What is life like in a military prison?

Does anyone know anything about military prisons? A friend of a friend, who is an Air Force captain, is about to begin serving 8 months in either the Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar (California) or the Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston (S.C.). We’re wondering what his life will be like in there, especially as an officer. Anyone have any insight on this?

I just read this fascinating thread by somebody who was in a military brig:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2920010
It’s a kind of weird site, but has a message board-- with some silly forums and some high-quality forums that are very similar to the Dope.
If the link doesn’t work for you(registration required, but it’s free) go to
Somethingawful forums—>Discussion—> Ask/Tell forum. The linked thread is entitled “gettin’ locked up”. Five pages of very detailed info.

Thank you! That guy’s stories are very informative (and entertaining!)

I’ve never been in even a base brig, let alone one of the big ones, but I also found the linked thread to be both interesting and informative.

Here’s a tacky question, though, just because I’m nosy – do you mind telling what your frind is going down for? Also, is there a reason why an Air Force guy is going to a Naval facility?

The posts by this ** HidingfromGoro ** about jail are just frightening. Is he just making stuff up, or what?

Yeah I can understand the curiosity… :wink: I’m not exactly sure of the formal name of the charges but I think it was drunk and disorderly and trespassing. He got drunk one night, and was walking back to his friend’s house (or so he thought) and went into the wrong house. He went through a court marshall proceeding and we thought he was going to get a dishonorable discharge (after 15 years in the military) but luckily he will be able to stay in, and serve 8 months.

I don’t know why he’ll be sent to a Naval facility, although from their web site it shows that they house people from all branches of the military there.

Holy Jesus, for all of the Dope’s problems, I am sure glad that we don’t change “fuck” to “gently caress” and “shit” to “poo poo.”

There’s an interesting story here on life in Canadian military prison.

It doesn’t do that if you register. (I guess it’s meant as an incentive to register.)

I’ve never even been close to being in one, but my tough as nails drill instructor in basic once told me (after basic and I’d got to know him) that he’d been in for a month once in the mid 80s for punching an officer when he was drunk. He told me it was like basic but 10x worse and he’d pretty much rather die than go back. (Canadian military, BTW)

Some points:

[ul][li]Prisoners serving a sentence in a military prison are not officers. They are reduced to the lowest Enlisted pay grade at least for the duration of their incarceration.[/li][li]Time in the prison is considered “bad time” and does not credit as time served towards the completion of an enlistment or other obligated service.[/li][li]A military court is called a court-martial. The plural, if anyone’s interested, is courts-martial.[/li][li]A Naval brig can accommodate a prisoner from any of the Uniformed Services. The sentence is usually (IIRC) worded to the effect that the prisoner will be incarcerated in a Military Confinement Facility.[/li][/ul]

He’s going to be able to return to active duty after doing 8 months in a big brig? I wouldn’t have thought that would be possible. Monty, is that type of deal common? I assume his ‘bad time’ won’t count towards retirement, either? Will he be returned to his previous rank after he’s served his time? Won’t that require him to be commissioned again? And what are the odds his career will recover from such a scar? Will he ever get another promotion?

Yikes! Such a mess for such a foolish mistake. I hope your friend doesn’t have too bad a time, doing his time, nyctea scandiaca. Poor guy.

8 months (plus losing your career) for walking into the wrong house while drunk? That seems…excessive. Surely it’s just a misdemeanor on the outside, right? Are you sure that’s the whole story?

That’s what I was thinking. Back in the day, there would have been laughs all around, and one very humiliated officer standing at parade rest in front of his CO taking a verbal beatdown for being stupid…MAYBE an Article 15…but that would be it.

Serving a month in the brig and losing a rank isn’t unheard of, but I’ve never heard of someone serving 8 months and staying in. I knew guys that got 4 months and were given a bad conduct discharge for failing two piss tests.

When I was a Pensacola (Corey Field, not the big NAS) I saw a guy in a chief’s uniform (E-7), then two days later in a seaman’s uniform (E-1). I didn’t know him so there was no way I was going to ask, but I’ve always wondered what you can do to vex the Navy so much that you get busted 6 grades, yet don’t get kicked out entirely.

Perhaps he was on the cusp of retiring and they didn’t want to take all his benefits away.

Man that would suck. It takes close to 20 years to get to E-7, and to lose all that rank just before retirement…ouch. He must have really done something to get busted six grades yet still stay in the Navy.

I noticed that - at first I thought the writer was just using slang, but then I realized it was automatic. I thought it was pretty funny, and a bit annoying too.

Yes there was a bit more to it. I’m guilty of over-simplifying… So this guy was so drunk that he apparently doesn’t remember any of the incident. When he walked into the wrong house (where a party was occurring, I believe - this was a college town), he went upstairs and tried to get into bed with a girl who was asleep, and said something sexually suggestive to her (not sure what). Then the girl’s boyfriend chased him off, and he ended up at another house (presumably he thought that was his friend’s correct house) and started banging on the door and ended up passed out on the porch when the cops arrived.

That’s all I know. The civilian police did not pursue the charges, I think because they didn’t have a strong case or something. But the military enthusiastically pursued the charges.

We thought for sure that he would be kicked out of the military, but surprisingly not. We don’t know yet whether he will be demoted. He is currently a captain with 15 years of service.

Another bit of info that we have is that they went easy on him because of his prior “exemplary service” and he has never ever been in trouble before and had a perfect record, top-notch evaluations throughout his entire career. This seems like a totally bizarre freak incident (although it certainly must have been very alarming scary for the girl who he tried to get into bed with - I am not downplaying the severity of his crime).

I’ve no idea how common it is; however, I have seen a case where an individual served a year’s worth of “bad time” and was retained in service until the end of his enlistment. The key thing is the sentence of the court-martial. If the court does not award (that’s the military’s term for sentencing; lovely euphemism, isn’t it?) a punitive discharge, the member must serve out the remaining “good time” on his enlistment or, in the case of officers, agreed/obligated service.

That’s right. “Bad time” does not count towards pay, retirement, or even time in rate/rank. There’s an interesting thing that happens when the member is finished with his “bad time”: a number of important dates in career management are adjusted for him. The date of rate/rank, date entered active duty, basice pay entry date, etc. are adjusted. The disconnect is that for personnel administration, the adjustment is day-for-day (31 day months are counted as 31 days, 28 day months as 28, 29 day months as 29, etc.) but for pay administration all months are treated as 30 days, even February. The pay manual has a nifty, but still confusing, lengthy conversion chart for determining the adjusted dates for both personnel and pay administration.

It depends on what the court-martial awarded the member. Some sentences include reduction in rate/rank and sometimes those are even suspended. If the member is not sentenced to reduction or if the reduction is suspended, the member is automatically restored to his previous rank/rate.

Nope. The commission remains in effect unless the officer has been awarded separation from service.

If the offense is one of “moral turpitude,” such as rape, none. Otherwise, it depends on a number of factors.

It’s been known to happen that a member has resurrected his career after serving time.

Is it common for someone to be in the Air Force for 15 years and only be a Captain? I have a friend who has been in the Army for 12 and he is a Major. I know he was a Captain when he was in his 6th year.