• RIP Bert Burykill, Longtime VICE Prison Correspondent

    Last week, the man VICE readers knew as Bert Burykill, the pseudonymous author of the Pen Pals column, died from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was 33.

  • Off Parole and Free at Last

    After ten years of being either in prison or on parole, our prison correspondent finally has the government off of his back—no more parole office waiting rooms, no more piss tests, no more check-ins from the Man.

  • Rap Was My Lifeline in Prison

    I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours rapping, talking about rap, and listening to cassette tapes when I was an inmate. Without Ol' Dirty Bastard, Kool Keith, and Bootsy Collins, I really would have gone insane.

  • Drug Court Addiction 12-Step Blues

    I went to rehab ten years ago in an effort to avoid going to prison (it didn't work). I met some of the craziest people I've ever encountered, but I sure as hell didn't get any cleaner.

  • A Decade in the System

    When I went to jail ten years ago I knew it’d be tough. Many people told me that I’d ruined my life, but how could I accept that when I was only 23? Today it’s become much more of a reality, but I refuse to throw in the towel just yet.

  • Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The most ridiculous notion civilians have about the legal system is that the accused are “innocent until proven guilty.” Actually, thanks to high bails and other absurdities, you can spend a long time in jail before anyone convicts you of any wrongdoing.

  • Leave Them Kids Alone

    I’ve met too many dudes in jail who’ve been locked up their entire lives. Once you get in trouble as a kid you get put in the system and end up in group homes and other tough places where you just learn how to do more bad shit—it's a tough cycle to break.

  • Prison Gerrymandering Is Absolute Bullshit

    Inmates generally come from the city but get locked up in rural prisons—and that means in many states, they're counted as residents of these podunk towns and counties, giving those communities more political power.

  • A Reminder That Sheriff Joe Is the Worst Lawman in America

    You probably know who Sheriff Joe is—he’s been the most “controversial” figure in American law enforcement for two decades, which is a nice way to say he’s a vicious, small-minded, publicity-hungry cocksucker.

  • Screwed by Anti-Gun Laws

    Gun violence in a huge problem in a lot of bad neighborhoods, but sometimes, aggressive antigun laws just end up putting people who never had any intention of committing a violent crime in prison for long-ass periods of time. At least, that's what happened to a guy I knew named B…

  • Sexx Money's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

    Everyone's writing open letters to Miley Cyrus, even prison inmates like Sexx Money—he might get his pop culture news way later than everyone else, but he wants everyone to know how much he loves Miley.

  • My Search Engine Results Are Wrecking My Life

    Thanks to an article about my arrest for drugs in 2004, when employers google my real name they think I'm some kinda kingpin and don't hire me, which is making it much, much harder to join the world as a legitimate citizen.

  • Curtis Snow Is Trying to Go Legit

    Curtis Snow is a former stickup kid and D-boy who got famous for his pseudo-docudrama Snow on tha Bluff, an extremely raw look at one of America's roughest neighborhoods. He's now trying to be a legitimate artist and filmmake…

  • The Ex-Con Who Wants to Explain Prison to Kids

    Anthony Curcio was football star in high school with a charmed life, but got addicted to pills so bad that he tried to rob an armored car through an elaborate heist. Five years later, he's out of prison and creating children's books.

  • Just Close Down California's Prisons Already

    California has to reduce its prison population by 8,000 because some judges said so, but apparently it's really hard to let people out of overcrowded cages.

  • Starve Yourself Free

    Inmates in California just ended their hunger strike against conditions in solitary confinement after two months, and the fact that they starved themselves for that long as a protest shows you how cruel and unusual prisons' shit has gotten.

  • Phone Calls from Jail Are Criminally Expensive

    The FCC has finally put a cap on how much inmates can be charged for out-of-state calls, which is gonna provide some relief for prisoners and their families who were getting robbed blind by predatory companies like Global Tel Link.

  • ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Through the Eyes of an Ex-Con

    Orange Is the New Black is a damn good show about prison. It's based on Piper Kerman's memoir, which she wrote after spending some time in the clink-clink, and actually her story is similar to mine—we were both living upper-middle-class lives before we got in trouble and f…

  • Some Advice for a Sex Offender on His Way to Prison

    I received a particularly desperate letter last week. I won’t provide too many of the details 'cause the case is still going on but it appears the feller did some real rapist shit on a young girl—he says it was consensual, but when a girl is so young, there’s really no way to spi…

  • Remembering Independence Day Behind Bars

    Other than getting some bonerable melon, there wasn't anything good about spending Independence Day in prison. It was another ugly reminder that us inmates were missing out on the real world. Anyone we talked to outside was going to tell us about the parties and the fireworks, and…

  • Piss Testing Is a Failure

    It seems to me like they always pick on the people who are already down when it comes to intrusive nonsense like mandatory drug testing, so the criminals got it first, but it’s becoming more apparent to me that this is a big hustle, and it's not just for convicts.

  • The Guys Who Really Should Be Locked Up

    You might think that someone who’s been locked up a lot like me might have more sympathy for inmates, regardless of what their crime is, but I doubt that I do. When I hear a guy sitting next to me in group say he just did 31 years, I really don’t want to be around him anymore…

  • There's No Sex in Prison Showers

    The average guy in jail is so scared of homosexuals or people thinking that he might be gay that we all wear our underwear in the shower. We’ve all seen the jail shows and heard the endless “Don’t drop the soap” jokes, but in all the years I was locked up, I was hardly ever naked…

  • Burying the Dead and Unloved

    Part of a 15-cent-an-hour job I had while in prison was burying inmates who died and had no one who could claim the bodies, or else didn’t have anyone who gave a shit to arrange a proper funeral. They had died over the winter and their bodies had been left in a shack until the gr…

  • HardWhite and Harry Potter

    Harry Potter was fresh from the world and had a sickness to feed. The weakling fiend probably hated everything right now, but mostly he hated that his drug was gone. All Harry Potter will want is to get high and the boys are about to swarm on him. Little white wizards get no play…

  • The Trials of Job

    After my sweet release from prison last year, I struggled for about a year looking for a decent job. I badly wanted to work, but I quickly became discouraged when my first ten applications were shot down, probably thanks to my status as a felon. Those were some tough times.

  • Bert Meets a Real Rapper Who’s a Year Out of Prison

    A lotta dudes in prison are rappers, but I don’t pay them much mind. But in the case of SunBlaze, I had a feeling that he was serious bizness—the way he kept to himself, quietly writing and not talking a lotta shit like lotsa dudes do. He got out last May and has been doing very…

  • Addiction Isn't a Disease, I'm Just a Dick

    When you’ve been sent back to prison multiple times for dirty pee like I have, you end up thinking a bunch about addiction—whether you’re a screwup or a bona fide addict, and if you’re an addict, what that means. Lots of people define addiction as a “disease,” but I don't…

  • Dying of a Dirty Mouth

    Don’t think appearance matters? I once saw an old man get killed in prison for having bad breath. He was Puerto Rican, but we called him Miagi 'cause he had a very Asian look and resembled Pat Morita. Unfortunately, his mouth was completely decayed and smelled like sweltering gar…

  • RockBottom Heads Toward Bottom

    The early morning air stunk of pissy pussy and unwashed balls. RockBottom did his thing all night like always, dispensing drugs to the party people. The fiends were nodded out, neck-cramp proper, and the freaks spun out on E were in the bedroom, fruitlessly masturbating each othe…