Prison Life, by Robert Smith Jr.

Prison can be what you make it here in Ohio.It’s not as serious as it use to be. It’s more mental today, although you can get what you looking for. I’ve been incarcerated for sixteen years, and I’ve seen a major shift in mentalities from C.O.’s, to staff, to inmates. For better and worse, I guess it depends on who you ask or what side you’re on. I’m going to speak from the side of the blues, inmates, convicts, it’s hard to tell these days. There use to be a line drawn where criminals don’t talk to police, unless you’re asking for a lawyer or in the case of prison to open a door. But today, it’s so disrespectful, guys in blue, especially some of these ole schools, O.G.’s and leaders of these gangs they laugh, cook for, decode our lingo and make these officers feel safe. It’s so prevalent, the youngster’s are coming in doing the same thing. I remember when that was totally forbidden, you better not be talking to a guard in depth unless a relationship established. It’s getting so out of hand, the inmates are beginning to do the officers job, I watch the C.O.’s that are to lazy, most of them, tell the inmates they small talk with to go up and tell cell such and such he got a pass. And they do it. They know who they can get that off on. I look youthful, so C.O.’s have tried me, and I tell them quick that’s not my job. The inmates no longer have the unity amongst themselves that they once had and the administration know that. They’ll fight each other all day long but when it comes to standing up for what we got coming like, more food or unlimited phone calls, they won’t mob.Now on a more progressive end, the vast majority of these inmates got something to prove, it’s just destructive. Everything evil is glorified. And all the good is considered lame or weak. Sometimes I wish the cameras in here could go live to FB or You Tube. So the wives, sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers of these guys could see how much of a little boy they really are. Whoever, said being over eighteen makes you an adult lied. And prison has proven that to me. Most of these guys are in their second child hood. Their not trying to take advantage of this time to come home and be men. They’re too busy plotting their next murder or robbery. Or calling home to scheme their love ones out of some money to get high. It amazes me that the prisons has come to this, I remember a time where if you weren’t trying to make yourself better than you was ostracized.Reading, studying and building was all that was going on. Along with working out. I’ve had an extensive library most of my bid, so guys would come to ask for books. Out of all the books I have to show them, they ask me for a “Hood book”. For those of you not familiar with that terminology, it’s street fiction. I’m like are you serious, we live that life. Now it’s like being nothing or a failure is cool. On the staff and C.O. side, they’re hiring a lot of lazy individuals. Well, maybe they had intentions on working but when they got trained and saw how lethargic their fellow co-workers were they just join the club. So no one seems to want to do their damn job around here. And I’ve been to several different joints in Ohio, all high security. But you would think this is where they would do their jobs for sure. And when you confront them about it or write them up they act like you’re tripping. Some even trick these guys into thinking it’s some police stuff to use the Grievance procedure on a staff. They’ll tell other inmates he snitched on me. And depending on the consciousness of the inmates you may or may not have to watch your back. Then you have the staff that are condescending and holier than thou. They forget that it’s because of inmates that they have a job/career in the first place. So when they come my way with that snobbish attitude I quickly remind them. Then of course you got the staff that feel like they’ve been in this system so long or their family name is synonymous with the prison so they can’t be touched. They abuse their power and the likes. And depending on where you’re at that may be true, but I’ve seen that type of arrogance go unchecked and the devil has his day. And let’s not speak about all the sexual harassment and Me Too Movements that could be started in prison. Most of the women rookies that I talk to, the fine one’s of course, are hit on constantly. And punished indirectly when they don’t succumb to their superiors demands. Given the most dreadful assignments like the perimeter checks, etc. I tell them to wear a pen or clip that records and get rich. It really makes their superiors feel some type of way when they see them kicking it or laughing with us. They try to say we’re establishing a relationship, which is prohibited per Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. But that’s just a manipulation tactic on their part to try and get the women to stay away from us and closer to them. Prison life is so wild, I never realized man had emotions until I came to prison. I would even say they’re more emotional than woman. You can really see the effects that being raised by a woman had on these guys. Or not having a males presence. There’s so much emotions, gossiping, backbiting, and sneak dissing it’s unreal. Envy, jealousy, and hate. All qualities of which I had been groomed to attribute to women, until I came to the joint. So you can imagine my reality √. And it’s not just the male inmates, its the male officers and staff too. They get mad or feel some type of way about you calling them out on a lie or you checking them about something, even if you do it on the polish side they still go and tear the cell up. Throw everything out of the drawers on the floor, rip open your food, pour out your detergent than have you go in to clean it all up. Depending on who your celly is they might mess with his stuff too so y’all can fall out, if he’s not conscious. They play all types of games.

Robert Smith
DOC #477-176

Categories: prison, Robert Smith Jr.

1 reply »

  1. Loved the post, its really interesting to read about the dynamics of prison. Also, its really cool you learnt more about the emotional side of men while being in prison, i always thought men are more emotional than women because they are not taught to deal with those emotions, instead they are taught to “toughen up” and not show that side of themselves, which can become quite toxic, but that’s just my opinion.
    Thanks for sharing this post 🙂


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