My short bio: I was released this week from my prison sentence! I was sentenced to a term of 2-20 years in the state of West Virginia, and a sentence of 6 years with 4 years and 2 months suspended pending good behavior in the state of Virginia. I made parole in the state of West Virginia after my first 2 years, mainly due to good behavior, participation in programs, and it being my first offense.

I served a total of 40 months between the two states. I didn't post my release papers from the state of Virginia, because it just has way too much info on the release page. Virginia doesn't have parole anymore, so there was no board letter.

My crimes were Daytime Burglary in West Virginia and Credit Card Fraud in Virginia. I had a severe drug problem that let me to do things that I'm not proud of. I can honestly say that I've grown up more in the past 3.5 years than I have in the past 10. It was the worst experience of my life, but I did gain a lot of valuable insight into my life and my addiction.

But thats enough background for now, ask away!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/gRprP (Personal info redacted to protect identity)

Comments: 349 • Responses: 105  • Date: 

jcsimpson72 karma

In an odd way, is there anything you'll miss about prison?

L88ch3r177 karma

Not. Even. A. Little.

Grphx40 karma

If you had to pick one thing to miss about prison, what would it be... that doesn't involve getting out.

L88ch3r115 karma

Free dental work.

R1gger17 karma

Except the dentist is a 200 kg black guy with a hammer.

L88ch3r53 karma

Lol, honestly though, he was one of the best dentists I've ever been to. He did an exceptional job.

AmericaGreat54 karma

What are the best counter measures to avoid day time burglary?

L88ch3r53 karma

I honestly don't know. I know that I looked for marks that were out of town, no obvious security measures, and didn't have clear lines of site from neighboring houses.

AmericaGreat21 karma

So an alarm sign would make you bypass a house?

L88ch3r78 karma

Oh for sure. I'm no idiot, I realize a lot of people have the signs and no system, but why risk it?

But lets be honest, the vast majority of people I encountered in the system weren't the brightest bulbs in the pack. My thought process may be completely different than theirs. I have seen some really stupid people. You can never anticipate a persons motivation for what they are doing, nor the extent to which they will go to get what they feel they need. Opiate withdrawal is a powerful motivator. Trust me.

rickmuscles33 karma

What kind of education did you have prior to prison?

Were you good at credit card fraud and burglary prior to getting caught or were you just feeding the addiction?

L88ch3r85 karma

I was halfway to a bachelors degree in Cisco Networks at Bluefield State College. I was always a good student, just not focused like I should have been.

And I had never committed a crime prior to my drug addiction. I was surprisingly good at it. I ended up telling on myself in the end. I couldn't deal with the guilt. Its just not how I was raised. I thought they'd go easier on me. Wrong!

iLuvz2bake_n_6910 karma

lesson learned- don't turn yourself in. maybe donate to some church or something similar instead.

L88ch3r13 karma

Yeah, the police are not to be trusted either. They took advantage of my naivety for sure.

omnichronos31 karma

Are you having trouble finding work? Because if you are, perhaps I can help. Check out becoming a paid volunteer as a healthy human subject for medical research. Today I'm checking into a study that will pay me $3200 for staying in their clinic 9 days with one return. Most places, like this one, don't care about criminal background. Go to to JALR.ORG and look at clinics studies near you. You'll do best if you're willing to travel out of state. While inside, they feed you, provide Internet and cable TV and some have pool tables etc.

L88ch3r35 karma

That's not a terrible idea, but I can't do it. The terms of my Parole/Probation won't let me stay overnight anywhere other than my residence. I have to be home by 7pm every day, unless its work related. Even then, I can't stay overnight. But thank you for the suggestion, I'll keep that in mind.

omnichronos10 karma

If I were you, I would look for outpatient studies. Sometimes they simply want you to come in for multiple office visits.

L88ch3r8 karma

I don't feel as if I'm currently at risk of relapse, but I will definitely look into it. My issue is getting to and from said services at the moment. I have to get a vehicle!

L88ch3r11 karma

Crap, I didn't look at the context before I replied. I will look into that. Thanks for the tip!

johhnytexas5 karma

My PO helped me to bend some of the rules so I could provide for my family better - granted I was on probation not parole but sometimes they will work with you.

L88ch3r7 karma

So far mine has been quite helpful. But the no overnight stays thing is non-negotiable. I have had to turn down two awesome job opportunities because of it.

ThatKetoTreesGuy31 karma

Was prison rape a big deal where you were? How would you deal with something like that?

L88ch3r58 karma

Not even. Never witnessed or heard of anything like that happening. Not saying it doesn't in higher level institutions... But to be honest, there were enough men of that persuasion that you didn't have to rape anyone. There was always someone more than willing to give it up.

Garthmer12 karma

Did you ever happen to witness someone giving it up?

L88ch3r11 karma

No, thankfully.

