The following posts were interspersed between dempsy’s posts and I put them up as a separate page.
Subject: .... Why Jailhouse Rock cannot exist...
Date: 24-May-99 | 01:31 AM
This has to do with Jailhouse rock and the California prison system. Please, note that this applies only to California prisons, since I don't know much about out of state prisons...
#1. There are no fistfights in prison! None...The closest thing you will ever get to a fistfight is a riot. Differences are settled in different ways. Either you settle the difference with merchandise...or if you have a real beef with someone, you can stick them with something. Usually, this is done with an icepick, or other sharp object. There are no unsettled debts or differences. If there is a problem, you deal with it.
#2. Prison gangs(Mexican Mafia, New Structure,BGF) control all action within the prison system. A green light has to be given by the "Car" you are driving with(in other words, the people that you hang with). You cannot just walk up and stick somebody without knowing first who the fuck they are. You cannot just walk around prison kicking everybodys ass that confronts you. You can't do jailhouse rock on somebody because you owe them a pack of cigarettes and they come to collect from you. If somebody from New Structure takes a look at you and decides you're just a punk and take your shit, then you have to think about what decision you are going to make. If you decide to jailhouse rock this guy, then you have to be prepared to deal with everyone this guy is affiliated with. Believe me, if you are marked to get hit, you will get hit.
#3. Once you have had an assault attempt on your life, you will probably be put into protective custody. This puts you in cells with all the bitches and snitches in the prison. Also, nobody is going to try to take your life unless you have done something really lame, like headbutting any person that tries to mess with you. Or doing jailhouse rock on somebody that looked at you the wrong way. Believe it or not, there are manners in prison. They are more well behaved than you think. Respect is a big thing. If you go around disrespecting everyone, you're going to get stuck eventually.
#4. Prison is not like a Van Damme movie. There are no martial arts experts walking around in awe of the other prisoners. Other prisoners do not give a fuck if you are Rickson Gracie or Vitor Belfort. If you fuck up, they are not going to try to do NHB with you, they're going to take a 6" icepick and make you into swiss cheese. There are no guys that tape phone books to themselves and fight to the death. That is pure hollywood bullshit.
#5. Let's say you are out in the yard lifting weights and out of the corner of your eye, you see a guy with an icepick coming at you. So you use your little Jailhouse rock kick on this guy and fuck him up. Oh oh, this guy was from the Mexican Mafia. Guess what? That guy still has to finish the job. He cannot walk away from a hit. Once he agreed to kill you, he cannot back down or he will get killed. So now the pressure is on even more, until one day you are in the shower and your Jedi powers do not sense him coming up behind you. How's that ice pick in your neck feel?
So let's say you decide to get him before he can get you. So you decide to get your own weapon. You go to a few guys and tell them you need a weapon. They ask you "For what?" You say, because this guy wants to stab me. "Oh yeah, why does he want to stab you?" Because I owe him some merchandise. "Sorry, can't help you with that shit, clean up your own house." See you can't always get a weapon, especially if you are viewed as a punk anyway. Either way you're fucked. Even if you do get a weapon and stick this guy, he has even more friends and more people who will want u even more. Go to another prison, and the word will still get to that prison, following you around like a nightmare.
The best defense in prison is this. Have manners. Never disrespect anybody or borrow anything that you can't pay back. Never associate with the opposite race unless you want to catch shit from both sides. Never steal from anyone. Never project weakness and let somebody take your store(food,cigarettes, etc.) never gossip about anything.Never lie to cover your ass or anybody elses ass.
Forgot the Jailhouse Rock bullshit and just keep your ass out of everyones face.
