I am a lover, not a fighter. So, when I was sentenced to prison, one of the first things I thought ㅡ and one of my biggest fears ㅡ was what would I do with myself if I found myself in a fight while I was incarcerated.
Do you often fight? Are prisons as violent as what you see on TV and movies? Do I need to know how to make a knife handle? I have so many questions!
While I was in the county jail waiting to be sent to jail, an ex-inmate gave me some great advice ㅡ When you’re in jail, don’t get yourself a girlfriend, don’t play Spades. I didn’t really understand when the advice was given, but once out in the yard I quickly understood.
So, today, let’s talk about what causes the most fights in prisons.
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- Prison battles for TV, phone and games
- prison fight for girlfriend
- prison fights for commissary
Prison battles for TV, phone and games
Let me start by talking about my experience in a women’s prison. I’m sure men fight over some of the same things as women, but I know gang fights are more common in men’s facilities. This is something I didn’t experience while I was incarcerated because there was no apparent gang activity in rural Missouri.
I’ll also focus on violence between prisoners, however, sometimes prisoners will chase guards or prison staff. Again, this is something I’ve never seen. If this does happen, it is simply because the guards or prison staff said the wrong thing, or the prison staff has been targeting a particular prisoner for a long time and the prisoner can’t take it anymore.
Some of the most common fights I’ve witnessed in prison occurred while watching TV and playing cards in the lounge, hence the advice “never play spades”. In the prison where I was held, inmates could buy a personal TV for their bunk, but there was also a TV in the lounge that they could watch if they couldn’t afford their own.
There is a hierarchy of who gets to control daytime TV. OGs and long-time fans often have remote control, and there are some can’t-miss shows.During my incarceration, the most important program in the break room was empire and love and hip hop.
Heaven help newbies who think they’ll watch something other than those shows.
The telephone lines could also cause serious fights, as there were two or three telephones on the flanks for 100 prisoners. You’re limited to 15-minute calls, but if you’re not paying attention to the person in front of you, they can use their ninja skill to end one call and start another. If the queue is long and people have been waiting for hours, that could lead to a serious row.
Prisoners also place a lot of emphasis on spades, which can cause absolute chaos if you don’t play the right cards or don’t pay attention to the game. In the four years I was in jail, I never saw anyone get spanked in the legs, but I did see some serious screaming matches that ended in prisoner beatings.
When something like this happens, it’s always in the break room in front of the cameras, so officers quickly show up on the wing to break it up.
prison fight for girlfriend
It’s a big one. It’s hard for me to explain this to people in the free world, but there are women in women’s prisons who look like boys. Seriously, you’d never know they were women if they weren’t in a women’s prison. They look just like men, and these women are very popular for prison hookups.
Our word for this is “bulldagging”, these girls seem to be perceived as male, but I don’t want to speak for them. That’s just my impression. These girls play the male role in a relationship and they always have at least one girlfriend.
If someone tries to mess with their girlfriend, it always ends up in a fight. Prisoners would end up trapped in the hole, and then their girlfriends would deliberately break the rules and send them in too.
prison fights for commissary
When you’re in prison, you have nothing. Therefore, the things bought in the commissary are expensive, and you can’t touch other people’s things. Whether it’s 20-cent ramen noodles or a $200 TV, being near anyone’s commissary can lead to a total blow. God help you if you get caught stealing.
Prisoners can chase you even if they know you have money. If you don’t fight back, they will threaten you and ask you to buy things for them. If you give in, you open a door that you can never close. So, it’s better to just say no and fight, otherwise people will keep taking advantage of you and taking your stuff.
Quarrels can also arise over outstanding debts. If someone borrows a postage stamp or a cup of soup from someone and then doesn’t pay back the money as they promised (always two for one), a fight can ensue.
I would say that weapons are rarely used. Fights are just fists and you might end up with cuts or bruises. These weapons show up in serious combat, but those are usually reserved for the guys. At least that’s my experience.
Another reason prisoners fight is when someone is lying or disrespecting them. Words spoken in prison are big things, so be careful what you say. No way to vent ㅡ No drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex ㅡ People are on edge.
To make matters worse, prisons are overcrowded, with more people than there should be in small spaces. Everyone is on top of each other, so it’s only a matter of time before someone gets mad.
Do you think you’ll fight in prison? Let us know in the comments below.