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Preparing for Prison (2016) (prisonuk.blogspot.com)
160 points by Tomte 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 94 comments

I only know from what I've heard from people who have worked in jails/prisons in the US (and maybe things are different in the UK although I doubt it) but the one thing anyone can expect which is not mentioned here, if they are reasonably young/physically acceptable appearance, is to get raped.

From what I understand, there's really no getting away from it either. There's the myth that you just have to stand up and fight and they'll leave you alone but it's not really true. You might fight off the one guy today, tomorrow there will be four of them.

Even the young kids coming in who might be gang members and think they are 'tough' or connected end up getting it, their outside status really ends up meaning very little.

Not to seem like I'm derailing what the author of the article is talking about, but the fact that he doesn't mention what will likely be the most brutal part of anyone's experience in prison makes the other advice seem almost trivial and irrelevant by comparison.

A lot of progress has been made since the 2003 passage of "PREA," the Prison Rape Elimination Act. https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/about/prison-rape-elimina...

Anecdotal: When I went through police training several years ago, one of our instructors was a former jail capitan. I've never met anyone in my life who took sexual assault and sexual assault prevention more seriously.

Sexual assaults are not that common. Prison these days you just play a lot of cards and work for pennies per hour for the most part. Skinners (rapists) are not welcome in units and have to check in to protective custody if it's discovered they're raping other inmates and there's no way to hide anything, everybody can see you at all times you can't hang sheets or anything anymore like when this used to be common. Most units are now giant dorms even medium security where lot's of gangs end up. The biggest problem for a young man in prison is getting more time added by hanging around gangs not being assaulted by them.


Is this specific to the UK? Because if so, it's irrelevant to what the person above was asking.

Where is the outrage and action to prevent these kinds of abuse in US prisons? What does this say about a society that just accepts this as normal.

Makes it clear that what happened in Abu grab was not just some bad apples but and underlying acceptance of such behavior at home.

It is shameful.

It's not only shameful but counter productive. Some think that horrible conditions are a deterrent, but there are several problems:

1. Innocent people do get convicted

2. Prisoner suicide

3. Inability to integrate back into a less violent community

4. A prisoner code that requires you to participate in violence or be subjected to it

For a sobering account, check out Shaun Attwood on YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/derickatt

He served in Maricopa County Jail under super Max and medium security. The stories of violence from medium security are just as violent as any fictional movie you've seen.

Our prisons seem to be trying to fight fire (violence) with more fire.

It's a horribly unethical game we're playing with people's lives that seems to provide little comfort to our society or the victims.

I think it's currently a losing battle in America, where much of the populace thinks "being a criminal" is a binary toggle that means you deserve anything that happens to you in prison, and doesn't put enough thought into it to realize how crazy that idea is.

I'm fairly sure if you took anyone with this view and forced them to have a conversation with you where you presented various scenarios (such as some low-harm and impact crime prisoner ending up getting repeatedly raped), they might change their mind, but actually getting people to listen with an open mind to alternative points of view is amazingly hard in the current charged climate where every issue is a political one.

Americans seem to think Prison is a punishment so the more miserable the better. In Reality, Prison should be a place to isolate those who can't be trusted to be free. When trust can be established, they don't belong there anymore. When the concept of prison as isolation is adopted, fewer people go to prison, including innocent people.

>Americans seem to think Prison is a punishment so the more miserable the better.

Aye, they view it from a purely punitive perspective, rather than a punishment + rehabilitative perspective. In other words, zero thought or care is given to what happens in prisons or how those prisoners will reintegrate into society. They're dehumanized down to that action: shoplifter, murderer, etc.

If you remove the humanity from the person, you care less about anything to do with them.

Just my opinion, but from watching prison documentaries from around the world, it's not that simple.

American prisoners seem to have some narcissistic pride in how "bad" they are. Being the gangster type is glorified, and they're given a bit too much freedom in prison.

