It’s the reason why Shawshank Redemption is one of the world’s favorite films, and why thousands of tourists take trips to Alcatraz and the Tower of London. It’s why millions of people are hooked on Prison Break, Orange Is The New Black and old episodes of Porridge.
But how accurate are these jail-themed movies and television shows? It’s hard to tell unless you’ve actually been there. Luckily, several users on Reddit have been and, as is custom with the site, they don’t mind sharing their experiences.
When asked to describe that most difficult element of being freed from prison and rejoining society, the former inmates had some haunting answers…
1. Technology time
“Worked at a box store and had a guy just wander around the store for about 2 hours amazed at all the technology advances. He told me right away he wasn’t going to buy anything, he ‘just got out’ and wanted to see what had changed. Of course security watched him the whole time and he just walked around reading all the information on tv’s, computers, etc.”
2. Insane inflation
“A professor of mine used to work as a probation officer. I remember her telling us about one of her clients who was sentenced in the early 80’s and was in for just over 20 years. Shortly after his release, he tried to get on the bus……….. with 50 cents. The bus driver laughed at him and told him to get off the bus unless he had $3.50. The poor guy had no idea that the price went up so much”
3. Times have changed
“I did volunteer work with inmates for a while. One guy who did 12 years for manslaughter talked about how when he got home to his quiet Chicago neighborhood, he was literally unable to cross the street”