Humorous Guest Post by Debbi K. Kickham, www.MarketingAuthor.com
I often tease my husband, Boston criminal defense attorney William D. Kickham, about how too many convicts have it “too good” in jail and prison. Ask me my opinion, and I’ll tell you that some criminals really live the life. To hear me tell the story of prison life, here’s how it works: You commit a crime, if you get the wrong lawyer (which you never would with my husband Bill) you wind up in prison, and the next thing you know you’re getting free room and board plus three square meals a day. Along with medical and dental. A gym where you can stay in shape. Use of computers and a library, where every day, you can entertain yourself. At the federal prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., there is even a music room, pool tables, and a craft room. There’s also a Federal Prison Guidebook written by a lawyer named Alan Ellis, which outlines all of the posh perks you’ll find. At the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon, you can even learn a trade such as construction, or learn how to become a personal fitness trainer. Click to read the article about it on CNBC.
What a life! You’ll save so much on room and board, food, and insurance, that you will have a king’s ransom waiting for you in the bank when you get out of prison – many times with a new career. (Hey, how many times has this happened to celebrities?)
I’ve always said that, as a freelance writer, it would probably serve me well to go to prison. I could spend all my days writing and pitching stories to magazine editors, without having to worry about money for room and board. Think of the dough I could save. Think of the stress I would obviate, as I furthered my professional writing career thanks to Uncle Sam. I would simply enlist my husband, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney William D. Kickham, who is a Boston sex crimes lawyer and a Wrentham shoplifting attorney — whose criminal law blog you are reading right now — and tell him to — of all things — LOSE the Commonwealth’s case against me! Note: Losing, for anyone who knows him, is something Bill is totally unfamiliar with, so that ploy wouldn’t work. He pretty much wins every case for every person he defends.
But on second thought, to be realistic, there are actually some unusual disincentives to going to prison. And they are probably things you’ve never ever thought of.
Actually, do you know what is one of the worst things about going to jail or prison? It’s this: You’ll never get a good night’s sleep. Ever. Again. And that’s a L-O-N-G time. This, in fact, is exactly what Dr. Jack Kevorkian said when he got out of prison – that the snoring by the other inmates was awful. If I were a criminal in prison, I KNOW that the snoring alone would be an intolerable fate. The death penalty? That’s nothing compared to the fact that I’d never get a good night’s sleep: That I would never wake up on any morning feeling good and well-rested. That I would forever walk around cranky, in dire need of a nap. I’d think about that the next time I was inclined to commit a crime and might need a West Roxbury drug crimes lawyer.
I’m also a Boston marketing professional, and I strongly believe that law enforcement should make these facts WIDELY KNOWN. Let’s face it – sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Loud snoring by scores of inmates around you should definitely be used as a disincentive for committing a crime. This is a fact that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections should pounce on — like white on rice — to use in their anti-crime education efforts.
Another point: I don’t know about you, but if someone told me that I in prison I would never eat a good meal ever again, I would climb the walls. I’d weep uncontrollably. I wouldn’t be able to bear such a loss. No yummy ice cream. No delicious Nutella crepes. No pizza. No fresh scallops with a baked potato and Caesar salad. No nothing. Why isn’t law enforcement advertising this horrid prison reality?
A recent article on this very subject in Thrillist shows actual food items that prisoners have to eat every day. It is disgust-o-rama. Bologna sandwiches. Beans and franks – and you could only imagine what that tastes like. Meatloaf with brown gravy. And – the kicker – meatballs that one inmate said tasted like “fresh groundhog put through the wood chipper.” The food is so God-awful dreadful, I’d become emaciated.
Even Paris Hilton commented, after she was incarcerated, that her meals consisted of “mystery meat.” No thank you. I’ll obey the law. And keep it low-cal, while I’m at it.
Hope you’ve liked this tongue-in-cheek humor. It took me a while to convince Bill to post it. Believe it or not, he’s got a great sense of humor (you should see his Kramer impression).