In Russian prisons, any ego is quickly dealt with, there's more discipline, and prisoners are afraid to come back. I remember a prisoner interviewed in an American prison having a very blasé attitude and saying "yeah, I get out in a couple of weeks, and then I'll probably be on the streets for another week before I'm back in here. That's just the system maaaaaaan."

No offence intended or inferred but it's a little disingenuous to say it's not that simple and then imply that a simple reason is quashing ego - not that the fact that Russia isn't known to be a humans right bastion of the world should really need to be addressed, here.

You also seemed to have missed the recursive pattern in her statement. "I'll probably be on the streets," infers - to me at least - that she'll be homeless and/or without the prospect of any employability. This facet, right here, explains the recursive nature of repeat offenders.

Approached another way: Was she originally in for theft, which could be a felony, and keeps landing in jail because she can't get a job with a felony on her record and, therefore, has to steal to survive?

Disbarment from employment because of a criminal past is an example of how, even though the debt to society has been paid (e.g.: prison time, fines, etc.), the person is still - punitively punished - until they die.

Now to finally address the Russia question: How do you think the quashing of the ego occurs in there, if - indeed - such action occurs there? Somehow, I highly doubt that discipline is the reductionary answer and that it includes far more unsavoury contributors than simple discipline.

Put another way, a lot of military forces in the world have rigid discipline training but that doesn't mean that the ego is quashed.

Now, having said all of that, the problem is manifestly far more complicated, I do admit, than my simple explanation.

For example, when jails and prisons are run by for-profit corporations and they're only paid per head, then there's - likely - an unnecessary influence in the sense that the city, state, county, what-have-you will need to keep the prison population at a certain level to maintain the business' profit maintained, to continue to retain their services. The for-profit design, in this regard, is such that a reduction in crime (and, as a byproduct, criminals) doesn't bode well for the system.

Is it any wonder, then, that the three-strikes law[s] aren't desinged around three gross offences but one gross offence (e.g.: felony shoplifting) and two minor (misdemeanor) offences?

Then, there's the societal implications of the devaluation and dehumanisation of life in society. Reduction to a simple action is how a person is defined. So, if we do this, then we are implying that this is all the person is - forever. That's it. Paid your debt by serving 30 days for stealing a candy bar? Too bad, still a shoplifter.

I agree that the issue isn't very simple but I think the majority of the corrosion that enters is far more societal-based than anything else.

> You also seemed to have missed the recursive pattern in her statement. "I'll probably be on the streets," infers - to me at least - that she'll be homeless and/or without the prospect of any employability. This facet, right here, explains the recursive nature of repeat offenders.

It wasn't a direct quote — I paraphrased from memory. As I recall, she wasn't homeless. By being "on the streets", I think she meant she'll be consorting with other common criminals, possibly dealing in drugs and sex. She gets in with the wrong crowd, offends, is incarcerated, gets out, rejoins the same crowd, etc.

I don't have any grand answers to this big complex problem. My point is I still believe in punishing criminals (proportionately).

If you have an unruly kid in the class and you send him outside, if he is able to pull faces at the other students or in any way undermine the teacher's authority, he will endure the punishment and then continue to be unruly because his spirit is not broken.

I don't think adults are any different. The key difference between cultures (at least what I could glean from these documentaries, so this is totally unscientific) is that the Russian authorities do not give an inch, so the inmates have no choice but to surrender their pride and learn their place.

Empathy doesn't work with everyone. Anders Behring Breivik is an example; he commits a truly terrible crime, and now he is mocking us from the comfort of his cell which has more amenities than in the homes of many innocent and hard-working people in Eastern Europe or South-East Asia.

That is also viewed from feminist perspective of toxic masculinity. The more you suffered, the more you should be getting respect because somehow, the more you have gained wisdom from such suffering or it must be a great thing you survived harsh conditions at-least!

Mental, physical and emotional fortitude is one thing as a side effect to the ends, but to make it as an end is perverse, I think.

