14 Former Convicts Share One Thing They Actually Liked About Prison

Good times in the pen.

Rob Feeby Rob Fee
Photo: Getty

Obviously prison isn’t somewhere you’d want to be, but it can’t be all bad, right? OK, it’s mostly bad, so you probably don’t want to plan a trip there anytime soon. But a Reddit thread asked users to share the one thing they actually liked about being in jail, and here are some of the most notable responses.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

1. Minimum Security

I went to a minimum security facility in New England for a relatively white collar crime, and besides the barbed wire topped fences it was actually really nice, as ironic as it sounds. In a minimum security prison (or as we and the guards called it: minimax), you have a lot of time to yourself and you really become more mindful and self-aware. Since for the most part you’re behind bars with other white-collar dudes, it isn’t really a harrowing experience with shanks and gangs. I only spent six and a half months, but besides the lack of independence, it was pretty awesome living that life; no responsibility, no electric bills, no rent, a lot of books to read and a bunch of other non-murderer fellas to chill with.

2. Snack Time

They called it a “Big Boy.” It’s a Kit Kat or Snickers broken up, then rolled between two honey buns. You cut it up and then serve the pieces to your homies.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

3. Not Exactly Oz

I was in prison for only a couple of weeks, but it was actually kind of nice. Now this was a Norwegian prison, so it wasn’t exactly Oz. We got our own private cells with a nice bed, a bathroom and even a TV. It felt more like I was on vacation at a cheap motel with free food and no internet. That was probably the worst part. That, and I guess not being with my family and friends, as well.

4. Friendship

I don’t think this is a typical experience, but there were seven of us per room in prison, and I had the best cellmates. Even when times got tough, or someone was grumpy, we all made it work somehow. We all had each other’s backs and we were always respectful of each of our beliefs and space. These are hard qualities to find in people, and I miss the camaraderie.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

5. Good Crowd

The minimum security guys were pretty alright. None of them were white collar, mind you, but they were pretty relaxed. Mostly just DUIs, breaches and some theft. Nobody really hardcore. Honestly, it was good for networking.

6. Tattoos

I love the sleeve I was able to get for $100. Still get compliments on it and most people can’t tell that I got it in the pen.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

7. Adjusting

I was only gone 28 months and was young, so not too big of an adjustment back. Having a wife who stood by me helped the most. Some things changed like Facebook took off, cell phones went from black and white pixel screens to smart phones and people started using headsets so they looked like they were talking to themselves walking down the street.

8. Self-Reflection

Went to the pen for 23 months. Perks are lots of time to read (read over 150 books in that time), working out and self reflection. We were severely understaffed and rarely got to go to recreation. Also, trading war stories and hearing about everyone’s crazy life was fun. You eat like a king on Christmas and Thanksgiving. The cat-and-mouse game of the guards against the inmates and controlling contraband was fun, too. There’s nothing like conspiring with three other guys to smuggle food out of the kitchen or clothes/drugs across the farm.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

9. Pause

It may sound weird, but it basically puts your life on pause. Letting you focus on something else.

10. That Sounds Nice, Actually

Less responsibility. Fewer bills. Routine.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

11. Breakfast

The biscuits and gravy. I have not found anything close to prison B&G. Other food was shit.

12. Before and After

The only thing I liked about being locked up was seeing all the dicks of the other prisoners before/after they showered. And I did get a really unique, handmade bracelet from the whole situation.

convicts share what they like about prison, prison perks

13. Like High School

Free food, recess, and optional reading/writing…it was like high school all over again

14. Respectful

All of the personnel were super respectful to me if I was to them. The outside world is indiscriminately shit.