There’s a saying in the street and I’m sure you’ve heard somebody say to you. It’s simply, “Snitches get stitches”. It’s a powerful statement that implies that tattle tales or snitches deserve the consequence of getting beat up or jumped by multiple people. The community never favors a snitch and neither does the prison community.
As I spent seventeen months in a federal prison camp, I learned much more about snitching than I had ever known. Inside the camp, it’s a sneaky system used to keep inmates subdued. Below I share an excerpt on snitching from my own book called, “Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp.” Check it out.
“[…]we all had to be careful because some of those inmates were really undercover police officers or COs. It was believed that GM6 had a major shakedown because a police officer posing as an inmate told the GM6 COs about the wrongdoings of the inmates. The result was that five inmates got fired from the assignment. That’s why inmates avoided talking about sensitive information around inmates they didn’t trust. Snitches were always looking for some dirt on other inmates to use as blackmail. Therefore, they ear hustled (eavesdropped on) as many conversations as possible. According to what the inmates told me, snitches were the cheapest way to govern and regulate the system. They were very quick to tell on a person, mainly because they couldn’t fight. I talked to two snitches who told me to my face that they had no problem snitching. It’s the passive evil way of getting back at bullying. I didn’t argue with it.
“One inmate, Danny the Jew, admitted to me that he’d snitched on inmates and had fake cell phones just in case anyone picked on him or gave him problems. He told me that it gave him power over other inmates who could fight better than him. If an inmate ever gave him a problem, he could just put a cell phone on him. If the inmate got caught, he would get a 100-series shot (which added points to an inmate’s record and could make him lose camp status), a $75 fine, and about six months in the hole. The inmate would most likely be moved to another camp or prison. I kept my distance from him, though we did get along very well. However, snitching only made inmates look like bitches to other inmates and the authorities. The CO didn’t respect a snitch because he saw him as someone who couldn’t fight for himself or who didn’t have problem-solving skills.”
If you enjoyed this excerpt, check out my book, “Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp” available NOW on Amazon. It’s a smooth read that will keep you on your toes. Write below in the comment section about your thoughts on snitching in prison.
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“Snitches get stitches” is a powerful statement that implies that tattle tales or snitches deserve the consequence of being beat up various people. The outside community never favors a snitch and neither does the prison community. I spent a little time in Herlong Prison Camp and encountered snitches. Here’s a little story about why you have to be aware of snitches in prison camp and why you need to stay away from them.
One day, my friend and I were in the library. We watched a correctional officer (CO) on the baseball diamond open a garbage bag and put in some type of container, then tossed it out. He also looked through a box, pulled out clothes and something else that looked like clothes. Then he began digging with a shovel. I remember hearing that some inmates hide their phones in the dirt around the baseball diamond or the track. Seeing him with a shovel told me he was looking for phones or other contraband. My friend said, “That had to be a snitch.” He knew that the CO wouldn’t come out of his office unless he had a good reason to do so.
Snitches are the cheapest way to govern and regulate the system. Snitching provides a passive way to get revenge or power over someone else. The government officials and CO’s encourage snitching (or at least they did at Herlong) because it helps them save money on cameras and other security equipment. I’ve heard of some snitches turn in their own people for the smallest rewards. The threat of snitching makes inmates more discreet with their activities. They only disclose their activities around the people they trust. I believe this is part of the reason inmates can be antisocial or form cliques.
However, I feel snitching is a cowardly way to solve a problem. People are so quick to tell on someone else because they can’t fight. I ran into two people that told me straight up—they have no problem snitching. They felt that they were empowered by their lack of fear of snitching. If it was me, then I would try to talk it out or have another inmate that we both trust help us work it out. We couldn’t talk to a CO because they could have their own agenda that would ultimately benefit them instead of us.
However, snitching only made inmates look like bitches to other inmates and the authorities. Although snitching made a CO’s job easier, the CO didn’t respect a snitch because he saw him as someone who couldn’t fight for himself or who didn’t have problem-solving skills. They knew that the only reason they were snitching was to get someone else in trouble or to kiss the CO’s ass to get some perks that made their prison experience easier. For whatever reason, the snitch thinks it gives them power. However, a CO could change his mind, put the snitch in the hole or SHU and no one, not even the CO would remember him.
Remember, “snitches get stitches”. They aren’t respected by anyone even though the governmental system uses it to control security. Never be part of that system.