Interestingly enough, in the specific interviews I'm thinking about the Russian was a man and the American was a woman.

Prison as purely isolation is also a troubling concept to me. Does the repeat shoplifter, which can't be trusted to stop, deserve life in prison then? If shoplifting isn't a big enough crime to deserve prison, is there any punishment to deter the crime?

I see prison as obviously both punishment and isolation, to varying degrees for different crimes. Making it about just isolation doesn't solve the problem with prison, it just trades problems stemming from overbalancing punishment for ones overbalancing isolation.

There are pretty clear tradeoffs in your example (if we stipulate that there's no way to get the compulsive, habitual shoplifter to reliably stop shoplifting).

> Does the repeat shoplifter, which can't be trusted to stop, deserve life in prison then?

Two choices:

1) Accept the cost to society of letting a person run around stealing from various different businesses, probably over the course of years. Not only do those businesses lose money, but it makes their employees' work experience more unpleasant, and adds to a general low-trust atmosphere among strangers.

2) Accept the cost to the shoplifter of putting them in a miserable environment where they won't be able to thrive as a person.

Either dispersed costs for lots of people who aren't responsible for the wrongdoing, or concentrated costs to the one person who is doing the objectionable actions. I loosely favor the former... but this is a constrained example, and the available options kinda suck. (Not dissimilar to real life in that way...)

If you can actually get the shoplifter to stop their bad behavior, then the options and attendant tradeoffs change.

>I think it's currently a losing battle in America, where much of the populace thinks "being a criminal" is a binary toggle that means you deserve anything that happens to you in prison...

One needn't look very hard, /r/ for example, to see examples of this. People lauding, revelling, and even rejoicing in the suffering of criminals is kind of par for the course there.

Did you mean to link a particular subreddit?

Probably referring to 4chan

You're looking at unintended consequences, the result of outrage and action to prevent keeping prisoners physically separated from each other at all times.

Well, if they aren't separated, they do things to each other. This should be unsurprising. It is unavoidable.

They are also a bad influence on each other.

see other sibling comments that argue against this

From this comment of the author's, it seems plausible things are different in the UK.


The author doesn't mention endemic rape in US prisons because he is writing about UK prisons.

All Americans should be ashamed of the state of their prison system.

That's not even remotely true. Sexual assaults are way over blown. This isn't the movies. No one is going to rape you in the shower after taking your lunch tray the day you walk in there.

Homosexuality is rampant in state prisons. No one is raping to get laid. If someone gets raped it's incredibly likely it was over a large debt or because they were a snitch or pedo but even then its super rare.

And its not a myth that if you stand up and fight people leave you alone. Its never about winning or losing in a jail fight. It's about whether you stood up for yourself and whether or not you kept your mouth shut about it afterwards.

Please stop making shit up on forums. You clearly don't know what prison is like.

Oh and I was 18 when I went to state prison. So its not a matter of being young or not. Rape just isn't super common. It only has such a reputation in there because people like you talk out of there ass about it.

It's just what I've heard from people who've worked there and others who've had friends come back from prison. The consensus was about the same, but you're right, I personally don't know what prison is like.

That is not what the podcasts I've been listening to have led me to believe. I've heard that it's very different state-to-state and prison-to-prison.

i remember seeing a documentary where a prison doctor asked why are all these big strong guys coming in with damaged necks/tracheas?

it was because they get ganged up on by a group, his head put in a toilet while a guy sits on the seat on top of his head, while the other rape him.

it had nothing to do with the guy's size. didn't matter how big he was.

He does say at the end, "However, if you are sensible, keep your head low and steer clear of drugs, debt, stealing from other cons and ‘grassing’ (informing on fellow prisoners), you are unlikely to be the target of any violence."

Also following the unwritten rules esp the newer gigantic dorm prisons where there are countless rules since you're all crammed in there. The violence here is from your own group if you break the rules because they're trying to get rid of you from that dorm before it escalates. A typical prison intake you are met by another inmate who already somehow knows everything about you and has already announced you to everybody else. He brings you to your group in the dorm and they tell you the rules. Nothing ever happens after that for 90% of inmates not involved in gangs except really grinding prison labor everyday.

