Welcome to Prison
Rolling Stone: How close do you think the show gets to capturing prison life?
Sharon Jones: Oh, it's really on point. You know, it's TV, so they're going to add a little bit of stuff to the mix that will make you see, oh come on now!
Rolling Stone: Can you give an example?
Sharon Jones: Like, for example: I would never have left an inmate in a spot by themselves for as long as some of the guards in the show do…you gotta keep an eye on folks. And believe me, the inmates are slick; they're watching you just as much as you're watching them.
Let me tell you a story: When I was at Riker's, I was assigned to C74 — that's an ARDC (Adolescent Reception and Detention Center). But there are adults in there as well; if you're waiting to see the judge or get sentenced, they would get holed up in C74. One day, I noticed this young man in the area where, when you first enter the facility, they wash you and check you for lice. I'm watching this kid, and he's not looking good; I can tell something is going on. So I ask him, you okay? Is there a problem, because if there is, honey, I will get you out of here right now. He keeps telling me, yeah, yeah, it's all cool…he's nervous, but he's not budging.
I turn my back, and I walked over to check on some of the other inmates, and not 10 seconds later I hear this [makes loud thumping noise]. I run back, and the kid is literally holding his eyeball in his hand. Someone had taken his head and knocked it against this brick wall, and just knocked his eye out. It was, "Who did this?" Nobody saw anything, nobody says anything — including the kid. All I could do was call the guards and get him to the infirmary, pop his eyes back in. You know, welcome to prison. That's something the show understands.