What You Need to Know About Prison


By Jillian D'Onfro

Butt rape aside, life behind bars is a lot like regular life – except with security guards. Most even have pretty good food. But maximum security prisons? Not so much.

Case study 1: ADX Florence in Colorado At ADX, inmates remain in solitary confinement for 22 to 23 hours every single day. In most cells, furniture is made almost entirely out of concrete (including the bed). Each cell has windows, which are specifically designed to allow prisoners to only see the sky and roof outside. That way, they won’t know their exact location (and gazing out the window gets old, fast). Moral of the story: If you’re going to murder ten people or lead a cocaine trafficking organization (ala unabomber Ted Kaczynski), don’t get caught – you’ll end up sleeping on concrete.

Case Study 2: Everglades Correctional Institution in Florida Some friends of an inmate named Jay Sigler busted him loose by ramming an 18 Wheeler through four prison fences. Close behind was Jay’s mom, driving a Cutlass Supreme – also dead-set on breaking Jay free. At some point during the chaos, Jay jumped into the Supreme and attempted to rev away to freedom. The cops caught up and arrested the whole gang. Moral of the story: Use a Cadillac.

Case Study 3: Ashwell Prison in Britain In 2009, a giant riot broke out that lasted 22 hours. Inmates set fire to two of the prison’s wings, wrecking almost 75 percent of the building. One guy – who was drunk on homemade alcohol – allegedly instigated the riot. Once other prisoners caught wind of the insurrection, hundreds joined in. Not one prisoner escaped in the uprising. Moral of the story: Do it Shawshank-style.

Check out JERK's photo story about Sylvia and Manuel Cruz, who met for the first time in prison and got married two years later.