Let's face it, jail is the last place you would want to wind up.
Former convicts who have been sentenced to time in prison can vouch for the harrowing stories of violence that are often depicted on film and TV.
But in addition to the savage attacks and violence that are commonplace while in the slammer, ex-cons could also recall being tormented by extreme boredom and eating inadequate portions of bland food.
Canned fruit, cream of wheat, and unsweetened grits, anyone? Yum.
The following former inmates described what life was like during their time in confinement, and shared their stories when Redditor Between3N20Karakters asked:
The Friendly Murderer
"In prison in Colorado I was roomed with a guy who killed his wife and her lover and split his own throat yet he was a really nice person to me. There are gangs of every variety and it was hard."
"24 days in county in Florida. I read 27 books while I was there. I didn't get my first book till my third day. It's an indescribable level of boredom. I only stopped reading when I could no longer find a comfortable position for myself. I also wrote about 40 pages of notes/diary entries, which is something I had never done before."
"I'll just tell one story. I went in thinking I would be out in no time. I was in a cell block with about 12 other guys. There was a common area and individual cells. I was really shy about pooping in front of others, so I held it. For like 2 days. On the second or third day I couldn't hold it. So I waited until I thought everyone else was distracted in the common, went quietly to my cell, shut the door as much as I could without latching it, and sat down."
"About 5 seconds later the door comes blowing open, and in walk every single person in my cell block. They all formed a semi circle around me, arms folded, demanding I finish my sh*t while they watch. So there I sat, pooping, in front of 12 strangers. It was horrible. But I have literally no poop shyness any more. So silver lining I guess."
The Farm Pit
"It's not quite 'traditional' jail and doesn't last quite as long, but I found it far far worse..."
"I was arrested back in the mid 80s in my youth, living in the former soviet union in eartern europe, and served 8 hours in the 'Farm Pit.' Basically just a concrete pit at a factory farm that's empty when you go in, but then they shovel in pig sh*t as the pigs produce it..."
"I thought I was getting off light with a one-day punishment...but honestly it's been almost 35 years and I'm still a wee bit traumatized from it and still feel some anxiety when I see a pig farm, even in a movie. I never knew anything could smell or feel THAT bad."
The Ignored Prisoner
"50 days in Macomb County Jail. Mt. Clemens, MI."
"Cold. Boring. Smells like bleach and feet. The worst part was hearing a guy screaming for the deputies because his chest hurt. They ignored him. He had a heart attack, and died a few feet from me."
The Detailed Account of Life Behind Bars
"I've had multiple stays at county jails in TX. Every minute of it sucks. Having your freedom stripped from you is a terrible experience, even if you know you won't be in long."
"I visited my dad in prison when I was a kid and one thing that stuck with me from then to the time that I went to jail, was the smell. All jails/prisons seem to have the same funky a** BO/mildew smell."
"In county jail the food is horrible and they give you just enough nutrients to survive. People think that everyone works out but it's hard to have energy or build muscle with the amount of food they give you. You have to be able to make commissary to get more food.
"'Commissary is very necessary'. In county it can be prohibitively expensive for a lot people, packs of ramen go for like $1/each. In state prison, they feed you more and commissary is cheaper. You can also get items not in county jail like sodas and ice cream."
"Depending on where you're at you will most likely be grouped with offenders who have done similar level crimes. Meaning non-violent housed with non-violent offenders and vise versa. There are times this isn't true. Even though I was in on a non-violent driving offense, I was housed with people on trial for armed robbery, murder, attempted murder. I'm not sure why I was put in that tank, I don't have any history of violence. Maybe it's the way I look, idk. One of the murderers was actually a really nice guy (to me anyways) and I got along with him well. We discussed philosophy and played chess everyday."
"Being sick in jail is terrible. Medical care is highly lacking. If you're sick they give you a couple Advil per day and that's it."
"Mental illnesses are rampant. Some people are on their meds and stable, others have conditions that are undiagnosed and untreated but clearly off their rocker."
