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Soul of a Prisoner

Updated on June 19, 2013

Wild animals and pets in the same cage

Two forms of inmates reside behind bars in the prisons all over the world. These categories are wild animals and pets. The wild animals are usually prisoners with gang ties or "superior" men who control others into doing their bidding. The pets are those men who lost their mind, body, and soul to other inmates behind bars. Mixing violent and non-violent offenders in the same place is a disaster waiting to happen.

Most prisons keep their crimes away from the public. Men who cry out for help are ignored because they are "convicts" or "prisoners", in which our society looks down upon. Whatever crime that may have put these men in the cage doesn't justify the horrors that they deal with on a daily basis. Prison should be a place for rapist, child molestors, gang members and murderers, not for drug abusers and other non-violent offenders. They are bound to fall prey to a secret society full of predators.

"Turned Out"

This is a very real problem our men and women face when behind bars. A man in the penal system is 6 times more likely to be raped than a women in society. Women are even at a higher rate of receiving this treatment from other female inmates and correctional officers behind bars. A prisoner has no say-so in his or her civil rights because many are killed for speaking the truth. The only thing entitled to them is "three hots and a cot" (3 hot meals and a bed to sleep on).

The Bureau of Justic Statistics conducted the first National Former Prisoner Survey (NFPS) between Jan-Oct 2008 giving details based on reports of victimization from former inmates in state prisons. Out of 18,526 state prisoners, 9.6% reported one or more incidents of victimization behind bars or post-release community-treatment facilities. 2,096 inmates were abused by other prisoners and staff during their combined stay in jails, prisons, and treatment facilities. While this is a sample survey to give an estimate on the total "pets" population, it is an estimated 49,000 of all for convicts that have been victims behind bars in the United States. This is only mid-year 2008. You can download this report from the U.S Department of Justice website.

Arrendale State Prison
Arrendale State Prison
Inmate beat by police officer
Inmate beat by police officer

The National Former Prisoner Survey also gives information the offenses that these men committed and what type of coersion was used to get them to participate behind bars. Surprisingly, a majority of the prisoners that were assaulted by other inmates had crimes of violent natures. Most of these violent offenses are sex related and robbery, with a minor amount of convicted murderers being subjected to it. It is more common for non-violent offenders to receive this treatment but anyone can become subject to this heinous crime. Even Ted Bundy was a victim while on death row.

As far as how these offenses took place behind bars, most of the former prisoners claimed they were forced and threatened. The most typical forms of force is being physical beat or restrained by multiple prisoners while each perform the act on them. Inmates are often subject to violence from prison staff, in which staff tells a prisoner if he doesn't do it he'll be placed in a situation where a gang of inmates will forcefully do it. 11.5% of victims suffer severe internal injuries. 28.6% show minor or moderate injuries such as swelling, black eyes, and other bruises.

2010 Prisoner Statistics

This is information from the Bureau of Justice statistic from 2010, a revised report. From 2001 to 2010, the prison population increased by 1%, despite the obvious decrease in crime. More non-violent offenders are sering time in state and federal prisons, increasing the amount of violence that takes place behind bars. 1 in 200 people will become a prisoner in the United States, but the convictions decreased from 2009 records by 5,575 inmates. This prisoner population report is available in the link.

The number of prisoners that are victimized remain the same. 39% of homosexual and 34% bisexual inmates reported assaults behind bars. The former female prisoner reports three times higher rates (13.7) than the annual male inmate on inmate interactions (4.2%).

Prison Homicides and Suicides

Some people are not able to deal with being treated like an animal or becoming victims to officials and inmates alike, so they take the worst way out by committing suicide. Others become tired and stand up for what they believe in, and become victims of homicides. Inmates behind bars are already dealing with the pain of being controlled by prison officials and constant violence by other prisoners, and the added stress of not being able to see loved ones. The penal system creates animals more than it tames them. Here are tables giving insight on deaths in local jails and state prisons from all types of causes below. These statistics come from 2000-2002.

Unknown deaths
Bureau of Justice documented inmate deaths between 2000-2002 in local jails
Unknown deaths
State prison death statistics from the Bureau of Justice

The prison population is much larger than it was back in the year 2000 so the stats are much higher than what is placed in the charts. Unfortunately I couldn't find information for 2011 statistics. As you can see in the local jail table, people are more likely to commit suicide than in state prisons. 2000-2002, there were 918 suicides committed, making 32.3 percentage of the deaths in the penal system compared to state prison's 5.8 percent. The homicide rate was lower for three years compared to prisoner's two years, 59 murders compared to 87 murders, considering the state prison chart is missing information from the year 2000. Both show that most of the inmate deaths accumulated behind bars is due to illnesses.

Prison gangs

While a prisoner, men have three choices. Stick with your race, join a gang in your race, or be a boy. Gangs behind bars are on the rise since the populations are soaring through the roof. If a man has been arrested for a violent offense other than sexual nature, there is a high chance he will be approached by gang members of his skin color to join. If he refuses, things can end up very bad for that man. Being apart of a gang while locked up means you have to do whatever it is the superiors in the group tell you to do. I once heard a story of a man serving 5 years for a cocaine charge ending up on death row. It can end your life one way or the other.

Prisoners have nothing to lose when they become gang members, especially those who are serving long sentences. In this world, the most violent person is a survivor. Gangs prey on "boys" to make a profit. They "rent" or "sell" them to other inmates for commisary or drugs, cigarettes, and money. The person who take a man under his wing in this secret society is that man's "pimp" in every sense. He must do for that man or he risked being assaulted by multiple people or killed. Gang members sometimes have business relationships with correctional officers and can make things very hard for a newcomer to survive.


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    • unitify profile image


      6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

      Great hub. I totally agree.

    • KellyRivers profile image


      6 years ago

      mr williams: This is surely a problem. One of the biggest problems facing prisons is overcrowding and this is due to the courts pandering to the public outcry for vengance...punishment instead of rehabilitation. I truly believe that good people do bad things and can be quickly rehabilitated outside of prison. A lot of the men and women need to be at home with their children, making their own living, and serving whatever probation and rehab programs they are sent to. On the inside, there needs to be a crackdown on the guards "on the take" and not doing their jobs. One last thing is that we need to make sure that children aren't sent to prison with adults. Yes, some have committed murder. Acting like an adult on the outside doesn't mean they are adults in their heads. They are still not mature. I am concerned about these things and I'm glad that you have written this hub to awaken a larger problem within. I voted up and interesting. God bless!


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