The eleventh “People Who Read People” episode is an interview with Benjamin Moots, who spent 15 years in prison, mostly in maximum security settings, for second-degree murder. Ben is on Twitter at @realfishydonk.
Links to the episode:
Topics discussed include:
- His account of his crime and what led to his second-degree murder conviction
- What prison life was like, including differences between the perception and the reality
- Factors that encourage aggression and confrontation
- How abuse (physical and sexual) tends to happen
- Prison slang, including differences between the words “convict” and “inmate”
- Prison pastimes, like poker and gambling
Here are some resources that I used for research or on subject that came up in our talk:
- Shaka Senghor‘s great book Writing My Wrongs, about his crime and his years spent in very tough U.S. prisons
- Mother Jones article about Shane Bauer going undercover as a prison guard at a private-run George prison. He also wrote a book about it: American Prison.
- PrisonLegalNews.org article about 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act.
- Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail. A documentary following Theroux as he interviews inmates in a rough Florida county jail. I highly recommend it; it’s on Netflix.
- Interview with James Gilligan, an expert on prison violence who’s written several books on the subject. He talks about the sources of prison violence (shame, lack of self-worth).