Prison life through an inmate's eyes

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If you have ever harbored interest in learning about prison life, here is your chance to do so through the creative workings of an inmate doing 25 to life for conspiracy to commit murder.

Prisoner David, a former inmate at the California Mens Colony, describes himself as a comedy sketch writer. He is now incarcerated at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, Calif., and while he maintains his innocence and attempts to prove it by researching at the prison library, he has learned to channel his frustration with the prison and legal systems through online postings.

His Web site, prisonerdavid.com, is his way to show every aspect of prison life, from the humor of pranks to the horror of prison violence. The main page includes an introduction to the Web site and provides easy access to the latest radio segment, video, articles, news feeds and featured inmates, along with links.

Prisoner David has been featured in segments on "The Adam Carolla Show," a weekday morning radio program hosted by the co-creator and co-star of TV's "The Man Show" and syndicated throughout the West Coast. Recordings of these segments can be found on the Web site, along with audio commentaries Prisoner David created concerning issues facing California prison inmates.

The Articles page has links to a number of writings that are more like anecdotes or diary entries. Each work is titled, dated and separated in parts. "Suicidal Tendencies" chronicles the process behind a fellow inmate's suicide, while "Sleepless in Soledad" detailed Prisoner Dave's intense interests in certain female radio personalities, including "Alison" of Cal Poly's own KCPR.

The Characters section includes biographies of "prisoner personalities" and a glossary of prison terms, complete with personal information and images. Visitors can insert captions for hand-drawn cartoons, including some featuring "Dr. Sanchez" and "Officer Jackson."

The Web site even features profiles and works of other inmates, including Robert, an eight-year prisoner who taught himself to play the fiddle during his incarceration, and Joseph Mitchell, who creates designs for Outrider Jewelry while behind bars.

Finally, on Prisoner Dave's profile page, there is a brief description of the purpose of his Web site as well as a link to his MySpace page. There is also a form for visitors to submit guestbook comments, many of which include requests for Dave to tell an inmate "Hi," or "We're thinking of you."

This Web site is a fascinating look at prison life as a reflection of the emotions of an inmate.

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Comments 43 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

A very interesting hub and informative video. I had never heard of Prisoner David. Thanks for putting the media resources together. When I get a little more time, I'll check out his website.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

Sweet. Sounds interesting. My boyfriend's grandmother knew a lot of mobsters in jail in New York, and they got their master's and doctrines in jail. They knew they were never getting out and were never going to use the degrees, but had nothing else to do. (Oh, she used to be a paralegal for a lawyer who dealt with mobsters.)

My dad's friend wen to federal prison for a white collar crime. I forget how many years, double digits, at least. He had to go to a job training type program- halfway house afterwards to get re-adjusted to real life again.

That guy in the video talking about the Dean's list and how excited he was, was cute.


prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 8 years ago from Tumkur

interesting information.

There are prisoners who have written their prison dairy/experiences in the form of narratives. But this young man spends his time in most innovative way. We should also thank the rules and lasw keepers in that country who have allowed him him to create a website that aims to bring out prison crimestoo!

Men commit mistakes. Let this young, talented man be allowed to earn and live decently using his talents and interests, ofcourse within the framework of rules.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Great hub!


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

The whole prison thing bothers me so much I can not bring myself to respond to this because it might take forever and that is a sentence in itself.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

oh dear..What have you done..? This brings back memories about someone I really had made myself forget...phewww....this could be my next story..I am afraid though..will take care if I write it....Thank You..very well done..very interesting...very touching to my heart..... G-Ma :o) hugs


pjdscott profile image

pjdscott 8 years ago from Durham, UK

This is a really fascinating and revealing hub. My misguided impression of US jails consisted of men in isolation, working in chain gangs and the like. I suppose it's no surprise that California gets away from this.

Doubtless some people might baulk at the notion of prisoners having their own web sites, never mind educational programmes. However, I would still suspect it is a very hard existence, being behind bars.

Finally - where did you get the opening cartoon - briliant! Thumbs up to you/


Jungle Talk profile image

Jungle Talk 8 years ago

Nice job! What a great way to let us know a little more about what people in prison are able to do. Who would have thought someone in prison could actually be communicating and sharing with the public like prisoner Dave is, or working like Joseph Mitchell? Very informative and interesting.


AsherKade profile image

AsherKade 7 years ago from Texas

I am sure that Dave is trying to pass his time in a qualitative manner as possible. But, I don't think Dave or any other prisoner should have the right to have access to tvs,internet/computer, or the gym. I do think prisoners should have access to education so that possibly they can turn their life around ( and be required to pay for the education too). They will eventually be released and be placed in my custody (I'm a parole officer),so I relish in prisoners having some sort of trade skill. It's a mockery to the victim's family that Dave and other prisoners can have and maintain an internet site and have cable while a majority of the world can't even afford to eat much less have the internet!


flread45 profile image

flread45 7 years ago from Montana

The only problem with your hub is they don't allow women to sit on inmates laps..


