Reddit, on a good day, is the perfect place for those with stories too graphic to share in person to gather and trade often troubling memories. This is what the internet should be all about: a true community. In a thread first spotted by BroBible Wednesday, for example, current and former prison guards (and, in some cases, their families) opened up about the "most disturbing" things they've seen on the job.
A broken shank, as revealed by Reddit user eaterofdog, once inspired two prisoners to instead use a pen in an attempt to kill another inmate:
"From when my dad was a guard: Two prisoners trying to kill a third prisoner. The shank broke, so the put a pen in his ear and stomped on it. It came out his mouth and he lived."
BritDontCare previously "worked closely with all the prisons in the state," noting one inmate who made a habit of throwing various bodily fluids at guards and fellow inmates:
"I work closely with all the prisons in the state. There's one notorious inmate who likes to jerk off and throw his semen in everyone's face...fellow inmates, guards, it doesn't matter. He's not strict to semen, sometimes piss and shit, just whatever he can get his hands on."
For Reddit user Cleaborg, a list—including harrowing accounts of stabbings and other acts of violence—was more appropriate to properly detail the difficulties of the job:
"Oh boy here we go
- My first fight I responded to was a stabbing. Trying to contain that situation with nothing more than OC spray and Gloves was a pretty grim welcoming to corrections.
- I try not to look at their charges because I find it hard to treat them the same after I find out that they are a violent sex offender. Almost every time an inmate is polite and seems like a decent enough person I end up hearing their case in the news and it is 9/10 sex charges.
- I saw a guy who slipped in the bathroom have his hip come completely out of his socket and his leg came out at a ridiculous angle.
- Trying to have a conversation with someone and deescalate them when you can hardly see them because so much feces has been spread over the window.
- During a strip search an inmate used his hands to make his butt cheeks say "excuse me sir, but do you have a breath mint?"
- But by far the most disturbing thing is the complete lack of accountability. 90% of these guys have convinced themselves that they are the victims and have done no wrong. Never accountable for anything and have a sense of entitlement that is more frustrating than anything to deal with than any other aspect of my job."
Cleaborg later edited the post, tossing in a few more:
EDIT Just adding a couple extra seeing as you guys seem to be enjoying this
- Becoming accustomed to being threatened is a pretty strange phenomenon. I didn't realize I had become desensitized to it until I was threatened by an inmate telling me "I am going to murder you and rape your wife." I told my family that it happened a few weeks later just as a "oh by the way" sort of thing and they were mortified. Where as I had almost forgotten it happened.
- An inmate who was infamous for packing drugs in his rectum came in and completed his dry cell stint in segregation. Other inmates didn't believe him when he told them he didn't have any drugs on him this time so they decided to check for themselves. They accomplished this with a Dasani water bottle enema.
- The host of medical conditions you see during strip searches is alarming at first. The list contains testicles the size of mango's, genital warts larger that their penis, AID lesions (always make me gag), and of course penis amputations always catch you off guard.
In a rare moment of levity, Xofthecourts recalled a story initially relayed to them by their father about an "Easter surprise."
"My dad used to work as a CO and he would never tell me any stories about his time there until one day of constant badgering he told me the tale of the Easter surprise.
Easter morning one of the inmates thought it would be a brilliant idea to get completely naked and shove a toilet scrubber all the way up his ass so the only part visible was his bristled 'bunny tail', he then proceeded to scream that he was the Easter bunny while trying to hop around and avoid the oncoming guards."
The full thread can be peeped here. Also worth noting? A Brennan Center for Justice study published in December called for an almost 40 percent reduction in America's prison population, which currently stands about 2.2 million people.