Dealing with Others in Prison-Part 2

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Inmate Population

The Banker
The other big thing is the acquisition of currency. In the Atlanta Camp, the currency was Mackrel. Yes, that is correct packages of fish were used as currency. Purchased in the commissary each pouch is $1.85. However, an inmate can buy what are called compound macks for $.65 apiece. That’s a tremendous discount and a very good buy if you can get it. Some of these guys horde their “macks” so they have a bunch of them sitting around. Usually the only way you can get this deal is if you can get some cash inside or if you have someone put money on other inmate’s books. Both are very much against the rules and can get you and the person on the outside in trouble so be careful if you choose to do this.

The Snitch

If there is one thing that is not tolerable in the Prison System, it’s a snitch.  However, there are plenty of them in the system.  Many inmates are looking for any way to make their stay at the camp better (or what they may think is better).  This person or persons is constantly on the lookout for things that will boost their status at the camp (get them a better job; put them in a better bunk, etc.).  You don’t always know who this person or persons are as they keep their escapades to themselves (for their own safety).  They tend to be loners, but in some cases they are involved in all the happening.  They know that no one will tell on them so they just keep positioning themselves to better and better roles.

The Giver

These are great guys to be around as long as you are willing to be a giver as well.  These are the guys that will offer commissary; give assistance with getting a new bunk; get a new job; legal help, or even someone who will write a letter for you.  Typically these are the guys that make your time more tolerable if you are one to keep to yourself and not mind all the shenanigans that others get into.  These guys are difficult to find as they tend to giving to themselves.

The Cook

Food at the Federal Prison Camp is pretty boring and without a lot of flavor.  The cook is the person that inmates go to to get a little more of the “home cooked” flavor.  They know how to manipulate the ramen noodles, tuna packets, and varied seasonings to make something that your mother would be proud of.  They are the masters of the microwave and can make a perfect bowl of salmon rice.  Some have are experts at making desserts, others main dishes.  Either way, they are great friends to have if you are hesitate to cook in the microwave.  Just be aware, it may come with a  price of some sort.

The Gossip

This inmate will drive you crazy.  These are the guys that get information from home, in a magazine, newspaper, or CO that they blow completely out of proportion.  For example, rumors were abundant while I was in Atlanta that all inmates were going to have their confinement time cut in place of sending them to Home Confinement or Halfway House.  Supposedly this was to save money and shut some prisons down.  This statement had everyone thinking that they were going to be getting out soon and boy did it get the population in an uproar.  The counselors, CO’s, warden, etc. were frustrated because they did not know where or how this rumor got started.  For me these were the most annoying of all the inmates.

This is just a small sampling of the inmates that were present at the Atlanta Federal Prison Camp.  With other 550 guys from varying background and cultures it’s no surprise the types of people you would meet here.  As I have said in the past; most of these guys are great guys who have made stupid mistakes.  Some were malicious and purposeful in what they did; others just got caught up in greed; and others were oblivious of the repercussions of their actions. Do they all deserve to be there?  Well, that is not for me to decide, but I know that based on the way the laws of today are written all were eligible to be there.  Did we all get what we deserved?  My opinion would be no; however, I know there are others that would disagree.

Needless to say, time is time and for me; I’m done with the incarceration bit.  Now I’m just dealing with the other parts of my sentence.  In reality, my time will be served throughout the rest of my life.  But I will deal with that and become a better person for it.  My only hope is that all those who I met in Atlanta will be able to do the same.


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