Garthmer3 karma

Have you heard some stories about them giving it up? Also, going along the lines of stories; are there any strange urban legends in prisons? Or, some odd superstitions?

L88ch3r9 karma

Well, I mean everyone has heard of it. It's really not as prevalent as the media would have you believe, but it does happen. Just not really at the low level institutions. We are all gonna get out eventually at that level. If you are screwing men at that point, then you are just doing it because you enjoy it.

Superstitions... Like putting your name on the wall or something means you'll be back... Just odd stuff like that. Don't fistbump with your left hand, that's disrespectful. It's all stupid imo.

Garthmer5 karma

Fascinating stuff. Prison culture is very interesting.

L88ch3r11 karma

TBH, I wish I didn't know any of it. :-/

zoidboob24 karma

What are your plans now?

L88ch3r95 karma

Just try to get my feet back under me. Find solid employment and be a father to my son. I was arrested when he was two, and he will turn seven this year. So I missed out on a lot. I wasn't the best father for his first two years. I was there, but I was useless. All my money went to drugs, so his mom was left to do it herself. It was bad all around. I have to make amends for that and be in his life.

zoidboob40 karma

I wish you good luck!

L88ch3r32 karma

Thank you!

fLeXaN_tExAn7 karma

How old are you? Did you get some coursework done while doing your "programs"? Do you have a general idea of what you want to do?

L88ch3r25 karma

I'm 29. Nothing that counts towards anything. My academic studies have amounted to zero while incarcerated. The facilities I was at simply didn't offer it.

No, I don't. I feel like a lot of options are closed to me as a felon. I figure blue-collar is my only reasonable option for the foreseeable future. I have to find something that provides enough income for me to get on my feet in a reasonable period of time. I have no place to live of my own (living with parents), no car, no cell phone, no furniture, no savings. So I'm in a tough situation. I am basically a 30 year old man starting completely over. My only real possessions right now are this laptop and my clothes.

monkeyputz15 karma

You're probably right. I'd open a food truck. Felon Foods -

L88ch3r37 karma

I can fix Ramen a million different ways. Lol

fLeXaN_tExAn9 karma

O.K. Best of luck to you. You sound very competent just based by reading all of your responses. Just stay strong with your will to stay clean and you'll be just fine.

L88ch3r6 karma

Thank you, I appreciate the vote of confidence!

OneLess34917330 karma

I also did about 3 years in prison in Virginia. I was released in 2007 when I was 20 years old. I have never returned and completed all probation with flying colors. Since then I been successful in my career and personal life. If you ever need any advice or someone to reach out to for anything please feel free to message me. I would like to help anyway I can.

L88ch3r9 karma

Wow, thank you. I really appreciate that. I know how hard probation can be in VA. I'm glad to hear you've done well. I'll keep you in mind if I have any questions.

OneLess34917319 karma

Well my charges we robbery and brandishing a firearm, so probation was especially hard for me. But I was able to get through it all by staying focused on the "big picture" and not letting the things I can't control bring me down. Now I'm an area manager for a local restaurant chain here in Fairfax County. So please if you ever need any advice or just a ear to listen to you vent I got you. Good Luck to you bro

L88ch3r6 karma

Will do, thanks man.

OGGKaveman2 karma

How is your child's mother dealing with it? Obviously custody must be a no go, is she cool or is she sticking it to you?

L88ch3r4 karma

She is cautious. We haven't been on speaking terms in about 4 years. Not a good situation. But we have a tentative agreement worked out. I think it will be fine. Gotta earn the trust back.

pepsicolacompany15 karma

Movies make it seem easy to obtain and smoke cigarettes. Is it actually that easy?

Do you think prison helped you at all?

L88ch3r34 karma

Its pretty easy. People make "drops" for the road work crews and farm workers. Make them in the form of "plugs". I think you know how they get back inside. We called that suitcasing. Lol. You can get whatever you want really, but prices are outrageous.

Yeah, prison did help me. WV did anyway. They are more of a "program" state. I took a lot of drug counseling and life management stuff. I am a different person from the piece of unadulterated crap I was while I was strung out on pain pills.

pepsicolacompany6 karma

I was always curious about how a civilian would know where to leave something so that someone on the road crew would find it.

I'm glad it helped! I live in SW VA. Did a lot of ex-addicts take advantage of these programs? That's something that would definitely help this area. Free drug counseling and life management classes would be helpful even on the outside. Or better forms of the ones currently available.

L88ch3r13 karma

The most common way was just to write a letter. Most people know the area well if they are local. They can't read your outgoing mail without cause, so that was pretty safe.

I actually did my time in Wise County in Virginia. Camp 18. It was horrible. Worst place I've been out of 6 facilities. They have zero in the way of credible drug programs or work training. They just send you out to clean up trash or cut trees. Running the farm and apple orchard are their main concerns.

