30 Ex-Convicts Reminisce On What They Miss Most About Prison

30 Ex-Convicts Reminisce On What They Miss Most About Prison

Prison sucks — but according to Ask Reddit, there are some things you’ll miss once you’re out.

1. Free education and learning facilities.

2. A very structured day schedule. I tried to keep it after jail but it didn’t last long before I fell back into my chaotic life of having nothing structured or planned.

3. I liked that I felt secure. I wasn’t gonna starve. I wasn’t gonna freeze or die of exposure. I liked that I had nothing to worry about. But it wasn’t worth owning nothing and having nothing. It was boring as fuck.

4. Pinochle. Endless fucking games of pinochle. I did two years and played so much pinochle. I cant even get 4 people together to play out here. That’s the only thing I really miss. Besides not having any actual responsibility.

5. I can’t find most of the good commissary items anywhere. They had some really good mackerel in chili sauce, specific brands of instant coffee (Keefe, Bostons Best), some kind of Thai Noodles, chips etc. I have found Keefe coffee for sale on ebay, but at like 3x the price. Ridiculous. Bostons best is available but not the kind we had. That shit was awesome, and what got me drinking coffee.

6. Water pressure. It was cleansing.

7. There were a couple really hot guards, but I’m not sure if they were really hot or I was just sex deprived. I don’t think it’s worth it to go back and figure it out.

8. Not me but a family member was in prison for a few years and he said he misses the code a lot. (don’t touch my stuff and I won’t touch yours type thing). I assume it’s worse in some prisons (like on TV) but he said everyone generally kept to themselves or a tight group and conflicts only ever broke out for understandable reasons like someone repeatedly stealing food or harassing. He said if everyone in prison whilst free had the same decency as if they were in prison, then nobody would be in prison.

9. I haven’t been to prison but my Dad’s friend said he missed having food cooked for him.

10. I miss the camaraderie and forced social interaction. Left to my own devices, my introverted ass tends to be a hermit despite knowing social interaction is healthy and necessary. I also miss not having to worry about paying bills and receiving 3 meals per day without having to cook or go grocery shopping.

11 I missed the solitude of being alone. I did about 47 months, from age 19-23. I missed the feeling of coming home and everything was so new, I respected everything and was so thankful for a new start. Inside, I missed the brotherhood of those around me, that I ran with. The loyalty in there is something you don’t find out here. The learning and humility factor was awesome; it was good being tore down and built new.

12. I work with this guy who told me about and made me “prison soup.” He said he craves it all the time and makes it a few times a year. It’s macaroni noodles, melted cheese, a cut up slim Jim and jalapeño juice, all heated up and mixed together. Then it’s topped with crunched up Doritos. It’s SO good and I’ve made it multiple times since then and it will be the only way i eat macaroni from now on.

13. I am not an ex-convict but one of my brothers is. When he got out, my father didn’t wanted me to see him. I have to admit that I didn’t want to either, but after some time my father decided to meet him again and since I was worried I asked him to bring me with him. (He accepted.)

We talked for a good while and he made some comments like:

“Man, I miss the free food. It wasn’t the best but at least is better than mom’s food.” (His mother cheated on my father before he meet MY mother.)

14. The nice ass prison guard who… I hate to admit this… had to look up my ass on my first day. Welcome to Texas.

The dude was actually my age. Early 20s. Friendly as fuck. The only nice guard in the whole place lol. Which is why he worked booking.

15. You are accountable for the things you say and do.

16. Was in a juvenile facility for 3 years, food much better than I feed myself now in college and the social hierarchy, as fucked as it was, could be comforting. I’m much less social nowadays so I guess I just miss being social in general. Also staff was pretty dope when they weren’t getting fired for breaking kids arms etc

17. Honestly, the food isn’t as bad as people say it is, it was one of my favorite parts and I wish I could eat some of that food again.

18. Had a few very good friends I made while there. People on the outside in general seem like they live in their own world for the most part, and are by deed more interested chasing material stuff then even trying to make friends or get to know their neighbors.

19. Not a felon but mom is. She was in for drug possession for a few years. The most frustrating part, the drug wasn’t even in her system.

She has told me she misses the routine and not having to worry about running into people from her past. She also liked having a job – she’s disabled now.

20. Shabang chips.

21. Not an ex-con. Dad is, he says he missed having no rent and free food and free gym.

22. Playing spades.

23. I miss the friends I made in prison. Everyone was sober and there was no “game”. They aren’t the same people when you get out.

24. I do miss certain people. It’s a different sort of comradery than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Also I’m quite busy not and obviously was before I was down, so the free time to read and work out whenever was quite nice.

Everything else kind of sucked.

25. Every one is (mostly) very respectful of everyone else.

26. Friendship, workout buddies, I learnt to dance (hip hop) there, and I can see how the lack of having to pay bills is nice. I miss some of those guys every day.

27. Not me – but my brother in law is out on home detention. And although he loves his parents very much – he mentioned to me quietly “I really miss only speaking to them once a week.”

28. I’m not an ex-con but my dad was, for drunk driving. Before then he was a very successful businessman but alcohol got him.

When he came out he told me he missed the wardens because they were nice to him, they recognized he was a normal guy who fucked up. He missed the sense of everyone just trying to get through it together, and he only did a few months.

On a side note, my dad was quite arrogant and always had to win. So he smuggled cannabis out of prison just to prove he could. Upon being released he wrapped a bit up and put it in his shampoo bottle so it would float to the top, just behind the label on the bottle neck. If he got caught? Another three months. But my dad had to take his win.

29. In prison there was more to do. I read 165 books in an 18 month period. I made a couple good friends. I even ran a DnD game for a while (cards as dice; 3.5 edition from memory kind of).

I listened to a lot of stories. A lot were bullshit. Others were genuine, though. I gained a lot of perspective, and a degree of social confidence.

But, I do not miss anything about prison. I grew from the experience, and I appreciate that, but seriously fuck prison.

30. A lot of guys can’t handle reintegrating into society after they’ve been in a while, it’s not that they miss how fun being locked up is, they just have years of living a certain way engrained in them. Whether it’s too much free/unstructured time or working with others, you sadly see a lot of repeat customers in the legal field. One guy got out after like 18 months and less than 3 weeks later got picked up again for pulling a shotgun on his neighbor for his dog shitting on his lawn. He genuinely didn’t see anything wrong with what he did as he didn’t load it, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean shit to the law. To him he was just negotiating from a position of strength with the neighbor, but he ended up getting hit with felon in possession of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, and a couple other ticky tacky charges they pile on.

Some guys just get in trouble for no reason other than they have too much time and no one will hire them. They go from being assigned a job and have someone telling them when to wake up, when to go outside, when to eat, and then suddenly there’s no guidance at all. A couple guys I’d have to call them the morning of their court or probation to remind them even though I told them the day before to set their alarm. It’s extremely sad but with guys that got in the system at a young age it’s not uncommon to see a 40 year old man who lives like a teenager because he’s never had to make a decision about where to go or what to do. Something as simple as choosing a pair of socks to buy is a legitimate dilemma, one guy mentioned that specifically as the moment he realized he wasn’t used to having to make so many decisions. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.