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Old 12-11-2006, 02:57 PM   #126
MyTurn2Raise
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Almost afraid to ask, but what would happen to a true skinny nerdy white dude who ended up in your position? Would he have any options besides becoming a human punching bag or worse?

get with the arians, or goto protective custody.

don't ever state that you object with certain other affiliated peoples' violent and anti-social tendencies. You'll see and hear alot of stuff that will make you cringe, but it is unwise to ever judge others in the prison system. Keep your mouth shut and eyes open.
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:59 PM   #127
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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My sister was locked up at vienna. She was in the bootcamp though, its not the same grounds but is the same admin. The bootcamp was minminmin-sec.
I am familiar. The male bootcampers would occassionally come through the regular prison gates for a day or two and do menial tasks. I kind of wish I was given the bootcamp option, but it's for people who have more time to do and the state's attorney wanted me to do 'real' time.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:02 PM   #128
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Could you see any benefit in claiming that your were HIV positive? I am assuming that you would be treated as a leper and other inmates may just leave you alone in all respects.
nah....i don't think it will dissuade the lifers from going after the meat that much. Your best bet is to make yourself as unattractive and uneffiminate as possible. Grow an unkept beard. Keep some body order on you. don't wash fully up, etc. The problem is the guards and warden want a [censored] and span place, so there is a line to balance.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:03 PM   #129
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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this link (http://www.idoc.state.il.us/subsections/search/inms.asp) is interesting. I'm just searching random last names and browsing photos and fascinated by it.
don't forget to check your birthday. there are 10 listing for mine. one dude with my bd..

Wow, six people match my exact birthdate in that prison. WTF?

Ray
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:03 PM   #130
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Your best bet is to make yourself as unattractive and uneffiminate as possible. Grow an unkept beard. Keep some body order on you. don't wash fully up, etc.
So basically become Andrew Karpinksi.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:03 PM   #131
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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holy [censored], amazing thread.

MT2CR, I honestly feel very bad for you. I imagine it would be much worse for guys in your similar situation, who aren't good at poker 'cause they are [censored] for job searching.

Before you found poker, when you realized that you could never get a decent job, did you ever thing of just giving up on life and just end it all?

for awhile on house arrest, after my girlfriend finally wisely dropped me, I wasn't the happiest person and some bad thoughts did enter my head. I don't like to think about that too much.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:06 PM   #132
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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I know you said that people don't discuss their crimes much but in the minimum security prison did you meet anyone who was in for tax fraud?

nah....i believe that is more a federal crime and a convict would end up in the federal rather than state prison system.

I did meet a few guys who laundered money, etc. One guy admitted to being madly in love with a hot Brazilian made at the hotel chain where he was controller. He ended up stealing many thousands to court her and, later, support her. He said it was worth it despite the fact she never once contacted him once he went to prison ...it's a funny world.

While in county, there was a guy awaiting sentencing at the federal level for corporate espionage. He was a high ranking guy and sold secrets to the competitors.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:07 PM   #133
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Your best bet is to make yourself as unattractive and uneffiminate as possible. Grow an unkept beard. Keep some body order on you. don't wash fully up, etc.
So basically become Andrew Karpinksi.
LOL

I remember AK doing a thread like this about his experience in prison. I wonder if his "look" was as a result of getting raped in prison and not wanting it to happen a second time?
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:10 PM   #134
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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mt2r, fascinating thread. ty for sharing.

el d asked a couple of q's i was wondering about. further to them though, as you weren't affiliated with any gang how were you treated by the rest of the prison population?

did they just leave you be, or would they f with you or make things harder for you, simply because they could with no fear of recourse?

did you walk around with head down (to avoid eye contact and possibly insulting someone)? or did you keep your chin up so as not to look like a weak target?

no affiliation here

people would look for opportunities to mess with me, and I tried to not give them any

head up, but no eye contact. More like a constant awareness of my surrounding.

It was mentally draining to live in fear that much.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:13 PM   #135
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Great thread, MT2R. Thanks for sharing.

What was the size of your iso cell at Joliet? Did it have a window? What was your workout routine there?
6' X 8' when in the general pop decks. Isolation was 8' X 10'. If you look at the pictures in the OP, the cell doors go onto a deck. Beyond that deck was a brick wall with some thick, clouded windows. I could see a bit. Joliet didn't have two decks of cells facing eachother like the prison in Shawshank. It had decks that faced out from the building rather than in.
Isolation had a 2' X 2' window about 15 feet off the ground that would let natural light in on occassion.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:15 PM   #136
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

The 16 year old who killed his family - Why would no one sit with him? Was it because they were afriad he was Nutso and would shank them if he got the chance? Was he a punk or something like that? Did California have contact with him? What was that like?

