Hey everyone, my name is Dan.

I am a 26-year-old man who spent the better part of a year in two of the USA's most notoriously violent and corrupt jails in 2013.

I come from a relatively well-off family, but have long suffered from anxiety, depression and (until recently) undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. My mental health issues led me into addiction and violence, which led me into this country's horrifically corrupt legal system. I was on probation for nearly a decade starting at 16 years old, and ending just over a year ago.

These days, I am living in NYC, working as an entrepreneur/marketing professional -- I've had a variety of business ventures with my best friend, business partner and sister, Morgan. These include: selling Christmas trees online and on the streets of New York City, a boutique heart-rate based high intensity training fitness studio that uses heart-rate monitors to inform your workout, and a bubble tea cart.

I am off probation and am staying out of trouble. That said, part of why I'm doing what I am today for work is that I can't get a job (that won't use the fact that I was incarcerated to pay me far less than I'm worth).

The legal and penal systems in this country is f&*ked from the moment you enter to the moment you're released.

Throughout the proces I witnessed police brutality, institutional racism & classism, unsafe living conditions (sewage backing up into our sinks, over-crowding in Los Angeles, dangerously high heat and no AC or fans in New York during the summer, exposed electrical wires sitting in a pool of water in my holding cell, etc).

I joined a gang in Los Angeles out of the need to survive and witnessed, participated in and was the victim of a lot of violence in the system. I was fighting in some form or another at least every other week through my entire stay in jail. I picked up martial arts (Muay Thai, MMA, Jiu Jitsu) about 5 years before I got locked up and without that, and without those skills I strongly believe I would not have survived the ordeal.

I met many good people, with amazing stories in there. Most of them weren't bad guys, and were suffering from addiction and mental illness, which led them into crime.

I was able to get out of the system because my family could afford to buy me a good attorney. But unfortunately, it's not really what you know (he knew a lot), it's actually who you know. By hiring the right attorney with the right connections in my court, I was able to secure my release to a mental health treatment facility.

It breaks my heart to know that there are still men in those facilities who should really be in treatment. And that the only reason they aren't where I am today (off probation and out of the system) is that they don't have the enough money or the right connections. It's wrong and we need change, now.

I would ask anyone who feels for this cause or knows anyone suffering from mental illness and/or addiction to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. They don't know I am doing this AMA, but throughout my time in Los Angeles, they were consistently working with prisoners to expose corruption and help those in our society who are without a voice.

I won't incriminate myself or anyone else, but otherwise I am an open book. Looking forward to speaking with you guys.

Dan

PS a few of the issues I want to talk about, if anyone is interested...

1) How money can buy influence, and influence can buy freedom. Those without money are not given the same opportunities.

2) Unsafe & unsanitary conditions -- I once got a throat infection and fever from getting bile splashed into my mouth (from our clogged sinks). I was mocked by deputies and denied medical treatment when I got sick.

3) How gangs control the jail system. Bloods in New York City, and Mexican Mafia in Los Angeles.

4) The institutional racism in Los Angeles that segregates inmates based on their ethnicity.

5) The horrific process of "booking" where you are processed into jail.

6) Drug use in jails

7) Being denied access to adequate mental health services in jail

8) The monopoly that Global Tel Link and the companies that provide "canteen" have on the inmate population. They charge families and friends who want to call or buy food for inamtes INSANE rates and are taking advantage of the "captive market" (sorry, had to).

9) Multiple experiences being profiled and harassed by police in Los Angeles for being on probation. See example here.

10) How I am treating my Borderline Personality Disorder, addiction, anxiety and depression using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy & mindfulness (let's talk good stuff too, right?)

11) Anything else, lay it on me

TIMELINE

Many people are asking about the timeline, so to clarify, here it is:

*Various behavioral modification schools & work camps throughout pre-puberty years

*Arrested in 2006 as teen for aggravated assault

*Sentenced to sober living homes, AA and rehabs

*Arrested in 2008 for aggravated assault

*Received a 7 year suspended sentence and probation

*Violated probation

*Sentenced to rehab centers *Started doing really well, managed to get accepted into a good University in Los Angeles and was getting good grades and staying sober. Worked at a couple small PR & marketing firms.

*Started a business manufacturing and selling boxing equipment

*Got in really bad motorcycle accident and wrecked my knee and had me immobilized on a pic line (rubber tube into your heart) for 6 weeks.