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

To AsherKade above: I think ALL inmates should have access to the internet. It is now the major means of communication - this way they can communicate with their families, take online courses, and even work online. In fact, this is the first I have ever heard of a prison allowing internet use. They can use a telephone, why NOT the internet??? The computers at a prison can be filtered for porn, gambling and the like very easily, like how they do at libraries. This should be a privilege that can be taken away for bad behavior, etc., but should not be denied.

You need to get with the times. The little or nothing reasons most people are in prison does not justify the harsh treatment and living conditions prisoners must suffer, not to mention the abuse they receive.

The US has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's PRISON population. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with this picture. 85% of prisoners are not dangerous. Being "punished" and abused is not going to rehabilitate anyone. But a chance to be educated will work wonders.

You need to get with the times. And you also need to spend a month in a county jail or in a prison so you know what it's really like!

Inmates are treated like animals, with no rights, are forced into living conditions not fit for my dog, and are subject to all sorts of verbal, mental, and physical abuse on a daily basis both from prison guards and fellow inmates. Americans need to stop being so cruel and intolerant and need to start realizing what is really going on in this country, and that is that the big private prison corporations are making money hand over fist off the sufferings of poor Americans who can not defend themselves against the power of a prison nation.

If you are still under the impression that inmates are "living a life of luxury" off the backs of working Americans, you are sadly mistaken and need to educate yourselves. That is propaganda (ie: bullshit!!) Prison corporations treat prisoners like animals, deny medical treatment, give the barest minimum of food for survival, you better wake up to the way your fellow Americans are being abused - it might be you next! It does not take much to get into a prison anymore. Like the author of this hub says: over 3% of all Americans will end up there.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you for that comment, Magic. Your argument is well-founded, and that statistic helps illustrate your point.


fountainyouth 7 years ago

Great hub, interesting information, I had no idea about! Excellent reporting!


DreHughes 6 years ago

I have been out of prison of the 30 of May for 10yrs an it still hurts to know that you,are qulafied for a job an cant

even apply for because, of something that went on in your past... 90%of the people who get an are locked up are only young adults when they go through this hardship an to come home to nothing to look forth to is even harder.A nation of ppl who don't love anyone but, their selves.What about my

family don't they deserve a father of can provide for them...? Think ppl we all have done something... That we have asked or need forgivness for...


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you for your comment, DreHughes. Best of luck.


Rude Dog 6 years ago

I was in Soledad Prison with David and in a small group with him for a couple of years. He is in fact INNOCENT! He is intelligent, funny, articulate, and a good friend. I hope he gets his freedom someday.


shepherds7 6 years ago

to AsherKade:

Boy did you swallow a pile of propaganda. I agree with MagicStarER and have only to add Fear God. Love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Prison is satan territory, and those that earn their living from that system have much to fear from a Holy God who KNOWS WHAT Y'ALL ARE DOIN'!!!!! Many of your fellow Americans are also informed as to what you are doin'. Better hope you know what you're doin'. I think: What job can I hold that will bring glory to my God?

And how about the command, "What God has joined together, let no man separate?" How many families have you destroyed and annihilated? And how many of that chattel (I mean inmates) are really worthy of having their lives destroyed, as you are doin', (not rehabilitating). How many thousands upon thousands of homeowners are paying more and more property taxes because you have shoved fear down their throats of these men that are a threat to their safety if they're not locked up.


williammason profile image

williammason 5 years ago from Los Angeles

With the recent riots and the rising of the federal prison, county jail, doc, dept of correction and correctional facility population, the best advice is to heap your head clean and stay out of that zone. That possibility may not be for everybody but at least you gotta try! If not visit this site to find out more in the subject

http://1-inmate-locator.blogspot.com/


taken for granted 5 years ago

I've read these articles carefully.But what I'm experiencing is the after affect.Life after prison! I met this while still locked up.Believed all the bs words through letters etc.Now married(not a year yet)and life is hell with him.I feel like Lady's out there don't believe them.I'm living proof that it doesn't work.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you all for your comments. Taken for granted, you have a great point. You may consider visiting this Hub: http://hubpages.com/business/Where-can-non-violent...


John 5 years ago

If inmates were allowed to use the internet, they would continue to commit more crimes via the internet. Do not be deceived the inmates are murderers, rapists and violent gang members. Most of them should have been executed for their crimes, but got life instead.


