to imagine that I'd exercise and get ripped, but I know that won't happen. I am far too lazy.

Blugal
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:48 AM
When my horse is acting up I often think "at least if I have to go to the hospital I can catch up on my sleep"

Don't count on it... most hospitals do shift-change at some horrible hour of the morning, like 6 or 7. So at 4 or 5 am, you are woken up by the "end of shift" checking, cleaning, etc. Then throughout the day & night, people are always coming & going. You might be sleeping but it's mealtime, wake up!

I was so relieved to GO HOME and SLEEP after I got home from the hospital!

GaitedGloryRider
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:53 AM
I had a judge sentence me to a week in county jail when I smarted off to him while appearing for driving under suspension, back in my wild and wooly days.

It really wasn't all that horrible. Food sucked but you could order better stuff from commissary. They had an awesome selection of Top Ramen flavors. The guards were super nice so long as you didn't give them any grief. There was a decent library you could check books out from and since this was a tiny rinky-dink small county jail we each had our own cells in women's pod (the guys had to share). The beds were incredibly uncomfortable but when you don't have a choice you learn to deal, same with showering in a group.

I wouldn't call it a fun vacation but it wasn't a horrible traumatizing experience either. For me jail served its purpose, taught me to not be so flippant about traffic laws and respecting judges.

Skeezix
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:09 AM
Well, according to a lot of our clients, it's not much fun. However, judging from the number of "frequent flyers" they obviously know how to go to jail quite well. Should I see if I can get you some pointers :)

MissIntent
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:54 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Orange-New-Black-Womens-Prison/dp/0385523394


I found this book fascinating!

I logged in just to post about this book, Orange Is The New Black. I recommend it.

Donkerbruin
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:11 PM
I have a friend who went to prison for dealing drugs when he was in high school. He finished his GED while in prison. Once out, he went to a small college for undergrad. He was my TA in a history class at UNC Chapel Hill...he now has his PhD and is a professor at UNC Charlotte.

inne
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:16 PM
Don't count on it... most hospitals do shift-change at some horrible hour of the morning, like 6 or 7. So at 4 or 5 am, you are woken up by the "end of shift" checking, cleaning, etc. Then throughout the day & night, people are always coming & going. You might be sleeping but it's mealtime, wake up!

That does make the prospect of hospitalization less appealing. Thanks for the warning.

Adamantane
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:35 PM
There has to be an explanation for this startling inquiry. We're all waiting.




Now, now you can take off your judgey pants now. One court system is enough for me. KIDDING! Jeez.

No judgment at all. Just curiosity about what would prompt posting as you did because there are many possible reasons. Same as if someone posted on the Racing forum a question about what performance enhancing substances are undetectable.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:38 PM
This is my favourite thread.

I too would like to finish my book. Prison seems like a wonderful place to write - it did wonderful things for Gramsci and Genet.

When my horse is acting up I often think "at least if I have to go to the hospital I can catch up on my sleep" and I suspect jail might provide me with the same opportunity. I could also catch up on my reading - I have far too many books and not very much time. And of course I could revive my letter writing career to finally compete with the de Beauvoir/Sartre correspondence - I used to be an avid and quite talented letter writer until the internet made it a lost art and now all my emails are mostly "lol wtf".

I'd also like to imagine that I'd exercise and get ripped, but I know that won't happen. I am far too lazy.

No sh!t, Gramsci, the theory-head guy, got some writing done in jail?

I think we could from our own Nerd Posse in jail. We'd talk about how the writing was going during meals and the rest of our block would think we were scary/whack.

And we could be workout partners. Heck, if some other woman there could teach me how to make a facial out of the weird supplies one has on hand in prison, life would be complete.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:42 PM
Might be nicer to get committed to a private (not state run) psychiatric hospital ;) I'd think you'd be more likely to have quiet, personal time to work on your manuscript (hell, maybe you'd get a shrink who you could convince it's part of your "therapy"!) and less likely to get 'shanked than in prision...

Oh yes, tons of time to write and such in a private psychiatric hospital. Nice work if you can get it.

I did/do have a BFF who spent some time in a prison for the criminally insane in New York. She wasn't insane so much as Borderline Personality Disorder which is simply a total PITA to treat and deal with.

