Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > FOR "OFFENDERS" > Straight Talk
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Straight Talk The general Ex-Offender discussion forum. If you have done time, this forum is for you.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-15-2009, 07:49 PM
Seattle118's Avatar
Seattle118 Seattle118 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 422
Thanks: 359
Thanked 313 Times in 169 Posts
Question Convict, prisoner, inmate, etc. - please define terms and select

Hi, I have a pp and we were discussing the different terms society uses to describe those who are incarcerated… and the terms that the incarcerated use to describe themselves. I know that we all have personal names and don’t like to be stereotyped, but there are common terms to select from when having conversations in general or about yourself specifically.

Felon … Convict … Prisoner … Inmate … Etc. (also add more if you know any)

- When it comes to YOU, which do you prefer?
- What would you consider the definition or inference of each?
- In your opinion, does a term apply or not apply based on length of the bid, age of the person, type of prison/jail (fed, state, county, house arrest), attitude towards incarceration….?

Any thoughts by those previously incarcerated would be interesting to me…thanks.
__________________
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25:36
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Seattle118 For This Useful Post:
akaptrosa (10-17-2009)
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-15-2009, 08:37 PM
Critter07's Avatar
Critter07 Critter07 is offline
We live...we learn...
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: God's Country, TN
Posts: 2,384
Thanks: 7,501
Thanked 3,009 Times in 1,338 Posts
Default

This is an interesting thread. I've had this same conversation with one of my pen pals...

My man is in MS prison and there, they are called Offender Smith, Offender Jones - whatever their last name is.

When I think of Felon, I just think of felony and this is probably one of the least offensive terms to me, as well as Offender.

I don't care for Convict, Ex-Con, Prisoner or Inmate. Can't really put my finger on why, other than they just appear to me to be derogatory terms and I have issues with labels. (smile)

In my mind, Felon and Convict bring to mind prison, more so than jail. And Prisoner and Inmate bring to mind jail, more so than prison. I also feel that Felon and Convict denote a longer period of incarceration to most people but again, just my opinion.
My baby refers to himself as a "good little convict." (smile) He's in State Prison, serving time for a felony.

I'd be interested to see how others interpret these labels and what connotations they derive... Good thread!
__________________







Last edited by Critter07; 10-15-2009 at 08:39 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Critter07 For This Useful Post:
aba (10-17-2009), Seattle118 (10-15-2009)
  #3  
Old 10-16-2009, 06:58 AM
BlueEyedEllie BlueEyedEllie is offline
Banned
 

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: pa., usa
Posts: 11,670
Thanks: 33,135
Thanked 20,075 Times in 7,413 Posts
Cool

good question.I'm not fond of any of them,but it is what it is...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-16-2009, 07:09 AM
Miss_A's Avatar
Miss_A Miss_A is offline
It is what it is
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern IL
Posts: 6,202
Thanks: 3,190
Thanked 4,532 Times in 2,247 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcsbeth View Post
good question.I'm not fond of any of them,but it is what it is...
Right! I feel the exact same way.
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Miss_A For This Useful Post:
BlueEyedEllie (10-16-2009)
  #5  
Old 10-16-2009, 10:24 AM
Farva's Avatar
Farva Farva is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 37
Thanks: 0
Thanked 54 Times in 17 Posts
Default

Convict is the absolute worst. Calling an inmate "convict" is a sure way of getting a grievance.

As you can tell, I prefer Inmate.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-17-2009, 12:47 AM
Seattle118's Avatar
Seattle118 Seattle118 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 422
Thanks: 359
Thanked 313 Times in 169 Posts
Default

My pp says he prefers prisoner...I'll have to ask him more specifically the questions I asked here and report back to you all.. stay tuned.
__________________
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25:36
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-17-2009, 01:20 AM
aba aba is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: TX, USA
Posts: 1,447
Thanks: 1,669
Thanked 2,441 Times in 801 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter07 View Post
This is an interesting thread. I've had this same conversation with one of my pen pals...

My man is in MS prison and there, they are called Offender Smith, Offender Jones - whatever their last name is.

When I think of Felon, I just think of felony and this is probably one of the least offensive terms to me, as well as Offender.

I don't care for Convict, Ex-Con, Prisoner or Inmate. Can't really put my finger on why, other than they just appear to me to be derogatory terms and I have issues with labels. (smile)

In my mind, Felon and Convict bring to mind prison, more so than jail. And Prisoner and Inmate bring to mind jail, more so than prison. I also feel that Felon and Convict denote a longer period of incarceration to most people but again, just my opinion.
My baby refers to himself as a "good little convict." (smile) He's in State Prison, serving time for a felony.