This is about UK prisons.

He does discuss that in another post: https://prisonuk.blogspot.com/2015/02/sex-in-prison-inside-s...

He says rape does happen, but it's the exception rather than the rule. Obviously he's discussing the UK; maybe things are different in the US.

That pretty horrifying. The physical abuse involved is pretty terrible in of itself, but there must also be widespread hiv / aids.

This is bad news for everyone.

Hep is also a risk

In a US county jail I saw young kids get fleeced by cons constantly. They'd buddy up with them and take whatever commissary funds they could by stealing their account password and selling phone calls. Predation works best when it can be sustained with minimal risk. Only heard of one sexual assault in another pod (was locked up for a year) but saw numerous instances of people kiting out with debts.

This is very interesting. I wish I could read more about it.

Is this true of minimum-security prisons too?

I'm not sure in regards to the type of facility that the guards I spoke to worked at. One was definitely a jail, so this was pre-conviction, don't know the security level. Essentially, it's an unspoken agreement between the guards and inmates. The guards allow certain things, the inmates don't cause trouble. Without an agreement like this, the guards are outnumbered and it's practically impossible to keep the peace. So I was told anyhow.

There are many ways to justify evil.

Motherjones had a reporter get a job as a prison guard. His experience was similar: if he doesn't play nice with the inmates they will make his life hell. This was at a private prison, so the under-staffing issue might be more pronounced, but the principle applies.

The problem starts when a guard yells at an inmate without provocation.

Such action should be grounds for termination.

But yes, you need a good culture to start with, and you need trained personal to establish that.

I have read a personal account from an american ex-convict, who explained that sex exists in prison but is nearly always consensual.

The thread is in the private part of a forum that's accessible only to account older than one year. Or you could buy access for 5$.


> Witnesses might not say what you expected them to; you might not fare well under cross-examination and there is always the risk that some unexpected piece of prosecution evidence might be served on the day in court (I’ve seen this happen more than once). Your barrister might screw up your case too. Finally, the jury – 12 random men and women – may simply not believe your defence and vote to convict you, even if you are genuinely innocent. Even if two jurors have doubts, the votes of the remaining ten are sufficient for a conviction.

As screwed up as our justice system is, having rights of the accused (such as to review evidence before it's presented and needing unanimous votes for a conviction) makes these errors less of a concern in the US. Not impossible, but less likely.

Actually in Oregon you don't need a unanimous jury to be convicted, 10 is sufficient except in murder cases. Apparently we're the last state to allow this.

If you can afford a lawyer, 90% in the US go to prison in a plea bargain..

The UK have a few limits on what can be bargained...

No justice justice system is perfect, but I'm generally pretty bummed by of what we hear coming out of them..

>90% go to prison in a plea bargain

I also think our criminal justice system is in need of some reform, but this number by itself doesn’t say anything.

What % of defendants are actually guilty? What portion of that 90% are for offenses that in better circumstances wouldn’t call for prison time?

Anecdotally, my father and grandfather have both practiced criminal defense law for several decades each in Florida. They've told me that they tend to get a completely innocent client through the door about once every two years.

Having been on jury duty, I was shocked on how many people were not basing their decision on the evidence (as they were instructed to). Some seemed to be treating it like a TV drama where they were second guessing what actually happened.

Hard to say, but there is a strong reason poor people would plea out even if they were innocent: they can get in and out with a minor plea, since their processing can take a long time (weeks or months). Ergo, if you're financially solvent, that fact may be taken into account, since you'll be harder to prosecute - you'll have your own lawyer, etc.

One major problem with plea bargains in the US is that we don't know, because plea agreements themselves are sealed. Also, there is very inconsistent oversight of these plea arrangements.