What was showering like? Did you have to shower with the other inmates? Where do the guards stand to watch for fights/beatings?

Did you give any thought to trying to leave the country? If you had $50K in your bank account from poker, would you consider leaving the country?

You said that if someone gets their food stolen and then fights the person who is affiliated, they will become a target? To what extent will this treatment continue? I was under the impression that everyone in prison is afriad of someone shanking them, so they do not mess with people willing to fight back?

Did any gang members try to recruit you?
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:15 PM   #137
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Wow. Very fascinating read. Seems like you were able to take a very bad situation, learn from it, and moved on to more productive life. I congratulate you for it.

Having met you in real life, I never would have guessed this was in your past, though I see now that your love for late night Barbary Coast Pai Gow action should have tipped me off

I hope to see you again next time SSNL hits up Vegas.
All anyone can do is try to make the best of it. I expect anyone in my situation would've tried the same, but thanks.

Yep, I don't seem like a hardened thug IRL, Pai Gow exploits withstanding.

Looking forward to the next SSNL gettogether.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:16 PM   #138
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

If you were to join a gang, how does the process work? How do they treat you? What are your responsibilities as a new guy?
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:17 PM   #139
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

I'm not sure you'll have any special knowledge, but...

I drive by the Marion Fed. pen somewhat regularly. From what little I've read, that's where we (the US) puts its baddest-of-the-bad Federal offenders: terrorist guys, multi-state mass-murderers, etc. Its the same state but a completely different system. Do you know anything about it? Any thoughts, rumors, impressions?
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:20 PM   #140
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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-Did you mention what you do now (poker, gambling) to the 'review board' ?
I haven't been in front of them for about 4 years, so no. At the time, I was a masters student on my way into PhD programs. It looked impressive on paper. I was hoping that the conviction would disappear while in the PhD program, because job prospects afterwards are minimal even with a PhD. Along the way, I became involved with poker and just went with that as my PhD seemed to be a waste of lots of time and effort.

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-Are you still interested in accounting (possibly plan to get back into it at some point) ?
possibly....I've thought about it after the poker boom dries up some more. I'm still winning, so other things are still in the background.

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-What limits/games do you currently play?
When playing poker, I mainly focus on 200NL these days. But, I've played numerous games for numerous limits. I ended up in no-limit holdem, because it is where the fish live. I actually enjoy limit holdem more, but my skills only got me to marginally beating 3/6 short-handed and 5/10 full online. I do play anything from 10/20 to 20/40 live limit and consistently pwn that game.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:24 PM   #141
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

What did California look like? Tats? Age? Was he huge?
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:30 PM   #142
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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great report, thanks for sharing.

how soon after you were released did you return to school?
about 7 months to a university. I let a semester pass to make sure I was ready. While on house arrest, I did glorified high school, ie junior college. It helped me pick up some gen ed credits and get used to a more normal environment. The biggest issue was I sure wanted to sex some of those JC girls, but it is tough to be a 'mack' with an ankle bracelet and very little time allowed outside the house. I made a few though.

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did you keep in touch with any college friends while you were in prison?
I tried to, but it was really on them. I'd send a letter or two, but didn't want to bombard them unless they wrote back to me. It's a mental toll to read some of the stuff going on if you know it's a friend who is experiencing it. It would be best to let them decide how much involvement they wanted.


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did you tell new people you met, what happened to you?
some people know already through grapevine, etc. In general, I avoid telling new people. Like it or not, there are unflattering stereotypes. I know their impression of me will be tainted. The hardest part is deciding when to tell the female in a relationship with me about it all. On paper, I must be quite the catch.... professional gambler, convicted felon....sure, come meet my mom and dad.


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what was it like returning to college after ths ordeal?

i would imagine it would suck having to listen to a bunch of whiney college kids bitch about stupid [censored], like oh i can't go to spring break, or i have so much work to do, kinda crap. how did you deal with these idiots? (and by idiots i mean someone like me when i was in college)
It was so awesome to return to college. For one, it meant I could put that stage behind me and feel 'normal' again. I could also feel that I was moving forward and was strong enough to survive and thrive from the whole ordeal. It was such a boost to my spirits. Also, I didn't mind the college whining too much (although those kids on the Real World MTV pissed me off), because college students are generally more hopeful/optimistic about their futures than the regular population. Having been in one of the most pessimistic places in the country, the youthful, somewhat naive optimism was very refreshing and a lift to my spirits.