*Violated my probation

*Absconded to New York City (ran away from probation)

*Arrested in Upstate New York for posession charges. My warrants in California hadn't reached the NY system yet.

*Started going to AA, doing well again.

*Decided to turn myself in and face the consequences back in California. Had bought a plane ticket and everything.

*Two days before I was to return I was picked up in Coney Island for hopping a turnstyle

*I went to the Coney Island precinct, then to Brooklyn City Jail, then to Riker's Island

*Stayed at Rikers for about two months, then was extradited by plane to Los Angeles County Jail

*Did about 6 months in Los Angeles County. Most of the time I was in the Twin Towers, but did a few weeks in Wayside and in Old County

A note on taking responsibility

I regret hurting the people I have hurt in the past. I've made amends with the victims. A lot of people are saying I'm blaming my mental illness or the courts or anyone else. Please let this be clear, I am NOT. I take responsibilty for my own actions. Mental illness is not an excuse, but it is an explanation for someone's behavior.

I believe everyone can change, and if they're willing to, they deserve a chance.

My Proof:

Mugshot from 2008 arrest

Diagnostic Report from California State Prison in WASCO, CA

Mail from Amazon to Los Angeles County Jail

Me holding username & date

I'm having trouble finding proof of my incarceration at Riker's Island. When I was extradited, I was not allowed to take anything with me, except court docs and 1 book. Will keep looking.

Comments: 2377 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

here4_pie_and_punch404 karma

What led up to this?

Apologies if not your focus today or mis-identified.

dansevigny280 karma

Ex-girlfriend got new boyfriend to attack me when I was coming off of heroin, and 110 lbs soaking wet. We fought one more time after that, then a week later that incident went down.

nepils230 karma

“There had been … incidents between the two boys prior to this,” she said. “The witness statements make it very clear that this was not a fight. This was one kid coming after another kid.”

Would you agree with that assessment, in regards to the final incident where you stabbed him?

dansevigny141 karma

No

Bubbles_617397 karma

Did you notice that inmates convicted of crimes against women and children are given some sort of prison justice by the other inmates?

dansevigny685 karma

In New York they are ignored and disrespected. In Los Angeles, Mexicans will kill them if they are Mexican; whites will beat them but not necessarily with the specific intent to kill; blacks may or may not do anything.

It depends on the nature of the crime. But yes.

esr360135 karma

I find it strange Mexicans would only kill other inmates for these things if they were also Mexican. Would they not equally, if not more hate non Mexicans?

dansevigny112 karma

Here's an example that might clear it up...

If a Mexican guy attacks a white guy, ALL of the whites have to defend him. And then ALL of the Mexicans have to defend their guy. So now it's a riot.

But if it comes to that, yes they are looking to kill so they can get their stripes.

NotLikeThisManNo39 karma

What about the asian guys? How do they rank in the prison ranking?

dansevigny81 karma

Asians hang out with the black guys. Armenians, Native Americans and "Gypsies" (I'm not sure if that's a racial term or not, but that's what they refer to themselves as) hang with the white guys.

CasperTheRacistAsian113 karma

Can confirm i hangout with black people.

dansevigny48 karma

Ayyy alright

sherpa1984325 karma

My mental health issues led me into addiction and violence, which led me into this country's horrifically corrupt legal system.

Do you absolve yourself of blame for the incidents that ended up with your imprisonment?

Work-Safe-Reddit4450382 karma

There is a major difference between absolving ones self of all responsibility and acknowledging the major contributing factors as to WHY they made those series of poor decisions. If you have never experienced what it's like to be an addict, the equation is then by nature rather unfathomable.

dansevigny146 karma

Thank you, couldn't have said it better myself

dansevigny121 karma

Not at all, thanks for asking so I could clarify

AutoModerator286 karma

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qwaszxedcrfv220 karma

I feel like he is full of shit. Can we get more proof please?

I feel like he is making a joke of people who actually got incarcerated.

dansevigny54 karma

Added more proof

PouponMacaque170 karma

What do you feel are the easiest ways the prison system could discourage repeat offenses, and why do they fail to do so?

I have always felt that a huge part of the problem with our prison system is that it seems to suck people back in.

