A prison fight is nothing like the UFC or boxing. It’s straight-up bedlam. Anything that can happen, will happen. Locks in a sock, shanks and mop wringers are all game. You can’t get a fair fight, but you can get a square one. You just have to know the rules. And the rules vary.
The universal rule is that fighting is part of prison life. You either fight or lose everything. Heart checks are mandatory. It’s called being “on the count” and if you aren’t present, you’ll get checked into the hole by your own boys.
“Whenever you are going to do any type of fighting in a penal institution what rules you go by are determined by where you are at,” said Kevin Smith, a 47-year-old penitentiary veteran from Fort Worth, Texas who has done 10 years in federal institutions, three stints in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) and multiple stays in county jail for a variety of charges including meth distribution and manufacture, gun possession, conspiracy to rob a bank and assault.