Oh yeah, the ability to bang young, attractive, and smart chicks was fabulous. I had a regained sense of confidence and was not afraid to approach women. Obviously, that is pretty attractive on the college bar scene. I never had such good luck with the women as then. It was fantastic.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:37 PM   #143
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Where would you be if you had not been caught with the drugs right now? Did you have your "habit" under control?
I would likely be teaching high school students in the Chicagoland area. My habit was under control and did not affect the progress I was making at all. I was a junior in history/secondary ed when finally convicted. History is a tough gig to get a job, so I was taking lots of math/stat classes to be certified to teach that as well. I would probably be married and a respected member of my community.



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Could you take "California" in a fight if you were not worried about what happens to you afterwards?
Doubtful. His punches weren't that strong. He was 5'8" and about 230. He was out of shape. I was 5'7" and 190 in very good shape. However, he was a psychopath capable of taking it to the next level. He killed an assitant warden with his bare hands in the early 80s in the New Mexico prison system. I'm not even sure if I was capable of taking a fight to that level. So, I'd have to say despite my strength advantage, I probably wouldn't have liked the result.


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Could you get a cellie transfer if your's was a huge d1ck. And if so does that get frowned upon by the prisoners/guards.
Yes, transfers were possible, but they were a huge pain in the ass.


inmate search---I did time with Zachariah Avant in Joliet
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:42 PM   #144
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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How big of a guy was "California"?

What was the craziest thing you saw while in there?

How easy was it to score drugs in the slammer? Alcohol?


This is easily the most interesting thread I have ever read. I have told countless people at work about it and even printed it up and have people spreading it around work. They keep asking me for updates.

This is something I consider my worst nightmare. I have a great life and lots of friends and a close-knit family and I could not imagine leaving it all behind to go to prison.

Sincerely...Thank You for posting!

he wasn't that big. His power came from other means.



craziest thing I saw...you would think I would have a good answer for this, but I don't.
I remember they had some international terriorist/IRA guy at Joliet for awhile. He had about 7 guards around him anytime he moved....that was interesting.
I also remember the lengths people would go through to use drugs or cook fold. Prisoners would use cardboard milk jugs and take apart their walkman. They would shape a wire and put it into the outlet and get enough current to boil water to cook rament. It was pretty insane.


some drugs were around. They were more trouble than their worth to get.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:44 PM   #145
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Great post, very insightful.

I think it sucks that you're unwilling to do drugs now simply because of your experience. It's obviously a smart move on your end for a variety of reasons, but just shows what a stupid justice system we have, where people who are committing crimes that have a significantly greater socioeconomic impact are getting sentences equal to or less than yours.

Also, I can understand how your opinion of capital punishment can change after having spent time in the system, having seen people face to face that most people would never encounter in a lifetime.

What percent of inmates in there for violent crimes would you estimate have some sort of mental/personality disorder? I don't think this is an issue people have adressed enough.
I would say at least half of the violent criminals had a mental or personality disorder. Hell, most were doped up on Thorazine and such all day to make them docile and protect the guards. Nearly all come from poor family backgrounds.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:45 PM   #146
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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MT2R,

I meant to ask you last night: how long do you think Aceshigh7 would last in prison before he got shivved?

lol...who knows

people tend to become less confrontational in that environment. I certainly did. Conflict avoidance is key.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:46 PM   #147
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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MT2R,
great thread.
all it needed was lesbians.
(or pics of ex-gf)
or pics of 'California'
no pics of the ex-gf, I put her through enough at a young age already

cannot put pics of California in....I believe it's against IDOC rules to use their inmate pictures for that reason.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:47 PM   #148
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security prison

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nice post.

Just one question... Isn't GHB a Schedule III drug, ala ketamine, etc.? How did you get convicted of PCS for a sched I? Is the law different in Illinois than the rest of the country?
state by state basis....definitely schedule I in Illinois. It's in the worst grouping.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:48 PM   #149
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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OP rulz.

Glad you came out of that stronger bro. Ship that holla!
ty Pete
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:51 PM   #150
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Re: Trip report/ask me about time in maximum (and minimum) security pr

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Other than jobs, is there any other way that having been in prison affects you after you get out? For example, do you get searched at the airport, or do casinos watch you more frequently, stuff like that? More difficult to get a mortgage?
ummm... a few minor things regarding bereaucratic stuff,
I couldn't apply to certain grad schools who rigorously checked backgrounds.
I cannot go to Canada. Sucks, blew my whistler trip.
Certain other countries won't let me travel to them; it's a country-by-country decision.

It's really the life issues. I've had relationships that were going well end. I had friends who never looked at me the same way once I got out. Stuff like that sucks more
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