I think going to prison would be one of the most terrifying things in the world.
Thank goodness I’ve never gotten into any serious trouble with the law, because I do not think I would do very well on in the inside.
But the folks we’re about to hear from on AskReddit have all been there and they shared the scariest things they say inside those walls. Let’s take a look.
1. Turning on each other.
“I remember people kinda turned on each other out of boredom.
I mean, you made friends and all, but you had it hanging over you that you were a bad guy, and some people took to being *ssholes and provoked others seemingly out of boredom.
It was an unpleasant situation to be on the other side, because you wanted to stay out of trouble too, but at the same time had to stand up for yourself. Maybe not the absolute worst I saw, but something I remember.”
“Kettle-ing was horrible and i saw it at least 10 times. People would lose an argument, fight or just get embarrassed by someone and go back to their cell, fill a kettle up with water mixed with sugar, boil it and then throw it in the perpetrator’s face.
The sugar made the water like napalm and it would stick to them. I saw 4 people hang themselves, one person slit his wrists and fall through the cell door when it opened in a massive pool of blood. Many, many people cut themselves with razors as a way to get things they want. And one person in the segregation block, smear sh*t all over his cell then cut himself all over and smear the sh*t into his cuts. Also people throwing buckets full of p*ss and sh*t over others.
I saw a pool ball thrown at a guys face and break his nose and jaw. I was a prison “buddy” which is a information giver/counsellor. This was all in 3 years and im grateful everyday i wake up that I’m not still in there”
“Saw a dude get his face turned to hamburger over a card game. Dude lost so he sucker punches the guy scross from him a minute later, gets in top of him, and probably get about 10 hits in by the time the CO broke it up.
Blood everywhere I was like holy f*ck….it was like my first month there and it made me kinda not wana leave the cell.
My bunkie was a blood and jacked he’s like dude nobody will f*ck with you I’m like ok I hope not…I’m pretty sure he smashed his eye socket in.”
4. For traffic tickets…
“Not prison, but county jail.
I was doing 90 days and a woman who was very pregnant went into labor. They refused to take her to the hospital until her contractions were 2 mins apart. When they finally did, they shackled her to the bed.
They refused to unlock the shackles even when the baby was in danger. She lost the baby and almost bled out. She was in jail for traffic tickets…”
5. Random violence.
“I was in a prison that was split. One side was a level 4 facility (just under max) and the other was for mentally ill inmates.
One day they decided to move some of their more stable mentally ill patients to our side, the level 4 side. There was this really huge dude who, as soon as he got to our prison, just started screaming that he wanted to go back.
He turned and found the person closest to him (I was down the hallway from him) and he proceeds to beat the hell out of this random dude. Dude went into a coma and died two days later. It was horrifying to watch this blatant display of random violence that ended with someone dead. I won’t ever forget it.”
6. Bad move.
“A guy get his face beat in by a dude with a cast on his arm because guy took dude’s ketchup pack off his plate on hot dog day.”
7. The guards.
“Saw a lot of bad things, like the usual fights, couple people dying and such.
One of the most f*cked up things I saw was what the guards did to this one inmate. I was in maximum security, and then there is a supermax segment of that which is all tiny single cells to hold the murderers, high profile cases, and complete nut jobs that are too dangerous for general population.
So I was a trustee doing my rounds handing out lunch to the single cells. This one guy demands an extra sandwich from me…I tell him it’s not happening bc I don’t have extra, and he starts throwing stuff including who knows what liquid on me. Well the guard sees this, and I was cool with them bc I never acted up or anything.
Then he gets on his radio, and calls for their “special response team”. Maybe 1-2 minutes max, 12 dudes in full riot gear coming walked down the hall marching and banging their clubs on their shields like something out of a movie. They let me stand there for some reason, all 12 of them somehow fit into the 6×10 cell, and just beat the living sh*t out of this guy. The guard tells me he will handle the rest of handing out lunch.
I get back to my cell near the indoor guard office, and about 5 minutes later they bring this battered dude down. They have what’s called a restraining chair, which straps your ankles, legs, waist, wrists, head and neck all down.
The guy gets promptly put into it, and then rolled outside to the yard about 50 feet away. Promptly gets maced. It was 36 degrees that night, but they apparently have a rule that they can keep you out there as long as it doesn’t hit freezing. They left this guy out there for a solid 12 hours with no food/water and barely any clothes.