"Pathological liars are everywhere."
"Everyone is innocent. Everyone is a big time drug dealer. Everyone is a hard as f'k gangster. You get really tired of hearing people talk about all the money and sh*t they have out in the world but they're asking you for a shot of coffee because they don't have money on their books."
"Coffee, stamps and ramen works like currency. You can buy different things/services from other inmates. I used to draw, fill out paperwork, write letters and file motions for other dudes to help pass the time."
"Daytime TV is the most obnoxious sh*t ever and you will gain a new found hatred for it in jail. Dudes will be gathered around the tv watching The View arguing over the dumbest sh*t."
"In the showers, sandals are required. If you go barefoot in the shower you will end up with a f'ked up foot infection. I once saw a dude coming off heroin lay down on the floor in the shower. I wanted to puke. There's years of caked on germs on those shower floors and walls."
"Jailhouse snitches and thieves are hated. If you get caught stealing, you better hope you can fight because you will get f'ked up on sight over a couple packs of noodles."
"There's probably more but those are the main things I think people don't realize about jail."
Never Admit to Being Suicidal
"Try to sleep as much as possible, cuz it's not pleasant to be awake in a room filled with cots and a variety of random strangers, some of whom are cool while others are scary. There's a hierarchy so if ur lucky u will locate and secure a buddy near ur cot who offers to show u the ropes and let's u use her shampoo and wants to play cards. Do not tell the intake nurse the truth if she asks u if u have ever been suicidal, cuz I was long ago, and since I answered honestly i was sent to solitary confinement where I had to be buck naked with all lights on 24 hrs a day and no blankets, only paper towel thing and camera on u with creepy perverted guard watching u all night long"
Narrowly Escaping Death
"My a brother was in prison, he was almost beaten to death by guards. He still won't talk about it and it's been over 20yrs."
Keep Your Head Down
"Been in a number of US jails. Food quality varies, but generally you'll be hungry from dinner (~6pm) till breakfast (6am). Usually you can get some commissary items by trading desserts or playing poker (if you're good at it). Most of my time is spent sleeping and reading books, some people prefer TV and you often don't get to choose what's on. I've generally been in minimum security so haven't seen many fights, but I've been on cell blocks where someone's freaking out for over an hour, and this inevitably happens around midnight when you're trying to sleep. Mostly I've learned to keep my head down and do as the officers say."
"The beds suck, the food sucks, and you're inside at least 23 hours a day. 3/10 would not recommend."
"8 days in solitary confinement was one of the worst experiences of my life. 23 hours in a cell one hour out to walk the pod and shower. Lights on for 16 out for 8. No blanket no books, noting that could possibly be put in the toilet to clog it and flood the cell to get out for a little while (apparently that was a problem). I begged for a bible (atheist) or anything to keep my mind occupied and was refused. 1/10 would not recommend."
Highlights Include LSD
"The longest I have ever done was 90 days in a very small jail. Boring 90 days at most we had like 17 inmates including DOC and females. I played alot of spades. Watched alot of stupid things on tv ( real housewives holy f'k). We usually had cigarettes smuggled in from the road crew so that was cool. My cellmate was in a PC programme and he was on trial for murder. The dude was annoying as f'k. The highlights of my sentence include tripping in LSD for the first time ever, and burning books in the shower cause it eas winter and it was f'king cold."
"Very small town jail for a weekend stay at 18 yrs old. Booorriiinnngggg. Eat. Sleep. Get hassled from Barney Fife. They left the cel door open during the day. We had to mop the floor (hell maybe we volunteered), got to check out the library in the jail....no blanket party, no tats."
"Pretty easy time all told. Which I guess makes up for being arrested for 2nd degree Burglary for stealing a mattress out of a unoccupied TENT at a girl scout camp in the mountains. In all fairness a tent is considered a dwelling, so yeah, I was a burgler."
"Yeup, don't do the crime if you don't want the time or whatever."
