Prison is a tough place. But it`s even worse than you think.
What were you incarcerated for?
Marijuana possession. Serving 18 months
Wow, possesing marijuana gets you locked up with the same kind of people that rape people. Unbelievable. How much did you get caught with?
I got busted because I had a small grow set-up that supplied a few friends. I was a tinkerer (Im an engineer by profession) and I was curious about hydro. I never sold anything. I got caught because a friend of a friend claimed I was some major league dealer. My house was raided and they found all 10 of my plants. No guns, no other drugs, just a small basement set-up.
Was 18 months the full sentence or did you get out early? What was the full list of counts you were convicted of or was it a plea?
It was 3 years, plus some time off after one of the counts was tossed upon appeal. Was it a county, state or federal facility. Do you know what the other inmates were there for and is there a system to separate the inmates?
I was in a state facility that was massively over-crowded. Whatever structures they had went out the window when they needed space. How often would they rape you?
It went on for about three months, several times a week. I stopped counting after the 20th time Where would the rapes occur?
My cell, the work area, the exercise area. In your cell? Jesus. Were they your cellmates?
One was. Did you ever just let them rape you, or did you always fight back? And, by repeatedly, how many times are you talking about? How many different instances?
After the 10th time I gave up fighting. I have scars on my neck and on my chest from where they cut me for fighting. Every time it was deeper and more damaging. I didnt want to die. The raped me several times a week over the course of a few months.
Whats your build? Did you stand a chance in defending yourself?
510, about 170. Average. Its not about defending yourself. Two guys, both with knives? Youre going down. Was it similar to the scene in American History X? If not, are there any depictions in popular culture that are more accurate?
If Oz wasnt set in those weird fish tank things, but in regular cells or solitary units, it would be DEAD ON How many other inmates were in the same situation
A great many of them. Gay guys in prison are pretty rare, and very fucking popular. How did the prison officials respond when you told them what was happening?
They told me to "document every event with an officer". I tried that. They would nod and walk away. Was it possible to request a cell change? Mention the rapes, or at least that he was threatening you, and they should move you, right?
Tried, many times. Denied. Could you have have asked for protective custody? Or ad seg (administrative segregation)?
I asked. Denied.
Why not opt for solitary confinement?
23 hours in a room with a slit for day light and one hour to walk around a box? Id be a vegetable now. You mentioned Oz was dead on and that they didnt protect you from other inmates. Where did you sit in the cafeteria? with whom? Is prison as racially segregated as they depict?
I ate my meals in my cell. Very racially segregated. How did you decide who to hire for protection? Did your guy offer his services to you or how did that work?
He had a reputation for doing this. Some guys were just known for offering protection, I asked, he told me how much and where to send the money every month, once I started paying he watched out for me. How much did this protection cost?
$500/month and $5000 total How exactly does one get a bribe into jail?
My family would send $500 bucks from my accounts to his people every month. How exactly did he protect you? Did he ever kick the rapists ass or did you tell the rapists you had someone covering you or what?
He broke my cellmates arm in two places. Did the guy that was protecting you follow you around or did he keep an eye on you wherever youd go? Or did you follow him?
After initially breaking my cellmates arm he just let it be known I was not to be fucked with. He had connections with the skinheads, that went far. Any problems after that? And did this happen right when you started paying him?
Nope, after he was "on the job" I never had a problem. Did the guy who broke your cellmates arm get more time for doing so?
My cellmate claimed it happened in an accident in a work area. He stuck to that story, though it was clear the guards and admin thought otherwise. After the broken arm, did they show you any sense of respect or at least fear? or a sense of wishing for revenge? or was it just, shrug/whatever, thats the way it goes?
He acted like I was not even there. Did he ever become a friend or just stayed as an acquaintance/bodyguard? (aka Still in contact?)
Fuck no, hes still in jail. If I saw him IRL Id run away. How are you now?
Im day to day. I used to freak out thinking people could just look at me an KNOW Id been raped. Now, I could give a fuck what people think of me. The situation made me stronger, but colder. Are you currently in/seeking therapy? Do you find it helpful to talk about the experience? Have you shared it with anyone else in your life?
Im in therapy yes. No one else knows about this but me. If no one else knows it, what did your family members think they were paying for?
I told them I was getting threatened and my food stolen. I think, deep down, they knew. But we never talk about it. Did you catch anything , STD wise?
Thankfully, no, Im clean. Though I plan on getting tested every 3 months for the next few years. Peace of mind, HIV is sneaky. How are your relationships with women now? Have you been in a relationship since your release, or any kind of sexual encounter? Whats it been like, is it traumatic or
I dunno, fulfilling or comforting in some way? Do you get flashbacks or anxiety attacks?
I have some anxiety. I dont like anything sharp near me. I had a check-up last month and nearly flipped out when I saw the needle. I hate being locked in anywhere, need to know I can leave at a moments notice. Ive only had sex with sex workers since my release. Im a regular with a couple in my town. I dont think I could handle a relationship. Did the experience affect your sexuality in any way?
Im only comforable with sex workers. I need to feel that I can end everything at any second and just leave, no need to explain. I have a couple women I see regularly, they both get it. I mean, I could be right in the middle of sex and just need to go, get out, almost run. How can you have a relationship like that?
Im doing therapy, its getting better, but I dont want to dump my shit on a relationship. Has this incident changed your opinion on people in general? Do you find it harder to build relationships now that youre out? I imagine as a male to be victimized in this way it would be hard to cope with at times, is it?
Im less trusting. My cell mate played like a friend at first, got my guard down. I moved out of state, left most of my friends behind, but Ive made a number of new ones here. My only sexual contact is with sex workers. I trust them, its safe and I make enough money to engage them regularly. How are you managing to function as a human being? I dont think I would want to live after something like that
hard enough watching the rape scene in American History X
I watch comedies and animal shows man. I dont even like cop shows these days. Life is too fucking short for all that dark shit. Im curious why people dont sue the prison for not protecting them, especially when it happens so frequently.
Inmates do, all the time. The media ignores them, the public thinks prison rape is a joke and they system could give a fuck. "Let the animals kill each other" is the mindset Are you going to sue the state? if it was a private prison, can you sue them?
No point. Juries could care less, the state would just call me a liar, courts are weighted against inmates in every way. Guys who are innocent cant sue the DAs who fucked them. I was guilty, what chance do I have? Waste of time and money for me. Do you have advice for other men out there should they happen to go to prison?
Honestly, buy some protection. The guy who watched out for me was on a 5 year bit for robbery and was a fucking skin-head crazy fucker, but the first time one of my rapists laid a hand on me, my guy broke his arm in two places. Worth every fucking penny.