I saw him again 4-5 days later after he got out of the hospital/medical, one eye swollen shut, the other barely opened, and beaten beyond recognition. He called me over to his cell and apologized. Appreciate the guards looking out for me, but I felt a bit bad for what they did to him.”
8. Over a fruit cup…
“I watched a woman stab another woman in the neck with a plastic spork, over a d*mn fruit cup.”
9. Orange County.
“When I was in Orange County Jail (CA) I saw a whole bunch of wild sh*t.
So when people “roll” into a cell or a dorm (cell = 8 man or less, dorm is 128 men in one open room divided into two inaccessible floors, so 64 on top and 64 on bottom) they usually roll in super late at night, like around midnight cuz i guess it has something to do with funding.
So anyways a guy rolls in at the like 12 am, and I am on the top floor of this dorm. Now, when you look out of the dorm main exit there is a few hundred feet of reflective glass with a catwalk behind it. The cops walk back and forth on this catwalk but most inmates use this glass to communicate with the other floor since its basically a giant mirror that spans the whole giant room.
So its late and I watch this guy come in the bottom dorm and immediately start talking sh*t to the white guy leader of the downstairs. Now I only talked to this guy one time to borrow cards but he was a nazi named “Cyclone” that literally nobody f*cked with. So new guy is spouting off at Cyclone about how he will be the new head of the woods (white people), and it just goes back and forth to the point where everyone on both floors are watching.
There are 3 words you DO NOT say to someone in OCJ, even in jest it will get you f*cked up. Calling someone a “punk”, “b*tch” or “lame” are IMMEDIATE fight words and if someone calls you any of those and you dont fight them, well thats how you get picked on. I was told that even if you’re 100% sure you will lose the fight its better to jump and get your *ss beat than be known as someone who doesn’t react.
So new guy called Cyclone one of those 3 names and in like the same breath Cyclone braces his body between two beds like he’s doing dips and lifts himself up and heel kicks the dude straight in the mouth. Well new guy is just lights out. He falls backwards limp and smacks his head on the bars. Cyclone only hit him once, and the guy was done.
One minute later everyone downstairs is screaming about something and it turns out new guy sh*t himself like a LOOOT, and if you know anything about heroin addicts that first week in jail after a bender is typically spent exclusively on the toilet and in the showers because obvious reasons. Everyone’s gagging downstairs to the point where they hit the emergency button and TOLD ON THEMSELVES. Not exactly, nobody said it was Cyclone but someone told the cops “he was mouthing off and then he sh*t himself, we need a mop.”
So cops come with medics, check the dude and stretcher him out and check everyones knuckles through the bars and of course nobody had any knuckle marks. The guy was covered in blood and sh*t and I remember watching all of this from the upstairs reflection saying to myself “holy f*ck” the whole time. I have so many other wild stories from in there this one is just the freshest in my head.”
“Saw someone break a small branch off a tree in the yard, dry it out in the sun, sharpen it down to a point on the concrete and then stab a guy in the back with it 4 times, he had to be airlifted to hospital because it punctured his lung.”
11. Fighting cousins.
“I saw a guy get in a fight with his cousin over a 50 cent bowl… this escalated more and more until they starting fighting.
We all kinda watched out the corner of our eyes bc it was in the cell while the doors were open. Well the guy that was p*ssed about the bowl grabbed the dude by the hair and bite a huge hunk of his cousin’s eyebrow off… like about half of it.
If that wasn’t bad enough me and my cell mate moved into the cell bc it was further away from the TV. So we are cleaning up the cell and my cell mate goes ” holy f*ck look at this!” he lifts up what I thought was a dead hairy bug… nope, furry *ss eyebrow and skin.
Doesn’t haunt me, just crazy to think a guy lost half an eyebrow over a f*cking 50 cent bowl”
12. OH MY GOD.
“We had an offender with a colostomy bag.
Every time he would shower, the most terrible smell would fill the unit. We asked him multiple times to not burp his colostomy bag in the shower but he swore he wasn’t.
Eventually, after developing an infection, his doctor found out he was charging other inmates to have s*x with his colostomy hole.”
“The term “getting the sh*t beat out of you” is real. You get beat so fast and hard the adrenaline kicks in and you sh*t yourself.
