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

Untimely Elimination

A thick, smooth consistency. Dark, chocolately brown in color. Rancid, and smeared across the back of my thighs. Not a good way to start the day. Lifestyle Changes I’d been doing so very well. Living the keto life in prison isn’t easy, but I had remained faithful to the carb-restricted diet in combination with vigorous [...]

Culture Clash

“What!? You want me to say ‘please’? I ain’t finna beg you for a damn milk!” Chuckie was a harmless but annoying loudmouth with a big gut and short stature. He was generally little more than an obnoxious nuisance, but in this instance he had managed to grow legitimately intimidating as the fiery ire in [...]

Matinee of Madness

It was a lazy Monday afternoon, the hectic frenzy of the first day of the workweek having ebbed to a lethargic pace. Fall was in full swing with a nip in the air bred from northern breezes. As is the popular course of action in these instances, meteorologists all across the dial saw fit to [...]

Shoeshine Shorty

Many prison inmates are both enormously vain and incredibly lazy. This is a pair of attributes that Bee was able to identify and take advantage of. Identifying an Opportunity The only sneakers available for purchase in prison are entirely white, and therefore, it’s not long before they become scuffed, dirty, dingy. No matter what degree [...]

King of the Court

While it is certainly true that I earned my status on the handball court as the biggest loser, it is equally accurate that in losing so horribly and often I learned from my many, many mistakes. I figured out how to win. Even more than that, I became a formidable foe, which earned me a [...]

A Sort of Race War

Tim was an unrepentant racist and well-known snitch. Depending on whose version of events you chose to believe, he was either a mostly innocent bystander/tagalong when his rappee Lally executed a man with a bullet through the back of his skull, or else Tim himself was the triggerman and was putting all the blame on Lally [...]

The Walking Dead

I’m not sure if this is a matter of life imitating art or the other way around. Either way it provides a consistent and welcome early morning chuckle. Early Chow For years, breakfast chow had been called between eight and nine in the morning with lunch coming between eleven and noon. In order to put [...]

Sniff Signals

The sharp inhalation of air sounded out in the night for a second time, but I was engrossed in the task before me and registered it like a pesky housefly—hovering on the periphery as a tiny annoyance, but nothing more, and ignored easily enough. It took a few more of these distinct noises to remind [...]

Captive Audience

Deprivation I spent three years in county jail never seeing the sky or feeling the sun shine on my face for more than a handful of hurried minutes at a time, and that only happened every few months to walk across the street to the courthouse for a hearing. The longest stretch between bouts of [...]

Abuse of Authority

Crockett had a relatively legitimate complaint, but he went about seeking relief for his issue in the entirely wrong way. First, he began by cussing out the two C/Os who refused to let him out of his cell to use the phone—never a good opening tactic. Less Than Professional It was Crockett’s scheduled day for [...]