Featured Story, Prison Stories

Life and Death in the Feds by John “Judge” Broman

police tape1In the Penitentiary, everything you’ve done, all the time that you put in none of that really matters. Of course it can always come back to haunt you. The reality of this existence is that life is cheap and it’s usually your own homeboys that will cash your check.

Red was a skinny, light skinned blood from LA. He wore his hair in corn rows and kept the obligatory prison stubble on his face. Red was in his late 30’s and had the penitentiary “stare” behind his eyes. He was on the tail end of a 16 year bid that he did behind “the wall” the whole time.

With only six months to go until he would once again hit the streets, Red stayed as low key as possible. Since he put in this “work” for the Bloods over the years, the shot caller Big Doug gave him a pass on all the everyday politics that comes in the big house.

Red spent his days sitting in the back of the unit with his chair against the wall. He was short but he wasn’t gonna get caught slippin. Being on point is what got him as far as he has all these years. Hustling cold sodas is all that he did now. A far cry from the dope game he ran in other spots.

He was so far back from everything that you didn’t even know he was there. Just how he wanted it to be. But people will always try you in the Pen.

Sluggs was a young Blood from New Orleans. A stocky dark skinned kid with dreadlocks and gold in his mouth. He was everything your typical down south gang banger was supposed to be.

He had three years in on an eight year sentence for crack and guns. Being a Blood, he rode with the gang. It didn’t matter that they were mostly from California and he was from NOLA. You are who you are for better or worse.

There were five Bloods including Red and Sluggs living in the Block. Sluggs was the only one that wasn’t from LA. Being the odd man out he took the brunt of the jokes. So when the rest of them were gone and it was just Red in the unit, he’d get some payback.

Sluggs would pull his chair up beside Reds and talk cash shit. Taking sodas when he wasn’t looking and changing the TV on him. All things that warrant a serious beatdown. But Sluggs knew he could get away with it because Red was just trying to go home. Which is exactly why Red didn’t feed into any of his bullshit. The way he was it, in six months he’d be on the streets of LA.

Even though Red let it slide, the rest of the homies didn’t. They pulled Sluggs up in the block and told him he better chill. When that only lasted for a couple of days, they went to Big Doug and told him the deal.

Big Doug and all the Bloods had a meeting with Sluggs out on the yard. They let it be known that one more incident and Sluggs would be leaving…..leaking holes!

Sluggs, already being the odd man out, was on the spot. He had to walk the line for another five years. That’s a long time to not fuck up, especially when you’re a fuck up. Knowing his days were numbered, he did what usually happens in the Pen. He got his knife.

The system is a lot smaller than people think. You have to have paperwork at any of the spots you land. If your paperwork is bad, you’re fucked. That’s why the fiends and scumbags who check in are just doomed for the rest of their bids. But if you have a stabbing…can’t nobody argue with that.

Sluggs had to get off the compound, but wasn’t trying to get fucked up, or fuck someone up to go. He knew the only place where he could do something was outside the chow hall. (The preferred battleground for scumbags in the feds). There he could get a couple shots in, and the cops would run out and stop it. A for sure bust and transfer. Just what he was looking for.

You go to chow with your unit in the feds. Walking through metal detectors to get into the chow hall, eat, then back to your block. This is the feds attempt to stop all the slaughters that happened outside the chow hall. Where someone for another block would wait outside (knowing you don’t have your banger on you) and gut you as soon as you came out.

Once the block was released for chow, Sluggs was on the hunt. He moved methodically through the crowd of 100 or so cons, walking the sidewalk to get to the chow hall about a football fields length away. Then yards before the chow hall, he made his move.

The knife slide down from his sleeve into his right hand as he crept up behind Red and the other Bloods. He drew his arm back to his side coming around in a hey maker.

Red caught the movement out of the corner of his eye at the last second and instinctively ducked down. The knife plunged deep into his throat as he crouched down and turned with his hands up ready to fight.

Sluggs ripped the slick merciless knife out of Red’s nape and drew back for another strike. Before either of them could make another move, a torrent of blood shot out of Red’s neck. Instantly he grabbed his neck, trying to cover the wound. Standing there stunned, Sluggs threw the knife and tried to slip back into the crowd.

Red dropped to the ground on all fours and started shaking as he violently puked up a river of blood. The C/O’s were there immediately. Two tackled Sluggs and put him in cuffs as two more grabbed Red off the ground and rushed him inside to get to medical. The rest of us laid face down on the ground as the alarm screamed from the loud speaker. “All inmates lay down on the ground or you will be shot. Lethal force is imminent.”

As the guards dragged Sluggs off the ground and picked up his knife, a couple C/O’s came outside from the entrance way where they just took Red. They followed the thick blood trails that stained the bright Green grass till they got to Sluggs.

“If you weren’t doing life, you are now. He just died in there.”

Red never made it to medical. He collapsed inside the doors leading to the infirmary (the same doors that would of lead him home) and died drowning on his own blood. The last thing he said was “I only had six months left.”

This is the cruel and twisted existence of penitentiary life. Where an eight year sentence turns into life and a 16 year bid leads to death.

To contact John “John” Broman –

John Broman 20121-068
USP Canaan
PO Box 300
Waymart,PA 18472


or on Facebook john.j.broman@facebook.com

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