The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Personal experience: how I sat in an American prison


Source: The Village

A resident of Nizhny Novgorod anonymously told The Village about criminal experiences and life in an American prison for two months.

Photo: Shutterstock

Harmless entertainment

The idea to go to America on the program Work and Travel, I have long nursed in my head. The role played by the stories of friends about how everything is cool there. As a result, in the company of four more comrades I flew to the USA at the end of the fourth year. Before this trip, I was in a few places, spoke poorly in English, and in general it is very strange that I finally decided on such an adventure. By the way, I was generally quite insecure and driven by a man, which, in general, and contributed to further events.

Which state I should go to, I didn’t choose where to work - I also went for a company. As a result, we settled in a small boring town of Virginia Beach, Virginia. They quickly rented their apartments, put them on an old car to drive to work and just ride. About two months before the trip I got the rights that I didn’t take with me, because I didn’t really know how to drive. But on the very first night, we quarreled with our supposed driver - and all summer, without a license, I drove behind the wheel, which also speaks little of my consciousness for that period of time.

In general, our life in America resembled a series: every day, as in the new series, something new happened, we quarreled and found out our relations, then we had fun parties, went to the ocean, met new people. We worked on boring, hard work, plus it was unstable, we had to get another job - cashiers in the market. Life in the town was pretty monotonous, we didn’t earn enough for traveling, from local entertainment - trips to the ocean and home parties.

And practically all Russians in America had harmless entertainment: to steal something from the store. The bigger, the better. I don't remember what I stole for the first time. I remember why - taught girlfriend.

After seeing how easily she succeeded in this, and after hearing the story that in America such as an oversupply of goods would not make them lose, they would not even notice something like that, I decided too. This, of course, is a thrill: when you pass by the cash register, the gate with sensors and freely leave the store, you feel just like a blockbuster hero.

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Got caught

And so it began ... We only bought food, and perfume, clothes, shoes stole. It was like some kind of addiction. Often, they simply stole unnecessary things, and in the evening they boasted new trophies. So a few months passed, we had to go back home. For tomorrow we had plane tickets, things were collected, we waited at home. The guys from our company worked until the very last day, and we had a day off with a friend, and she offered to go to the mall for last. I did not want to, but I, as always, went on about. Well, for the company decided to steal some blouse as a gift to my mother.

We did everything as usual: we pulled off the magnet in the dressing room, left the store and lingered at the windows with puppies. Then a security guard approached us and offered to return to the store, since on the cameras it was clear that we had taken something in the store. We returned, we were escorted to the back room and asked to show bags. Then they said they needed to call the police. Of course, we began to beg not to do this, to roar and offer money. They said that tomorrow we will fly away, that we have a plane home.

Nothing helped. In a matter of minutes, the police arrived, and everything began to happen, as in the film and as if not with me. In horror, I asked a friend what would happen to us, for some reason she said that we would be left for ten years.

In handcuffs, we were put in different cars and taken to the station. On the way, I tortured a policeman who accompanied me: What will happen to us? Where are we taking? He said that we were being taken to prison, because we committed a crime, we will be tried and sentenced. He cannot say how much exactly, but most likely several months, in the worst case, years. In prison, they took all our personal belongings and clothes, dressed them in orange overalls, and escorted them to the cell.

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In prison

The cells resembled a hospital, only there were two people in the wards and they were locked with a key for the night, and there were lattices instead of doors. The women's block, where we were led, consisted of two long corridors with 10 – 15 cameras in each, a shower unit, a pay phone and a small white painted window with bars. In general, everything is clean and not as bad as it seems. On the first night I did not understand what was going on at all, my brain refused to perceive what was happening; As soon as I got to the bed, I did not have the strength to cry, I just turned off.

The most terrible time in prison is morning, at night you dream of your ordinary life, house, and in the morning you return to reality, to a small cell thousands of kilometers from home and complete uncertainty.

The next day we were taken to a Russian girl who was there. She gave us great support at that time. Nastya was in prison for six months. She turned up there because of some muddy story related to drugs and a former boyfriend. She immediately told us that nothing threatened us here, and that a prison in America is, in general, a common thing. That was probably partly true, considering that my cell mate, the sweetest woman, sat for an overdue car insurance, and my girlfriend's neighbor for taking a neighbor puppy to her home, who was left alone for a long time at the site.

