What has prison turned you into?

Some might answer predator, some might answer survivor, some might answer a better man.

I’ve heard testimonies of each.

Today I met a guy who is a survivor. In prison terms he is what the inmates call an “OG.”

He earned that title because he survived 11 years in Pelican Bay around the early 2000’s. If you are not familiar, Pelican Bay during that time was a war zone. According to him there was, stabbings everyday with inmates having to be helicoptered out because their injuries were on the teeter-totter of life and death. He was there for both the big riots that are down in history for being some of the worst.

During those times it wasn’t “Fighting to see who would win” it was “Fighting to see who would live.”

Needless to say, he earned the label as an “OG.”

He spoke about another prison awhile back he used to be at where the Lieutenant and the Sargent and other Custody Officers (COs) would take home made knives from the inmates, place the knife/knives on the ground in a cell block that was about 10ft by 10ft, bring 2-4 inmates into the cell block, and tell them to fight. Then the COs would bet on who lives…

Like the real life version of Hunger Games.

Apparently after that had been going on for awhile, a Lieutenant finally ratted them out, and stopped that process. But if that was able to go on for awhile with no one knowing about it, what else could be going on right now that no one really knows about?

He’s also spent over 5 years in the “Shoe.” Which is basically the prison within the prison system. In there, you barely get anytime out of your cell, and a whole a lot of time to sit with yourself. He said the first year or two sucks, but then you just get used to sitting in your cell all day. It forces you to occupy your mind with reading, puzzles, and to think and reflect about your choices.

He has a good head on his shoulders, and I can see why he is a survivor. Anyone else who has been through what he has been through or seen what he has seen, would probably be completely insane by now… at least I think I would be.

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