Great article below addressing how that works:


It's worth knowing that the prosecutors have incentives to convict as many people as possible while defendents often don't know the strength of the case. Prosecutors and cops can also lie to get a confession. Combine the two and you can get a lot of innocent people to confess just doing basic math on what they're offered vs what they'll probably get for fighting back.

In Belgium, in youth facilities something like a solid 90% of inmates (children) are not even accused of a crime. Rather their parents have divorced or they "have been diagnosed with ADD" (a condition psychiatrists don't even agree exists in the first place), or ... And their "development needs to be safeguarded".

The remaining 10% (at most) mostly (>80%) are convicted of running away from youth services, about half the time with help from their parents (which is a crime, for children, "statusdelict"). For the remainder the vast majority committed theft, and there are single digit children who committed serious crimes. And while the cells are slightly nicer, not much nicer. The doors are very much locked. Also if the staff judges there to be any risk of you damaging your room, yourself, or they just think you did something wrong, you may spend an arbitrary amount of time in an isolation cell, in 2018 inspections reported cases where 2 weeks isolation cell was done.

You have no rights as a child before the law. You do not have the right to a lawyer. You do not have the right to demand proof. You do not have the right to not be incarcerated if you're innocent (yes, really). You do not have the right to even know what your punishment is. If you're under 12 you do not even have the right to speak during your trial, and above you only have the right to be heard. You do not have the right to know what you're accused of (which may be nothing at all, just that "your development is in danger"). You do not have the right to not be punished twice for the same crime (effectively meaning incarceration can be arbitrarily prolonged, during and even after they've finished, on the say so of the "educators" at the "institution"). You do not have the right to appeal a decision (the judge must allow that, yes, really, needless to say, this is extremely rare). Sentences are carried while an appeal is hanging or being carried out (often you don't have the right to attend your appeal). You do not have the right to education. You do not have the right to books, or library, tv, contact with the outside world, or ...

Those "educators"/guards who tell the judge to extend or not extend your incarceration are employed by companies who have a direct financial incentive to demand extensions (they're paid per "filled bed" and treatments provided). The same is true for the investigators of child abuse. They're paid per investigation ... and per treatment provided.

Needless to say, the system is rife with abuse (and youth services choose the side of the "educators" who commit the abuse in all examples I could find). In several cases in the past 5 years these people got caught sexually abusing children, in one case they got caught pimping out minors.

(As for actual crimes: total number of serious crimes (technically involuntary maslaughter): 2. Theft with violence or other violence was between 20 and 40 for the whole year. Total number of MOF (crimes) cases < 200. Total number of inmates: ~4000)

NEVER EVER cooperate with youth services. Any of them at all. Any kid is MUCH better of in even a very abusive relationship than in the "care" of these assholes. If you think they will physically survive the abuse, I would literally ask you to lie to child services, and to the police to protect children from them. This is the only moral action, and you are protecting those children from a much, MUCH, worse fate.

There was this really interesting discussion on a different thread [0] about how _any_ contact with child services drastically reduces the intelligence of a child.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18760039

This is very interesting. Do you have any sources? I can't seem to find much.

This is the law governing these practices:


What you will not find there is any requirement for any kind of proof (not that it matters because there is no appeal process, so they're not exactly making sure they follow this in practice).

Or, for "MOF" ("crimes", knowing that by far the most common youth crime is running away from youth services):


They're in the Dutch language.

And here is a report on what is done with the kids, again in Dutch:


Meanwhile, they have appointed the person in charge of complaints about Youth services ... head of youth services. "Bruno Vanobbergen", who lied in Parliament about the reports he had received. Apparently there is nothing wrong at all !

Here he is doing just that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDeIb22uY0

(This leaked out because one of the parlement members had just adopted 2 kids with his partner and heard their stories about their situation in youth services)

This is going to be an unpopular observation, but most people that are charged are guilty. This is actually why the presumption of innocence is so important! If most people charged were actually innocent then there would be no need to explicitly presume innocence. Prosecutors generally don't bring a case to court unless there is sufficient evidence.