The most serious stories were related to drugs. There were no dangerous criminals there, as they explained to us, there was another prison for them. In general, the atmosphere resembled our hospital, only fed better. The Americans treated us very warmly. Several times someone put cookies on my pillow. And when I began to draw cards for their relatives, chocolates flowed to me like a river. After some time, our American friend came to us for a meeting. We talked to him through the glass on the phone. He said that our friends had left. We were looking for a long time that day, but then found by car.

Our relatives all reported. This is what I was most afraid of. I have already come to terms with the idea that I will be expelled from the university, the guy will leave me, and all my friends will find out about the prison and will poke a finger at me, it all didn’t give a damn; What plagued me most was the fact that I hurt my parents in this situation. Because of this, I roared every day. Once, by some miracle, from the phone that hung in our corridor, we managed to call my mother, but the conversation consisted, in general, of only sobs. Yes, we also received letters, my boyfriend wrote that he was now ashamed in front of friends for me and he was not sure about our future relationship. I did not care.

Soon the news joined us that our visas were over and even if we were released from here in a couple of months, we would end up in an immigration prison.

The unknown

Every day we had an evening prayer. We sat in a circle on the floor, and someone told his story, his experiences, and asked for him to pray. It was very touching, we all really felt better. And we, like in the movies, had walks with basketball, and the first time I gladly went there, but when I got to the site, I saw a small asphalt space with tall walls and sky, from the street there were smells and sounds of ordinary life. My friend and I wept the whole walk and decided not to participate in this entertainment anymore. Once a woman was hooked into our cell at night, as there were no free beds at that time, she slept on the mattress and on the floor for a couple of days. The woman was a heroin addict, I watched her breaking and wasting. This does not wish the enemy. After some time, she regained consciousness, and I had a persistent aversion to any drugs.

Most of all there was frightening uncertainty. Soon this was joined by news about the fact that our visas ended and, even if we were released from here in a couple of months, we would end up in an immigration prison, there is another court and deportation, which we can wait six months.

It was a blow. The future was even worse and dirtier. In addition, the confirmations began soon: the girls, who were released, were taken away by the immigration police. My girlfriend was lucky, her relatives started warning, they hired a paid lawyer, and she managed to free herself before the end of the visa. One and a half months later, I was finally assigned a lawyer and the day of the trial. By the way, I got an experienced and paid lawyer, as in America there is such a practice with private lawyers - from time to time to conduct free cases. Everything went very quickly. The judge decided to release me on the same day, I returned to the camera to say goodbye, but I didn't want to leave anymore.


I was glad that I would be free, but I was obviously awaited by another unfamiliar prison and shameful deportation. After long goodbyes and gifts, I was dressed in my clothes, returned my things and pointed to the door. In a dim mind, I stepped out onto the street, saw the courtyard flooded with sunshine, and began looking through the eyes of the immigration police. I saw two policemen approaching me and went towards them, but for some reason they passed by.

Then I went on, got to a stop and asked a passerby to lend me a phone. I called my American friend, explained where I was, he immediately came after me. On the way home, I waited that they would catch me and look for me. But no one missed it. I still do not know why it happened and why they let me out without a visa. In total, I spent two months in prison.

Before America, I was in a sweet pink dream that nothing would ever happen to me, and if it did, mom and dad would save me immediately.

The first days on the loose were indescribable. Now it is difficult to find words, just a buzz, because you can take a long bath; that you walk down the street - and the sun shines; that you are in beautiful clothes; what you can eat what you want, listen to music, meet people. The first thing I called my mother, said that it was all over. A week later I was at home. I managed to recover at the institute. Nobody poked at me with my fingers, they surely did gossip, but it didn’t bother me much.

Of course, I returned from America as a different person. I would like to advise everyone who has fallen into a difficult, wild, at first glance, situation, to think about why she was in his life. If you can not cope yourself, then a psychologist to help you. He helped me cope with a tremendous sense of guilt and fears that came over me for the future. Before America, I was in a sweet pink dream that nothing would ever happen to me, and if it did, mom and dad would save me immediately. I did not value my time, my parents and friends, my opportunities.

In fact, before the prison I lived in a box that looked like a large shopping and entertainment center, with corresponding values ​​and entertainment.

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