Date: 24-May-99 | 10:33 AM
I agree with alot of that, but i have a hard time believing there are no fights in prison. After talking to newsome about jailhouse rock, I also have a hard time believing it doesnt exist. I am working on the article based on my notes from my interview..I am at work now but am loaded down. So it might be latter in the day until i get to work on it. But it will be up...thanks for being so patient guys
Date: 24-May-99 | 07:22 PM
My brother was in Folsom for 2 years and transferred to Corcoran for the remaining 6 years on an assault charge. Despite what most people think, you CAN go to prison for self-defense. Especially if you have any type of criminal background.
Here is another thing that happens when you are being indicted on a charge. Let's say you are driving a car and your friends decide they are going to rob a liquor store. Let's say your hair is dyed blond like Tito and you drive a white Acura. Then that day you get busted. You say to yourself,"Well, I was just a driver, and it's my first offense, and I'm a good kid." Wrong. First thing the cops will do is match your M.O. with other armed robberies in the area. So if there was a robbery 3 years ago by a guy driving a white Acura and bleached blonde hair, well they will try to link that charge to you. You may end up serving sentences for crimes you didn't even commit just because you fit a certain M.O. People on the street call it "Cleaning House." In other words, the cops don't like to leave files unsolved, so they will find any file that matches your case and try to pin it on you. If you cannot afford a REAL attorney, you are just fucked.
Date: 24-May-99 | 07:31 PM
Anybody that says there's no fights in Prison hasn't been there. Mexican Mafia, BGF and Aryan Brotherhood are all doing shu Terms. I liked most of what you said but it seems a little outdated. Your advice at the end was right on the money.
Date: 24-May-99 | 08:57 PM
Ok, correction here. There are very little fights among inmates. What I meant by this statement was that you cannot depend on martial arts to keep your ass safe in jail. If you are one of the few that end up doing a shu program for somebody elses bullshit then it usually doesn't end there. Being seperated from population for a month does not end it all. On the contrary, it leaves an end untied and it's up to you to either tie that end up, or leave it dangling and be viewed as a punk. I guarantee you that there is no man in prison where the inmates say, "Hey, see that guy over there, don't mess with him, he knows Jailhouse Rock." If you think that martial arts will help you in any way in prison then your thinking is already going to cause you to make mistakes in prison. The best way to get your thinking on track before serving a term is like this... Be tough, yet respectful. Be friendly, yet cautious. Knowing somebody in prison(brother, cousin) could be your best bet yet. Better than knowing Jailhouse rock anyway. If you're white and your black friend is in the same prison, you best forget about that friend.
My brothers neighbor was some kind of boxer or something from some gym in Wilmington or Long Beach. He used to flirt with other inmates wives when they came to visit. Not really flirting, just extra friendly and smiley. Somebody asked for a green light to take him out. He got stuck a few times with an icepick. The funny thing about getting stuck with an icepick, is that the holes are so tiny, you don't think anything is wrong with you. He went back to his cell and laid down, and a few hours later,had to be removed because he bled to death internally and didn't even know he was bleeding to death.
Date: 24-May-99 | 10:47 PM
Ryoma, I think the point is doing time is beyond bad and you're screwed either way. He hasn't talked about how many John Wayne Bobbit stories happen. Or how about how people get set on fire.
Also every house is different. Folsom, Rikers, Pelican Bay etc.
You shank or fight, you can get solitary (sp?) or some fool from BGF, La Eme, La Familia, Aryan Brotherhood to get you. Or both.
You come in a graduate of Sidewalk University. You go out a graduate of STFU, Shut the Fuck Up Univ. Where you don't say shit and keep to yourself.
Some ex-cons will kill to stay out, why? They don't wanna be in the same cell w/ some kid who's crazier than they are.
From: Peter Thomas
Date: 26-May-99 | 03:24 AM
I read an interview where he said it was secret techniques learned from James Mitose (Kempo Jujutsu) in Folsum prison. I doubt anything he says. His story changes everytime.
Date: 26-May-99 | 06:04 PM
The guy who learned from MITOSE is NOT Newsome. Newsome has always had the same "story". the art is african from origin to evolution. I know the guy you are thinking of. Its not newsome, I cant think of his name off hand but go ask any kenpo guy and they will know.
