Question Time with Warrior

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.

Here’s what I have to say on the comments following what I wrote about the death of Grit.

I’m not saying that Grit went out like some “hero.” I don’t know where that word entered the equation, but he did live that gangster lifestyle and exited in that manner by choice.
My heart goes out for those that loved him. He was a likeable individual. However, addiction wasn’t the sole factor that contributed to his overdose. A combination of institutionalization, decades of criminal behavior, a lack of education and trade skills were some of the factors among many that led him to further abuse himself with drugs and his eventual overdose.
I’m not knocking Grit, but there does come a time when we all need to grow up and recognise our duty and responsibility. The reality of that gangster lifestyle is life in prison or death, whichever comes first. Ask any lifer. On every yard there are lifers using dope as self-medication to escape the reality of having to spend the rest of their lives in prison, and they will die in here. It must be difficult for outsiders to fathom the magnitude of that cold hard reality.
I’ve spoke to countless old timers who have spent 20+ years in prison. If they were to be released, they say they’d get a gun and rob because that’s all they know. Prison has not given them any other skills or the education they need to function outside. During my 10 years, I’ve been asked to help countless prisoners to quit doing drugs and I have yet to see more than two succeed, but despite that ratio, I’m still willing to help anyone to try.
The reality is that only a small portion of men in prison change, an even smaller portion don’t use or clean up, an even smaller portion become proactive about their own rehabilitation and education, and sadly even less stay out. This is especially true in Arizona, and more than likely elsewhere. Even though prison is not about rehabilitation, it is up to us to figure out how much self worth we have and what we need to do to earn back and keep our freedom.
We all try to beat the system in our own way. It’s our choice as to how.

Click here for the previous Question Time

Click here for Warrior’s previous blog, including links to some of his best prison stories.

Post comments and questions for Warrior below or email them to  To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

1 comment:

leigh said...

as someone who does a lot of volunteer work and activism with prison issues i would like Warrior's opinion on what ultimately would/ does motivate people to really get clean when they're behind bars. what have you seen that truly makes other guys in there with you stop using whatever their substance of choice is?

sometimes it seems like a friend or family member gives someone an ultimatum or other times it is a religious connection that they make but a lot of times it seems (from my arm chair psychologist position) that one addiction is replaced by another for some. like a dude who is hard core about coke/ meth/ pot/ alcohol or whatever then replaces that addiction/ obsession/ need with a similar addiction type of thing to working out/ religion/ person and while that can be really good for a person it seems like it isn't the MOST healthy way of handling a substance problem.

i know that when it comes to what is healthy in the rest of the world and what is healthy in the prisons- well that is often a different category. mental health isn't altogether addressed in prisons as much as maybe it needs to be. what can those of us who want to help incarcerated people who continue to use while in prison do to help fight that habit? and especially with those who are in for life.

not to say that i am in agreement with the drug laws, sentencing, etc.