Anywho, it sounded like prison.... except for the other inmate who pulled her own teeth out with pliers. Yikes!

hastyreply
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:51 PM
Health care is good in prison. The other day my DH had 10 prisoners on his unit. They each come with 2 guards. Plus the families visiting. Sometimes they have 3 guards. One had a bypass. One was dieing from liver cancer but his family didn't want him taken off life support. They were expecting more people to come visit next week. (he's not conscious).

Foxtrot's
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:04 PM
When a councillor told me that the same types of school-yard bullies apply for jobs at the border security, police and jail guards, that was enough for me.
I feel guilty at the border, even when I'm not.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:08 PM
And put a foster cat in my jail cell and life would be complete. I know some places have these programs (as well as horse training programs).

Would I have to pose as Anti-Cat and Anti-Horse to get in on this gig?

Honest to God people, if you compared the time I spent on self-imposed house arrest while I wrote my dissertation and jail (with a cat and a horse) Life Wouldn't Look Much Different.

I just want someone else to do the cooking at the dishes and force me to stay on task with my work. Jail would do it for me.

Bacardi1
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:17 PM
Don't count on it... most hospitals do shift-change at some horrible hour of the morning, like 6 or 7. So at 4 or 5 am, you are woken up by the "end of shift" checking, cleaning, etc. Then throughout the day & night, people are always coming & going. You might be sleeping but it's mealtime, wake up!

I was so relieved to GO HOME and SLEEP after I got home from the hospital!

Yup - forget about sleeping in the hospital. At least not for more than 3-4 hours at most at a time, if even that.

Rackonteur
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:29 PM
I can't tell if you mean literal jail or a situation where you have nothing to do but write--no free-access TV, car, or other escape route.

I read somewhere that the Rolling Stones' original manager once locked Mick and Keith out of the toilet until they wrote a song. Whether or not he force-fed them tea at the same time, I don't know.

Have you ever read/seen I Capture the Castle or Strong Poison? In the first, the protagonist imprisons her author father in the family bailey until he starts writing another novel; in the second the heroine, imprisoned for murder (falsely), attempts to write another mystery novel.

Guin
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:50 PM
Since I have a strong preference not to be raped, I think I'll stay out of prison, thank you.

Griffyn
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:34 AM
I have worked in the prison system for the past 15 years... and I often say that the way the state is going, living there is going to have to be my retirement plan. Its appealing but I would recommend beating up your roommate right away. After your time in segregation, you would probably be "red tagged" and then wouldnt get a roommate.

inne
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:00 AM
No sh!t, Gramsci, the theory-head guy, got some writing done in jail?

I think we could from our own Nerd Posse in jail. We'd talk about how the writing was going during meals and the rest of our block would think we were scary/whack.

And we could be workout partners. Heck, if some other woman there could teach me how to make a facial out of the weird supplies one has on hand in prison, life would be complete.

The Prison Notebooks and his letters! Prison really stepped things up in terms of political theory and philosophy. Considering this tremendous intellectual growth and its subsequent influence on Marxism, cultural studies, cultural theory, and the lives of countless of grad students, just imagine how prison might enhance our own writings.

And, yes, we can use this as a self-preservation method for sure. 'Stay away from them, all they want to talk about is Judith Butler and Deleuze, they're crazy.'

I'm still not so sure about exercising, but maybe we could do Couch to 5K or something. And then fashion very delicate shanks to do facial extractions.

inne
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:08 AM
And put a foster cat in my jail cell and life would be complete. I know some places have these programs (as well as horse training programs).

Would I have to pose as Anti-Cat and Anti-Horse to get in on this gig?


The dog training programmes sound like a nice way to spend time, but you have to give the dog up eventually. I could not bear it and would have to keep the dog hidden in my cell until my release, at which time I would have to convince the guards that the dog had in fact been part of my personal belongings upon admittance.

xeroxchick
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:33 AM
You take the raman noodles and put them in a trash bag with some water. Then you pee on the trash bag to warm them up. That is how you prepare rMan noodles in jail.

Arcadien
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:24 AM
LOL there was a point in my life when I considered jail might be more pleasant than my life was at the moment. I felt trapped in hell, working a** off for people I despised, no guarantee I was going to see the reward - a virtual slave really, all hellish work & no pleasure in life.

Being locked up seemed like it would be a vacation in comparison. At least I wouldn't have to pretend I adored my tormentors.