Date: 26-May-99 | 09:33 PM
with all this jailhouse talk been going on the last few days, folks might be interested in this little tidbit i found online while on the quest for the ever-illusive jailhouse rock.
7:00 a.m. April 9th I arrived at a maximum security reception center en route to serve a 4 year sentence for armed robbery of the 1st degree. When the prison bus arrived there were 45 other inmates ready to enter the institution's electrical fence with double looped barbwire across the top.
I was well prepared mentally because of all the stories I had heard from my homeboys and brothers over the years. But, when I exited the bus in my state issued red jump suit and shackles on my hands and feet, I was shaking nervously and teeth chattering so much I could hardly speak. When I first entered the reception center there were about 500 inmates already housed in the building. I can remember seeing rival gangs waving their gang signs and shouting out their sets. I also remember hearing two or three white guys yelling, "Here come the monkeys," and "F--- niggers!"
The correctional officers all red faces chewing tobacco and spitting on the cement floors. In my first minutes a hispanic gang member was brutally beaten by correctional officers for staring at them. I was very surprised the blacks didn't have any problems with these officers. However i'm sure other days and other prison's I wouldn't be so lucky. In Folsom State Prison five inmates were slain in 9 months according to reports from The Sacremento Bee. The report also went on to say six others were murdered in other prisons during the same 9 months.
Prison is not always the solution for drug offenders and other minor offenses. It is also my opinion that because of a gang member's affiliation or previous plea bargains are not always grounds for harder sentences. Rehabilitation centers for gang members, community based drug programs, some sort of supervision and house arrest may be more productive for society. When one is incarserated he/she is not guaranteed to make it home alive. You also become exposed to more crimes and other frauds while being locked up. Alot of inmates are subjected to prison politics, racism, corruption, trickory, barbarism, and the misconduct of correctional officers.
Corcoran State Prison has been blasted lately as being the most corrupt prison in California in which inmates have made those claims for years. For more information check out, Corcoran Prison or Prison Guards Indicted for Promoting Violence Also see where Judge overturns Corcoran rulings: The Judge, in his support of these officers says officers' due process right were violated. Corcoran Rulings
While many citizens of the United States still believe the answers to America's gangs and drugs are prisons there are other alternatives. The beatings by correctional officers and the idea of forcing segregated prisoners to excercise on yards with rival gangs and ethnic groups leading to prison violence and the shooting of inmates by prison guards are not necessarily the answers. Who polices the police? Why aren't v.i.p.'s, politicians, and ex-police put in general population when serving a prison sentence? It is my opinion that all prisoners should be housed with inmates of similar crimes and rid the protective custody housing. Law enforcement should be subjected to the same treatment as other inmates. (You was bad with a badge and a gun!)
After being interviewed in the reception center I was placed in a two man cell. This would be the beginning of my prison term and my first twenty four hours in a 8x10 prison cell. Men were yelling through the vents, cursing prison guards, beating on bunks, and yelling through the building at the top of their lungs. It reminded me of One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
I was first housed with a guy who called himself Chaz Mack, he was a pimp from up north. When I first stepped into the cell, my stomache began to roll like I was on a steep downfall on a rollercoaster. After I introduced myself to him he quickly explained that he was not down with the northside gangs and that he had served time with alot of Crips from down south in his previous trips to prison. This can only be explained by saying he knew that Crip and Blood wars are very serious issues and could sometimes result in death even in the penetentiary. In other words he didn't want any problems associated with gang activity. The worse prison wars appear to be the Northern Hispanics versuses the Southern Hispanics.
As for the rest of the building, it seemed like no one housed in my unit ever went to sleep. By midnight guys were wide awake and just beginning to settle in. Wasn't too much joking going on like in the county jail mainly because nobody really knew each other, and hadn't had enough time to get acquainted with one another. From time to time you could hear the sickest questions in the world. However, you could never hear enough of the death threats and taunting of other inmates. From time to time you could hear someone disrespecting correctional officers out of spite or simply because we were bored.