Also, what percentage of inmates you knew do you think had serious mental disorders? I'm talking PTSD, hallucinations, delusions, manic episodes, and being so depressed you're in bed for a week?

We seem to like to use prisons as impromptu mental hospitals.

dansevigny248 karma

They don't provide the resources these guys need to get better. It's a combination of lack of funding and corruption/profiteering.

Many prisons in the US are privately owned. So there's actually an economic incentive to NOT help reduce the recidivism rate and help people get back on their feet in society.

It's hard to quantify what may or may not be going on in someone's head. I think all of the guys I met had some kind of mental illness. Almost all were drug addicts of some kind.

Mental hospitals are arguably just as bad, but I see what you're saying. There needs to be a push for community based recovery that involves integration--not separation--with society.

SirPhallusMaximus134 karma

You are a multiple offender. You are a violent offender. Prison is violent because that's where violent offenders like you go. You basically absolve yourself of your erroneous ways and blame the penal system. You caused issues since you were 16. Your family is well off and you threw that out the window for drugs and stabbing people. You committed crimes in two states, one on the other side of the entire country.

What's your point in this story? You were a menace to society.

Don't want to be treated like a dog or live among violence? Don't go to jail. It's pretty simple. You show no remorse at all for your actions.

You had multiple chances it seems and decided to keep going down the path that led to your incarceration. How do you expect people to feel sorry for you?

Edit: as well, you blame your mental disorders for going into addiction and violence. Your family is well off and you could have easily afforded treatment, therapy, prescription drugs, etc.

Edit 2: there are exponentially more people with mental health disorders that do not do heroin or stab people on two separate occasions. Or carry guns and drugs while on probation.

dansevigny79 karma

Hey man, I can completely understand your anger at me or what I might represent to you.

I was sick from a very young age. I went to therapeutic boarding schools in prepubescent and teen years, saw therapists, went to AA even, etc, etc. And after I was arrested at 16 I again did a number of sober living homes, rehab envionments and psychiatrists. The problem was that I never got treated for the underlying issue.

I take full responsibility for my actions. I was a menace to society. I did deserve to be locked up. But I also deserved to be get help and change, which I did. And I continue to do that every day.

I am not attempting to pass blame off on anyone or anything. I alone am responsible for what I did. And I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, that wasn't the point of this.

I am out of the mix. I am off probation. I don't ever have to go to court or jail ever again. And I won't. Because I'm doing what I have to do to stay healthy and continue growing. I only wanted to bring light to this issue, because that experience among others has been weighing on me lately and reminding me that there are so many people out there who are still suffering like I did for so long.

I got a lot of hate in this thread, but a number of people have messaged me saying they needed to read this today and it helped them. And a number of people reached out to ask for advice on dealing with loved ones in their lives who are going through what I did. That, and that alone was the point of this thread.

I'm not complaining about my experience. Far from it. I just don't want anyone else to have to go through the broken mental health & penal system. I don't want those systems to create more angry, lost, kids like the one I was. Because of the privilige I was lucky to have, I got better. Now I'd like to help those who are in the the position I was do the same.

1anglen1119 karma

How does the prison system handle on going medical problem like diabetes?

dansevigny181 karma

In Los Angeles at least you can get on a special medical unit. I was on a psych unit my first month there. They come around with AM, Afternoon and PM medications. You get slightly better access to mental health resources (ie a weekly AA meeting, where you can't get 5 feet from any of the visiting speakers). It's a joke. But I'm getting off topic.

Short answer is there is a designated medical dorm.

nepils74 karma

Can you describe more specifically how your attorney used personal connections to secure you a more favorable outcome in your case? What do you believe your attorney did that the public defender wouldn't have been able to do?

dansevigny82 karma

A good friend of mine worked in politics, then for a major US law firm for his entire life. He knew how the system worked, and that if you had an attorney who was trusted by your judge, he could speak on your behalf.

It's a lot easier to convince the attorney (who has a vested interest in getting you out) that you're a good guy, than it is a judge. Now that said, I believe my attorney helped me because he believed I am a good guy and needed treatment over prison. I don't think he would have helped me if he didn't believe in me.

AnonymousChimpanzee45 karma

Could you please give us photo of you holding a paper with your username written by hand on it? What you posted was no proof, it was a photo of a person.

dansevigny46 karma

Added

bedroom_period41 karma

What is the first and most important think to know in prison?

dansevigny81 karma

It was different in each facility.