"Honestly it's not too bad by itself. We were all kind of like a family there. The worst part for me was just how uninformed I was. I had no idea how long I was going to be there and no idea what was going to happen to my house and job. Luckily it all worked out thanks to my friends and family. I feel truly bad for people who dont have people to look out for them. I just couldn't imagine."
Backed Up For Six Days
"I was in Appomattox jail for 6 days. The arrival process is pretty humiliating. They strip you, make you bend over cough, squat and cough, than shower while watching. Their policy is first 24 hours confined. I was lucky and had a pretty nice roommate. In the cell the toilet is annoyingly close to the bunk bed. There were two common shower areas in the main area walkway. The food sucked. Mostly it's just so damn boring. TVs were on when we could go to the common area but you could barely hear them. We got sent to our rooms for every little thing like getting too loud. One fight broke out but mostly things were chill. I swear somehow I did not poop for the entire time....My body was like .nope. Worst part is they messed up my sentence because of sloppy handwriting. I was supposed to only be held a day. I wouldn't have even had to change my clothes just stay in the courthouse holding cell. I later went to court over it and had my fines and community service dropped."
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- What's it like being in jail? - Quora ›
People typically think of cannabis legalization as one of those cut and dry things.
If you don't use marijuana, you probably don't want to legalize it.
If you do use marijuana, you are probably pro-legalization.
... except it's not that simple.
Reddit user SaifurCloudstrife asked:
"Redditors opposed to marijuana legalization and decriminalization: Why?"
Normally when these types of questions are asked, you get a bunch of people who are pro-the-thing chiming in and that absolutely happened here.
Interestingly, that opened up discourse that got people actually talking—probably more than they normally would have. The constant back and forth helped people get down to the core of their beliefs and reasons.
I can't say minds or hearts were changed, or even that people had particularly good reasons (and there were some not-great counter arguments, let's be real) when it came right down to it, but conversations were certainly had...
"It's a drug."
"I have two examples in my close family that clearly show how devastating pot can be. This attitude to marijuana reminds me of the attitude towards cocaine in the mid to late seventies when everyone thought it was harmless 'nose candy.' "
"I'm against sentences for drug possession but many people would benefit from dealers serving 3-5 for selling pot."
"Honestly, I think everyone against it should come to Canada for a visit. It's been legal here for 4 years and absolutely NONE of the spooky stories have come true."
"The only real differences is that people buy their weed in nice, clean stores with clear labels and not on street corners and our tax dollars don't go towards harassing people for a weekend indulgence."Giphy
"It stinks and makes people lazy."
"And often the weed smokers don't care if they are a pain in the butt to others and that kind of apathy is a huge no for me."Giphy
"I live in WA, where rec weed is legal."
"I rarely ever smell pot smoke. And I have the nose of a bloodhound."
"Yes, more often than as a teen when it was still illegal, but far less than any amount to be pro-prohibition about it."
"Plus, I mean, there's lots of smells I f*cking hate but wouldn't enact harmful laws over- Axe body spray being one."
"Laws can be made regarding where you can smoke."
"In Australia you can't smoke inside or within a certain distance to entryways. The only space you smell smoke is at an outdoor pub, designated smoking areas and occasionally when walking."
"It took years, but people become accustomed to new rules. Knowing Americans though, you guys will be on the brink of civil war if they brought in similar restrictions."
It's TOO Good
"I've read that the potency in pot these days is a hell of a lot stronger compared to say 20 or 30 yrs ago."
"The huge increase in THC levels should be a huge concern for people. The pot being legalized today is not the same I smoked when I was much younger."
"This argument has been rolled out again and again since I was in elementary school (~30 years ago) and I never understood it."
"THC is remarkably non-toxic, it's so much less toxic than many common substances people ingest on a regular basis (aspirin, and plenty of other OTC meds, as examples), to the point where actual THC toxicity is caused by physical rather than chemical/metabolic actions."
"Smoked cannabis is also much easier to titrate (dose appropriately), since the effects are nearly instantaneous - take a couple hits and you'll know if you've had enough within seconds."Giphy
"As opposed to an accidental edible overdose where you might not know for a couple hours that you've taken a heroic dose."
