I’ve been invited to contribute to the team over at Murder Books. It’s a roster full of authors who know how the system really works.

Pop culture, television, and movies rarely get the details right. They’ve made most believe if you’re in prison, you can get tossed in the “hole” for no reason other than to mess with you. Let’s take a look at what really happens:

Murder Books

It’s a pleasure to be here sharing my first post on the Murder Books Blog. Thanks to the crew for letting me contribute.

You might know that I worked in prisons for the better part of thirty years. You get to know a bit about how the system works and a great deal about those who end up there—on both sides of the bars.

At the risk of dating myself, there was a popular song back in the day called, 30 Days in the Hole by Humble Pie. The lyrics talk about a drug-addled, jailhouse-bound guy destined for thirty days in the hole to mend his ways. A cool song that made you want to avoid going to the “hole,” but like most pop culture, it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of life behind bars.

For a few years, I worked in what you might call the “hole.” One of…

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  1. Retired & Loving It · · Reply

    Well, your article assumes that staff follow all the rules. And the they don’t always . . . which is where I and my colleagues came in. 🙂 Also, I handled a few cases in which inmates asked to roll up for their own safety, which meant gong to “the hole” or Ad Seg. In one such case, the officer was threatening to reveal a commitment crime (sex-related) to other inmates as part of a blackmail scheme involving the smuggling of contraband into the institution. The inmate was transferred to Ad Seg pending transfer to another prison, which is where I had to go with OIA for the interview and to prepare him to testify.

    1. That’s exactly why we have rules. Any officer or staff member who involves themselves in smuggling contraband places everyone at risk. I think we’ve all known a few cases where officers were compromised and made horrible decisions, unfortunately. In my view, these were rare and the vast majority of correctional staff didn’t reflect those behaviors. You are quite right that an inmate may ask to lock up, absent from any disciplinary offense. These are usually short-term placements while staff determines where the inmate can program in a general population setting. Thank you!

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