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

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, [...]

The Silver Tortoise

I am far from a paragon of physical fitness. In fact, if left to my own devices and base desires, I’d easily invent a superfluous series of excuses which would allow me to lounge around all day reading, writing, and generally avoiding rigorous exercise or strenuous physical activity. I’ve always enjoyed a brisk walk, but [...]

The Power of Taylor Swift

“Nah man, forget that. You on some bullshit.” “Whatchu say?” “You heard me.” “Man, I ain’t with all this woofing, so, why don’t you do something?” “You don’t want none of this.” “Yeah, sounds good. Just step to me and we’ll see who’s the vic.” “I ain’t no vic!”   Violence Impending The machismo was [...]

My First Time in the Birdcage

When I first laid eyes on The Birdcage, I had already spent close to four years locked up in different facilities, but it wasn’t until I saw the frightening proficiency and immensity of this warehouse of men that it truly hit home that I was in prison. The Birdcage The Birdcage was a huge circular [...]

Brutally Efficient

My cellie and I had been together a week already and had long ago exhausted all the superficial topics of discussion available to us. With our only common ground being prison, all that was left for us was to share complaints over the food that was passed through our chuckhole and to exchange good-natured grunts [...]

Redneck Hitler

Randy was a bigot, a racist, and a redneck. Those three can be mutually exclusive, but in this case, he hit the trifecta. His vitriolic hate speech was nearly comical to anyone who had half a brain because it was filled with cliché and stale propaganda. If he’d ever had an original thought in his [...]

Razorblade Horace

As Horace swiped the razorblade toward my face, time seemed to slow momentarily, and I froze. It was obscenely surreal, this scene I’d suddenly found myself in the middle of, but even as the slim weapon swung ever closer to slicing me wide open, I couldn’t help thinking of the irony that I had actually [...]

Just Like a Woman

After my buddy Kevin admitted to me that he frequently engaged in homosexual acts, but wasn’t actually gay—just bitting—he fell back and gave me a little time to think about it. For a couple days we only exchanged polite nods as our paths crossed. I was grateful for the time to try and wrap my [...]