I started out in a six man cell, when my neighborhood and its allies lessened, we went to four man cells, and after the protest for better housing and treatment we were housed in Lynwood's County Facility in two man cells with rival gang members. This is known today as the new "crip module."
While the crips all share the name 'crip,' each claim different territories. Around 1980 the crips and bloods had spread throughout Los Angeles County with estimates of approximately 15,000 gang members. The crips had grown so fast and became so notorious that they eventually broke off into different divisions. Most of the smaller gangs allied themselves with the larger crip sets such as the Rollin Sixties, East Coast, and Hoover Crips. The Hoovers often refer to themselves as o, crip, and blood killers. They ae most notable for being the most hated gang throughout the city. They recently dropped the name crip in quest for a reputation to be the largest and most fierce gang.
When the new "Crip Module" opened up, I was the first one to enter Pod 4. Because of my hatred for the Hoover's and Eight Tray Gangster's, I didn't want to be housed in a two man cell with one of it's members. Soon after a reptible from a rival gang, the "School Yard Crips" ask could he cell up with me. The School Yards were the closest allies to the Eight Tray Gangsters after an all out war between the Eight Trays and Hoover Criminals ensued. I had heard of this guy through word of mouth and his reputation as a young killer. He was in for Murder and two counts of attempted murder. I accepted his request.
At night after lights out we would tell each other war stories and compare our lifestyles. We often spoke of the history and politics in gangs, sometimes we would have similar stories but different recollections of the past. You could learn alot from these coversations, such as how to steal cars, steal credit card information, and how to catch a rival gang slipping.
No matter how much you like or dislike your cellie, you either learn to respect each other or brawl all day every day. If you don't fight from the beginning you will more times than not learn to love each other. You share a 10x8 cell, with bunkbeds, one sink, and one toilet.
We would yell through vents to communicate with other gang members. You would hear some crazy questions on that vent. Like, have you ever screwed your causin, ever had brains splattered on you, ever rape a man, or do you have sex with underage females? Seems like some of these questions had a purpose. Sometimes you would begin to smell shit and never hear a toilet flush. Other times you would here toilets constantly flushing. This usually meant someone was making a knife or raping his cellie. The steel toilets with heavy pressure allowed the sound of scraping and screaming to be drowned out.
Alot of the bigger guys or more aggressive guys would tear up sheets and make ropes and tie their cellies up. They would make you say things like, "I am a punk," or "He's the man!" Sometimes they would whip them with shower shoes and make them disrespect their homeboys. An inmate could stay tied up for almost 8 hours until shift change or count time.
Some of the inmature guys would tell jokes and exchange gangster rap lyrics all night. The older guys in trial usually needed sleep and would yell for silence. Guys that didn't recieve visits would wait on the female deputies to pass and jackoff, while others made plans to attack the bloods or mexicans before court proceedings or on the court buses the next day. This was done by foot or jailhouse handcuff keys. If you could get the handcuffs off you could use the chains for weapons. The only repercusions were pepper spray or a take down. The hole was considered just as bad as the crip module.
I would always lye on my bunk facing up with a towel over my eyes or cover over my head, so my cellie could never tell if I was up or sleep. This tactic is often used just in case of a planned attack. I liked to see where their heads were at when the lights went out. When my celly got found guilty of his attempted murders I could no longer tell where his head was. All he spoke of was the fact that I would be out before he would begin his appeal process. How he will never go home. He often spoke of how he wanted to kill the DA and witnesses for wrongly accusing him of some of the allegations. He told me, "My life ends here!" He went on to tell me about the prison politics and the way to gain respect in prison. It had gotten old to him because as a child he spent years in the youth authority and at age 25 he had already served two prison terms. He expressed how he wasn't up to going back and feared doing his life in a indeterminate segregated housing unit or being sent to Pelican Bay State Prison. The LA County Jail houses the most notorious gang members in sections called "The Gang Module." The whites, southside mexicans, crips, bloods, asians, and other prison gangs each have their own tiers. The crips, bloods, and southern mexicans are much larger in term of numbers, therefor are housed in bigger cells and more tiers.
