Last May in St. Louis I saw my high school buddy Mike for the first time since he’d been locked up four years ago. We were troublemakers in high school. I went my separate way for university, but he continued in a life of crime. He was caught moving over 100 pounds of marijuana from Arizona to St. Louis. He did his time in a Southern prison.
At our friend’s wedding he told me prison stories. I told him about this blog and that I’d like to publish them. Our plan was to publish each of the six fights he got in. On the day we met, he started with the stories and I took notes, asking questions along the way. After two stories he got bored and said fights aren’t the most interesting aspects of prison.
“What are?” I asked. How drugs are smuggled in. The gangs and politics. The sex – sex between inmates, sex between inmates and guards (female or gay), the rapes.
“Rapes?” I asked. He said he saw one guy get raped. The story he told was more compelling than his fights. It had implications in race, prison politics, and street smarts. So instead of Mike’s 6 fights (4-1-1 according to him), here’s the story of a peckerwood getting raped.
“Peckerwood” is a derogatory term black guys call white guys. Aryan race gangs have adopted the term as a rite of passage. Mike saw “PECKERWOOD” tattoos across the backs of not just Aryans but bikers, Irish Mob, and other white guys. He never found out exactly what it meant, but he knew the tattoo had to be earned, most likely for some violent act against a black inmate.
Peckerwood showed up to prison with the PECKERWOOD tattoo across his back. However, he’d never been to prison. That was his first mistake: getting an Aryan prison gang tattoo when you’ve never been to prison. This caused a scandal, especially with the Aryans who run the prison and award the tattoo.
Mike heard through the grapevine that the Aryans pulled Peckerwood aside for a talk about his tattoo. Mike is 100% positive they gave him a chance to earn it. He didn’t know what they asked him to do, but he’s sure they gave Peckerwood a chance to earn his PECKERWOOD tattoo.
A week went by and Peckerwood hadn’t done as he was told. That was his second mistake. The Aryans got a hold of him one night and burned the PECKERWOOD tattoo off his back. I didn’t know tattoos could be burned off. Apparently they can.
The next day Peckerwood requested segregation housing. I’ve never been to prison but I’ve heard you do NOT request segregation housing. It’s the equivalent of going to the guards and saying, “I’m a bitch, I can’t protect myself.” They put you in solitary confinement where you don’t interact with other inmates. It’s almost exclusively for snitches.
Peckerwood was locked up for a minor drug charge; he’d have been out in just eight months. However, that deal’s not available for segregation housing. If he wanted protection, he’d be locked up for two years. After a day or two in segregation he requested to be put back in general population. That was his third mistake. Going back to gen pop being labeled a bitch.
In states like Texas and California, I’ve heard you have to join a race gang the day you go in. Even though I get along well with blacks and Mexicans, there’s no mixing. You stick to your color. This prison wasn’t that extreme. There are independent crews of 5 – 10 guys down to defend each other, not just race gangs. Peckerwood’s only options weren’t the Aryans, bikers, or Irish Mob. Small groups of normal guys stick together too. My friend Mike was the leader of such a crew. Around the time Peckerwood left segregation housing, an Aryan approached Mike and told him nobody was to take Peckerwood in. They put the word out with all the white crews: Peckerwood would finish his time alone.
Anybody going back into general population after segregation housing would be labeled a bitch. Every bully and tough guy in the place would fuck with him. Mike says Peckerwood still could’ve finished his time without the situation getting worse. He would’ve been slapped around, tripped, had his food stolen, etc.
But then Peckerwood made his fourth mistake. Despite being shunned by all the white crews, he thought he could salvage a decent time and make friends. He started hanging out with infamous black gang, the Crips. He sat with them at meals. They shared cigarettes and snacks.
This went on for a few weeks until one day Mike was going into the bathroom. Mike was a Crip himself as a teen, and he was friendly with some of them. A Crip he knew was watching the entrance to the bathroom and greeted him, “Wassup, cuzz?” Thinking nothing of it, Mike greeted him back. As he went further into the bathroom the guy at the door asked, “You see anything tonight?” At that moment Mike saw Peckerwood bent over a toilet grunting, while a homo Crip was fucking him.
Mike says Homo Crip had another punk. After Homo Crip fucked Peckerwood, he had his other punk fuck him. Peckerwood got fucked by two black guys consecutively. Talk about hard time!
The Crips threw a party for Peckerwood afterwards. Everybody got together for cigarettes, snacks, and drugs. He was brought into the family. He didn’t get fucked by everybody in the gang, only Homo Crip. But Homo Crip fucked him his whole time in prison. Mike added Peckerwood’s the type of guy to complete his parole with flying colors.
I read this story to The Mick, a prison veteran of three different countries. He said Peckerwood probably began to like it. That’s what happens.
More on prison rapes:
Mike told me, “Guys like us don’t get raped in prison. It’s the bottom 2 – 3%.” The guys who go in visibly scared, trembling. Guys in prison smell fear. Mike added that some guys are just born punks. They get to prison and see a crew of punks, and they immediately flock to them. They’re born bitches (my haters came to mind).
Mike added another group that gets raped are guys who were gay all along but never realized it. When they got to prison it just worked itself out naturally. They diet to lose weight and muscle mass. He saw guys smear their lips with whipped cream. He said he saw an ass massage once. He said it was done with as much love as he or I would do to a beautiful woman. These guys go in thinking they’re straight, maybe they even had girlfriends or wives. But once they’re in that environment, their true selves emerge.
Finally, he said NEVER BORROW ANYTHING. DON’T GET INTO DEBT. To run a store in prison is a tough job. It takes hustlers, salesmen, and violent people because of who your clients are. So if you borrow something (e.g., one Snickers today in exchange for two next week) and can’t pay it back, and your debt builds up and it’s clear you can’t pay, the seller has to save face somehow. He’ll rape you to collect his debt.