Being broke

Brock, Andy



Andy Brock Correctional writer's Initiative BRCI — 317746 CW1 - Student Paper 4460 Broad River Rd. Semester 3 Columbia, SC 29210~4012 BEING BROKE I am blessed to have someone to send me money from time to time. So, what I'm going to do, is tell you what I have seen people do around me here in prison--to compensate for being broke. But, first, let me tell you one thing about prison: In here, one dollar is like twenty to the free world, and that dollar in here, takes the form of an item purchased from the "canteen" (prison store). Not the green paper, or the plastic (or virtual) bank debit you carry on your persons. Money in here can take many forms--anything from a tube of toothpaste to a bag of chips. one example that come to mind, takes place one afternoon when I came out of my cell, and I went to sit down on the “rock“ (a common area where TVs are mounted), and I noticed a new prisoner that had been added to the State's collection. From what I could tell, it was his first time being incarcerated. No big deal. Until—-as I was watching TV-~I noticed that he went to a cell that I knew he didn't belong, and actually go inside: I waited to see if he was going to come out with anything that didn't belong to him-—but, about a minute later, I saw someone cover the cel1—door window. Not good. About ten (to fifteen) minutes later, he came out with Brock/BEING BROKE 2 not one, but two sodas ... and some chips. Well, he had no shame, and in exchange for his integrity (if he had any to start with), he was no longer broke. In his mind, and a shared opinion among many of the lost, is that he did what he had to. People asked him why he did what he did, and he told everyone the same: "I'm tired of not having anything." That's one way many cope. Creating a Darwinian environment of NOT survival of the fittest, but more ... survival of the most deviant, that's willing to group up and prey on anyone with morals higher than their own. I have also seen prisoners hurt others in here, just to have their stuff, and not be broke themselves. Many had that mentality before incarceration--with it being what led them here to start with. some will change; most will not. And not to justify their actions, but you must understand if you have no family to help you, your in complete destitution. There is no "state pay" for jobs anymore~-that was taken away back in the '90s, along with the food. what we get fed now is quite literally NOT MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, as the labels always warned. when people are hungry, they get desperate. when people have no parole, no way to earn education credits, no work credits-«they have NOTHING to lose. They have nothing, and that makes a very dangerous situation.... I have respect for people that try to keep themselves from being broke--but there's a right way, and a wrong way. A person's true character shines brightest in a place like this.

Author: Brock, Andy

Author Location: South Carolina

Date: June 15, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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