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  • Okay, so I really messed up. My first time on  holiday to the US from Jolly Old England, and now  

  • I'm being convicted on federal drug trafficking  charges, just because I left my bags with that  

  • seemingly-nice man while I was in the airport  bathroom. Thankfully, I'm not in Singapore,  

  • so I won't be hanged for my stupid mistake, butam gonna be doing hard time in a US federal prison  

  • until my next appeal. But don't worry – I've seen  The Shawshank Redemption twice, and I'm pretty  

  • sure I watched a couple episodes of Prison Break. It's not like there are ten super important rules,  

  • right? This should be a piece of cake… 10. In prison, do not refer to the  

  • other guys doing time with you asinmates”. Of course, on my first day, I want to make sure  

  • I make a good first impression. After all, I'm  potentially staring down the barrel of a ten-year  

  • sentence, so it's definitely a good idea to make  friends. That's why, on my first day in the yard,  

  • I walked up to the nearest group of prisoners  and decided to lay my British charm on them

  • Hello, my fellow inmates!” I said. They looked at me like I was an alien. I figured  

  • it must've been the accent, so I tried again. “How about we go from in-mates to good mates?”  

  • I said, and sadly, nobody laughed. They just kept staring at me

  • That night, as I was helping scrub down the  tiles in the showers, someone whacked me on  

  • the back of the head with a bar of soap insidetube sock. Ouch! Next thing I knew, I was in the  

  • infirmary. When I told the prison doctor the  whole story, he just shook his head and said

  • Word of advice, buddy. Don't call your fellow  prisoners 'inmates.' It's a sign of disrespect,  

  • or shows that you're softer than  Wonderbread. Use 'convicts' next time.” 

  • Well, that's one lesson learned the hard way… 9. Don't “PC up.” 

  • After only one day in prison, I'd already  decided that being locked up with a bunch of  

  • murderers and hardcore career criminals really  wasn't for me. These men could be real brutes,  

  • and I've always been more of a soft touch.  I thought that it was probably best to get  

  • myself a little protection from all the scary men  with cheeks covered in tear-drop tattoos. That's  

  • why I approached one of the guards, and asked  him if I could be put under protective custody

  • He asked why, and I told him my tale of  soapy woe. But the guard just laughed,  

  • and rudely told me that my concerns just  weren't a priority right now. Worse still,  

  • one of my fellow inmates- Uh, I meanconvicts, saw me get rejected. How humiliating

  • It literally added injury to insult when  that convict, along with a few others,  

  • cornered me in the yard the next day and kicked  me several times in the head. I just can't win

  • Later, in the infirmary, the doctor told  me, “You were lucky it was just a beating.  

  • You really shouldn't PC up unless it's life  or death, cause if you get seen doing it,  

  • you'll make it life or death.” 8. Do not gamble, borrow,  

  • or use drugs that you get 'up front' with the  promise that you'll pay later without knowing  

  • beyond doubt that you'll be able to pay. After my frankly quite shoddy first few days  

  • as a convict, I must say, I was really feeling  sorry for myself. Not only was I going to miss  

  • out on the release of the PlayStationbecause of the length of the sentence,  

  • they didn't even have so much as a PS3 on the  inside! It was torture! That's why I decided to  

  • score myself a bit of the old Bolivian Marching  Powder from my cellmate, Hector. He gave me a  

  • quizzical look when I asked, and said: “Are you sure you're good for it?” 

  • Yes, yes, of course, whatever,” I said.  “Just give me my drugs. I'm miserable here!” 

  • So, Hector obliged me, and I spent the next  few hours feeling pretty darn good. Until,  

  • of course, Hector pushed me up against the wall  and held a shiv up to my throat, asking for  

  • his money with language I can't really repeat  here. When I told him I couldn't pay him back,  

  • he thankfully only beat the living hell out of me. “Don't gamble, borrow, or take any drugs you  

  • can't pay for, you stupid, British  jerk,” he said, before going to bed.  