>but most people that are charged are guilty.

Just a point to consider: this is dependent on what you mean by "are guilty". The incentive to encourage plea deals by courts, prosecutors and attorneys, along with a perceived leniency of outcomes among many in law enforcement has contributed to the practice of over charging. This is especially true for certain categories of crime, drug charges being one of those categories. So while I would agree that most people charged are guilty on some of the charges, I posit that most people charged may not be guilty of all charges initially levied against them.

You might well be right but by what basis do you establish this? The percentage that is convicted? This would ignore any bias in the system whatsoever. The presumption of competence? The FBI admitted after decades of relying on hair analysis that it spent decades just lying and actually couldn't tell human hair from dog hair.

As I said, the presumption of innocence is extremely important!

> you will be locked into a holding cell – a very bleak room indeed – but also offered a cup of tea.

A useful reminder that this is about prison in the UK. I suspect this little touch of sympathy is absent in the US.

On the plus side, in the US they generally don't shackle you in view of the jury, it takes a unanimous vote to convict, and the prosecution can't drop surprise evidence at the last second.

I'll take those over tea.

Which also has an impact on the makeup of the prison population.

I would take even the tea Socrates has took, to avoid getting raped.

Very interesting story. He has been outed later as a child sex offender (http://barristerblogger.com/2017/08/09/unfortunate-silencing...).

Yet, that shouldn't invalidate his insights on the cruelties within the prison system..

Why does that matter?

In Russia there is an old saying/adwise how to live in prison:

Don’t trust, don’t fear, don’t ask for. (Не верь, не бойся, не проси.)

This was a very humanizing read and provides a good perspective of how devastating any prison term can be.

I find myself asking whether other forms of rehabilitation can be more effective than prison terms.

It seems to me that we all ask for a better alternative.. how come we can't make it happen?

This is really interesting to read and this website is a great resource. I wish I had seen it before I went to prison (in Australia, pretty recently for nonviolent drug related crimes).

Once you get over the dehumanisation and anxiety of being locked in a box helplessly for many hours at a time, the most challenging thing is navigating all the complex systems and processes for doing anything (e.g. finding a time to go to the gym, doing your washing, collecting meals) - there are deeply engrained and often arcane / nonsensical rules around these things.

Some examples:

- When doing washing, speak to the washing billet (different prisons have different systems around this). When the washing in front of you in the queue is finished, it's your responsibility to put it in the dryer or queue it up. When drying, you must fold the washing which you take out before putting yours in, and take it to the person who's nametag is attached on the bag.

- The "screws" (guards) are "dogs" (the worst kind of thing you can possibly be). Never be seen to have any more contact with them than is absolutely required. The line here gets a little tricky and difficult when you start applying for jobs and trying to improve your living situation by petitioning for a single cell etc. How much contact you have with them before you are a "dog" yourself basically depends how much time you've done and how respected you are yourself.

- Never call someone "boss" (this is what a lot of people call the screws, somewhat ironically) or "champ", because it rhymes with "tamp" which is a shortening of "tamperer", as in "kiddie tamperer".

In Australia I think the prisons are closer to UK than US, although we are going down the route of privatisation and the system is deteriorating in a similar way to the UK.

The strangest thing is how calm it can seem on the surface most of the time around the prison yard. A casual observer could think it's a holiday camp. Right until some guys pull you into a cell and beat the shit out of you or cut your face with a knife because of some minor infraction or rumour.

Find someone you trust and sign over power of attorney if you have legal or financial issues to deal with while incarcerated. Floated on a tax return for months this way. (Former inmate in the US)

Some background on the Blog Author:


I'm not judging, just found it interesting.

A very relevant link, albeit from an American perspective, is the AfterPrisonShow on youtube:


If I went to prison, I'd stay in my cell 24/7 and read books and math papers. Up to the point of refusing to eat unless guards brought food to my cell. I'd actually prefer to go into solitary confinement and completely stay away from all human contact for the duration, and I'd do what I could to arrange that.