Thats the other big difference between the two states. Virginia attempts to run their low-level prisons at a profit, and it really hurts the inmates. We got paid .27 to .45 cents an hour, and the VDOT or Dept. of Forestry paid anywhere from $2 to $25 for our work. So they were making money hand-over-fist on our labor.

pepsicolacompany3 karma

Okay, that makes sense. I'm a little ways away from Wise (Montgomery). Did the money you made working go towards your stay in prison? A friend of mind told me they had to pay something between $2 and $4 a day, but that was at a jail in Pulaski County. That's insane they they would make up to $23/hr off of your work. Especially if they still charged you for food and such.

L88ch3r6 karma

Yeah, I averaged about $60 a month if I worked 5 days a week. We were able to use that money towards commissary food, hygiene, or property such as a TV or MP3 player. You also had deductions for fines and savings, things like that. But you can survive on it.

The prices for food are insane. Keefe is the distributor for food items available to inmates. Everything is marked up a bare minimum of 300%. Example: Ramen noodles - $0.33. It was worse than that in the regional jails... Ramin noodles - $0.89. It was crazy. And all the things they sell are crazy unhealthy.

The property is outrageous too. They try to sell you a 12" clear flat screen for $219. Its insane. Thats a $50 TV max.

pepsicolacompany3 karma

That's crazy. It's nice that you were able to get things like that but the price is definitely ridiculous. Would you be able to bring things like that home?

L88ch3r5 karma

Yes, any personal property you purchased can be taken home. They make you. Selling and trading of things is prohibited there.

PinkDalek2 karma

Do you volunteer to work? Or is there a schedule where you have to go? If you contribute to the work program is your sentence reduced?

L88ch3r12 karma

No, you are forced to work or you get charged with a violation. This is only at low level facilities in Virginia though. West Virginia it was optional unless you transferred to a Work Release facility. But in Virginia it basically amounts to slave labor. Its a really unfair system and the state is profiting massive amounts of money off of our labor.

I could probably write 4-5 pages on the different ways they exploit inmates. It's insane.

negatron44443 karma

I wasnt sure what drugs, but being WV and pain pills, makes sense. I think there's a much bigger problem than just the individual one that you experienced. Pain pills usage in WV is epidemic levels.

I wish you and the people of WV the best in finding a solution

L88ch3r5 karma

Thank you. It really is a problem. People say, " Just stay away from those situations." But that's impossible here. Its everywhere. Your neighbors, your politicians, your friends, your police. Its an epidemic of the highest magnitude.

GiantAcroyear13 karma

What was the first thing you ate when you got out?

L88ch3r32 karma

Huddle House FTW! http://imgur.com/a/i0C7D

L88ch3r13 karma

Going to take a break for a little while. I'll be back later to answer some more questions. Thanks everyone!

truthserum2311 karma

Did you make any productive use of all the free time?

L88ch3r27 karma

Partially. I wish I had worked out the entire time. I could have looked a lot better.... Lol. I took quite a few classes in WV, included drug rehab classes. So those were helpful. I also took a few job training oriented programs. Got a lot of dental work done for cheap, so that was a plus.

Thesisitpansit9 karma

What's the funniest thing you've witnessed while inside?

L88ch3r23 karma

It's pretty common to play pranks on people who are about to go home... The funniest one I've seen was all of a guys possessions were super glued to his locker and his bunk. His blanket and quilts were sewn to the sheets of his mat. It was glorious. I mean, bowls, cups, fan, TV, headphones, toothbrush, deodorant, soap dish... You name it, it was glued down. I laughed till I cried.

Also, I tied about socks in a billion knots and wrote "Juicy" on the back of his boxers and pants in permanent marker... That was pretty good too. Lol

treydayallday9 karma

I can't imagine the feeling you had the night you were released. Can you try to articulate the emotions and thoughts that were going through your head? What were you most excited about? What were you most fearful of?

L88ch3r25 karma

I'm not sure I can articulate them myself. The days leading up to my release were simultaneously the most exciting days and the most stressful days I've had in years and years. I was excited to go home and start fresh. But I was scared to death of failure. I can't do that again. I feel like I have a giant target on my back at all times. I live in a very small community, and I just feel like everyone is saying "There he is, the guy who went to prison."

I feel like as soon as something happens that they can't explain, I'll catch the blame. I'm terrified of some stupid technicality sending me back to prison. Parole and Probation rules are stringent, and require a lot of sacrifice. But in the end, its worth it. I think I'll do just fine. I have a good support system. Plus, my mother would literally kill me if I messed up.... So that helps. Lol

irish11b10 karma

Man I am about to get out of the Army, This is pretty much exactly how I feel! Good luck.

L88ch3r12 karma

To you as well! Thank you for your service!

LooksLikeImRich8 karma

What lessons did you learn from the dynamics of the prison community that you think might be useful in the outside world? Experiences that those of us haven't been to prison will never see.

