Prison is by no means easy. You spend every day of your life surrounded by four walls, along with hundreds of men who are a bad day away from seeing how many sharpened toothbrushes your torso could contain. That being said, some prisoners have scored some pretty awesome things over the years. Again, we’re not saying prisoners have it easy, just that they can have some cool stuff, such as:
Music is a powerful tool, capable of transporting you to a magical world of wonder full of flying cats playing keyboards…that is how music works, right? Either way, the fact remains that music can make time pass way faster, like in that scene from the Shawshank Redemption where they listen to the fat German ladies singing. Inmates with access to this scheme have access to a list of over a million songs, from which they can create their own custom playlist. However, authorities have stressed that no songs containing obscene or racially charge language will be allowed. But if there was truly any justice in the world, each and every one of those iPods would come preloaded with everything Justin Bieber ever sang, and nothing else.
Animals have a soothing affect on people. It’s hard to shiv someone in the face when you’re holding onto a baby bird, unless you fashion the bird into some sort of rudimentary knife-type weapon by sharpening its beak or something. Which would actually be kind of awesome.
Moving swiftly on, several prisons have adopted schemes that allow inmates to keep pets, with dramatic results. It’s noted that hardened inmates have taught themselves to read, purely to learn how to better take care of a pet canary. The obvious question though, is whether any inmate has taught their pet gang signs yet. The papers don’t say, so it’s only safe to assume that someone totally did.
8. Digital TV
TV is awesome, and digital TV is mega awesome. Because most prisons offer their inmates some kind of way to earn money, they also offer them things to spend it on. Some prisons in England have come under fire for letting one of those things be SkyTV.
Basically, it’s just a service people pay for, so they too watch the latest Simpsons episode. Sure, sitting in a tiny room and watching TV all day still sounds pretty boring, but you have to remember that there are tons of free men out there doing the exact same thing. Only difference is, they’re paying full price for it. Try stabbing someone next time, suckers.
7. Game Consoles
The only thing better than digital TV is a game console. Just imagine it, all the time in the world to play Final Fantasy without the need to work, go outside, or socialize with people. Some prisoners are living that dream. Now, like the above example, inmates need to earn money to pay for a game console (just like in real life.) The only difference is, once they have it, no one complains if they play it all day. In fact, they’re glad; if their hands are wrapped around an X-Box controller, they’re almost certainly not going to be wrapped around a guard’s throat.
Then again, maybe the risk of constant rectal trauma isn’t worth it. Maybe.
6. High Speed Internet
The internet is no big deal, you’re using it right now, big whoop. But what if we told you that, somewhere in Guatemala, there’s a drug kingpin with a sweeter set up, and a faster connection to the web, than you?
Pavan Prison is, for all intents and purposes, one of the worst prisons in the world, worse than the one in Prison Break. Still, it’s not all bad. One prisoner, known only as El Loco, had a widescreen TV and high-speed Internet in his cell, along with unlimited alcohol. Which, as you might well know, is a pretty freaking sweet way to live.
5. Cheaper Drugs
Drugs are normally what send people to prison. The thing is, when people get sent there with a drug addiction, their addiction goes with them. This turns these prisoners into big, fat, drug-addicted chickens, just asking to be plucked. If stupid chicken metaphors are your thing, that is.
As a result, in some English prisons, drugs are cheaper inside than they are on the streets. Wait a second — if drug dealers can smuggle the most illegal substances on Earth, into some of the most secure places on Earth, and make it cost less, why the hell is gas so freaking expensive?
Sex with a prostitute might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s dirty, risky and usually illegal. But when you’re A) in prison and unlikely to see a woman again for the next 10 years, and B) sporting facial tattoos and an orange jumpsuit, you take what you can get and bother with an internal debate over the legality of the world’s oldest profession.
In one Honduran prison, the inmates operate a so called “free market bazaar that sells everything from iPhones to prostitutes”. The prison operates on a very strict code; basically, neither the inmates nor guards cross the linea de la muerte (line of death,) and everyone just does their own thing. This has resulted in the inmates setting up a complex hierarchy, where everything has its price. EVERYTHING. Kind of like Walmart, only less depressing.
3. Better Healthcare
You probably remember the story about the homeless man who robbed a bank for $1 because, if he got arrested, he’d be the state’s problem and they’d have to give him some sweet, delicious healthcare at the taxpayer’s expense.
That’s because prisons have a duty of care for their prisoners. It’s not a perfect system, and people way smarter than us are arguing about it in courts across the land (but feel free to join in the debate, in the comments.) The weird part though, is that some people actually have not only a higher standard of healthcare inside, they also have a higher life expectancy. Specifically, black males from poor areas who, according to the maths, are statistically better off in prison than on the streets. Damn.
2. Work In A First-Class Restaurant
Masterchef is a guilty pleasure for some people, namely those who like highly cerebral TV shows with a deep plot, but who out there hasn’t dreamed of being a total boss in the kitchen? After all, if you can cook, you’ll always have friends.
Some prisoners, again in England, have had access to high-class training and work in a restaurant called “The Clink,” which is housed entirely within the prison. Since the restaurant is very upmarket, getting a seat is basically the same process as ending up as a member of staff: you either need to be a conman or a thief. Which explains why so many politicians eat there.
1. Their OWN Freaking Restaurant
Working in a restaurant is nice, but you’re still working for The Man, and that’s no way for any self-respecting prisoner to act. Jorge Gutierrez works in a restaurant inside a prison but, unlike the people in the example above, Jorge doesn’t answer to anybody because it’s his restaurant. He owns it.
Hailing from the same Honduran prison that’s chock full of prostitutes and iPhones, Jorge’s restaurant serves burgers and various local dishes to the rest of the inmates. He has menus, and even hires other inmates to act as waiters, paying them a wage. Even though Jorge is situated in one of the worst prisons on Earth, he doesn’t want to leave. If he did, he’d lose so much money that his family would actually be worse off. Just think about that the next time you think a situation is hopeless. Somewhere out there is a self-made man who runs a successful business, inside of a prison. What’s your excuse?