There are several misconceptions about prison, from how officials treat us, to that every man in prison is guilty and deserves to be there. But there’s one misconception that I want to shed light on, for people to know, and try to understand, is the horrific living conditions. Most people inside don’t have money or a way to get commissary or canteen in prison. This means no buying food. Grown men eating off a plate that wouldn’t fill a seven-year-old is the standard. People ask me all the time about prison, and tell me what’s already in their mind, their misconceptions, about prison living conditions. Most think that prisoners eat very well, and they don’t know about the reality of what’s happening. Men are eating out of the trash cans, becoming violent to scrape up food because they are hungry, or need money for things. In prison, food is the economy’s money. This becomes a problem from the start, being that you can go to confinement for accepting food off somebody’s tray, or even go for giving food off your own tray. I’ve seen men killed over food, stabbed over food, I’ve seen men’s entire character change over hunger. This misconception, I believe, goes unnoticed. It is especially true for the solitary confinement inmates, who can’t order canteen, even if they did have money. I will continue to stress and continue to educate society on these atrocities.
By Pre Shelton – Community Educator at Joseph House