I am not referring to lessons you gathered introspectively on how to be a more productive citizen, but more about tips and tricks about maneuvering in a world where social tact is critical.

L88ch3r31 karma

Well, the biggest one I can think of off hand, is that if the person you are having a disagreement with seems to unintelligent to talk it out, walk away. Anger goes away, broken orbital bones hurt for a long time.

LooksLikeImRich6 karma

I will not ask for more context than this haha. Thanks bro. Good luck!!!

L88ch3r23 karma

Lol, thanks. All I have to say is, be wary of who you play cards with. The guy who is 4x your size who looks like Bam Bam Bigelow probably isn't the guy to argue with. Lol

raw-power8 karma

If you could go back in time to Day 1 of your prison time and give yourself some advice based on your two years experience, what would you say?

L88ch3r20 karma

Don't say bitch, whore, or punk. Don't owe money to anyone, for anything. Don't gamble. Show respect to get respect. Work out!

Cay_Rharles8 karma

You mentioned that WV is a "Program State"

Did you find any program or class most useful or interesting?

L88ch3r14 karma

The RSAT program. Residential Substance Abuse Treatment. Basically is a "therapeutic community" program inside prison walls. We were housed apart from the other inmates. It was like an inpatient rehab almost. A lot of structure, I needed that.

PaulSharke8 karma

We recently had a post that claimed Dungeons & Dragons was seeing a rise in popularity inside prisons. Was there an active group playing it in yours?

L88ch3r13 karma

Yes, I was an active player myself. I had never played before that. I also played a lot of Magic: The Gathering.

PaulSharke4 karma

Would you tell us a little bit about your campaign?

L88ch3r3 karma

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by campaign?

PaulSharke3 karma

It's a lot of adventures all put together. Tell me about your adventures is really what I was asking.

L88ch3r4 karma

Honestly, I really didn't have anything happen I'd describe as an adventure, other than the experience itself. I've documented that pretty well in the other comments. I'm sorry I couldn't give a better response.

PaulSharke3 karma

Oh, I should have been more specific. I meant when you played Dungeons & Dragons, what did your character do? What kind of adventures did your character have?

L88ch3r6 karma

Ohhhhhhh! Lol, ok, I was totally lost. Well, we played a version called Pathfinder, if you are familiar with that. I played an elf named Valinor of Gaselion. I was a Fighter-6/Sorcerer-1/Arcane Archer-10. The last campaign we finished involved our city being attacked unprovoked by an evil lord named Galvonoth. We had to collect the 7 pieces of Kendarin armor (belonged to an epic Cleric) in order to take him on in one final battle for the future of Kyomar as a whole. It was a great campaign made by the DM. Does that answer what you were wondering?

aecht8 karma

did you lose the right to vote? If so, how has that affected you? Also, were you able to take advantage of any classes/programs to help you find a job?

L88ch3r8 karma

Yes, but I'm pretty sure I can have my voting rights and my gun rights restored in a couple years. My crime was non-violent. It hasn't affected me as-of-yet.

No, nothing inside was really relevant job-wise. But there are social programs available to me now that I'm home that can help that. I go there next week. The toughest part is coming home with no car, no job... The place where I live is so far away from any potential employer, that I can't make money to get a car, so it's a terrible catch 22. Luckily I have a great family support system, so it will all work out.

aemmeroli6 karma

What's the worst thing you did in your drugtime?

L88ch3r24 karma

Not be a good father to my son. Steal from my parents and loved ones. I'm not proud of my actions, but I was not myself.

Phlox_carolina6 karma

What do you think the law should be for opiates? Are you satisfied with the prescription-only policy, or do you think it should be decriminalized like what Portugal does? Do you think their should be publicly funded help programs?

L88ch3r9 karma

I don't know. I'm not sure I can answer objectively. I just know that the current system isn't working. The drugs are widely available, and the penalties for their use and distribution are outrageous. It's a major contributor to overcrowding in our prisons. I'd venture to say so many as 6 out of 10 inmates are there on drug related charges. Its very sad.

locally_grown_man5 karma

Can you give a little background on your drug use?

L88ch3r9 karma

I mentioned this in another comment. I injected opiate pain medication. Worst decision of my life.

goodmp5 karma

How focused on release were you while you were in prison? I see these prison documentaries where dudes come out with facial tattoos with obvious gang/racial affiliation and I wonder how they plan on getting by once they get out?

Did you have to join a gang while you were locked up? Any plans to keep in contact with anyone you met while inside?

L88ch3r14 karma

Completely, and totally focused. I refused to get any prison ink. Its low quality and unclean. I don't need that issue. I would never get a tat that I couldn't hide anyway. Most of those guys didn't seem to care. I think a lot of them had already given up hope of a normal, respectable life and career after prison. But there are services that will allow you to get them removed for free if you got them in prison, so that's a good thing.