I'd be interested to see how others interpret these labels and what connotations they derive... Good thread!
Good response.... I think 'prisoner' or 'inmate' are the most benign terms to use for someone who is incarcerated. Convict has an inherent negative connotation. But the truth is someone convicted of a crime IS a convict. But in this day and age there's nothing wrong with being politically correct. Just like I wouldn't refer to one of my close friends as being 'black,' but when we have a discussion that involves race or ethnicity I refer to his heritage as him being "African American."

A little ancedote....I was at work the day the Eagles signed Michael Vick. Being from Philly people were joking around about it. One gentleman, Mexican American, asked me what football team I root for. I said the Eagles. He said, "isn't that the team that has that convict?" I replied, "yes, but don't you think he deserves a second chance now that he served a 2 year prison sentence." The guy said no. I thought it was ironic that he said that when he's half covered with gang tattoos. But I just let it go and moved on knowing I too would soon be a convict. But I spent the rest of the day immersed in thought as to if that label would prevent me from getting a second chance in life. I still fear that more then I fear going to prison. But I'll fight (figuratively) one battle at a time. In the meantime this future prisoner of the United States of America will try to take the high road and seek redemption. This inmate will try to make whatever environment I find myself in as positive as I can be. I may be delusional, but I do believe that a happy day in prison can exist. It may come from the smallest of things, but if all ex-offenders wore that label around like a scarlet letter, no one would ever use their ability to empower themselves to move beyond bad judgement and decisions that many of us have made.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to aba For This Useful Post:
akaptrosa (10-17-2009), BlueEyedEllie (10-17-2009), Critter07 (10-21-2009), MrsCetina (10-21-2009)
  #8  
Old 10-17-2009, 01:25 AM
afirsttimer's Avatar
afirsttimer afirsttimer is offline
his wifey
 

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles CA
Posts: 1,918
Thanks: 2,036
Thanked 1,512 Times in 799 Posts
Default

I use inmate and my husband uses inmate too. We were at visiting one day and one of the co's were sweeping and I said I didn't know they did that and he said usually a inmate does that. Whenever he talks about someone else he uses the term inmate unless he is talking about his cellie or one of his homies. I guess that's how I started using the term too.
__________________
Geaux Saints!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-17-2009, 02:31 AM
Seattle118's Avatar
Seattle118 Seattle118 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 422
Thanks: 359
Thanked 313 Times in 169 Posts
Default

My pp said something about "convict" is an old school term and it's conotation is an that old timers who get the whole lifestyle and respect cause they have longer sentences. If I remember correctly, the younger generation with shorter sentences don't quailfy for some reason maybe because they are in and out and don't adopt the "lifestyle" I THINK this is what he meant. Can anyone here clarify this, expand on it or tell me if I have this wrong?

I use imate genarically, but have tried to start using prisoner because that is the term my friend likes.... I want to be respectful, and so I use prisoner mostly.

Offender seems most benign to me for some reason. That's what their ID badges say "Offender So and So"

Felon seems to be a term that could go with you after you get out... I mean one wouldn't be an inmate or prisoner after the sentence was served, but would felon apply always?... not to be offensive, I just don't know how ya'all see it.
__________________
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25:36
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Seattle118 For This Useful Post:
Mayone (04-17-2010), sweetgirlb (02-21-2010)
  #10  
Old 10-17-2009, 03:01 PM
Mary_Magdalene's Avatar
Mary_Magdalene Mary_Magdalene is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia/US
Posts: 214
Thanks: 15
Thanked 120 Times in 53 Posts
Default

I use 'felon' because it pretty well defines the way society categorizes me and they always will define me as such even though I'm out of prison now.
__________________
"A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages."--Tennessee Williams
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Mary_Magdalene For This Useful Post:
Seattle118 (10-17-2009)
  #11  
Old 10-17-2009, 04:29 PM
Papibear55's Avatar
Papibear55 Papibear55 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Orange, California USA
Posts: 67
Thanks: 23
Thanked 26 Times in 20 Posts
Default

I am new to all of this I just started my relationship with my boyfriend, although we knew each other before he went in, but I want to share with all of you about what he told me in a letter about what he thinks about his issue. He has been in for 23 years already. He says he doesn't consider himself an immate because immates are a part of a insitition and sometimes they are institutionalized. Not him, he says he is an old convict and a prisoner of his own mis-fortunes. I figured he is an old timer and should have some knowledge on this. It made sence to me
__________________
Always Hopeful
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Papibear55 For This Useful Post:
esteli (10-17-2009)
  #12  
Old 10-17-2009, 09:59 PM
akaptrosa's Avatar
akaptrosa akaptrosa is offline
At the beach! =)
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In my heart =)
Posts: 2,503
Thanks: 5,973
Thanked 5,134 Times in 1,712 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle118 View Post
My pp said something about "convict" is an old school term and it's conotation is an that old timers who get the whole lifestyle and respect cause they have longer sentences. If I remember correctly, the younger generation with shorter sentences don't quailfy for some reason maybe because they are in and out and don't adopt the "lifestyle" I THINK this is what he meant. Can anyone here clarify this, expand on it or tell me if I have this wrong?
I know on the Lockup show when they were shooting in Indiana they used the term convict for the older guys who had been there for awhile. They called the newbies inmates.