Have you tried it? For most people, solitary confinement is torture. Maybe not for you, but I've been to prison, and even without solitary, the effective social isolation takes its toll. (I didn't exactly fit in in that environment. No drama, but also no companionship.)

hes probably thinking solitary confinment with benefits. it usually means you get nothing in the cell but your own thoughts. i have never been to prison so not solitary confinement but thats what i am led to believe.

I have and it's fine, I think the people that run into problems are just unable to manage their own minds. What's mind blowing however is that people then think everyone must be the same way, and it's simply not true.

Afaik, books are seen as privilege that you may or may not have and you are limited to prison library.

Also, long term solitary messes peoples mind. Whatever issues you have, they will go worst.

I have an issue where I am tortured by proximity to the kind of people who typically go to prison. Will that get worse?


Actually, I think solitary is a punishment partly because it's not just "solitary" but because they also disallow books, writing material, etc. It's more of a sensory deprivation environment.

its a prison inside of a prison.

I suggest you try living in your apartment without human contact, TV, radio or internet for 4 weeks.

Write a blog post about you experience once your done.. (Maybe keep a physical diary)

And make sure to stack up on oatmeal before you get started.

The line I’ve heard is “try locking yourself in your bathroom for a few days.”

And also get crummy food, can't control your room temperature and other inconveniences.

Can't turn off the lights.

That's my naive thought too but in reality I don't think most people will last long.

This was my first result in a google scholar search:


Apparently some gangs insist you take a shower. You're also in a cell with a cellmate. When they go out others can come in.

I think you only go to solitary if you're a high profile security risk or commit a crime in prison.

I think one of the points of prison is that you don't get what you prefer.


No more personal attacks, please!