No, I didn't have to join a gang. I was at low-level facilities, and it wasn't a big problem there. It existed, but it wasn't the status-quo. My personal opinion is that if a man can't stand on his own two feet without relying on a gang for protection, you are either not a man, or you are doing things you shouldn't be doing to begin with.

KensonPlays5 karma

Is life in movies anything like life in actual prison? Have you watched Guardians of the Galaxy yet? How would some of the actions in that movie be in real prison life? (Don't want to say spoilers, but look for the scene with Draxx in the prison)

L88ch3r6 karma

Yes, I saw it while I was locked up actually... And very, very little of that could be seen as realistic. But great movie!

KensonPlays2 karma

Looking forward to Vol. 2 coming out this year? I am!

L88ch3r4 karma

I had no idea it was coming out so soon. That's awesome. I have so much media to catch up on from the past three years. My poor, poor ratio. :(

--Hello_World--4 karma

Did you make any relationships that you'll miss or any that you plan to maintain? Is it normal to create friendships or did everyone try and keep their distance?

L88ch3r9 karma

Of course. I met some of the best people I've ever met while locked up. But I also met some of the worst. There are all kinds behind bars. A lot of people are like me, mostly good but made bad choices due to substance abuse. I made lots of friends, but really only 3 that I intend to stay in contact with. I made it a point not to get too friendly with people whose values didn't closely reflect my own... So pickings were slim. Lol

abluedinosaur4 karma

If you're quiet, friendly, and mind your own business, will you run into any problems, or does that only happen to people who are looking for trouble?

L88ch3r6 karma

That's a pretty good policy overall. That doesn't mean you can't get dragged into a situation through no fault of your own. There are people in every facility whose only goal is to make your life hard for some reason. Like a school bully almost. Sometimes situations come up that you just have to deal with, come what may.

ThatOtherGuy_CA4 karma

What sort of advise would you give a "guard" in regards to dealing with inmates to ensure their time spent in jail is actually constructive so they don't reoffend?

L88ch3r5 karma

I don't know if there is anything a guard can actually do. Their only role is to make sure the rules are followed and ensure the safety of the inmates. Anything beyond that, even normal conversation can be construed as fraternization. It's a crappy system.

Asleep_On_Floor4 karma

How is the food in prison? I've heard it's almost torture

L88ch3r5 karma

I went hungry a lot. I'm a picky eater to begin with, so that was not a fun experience. Some of it was edible, but the majority of it was just garbage.

shouldbeworking234 karma

How much would an ounce of weed go for in prison?

L88ch3r5 karma

Oh dear lord. Well, I have no idea on buying all that at once. But to give you an idea, for what most people would call a normal "joint", you'd pay anywhere from $15 to $25. Most people didn't fool with weed though, spice was much more prevalent. Didn't show up in the standard urine tests they used. Had a few guys nearly die from it though, and it got a lot more strict after that.

shouldbeworking232 karma

What about making prison wine? I tried it one time at my house haha but it tasted like shit

L88ch3r5 karma

A few times. It never turned out particularly great. Its hard to get sugar. They keep it under lock and key. We had some batches that were drinkable. We made it in trash bags.

3652803 karma

How do you feel about your country's prison system, now that you've paid the time yourself. Do you feel it is ethical, appropriate?

L88ch3r10 karma

I posted about this in another comment. But to summarize, our prison system sucks. It needs a massive overhaul if the goal of our penal institutions is ever going to change from "punishment and segregation" to "rehabilitation and re-entry".

PrinceKelso3 karma

  1. Did you experience any opiate withdrawals after being admitted? If so, how did the staff handle that? How did you handle being in such a terrible environment whilst dealing with such harsh withdrawals?

  2. I'm currently hooked on Kratom which acts similar to an opiate, though not as addictive. However, I still take up to 20-30 grams per day and if I miss a dose, I am not the same person. My question is, where do I even begin stopping? I hardly remember what sober feels like since my opioid receptors have been constantly saturated, and it feels like life is such a drag without it. Do you have any insight into this feeling and how to start quitting?

L88ch3r6 karma

Oh god, I could write a book my friend. I know that pain all too well. The jail didn't do much. Gave me some stomach meds and Ativan I think to help me feel better, but for the most part you were left to wish for death in your cell. You have no choice but to grit and bear it. I wished for death, and death would not find me. But I eventually made it through. I never want to go through that again.... Ever.

The best thing I can tell you man, is to get some help. I know personally, I didn't want to quit. Partially because I enjoyed the feeling, I enjoyed finding the dope, I enjoyed the process. I also didn't want to go through the withdrawals. I don't know if I personally could have completed rehab. I didn't have the will power.

