When it comes to body art, I’ve always preferred piercings to tattoos because they’re not permanent. It’s easy to get rid of that nose or belly button piercing you impulsively done during an alcohol-filled spring break. But, good luck getting rid of that bum stamp!
I’ve made it clear in previous blog posts that your world completely changes when you’re locked up, and all the personal things that you love every day, like clothes, hairstyles, and make-up, can seriously change when you’re behind bars Variety.
Can’t dress as you want, can’t hold hair with decent hair products, and don’t have enough makeup. But what about piercings? Can ears be pierced in prison?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- Do you have to remove jewelry from your piercings when you go to jail?
- Do Prisoners Get Piercings in Prison?
Do you have to remove jewelry from your piercings when you go to jail?
When you first arrive in prison, you have to be received at the Reception and Diagnostic Centre. During the process, an officer strips you naked, searches you, and examines you for any tattoos and piercings.
They’ll take note of every piercing and tattoo you’ve had — along with the location — and put that information in your inmate file. If you have a piercing, they will force you to remove all jewelry and lock it up with your personal belongings.
The only exception is if you have a percutaneous or subcutaneous piercing. Most jails and prisons will allow you to keep the jewelry, since removing it would actually require an officer to pull it out of your skin if the procedure wasn’t done by a doctor.
Unfortunately, some prisoners reported that guards threatened to remove their piercings with pliers, or that they ripped the piercings from their skin when they told guards that they could not remove the jewelry without medical help.
The reason they let you remove jewelry from piercings is for safety reasons. Since most body jewelry is primarily made of metal, it can tear off ears, noses, nipples, and belly buttons and cause physical injury. In addition, removed jewelry can be used as a weapon against other prisoners or staff, and jewelry can be used as contraband on the prison black market.
When you get out of prison, all your jewelry will be returned to you. At the same time, to keep the piercings open, many inmates would break off the teeth of the combs, putting these pieces of plastic into the piercings to keep them from closing. However, if you get caught doing this, they will force you to remove the comb and throw it away, and you will likely be subject to a conduct violation, which will result in some form of minor penalty.
Using a comb or shampoo bottle cap to prevent the piercing from closing can also lead to infection. However, many inmates take the risk if they don’t plan to be locked up for a long time. Those with long sentences usually don’t mess around and let their piercings close.
Do Prisoners Get Piercings in Prison?
Tattoos are common in prisons, especially in men’s prisons. But, believe it or not, prison piercings are also a thing. For this, the prisoner becomes cunning. Typically, they use shoelaces and a sharpened plastic spoon or toothbrush to do the job.
Also, in men’s prisons, there is a process called “pearlization” in which A small object is implanted in the skin of the penis. Although it’s a popular pastime these days, I’m not going to go into detail about the process.
If you get caught piercing in prison, you’ll be in trouble because it’s a form of “self-harm”, which is against the rules. The punishment for this is not just a conduct violation. You may find yourself stuck for weeks, if not months, if not months.
Ear piercing in prison is not as common as tattooing. In the prison I’m in, I don’t see anyone getting pierced. Based on past experience, body modification appears to be more popular in men’s prisons than in women’s prisons.
How should prisons deal with body jewelry and piercings? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: Know your rights: Transdermal and Subdermal Piercings A Guide To Piercings In Jail Holy cow! Handling body jewelry and piercings Prisoners Talk About DIY Body Modification Behind Bars