The Crip Module first opened up in 1984 after several incidents had taken place involving Crips. The original isolation cells housed the Crips alone, away from the general population in module 4800. Later there would be 4700, 2800, 3200, and Lynwood's County Facility.
In 1995 the crips were once again involved in emotional rhetoric and shook up the county jail. This was a direct result of being denied exercise, meals, visits, and phone calls. The only excercise was to court appearances and back, with tight handcuffs and chains wrapped around twice around the waist. Breakfast was usually passed out cold, lunch was generally missed or if we were lucky we'd get cold sandwiches with rat droppings. Dinner was the only hot meal of the day, and if we didn't get the privelage of passing it out amongst ourselves, we'd recieve it with spit or half spilled because the trustee's were usually afraid of us.
Approximately 4:00 in the morning deputies would wake us up and tell us to get ready for court. For the ones who weren't due in court, the day generally began at 6:00a.m. Guys like me refused to get up and would let the bigger or less fortunate guys have my breakfast. Like all meals our food was served to us in our cells. After breakfast we would laugh about the events from the night before, and wonder how our cellies were making out in court. We would often beg the deputies to turn our phones on and give us tier time.
By afternoon, we would wrestle and box each other to keep our skills up and teach each other techniques. Sometimes the white deputies would let out two cells at a time to thunderdome and bet on the fights. If you were constantly not up to the task or showed weakness, you were either beat up badly or told to pack up your belongings and notify the deputies that you were no longer safe in the gang module and in fear for your life! The more institionalized guys usually did callistetics inside the cells to keep in shape and to keep from losing their size.
During the first part of the evening was always the worse. Guys coming from court were generally upset because of postponed court dates while others came back convicted of the charges against them. Sometimes resulting in the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole. The majority of the guys were coming back with life sentences, others with 10 and 12 year deals with 80-85% of that sentence to be served before elgible for parole. This was also the time of day when you find out if your set or allies had any problems with rival gang members and who did and who did not participate. This often meant repercussions for one or the other. An allie or comrade from your turf would be dealt with immediately, rival gangs would hear all the threats being screamed through the cell bars. Sometimes the deputies would purposely let you enter the tier of your enemies while they were handcuffed and vice versa. This could only mean disaster for the one in handcuffs.
At night you could here the bloods around the corner taunting crips and rapping to beats made on bunks with deodarant bottles, pencils and toothbrushes. The crips would usually respond in the same ways. Alot of times this would lead to death threats amongst one another the following morning in the court tanks. Other nights the crips would taunt the sheriff in response to the ways we were being unfairly treated. This would only make the problems worse.
The Crips usually encountered the worse scenario's and the Asian gang members a close second. The sheriff usually respected the mexicans because of their well behaved standards and influence from mexican mafia members. The whites were always looked out for and the bloods seldom gave police any problems.
A number of letters were sent to internal affairs and others of importance with no response. So the crips took it upon ourselves to start an uprising. We set matresses on fire, flooded toilets, and took turns shaking the bars to get attention. The deputies hosed us down with high pressured water hoses like cops did during the watts riot. They called in the goon squad for back up. They shot tear gas in our cells and then shot us with rubber pellets and bean bags. The sink in our cell was blown off the wall and shattered after being hit by gunshots. They then opened our cells one by one and took us down, dragged and beat us. Some recieved medical attention and all recieved interviews. The final deciscion was to move the crips to the "Crip Module" located in Lynwood, another county facility overlooking the watts projects.
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