But the difference is, I had a choice - I could have chosen to quit & lose my house & go live under a bridge - or on the track as a groom, that was my fall back plan which didn't seem too bad at the time, except it meant putting a lot of kitties to sleep :(

I chose to hang in there, and finally worked my way to a life that is obviously better than prison :-D Back then, I found there are several books written for how to survive in prison - google them!

4cornersfarm
Apr. 3, 2013, 02:22 PM
This is my favourite thread.



When my horse is acting up I often think "at least if I have to go to the hospital I can catch up on my sleep" and I suspect jail might provide me with the same opportunity.

Have you ever been in the hospital? As someone who has spent way too much time in hospitals, I can tell you right off the bat - there is no sleeping in hospitals. Even if you can get past the noise (which would also be a problem in prison) they wake you up every two hours to take your vitals. Seems to me that a stretch of uninterrupted sleep would be more beneficial than knowing whether or not your temperature has changed in the past two hours.

I hate hospitals.

Sporthorse Shop
Apr. 3, 2013, 03:22 PM
Have you ever been in the hospital? As someone who has spent way too much time in hospitals, I can tell you right off the bat - there is no sleeping in hospitals. Even if you can get past the noise (which would also be a problem in prison) they wake you up every two hours to take your vitals. Seems to me that a stretch of uninterrupted sleep would be more beneficial than knowing whether or not your temperature has changed in the past two hours.

I hate hospitals.

As well, if you are on an IV, they pump enough fluids through you that you end up visiting the restroom every 45 mins. When I had to stay overnight in the hospital for a surgery, I was happy to go home and sleep.

Rackonteur
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:04 PM
Or just as you get to sleep someone comes in to wake you up, take your blood pressure or temperature, or do something else to you. Hospitals are not restful places!

Thoro
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:35 PM
I know very little about jail other then on your way there you do NOT pass go and you do NOT collect $200. ;)

wireweiners
Apr. 4, 2013, 01:36 PM
About 3 years ago, we removed several children from the members of a local cult. The cult leader, aka the prophet, was into plural marriage of children as young as 10 and severe beatings for those who strayed from his teachings.

The removal was somewhat screwed up because the US attorney inadvertently leaked the date and time the raid was planned, so some of the parents were able to hide some of their children from law enforcement and DHS staff. So the judge ordered this one mother to jail for contempt since she wouldn't reveal the whereabouts of her kids. Apparently jail food sucks because she lost weight like crazy. She went from being mildly obese to looking really good. We joked about going to jail as a weight loss program and about how long our sentence would have to be to achieve the desired results.

FWIW, FBI agents do not look like Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt or like the guys on criminal minds. I loved the agents we worked with but he was a little short guy with a crew cut and she was kind of butch. Oh, an SWAT teams are really scary and have no sense of humor. Plus its really scary how much control a religious nut job can wield over their followers.

cloudyandcallie
Apr. 4, 2013, 02:36 PM
Our prison system grows its own vegetables but it also grows its own pork. The muslim prisoners file lots of habeas corpus petitions over that. And I've eaten at the Fulton County Prison camp. Food was bland, and we were told by trustees that it was not what they got. When my prisoners came over for court from the Fulton County jail, they were accompanied by cheese sandwiches for lunch at the courthouse.

Most prisoners get fat in Georgia prisons. Gary Steven Krist, google that name to find a stone cold baddie, used to come to federal court all the time, complaining about prison food being cold and fattening, when I was a federal law clerk. The idiot had buried Barbara Jean Mackle underground to extort money from her wealthy father. He told me I was "nothing but a law clerk" and couldn't judge him!

As for FBI agents, I found them all to be mostly dull white males who were not smart, and had no sense of humor. The feds wanted our dual jurisdiction over bank robberies and my boss said OK, but when the cases were not a lock, the feds sent them to us. Nothing like having a bunch of dumb white males who did not find the one witness to a bank robbery/murder of the head teller miss the one witness who was working at a nearby store who saw the defendants before they put on their ski masks. LOL, which I found by just going out there and asking if anyone saw anything. Elliot Ness the feds aren't.

If you want to see cops, both swat and otherwise, with great senses of humor, you should have been around Atlanta PD when we had some wild and crazy times over my 20 yrs. It was like Hill Street Blues, southern style. Some pathos, lots of wild and crazy fun.

I once got locked up in the Fulton County jail with a defendant and his lawyer, when a shirt change occurred and no one was notified that we were in some out of the way room on a cell block. I actually was worried that we'd be found by prisoners instead of by guards.