In New York: Lay low, make some friends, but don't talk to many people, avoid the deputies, try to stay calm when things are making you angry. I meditated and read a lot, that helped a lot.

In Los Angeles: Know how to say "no" and stand your ground. If you show weakness people will take advantage of you.

In California State prison: stick to hanging out with people from your own race. The other inmates see it as disrespectful if you hang out with other groups more than them.

Kylekins4722 karma

What prison had the best food?

dansevigny52 karma

It was Ramen Noodles, beans, and mystery meat all around. I got to have KFC when I was extradited by plane through JFK airport though. So , that?

Bukkaking22 karma

Do you take any real personal responsibility for your actions? Because having lived in LA all my life I can say for certain that you don't need to "join a gang to survive", you join a gang to prey on those weaker and fewer in number than yourself. Gangs don't hurt the rich or middle class they hurt their own communities of poor people the most. Also having gang tattoos is a great way to get "harassed" by the police. You know that you can get those removed for free in LA county too right? PS, MS13 and the Mexican mafia are nowhere near the same thing.

dansevigny6 karma

Sorry if what I said struck you the wrong way. I only describe it as a gang because those who don't know the culture can't really understand it any other way, but what I am talking about is the racially divided jail gangs. I was actually harassed by police before I had any tattoos like that. MS and Mafia are the same thing, I lived in LA for 8 years and side by side with the people we're talking about. Am still friends with some of them to this day. It's really just semantics though, so who cares?

katarinaczarina18 karma

I know you were diagnosed with BPD upon your release, but looking back now, how do you think it played a role in your younger years?

How difficult is it to do the "mindfulness" thing, and what sort of mental strategies do you use?

dansevigny103 karma

If I'd been diagnosed as a kid, I would have probably had a very different life. But it was considered a "women's disorder" until very recently, with treatment options being available mostly to women exclusively.

I was misdiagnosed with a variety of illnesses before hitting on BPD.

Mindfulness is hard at first, but becomes easier with consistent practice. You can practice it in a variety of ways. I'm actually working on a website to help educate people on DBT pracitces, and here's a short section from it on mindfulness. It's not all encompassing, so deffinitely do some more research if you think it might help you.

From DBTschool.com (unfinished side project)

Mindfulness is the practice of being conscious or aware of internal and external events.

Our senses are constantly barraged with information–so much, that our brains have to filter out most of it just to function throughout the day. Could you imagine trying to order food at a restaurant, with input from all of your senses coming in at the same time?

You’d feel the cushion of your shoes, how your body weight is distributed in the chair you’re sitting in. You’d hear sounds from the street, conversations from the tables next to you, a coffee machine whirring.

It would be sensory overload!

And those are just the external stimuli.

You’ve got a whole universe of internal stimuli, in the form of thoughts. Your beliefs inform your thoughts, which in turn create feelings. Every feeling you have ever had was preceded by a thought that caused it.

By being mindful of your thoughts, you start to notice patterns. You can challenge thoughts that cause negative emotions with rational assessment.

When you’re being mindful, observe without judgement.

Pretend like you’re making a documentary about the things going on around and inside of you.

The practice can be incredibly uplifting and calming, because the more focused you are on what is going on here and now, the less focused you will be on the past (regret) or the future (anxiety).

Even if the present moment is painful, you can see what thoughts are causing that pain and challenge them.

For example, let’s say your ex just started seeing someone new and posted a picture with their new significant other on Facebook.

You might feel jealous and sad.

When you step back and think about what thoughts that are causing those feelings, some of these might come to mind:

“I’ll never meet someone as attractive or good as them”

“I’ll be alone forever”

“I always mess up relationships”

“I’m not as good as the person who replaced me”

One thing you should remember is that your feelings are always valid. Even when they are based on half-truths or misinformation. You feel the way you feel because you think the way you think. And you cannot be blamed for that. You’re doing the best you know how.

But if you look at the thoughts that caused the feelings of jealousy and sadness you can see that there are certain assumptions that aren’t based in fact.

Thought: “I’ll never meet someone as attractive or good as them”

Challenge: You don’t know what could happen in the future. You can’t say this is true with absolute certainty.