John 5 years ago

Recidivism in California is about 85%. Parolees typically continue committing violent crimes upon release. Rehabilitation is very unlikely.


John 5 years ago

Ladies, do not fall for inmate BS. They are predators looking for more victims.


RachelBeckner profile image

RachelBeckner 5 years ago from Nokomis, Fl

Wow, I am so glad I found this hub... It's great to see someone on the inside reaching out. As one who spent 3 years inside a Florida State Prison, I saw first hand how it can effect someone mentally. I have been clean/sober since Sept 11, 2002. Was released Aug 20, 2005. There are so many good people in there, they made a mistake, and now paying the penalty. But getting help is not so easy, nor is it really 'top of the line' help... I was ordered to go to treatment while inside. My options for that were 1.)make it to a certain work release center that offered the program 2.) Do the one they had inside this prison. The so called treatment inside the prison consisted of being locked in a separate dorm almost 24/7 away from the general population. When they did get to come out for some yard time, they looked like zombies, sad faces, I was sure i didn't want to go there... I prayed to God to get me out of there and let me do my "treatment" at the work release center...Thank God he did, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. But womans prisons are nothing compared to mens. I was in one of the hardest womans prison's in the state and saw a couple bad things happen. But for the most part if you dicipline yourself to never never never get into anyone elses business in any way shape or form.. You have no problems for the most part. Don't agree or disagree with anyone's opinion, the answer is always the same "hmmmm",, nothing more nothing less... lol No one could ever squeeze an opinion out of me,,,

Today I am in college, already accomplished a whole bunch of stuff, and today I go inside the Florida Prisons and talk to the prisoners,, both mens and womans,,,

:O) Take care


Diane 5 years ago

My husband spent a GREAT deal of time in Missouri prisons. 31 years straight. Life is very rough, it's primal, it's horrific, it's kill or be killed. It's not a bed of roses, no matter what "privelages" they get. My husband spent 5 YEARS in the Hole (solitary confinement), freezing cold, sleeping on a piece of foam on a bare concrete floor (when he was lucky), often naked, actually sleeping on the floor with freezing air blowing on him in a tiny bare concrete room. Now he is schizophrenic, claustrophobic, restless, etc. as a result. Highly intellegent, sure, but...mental.

He always says that in prison you either get real spiritual or get crazy. I actually think in his case it's a combination. He went through HELL. But he's a survivor. And in the middle of Hell, he got an education, became a martial arts master, is very healthy physically, very studious and intelligent, very spiritual and insightful.... The unfortunate thing is that his education has given him nothing but paper because out HERE, employers will not hire him, despite his skills. they see a criminal record, and his chances for success are out the window.

This man, "Prisoner David" is VERY lucky to have internet access. I think it is a good thing, because in all those years behind bars, my husband NEVER learned how to use the computer, let alone have access to internet. It's the way things are now, and without some kind of even basic computer and internet knowledge and access, one is left in a sort of "primitive" era in an age where having that access is essential to getting ahead.

Yes, prison is punishment. But without a chance to better themselves, rehabilitate themselves, advance their whole self mentally, spiritually, and physically, all the system is doing is releasing loads of crazy people into society with nothing to contribute. Punishment should not be a period of stasis. It should be a time of GROWTH and BETTERMENT. EVERYONE deserves a chance. Everyone who comes out of prison should come out a much better person than they were when they went in.

Last word: Parole officers, do NOT let your parolees get caught in your money-making game! It is NOT fair to them that you all get more money when your parolee gets sent back to prison. Give them chances for SUCCESS and societal contribution; DON'T just set them up for failure! ANd if they can't freaking pay your insane "intervention fees", because they can't get a job out here, forget about it, okay? MOre than likely, your parolees are doing what they can to survive and what they can to stay out of prison, and intervention fees are the last thing on their mind. Don't continue punishing them. They've done their time. It's time to let them SUCCEED and CONTRIBUTE.


RachelBeckner profile image

RachelBeckner 5 years ago from Nokomis, Fl

Diane - Awesome story and it's all true. I sure can't imagine being in that long.. 3 yrs is nothing comparitively... My husband spent a total of 17 yrs behind bars as well... He is super awesome now, we both go inside the prisons here in Florida, taking the gospel of Christ to the men and woman... It's very rewarding.

We are all about Growth and Betterment!! Take care Diane,, Great to hear you speak on here..

Rachel


rowdy 5 years ago

ive done some time behind bars and the life and politics are to live by if u so decide but it isn't a place i would wand to spend the rest of my life tho its easyier to get a job then i get out of prison and the niggers and spicks take all the jobs and not to mention most places wont hire a convicted felon


Ismelda Peralta 5 years ago

My name is Ismelda Peralta and my major is Criminal Justice. Learning more about prison life is an interest I have and with this major, it is becoming easier to understand. I know that the books do not share the reality of this life and that is why I am starting to build an interest in it. Maybe it might become a choice in my career because I try to help the people in life that deserve a second chance.