"So a higher % of THC by weight in cannabis flower shouldn't be an issue, especially considering that back in D.A.R.E. they used to tell us that smoking cannabis was SO MUCH WORSE than smoking tobacco."
"Cannabis was supposedly so much 'harsher,' one joint contains 'toxins' equivalent to an entire pack of cigs, etc...which is total bull, but even if that were true...wouldn't that mean that stronger cannabis is less harmful, since you don't have to smoke so much to achieve the desired effect?"
"Can't have it both ways."
It is high potency because it is illegal. It's easier to transport a half pound of skunk than 10 pounds of trash weed."
"Look at states that have legalized. There are low thc strains available and easily accessible."
"Because dipsh*ts will start smoking it in public places where others can not really avoid it, like is the case with cigarettes currently."
"Also yes: F*ck cigarettes."
"Yep my problem is drugs in public."
"I do not care if you do drugs as long as your doing them in a private place. I don't want to breathe in your smoke and get lung cancer."
"I don't especially care what folks get up to on their own, it's when they make everyone around them a participant that it aggravates me."
"Plus, depending on the setting, it's really inconsiderate."
"I have a friend whose job does random drug testing and he left a bar because a bunch of folks were smoking inside and he was worried about work."Giphy
Go Away, Government!
"I'm for legalization but as someone that worked for corporate cannabis, I'd loathe seeing those scums run the market."
"My state Governor tried writing a recreational cannabis bill on their own terms since we are surrounded by recreational territories."
"They stated they didn't want it to lead to a ballot measure because that's worst case scenario (didnt think voters were educated) than proceeded to write the most comically bad legalization bill that existed - before completely dropping it because they couldn't write a competent law."
"I am about as anti pot as they come, but if they are going to legalize it, why wouldn't they make it legal to grow your own? (Rhetorical- I know the answer… same reason "they" are legalizing it… tax money)"
"This is what I am screaming. For them it's only about money."
"They are waiting for the rich to install a profit making infrastructure before they let us peasants enjoy anything."Giphy
"If I had any good reason it's because idiots insist it's not addictive and it doesn't impede your senses. So they drive and do dangerous sh*t while high."
"My issue isn't the severity of the impediment. It's that people refuse to admit that it does alter the mind."
"I already have one person insist they smoke weed and drive because they know their body."
"Now imagine if someone openly said that about alcohol and how you'd react. It's a really dumb mentality to have."
"If anything I'd push for it to be illegalized ALONG WITH alcohol and cigarettes."
"But prohibition taught us that is not the way to go."Giphy
The Same Path As Alcohol
"I believe that if it was legalized, it would become a much bigger part in society, much like how alcohol is now."
"I do have a problem with public drinking and personally view alcohol as much worse compared to marijuana."
"However, since drinking is already so ingrained in our society, it's not like we can get rid of it. I'm just hoping that weed doesn't follow in the same path as alcohol."Giphy
"Im so sick of all these CBD oil pyramid schemes popping up!"
"The testimonials are all, 'I broke my spine in half and had to get it surgically fused together. Now all I have to do is rub a drop of CBD on it, and the pain is gone!' "
"And I'm not against it, I actually use high grade CBD at night to help me sleep. I fucking hate going through a rep though, they always try to hard sell me on topical CBD for my back pain that's like $80 for a little jar, or $30 bath bombs."
"I have discs squeezing out of my spine, I'm pretty sure a dab of hemp oil is gonna do jack shit for that."
"And the cancer patient abuse!"
"Smoking or ingesting edibles with THC for pain management and appetite is super helpful for cancer patients, but cbd wont do anything. Not to mention getting an ounce of good weed wont set you back much, but getting a tiny vial of cbd can set you back a couple hundred bucks."
"With our healthcare system in the states, we know damn well cancer patients are already in a hole of debt. I'm worried legalizing will encourage these CBD lies."
"It's the new snake oil."