Thought: “I’ll be alone forever”

Challenge: Same as above. Anything could happen.

Thought: “I always mess up relationships”

Challenge: The words “always” and “never” are good indicators that the thought isn’t true. There are very few absolute truths. It is usually more accurate to say “much of the time” or “rarely”. Maybe you can work on how you behave in relationships (you’re doing a great job already by researching DBT!) — but there must have been times when you didn’t mess it up. And therefore, this thought is not entirely true.

Thought: “I’m not as good as the person who replaced me”

Challenge: This value judgment is based on how you perceive the other person’s external life. They may feel low about themselves, or struggle with things you don’t know about. You may be better at them at some things, and worse at others. You just don’t have enough information (nor could you ever get enough) to make this statement 100% true.

Challenging your thoughts isn’t about lying to yourself. Quite the contrary, it’s actually about presenting the most logical, honest version of the facts to yourself. Usually the truth is less painful than the stories we spin with negative thinking.

Exercise #1: Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of mindfully becoming aware of different parts of your body–from the top of your head, down to your toes–one at a time.

Example on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thYoV-MCVs0

Exercise #2: Practice mindfulness in your daily life

Practicing mindfulness in your every day life is one of the fastest ways to develop your mindfulness skill.

As you’re walking down the street, observe what is going on around and inside of you.

Notice the pressure on your foot with each step…. or the color of the leaves on a tree. What can your 5 senses feel? Just observe, don’t judge. And if you do judge, don’t judge yourself for judging!

Observe any thoughts or feelings that come up as you’re walking. Don’t follow them or engage them in any way. Just notice them and move on.

2014justin18 karma

What kind of drugs do you see used in jails commonly?

dansevigny38 karma

Heroin, crack, meth and marijuana.

zuqui2316 karma

Hi man and thank you for sharing your experience

Does the prision help you in something(improve something you lack of or improve good things you have)? or is just a revenge

dansevigny81 karma

It makes me feel more confident that I can survive in almost any situation. But only because it sucked.

I also had some really cool realizations about being in the moment. The more you try to fight something negative, the more you suffer.

The more you practice accepting your situation for what it is, you can relax and let go. Time starts to go by faster, and you can be at peace with it.

When inmates stress about being in jail, they call it "hard timing it" because you feel ever single second of it. Acceptance is a great tool.

FGImember00116 karma

I am curious, are prison relationships common? Straight men not being so straight and such?

dansevigny28 karma

Depends on the race. There were a couple black guys I heard rumors about, but that would get someone hurt or killed in the white or Mexican groups.

XxAirDalexX10 karma

What was your first day like?

dansevigny30 karma

The first day is booking.

You go to a local precinct or city lock-up where you sit in a crowded cell with about 30-70 other inmates (it was more crowded in California).

It was exhausting. You don't know how long it will take, it's filthy. You find a place to sit or sleep on the floor littered with trash and you wait.

In Brooklyn where I was picked up the process took a full 24 hours. I'm not even sure how long it took in LA, probably about the same.

Inmate workers or deputies come around to give you PB&J and milk every 6 hours or so.

DicksLastResort9 karma

What are street drug prices like in prison? And if there isn't necessarily a dollar amount, can you give an idea of the value of some common drugs relative to other smuggled goods?

dansevigny25 karma

Anywhere from 10x to 100x the street price depending on availability.

It gets cheaper in Prison compared to jail.

Drugs command such a high price in the system that dealers will pay junkies who are getting released to meet with their friends on the outside, pack a bunch of drugs in their butt and get re-arrested.

RoosterSamurai8 karma

What were you convicted of?

dansevigny23 karma

Assault with a deadly weapon (two separate times) Posession of controlled substance (Marijuana)

_TheChainsOfMarkov_8 karma

As someone with a partner with BPD, what can we partners do when they're raging, inconsolable, labile, etc? Everyone tells you to cut and run because these relationships don't work out. What are your thoughts?

dansevigny15 karma

Yes! I love helping people with this, because it's so easy and will have a massive impact on your relationship (and hopefully your sanity).

These tactics actually work on everyone, but especially so for people with BPD

1) Validate their feelings. Then, say whatever your side of things are. This helps people feel like they've been heard. So, for example...