It’s like some primal defense mechanism. Saw many guys crawl away because if they walked away all the sh*t would dirty the pod which would make everyone more angry.”
“A guy got a stick of deodorant stuck up his *ss so far we had to send him out to have it surgically removed.
He said he was practicing for sneaking in a cell phone but there’s a 50% chance he was using it as a d*ldo.
Inmates were very creative with their home made d*ldos.”
“Was in the TV room during late night in a dorm unit pretty early on in my 10 year bid. There were only a few guys in there since it was about to close, and I was towards the back of the room.
A guy walked in with a coffee cup, sets it down at a chair a couple rows in front of me, then leaves the room again. There was an older white guy sitting in the seat directly in front of the coffee chair.
Couple minutes later, the man who left the coffee comes back in through the back door of the tv room, walks right past me with a huge piece of metal, it looks like a giant tin can top. He walked right to the chair behind the older white guy and brought the metal around to the front of his neck and started f*cking sawing this dude’s head off a few feet away from me.
I was stunned and watched for a while but I eventually got up and walked out the back door, being careful not to make furtive movements to tip off the C.O. at the desk.
The next morning, I learned that the older guy was a child molester and had been nearly decapitated. The giant piece of metal was the entire top of a toilet/sink console that had been removed, flattened, and sharpened.
Was definitely among the craziest incidents of violence I saw in there.”
16. Oh my…
“Did 11 years. One of the worst things I’ve seen is 2 members of a gang called Goodfellas (aka 40Deep) jumped on a Blood on the way back from pill call.
One used a large knife, the other had a fan motor in a net bag and used that as a flail. Also seen/heard multiple people being r*ped.
A friend of mine admitted to me after a year or so that he had been r*ped every night by his roommate (an OG from the Bloods) for about a 5 month period. “
17. Prison justice.
“There was talk that a guy assaulted his own daughter.
Some guys made him a cup of morning-coffee
Morning-coffee is basically taking a kettle, pour cooking oil in it, heat it up and add a lot of sugar and then throw it in someone’s face.
It was very uncomfortable to see and hear.”
“A woman was 6 months pregnant and her water broke. COs didn’t believe her and waited to take her to the hospital until she was hemorrhaging.
The baby died and the woman was released because they didn’t want to pay medical costs. This was 2004.”
19. Life inside.
“I spent 2 weeks awaiting trial in Johannesburg Central Prison.
Saw a guy with mental issues get severely beaten one night after he attacked another inmate. Saw another guy have a kettle of boiling water poured over him another evening after an argument with another prisoner. In both cases the wardens did nothing until the following morning.
I was lucky, I managed to avoid any issues while I was there.
Overall a crappy experience, 0/10, would not recommend.”
20. Eight long years…
“I spent 8 years in prison, in the state of Georgia.
There was a guy who made a hustle of holding a hiding illegal cell phones for the Mexican gangs. When a shakedown/search occurred, this man was responsible for the loss of many of those cell phones.
He was confronted on the yard, and tried to escape by climbing the fence. He got stuck in the razor wire, shredding his forearms, while 7 or 8 Mexican gang members were stabbing him all in the back of his legs and his *ss.”
“I spent 6 years in prison.
One month in I watched a Crip on Crip gang stabbing. They stabbed the guy 60+ times while he was curled up in a ball screaming “HELP!” but nobody could because you’d be a target next.
He somehow survived but I couldn’t tell you how. I think about it every day.”
“Saw a guy try to kill himself.
The block only had 2 tiers, he walked up the stairs and the phones were right at the top. He grabbed the hook and used it to climb on top of the phone with the side railing.
He then leaned over the rail holding the hook and fell back… he just broke his back and did the rest of his bid/life in a wheel chair”
23. Still have nightmares.
“I made a friend early on who was sentenced to life for killing a man that had touched his niece. He’d been locked up for about 5 or six years when I’d first met him.
Talked to him every day for three years and one day he comes up to me and says he needs to talk to me about something. We do a lap on the back 40 and he tells me his old lady is leaving him, and isn’t bringing his daughter up to come see him anymore. He’s actually crying. I didn’t know what I could do to help him, so I let him cry and told him to not let it bother him, maybe she’ll come around.