"My MIL is that person. She's was touting its Indica strains ability to outright cure cancer the last I saw her."
"Cancer patients get hit very hard with the cannabis oil scams. What kind of evil sh*t do you need to be to take advantage of desperate people?"
"I agree with you about people thinking its the grand cure all, but that's why I feel we SHOULD legalize."
"The main reason I want it legalize is so they can do more research on the things it does help. It's effect on tremors alone is fascinating."Giphy
So what have we really learned here? I'm not really certain.
Lots of people's reasons seemed under-informed, but just as many people had legitimate concerns.
Sure, those concerns could just as easily be applied to alcohol, but lots of Redditors admitted that and seemed to take LARGER issue with alcohol than cannabis. It was honestly difficult to find anyone (aside from the smell people) who was 100% against it.
And that, dear reader, is possibly the biggest takeaway from this. Attitudes are changing.
Sorry, D.A.R.E.—looks like we said yes to drugs. Well, cannabis at least.
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Chosen family is family. Sometimes they are the closest and most important family. Just because you share blood with someone, doesn't mean you have to form a bond.
That's why best friends are so important.
BFFs are forged in many ways. They're there for you in triumph and sorrow. They hold your hand. T
They know where the bodies are buried because they helped bury them. That's why it's so heartbreaking to lose them.
It's just a bitter pill to swallow when it's a relationship you thought was going to be endless.
Redditor FindingDale wanted to hear all the reasons why sometimes we just have to say goodbye to certain people in life, by asking:
How did you lose your best friend?
I've lost a few besties. Some through death. Some through personal growth and some just because it was time. That was an important lesson. Just like lovers, friends also outgrow one another.
I'm ExhaustedI Cant Modern Family GIF by HULUGiphy
"I got tired of it being all about her all of the time. I couldn't tell her anything in my life good or bad because she would make it about herself." ~ Wide-Fig-1063
"He was the passenger in a single-car accident. The driver was drunk, showing off, and drifting on an unfamiliar dirt road in California. They found the car at the bottom of a 70-foot cliff. Everyone in the car walked away except my friend, who died instantly."
"He was already passed out drunk himself so he likely didn't feel anything, but it was still such a terrible senseless way to go. That was 10 years ago last June. He was barely 21, the nicest guy you'd ever meet, and one hell of a bassist. Miss ya, Jake." ~ FormerLurker3
"Best friends since we were 12. Best Man at my wedding when we were 28. Day after the wedding he never spoke to me again. No explanation. Calls and texts went unanswered. He would avoid being at any social event I would be at, which was a few because we had the same circle of friends. Tried for two years to keep that friendship alive." ~ Tionek
"I had a weird dynamic to continue because of trauma. We had been friends for most of our lives (26 years) and every conversation was all about her. I was fine with that because she had a traumatic childhood and I knew she wasn't super socially with it. I'm happy to listen when my friends need it."
"Then she just unloaded on me saying I wasn't listening enough to her problems and how I had mistreated her by not asking enough pointed questions about abuse she had suffered as a kid. This was days after a three hour call where she did all the talking and it was mostly about her abuse."
"I was six months pregnant at the time and all I could think was "do I really have the bandwidth to take care of two babies?" I haven't spoken to her since." ~ keepinitcornmeal
It's WeirdFriends Tv GIFGiphy
"His wife tried to sleep with me. I didn't let it happen and I told him about it. They reconciled and had more kids, then it got weird whenever I was around so we drifted apart." ~ mycowild
Yeah, beware the partner of a loved one who is trying to trap you in a scandal. They are shady. Take that drama and run fast and far.
Why?Peering Looking GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No idea. He slowly stopped answering calls, texts, emails... his wife, even more so. I'd occasionally stop by to see them and everything appeared to be OK. They never stopped to see us, even though his mother lived just a few miles away. I just quit trying." ~ NagromTrebloc
"It was October 16, 2015. I was working from home that day when I saw a call from him at around 9:15am. I had to ignore the call because I was in an online meeting. At 2pm my Dad calls my phone, which is unusual since he knows I'm working. I answer it."
