Criminal is powered by Vocal creators. You support William Marks by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Criminal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Prison, From the Inside

Can you mentally handle it?

I'd like to tell you about life in prison from the inside view. You see shows on TV, and hear people talk about it, but they only show you the soft side. Hopefully, this information sways one person's decision whether to break the law or not, in the direction of "not."  If I help keep one person out of this sinkhole, I've accomplished my goal.

At 3:00 AM they wake you up for breakfast. Then, when you get to the chow hall, they give you about five minutes to eat three pancakes, some oatmeal or grits and fruit.  For those of you out there who like pancakes, you get them four days a week here all year long.  Then it's back to your cell to sleep till six AM. Then you have to get up, and show the guard your ID. If you are enrolled in school, this is the time to get ready.  If not, you can either get ready to go to dayroom at 7:00, or go back to sleep. The dayroom is where everyone congregates to play games or watch TV, get counted at 9:00... eat lunch at 10:30... then get ready for afternoon school if you have it. If not, it's either time to chill out in the cell, or more dayroom time. Dinner is at about 3:30 PM. Then it's dayroom time till 10:30 PM (1 AM friday and saturday), with mail call in there at some point. Doesn't sound so bad so far, right? Now throw in the guards, who think it's their job to come to work, and punish you for breaking the law... the ones with power-trip issues... the ones that are mad at the world for one reason or another... the ones that just don't want to see you go home! Something that is never talked about... the guards, and the way you interact with them, has almost everything to do with whether or not you go home or stay here. Now mix in a couple hundred men who think they are the hottest thing since fried bacon. A few hundred attitudes, and just as many egos. Then factor in the female guards... who now get to order you around... tell you what to do. All the time you have gone without female companionship. You can look, but not touch. You can talk to her, think you have a shot... YOU DON'T!

So, now you have guards with power issues... sexual frustration... female guards with power over men (most for the first time in their lives)... a few hundred attitudes and egos... and now worry about how your family, and loved ones are doing. When times get hard for them, what can you do to help them? Send them a letter with pretty words, wishing there was more you could do. Unless you've ever been locked up, I can guarentee you've never felt the level of stress that comes from the utter powerlessness to help the ones you love... and there's not a thing you can do for them, but burden them more than they already are. So, if you think there is anything easy about doing time, consider all the facts. Regardless of anything you've ever heard or read, this shit sucks. Take it from Someone who's spent almost as much time locked up, as I've been "free" in the 40 years I've been on this planet. This is no way for anyone to live. This is time away from my family, and loved ones that I can never get back. So think about that next time you want to do something "wild." I promise it's not worth it!

Now Reading
Prison, From the Inside
Read Next
Surviving Life; More Than Trafficking