Pen Pals

Some Advice for a Sex Offender on His Way to Prison

By Bert Burykill


Photo via Flickr user Tim Marshall

Since I got out of prison almost two years ago, I’ve been fielding many questions from individuals on their way to prison and inmates’ loved ones. In a way, I’ve been writing an advice column—with some of these silly little posts, I try to help the people by explaining what not to do or by simply describing what jail was for me. Hopefully, that prepares some of these dummies for what to expect if they get jammed up in the stinkin’ clink-clink. After nearly every article someone reaches out to me relating to what I wrote or seeking further clarifications relevant to their own situation. I remind people that they are not alone in their tribulations and versa vice when I learn that others went through the same shit I did, and it’s bonerable to have an outlet for some of us criminals to relate to one another on some scumbaggin’ for the people shit... Plus, I get some chicks on my dick lookin’ for pics of that six-pack I’m packin’ on my cock...

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 spin it in a decent light, not even if we were in 1940s Kentucky.

Regardless of the crime and how disgusting it is, the guy’s concerns were realer than most who write me... I’ve talked before about how in a strange way I kinda pity the fool with a sex-offender charge, especially since I think some of them really are bullshit cases. It’s very easy for a female to get revenge on a dude with he said/she said and I’m not so sure that I agree that a 20-year-old should go to prison for bonin’ his 16-year-old girlfriend, which unfortunately does happen when some batshit crazy overprotective parents on a malevolent mission get involved. However, the parents of the child who this dude messed with are probably well within their rights to be pissed… Here’s his letter to me (“SO” means sex offender):

Hey boss, I've been reading your articles quite a bit recently. I am possibly facing some serious time on SO charges, and I know you must get like a million messages, but I was wondering if you can find any time to talk about some stuff—mostly what I can do for myself while in state since that's where I'd be headed. I hope the SO charges don't put you off from responding, but I value any info you might have. I have been reading tons right now, trying to prepare for the worst, but figured a few minutes with you would be well worthwhile. If not, thanks for all the articles and all.

Mostly my biggest worry is how to deal with a long-term conviction and also SO charges (also, unfortunately it was with a young teen girl, nonviolent, but nevertheless...) but also staying alive. I've read from the Joe the SO website that you can't really lie about why your in if you're with dudes for the long-term, since finding out you're a liar is pretty bad and [it’s] pretty easy to look me up online if I end up registered. What in the world can I say that won't be suspicious if I don't want to let people know? And if I did have to tell the truth, is it basically suicide? I can't imagine living in “protective custody” a.k.a. SHU for years, it seems like torture worse than death. So yeah, like I said if you're not too put off, lemme know if you got a couple minutes. Keep in mind, my FB account is likely being monitored by the DA right now, so if you want my email, phone number, whatever, lemme know. Peace.

With this guy I kinda detached myself emotionally right away. I met dudes upstate that probably committed bad sex crimes, but I still interacted with them in a respectful manner... sometimes. The SO thing is confusing to me a little—in prison, murderers get respect and rapists are considered lower than low, which seems a little hypocritical to me. I found this article on the ins and outs of rapists in jail to be amazingly accurate and insightful. I’m not really into judging people, especially in prisons—I just try to be respectful to almost everyone and keep my distance. I’m not quite sure why I’m doing this guy any service at all by writing about him, since it seems likely he’s guilty of something that really makes me sick, but I guess I’m actually taking myself serious as a consultant for soon-to-be prisoners.

Also, just getting inside this guy’s head a little is interesting to me... how terrifying it must be to go to prison for years and have to deal with worrying that a convict will blow up your spot at any time and the best-case scenario is that you’ll be severely disrespected. The stress is nearly impossible to fathom. He is asking me for advice and really the best I can offer is to learn how to appear to not give a fuck, yet in reality care more than others by staying on point at ALL TIMES. That’s the only way to stay safe. It’s a crazy game, and it’s going to take him over completely for years and years to come... All 'cause he couldn’t fight the urge to get some young-girl pussy... Daamn... Don’t chase them young girls...

Bert Burykill is the pseudonym of our prison correspondent, who has spent time in a number of prisons in New York State. He tweets here.

Previously: Remembering Independence Day Behind Bars

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