Prison is not a happy place. It’s no surprise that people try to avoid it as much as possible. We’ve all heard prison horror stories about rape and violence, but that is just the tip of the iceberg to some of the disturbing things that go down behind bars. Some of the things are unjust, some disgusting and some are cruel and unusual. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you won’t believe have actually happened in prison.
Because of the “three-strikes” or multiple felony laws, you can get yourself thrown in prison for the rest of your life for selling even $20 worth of weed. Even people who never committed a violent crime, but have had other charges for possession or robbery, can be locked up without the chance of parole. It seems like today, this law wouldn’t apply because marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized in over 20 states. But these new laws that have been passed regarding marijuana, are forgetting about all those people serving life for something that they’d get a slap on the wrist for nowadays.
Having a bad trip on acid is pretty scary, having a bad trip on acid while in prison is a f***ing nightmare. During the 50s and 60s, prisoners in the United States were unknowingly dosed with LSD as part of the CIA’s MK Ultra project. During that time, chemist Sidney Gottlieb brought the CIA’s attention to LSD and argued that it could be used as a mind control substance. So, the government decided to test it out on its least desirable citizens: prisoners and mental patients.
Also in China, a cosmetics company was accused of using the skin of executed inmates in their beauty products. They would take the skin off prisoners after they’ve been shot and use it in the development of collagen wrinkle treatments. Even when questioned by reporters, the company said that it wasn’t anything to “make such a big fuss about.”
In the 1930s, a man on death row named Louis Boy was given his freedom after participating in a bizarre experiment. Scientists hooked him up to a machine alongside a young girl dying of cancer. It was a full blood swap. The girl was given an entire blood transfusion using Boy’s blood, and all of the girl’s blood was pumped into Boy’s body. Ultimately, the blood swap didn’t work, but Boy was still released because of his “contributions” to medicine.
We’ve all heard the stories about rape in prison. It’s even gotten to the point where people throw it around jokingly. It certainly isn’t a joke and in 2007, over 70,000 inmates reported some form of sexual abuse. But when people think about prison rape, they tend to think that other inmates are the aggressors. Well, sometimes it’s the guards. Back in 2000, police officer Justin Volpe was sentenced to 30 years for sodomizing a prisoner, Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, with a broom handle. One of the officers who helped hold him down, Charles Schwarz, was sentenced to nearly 16 years.
Cops hate cop-killers. But police officers should be held to the highest standards because they have taken it upon themselves to uphold the law and due-process. However, unfortunately, we’ve heard of corrupt officers abusing their power, time and time again. This happened in the case of Adolph Archie (pictured), and so many other prisoners who were beaten to death by police officers. Adolph was not a nice guy. He had murdered an officer in New Orleans. During the incident, he sustained a gunshot wound to the arm, but instead of being taken to the hospital, he was taken to the police station where a mob of officers attacked him. He died a short time later. The officers claimed that Adolph died of a fall, but that didn’t explain his shattered skull and teeth and hemorrhaging testicles. No officers were charged in his death.
Since the invention of prisons, guards have been evolving creative ways to torture prisoners. The middle ages were pretty brutal and so were the prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition. But, torture in prisons is still going on today. More recently, we’ve all read about what went down in Guantanamo. But prisons around the world have some pretty “creative” ways of torturing people. In the 70s, British troops horribly mistreated suspected IRA members. They would subject them to white-noise torture, keeping them up on their feet for days at a time blasting this deafening sound in their ears.
When you’re in prison for a while, you may start acting crazy … sometimes you’ll just act crazy to get out of general population. In a Reddit tell-all, former prisoners and correction officers (CO) discussed some of the most f***ed up stuff they’ve ever seen while locked up. This may be the craziest story of them all. It was about a prisoner who had pica, a disorder characterized by the consumption of non-food items.
“He would eat so many dangerous things that he would need surgery weekly. He had his stomach cut open so often that the surgeons installed a temporary zipper on his abdomen for easier access. The man managed to get out of his restraints and undid the zipper. The CO on duty went to check on him and he was playing with his small intestines,” wrote a cousin of a former CO.
Aaron Hernandez’s recent prison suicide shocked many people in the outside world, but for prisoners, suicide is pretty run of the mill.
“Cousin got out recently,” wrote one Redditor. “Craziest thing he saw was during his lunch one day, some guy intentionally leaning over a third story railing and falling on his head, breaking his neck and killing him after a few gargling moments later. Everyone just kinda looked over, went ‘Huh…f**k. That looked like it sucked.’ and went back to eating.”
Maybe you remember misbehaving as a kid and you’d be punished by being sent to bed without any dinner. Well, in prison if you misbehave, you still get dinner … but the dinner is the punishment. This is Nutraloaf, and it is given to unruly prisoners to suck any enjoyment out of mealtime. It’s a hodgepodge of odd mushy ingredients that look like someone’s baked vomit. There’s even a debate going on that Nutraloaf should be barred from prisons because it could be classified as a “cruel and unusual” punishment.
If you’ve seen Netflix’s Luke Cage, you’ve got a small glimpse into the world of prison fight-clubs. This is actually something that happens in prisons all the time. There are countless stories of guards coercing inmates into these “gladiator-style” fight-clubs. Some of the guards even threaten the inmates with rape or murder. Some guards even take it upon themselves to “train” their fighters. Prison employees then bet money on these fights and make a profit off this brutality. Two years ago, a fight club like this was uncovered in a San Francisco prison, but it also happens in prisons all over the world.
There are many drug addicts in prison. But, for those addicts just arriving in prison their withdrawals are intense. In some cases, the withdrawals are so bad that the prisoners resort to desperate and disgusting measures to get a quick high.
“I have a friend in law that works at a county prison and the craziest thing she has seen is when a new meth user comes in the other meth addicts will lick any sores they have because some of the chemicals will leak out,” wrote a Redditor.
Well, if you’re reading this you’re not in prison (prisoners don’t have access to the internet). So, if you’re ever feeling bad about your life, you should at least take some solace in the fact that you aren’t in prison and experiencing these atrocities. You may think your life sucks … but it doesn’t “prison life” suck.