That's one thing jail has going for it. You don't have a choice. You can't just up and quit on a whim. So you do it because you have to. And honestly, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I can't tell you what to do, but I can highly recommend you find help if your heart truly wants it. Otherwise, you are going to continue to deteriorate physically and mentally, until eventually there is nothing left. You will hurt the ones around you. I've never seen anyone come out ahead on this path.

I hope you can find a way to get through this man. I wish you all the luck in the world. Be strong.

nyack1123 karma

I can tell you stories about the Danish prisons, and you wouldn't believe half of it. But were you able to get sharp objects legally? Because where I was in prison, was to start an open prison, we could have a car there and drive to our education, or work in the prison. But in the prison itself, we had our own group kitchen full of knifes and other things.

Even in the basic prison, we could even ask the guards for dart arrows so that we could play.

Were you even able to be close to the same opportunities?

L88ch3r6 karma

Wow, that's crazy! But no, for the most part the prison system here is very locked down. We had access to knives in the kitchen if you were a cook, but they were monitored closely. You can't even get an ink pen in the regional jails for fear they might be used as a weapon. The fact is, if you want to hurt someone, you can turn nearly anything into a weapon.

kolbick3 karma

How difficult was it to find a friend at first?

L88ch3r4 karma

Not too hard. I can get along with almost anyone, and its not hard to find people who have similar interests.

snesser233 karma

If you were ever held in solitary confinement, what was it like, and do you think that this "helped" you or not?

L88ch3r7 karma

Segregation absolutely blows! I was put in the hole after a run in with the nursing staff at my regional jail. I broke a tooth and they wouldn't provide any pain relievers. I was miserable. I couldn't eat. After 4 days of putting in requests to see them, they kept ignoring me. I was furious. I said some things I shouldn't have, and got thrown in the hole for it. You don't realize how aggravating being locked up is until you can't get something as simple as an ibuprofen tablet.

love_pho3 karma

What made you decide to do an AMA your first week out of prison? What sort of access did you have to computers/internet while in prison?

L88ch3r7 karma

Just wanted to get back into the community. I really missed Reddit and the internet as a whole. When I got home, my digital life was in shambles, so I just started fresh with new accounts on everything, which really sucks because I lost my best private trackers. That hurt the worst I think.

And zero internet access inside, but we could purchase JP5 Mini tablets that we used as MP3 players, it was a money racket, but it was nice to have to pass the time. I was the GED tutor at my prison, and I had access to several desktop computers. Nothing special on them, but since I was the only one who had administrator access at the prison (They didn't know I had that), I was able to get a lot accomplished. I made a lot of money typing up documents and football gambling tickets for the other inmates.

M7md_x_egy203 karma

What does it feel to be out of prison?

L88ch3r14 karma

Like biting into a York Peppermint Patty, repeatedly.

Johnsoft3493 karma

damn nice answer man. Sounds pretty good to me. Congrats and good luck with everything.

L88ch3r4 karma

Thank you so much.

sauronlord1003 karma

Was there any hard labour?

L88ch3r8 karma

Yes, in Virginia I was sent to a work camp. They get much more than $0.45 cents an hour out of you. They had contracts with the VDOT and the Forestry service. So we cut trees back from the roads, cleared trash and brush, and even helped fight forest fires for a very small amount of compensation. They made a lot of money off of our labor. This isn't the only work we did, but it constituted a large portion of it.

We were sent to other high level facilities to do their laundry, or run their warehouses. I worked in the warehouse and was responsible for filling all of the kitchen and laundry orders for the prison. Mostly forklift work, so it wasn't too bad. It was one of the better jobs to have. I also worked as the GED tutor for my entire sentence in Virginia.

therealsunshinem813 karma

Have you seen your son yet? How was the reunion?

L88ch3r13 karma

Not yet. His mother and I worked out a tentative agreement to start visitation. So I should get him in a couple weeks for the first time. I'm very excited, and very, very, very nervous.

MeridianOne3 karma

Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?

L88ch3r3 karma

Rehabilitated is a made up word... Lol, but yeah, I feel like I have been, miraculously. No thanks to the system though.

turbogoon3 karma

Did you have a FiFi or know someone who did?

L88ch3r3 karma

Knew a few who did... Disgusting. Also, too much work. Lol

itburns12347 karma

TIL what a FiFi was, next time I will turn on incognito before I google something from Reddit :/

L88ch3r4 karma

Oh I haven't laughed that hard in a while... Lol

broken19973 karma

Do you appreciate the things you have now more than you used to?

L88ch3r10 karma

Oh man, you have no idea. You will never be happier than the day you come and realize that you can't see through your toilet paper anymore. You don't have to wear shoes to shower, or do so with 10 other guys. Continuing the shower theme... Lol, being able to control your water temperature and not having to continually press a button to make the water come on.

It's the small things in life... Lol. I am very grateful to have a second chance at life. I know a lot of guys who will never get that opportunity. So I intend to take advantage of it.