"He is speaking quietly and very calmly. He says, "Son, I love you very much. I have some terrible news. Jared passed away this morning." Jared's wife was calling me from his phone to say she found him dead. I couldn't process what he was saying."
"I said, "That's not funny. Jared, his wife and me and my wife were supposed to meet up next weekend for dinner." Jared had sleep apnea surgery that same week. He had taken a painkiller and Benadryl together. It stopped his heart. He died 2 days before his 40th birthday. We were friends since grade school."
"We did everything together, he was my brother. He was the best man at my wedding earlier that year. I had just shared my son's heartbeat with him via a text message 2 days before. Jared was so excited to be his crazy uncle. I miss him every single day." ~ SnooCapers1425
"Codependency. I became basically obsessed with her and it just became too toxic. I had to cut it off because it was eating me up inside and she didn't deserve how I was treating her." ~ SuccessfulEggplant82
"Good on you for recognizing the problem you were having. It takes a lot (and I mean a crap ton) for an individual to come to this realization. Most people like to live in denial or fight it. I did the same thing and by the time I realized it, it was to late. I hope your able to get through it." ~ Nakanon85
"I noticed that he never came to my place to catch up. I stopped going over to his place to see how long until he noticed.... It's been 5 years now 🤷♂️." ~ Mr_Nonesuch
"Over the years I have observed in number of friendships that its always me that makes the call. They always are delighted to hear from me. If I organise something they come. They just don't make the effort. I have been best man five times so I don't think that its because the friendships are not valued. I don't know, am I missing something?" ~ Yarray2
"My ex wife. Even after we split we stayed close, co-parenting, helping each other out. She died 3.5 years ago. I could have made peace I think but after her death and our daughter was living with me full time I found out about how abusive my ex had been to her when I was around and it felt like losing her all over."
"Like I thought I knew who she was in the 13 years we'd had both together and separated, but it turns out I knew nothing. Now I'm just angry about it, like how dare you get to do this crap and then leave me to clean up your mess."
"How dare you have peace when my daughter has nothing but struggles and therapy. I felt like we were robbed of the good person, the good mother I thought she was." ~ Scarecrowqueen
Far Far Away...Jake Gyllenhaal Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Friend moved to the other side of the planet, with their spouse, to be nearer to both their families. I never understood what real friendship was before friend was in my life; and now they're alive, but not here." ~ ClutchCrgo
One of the natural parts of life... saying goodbye. Or in some cases getting ghosted and forgotten. Either way, chin up.
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Humans have had an undeniably significant impact on our environment and the other species that inhabit the planet with us.
What might happen if humans weren't here to exert that influence, though?
What if we never had?
Reddit user Mompkey asked:
"Which species do you think would be dominant if humans didn't exist?"
"Wolves. They can, and have, successfully adapted to most of the various biomes on the planet."
"There's a reason we domesticated them and took them everywhere with us."Giphy
- Everything is garbage
- Garbage is delicious"
"I would agree, but now I'm wondering if our presence is the reason cockroaches have thrived as well as they have."Giphy
"Sharks, they are the dominant species on 3/4 of the Earth's surface already, they have survived mass extinctions and would thrive even more without humans mucking up their habitat."Giphy
"Humans are the only species that seek to dominate others. Other animals just want to live in the balance of nature. They're just trying to survive, they don't have time to take over the world."
"Pinky and The Brain theme song played in my head."Giphy
"We've killed off so many throughout history but of the ones that remains intelligence and versatility would be the key factors. Their food supply and habitat would greatly increase in our absence so with this being said.........primates."
"We are simply the superior primate therefore we are the dominant species. That opposable thumb is a mf when you have a large brain."
"Wouldn't it be just another off shoot of humans like the Neanderthal or heidelbergensis?"Giphy
While we'll probably never know definitively which species would truly thrive without us around, it's still fun to speculate.
Do you have thoughts?
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