Ten ways you know he’s been in prison

1 First Impressions.

The most obvious sign is the ‘go to’ outfit of choice of the gentleman who has been in prison. Navy sliders worn with socks and not a modicum of shame or thought for their loved ones.

This penchant for loungewear continues with the must-have ‘trackies’. Pockets or not, you will often find him with his hands tucked into the waistband of his ‘trackies’.

Whilst this side of the wall, dressing gowns are generally worn by the under twelves and the over 70s. Not so behind the wall, the dressing gown completes the sliders, socks and ‘trackies’ ensemble.’

2. Social Distancing.

Invented by prisoners in the 18th Century, or thereabouts.

If he’s been in prison he will maintain a two metre exclusion zone around him at all times. He remains ever vigilant and cautious of others, identifying possible threats within a 200 metre radius.

There is no such thing as an ‘undercover cop’ in the eyes of a man who’s been in prison – he can sniff them out!

3. Who said that?

Don’t be surprised at his knowledge of classical literature.

Most men who have been in prison will have a slick repertoire of quotations from Oscar Wilde, Fyodor Dostoevsky and William Shakespeare.

Some of the best read men you could ever meet have spent time in prison. By reading such a wide range of different books they accumulate an immense knowledge of various subjects. Coupled with the many hours watching documentaries, he can be a bit of a know-all!

4. Meet the Pharmacist.

Headache? Belly ache? Back ache? Arse Ache? He will tell you exactly what to take, the dosage, possible side effects and other meds you can and cannot take together.

He will reel off a list of meds at the drop of a hat – Pregablin, Adderall XR, Ritalin and anything ending in ‘…azepam’. He will tell you what to take to get you high and what to take to bring you back down.

We must be mindful that no matter how minor the ailment, a trip to healthcare breaks up the tedium of a prison day. It’s the gateway to hypochondria.

5. Game Player.

The man who’s been in prison will be unbeatable at pool, snooker and table tennis. He will have the skills of a professional card shark and will know 101 ways to cheat successfully at any card game.

He will definitely know how to ‘nick a few quid‘ with his new talents.

Board games can be a useful ‘bird killer’ and it’s not long before he will know a dozen high score words in Scrabble. Words previously unheard of in day to day conversation and never likely to be heard again.

6. Daytime TV guide.

He can recite the entire week day afternoon TV schedule and weekend TV.

Join him to watch Bargain Hunt and the chances are he will immediately identify the Murano Glass, the Art Deco brooch and the Parker Knoll armchair. Not only that, but he will correctly estimate the auction price, give or take a pound.

He could re-build a house with everything he’s learnt watching Homes Under The Hammer. His knowledge doesn’t stop there, he can also tell you the estimated rental yield and market value of the property, regardless of the year it was filmed.

7. Landing Lawyer Q.C

He will know the exact offence and length of sentence for any and every crime reported by the media or viewed on a TV drama. “That’s a section 18, he’ll get four year for that”

He will keep every single document relating to their offence and sentence. They will know off by heart all the applicable laws, sentencing guidelines and grounds for appeal.

He will know every police station and court local to the prison, with intimate knowledge of the local Judges. He will know which Judge plays golf on a Tuesday, who is having marital problems, the most lenient and the most strict of the judges. Backed up with various anecdotes and the occasional urban myth.

8. Grooming

You may have noticed the ease with which he maintained his luscious lockdown locks. This man can shave, cut his hair and use clippers without a mirror, no lighting required.

There’s a big chance that he will neatly line up all his toiletries, displayed close at hand.

Warning! Nip this practice in the bud or before you know it there will be three tins of tuna and nine packets of noodles on the mantlepiece!

9. Are you speaking in code?

“I’m meeting my PO & PSO at OMU to update my OAsys, P-NOMIS, ACCT, ARMS, MAPPA and OVP. I’m down for HDC at an AP but I failed my MDT and I’m on IEP.”

Translation. “I have a meeting with my Probation Officer and a Prison Service Officer in the Offender Management Unit. There will be a review and update of all relevant documentation and records. I was hoping to be released on a Home Detention Curfew whilst staying in an Approved Premises. But, I failed my Mandatory Drug Test and my status has been downgraded to Incentive and Earned Privileges.”

10. What did you just say?

“That womble is a screw boy. Grassed on that swooper on the twos. He got twisted up, they spun his peter, now he’s down to seg and back on basic. He only had a two up his arse, that’s a shit and a shave.”

Translation: “A gentleman who works in waste management and has a cell on the second floor has given information to a prison officer to the detriment of another prisoner. This resulted in the other most unfortunate prisoner being held in a control and restraint position while his cell was searched. He was escorted to the segregation block and will have his privileges removed. He was only sentenced to two years which is a comparatively short sentence.”

These are just ten of the ways that you know he’s been in prison. I’m sure there are many, many more ways. If you have anything to add to the list, please Tweet me @hecallsmekeef

I can only speak about men who have been in prison, but I would love to know how this list compares to that of women who have been in prison and people who have worked in prison.

Women who have been in prison.

Tweet me @hecallsmekeef with any of the ways you know she’s been in prison.

People who have worked in prison.

Tweet me @hecallsmekeef with any of the ways you know they’ve worked in prison.

In my next blog I will be looking at

487 ways you know she’s an out of work H&S Consultant with too much time on her hands!’



2 thoughts on “Ten ways you know he’s been in prison

  1. That is great! And do you find when David cannot sleep any night that it helps if you go and bang on a door pointlessly and shout “F*** C Wing” because in prison everyone sleeps to that refrain for half the night and you can miss it when at home, Not a lot, but you can miss it.


    1. I normally drag my rolling pin across the bannisters & rattle a bunch of 87 keys! I’ll try the recommended door banging & shouting. Sounds like great fun!


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