07 Jan 08

On Shanks (Part 2)

“To make a shank using paper, you soak the paper in glue, roll it up real tight, and make a long thin pointed stabbing implement. Some will put a needle at the point of it, or some kind of pushpin, so it has a sharp metal point. Once the metal point breaks the skin it goes right in.”
“With one hit?” I asked.
“It’s a one-hit deal.”
“Aiming for the heart?”
“They aim just below the breast bone, and the shank goes in and up. Once it’s in they move it from side to side, and either break it off or pull it out. The thing is, ’cause going in it makes such a small-diameter wound, if you pull it out there’s not a lot of blood. With a small diameter the skin will close in, but because they wiggle it, it’s done damage to the heart or aorta, and you bleed internally.”
“And die?”
“Yeah. You die a long time before the prison can get you to a hospital.”
“You mentioned stabbing shanks and slicing shanks, what’s the deal with slicing shanks?”
“With a slicing shank they’ll go for the neck if they’re intending to kill you. If they can slice either the jugular or the carotid, odds are you’re gonna bleed out and die. They may go for the inner thigh. If the femoral artery is cut with a slicing blade, it’ll cause you to bleed out. Anyone shanked there should put pressure on it and get to the hospital.”
“If you’ve been shanked in the neck, what are the chances of the prison getting you to a hospital in time to save your life?”
“Slim – but it can happen.”
“Slicing shanks are made out of what?”
“Any kind of flat metal or round metal.”
“I’ve heard about people making shanks from fence.”
“Yeah, just straighten it out and sharpen the end of it – make it into an ice pick.”
“Can we talk for a little bit about how to reduce your chances of getting shanked?”
“OK.”


Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

2 comments:

dirtos said...

That's made me squirm a bit. Pretty grisly stuff.
Are you going to blog on the different gangs within the prison?
Your friendship with T Bone surprised me as I was under the impression that races didn't socialise within prison in the states.

Jenny Dreadful said...

Please tell us how to avoid getting shanked. I will tattoo it on the inside of my thigh and, if I'm ever in prison, with my head between my legs, crying, I can read it and avoid getting the stab-stab.