I was approached by a guy my age who noticed I was new in prison and straight up asked me what I was in for. I had been so busy processing all the new impressions that I had completely forgotten the background story I had drawn up for myself. Trying not to panic I told him the first thing that came to mind: "Shoplifting. You?"
He looked at me for a bit, then told me he had gotten into a drunken fight after a long night clubbing and was charged with assaulting a officer, although he didn't remember fighting with cops. Then he asked what I had really done since 'people don't go to jail for shoplifting'. I was frantically searching for an answer and felt like I had been caught doing something horrible. Trying to make it sound like I wásn't making it up as I went, I thought back to a newspaper article about cybercrime and told him 'shoplifting' was also a term used for hacking into banking networks and attempting to steal credit card information. Feeling proud at my sudden stroke of brilliance I couldn't suppress a faint smile. He apparently accepted my answer and we chatted for a bit. How long we'd be in for, girlfriends, family, jobs, all the basics passed by. I got the impression this guy hadn't been getting along with the other inmates and liked talking to me.
The work-master told me what I had to do at the workplace which was quite easy (just roll up door mats and put them in plastic). He was friendly enough, but clearly not someone you'd mess with. The guards and other employees in general seemed fairly jovial, not giving the inmates grief if they weren't asking for it. Heck, some of the inmates even cook for the guards, that's how friendly some of them are with each other.
Continued in my next post.