Grace 5 years ago

Prisoners are also human beings, they should feel safe in prisons. Who are we to judge them, GOD will give them their punishment.


Bad Child 5 years ago

So I am still a little confused, can prisoners in minimum fed security prison have access to the internet? The reason I am asking, is because I do computer programming and web design for a living and have projects that i need to continue to work on, because I am going to prison really soon.


komobo81f profile image

komobo81f 5 years ago

Going to prison these days is as easy as mailing a letter.MY Cousin is doing 3 years for defending his son.His son was late getting home on his bike so he jump a curb and jetted across the street. An officer saw him and stop him in front of his house, the officer yanked him off his bike, and was yelling at him when his dad came out and ask the officer to let him go, and wanted to know what he had done, the officer told him to step back and continued to shack his son so my cousin grab the arm of the officer trying to get him to release his son. another officer had showed up. He released his son but both officers took my cousin to the ground and arrested him for assault on an officer he got three years.Even though there was eight witness from the neighbor hood that testified in my cousins behalf.His attorney told him that the judge was lenient he could have given him ten years, the judge felt he had to make an example of him, but didn't feel he deserved the max. It has been rough on the whole family specially his wife and kids. they lost there home because she doesn't make enough money to pay the mortgage and bills. WE have learned alot about men in prison sense he's been in, there's more men in prison on stupid little things like this than you think.The really sad thing is that when he gets out things are not going to get much better because he is a convict an is going to have a hard time finding a job. He can't even get his old job back because of company insurance issue's.He'll be 32 when he gets out and his life is shot. The last letter he wrote home he told his wife that he wanted a divorce, that it was the only chance that she and the kids will have for a normal life. There is no doubt that most of those in prison should be there, but they should have a chance to start fresh and if they don't then condemn them.


Caroline 4 years ago

I pray that ALL if the people who are incarcerated will be given a chance to become better people, regardless of their mistakes. GOD IS THE ONLY TRUE JUDGE, I don't agree with the system nor those who are use to mistreating prisoners, that is why the violence never ceases inside of the prisons, GUARDS take their agressions and bad marriages etc. on the prisoners they took and oath to protect. But little do they realize that they or some of them have children and how would they like others to mistreat their children, NO MATTER WHAT PRISONERS HAVE LOVED ONES WHO LOVE AND CARE FOR THEM AND OF ALL THE BEST 'JESUS CARES AND DIED FOR ALL OF US GOOD OR BAD, HE WILL JUDGE ALL. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.


william 4 years ago

Veary neat my friend. I can relate. Something good will come. Never for one second think it won't. Easier said than done.


Sam McCheesy 4 years ago

yo t-dawg what'd you do to get in


Terry O'Rourke aka T-dawg 4 years ago

yo mang mccheesy what's good brotha?


Sam McCheesy 4 years ago

yo dawg i hurd bout dat foo dean rogers babe you been mackin on


Terry O'Rourke 4 years ago

ya dawg she be all young money retarded. but why im in jail? cuz i grabbed my 'Dolla Niney 8' and smack a ho


dean rogers 4 years ago

yo terry mang, shut yo mouth. lock this man up, he aint ready to be back on da streets


Jc 4 years ago

Prison is prison. No privileges? Who cares. It's prison. Deal with it.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

I have driven by both Soledad and the CMC often, so I find this very interesting. One of our family members also served time in prison, and it helped make a new woman of her. She was finally able to find a rehab program where she succeeded in getting and staying clean, and she is now leading a normal life with a job. She has stayed clean over ten years now, and we expect it will remain so. I believe people can change, but usually they need support and family on the outside to help them get through the tough times.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Thanks for posting WannaB Writer. I'm glad to hear your family member is doing well now and that she had the support she needed.


LisaB 3 years ago

The way I see it...and this is my opinion....if you do something to break the law then you need to pay the consequences. I am sorry if it is hard for you to find a job after and if it tears your family apart, BUT you consciously made the choice to break the law and now you must pay the price. You need to learn to take responsibilities for your actions. People in prison don't deserve the freedoms and luxuries that we have. Some people who don't break the law and work hard every day don't have them....so why should someone who did those atrocities to our society get them?


mark 3 years ago

the best thing i can tell some of you f...ks that have never been there is you are all equil to me.and your faith remains in you. don't forget what you do or where you come from.cause you all are guilty of the very same thing I have done and do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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