  • I spent that night in the infirmary. Again. 7. Never Back Down from a Challenge

  • By mid-week, I'm not gonna lie, I looked like  a mess. I was so bruised up that I looked like  

  • a dalmatian, and I was feeling lonely since  Hector was sent to solitary for beating me up.  

  • I decided to just sit quietly in the  yard and read the only book the prison  

  • library had available at the time, which was  sadly a copy of a Justin Bieber biography

  • So, you can only imagine my frustration when  a man they calledAryan Nation Steve” – on  

  • account of all the Swastika tattoos and racial  hatredcame over to me, jonesing for a fight.  

  • He said, in his deep, intimidating voice: “You and me right now, little man, let's go!” 

  • Of course, he was twice my size and wayway angrier, so I didn't much fancy a fight

  • Can't we just talk about this  like civilized men?” I asked

  • When a few of the other convicts heard me  say this, they apparently took offence,  

  • and started crowding around us. Aryan  Nation Steve challenged me again

  • “I'm sorry, Steven, but I'm  just not feeling it!” I said

  • So, I got beaten up by seven guys instead of  one. And while Aryan Nation Steve was punching  

  • me in the face, he saidWord of advice: When  someone challenges you, you take that challenge,  

  • or things will get a whole lot worse!” Duly noted

  • 6. Defer to, and show respect to  the older convicts. You do not get  

  • to survive prison to old age by accident. Needless to say, after all these beatings,  

  • I was feeling pretty powerless.  I needed a sense of retribution,  

  • or my self-esteem was going to take a real  nosedive. I vaguely remembered something about  

  • asserting dominance by taking on the strongest  guy in the yard, but the strongest guy in the  

  • yard – a Russian gangster who went by Big Boy  Boriswould probably use me as a toilet brush

  • That's why I decided to instead take on Toothless  Bill, whoat 75 – was probably the oldest guy  

  • in the penitentiary. As a spritely young lad  of 22, I figured I could probably take the old  

  • codgerand after all, as I'd learned yesterdayyou can never turn down a fight in prison.  

  • This would be a perfect way to at least  end up above someone on the food chain

  • So, I approached him, and said, “Come onToothless Bill, it's time to throw down!” 

  • And without a word, he rose from his seat, and  gave me a swift chop to the throat that sent me  

  • crumbling to the ground, gasping for air. He gave a grizzled old chuckle and said,  

  • Respect your elders, kid. You do not get  to survive prison to old age by accident.” 

  • 5. Maintain Good Personal Hygiene. It goes without saying that prison  

  • really wasn't going well for me. I'd  learned five important rules, sure,  

  • but at what cost? I was getting bloodied  and bashed on an almost daily basis. And  

  • ever since the soap bar assault on the first day,  I was petrified of getting back into the showers.  

  • As a result, my smell apparently became  a little offensive to my fellow convicts

  • And okay, maybe I'd been spotted leaving the  bathroom without washing my hands a few times,  

  • but I'd only peed! And with the constant threat  of assault coming at me from every angle, maybe  

  • some of the little things were beginning to slip  my mind. But apparently all this wasn't so little  

  • to the other prisoners, as they weren't nearly as  accustomed to my brand of natural musk as I was

  • I think that's why I was hit over the back of the  head with a rock, and dragged into the showers,  

  • where they forcibly scrubbed me down against my  will and then shoved a bar of soap into my mouth.  

  • It was my first day all over again! They didn't  say much, save for a lot of very creative swear  

  • words, but I still got the message loud and clear. Maintain good personal hygiene,  

  • or have the snot kicked out of you. Understood. 4. Don't Break The Chow Hall Seating Arrangement

  • If the constant violence and degradation weren't  bad enough, the food in prison is terrible, too.  

  • Just a random assortment of government-mandated  slop on a TV dinner plate. After being handed  

  • my so-called meal in the chow hall, I turned to  take my seat, and suddenly noticed thatby what  

  • seemed like pure chancethe convicts in the chow  hall were all segregated by race. How strange,  

  • I thought. Maybe they've been in prison so long  they didn't even know segregation had ended

  • I decided I'd do the decent thing, and go sit in  the African-American section to tell them about  

  • all the amazing racial progress that'd gone  on outside. They'd probably be delighted to  

  • hear it! But as I sat down among them, they  all just gave me some really strange looks.  