Very interesting thread!
__________________



And whatever things you ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you WILL receive! Matt 21:22
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to akaptrosa For This Useful Post:
Seattle118 (10-18-2009)
  #13  
Old 10-18-2009, 03:13 PM
FLESNWOYM's Avatar
FLESNWOYM FLESNWOYM is offline
**BE TRUE TO YOURSELF**
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sparkling City by the Bay, TX
Posts: 345
Thanks: 688
Thanked 481 Times in 175 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mycolumbianboy View Post
I am new to all of this I just started my relationship with my boyfriend, although we knew each other before he went in, but I want to share with all of you about what he told me in a letter about what he thinks about his issue. He has been in for 23 years already. He says he doesn't consider himself an immate because immates are a part of a insitition and sometimes they are institutionalized. Not him, he says he is an old convict and a prisoner of his own mis-fortunes. I figured he is an old timer and should have some knowledge on this. It made sence to me

My friend basically said the same thing - to him the term "inmate" constitutes being institionalized and "convicts" is used for old-timers/old-heads.

He does not take offense to any term because he knows they are just lables. He takes full responsibility for his actions and the bad choices he made, but he has always said that he will never let a label define who he is as a person.
__________________
*Rest in Peace My Beloved Diamond*

Last edited by FLESNWOYM; 10-18-2009 at 04:13 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to FLESNWOYM For This Useful Post:
sweetgirlb (02-21-2010)
  #14  
Old 10-20-2009, 10:21 AM
walkingtourist's Avatar
walkingtourist walkingtourist is offline
wandering into the sunset
 

Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: western new york
Posts: 1,211
Thanks: 137
Thanked 469 Times in 275 Posts
Default

I suppose prisoner is the term that I would use. Not everyone in prison was convicted of a felony (my charges were misdemeanors) so felon isn't always accurate. Inmate seems to remind me to Lowood School, that awful "school" that Jane Eyre was sent to by her heartless aunt. Convict brings to mind a really terrible B movie about prisons, complete with chain gangs and striped uniforms.
__________________
formerly known as meowmachine!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-20-2009, 10:40 AM
ChocoholicMom ChocoholicMom is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 543
Thanks: 277
Thanked 576 Times in 239 Posts
Default

My husband IS a felon. He will always be one, because that is what the penal code says.

My husband WAS an inmate. He might have also been a convict - to some.

However, none of those labels are jackets that he wears.
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-20-2009, 10:54 AM
BlondeAmbition's Avatar
BlondeAmbition BlondeAmbition is offline
Starry Eyed

Staff Superstar Winner 

 

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,433
Thanks: 839
Thanked 4,033 Times in 1,887 Posts
Default

It depends on what we are talking about. I do not call him any of those things usually, but in general I prefer the term inmate. My man also prefers inmate. He will also call himself a convict- but only when we are discussing life inside prison. He says that anyone who has been down for 10yrs or more is a convict no matter their age. When we talk about life on the outside as far as jobs and things, we both will say felon. Neither of us like prisoner or offender at all.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BlondeAmbition For This Useful Post:
Mayone (04-17-2010), Seattle118 (10-20-2009)
  #17  
Old 10-20-2009, 12:18 PM
Peeper333 Peeper333 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NY NY
Posts: 13
Thanks: 4
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default I despise the term "inmate"

I always use "prisoner". It's accurate. I was a prisoner of the state, I was held in prisons.

I really think the terms "inmate" and "institution" serve to mask the harshness of the prison system, not confer dignity to the people who are incarcerated.

Call a prison a prison. An "institution" could be any number of things - a school, a hospital, an agency... or a prison. I think those cloaking terms allow the people who run prisons and imprison other people comfort - kind of like the hood an executioner got to wear, to hide his identity.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Peeper333 For This Useful Post:
Anjewel (11-07-2009), Seattle118 (10-20-2009), sweetgirlb (02-21-2010)
  #18  
Old 10-20-2009, 11:32 PM
Seattle118's Avatar
Seattle118 Seattle118 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 422
Thanks: 359
Thanked 313 Times in 169 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peeper333 View Post
I always use "prisoner". It's accurate. I was a prisoner of the state, I was held in prisons.

I really think the terms "inmate" and "institution" serve to mask the harshness of the prison system, not confer dignity to the people who are incarcerated.

Call a prison a prison. An "institution" could be any number of things - a school, a hospital, an agency... or a prison. I think those cloaking terms allow the people who run prisons and imprison other people comfort - kind of like the hood an executioner got to wear, to hide his identity.

