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Ex-Prisoners Share the Worst Things They Saw Behind Bars

I have to say, I think that going to prison has to be one of the most terrifying things in the world.

Thank goodness I’ve never gotten into any serious trouble with the law, because I do not think I would do very well behind bars…

But the folks we’re about to hear from on AskReddit have all been there and they shared the scariest things they say inside those walls. Let’s take a look.

1. Ouch.

“A guy got a stick of deodorant stuck up his *ss so far we had to send him out to have it surgically removed.

He said he was practicing for sneaking in a cell phone but there’s a 50% chance he was using it as a d*ldo.

Inmates were very creative with their home made d*ldos.”

2. Terrifying.

“Was in the TV room during late night in a dorm unit pretty early on in my 10 year bid. There were only a few guys in there since it was about to close, and I was towards the back of the room.

A guy walked in with a coffee cup, sets it down at a chair a couple rows in front of me, then leaves the room again. There was an older white guy sitting in the seat directly in front of the coffee chair.

Couple minutes later, the man who left the coffee comes back in through the back door of the tv room, walks right past me with a huge piece of metal, it looks like a giant tin can top. He walked right to the chair behind the older white guy and brought the metal around to the front of his neck and started f*cking sawing this dude’s head off a few feet away from me.

I was stunned and watched for a while but I eventually got up and walked out the back door, being careful not to make furtive movements to tip off the C.O. at the desk.

The next morning, I learned that the older guy was a child molester and had been nearly decapitated. The giant piece of metal was the entire top of a toilet/sink console that had been removed, flattened, and sharpened.

Was definitely among the craziest incidents of violence I saw in there.”

3. Oh my…

“Did 11 years. One of the worst things I’ve seen is 2 members of a gang called Goodfellas (aka 40Deep) jumped on a Blood on the way back from pill call.

One used a large knife, the other had a fan motor in a net bag and used that as a flail. Also seen/heard multiple people being r*ped.

A friend of mine admitted to me after a year or so that he had been r*ped every night by his roommate (an OG from the Bloods) for about a 5 month period. “

4. Prison justice.

“There was talk that a guy assaulted his own daughter.

Some guys made him a cup of morning-coffee

Morning-coffee is basically taking a kettle, pour cooking oil in it, heat it up and add a lot of sugar and then throw it in someone’s face.

It was very uncomfortable to see and hear.”

5. Awful.

“A woman was 6 months pregnant and her water broke. COs didn’t believe her and waited to take her to the hospital until she was hemorrhaging.

The baby died and the woman was released because they didn’t want to pay medical costs. This was 2004.”

6. Life inside.

“I spent 2 weeks awaiting trial in Johannesburg Central Prison.

Saw a guy with mental issues get severely beaten one night after he attacked another inmate. Saw another guy have a kettle of boiling water poured over him another evening after an argument with another prisoner. In both cases the wardens did nothing until the following morning.

I was lucky, I managed to avoid any issues while I was there.

Overall a crappy experience, 0/10, would not recommend.”

7. Eight long years…

“I spent 8 years in prison, in the state of Georgia.

There was a guy who made a hustle of holding a hiding illegal cell phones for the Mexican gangs. When a shakedown/search occurred, this man was responsible for the loss of many of those cell phones.

He was confronted on the yard, and tried to escape by climbing the fence. He got stuck in the razor wire, shredding his forearms, while 7 or 8 Mexican gang members were stabbing him all in the back of his legs and his *ss.”

8. Stabbing.

“I spent 6 years in prison.

One month in I watched a Crip on Crip gang stabbing. They stabbed the guy 60+ times while he was curled up in a ball screaming “HELP!” but nobody could because you’d be a target next.

He somehow survived but I couldn’t tell you how. I think about it every day.”

9. Frightening.

“Saw a guy try to kill himself.

The block only had 2 tiers, he walked up the stairs and the phones were right at the top. He grabbed the hook and used it to climb on top of the phone with the side railing.

He then leaned over the rail holding the hook and fell back… he just broke his back and did the rest of his bid/life in a wheel chair”

10. Still have nightmares.

“I made a friend early on who was sentenced to life for killing a man that had touched his niece. He’d been locked up for about 5 or six years when I’d first met him.

Talked to him every day for three years and one day he comes up to me and says he needs to talk to me about something. We do a lap on the back 40 and he tells me his old lady is leaving him, and isn’t bringing his daughter up to come see him anymore. He’s actually crying. I didn’t know what I could do to help him, so I let him cry and told him to not let it bother him, maybe she’ll come around.

We go on about our day, and everything seems normal. That night he woke me up (he bunked across the hall) crying. I got up to talk to him and he says he wants to die, and that he’s glad I’m up because he doesn’t want to be alone. I start hitting the panic button for my cell and screaming for a guard, but no one comes, and I have to watch while he prys his mirror off of his wall. He put on his linens and blanket like a big robe and he cuts his stomach with his mirror.

It was hard to see much because of the blankets and the dark, but I could smell his blood. Then he lit his blankets on fire. The COs got there when the smoke alarm went off, but they were too late. I still have nightmares about it, screaming for him to stop, to just talk it out, but he never does.

I’ve seen a lot of f*cked up sh*t man, but this was probably the worst. Or, at least, it stuck with me the longest.”

11. Just walked away.

“I did 3 years inside HMP Belmarsh, when I was 18, having just transfered out of YOI Cookham Wood.

I was in for a non-violent but serious offense, so I was put on HB1 with all the lifers. I saw a lot of sh*t go sideways quickly there, dudes having heads cracked in with pool balls out of nowhere in the lunch queue, but that all became pretty commonplace.

What I will never forget is the feeling of surprise as three guys push past me on the stairs, and wonder what the hurry was. Then watching them all barrel into a single cell, still not sure what was going on. The screams that came from that room were horrific. It turns out they held down the guy – a big dude too – on his bed, threw boiling water on him and repeatedly stabbed him.

We all heard the screams but no one would alert a guard. It isn’t done. Then, from my spot on the stairs next to the cell, I watched a guard walk over. His name was Mr Geebad.

He saw what was going on through the window in the door. And turned around and walked off.”

12. Mentally ill inmates.

“I did a year spread out over a few “2 yards” in AZ. (Low level yards)

I didn’t see much that really shocked me – I’d been on the street prior to being locked up so anything I saw happen in prison was more of the same really. There were fights, and people catching heat from their own people for f*cking up and breaking rules, but for the most part is was fairly tame.

I think the part that sticks with me the most is the amount of very clearly mentally ill people who were locked up with me, but were getting no help whatsoever. I mean, none of us were really getting any help, but some of these guys were clearly going to have no option when they left except to go back to what they were doing. To me, that was the worst thing I saw – the absolute apathy of the system as a whole.

I was incarcerated with 1,200 other inmates on one yard in Tucson, in a complex that had I believe 7 or 8 other yards on it. This is of course one of many complexes in AZ. This also came as a shock to me when I really thought about it – just the incredible amount of people being locked up. Most of the people I did time with were in for non violent, drug related offenses.”

13. County jail.

“Spent 5 years in NJDOC.

Honestly the worst part of the whole bid was county jail while I waited for the plea process to work out before being sent to state prison. I spent about 6 months in Camden County. I was unfortunately placed in maximum security because the nature of my crime (1st degree armed robbery). At the time I was a 140 pound white kid from the suburbs, and Camden was experiencing a massive shortage of space in the jail.

Not a great combination for me. Slept on a mat on the ground near the toilet in a cell with 3 other guys (cell had one bunk bed, so was designed for 2 occupants). First meal on the tier a guy was walking down the steps to get his food and just as he approached the bottom he gets absolutely blindsided under the chin by another inmate wielding his meal tray as a weapon.

The walloped guy goes to the ground and the assailant proceeds to stab him in every possible place with what looked like a pen. (I’d later learn that many of the tier’s stabbing tools had pen handles.) It turns out the victim was a Crip, but the whole jail was pretty much run by Bloods. Apparently he was supposed to “check-in” (opt for protective custody) upon coming to county, but I guess he didn’t want to. So they essentially forced the issue. The altercation didn’t last long.

Guards called a code, alarm went off, we all locked in our cells, and the officers then rolled into the tier about 10 deep and, based on the sounds (couldn’t see the action after lock down), pummeled the stabber. A month later I was moved to a smaller tier which was reserved for inmates facing larger sentences (I was indicted on 3 counts of 1st degree armed robbery as well as 9 different other peripheral crimes).

It was much quieter and the COs treated us much better. I was told this was because a lot of the guys on this tier had nothing to lose, and when things got bad on this tier (they never did in the 6ish months I was there) it generally went straight to nightmare mode.

I saw some other objectionably worse stuff while in state prison, but I guess I was desensitized at that point because when I think back the first thing I see is the guy getting decked with a hard plastic food tray.”

Have you ever spent any time in jail?

If so, please share your stories with us in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!