I was a happy guest at a Chinese Jail facility for a couple months. It's a short-term jail, and the Law in China forbids any Chinese citizen to be sentenced for more then 20 days(yes, it's less then 1 month) in the said kind of vip SPA. For some reason of the destiny, there is a loophole in the Law, where the law doesn't says clearly what to do with the somewhat unlucky foreigners, and the many conflicting regulations can lead a foreigner to stay up to 9 months there!(Lord have mercy on his soul, because after 9 months there, your soul will stay there forever the day your physical body walks out of there to know what the Sun is again) This soul I mention is from Cameroon, or Nigeria, It is not clear, and this is exactly the reason he stayed 9 months there, It wasn't clear! And said soul must be still wandering around those cells there to this very Night, wherever the physical body is now, so, in my case I was lucky. Now what I will say will sound like I am a regular Jail frequenter, but I am not : D , Well, If I had to choose between that jail in China, where you are completely(and this means 100% no less) deprived of Coffee, Cigarettes, Anything to smoke at all, not even pure toilet paper, forget about smoking, you will not even remotely see it or smell it from far, anything to drink but water or sometimes home-made WangLaoZhi(what is superb, I have to say) and sometimes you can get some brown sugar that they sell for the Girl's jail for alleviation of menstruation discomfort according to Chinese ancient predictions, and where you are almost completely deprived of Salt, and if you have never try this deprivation, it isn't nice at all. I have asked the doctor for Salt, please. He could gave to me or to any other inmate any painkiller I or anyone asked for, but "I don't have Salt". I will not talk about Sun. But, a Big But with a capital B, Those beautiful and sexy cop girls that you can see running in the Jail's athletics track (like those from the olympic games, but smaller, not for the inmates, seems that they use the Jail as an training place of the Police Academy too, so those young angels are probably still Student cops) these girls will never let anyone, anyone, ever touch a hair of yours, actually If anyone touches anyone, the angels will see it on the camera and Shout by your room's loudpeakers: "Physical contact is forbidden, you both have lost one point in your point's score record"(Actually usually they are much more human then this, sometimes they called me by my given name, Stockolm syndrome and all other theories in this field don't even begin to scratch the surface of the deepness and intensity of the human relations and the feelings involved in the jobs of these girls, with their parents expecting them to have the dream husband that they cannot, and don't want to find, and the Society expecting them to be Model Citizens and They, the girls themselves, expecting to fulfill their true belief, the sheer and crude and nude and absolute belief in the Written Law, and that their lives have a meaning and a reason, a important contribution to the Development, Improvement, Justice and Freedom of the Chinese Society, and they are doing exactly this, my friend, even going a milimeter or a meter out of the written Law, for the sake of their believes in Human Fraternity and the bright unwritten Justice itself and at the same time to have to witness and look with maximum attention to all the literally nude misery of the human animality(maybe neologism, but you get it) and see the "lowest" level of people taking shower and hearing these men speak all kinds of dirty things and talk about these same watcher girls as sexual objects sometimes and sometimes even whistle at them if they see them doing the guard, of course not too much, and never if the girl can spot who was the guilty one, because people were scared of them too, off course, but Freedom of Speech there was complete, even political, some people were there because of somewhat political reasons, and people support them freely and everyone give him advice about how to go on with his political activism, this is surprising but completely true, it was about the government seized this poor people property to make a big real state Business and they go to protest in Beijing from all over the country, this is common there, so after some years the Beijing City gov got tired of handling them and now just send them back home with a few days jailtime in his own hometown as a trip souvenir. People who was caught with a lot of drugs or selling drugs gets 7 days jail or so first time, second time 20 days(maximum legal stay allowed by Law at a specially designed to be unbearable for more then 20 days concentration SPA) Third time you go "real" jail (lord have mercy on you) China is much more relaxed then people think, don't try anything weird on my advice, surely, but even the Death Penalty is probably going to be abolished rather sooner then later(someday I explain why the Chinese people is the boss of the Chinese government, and not otherwise, when you hear is an ancient cultured People, you underestimate, I only realized that in my 12th or 13th year in china, call me dumb and the majority of Death Sentences passed today in China is scheduled for 2 years from now, with some little clause on it, and if you behave well 2 years later your sentence will be silently changed to Life in Prision, unless you are a political communist authority(will be executed the next morning after trial), or you sold unsafe food and some kid died, or you killed someone and don't show regret in front of the Court Judges, or you show regret but killed a child, then you will be executed right away. ((I have lost the pairing of the parenthesis here already, this isn't a code editor) Brazilian Jail, by the other hand, you get Marijuana, other drugs, sometimes booze, visit of professional girls(woo-hoo!) Sun, Music and Barbecue, but 1 time in 2.8 years will happen that you look around after a fraction of a second and everyone is dressed like Ninjas with their shirts covering their heads and touching the ground with 1 or the 2 hands like Stressed Monkeys, so the guy next to you says: " Dress all clothes you can find quickly, so you will have less black bruises and it will let less scares on your skin when it has all finished..." but this is another story, this tale is ridiculously long already.

Broken return key?

Didn't succeed in making the comment take a shorter vertical space. You don't want to see me using the return key.

Line breaks aren't to make it shorter, it's to break it up so the reader can keep track of where he is in the reading. I must have reread certain lines 4 or 5 times before I actually got to the next line, even using text selection as a bookmark.

I see, sorry for that, Is too late to edit now, but I will keep that in mind.

I think you mean that the lack of line breaks is not to make the comment shorter in vertical space.

More line breaks, or at least one single line break, please, I understand you now, for readability and politeness towards other peoples eyes, would actually take more vertical space.

But I got it, better use line breaks next time. Or don't make long comments anymore, ever.

At least not in winter time.

Or if it is winter, only on weekends.

No, better just abstain from it.

:edit Now that you say it, the line breaks don't show in the comment! go to google -->Oh I need two blank lines! Dang. Ok!

Still something wrong. better give up the Internet, it's healthier overall.

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