Prison Life Realities of Prison Life: The male inmate’s world v. The Staff World
Prison Subculture • Values and behavioral patterns characteristic of inmates. • Amazingly consistent across the country.
The Prisoners Code • Don’t interfere with the interests of other inmates. Never rat on a con. • Don’t lose your head. Play it cool and do your time.
The Prisoner’s Code • Don’t exploit inmates. Don’t steal. Don’t break your word. • Don’t whine. Be a man. • Don’t be a sucker. Don’t trust the guards or staff.
The Language of Confinement • Rat: An inmate who squeals. • Gorilla: The inmate that uses force to take what he wants from others. • Merchant: One who sells when he should give. • Fish: The newly arrived inmate.
The Language of Confinement • Wolf: The male inmate who assumes the aggressive male role during gay relations. • Punk: The male inmate who is forced into a submissive role in sexual relations. • Lemon Squeezer: The inmate who has an unattractive “girlfriend” • Screw: Guard
Language of Confinement • Stud Broad (Daddy): The female inmate who assumes the role of a male in lesbian relations. • Femme (Mommy): The female inmate who plays the female role in lesbian relations. • Cherry: The female inmate who has not been introduced to gay activities.
Homosexuality in Prison • Most sexual aggressors don’t consider themselves gay. • Sexual release is not the primary motive. • Participate in order to avoid being victims. • Many have been raped themselves.
Prison Lifestyles and Inmate Types • The Mean Dude: • Quick to fight and fight wild. Give and take no quarter. • Other inmates leave alone. • Frequent write-ups and solitary.
Prisoner Type: The Hedonist • Build their lives around limited pleasures which are smuggled into prison or gained through sex. • Live for the now.
The Opportunist • Takes advantage of the positive experiences prison offers. • Schooling, trades, counseling, etc. • Liked by staff, mistrusted by prisoners.
The Retreatist • Retreat from reality. Go neurotic or psychotic. • Heavily into drugs, alcohol, suicide attempts. • Depression and mental illness put them into protective custody.
The Legalist • Jail house lawyer. • Fights confinement, but with legal writs, not fists.
The Radical • See themselves as political prisoners. • Society is the oppressor that forced them into criminality.
The Colonist • Some inmates think of prison as “home.” • Hold positions of respect in prison. • Tend to try to return to prison if released.
The Religious • Some prisoners profess a strong religious faith. • Born again Christians • Muslims • Wiccans • Ask prisons to allocate space and diets for their spiritual needs.
The Realist • Confinement happens when you do crime. • Prison is a “cost of doing business.” • Avoid trouble (ghost) and continue with crime once released.
Types of Correctional Officers • The dictator: Go by the book using prison rules to enforce their own brand of discipline. Bullies. • The Friend: Offer to fraternize with inmates. “One of the guys” mentality. • The Merchant: Participates in inmate economy.
Types of Correctional Officers • The Indifferent: Close to retirement. Low pay, the view that prisoners are “worthless”. • The Climber: Young officer with eye on promotion.Tend to turn blind eye toward inmates and problems – more concerned with improving institutional procedures and their careers.
Types of Correctional Officers • The Reformer: “Do gooder” among officers. Prison should offer opportunities for change. Offer “arm-chair” counseling. Viewed as naïve but harmless. Most likely to be accepted by prisoners.
RIOTS! • An insensitive administration and neglected prisoner demands. • Lifestyles like on street. • Dehumanizing conditions. • Establishing “balance”