  • I decided it was probably because of all the  bruises, so I persisted with my pitch-perfect  

  • retelling of the American Civil Rights Movement. I somehow ended up with a dining fork sticking out  

  • of my cheek by the end of the anecdote, but in the  process, I learned an extremely valuable lesson

  • Don't break the chow hall seating code. Ohand don't be condescending to people, either

  • 3. Mind your own business at all times, and  use 100% of your common sense at all times

  • Hector was back in the cell with me that nightOur relationship had definitely been a little  

  • strained since the drug-fuelled violence incidentso we mainly kept to ourselves. But, in the night,  

  • I heard strange noises coming from the top  bunk. When I took a peek, I saw that Hector  

  • had somehow obtained some contraband lipstickdrawn a crude image of a woman on his pillow,  

  • and was passionately making out with it. Of course, I found this to be hilarious,  

  • and decided to tell the story to a few fellow  convicts out in the yard. They were laughing along  

  • at all the right moments. Things were finally  going well! I was being liked! Until suddenly,  

  • I was being garrotted with a shoelace. Turns outHector had heard me talking smack, and wanted a  

  • little retribution of his own. Thankfully, the  guards intervened before he could finish the job

  • It was another important lesson for the  future: Mind your own business at all times,  

  • and use 100% of your common sense at all times. 2. Do not fraternize with convicts of another race  

  • than your own. If you do, understand that you  are putting your life or your health at risk

  • I was still feeling silly for my ham-handed  attempts to bridge the racial divide in the  

  • chow-hall, and decided to try it again  on a much smaller scale in the yard.  

  • I approached an African-American prisoner and  struck up a conversationyou know, all the  

  • standard prison small talk: His name, what he  was in for, and whether he had a favourite video  

  • from The Infographics Show. He seemed like a nice  enough guy, if a little skittish about talking to  

  • me. Maybe I was finally building up my cred! Though I realised the true reason for his  

  • nervousness afterwards, when Aryan Nation Steve  punched me really hard in the face and called  

  • me a race traitor. That's when I learned it  was probably just best to avoid fraternising  

  • with convicts who weren't the same race  as me. God, who would have guessed that  

  • prison was such a prejudiced environment? 1. Do not tell on anybody, for any reason

  • My American prison experience, on the whole, had  been horrible. If you could give prisons Yelp  

  • reviews, I'd definitely give this one zero stars.  I'd made no friends, been assaulted constantly,  

  • and just had a generally bad time. I decided  I'd finally get payback the only way I knew how:  

  • I'd tattle to a guard about all the sketchy things  my fellow convicts had been doing, and watch the  

  • warden rake them over the coals for it. I told them about Hector's drug running,  

  • about Aryan Nation Steve's penchant for  punching, and about the countless instances of  

  • rule-breaking and contraband I'd seen on the yard. It seemed like a great idea, until that night,  

  • when I was peeling potatoes in the kitchenSuddenly, I found myself surrounded by stone-faced  

  • convicts, all of them carrying shivs. “I'm guessing you're not here to help  

  • me with the potatoes?” I asked. And one of them just sneered,  

  • and said to me, “You forgot the most important  rule of prison, kid: Snitches get stitches.” 

  • And in that moment, before receiving a very  painful Cell Block B acupuncture session,  

  • I realised that there were not only ten  crucial prison commandments that you have  

  • to follow to save your skin, but that there was  an unspoken eleventh commandment. A commandment  

  • that is arguably the most important of allMake sure you learn the other ten beforehand,  

  • because if you have to learn them by experience  inside, then you won't make it out alive

  • Check outMan So Violent Even Other  Prisoners Fear HimandShocking US  

  • Human Prisoner Experiments Revealed!” for more  crazy facts about what goes on behind bars!

Okay, so I really messed up. My first time on  holiday to the US from Jolly Old England, and now  

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B1 prison hector yard decided chow fellow

The Ten Commandments of Prison

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/20
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