Editor’s Note: Hollywood movies set in prison, like “Doing Hard Time” and “Lockdown,” virtually always show inmates fighting one another, often to a bloody pulp. The films suggest violence is a common problem in correctional institutions.
In their book “Behind Bars: Surviving Prison,” criminologists Jeffrey Ian Ross and Stephen C. Richards write that “The most violent convicts are young men serving long sentences,” and fights are a routine occurrence among convicts. In order to survive, inmates must “never show weakness or back down from another convict,” the authors write.
In his autobiographical book “Life in Prison,” the executed California inmate Stanley “Tookie” Williams wrote “There have been times when an inmate has attacked his own flesh-and-blood relative in here. Nobody is ever safe behind these walls. In prison, violence is always close — you can’t gey away from it.”
Alpha Male Ryan, who began a 20-month sentence in a Florida prison at age 23, says the movies and books are tame compared to the reality of the sickening violence you will experience while being incarcerated.
Me and my buddy John, one time he asked me to show him some Krav Maga moves — the Israeli Special Forces, hand-to-hand combat. It is freaking nasty — and effective. I explained to him I didn’t have any problem sharing it with him, but if something happened I didn’t want him to get mad.
But he did. And he started getting fiesty.
He was throwing some punches and I was ducking and dodging, and he managed to connect one, a glancing blow to the top of my dome. That got me mad enough to show him a little stuff for real.
He moved his head right into the path of my shot. I nailed him, gave him two black eyes.
The guards were asking him what happened, and he lied and said he fell.
That was my first official time in prison that I fought someone.
He was my buddy.
There was another guy in prison, some smart-mouth mother f**ker, some white guy named Kenneth who wanted to be black — he acted black, he talked black. He kept trying me and he couldn’t do nothing. I kept making him look like a fool.
One time me and John were sitting at a table together eating chow, and this f**kboy Kenneth comes over and he’s looking at my wedding ring, and he said ‘Oh, how’d you sneak that into prison?’
So I said, ‘In my a**, why, what’s it to you?’
He said, ‘You trying to be gay?’
I said, ‘What the f**k are you talking about,’ so he said ‘I hate homos.’
I said, ‘Whatever, man.’
He started getting all pissy. He said, ‘We’ll see if you keep running your mouth when you get back to the dorm.’
My buddy John said, ‘You better watch yourself, this guy’s pretty tough,’ and Kenneth said, ‘Yeah, I guess we’ll see.’
I got back to the dorm and he was standing there with his shirt off, waiting for me. They think it makes it harder for you to grab them in a fight if they’re not wearing a shirt. But I didn’t care. I think it’s actually easier for me. I would rather grab your arm than a sleeve that might rip, so I didn’t mind it.
He started running his mouth and took a swing at me, and clipped my lip with his pinkie. I touched my lip and looked at my finger and saw I had some blood on it from his nail scratching me.
I lost it.
I took off into the room and slammed his a** into the lockers. I did a double-leg takedown — I picked him up, slammed him and got on top of him and started hitting him and slamming his head against the locker. He held me real close so I couldn’t get many good hits on him, so I gauged his eyes and he started crying about it — ‘Oh, he’s trying to take my eyes out,’ and I said, ‘You shouldn’t have f**ked with me.’
My buddies pulled me off him so I wouldn’t blind his eyes. His eyes were all bloodshot and pink after that.
Another time he came at me and I hit him for real. His nose squashed like a f**king tomato when I hit it. There was blood everywhere.
I fought quite a few times more than once with the same guy in prison. Once you beat them the first time, they have to come back a second time to prove themselves.
If you make them feel inferior, that’s when they come after you.
Contact Alpha Male Ryan at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com.