“Penitentiary Paychecks for COVID Relief”

The federal stimulus checks are the hottest thing to hit the yard since sub oxen (I know it’s one word, the space is just a new tactic to evade the censors). It’s revolutionized the way guys are doing their time. Every inmate –save for those listed as someone else’s dependent–has been eligible to receive the $1200, $600, and now $1400 stimulus checks.

Personally, I’m conflicted about such a brazen abuse of the system, even if it is totally legal. Incarceration disqualifies me from receiving welfare, so why would these stimulus checks be any different? however, I’m not gonna pass up on some serious cheese out of some righteous principal. keeping government spending under control is not a hill I’m willing to die on…

plus, if the end goal was merely to get people to spend money, than I think this is the best use of government funds EVER. $600 has never gone to a better cause, IMO. hereon, congress should jus mail everyone a check instead of the dumbass shit they’re usually underwriting, like gender equality in afghanistan and women in stem programs in Yemen. Every check they send me helps to quiet the uncanny feeling that we’re currently living thru the death throes of the American empire. Until all comes crashing down, lm spending dollars like they’re literally going out of style.

I’m surprised it took until the third stimulus for any kind of objection to be raised against prisoners receiving these checks. like I said, every prisoner got–or will get– these checks, no matter if he’s only been down for two years, or a twenty piece. It’s oddly reminiscent of that Chapelles Show skit about reparations (except sadder):

Indigent prisoners (indigent is the official classification of broke motherfuckers) who only had state clothes were suddenly all swagged out, rocking the most expensive Nike’s (the white cortez with a black swoosh), sweatpants, and a fleece. 

Others were more conservative, especially if they’re already doing well. They either fed their account just enough to hit store for the max twice a month, or gave it to their people as a kind of repayment for all they’ve done(that’s what I did with the lone $600 check I received so far).

Predictably, the most sizeable group to get the Cares Act checks were the dope fiends who immediately blew it on product at 10x the street price. Or maybe they were the most conspicuous. I hadn’t seen someone so fuggin high since the streets, and maybe not even then–I didn’t know speed freaks then.

Ive watched almost a dozen dudes stay up for a week straight after spending their entire stimulus on dope. Shitttt, some lost touch with reality after day one; they’d snort or smoke what was considered a sizeable amount in the world, and then were so high they had officially entered orbit.

My cubie went on such a binge, right when the IRS first started delivering the $1200..I hadn’t seen anyone tweak like that before—it was the first time I’d witnessed someone twacked out,which is a whole other level. any words coming out of his mouth were little more than a torrential logorrhea (exactly what it sounds like: word diarrhea).

At that time, it wasn’t quite clear if it was legal for prisoners to apply for the stimulus check–i thought it might be criminal. When an initial slew of inmates got theirs, only to have the vast majority pending in limbo seemed to confirm for me that it was fraudulent, akin to scamming unemployment.

shortly thereafter, however, an MDOC-wide jpay was sent out about a federal judge ruling it unconstitutional to withhold the cares act relief checks from prisoners.

That turned this money into a certainty instead of a legally gray possibility. Soon, the unit counselors were passing out 1040s to anyone who needed one and were assisting inmates in filing with the IRS. In a reversal of earlier policy, you could now list the prison address and not worry the admin would return it to the IRS, who had originally importuned DOCs all over to do so when they first discovered the legion of prisoners receiving the stimulus. Now that it was all above board, every single prisoner who applied (basically, the entire prison population) would get a check.

Those whose status on the IRS tracker had been unchanged for months were rescued from limbo, as the government spigot opened again. It became obvious someone got their check as time went on, after picking up on the behavioral changes. Hustlers stopped hustling, dope fiends ran around high as fuck, etc. $3200 really ain’t shit in the world, but that’s like a 6 figure salary or better in the joint. 

For many guys, those who had burned all their bridges in the world, or whose people quit helping out after their 2nd bit, or who lived off the $40 something the made each month working 40+ hours a week, the stimulus was a life-changing godsend. What irritated and ultimately disillusioned me was how profligate these same guys were when they finally got the money. Worse, these fucking losers always seemed to be the first ones to get their checks. every. single. time.

while I was never so desperate for these funds, watching the most undeserving felons get every stimulus check in a timely fashion while Ive only got the $600 so far has left me bitter and envious, even though I only planned on giving it to my family as meager repayment for all their help.

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