LostOnRedditKappa3 karma

What is it like when you first enter the prison?

L88ch3r4 karma

Well, you are brought in and processed. Meaning you get your hair cut short, changed into that prisons clothing (differs from facility to facility) and showered. They make you shower and have an officer check you for lice and scabies and stuff so that it doesn't spread.

Then you go into what they call a receiving pod. You stay there while you see the intake counselors so that they can determine what programs you need, your case plan, and your level, which determines where you'll ultimately end up.

LostOnRedditKappa3 karma

Thanks for the answer. One last thing, do inmates really bribe guards for favours or help?

L88ch3r5 karma

Oh, of course. Happens all the time. It never ends well. Either the guard gets caught, or has to quit because he's being blackmailed by the inmate. Once you do one thing for somebody, then the inmate then can get you fired any time he feels like it if he has a convincing account of what happened. (And if he's willing to take a little heat himself)

Patches673 karma

What do you wish prisons had that would improve life for everyone?

L88ch3r12 karma

Internet access. #1 top requested incentive. Unfortunately, the reality of implementing it is that it would be nearly impossible to monitor it for misuse. It would probably be a disaster. Plus, it introduces a lot of security issues for the facility that they would rather not deal with.

But yeah, I missed the internet more than I missed the majority of the people I know.

forava73 karma

what was the first thing you did when you got out? What are some things you are looking forward to?

L88ch3r12 karma

Eat! I went to huddle house and had the best breakfast ever. Posted a picture in one of the other comments. It was glorious. Real sausage and hash browns? Fuck yeah!

I never want to eat anything whose name is preceded by "turkey" or "chicken" ever again. They served "Meat Rock" to us a lot... Which is ground chicken bulk (Read: Chicken lips and ass). They used it in everything.... Awful, awful stuff.

I'm pretty sure that the majority of that food would kill a normal person. You have to build up a tolerance to that shit.

forava72 karma

did you have a favorite meal in prison? if that is possible lol

L88ch3r5 karma

Hmmm, in Virginia, hell no. It was all terrible. In West Virginia though, cheeseburger Wednesdays were pretty freaking awesome compared to the rest of the swill.

DyldoTheGreat3 karma

Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur?

L88ch3r12 karma

Charmander all the way.

MannequinFlyswatter3 karma

You down wit OPP?

L88ch3r4 karma

Indeed.

jawsgst2 karma

What level of prison were you in? minimum, maximum or something else? Also was this a state prison or federal prison and was it a private prison corporation running it?

L88ch3r3 karma

Minimum in both states. Technically, a level 1-3 in WV and a level 1 in VA. Both are state run, but only VA attempts to run theirs for a profit. Probably something to do with them being a commonwealth state.

jawsgst2 karma

Thanks for the reply, i am facing possible prison time myself at a state facility if the DA keeps up the pressure. Here in Oklahoma they are private run prisons though, and would really hope to not have to go to anything higher than minimum security for stupid marijuana related shit.

Glad to hear you are out. Did you have to serve time in county jail until they could find a spot for you in prison? Did you have a trial or just a plea deal?

L88ch3r2 karma

Yeah, I had to wait a few months after sentencing to be transferred to the DOC side of corrections. I had a plea deal. They had an airtight case considering I basically ratted on myself.

kgore2 karma

Did you get in any fights? Or get "heart-checked" when you went it?

L88ch3r6 karma

Yup, three fights to be exact. Only one of them didn't go well for me. Fought a guy who seemed to be a Brock Lesnar doppelganger. Didn't go well for me at all. The other two went decidedly in my favor though. I'm fairly capable... But it's like they say, if you've never had your ass-whipped, then you haven't done any fighting.

ferociousonyx2 karma

Have you entered any rehabilitation programs in or out of prison? How likely do you think enrolling in one would benefit you and reduce potential recidivism? Have you been able to find any work since? Good luck in trying to better yourself and becoming a better man.

L88ch3r3 karma

Thank you for the kind words. And yes, as I mentioned in another post, I participated in RSAT (Residential Substance Abuse Treatment) while I was in WV prison. It was a good program and I learned a lot about myself.

ferociousonyx2 karma

Have you since felt that you've become more law abiding? Do you ever get insulted or discriminated against because of your offences?

L88ch3r4 karma

Well, I don't intend to give them any reason to send me back... That's for sure. I haven't been home long enough to be discriminated against yet, but I'm sure its coming. I feel as if people look at me differently now, but that may just be my imagination. I definitely feel as if I'm at a severe disadvantage compared to others though.

ferociousonyx2 karma

I'm sure you can fit back in easier than someone who committed a more heinous crime like murder.

