In looking at how prison was portrayed in movies and TV shows, William D. Hastings saw that, for the most part, writers employed broad strokes and generalizations. Having accumulated over a decade (and counting) of hands-on experience, he has expert knowledge about what it’s really like to live behind prison walls. This blog endeavors to use his expert experience and extensive knowledge of prison life to give a better understanding of prison as hilarious or absurd, and intermittently beautiful. Hastings hopes this blog can capture the microcosm of life behind prison walls, as it is indeed a unique world unto itself. Some of the unique prison slang utilized by William D. Hastings can be seen at www.prison-slang.com


Going Vegan

I stared at the mound of soy, a protein-rich meat substitute that on its own is really quite foul-tasting, and wondered what kind of magic I could work to turn it into something less disgusting and hopefully more edible. It had both the appearance and odor of wet dog food, so I knew that I [...]

Earthquake Recollections

Eddie enjoyed acting like an annoying jerk just for the sake of bothering people around him. It was his form of readymade entertainment, and he had a natural-born gift for it. So when the bed started vibrating sometime around five in the morning, shortly after the emptied breakfast trays had been collected through the chuckhole, [...]

Prison Facial

My face was searing like it had been set aflame, and the grit grinding into my pores felt like crumbs of crushed glass were being forced into my flesh. I didn’t think the process was very therapeutic, and couldn’t figure why people in the world paid big bucks for the procedure. Then my prison facial [...]

Deepthroat Danny

The sounds of his gagging and retching splintered the morning quietude, like a bothersome but effective alarm clock. Being the early-riser that I am, I was not awakened by his daily dental ablutions, they just aggravated me to no end and disgusted me more than a little. No Adonis Danny is an egomaniac of the [...]

Only Human

I was on the yard, just wandering and minding my own business—catching some fresh air and sunshine—when I came across two guys locked in a fierce embrace. This wasn’t a fight I had stumbled upon, but rather it was as if they were propping each other up. If either of them relinquished his grip, they’d [...]

Eating Fire

I was on the floor with my stomach in my back, which means that I was broke and starving. It also means there was no way I was going to miss chow, even though chili isn’t exactly a gourmet meal, or even all that appetizing in prison. A Welcome Aroma The familiar warm, sour smell [...]

Not Superman

There was certainly a hilarious absurdity to it so that even the most serious personality couldn’t help but shake his head and crack a lopsided grin. Prison is so often a severe environment entirely void of lighthearted whimsy, so when some much-needed levity arrives on the scene, it’s generally embraced with a welcoming outpouring of [...]

Window Seat to Freedom

My starving eyes saucered as they attempted to watch it all at once. There was so much simple beauty that they’d been deprived of, and they’d grown lazy on a steady diet of televised facsimiles. Freedom breezed by me at 55 miles per hour in the form of green fields, trees, farm houses, and tiny [...]

Open Wide

Going to the dentist can be intimidating enough, but in prison, it’s a whole other kind of scary. If I hadn’t lived it, I don’t know if I would’ve believed this story either. === “Alright, go ahead and open up for me.” Never before had more terrifying words been spoken. They were made even more [...]