US Federal Prison System

A Federal Inmate’s Story: The Politics, What You Don’t See

In the federal prison system for the men there is a much different kind of treatment given, than to that for women. There are more of us that are locked away here in the federal system. One main political action that you have to keep is when it comes down to a fight you have to stick with your race for survival. For the men sticking with your own race for survival, whether you are White, Black, Asian or Latino, may also mean becoming affiliated for survival of not being subjected to all the politics. Each affiliation earns their respect the same way that they give respect to others. Survival is based on the give and the take of respect.

Several years ago I made an error in my life and got locked up. Let’s take a look at the politics within the Federal Prisons that goes on that no one sees.

The Political Survival

Any little thing that is said or done can turn into a big fight. During that time that I was on the inside I became the head orderly for our dorm of 200 people of mixed race, but each race has their own group affiliations as well. Being the head orderly takes on a lot of responsibility, not only to clean the dorm but also to keeping the peace within the different races. Each race Whites, Latinos, Black and Asians.

Keeping the peace within the dorm is a big responsibility. I myself did it for almost two years at the facility where I was assigned. Also being affiliated has a big advantage and a lot of risk at the same time. I was affiliated during my time on the inside, but once I knew when I was coming out the affiliation stopped there. I did not want to risk my family upon being on the outside and being affiliated.

I would like to tell you one of the stories that happened to me while on the inside that involved a lot of politics, something so small it will make you think why that.

At the facility in the form where I was housed there are three TV rooms, one for English, one for Spanish, one for Sports neutral. But in political terms the TV rooms were broken into Whites, Latinos, and Blacks. Each race has their own TV area and if they were to invade another area, sometimes just because the room is empty they want to use it, which is considered disrespect to the ones that the room belongs to, which can cause a big riot, just for something so small.

What people do not see or understand that goes on behind the scenes is that the more you can earn and give respect to others the better off you are and the more you will gain in return. On the inside no matter if in a Federal or State facility for your crime, you have to give respect if you want to be respected.

There is a lot more involved in the politics that keeps the peace for something as small as the TV room and who gets to use which room or even who gets to change the channel and when. Ask yourself this question, wouldn’t you want to give respect to earn respect if you had to do it for survival?