Top 10 Surprising (And Awesome) Things Prisoners Get To Have in Jail


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:

10. iPods


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.

9. Pets


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?

4. Prostitutes


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?

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  1. NietzscheWasHere on

    pretty damn sure drugs inside are at least double or triple the street price, if not more.

  2. Louis Alexandre Simard on

    I spent one night in provincial jail in Canada and nine if that was allowed except for 1 hour of super Nintendo for 55 inmates in my wing. Everything was dictated by the wing boss who is a inmate himself so when your the skinny new guy you get in tabacco , barely any food and no gaming. I got harassed by 3 guys who “convinced” me to give them my hat and watch. Sure I could’ve fought but I new I was getting out the next day and didn’t want to add on my sentence. Even if there was a prison that offered all those amenities I would still pick freedom. Nothing is more damaging to a human then to restrict his freedom no matter how golden the cage is.

  3. Wow, hate to say it, but this post is really really misleading. You make it sound as if jail is some sort of a party, and this could not be farther from the truth. Maybe you have cherry-picked some unique allowances from other countries for your list, but as a former inmate of US jails and prison, I find the list to be misleading and not at all funny. Try this: the most recent ten jails that killed pregnant women, or list of countries with the highest incarceration rates, or the last ten jails that killed mentally ill people, or the most recent ten jails housing juveniles for non-criminal status offenses… and please stop trying to make light and fun of incarceration, unless you have been an inmate and know personally.

  4. Now I want to go to prison. No, wait, let me refrase that… I would want to go to prison if I got all of these benefits. With my luck, I would probably end up in some dark, crappy hellhole in Myanmar or Siberia, though.

  5. Been there. Nothing like this, just day after day of endless boredom punctuated by bad food and sleepless nights……

      • You have no idea at all what you are talking about. The person above you was talking about county jail. But then, you likely don’t even know the difference. County jail time is the hardest time outside of supermax that one can do.

        • Your ability to read nonsense into a simple statement is simply amazing. You probably get into a lot of fights.

          My statement remains: If bad food, sleepless nights and boredom are your main problems, then it’s probably a decent prison.

          Furthermore, where did he say it was a county prison? Do you know this guy? You probably just make stuff up.

        • I don’t have to know this guy. Your asinine question “…where did he say it was a county prison?” reveals your ignorance because there is no such thing as a county prison.

          Nice try, though, bolstering your weak debate with a personal cheap shot. (“You probably get into a lot of fights.”) Awful classy of you. LOL.

  6. Why is it that in prison, you get cool gear like telly, the internet and so on, yet when you`re in hospital you get nothing like that?

  7. Isn’t it easy to get a degree in prison too? perhaps a college degree and not just a G.ED.? correct me if i’m wrong.

    • you are wrong. While education is POSSIBLE in jail, it is getting more and more difficult to get one. GED is still somewhat available, but College classes are limited in number and quality

    • Jonathan Reiter on

      Yup. Just ask my brother, the jaded, cynical grouch. He’s three years younger than me, and works for Correction Services Canada, pay grade CX-1. We have some humdingers of arguments about why he shouldn’t call racial minorities in prison names when he gets mad at them, and other stuff…