Peeper333 - I agree with every single sentiment in your post, thank you for giving voice to what I feel.
__________________
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25:36
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-21-2009, 04:04 PM
MrsCetina's Avatar
MrsCetina MrsCetina is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 2,314
Thanks: 9,033
Thanked 1,425 Times in 886 Posts
Default

We always just say inmate, because thats the word I hear when I get his GTL calls, and the LASD has the "inmate information" website and phone number.
__________________

hes been home since 12/29/09
&
off probation since 5/28/13
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MrsCetina For This Useful Post:
Mayone (04-17-2010)
  #20  
Old 10-21-2009, 05:29 PM
Doomiebey's Avatar
Doomiebey Doomiebey is offline
Doomie Bey
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 124
Thanks: 43
Thanked 347 Times in 85 Posts
Default

I was scrolling to the end of this thread to write exactly what you did in your thread. Thanks for saving me the trouble.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle118 View Post
Peeper333 - I agree with every single sentiment in your post, thank you for giving voice to what I feel.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Doomiebey For This Useful Post:
Seattle118 (10-22-2009)
  #21  
Old 10-31-2009, 09:34 PM
A-Z A-Z is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 73
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 11 Posts
Default

In prison there are two types of "prisoners".....inmates and convicts.

Inmates are the ones who abide by the rules of the prison and convicts are the ones who abide the the code of the convicts.

An inmate will snitch, a convict won't. An inmate will allow himself to be mistreated, abused, and victimized while a convict won't.

Inmates avoid convicts and convicts despise inmates. A convict will correct you if you call him an inmate. There is a HUGE difference between the two.
Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to A-Z For This Useful Post:
esteli (02-21-2010), Mayone (04-17-2010), patchouli (11-01-2009), Ravenslove (11-01-2009), Seattle118 (11-01-2009), soonermom1957 (11-01-2009), sweetgirlb (02-21-2010), timsbabygirl (02-21-2010)
  #22  
Old 10-31-2009, 11:59 PM
John2126's Avatar
John2126 John2126 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO USA
Posts: 105
Thanks: 49
Thanked 103 Times in 45 Posts
Default

Interesting thread....I never thought about this much, just figured "Inmate"....because that's what Global Hell-Link tells us every FIVE FREAKIN' MINUTES!

(End of snark -- we return you to your regularly scheduled thread.)
__________________

Can we have a treat?
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to John2126 For This Useful Post:
Seattle118 (11-01-2009)
  #23  
Old 11-01-2009, 07:07 AM
patchouli's Avatar
patchouli patchouli is offline
PTO Administrator

PTOQ Editorial Team Member Staff Superstar Two Time Winner Staff Superstar Winner 

Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 42,212
Thanks: 42,795
Thanked 35,827 Times in 16,500 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Z View Post
In prison there are two types of "prisoners".....inmates and convicts.

Inmates are the ones who abide by the rules of the prison and convicts are the ones who abide the the code of the convicts.

An inmate will snitch, a convict won't. An inmate will allow himself to be mistreated, abused, and victimized while a convict won't.

Inmates avoid convicts and convicts despise inmates. A convict will correct you if you call him an inmate. There is a HUGE difference between the two.

Exactly. That's pretty much what My Mr. explained to me. I bought a jacket that says "My Heart Belongs to an Inmate" and My Mr. was quick to point out that he is NOT an inmate...he's a conivct. BIG difference. And, well yeah, he's an "old timer" too.....been in more than out the last 16 years.
__________________
prisontalkhelp@gmail.com

patchouli, PTO Admin




Last edited by patchouli; 11-01-2009 at 07:08 AM.. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to patchouli For This Useful Post:
esteli (02-21-2010), Mayone (04-17-2010)
  #24  
Old 11-01-2009, 09:41 AM
soonermom1957 soonermom1957 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Oklahoma-Leflore
Posts: 26
Thanks: 31
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Default

I asked my husband whats the difference in a convict and a inmate? HE says if a co asks what happened ,that a convict will tell you he didn't see any thing and a inmate will tell what he saw. I am not the one thats there and those are not my words so don't get upset with me. I was wondering the same stuff and asked some time back.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to soonermom1957 For This Useful Post:
sweetgirlb (02-21-2010)
  #25  
Old 11-01-2009, 02:32 PM
Seattle118's Avatar
Seattle118 Seattle118 is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 422
Thanks: 359
Thanked 313 Times in 169 Posts
Default

In discussing this with Todd, he said the most offensive to him was the term "offender", He said it has tones of "sex offender". Which is too bad because his prison ID says Offender So and So.
__________________
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25:36
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Seattle118 For This Useful Post:
Mayone (04-17-2010)
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
convict, felon, labels, prisoner, sterotypes

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:47 AM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics