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


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 [...]

Summertime Insanity

When it gets hot, people in prison tend to lose grip on sane, rational thinking. It’s a common situation that’s not difficult to comprehend since most prisons aren’t equipped with the blessed miracle of air conditioning. This means that tempers often rise along with temperatures which leads to angry words and fists being exchanged over [...]

Saving Face

David had been being deliberately belligerent, goading the C/O for no good reason, and then acting all confused and offended when the C/O retaliated. Lame Beef C/O Haver had skipped David for a shower about a week earlier. He ended up going back to David’s cell to allow both David and his cellie out for [...]

Lotion Socks

The first time I watched my cellie do this, I was fairly freaked out and decidedly disgusted. It could just be that I have delicate sensibilities, and that this particular technique is actually a stroke of genius, or at the very least perfectly acceptable, and I’m just being a little uptight. I suppose it’s all [...]

Harsh News

“The state’s attorney isn’t going to change his mind about the offer that’s on the table. Either you take their deal for the plea agreement of twenty years at eighty-five percent or you have to go to trial. If you lose at trial—and you don’ t have any kind of defense so I don’t see [...]

Fun with Sunstroke

I laid there on my sticky mat and tried not to move as my body emanated more heat than an Easy Bake Oven and my cellie retched the few remaining contents of his stomach into the steel toilet. He had spurned my courteous warnings, and now as reaping the regurgitative rewards, but I didn’t have [...]

Shower Deprivation

“You don’t even know me!” Even as I spoke I could hear the wildness and angry hysteria in my voice, but couldn’t seem to stop. “What are you talking about ‘we?’ There’s no ‘we.’ I’ve been in this building with you for two years now and you have never said a single word to me, [...]