We go on about our day, and everything seems normal. That night he woke me up (he bunked across the hall) crying. I got up to talk to him and he says he wants to die, and that he’s glad I’m up because he doesn’t want to be alone. I start hitting the panic button for my cell and screaming for a guard, but no one comes, and I have to watch while he prys his mirror off of his wall. He put on his linens and blanket like a big robe and he cuts his stomach with his mirror.
It was hard to see much because of the blankets and the dark, but I could smell his blood. Then he lit his blankets on fire. The COs got there when the smoke alarm went off, but they were too late. I still have nightmares about it, screaming for him to stop, to just talk it out, but he never does.
I’ve seen a lot of f*cked up sh*t man, but this was probably the worst. Or, at least, it stuck with me the longest.”
24. Just walked away.
“I did 3 years inside HMP Belmarsh, when I was 18, having just transferred out of YOI Cookham Wood.
I was in for a non-violent but serious offense, so I was put on HB1 with all the lifers. I saw a lot of sh*t go sideways quickly there, dudes having heads cracked in with pool balls out of nowhere in the lunch queue, but that all became pretty commonplace.
What I will never forget is the feeling of surprise as three guys push past me on the stairs, and wonder what the hurry was. Then watching them all barrel into a single cell, still not sure what was going on. The screams that came from that room were horrific. It turns out they held down the guy – a big dude too – on his bed, threw boiling water on him and repeatedly stabbed him.
We all heard the screams but no one would alert a guard. It isn’t done. Then, from my spot on the stairs next to the cell, I watched a guard walk over. His name was Mr Geebad.
He saw what was going on through the window in the door. And turned around and walked off.”
25. The yards.
“I did a year spread out over a few low level yards in Arizona.
I didn’t see much that really shocked me – I’d been on the street prior to being locked up so anything I saw in prison was more of the same. There were fights, and people catching heat from their own people for f*cking up and breaking rules, but for the most part is was fairly tame.
I think the part that sticks with me the most is the amount of very clearly mentally ill people who were locked up with me, but were getting no help whatsoever. I mean, none of us were really getting any help, but some of these guys were clearly going to have no option when they left except to go back to what they were doing. To me, that was the worst thing I saw – the absolute apathy of the system as a whole.
I was incarcerated with 1,200 other inmates on one yard in Tucson, in a complex that had I believe 7 or 8 other yards on it. This is of course one of many complexes in AZ. This also came as a shock to me when I really thought about it – just the incredible amount of people being locked up. Most of the people I did time with were in for non violent, drug related offenses.”
26. County jail.
“Spent 5 years in NJDOC.
Honestly the worst part of the whole bid was county jail while I waited for the plea process to work out before being sent to state prison. I spent about 6 months in Camden County. I was unfortunately placed in maximum security because the nature of my crime (1st degree armed robbery). At the time I was a 140 pound white kid from the suburbs, and Camden was experiencing a massive shortage of space in the jail.
Not a great combination for me. Slept on a mat on the ground near the toilet in a cell with 3 other guys (cell had one bunk bed, so was designed for 2 occupants). First meal on the tier a guy was walking down the steps to get his food and just as he approached the bottom he gets absolutely blindsided under the chin by another inmate wielding his meal tray as a weapon.
The walloped guy goes to the ground and the assailant proceeds to stab him in every possible place with what looked like a pen. (I’d later learn that many of the tier’s stabbing tools had pen handles.) It turns out the victim was a Crip, but the whole jail was pretty much run by Bloods. Apparently he was supposed to “check-in” (opt for protective custody) upon coming to county, but I guess he didn’t want to. So they essentially forced the issue. The altercation didn’t last long.
Guards called a code, alarm went off, we all locked in our cells, and the officers then rolled into the tier about 10 deep and, based on the sounds (couldn’t see the action after lock down), pummeled the stabber. A month later I was moved to a smaller tier which was reserved for inmates facing larger sentences (I was indicted on 3 counts of 1st degree armed robbery as well as 9 different other peripheral crimes).
It was much quieter and the COs treated us much better. I was told this was because a lot of the guys on this tier had nothing to lose, and when things got bad on this tier (they never did in the 6ish months I was there) it generally went straight to nightmare mode.
I saw some other objectionably worse stuff while in state prison, but I guess I was desensitized at that point because when I think back the first thing I see is the guy getting decked with a hard plastic food tray.”
Have you ever spent any time in jail?
If so, please share your stories with us in the comments.
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