For many, the stories they know from prison are from crafted Hollywood movies. But an Ask Reddit thread is pulling together some potential insider stories.
The social news website's subforum Ask Reddit posed this question: "Ex cons of Reddit, what is the craziest thing or story you've heard or seen in prison?" Posted less than a day ago, it now has more than 4,500 comments.
Some of the stories are understandably disturbing and, it should be noted, that we can't verify the whether they're true or not.
The top rated comment, which was not written by an ex con, gives a movie-worthy plot line.
The Redditor going by ColdBlueZero wrote this account of his father who worked at the "county lockup" and his experience with an escapee:
He was generally well-liked by the inmates, to the point that a few times when I was with him as a kid, strange dudes would come up and thank him for being the 'only one' that treated them like humans. Anyway, they had an older inmate who was a very high-profile repeat escapee, and my dad would occasionally talk with the guy. Eventually the guy tells my dad that he could escape if he wanted to but he's tired and could just use the break of staying inside for a while. My dad doubts the story, but casually agrees and thanks the guy for being cool and not causing trouble. Dad talks to his sup about it and the super decides that they want to see how this guy would get out. So they work it out with the guy that if he participates in a training exercise, he can get some credit on his time, all he has to do is escape to a certain point in the building, no negative consequences, but if he's caught in the process the game is over and he shows them how he escaped and he goes back. I'm not sure what confidence they gave the guy that he wouldn't get screwed over, but he agrees and a few days go by. While a very not-well-liked guard is doing rounds the old guy comes up missing. Like entirely missing. So now it's super alert time all of the guards are called together and they're looking for this guy inside. They go to the designated area, some kind of lock-through or sallyport, and there's a note from the guy that says "keep looking". They keep looking, and find him sitting in the cafeteria office eating pie and reading the newspaper.
In the course of three days he had managed to disassemble the light fixture that served his cell, remove the pigtail for the ground and a three foot section of ground wire, and three pieces of metal from inside the mounting box and the fixture. With those he fashioned a tool that allowed his door to be closed and appear to be locked by the through-bolt, but he could release the through bolt from the carrier and get it back out of the receiver. They guy proceeded to walk them through every step of the process and they ended up having to change a whole bunch of stuff on the unit so that the feat couldn't be repeated.
In another story that has a darker outcome, ItsMrIncredible wrote that a prisoner with diabetes was denied medication because authorities didn't believe him and he ended up dying a day later. This Redditor wrote that the authorities said they offered him insulin, but the prisoner refused it.
Another Redditor called up the story of a cancer patient who was treated in the hospital with chemotherapy, but was taken back to prison afterward.
"They stuck him in a cell and forgot about him. The other inmates were bringing him water because he couldn't hold anything else down and sponge bathing him cause he couldn't get off of his cot and he was covered in his own vomit, feces, and urine," EmilyamI wrote and included this news article validating the claims.
Evesore, who was in jail for a day, shared this nugget of information:
For breakfast this one black guy seemed extra interested in getting my butter so I gave it to him. He rubbed it all over his feet. He said his feet would crack bad then bleed and he had no way of getting lotion; butter was the best he could do.
The Redditor SpecialCake wrote about cigarettes -- how they're made since they're banned and how they're lit.
SpecialCake wrote that bits of tobacco, called "rips," from the butts of already smoked cigarettes are collected and then rolled into full cigarettes, called a "Cadillac."
Although lighters and matches are of course banned, SpecialCake explained how cigarettes get burning:
But to get over the problem of not having fire, you could order AAA batteries and a radio on the commissary. You would take two of the batteries, and put one facing up and one down onto the metal toilet/sink surface. You then take your single bladed shaving razor and remove the single blade, then break it in half. When you put one half of that razor on the grounded positive side of one battery and the other on the grounded negative side on the other battery, then touch them together, they form a spark.
To turn a little spark like that into a fire, they would create a "wick". They would make a wick by taking a bit of toilet paper, rolling it up tightly, then coating it with soap. The (very tiny) spark from the razors touching transfers to the wick, which is then moved up and down at just the right pace while blowing on it until, voila! Fire!
When I saw the guys pull it off I thought they were about to erupt into dance about it like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
It can't be verified whether these stories are true or not.
Redditor man_w_plan who claims to be a correction officer wrote that while many may be true, "some are probably greatly exaggerated."
"We would not stand around denying anyone medicine because we are not evil people, but also we could not get away with doing something like that. The inmates in this prison receive better healthcare than most people on the street, access to nurses 24/7, and all medical procedures for very cheap (less than $5)," he wrote.
"Some of the inmates are good people who made mistakes, while others are deranged psychopaths or plain evil. However, our job is to treat them all fairly and consistently, and to enforce the rules," man_w_plan wrote.
Although the purpose of such a thread appears to be just for sharing stories, as potterRiot put it, it also served as "a great way to deter me from ever committing a crime. Scared straight times ten."
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.