Convict mentality, this is simply a term that refers to an inmate and the way he or she carries oneself. Going back to my institutionalized post, there are probably many similarities between that and an individual who has a convict mentality. First, you must understand what a convict is and how it differs from an inmate.
A convict doesn’t conform to the rules set to them by the system, where an inmate does. A convict doesn’t let anyone disrespect them no matter how small the infraction, there must always be consequences, because that is the only thing stopping the next person from making the same mistake again and again.
Inmates annoy the hell out of convicts because they are stupid, naive, inconsiderate, and they don’t know how to do their time. Some convicts start out as an inmate before another convict takes them under their wing and shows them the way of the world, the prison world. A convict usually has a long sentence, because there is also this unwritten rule that you don’t really know shit nor have anything coming your way until you have 10 years under your belt.
Thankfully I will never make that cut.
My friend Alonzo just got there a couple of weeks ago and I asked him jokingly if he feels any different now that he has joined the elite class, but he laughed it off and said he definitely doesn’t feel any better or more enlightened for it.
You may be trying to fit through a tight spot and you may even feel entitled to the space and you brush up against a convict. If you don’t excuse yourself or apologize there will be repercussions, where an aggressive comment is a best-case scenario. In the free world, we get so used to just going on with your day and we don’t realize these little incidents, and many times don’t even know that you invaded someone else’s space, whether it’s because you weren’t paying attention or your mind was simply somewhere else.
Once when I first got to Milan there were two gentlemen, and I use that word very loosely right now because they were anything but and they were having a conversation at the doorway to my bunk area. Neither of them lived with me so I felt if anyone was intruding or in the way, it was them. So I just walked in-between them and went to my cube (living quarters). I soon found out this was a big mistake and what I did was out of line and disrespectful, and not only should I apologize now but in the future, I must ask in advance to excuse myself and hope they find some passion in their hearts to let me pass through.
Remember the guy that told me not to sit in other peoples’ seats in the TV room, the 6′ something Mike Tyson doppelgänger, well this was him again. I think it is safe to say that he had a convict mentality and he found pleasure in tormenting those he viewed as weaker than him. He had a 20+ year sentence and he was willing to take that anger he was feeling out on anyone he saw fit. I was just the unlucky participant.
That is just one behavior that fits a convict mentality. Others would be always wearing their boots to the shower, even after they have made it to a camp, and altercations are limited. Most convicts don’t make it to the camp, because they relate too closely to Debo from “Friday,” but some do. In most cases, they are the ones that look so much the part nobody wants to challenge their authority so they just keep moving down levels.
They will also always take one foot out of their pant leg while taking a number 2 because they don’t want to get caught with their pants down. They will never wear their shower shoes unless they are in the process of taking a shower. To get to the shower and back they will wear their boots, just in case trouble presents itself. They will do anything to disrupt the system, which means throwing stuff away, even if the only ones that use the items are other inmates. These items might be towels or rags at food service or in the unit.
They will throw the plastic silverware, trays, and cups away as well at foodservice because they know it will cost the government money, even though the only people who are going to be affected by this action are the other inmates.
They will dump out chemicals that are used to clean the living quarters and various work departments across the compound because a convict has no intention of ever using the chemicals to do any work.
The convicts are fine with this because they aren’t inmates and the other convicts understand that it’s all for the greater good to get back at the man, the one that put them in their current situation. Their goal as far as their job is to get paid as much as possible while doing as little actual work as possible.
So instead of giving someone else their pay in exchange for doing their job, a convict will keep that money and let someone else pick up their slack because they deserve it. Convicts unite and stand strong together, they are usually the ones behind lay-ins or work stoppages over issues like restricted TV time, curfews, push-button sinks, and showers, or anything they think the government is trying to take or get over on them.
They resist change with aggression and persistence.
If they spent half their effort on bettering themselves as they do on revolting, the results might very well be magnificent.
I am here to sadly report to you that they do not and probably never will, the struggle must continue!
I also will proudly report that I am not a convict; I am an inmate that is just trying to get to my outdate as easy as possible.
Thanks for listening,