Her: You forgot to leave the key in the car for me you don't even care [email protected][email protected]!%#! something something angry words

You: It's understandable why you feel the way you do. <-- validation I didn't leave the keys in the car because I had other things on my mind. <-- what you want to say

Don't cut and run unless she's unwilling to go to DBT therapy. It's scientifically proven to work for BPD. She should find a group to go to--it statistically increases recovery rate by A LOT.

Pyrrhic_Song7 karma

Morning, OP. I scrolled down a little to start reading, and want to apologize for some of the people here. Not that I should have to, but remember that this 'community' is composed of literally every stretch of the rainbow.

We're not here to talk about your guilt or past unless it helps to serve the purpose you're here for. Just ignore the rest. Reddit can be frustrating as shit, especially when some of the skeevier members post something like I've seen here this morning, and then log onto alt accounts and start the 'upvote' cascade.

But you're no stranger to flawed systems; perhaps this is nothing to you.

That said, I have no concern for your crimes or your punishment.

However, I am curious how you'd like to go about making change, if you were to put it in simple terms. I'll start by asking a question, maybe get a ball rolling.

You're right that we're balls deep in corruption, but this is evident in even nature, now. What can we possibly hope to do in terms of change or reformation of our 'rehabilitation' systems in place?

I know they don't help people. A friend of mine went from squirmy nice guy to meth-addled psychopath after only a few years in. He'll never be the same person. I tried to 'be there' for him, but he started having violent episodes due to trauma during his time away.

Anyway, enough about him-he doesn't want change in his life. But there are a million inmates who probably do, or at least want to let the system work, instead of vice versa.

Now, collectively getting ourselves put into prison and 'setting the better example for change' is obviously a bad joke at best, so...

What can we do to see change that could have prevented the difficulties you faced in rehabilitation? How can we effectively see said 'change' through?

I wish you the best, and just know that no one speaks for this community-there's a lot of asshats and judgmental pricks here.

But there's also a million people with hearts who read and simply don't post. Remember that, and don't let the trolls get to you.

I hope you gain even an inch in your efforts, if not the whole mile. I haven't a red cent to offer, but perhaps there are other ways many of us can help. How?

Thanks again for visiting Reddit this morning.

Remember, "the past is just that, but if we wear it like a crown, it not only defines us, but defines our future"

dansevigny7 karma

Thanks for that. Sorry to hear about your friend. Yeah, I hadn't anticipated the number of trolls who showed up. I can understand where they're coming from and it's unfortunate that they're probably lashing out at strangers on the internet because they're in some kind of pain. Just gonna keep it movin'.

davinhci6 karma

Hi Dan. Thanks for acknowledging privileges that you have over other inmates, which is something a lot of ppl don't recognize quite readily. How are you doing mental health wise? Does being in prison exacerbate some of the issues you were experiencing? How do you manage your mental health now?

dansevigny7 karma

I am doing really well now. It was rough for a while when I got out--getting rid of that jail mentality was really hard. But I started Dialectical Behavioral Therapy early this year and it has transformed my life and my ability to deal with strong emotions calmly and effectively. Can't recommend it enough for dealing with impulsivity, depression, anxiety, BPD, interpersonal communication issues, etc.

Yes, jail and prison did exacerbate some issues, especially my anxiety. I was hypervigilant before I went in, but now it's off the charts. Constantly looking for threats walking down the street. I still haven't figured out how to deal with it. I don't feel safe in the world, but I just do my best and try to stay mindful of my thoughts and feelings.

I manage my mental health now by practicing martial arts (currently focusing on Muay Thai), working, staying close and connected with my family and going to DBT therapy (1x a week individual session, 1x week group sessions and daily "diary card" logging of feelings/events).

Zerdon14 karma

Hey Dan! With these 3 times in jail and whatnot do you feel a need to do better in life? Like do you think that bad actions have bad consequences and good ones have good consequences?

dansevigny12 karma

For the first time in my life, I am completely happy with who I am. We should all strive to be better people and do better in life regardless of what we did or where we came from.

And yes, I would agree that bad actions generally result in bad consequences and good actions in good consequences. That's actually how the concept of karma was explained to me at this meditation class I used to go to. Pretty straightforward.

chainggangtrainbang4 karma

Did you ever seen anyone get murdered by other gangs while incarcerated?

Did rape ever happen?

dansevigny10 karma

I did not witness any murders first hand, no.