L88ch3r6 karma

Oh I would imagine so, but the stigma of prison is such that even if you are in there for something petty, people still treat you differently. It's hard for someone who has no image of prison life other than what TV and the movies portray, to know what its actually like in there. So its easier to judge and move on.

ferociousonyx3 karma

This is my problem with the prison system. I assume you went through the US prison system which is designed to simply incarcerate a convict without preparing and rehabilitating them for the outside world and hoping you come back. It's the reason you have such a high re-offending rate and gun crime rate. Your system needs to be more like the Norwegian system which treats its perps like people and has a 20-something re-offending rate. That however probably challenges the American status quo too much for their liking though.

L88ch3r4 karma

I would like to see this kind of prison reform take place here in the U.S. as well. Major changes need to be made, but as long as they intend to run the majority of the facilities on a for-profit platform, nothing will ever change that positively affects the offenders.

Snowbank_Lake2 karma

I'm happy to hear that you've learned from your mistakes and are trying to get back to a productive life! Have you ever contacted the people you stole from?

L88ch3r8 karma

I'm not allowed to as a condition of my release. But I tried to make amends before I got locked up. In fact, the reason I was "caught" is because I called them and apologized for what I done. I then tried to collect the things I had stolen and returned it to them. The husband appreciated it and was willing to let it go, but the wife wanted charges pressed, so off to prison I went.

Snowbank_Lake5 karma

It's a shame the wife was feeling vindictive. You obviously felt enough guilt to return their things. I'd say your lesson was learned. But you don't sound bitter about it, which I admire.

L88ch3r8 karma

I'm not now, but I was for a long time. It took a long time to get all of that hate out of my heart, but as I sobered up and took stock of my life, I realized that it would only hurt me as I went on.

CorruptedWorld3 karma

How do you think you would be if the wife never pressed charges on you?

L88ch3r12 karma

Either dead, or something akin to it. I'm not happy I went to prison, but it may have been a blessing in disguise so-to-speak. It helped me reassess my life and fix some issues I had with myself.

OptimumOffline2 karma

How prevalent is trading phone calls via three way calls for other goods, and what can it get you? A friend years ago was in a very very similar situation and sadly is back in it, but he would often call my home and ask me to three way some random number. I had to sit through the conversation, either choosing to listen, or not, but I didn't really mind. Eventually though, I had to tell him to stop bc I would get random phone calls from Baby mom's/relatives etc. asking if I've heard from (random name).

L88ch3r3 karma

Happened quite a bit in some facilities. Others monitor for it and can cut your phone privileges. Usually people charge $1 worth of food for it or something similar.

OptimumOffline2 karma

Interesting thanks for the response. Good luck moving forward!

L88ch3r2 karma

Thanks!

Hough_G_Rection2 karma

For a long term career have you thought about starting your own business? Being half-way college educated and seeing as how you had mentioned that you were always a good student, I take it you're at least a decently smart person regardless of what you may have done in your past. You should consider looking into it. I know my side business ventures/hustles have really given me a sense of self worth and value that I just couldn't find anywhere else. Even if you don't have the slightest clue about business there are many free online resources out there that are packed full of valuable knowledge. The sub reddit /r/entrepreneur is always a nice start. Incredible resources and knowledge by loads of people who really know what they are doing.

L88ch3r6 karma

I've thought about this, but the biggest problem I have is that I have no capital to work with, and a sub 550 credit score. My prior actions really screwed up my finances. I have to work to fix it over the coming months.

rudycat19641 karma

Is it true that prisoners only hang out with other prisoners of the same colour and race? Do black and white prisoners play cards, workout, or eat together?

L88ch3r3 karma

It varies. You have your cliques. Racism is quite rampant in the prison system, and sometimes you have to fall in line in order to keep the peace. Its a very odd social dynamic.

andrew_david1 karma

A lot of man on man sex taking place?!

L88ch3r3 karma

Answered in another comment. Not an issue.

hobnobbinbobthegob1 karma

Was it tough to quit the drug use in prison? I've heard a lot of anecdotes of all the improvised drugs available in prisons, but I'm sure it varies location-to-location.

Any really weird rules or restrictions while you were in? For instance, I recently read a rumor that some prisons only allow religious books.

L88ch3r6 karma

For me? No. Once I got over the withdrawals, I was done. I never wanted to experience that again. I wished for death, and death would not find me. At my worst, I was injecting 15-25 dilaudid pills a day. So yeah, I was done with that.

But that being said, the easiest thing to get was always Suboxone. The small film strips were easy to sneak in. There were a lot of people who came in clean, and left with an addiction. I felt sorry for them.

Weird rules... Hmm. There were a lot of stupid rules imo, but I'll have to think on that. I'll get back to ya.

darkmion-8 karma

have you ever think that the money you were stealed was might be medicine cost of a child ?

L88ch3r7 karma

I suffered enormous guilt for the things I've done. I've tried to make amends with those that I can.

Murdvac-14 karma

How's that ass feel?

L88ch3r14 karma

Slightly chapped. The air is dry here. Lol