I heard of it happening on a gay dorm, but not in the straight population.

Meguy19994 karma

My girlfriend is currently going through the diagnosis process for BPD. It explains a lot of her actions over the past two years but doesn't justify them. Are there any tips you can provide for someone on the outside of it?

dansevigny9 karma

Someone else asked the same question, so I'm going to post the answer from that here below. Keep your head up, and take care of your own needs first. Borderline people tend to attract co-dependent people who want to take care of them or fix them. Don't fall into that. You'll both get better as a result (if that's the dynamic you're in).

From other comment:

Yes! I love helping people with this, because it's so easy and will have a massive impact on your relationship (and hopefully your sanity). These tactics actually work on everyone, but especially so for people with BPD 1) Validate their feelings. Then, say whatever your side of things are. This helps people feel like they've been heard. So, for example... Her: You forgot to leave the key in the car for me you don't even care [email protected][email protected]!%#! something something angry words You: It's understandable why you feel the way you do. <-- validation I didn't leave the keys in the car because I had other things on my mind. <-- what you want to say Don't cut and run unless she's unwilling to go to DBT therapy. It's scientifically proven to work for BPD. She should find a group to go to--it statistically increases recovery rate by A LOT.

LeoMark953 karma

Did anything strike you about people in there ? With regards to their culture or race affecting how they integrated or essentially survived throughout their sentence.

What single experience stood out to you the most ?

dansevigny8 karma

In Los Angeles:

Mexicans have it the best and the worst. The Mexican Mafia, is a violent, cut-throat culture. On one hand, you get the support of the largest group in the jail, while on the other hand if you get involved in politics (trying to have a position of authority in the organization) or if you mess up in the smallest way and they don't like you (like not being "battle ready" with your shoes on during the day, they'll attack and try to hurt or kill you.

Blacks had a more laid back culture. They have a spokesperson but he functions more as a mouthpiece for the group to the other groups and officers than a leader. They don't have a lot of rules.

Whites were in the middle in terms of structure, and rules.

In New York, race didn't really play a significant role in day to day life.

EDIT: sorry didn't see the other part of your question...

The single experience that sticks out to me the most was getting jumped by 8 MS13 guys. Our entire dorm was in transition. We lost most of our white guys to internal violence, then all of the MS13 guys I had known for a long time and was friends with were either transferred to prison, released or deported.

So we had these new guys that had come in with a bunch of meth and were going crazy.

I got sucker punched and beat on, 2 other white guys jumped in and got beat up with me. I blindly punched my way out of the mayhem and got down the stairs, but I was hurt pretty bad. Covered in blood and had nerve damage in my back that still hurts sometimes.

When I tried to walk from my hospital bed to the jail bus to go back, I collapsed and started sweating profusely from the pain. Apparently if something hurts so much, your body reacts that way.

mikerhoa11 karma

In New York, race didn't really play a significant role in day to day life.

That's it. I'm calling bullshit. You were absolutely never in any serious housing on Rikers. Your race is absolutely a major part in how you live in there.

And that MS13 story didn't happen in NY, because MS13's are pretty much universally put in PC. I haven't been through the system in a few years, so maybe shit's different, but there wasn't a single MS in any house I've ever been in.

They get chased out by the 5 Point Star guys, unless there's been a peace treaty or some shit, which I fucking seriously doubt.

Shit the Crips had to live mainly in OBCC because of all the violence.

EDIT: typos

dansevigny2 karma

I state right in the post that I was there for 2 months. So no, I wasn't there for a substantial amount of time.

I was in a blood house in Old Boy and from what I could tell the bloods ran everything. I hung out with white-ish guys, but it wasn't the racial politics (white HAS to be with white, black with black, or you DIE, shit that you see in California).

The MS13 stuff happened when I was in Los Angeles.

hotwingsofredemption2 karma

What book, movie or TV show is the most accurate representation?

dansevigny6 karma

None of them. They all like to be dramatic about stuff. The closest is that show LockUp, but they try to make it all scary and sinister. It is dangerous, but you spend most of your time being bored, reading, playing cards, etc.

THE_BUTT_HOLE-1 karma

How common/popular is butt sex?

dansevigny2 karma

Common in the gay dorm, and from what I could hear through the wall of a medical dorm I was in briefly, pretty damn popular.